Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome 2007-2008, Samuel Smith Old Brewery. Tadcaster, England
A deep copper coloured pour with a rich malty-vinous nose. A very lively fresh sample that… but wait! I don’t want this to be yet another dry clinical beer tasting study. Instead I think it is time for a little Christmas Story:
       Once upon a time in a town called Cincinnati there was a deli shop owner named Joey. It was known that Joey ran a very good food shop with a nice selection of wine and beer. But it was the beers that made Joey famous. Long before the terms microbrewery and craft beer became part of the common language, Joey stocked beer from all over the world.
I remember the first Holiday beer I ever tasted. It was none other than Wurzburger Holiday Bier, a Christmas dopplebock recipe hundreds of years old. Mind you, I knew none of this at the time. All I did know was that the beer I was drinking tasted very good. This discovery was only made possible by Joey’s. Joey knew what holiday beer was when most folks in Cincinnati did not have a clue. That was why he would purchase many many cases of Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome in late October, and sell it out of his store until April of the following year.
People from the entire tri-state area would travel to his modestly sized shop. And no wonder, for it was from Joey’s I first tried Anchor’s Christmas Special Ale. The first Sierra-Nevada Celebration Ale, the first Saranac Season’s best… Alas, all of this now is just history, for Joey’s has been out of business for quite a few years. But that reminds me, sipping this wonderful Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome 2007-2008 that once there was a deli that was for The Beer Doctor, the absolute center of the brew universe.
“Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.” Shakespeare


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