Samuel Smith Brewery has long been one of my favorite English breweries since I first opened a Nut Brown Ale 13 years ago. Each year since I discovered their beers, I’ve looked forward to their Winter Welcome seasonal winter ale. It first came to the US in 1990 and has been a staple on many people’s drinking schedule since. One of the fun features of this beer, besides the taste, is that each year’s label features a new work of art.
Although, this does lead me to one criticism. Why is there no gallery of label art? It would be great to be able to look at all the various label incarnations without have to wade through blurry “beer in hand” photos on Google Images. If you’re not familiar with Deschutes Brewing Jubelale, it’s is another winter seasonal with new yearly label art. You can see their past labels in a nice gallery at the bottom of the Jubelale page.
Appearance: Bright brownish amber, beige head, good retention.
Aroma: Tea, toast, herbal hop notes, toffee, caramel, cappuccino, nutty, earthy-mineral notes, spice cake.
Taste: Nutty, light maltiness, herbal hops, mineral finish.
Overall Impression: The star of this beer is the malt. Despite this, the beer is incredibly balanced and not overly sweet. The balance of malt, hops, and minerality really make this a very drinkable beer with a nice medium-long finish. This is a great, balanced winter warmer with great character. It fits a nice taste niche if you’re not wanting something too malty, too hoppy, or too high in alcohol without sacrificing great flavor.
Availability: Seasonally at beer shops that carry other Samuel Smith beers and other beers imported by Merchant du Vin.
Notes: This beer was sent to me by Merchant du Vin for review.
You can read more reviews of Samuel Smith beers on my page dedicated them.