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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Samuel Smith
Review by Matthew Coers

Imagine if you paid the entrance fee to watch Tony Hawk doing stunts, but instead you found that you were just watching some frat guys bust their asses on a half-pipe.

You�re still mildly entertained. But, at the same time, you�re left with the feeling you didn�t get what you paid for.

That�s what it�s like to buy a Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale.

I have to say I was disappointed in this beer. Generally speaking, Samuel Smith beers are fantastic, and it is possible that my standards have just been set too high for the brand.

That said, I have had other Winter seasonals that were better, and for the money I would pass on the Winter Welcome, and focus on New Belgium�s 2 Below or Widmer Brother�s Snow Plow.

Here are the issues that I had with it:

  1. My review bottles were over-carbonated. A quick search on the Internets reveals that this may be a consistency problem, because I�ve read other reviewers who said their bottles were not very carbonated at all. Inconsistency is bad.
  2. Thin taste. Samuel Smith beers are usually so full-bodied in their taste. I was surprised at how �light� this one tasted.
  3. Not very notable. Maybe this goes along with point #2, but normally a Winter ale like this has a lot of spice or other character forming trait (beyond hops) that makes it unique. Although there was a certain amount of spiciness to this beer, it just wasn�t all that impressive.

Another issue is the price. Samuel Smith beers are quite a bit more expensive than other brands. Generally speaking, the price difference is supported by the uniqueness of the product, and it�s superb quality. Just not this time.

I give this one a 3/5. Sorry.

A drunken man gets on the bus late one night, staggers up the aisle, and sits next to an elderly woman.

She looks the man up and down and says, "I've got news for you. You're going straight to hell!"

The man jumps up out of his seat and shouts, "Man, I'm on the wrong bus!"
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