Friday, December 2, 2011

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale 2011 - 2012

Today I'm drinking Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale brewed by Samuel Smith Old Brewery Tadcaster in Yorkshire, England. To the best of my recollection, the first time I ever had this beer was with my uncle back in the mid 90's on Christmas Eve at Porter's Pub in Easton, PA. We tried it at the bar while the ladies of our family were at church, and then he bought all the rest of them that the bar had on the way out. I had my share over the next few days.

There is a quaint bar scene in the center of the label amongst a massive confusion of banners. It's hard to pay attention to any of it. The back label tells a little story about the brewery and the beer's history.

Caramel, orange, pine resin aroma, fairly muted. Caramel flavors meet orange citrus right in the beginning, flavor-wise. Some spicy black peppery nips add some interest and bite, too. Some herbal tea and earthy, vegetal flavors are also present, quite malty. The flavors are sweet but some grassy hoppiness does balance the beer nicely. I will say there is a bit of buttery flavor that's borderline unpleasant, but I guess it's OK. The 6.0% alcohol is noticeable toward the end, providing a little heat and working well with the spiciness. Nice carbonation, nice body. Definitely an enjoyable beer! Grab one this winter.

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