The weather is getting cooler even down here in Texas. Not cold mind you, but a little cooler, cool enough even that there are thoughts of drinking a liquid warmer. That elixir that warms the spirit and the body. With that in mind I picked up a couple of Winter Ales from my local Central Market the other day. Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome and Young's Winter Warmer.
Young's Winter Warmer: Young's Brewery makes beer out of the Ram brewery in Britain and has done so since 1851. They make one of my favorite beers ever in their Double Chocolate Stout. The Winter Warmer weighs in at 5.2%, pouring a dark woody brown with a thick, pillowy tan head. There is malty sweetness on the nose, a slight breadiness and raisin scents. The mouthfeel is a little light, but with plenty of malt and a bit of bitterness on the aftertaste with that same raisin flavor. As the beer warms notes of coffee and chocolate show up. This is a very nice very smooth beer. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome: I have always loved this beer. Each year the label is different, with new artwork of a Dickensonian feel to it. Samuel Smith's was founded in 1758 in Tadcaster England and make some absolutely wonderful ales, with their Tadcaster Porter being one of my favorites. This beer weighs in at 6.0% and pours a nice rich reddish brown with a nice half inch white creamy head. More spiceness than Young's, less malt and more hops on the nose. A much heavier mouthfeel, a much heavier beer overall in fact. Hops are a the front with this, but still smooth and raisiny flavors. Some nutmeg and spices come out as the beer warms. Again, here is what the folks over at BA had to say.