Samuel Smith Winter
Samuel Smith Winter


12 Beers of Christmas (plus 3)


Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale

O n the Third Day of Christmas Beer the Beer Fairy brought to me……. Something from the UK. Which is appropriate for my next thought and that is why the hell am I drinking cold beer when it’s freezing-ass cold outside. This is Augusta, Georgia not Grand Haven, Michigan. It’s December in the land of 60 degree December days. As I was freezing my tookis off walking to the car I thought of that great TV show Cheers. I remember one episode when my hero Cliff Claven, the know-it-all postman, was explaining to Diane why they were drinking cold beer when it was freezing outside:

Samuel Smith's Winter Ale
This Year

When the British ruled the Punjab…..they drank steaming hot pots of tea on the hottest days of the year to balance out their inside and outside temperatures. See, conversely drinking an ice cold drink on a cold day actually results in a more comfortable body temperature.” Diane then asks ” Then why do you drink ice cold beer on a hot day?” Cliff comes back with “What else are you going to do with it?

Tonight I’m enjoying a Christmas brew that is in line with some Winter Brews from my past. So many Winter brews are now closer to fruit punch than beer.

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale is a light brown brew that has a slight hoppy taste that kind of reminds me of the regular Samuel Smith Ale. The head was kind of wimpy. The label had 2009/2010 on it so I’m not sure if I’m drinking year old beer or not. But I’m starting to read about more and more brews that can be cellared for 3 to 5 years but that’s another story for another time. Mark A. dropped by again and he agreed that it had a nice nutty, caramel flavor (malts) on top of that very tiny hop flavor. A little sharp but mellow finish. Matter of fact it had no aftertaste which for many nutty beers is not the case. Mark liked eating it with some homemade caramel we were dipping apples in.

I just checked out their website and they say “Honey-amber-colored, creamy head of small bubbles, floral aroma and delicious malt flavor with great finesse.” They also said they have a special label each year and this year’s label does not look like the one I have so I guess I’m drinking year old beer. This year’s label has 2010/2011 on it. I have to laugh because I found the label interesting as it had people arriving at home on a motorcycle in the snow. The reason I laughed is that this same label was on the beer I found at two different shops. So is this leftover from their shelves or is the distributor trying to unload it before handing out the 2010/2011. (The label this year also features kids on a toboggan.. by the way, don’t Google “tobogan” and look at the definition at Urban Dictionary with the kids around).

Last Year's Brew
Last Year's Brew

So, I’m glad I’m inside. I’m listening to the best Christmas music ever—-Vince Guaraldi and A Charlie Brown Christmas. (That dude died way too young at age 47). If we had a working fireplace I would be tossing on another log. Hmm. What’s that? Danggum. Mrs. Dan says we have to take some stuff to storage. By we she means me. So much for enjoying being inside on a windy freezing ass night. Tomorrow I might have to snoop around and see if anyone in the area has this year’s brew.

When I get back from storage and feel the need for” a more comfortable body temperature” I might have to jump ahead and sample tomorrow’s Christmas brew. Will it be Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale or Anchor Steam Christmas Ale…..anyone out there care which one it should be?
From: North Yorks, England
Brewery: Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery
Year: 2009-2010

12 Beers of Christmas (plus 3)


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