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For all I know, this beer is way out-of-date, skunked and spoiled, and that’s the reason I didn’t like it so much.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.
Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale is an English Strong Ale with a 6% abv. 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.