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:
- 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.
- Thin taste. Samuel Smith beers are usually so full-bodied in their taste. I was surprised at how �light� this one tasted.
- 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.