Friday, December 3, 2010

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England)

Winter Warmer

6.00% ABV

Commercial Description:
Bottle: Pasteurised.
Each year the label has a different picture.
Ingredients: Water, malted barley, yeast, hops, seaweed finings, carbon dioxide.

General Pricing:
18oz bottle, ~$4.50 each, ~$45.00 case
12oz bottle, ~$9.00 6pack, ~$54.00 case

Well, it’s the beginning of December and I have not reviewed any Christmas beers yet this year. I picked up a few loose bottles a couple of weeks ago and I’m figuring it’s time for a winter warmer. What better warmer to start off the season with than Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome. It’s been a year or so since I’ve had this so I’m really looking forward to it, plus I have never reviewed it. Let’s see how warm this year’s warmer is.

The beer pours a clear amber with ruby hues and a fairly rich off white head.

The nose is nice with caramel almost toasted malt aromas with a pleasant floral hop note as well.

This is nice. I’m not sure if I would call this a winter warmer but it is a nice amber or English Brown ale. This beer also has that typical English hard water mineral finish.

The taste starts out with sweet caramel malts up front followed by a nice effervescence over the tongue in mid sip. The back end is very easy drinking with an effortless swallow. The finish has some nice malt flavors and just enough hops to dry without adding bitterness. The hop flavors on the finish are very pleasant; earthy without the bitterness. The final aftertaste is somewhat malty but mostly the earthy mineral water hardness of an English ale.

All and all this is pretty good. I guess that is most evident by the fact that my glass is almost empty. I obviously have been doing more drinking than writing on this review.

As this beer warms the mineral water hardness is becoming more predominate. It’s not bad, just an aspect of this style of English beer.

The final rating is a little challenging for this one. It’s not a great winter warmer but it is a pretty good English brown ale. At any rate a C for a winter warmer doesn’t seem fair so I’m going for a B- for a good English Brown Ale. It does have that hard water flavor but all and all this is a good tasting English Ale

1 comment:

  1. Now that it's full-on winter, I now have a beer fridge -- there's a dugout room in the back of the basement pantry that's a pretty consistent 45-55F, dark, plenty of spiders to keep the kids away!

    We really enjoyed our Thanksgiving with the Carters. Tom and I sampled 5 "Tripels." The best remains Tripel Karmaliet. We also had 2 ABTs. I liked the St. Bernardous ABT 12.

    I also found a GOOD beer store in Rockford -- not quite as hard to get to as Steve's in Madison. It's kinda hidden from view since it's name is Artale's Wines...the son, Anthony, has decided to look into high-end and craft beers and has developed quite a collection. We sampled 4-5 "midwestern" craft beers while we were there.

    I ended up with Ayinger Celebrator, Tommyknocker Oaked, an EISBOCK, both Sam Adams Imperial Stout and Double Bock, and the Sierra Nevada Hellesbock as well as Missy's favorite, Leffe Blonde. He's still a little limited by his distributors, but he is looking for ways of getting even more variety and expanding.

    Subsequently, we went out to the Logli Grocery Store in Rockford and I picked up the Sam Smith's Winter Welcome Ale, another Sam Smith's and a six-pack of Grimberger Double as well as a few singles of various "Christmas" beers. We'll be going to the Seminary to pick Josh up and I expect to try all of the above while we're there.

    If you ever visit the midwest again, I'll know where to go for a good selection!