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Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Yorkshire StingoSamuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo

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788 Ratings

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Ratings: 788
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 99
Gots: 82 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 12-22-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 788 | Reviews: 403
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 550ml Victorian Pint bottle; really nice traditional Samuel Smith label, with some nice info on the back of the bottle as well; this is the 2008 vintage. Served at cellar temperature in a 20oz Black Sheep Riggwelter pint glass.

Apperance: Hazy burnt-orange beer with amber tints; high levels of small-bead carbonation keeps an attractive beige 1/2 finger of head on this beer long after the substantial head has fallen.

Smell: Simultaneously intensely malty and fruity. Sweet caramel notes mingle with hints of alcohol and some tart dark fruit (maybe cherries?) There's also just a hint of that earthy yeastiness so typical of Samuel Smith beers. Maybe just a ghostly buttery character. The ONLY gripe here is I'd like juts a bit more intensity here from the aromas.

Taste: A wonderful balance between malty sweetness and mildly tart fruitiness. A light warming alcohol is present from the beginning as well. There are sweet, dark (almost burnt) caramel flavors up front, backed by tart dried cherries. Hopping is quite subdued, but a light fruity tartness keeps this beer from becoming overly sweet. Just the faintest hint of a dry woodsiness on the finish. Malty, fruity, yeasty, and lightly alcoholic...just what I look for in this style. The label says that the barrel-aging of this beer (for over a year) takes place in well-used ale-aging barrels; this suggests why there's not a lot of oak present in this ale; I think the barrel-aging must have been done primarily for mellowing and perhaps to add just a bit of the tart/sour fruity character. At any rate, it seems to have worked well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy; warming alcohol

Drinkability: 1 "Victorian Pint" will be just perfect; not to say this isn't highly drinkable; it's just a style you want to savor and enjoy, not slam down. This is not one I'd drink regularly, but rather makes a great "special occasion" sipping-beer, perfect for when the days start to grow shorter and the weather colder.

Conclusion: This is a very nice English Strong Ale/Old Ale. It's very "English" in style, with the fruity/malty/alcoholic notes accentuated with very little in the way of hops. It's dead on for the style, and quite tasty. The one real detriment is that it's not exactly cheap; a 550ml typically costs around $12.99 and is fairly difficult to find. Thanks to an awesome trade with "Beertracker" and a later lucky find on my part, I have two of the 2008 vintage. One I drank tonight; the other I think I might save for awhile. At any rate, another great beer from Old Brewery Tadcaster. Is anyone surprised?

Additional point: This paired very well with a nicely-aged Mimolette cheese.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep orange infused copper color with a very thin quick to faid off white head atop.Deeply fruity and cakey in the nose along with brown sugar,and sweet alcohol.somewhat sweet on the palate but not over done,brown sugar and dark fruits, and light green apple stand out the most,the alcohol plays a role as it warms.It's an English strong ale,it's some what sweet, but also refined and not in your face.

Photo of RoyalT
3.12/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - This is a clear, dark brown in color with a modest off-white head.

Smell - The malts are rich and full of caramel with some strong wood notes that together produce hearty fruit smells such as prune and fig. There's a big vodka smell as well.

Taste - The wood is much bigger at the taste, too big actually, so the malt is a bit trumped but otherwise true to the nose. The alcohol is a little much as well.

Mouthfeel - This is short of medium-bodied with a sharp alcohol sting and relatively flat.

Drinkability - I thought they missed the mark on this. The ale was thin and the booze overpowering and one-dimensional.

Photo of 71ADub
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 2011 18.7 oz. bottle into a chilled pint glass. Mine was 9.0%

A-reddish brown, see through, tan head with tight, fine bubbles. Head sticks to side of glass, beautiful lacing. Foams stays around a while.

S-warmth, followed by toffee, fruitcake, vineous. Slightly metallic in the background.

T-alcholoic warmth, immediately dashed away by toffee, bread, and raisins. Finishes with a slightly metallic tang.

F-surprisingly light body. med. low carbonation. Smooth as Kobe Bryant after skanking on his wife (read: like a big diamond!).

O-One of the best big beers I have ever had. The alcohol is nicely balanced with the other traits. Ridiculuously smooth for such a big beer. Good luck trying to recreate a clone, as you need open air stone vats and centuries old oak barrels.

Photo of ricke
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish amber with a pretty big and thick pale beige head with a surprisingly good retention. Nice lacings stick along.

S: A somewhat edgy, yet also round smell. Noticeable spiciness and stingy mix of alcohol and a hint of vinegar. But underneath this edgy character lies a beautiful and smooth malty foundation of dark bread, caramel, fudge and coco powder. Rich cherry-like fruitiness, raisins and nuts. The composition of rich sweet aromas and hints of tartness is definitely interesting, but I don't know if it's all together successful.

T: A pleasant taste, but still hard to really get a grip on. The maltiness is dense and has a rather bready character. Caramel, fudge and some chocolate notes delivers much of the sweetness. Plenty of nutty aromas. Vinous fruits (cherries, red apples). The sweetness is balanced by a rather noticeable tart note, which is actually quite surprising but very pleasant. The beer has distinct "aged" character and it is obvious that is has been barrel aged (dusty cellar, some wet wood and that general taste of oak barrel). In the finish, there is a mild bitterness and a prominent taste of alcohol. Raisins, some herbs and spices rounds it off.

M: Medium body with a smooth texture. Initially, the carbonation is a little bit too much, but it settles nicely.

D: Not bad at all, but it's not excellent. From such a great brewery I think I would have expected more, but still recommended.

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of brownbeer
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- orange-amber with some suspended sediment toward the bottom and a dishwater white head.

S- Great nose. Fruity yeast esters, english caramel malt, a touch of vanilla and raisin.

T&M- Soft and smooth toffee, dried fruit and not many hops to speak of.

D- Hides the 8% perfectly. One of the best English ales i've had.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
1.87/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Aroma- fresh cut apples, yellow raisins, and seriously...radish. Very fresh and appealing. Very faint oxidative note if you look for it but hides well behind the more in-your-face nose salad. overall very appealing aroma.

Appearance- Lively carbonation, big creamy head with excellent retention, and poor clarity are all unexpected for the style. ruddy maple color. Once again, unusual for old ale, but appealing none the less.

Taste and mouthfeel - Quite sherry-like. Heavy malt sweetness draws flavor sensations to the tip of the tounge but solventy alcohol carries grassy hop flavor into the nose, making both disharmony and distraction. Sam Smith's trademark acetylaldehyde ester (usually endearing in my book) is not helping the situation and becomes rather shrill at this ABV. If you you can clear your mind of all this and force some beer to the mid palate, you can glean some notes of pear and a very thin caramel tone, but it is kind of lost in the mess. Medium-full bodied with high levels of carbonation but you won't notice that with astringent, even tannic, dryness bludgeoning your entire mouth through the painfully long finish and aftertaste. Yikes.

Overall- This is like somebody's first high ABV homebrew. I am usually a big fan of this brewery and the old ale style so I was really psyched when I finally got my hands on a bottle and paid pretty handsomely for it. I was ready to love this brew all night long but most of it will be destined for the drain. It really pains me to slam a Sam Smith beer when I so often defend them to other beer nerds, but this is just bad news. If you are an English Old ale fan, Fuller's vintage is cheaper, easier to find, and far superior.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #32 (Sep 2009):

Whoa, Samuel Smith--one foot out of the box with a barrel-aged Strong Ale of towering alcoholic heights for its homeland.

Pours out a hazed twany liquid with a full three fingers of head. Thick aroma of brown bread, candied fruit, cake batter and a hint of ripe tropical fruit. Medium body is a little fluffy from the moderate-sized carbonation. Malt sweetness of caramel and Portuguese sweet bread tangles with an alcoholic warmth that resembles rum and dried papaya and passion fruit. Ghostlike buttery and yeasty tones go hand in hand with the cracker maltiness. Quick kick of wood tannin in the middle, then a little puckering dryness ensues. Alcohol stays on the breath but never becomes hot. Slightly dry finish lingers of wood and fruity alcohol.

A lovely creation here--kudos to Samuel Smith for making us beer geeks happy yet again. This is a yearly release so hunt this one down and cellar a bottle or two for the hell of it.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In my imperial pint glass, the beer was a cherry amber color with a medium-sized light tan head. It had an aroma of caramel and dark fruit. Taste of raisin, caramel, and a bit of late hops. Other than feeling a little sharp in my mouth, I very much liked this beer. I've always liked Samuel Smith; nice to see they're trying some different things.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A pretty brown with some reddish hues and a light tan head.

S - Some dark fruit esters as well as alcohol.

T - Dark fruits like prunes and raisins and some spiciness from the phenols. There is also a hint of toffee/roasted caramel flavors. The finish is mostly the alcohol kick and some remnants of the initial dark fruits.

M - Pretty thin body and some medium carbonation make it a nice feel on the tongue.

O - Not the best beer I have had, but pretty tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of R_Kole
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Lgrec8
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma is very fruity and is also has a lot of sugar notes. The flavor is strong cherry with some toffee and caramel malt sweetness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from BevMo. Poured dark mahogany with nice red edges. Puffy, creamy off-white head. Minimal lacing on the dimpled mug. Flattish, sticky mouthfeel that is kind of thin. Malty caramel and some crystal malt, but everything is glossed over with a vanilla-oak flavor. Its very pleasant, but I wanted more hops or something to pop out. In all, it is a very nice beer, but left me kind of disappointed.

Photo of boatshoes
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint bottle picked up today and enjoyed as a nightcap. Really excited to find this beer close to home.

Appearance- Pours a deep shade of ruby into my New Belgium snifter with lots of bubbles and two fingers of really tight tan head. Lots of sticky lacing and a fair amount of beading from the carbonation as well. Head retains quite well and gradually dies down to just a coating over the surface. Very nice appearance, particularly the retention on the head and the deep shade of crimson/ruby of the beer itself.

Smell- Lots of caramel in the nose, with some almost sugary dark fruits behind it. Wasn't really expecting to pick up on any fruitiness in this one, but after a couple whiffs, can't deny it for me. Also some vanilla and a bit of a bite of booziness following close after. Pretty nice smelling, but less going on than I was expecting from an oak aged beer. Overall quite good nonetheless.

Taste- Again, lots of caramel sweetness and malt up front in the palate. This is followed closely with vanilla and oak for me but much less of the fruitiness that I picked up in the nose. Perhaps just a touch of candied dates, but quite a nice accent. Overall, quite nice and well rounded. Not terribly complex I felt given the aging, but excellent regardless and a standout from a brewery that puts out great beers. Would probably be a good candidate for aging but was already smooth and great tasting fresh.

Mouthfeel/drinkability- This is where this beer really hits it out of the park for me. The mouthfeel on this is silky smooth coming out of a bottle. The oak aging really rounded the the mouthfeel out and masks the booze quite nicely, making it almost undetectable. As a result, this fairly big brew is dangerously drinkable and if it weren't for the 14 dollar price tag, it wouldn't be hard to put back a couple pints. Excellent.

Overall, comes with my high recommendation. The best Sam Smith beer I've had and deceptively drinkable. If you can find this one, I'd say buy one for the experience, though I don't know if I'll be getting more given the price tag.

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of far333
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Caramel colored, slight haze, orangey highlights and a thick beige head of meringue that lingers long and leaves long arcs of lace around the glass.

Aroma of raisin and ripe fruit, some cinnamon and woody vanilla notes.

Flavors of caramel, smoke, dried leaves, cinnamon, ripe fruit, orange rind, metallic note, some diacetyl flavors, very strong flavors with some unexpected astringency, boozey like cooking sherry lending noticeable harshness.

Full and rich mouthfeel, a bit tingly, some warming of the cheeks, finishes tannic.

Tasty at times, overbearing at others. Drinkability suffers due to harshness.

Photo of Sobertso
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of wo87810
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured hazy, dark amber with an excellent head. The head is durable but left little lacing. Some odd orange particles suspended in the beer.

Aroma: features fruit, grains and biscuit plus some oak barrel.

Taste: ABV partly hidden; oak aging is quite apparent.

M: medium body; medium+ carbonation; smooth; almost no sign of the alcohol.

O: a refined strong ale.

Photo of jamisonspitzer
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of valkyre65
4.5/5  rDev +10%

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Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 788 ratings.