Friday, December 26, 2008

A Welcomed Winter Ale


There are so many Christmas and special winter beers to choose from this year, but I seem to be sticking with the classics, such as Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome.

I was delighted to see this ale packaged in a brown bottle this year. (No more skunked Winter Welcome!) The next aspect of this beer that I notice is that it seems much more carbonated than I recall. It pours a remarkably clear amber-orange with lots of "streamers" and a huge amount of foam that settles slowly leaving some sticky bits of lace down the sides of the glass. The first sniff is very fruity; I'm thinking marmalade and maybe the tiniest bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavors are sweet caramel malt along with marmalade, followed by a fresh cookie or biscuit character. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with the body slightly full up front with a dryish, slightly tart, delicate finish with a hint of minerals. Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome is a fine, fresh English Ale that is quite sessionable. I'm going to need to get myself more before it's gone until next year. The label of this beer changes a little bit each year, which is one of things that I anticipate about it, too.

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