“12 Beers of Christmas” Review: Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale

In Beer Reviews by Andrew

Samuel Smith says:

“Throughout history, beer of somewhat higher alcohol and richness has been enjoyed for the winter holidays, when old friends get together to enjoy the season. Wassail, a festival to celebrate winter and the beer that goes with it, predates the Christian era. Winter Welcome is vintage-dated with a special label each year. Serve in a traditional tankard for the holidays.”

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale
Winter Warmer, 6% ABV

I’ve never had the Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale, but had heard nothing but good things about it, “Oh you’ll love it,” “you can’t go wrong with that beer,” “if you see it, you have to pick it up!”

So I did. And I was not disappointed.

This winter warmer pours a beautiful red, copper color with an off-white fluffy head. The nose was full of malt, spice, some hops and a bit of citrus.

The beer starts off sweet – bready malts, bananas, citrus and other fruits. The hops don’t waste any time making their presence known, causing this beer to be somewhat bitter and dry on the finish. In the aftertaste the beer turns sweet once again, with bananas and other fruits taking over.

The flavors and spices, with the ever-so-slight carbonation, make this a very warm, drinkable winter warmer. However, I will say that unlike other winter/Christmas beers, the Winter Welcome Ale is missing something, a wow factor of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this beer, I just wish there was more of something to make it more unique.

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Government by day, politics by night and beer every minute in between (and let's be honest, sometimes during) is Andrew's story. He works with his network of friends across the country to bring in new, regional beers and is always quick to jump when Ryan blows the conch to assemble The Guys for a unique vertical or cellar experiment.