Tuesday, December 9, 2008

25 Beers of Christmas '08, Day 9: Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery
Style: Winter Warmer
ABV: 6.0%
Date Poured: December 2008

I tried Samuel Smith's Winter Warmer about five years ago and was less than impressed. It didn't seem as big and robust as I thought an ale calling itself a winter warmer should be. I decided to retry it this year thinking that a more mature palate may lead me to a new appreciation of this ale.

Pours a bright copper with a thin ivory head. Fine spiderweb lacing is left on the glass. Floral British hops in the nose, lightly fruity malt and lightly metallic too.

This ale is crisp in the mouth. Lightly fruity malt with just a hint of caramel. Herbal hops. Finish is quite crisp and clean with the herbal hops lingering in the aftertaste.

It still strikes me as lacking when it comes to a winter warmer. Perhaps its just my expectations as an American who came of drinking age with the "microbrew" revolutuion in full swing. But I have a better appreciation for this ale than I did five years ago.

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