Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale (2010 – 2011)

Samuel Smith Brewery
Tadcaster, England

Grade: C+/B-
ABV: 6%
Style: English Strong Ale
Serve in: Trappist glass

I’d like to say something refined like “I buy two of every bottle, one to sample now and the other to age”; thus, I have a reason for getting around to drinking this beer. Sadly, that is not the case. I bought this beer in December 2011 and just now discovered it, tucked away in a six-pack of homebrews.

For all I know, this beer is way out-of-date, skunked and spoiled, and that’s the reason I didn’t like it so much. Or maybe it’s just not one of Samuel Smith’s best offerings. Who knows. Poor lil’ lost beer.

It pours a bright amber with a very soft aroma; buttery and with a slight herbalness.

The flavor is toasty caramel, spicy hops; very grainy and with a hint of orange. There’s a lively carbonation, with some yeasty notes and light alcoholic esters, which add a peppery flavor to the hoppy finish. The end of this beer is a little bit too dry for my taste; also very bitter and with a slight plastic aftertaste.

This isn’t really a “winter warmer”. It’s more like an English pale ale. Overall, it’s just too dry and ordinary, and in my projected universe, I see it as a bit sweeter too. So my grade is hovering around the C+/B- range. But then again, this may be my fault for treating this beer like a neglected orphan


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