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Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale
Written by Tom
Last week welcomed in the winter with style here in the Chicagoland area. It snowed, snowed some more and then dropped down to about 8˚. Around this time you’ll see a variety of beer being sold that are Christmas or Winter related brew. Generally, the Christmas ones have various seasons and spices in them while the Winter ones are a tad bit higher in ABV and contain a little more maltiness. Most of them are darker, but tonight I was surprised to find that Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome is more like a standard ale than anything. Rocking steady at a simple 6% ABV I found this beer to be rather disappointing at first.
However, I did find some very redeeming qualities that give this beer a good review. It is a nice clear copper color with great head. Upon the first sniff, I received a big fruity nose that smelled like apples and pears. It really came across as a cider to me at first. There are definite apple flavors present on the tongue and the aftertaste is rather dry. Despite the fact that it is well-balance between malts and hops there is something missing. The hops used are Fuggles and Goldings which do display some low bitterness and spiciness. At times as the beer warmed up I did get some whiffs and tastes of cinnamon, but I’m not sure they used it in the brew. The aftertaste is pretty unfulfilling and leaves much to be desired. It’s easy drinking, but I’d rather enjoy something a little more darker and complex during the cold Winter months.
Grade: C-Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale,