Saturday, December 24, 2011

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale 2011-2012

Christmas Eve begins the holiday madness for my family every year, as we always go to my grandparents' house to celebrate with my Dad's side. 

As expected, my 7-month-old was the focus of attention all day (as any new baby always is) being handed off from family member to family member. That meant no nap for him, so he is over-exhausted and won't sleep tonight - he is literally screaming as I type this, so with constant interruptions to calm him down it is taking FOREVER to write this post!

Tomorrow will be even more insane with our own Christmas morning, followed by trips to both sets of parents (the kids' grandparents) in the same day. I am wiped out right now and still have toys to assemble before I hit the sack...

For this brief reprieve, I am drinking Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale 2011-2012, a 6% ABV, golden-amber colored brew that pours to a two-finger head of small, off-white bubbles. The beer's label features a vintage-style drawing of a bartender behind the bar in a traditional English pub, and on the back has a picture of the brewery's horses that are still used to this day to take out beer deliveries 5 days a week!

I'm not sure what it is about the magic of open fermentation in their "Yorkshire squares", but SS brews have an incredibly smooth and creamy texture to them. This beer smells a bit musty, with notes of pecans and sweet fruit esters. At first sip, there are buttery, biscuity flavors followed by a little spice and some figs or dates (or both!). This is a malt-heavy beverage, and the richness is perfect for the night before Christmas!

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