The smell is inviting, with a slight hint of standard Samuel Smith scent this is not your standard Taddy Porter or Ale. Winter Welcome is Sam Smiths answer to cold days in the northern hemisphere just around the holiday season. With a thin creamy head this ale has a hugely smooth taste with a delicious malt flavor.
The bottle is slightly crazy compared to what Sam Smith typically produces with bright colors and words scattered all over the face of the label. The floral sent, deep amber color and light carbonation makes me want to toss another log on the fire, kick my feet up and relax. Like most Winter Warmers, this beer isn’t lacking in the alcohol department kicking it up to 6% alcohol by volume.
“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” (merchantduvin)
The only worry with a Winter Welcome ale is a skunky brew, the bottle is clear and that means there is a chance you could end up with a slighty off color tasting brew. This can also be a problem with Corona which is why many folks prefer to mask the undesired flavor with a lime–Sam Smith isn’t a lime required beer and I highly suggest never thinking of destroying this brew with lime.
I’ve never had a skunked glass of Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale but I can see how it could be possible considering the bottle is clear for the world (and the sun) to see. If there is any turn off for Sam Smith it’s always going to come down to price, USD $10.99 for a 4-pack of 12 oz. (355mL) bottles is a bit steep. You get what you pay for, Sam Smith is well worth the money.