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

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Yorkshire StingoSamuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo

Educational use only; do not reuse.

417 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 417
Hads: 841
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 110
Gots: 97 | FT: 5
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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 417 | Hads: 841
Photo of danieelol
1.3/5  rDev -68.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to the staff @ IBS

Reviewed from memory

Pours an admittedly not unattractive amber with reasonable head and lacing.

Smell is a vile conglomerate of Belgian yeast and the English barleywine malt and hop profile I hate so much.

Taste is much the same, amber malt sweetness coming through more so.

Mouthfeel is somewhat astringent and even here those Belgian esters are rearing their ugly head.

Overall: Distinctly unpleasant beer, even independently of the price. Brings out the worst aspects of both Belgian and English brewing. Didn't really get a sense of the barrel. I really hated this beer deeply and drainpoured the vast majority of the bottle.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
1.87/5  rDev -54.2%
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.

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Photo of bobhits
2.25/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Appears with light just slightly dakrer than yellow pouring from the bottle, leaving me less than impressed, what did I buy? In the glass a SLIGHT haze, and a mix of ruby and orange color. A light beige head forms, with impressively sticky lacing given the oak that is supposed to be here.

A strong amber beer aroma, mixed with oak and vanilla, with a sharp citrus hop finish. After sitting out the citrus melds in and there are hops but they are hard to really discern from the oak and malt.

I am not sure what style or hell what I’m drinking here. This brings out notes of a strong ale in body and certain characteristics I can’t really describe and I associated with such styles. The oak reminds me of some bourbon barrel aged ales where the oak notes seem out of place, the vanilla doesn’t blending, and the use of hops just don’t’ make senses.

Well carbonated, the body is rather nice for 9% and it is far more drinkable than expected.

I don’t get this beer at all. The oak flavors are off putting. The hops and the malt don’t work at all with this oak. I would like to read what others think but this is perhaps one of the worst uses of oak I’ve had. As it warms it just is too sweet, and the oak doesn’t work anymore than to start. I don’t get this love at all. Value is a part of this score at 12 bucks it really doesn't help anything!

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Photo of Givemebeer
2.49/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2

Was very excited to pop this open amongst friends. However the bottle that was dated 2013 was most definitely infected. Horribly sour finish. I know its not fair to judge on one bad bottle - it happens. I will revisit and update my review at some time.

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Photo of dedrinker
2.66/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ugh. Murky dark rusty color.

Aromas of caramel, brown sugar and stewed fruit.

Same on flavor plus yeasty alcohol bite.

full bodied with slightly bitter-sweet/ sour finish.

Can you believe this stuff? For the fat, clumsy, and unfocused character of this beer, it's a cardinal sin to pay what they are asking for this beer.

I am fully dismayed and bummed.

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Photo of trixdout
2.82/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I just realized I saw the brewed date and it was 2010. At first I thought the brew could have been an one off bad one, but the brewed date is from last year. Correct me if I'm wrong and if so beer mail me, but a beer from last year regardless of the 8.0% abv won't be that good. Now on to my review....

Appearance - reddish brown color with NO head whatsoever. I got a thin centimeter thick head with very very little to no carbonation at all. (I was surprised to have no head and I vigorously poured it into a duvel tulip glass.) Not sure what went on here.

Aroma - I get at first a strong raspberry scent, some caramel and raisin, toffee, and even some vanilla scents all through and well balanced, and get some oak with some alcohol coming through.

Taste - I got raisins, some sweet caramel, oak as well as the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - no carbonation like a beer should have, oily, light bodied, watery mouthfeel on the finish. not dry at all.

Overall - I got another one of these and I'm going to try it in a few days or weeks. if it's different than I will know it was just that one bottle. If not then this beer, brewed in 2010, definitely lost its carbonation over time.

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Photo of jwinship83
2.93/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass. bottled in 09 is typed on the back label.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a darkish amber colored body with a decent sized eggshell colored head on top. the head has nice retention and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the nose starts out with plenty of caramel and biscuit malts and quickly moves into a small amount of nuttiness and vanilla (from the oak barrel). there is a small amounts of spicy hops at the end.

T- the taste starts out with the sweet caramel and biscuit malts i could smell. the vanilla from the barrel comes through alot stronger in the taste than the smell. the nuttiness i could smell is nowhere to be found. im able to taste some cherries, dates, and figs i couldnt pick up in the nose. there are some spicy hops at the end.

M- this is a solidly medium sized body with ample carbonation. there is a slight warming from the alcohol.

D- this one has lots in common with a barleywine. i think it was just OK. i dont think i will ever drop another $13 on a second bottle. pretty mediocre if you ask me. too strong to consider having another one.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of far333
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a very thick kinda funky brown color with two fingers of head with fine bubbles that lingers nicely and leaves spotty lacing on the glass
S: sour, dark fruits and a bit of apple zest
T: sour, very interesting, a bit intense, dark fruits, pretty complex but kinda odd too
M: intense carbonation tingle, a bit single through the middle, doesnt linger at all on the palate
O: an interesting brew, pretty sour and zesty, odd, a bit intense, needs to warm up a bit before it really hits its prime i think, gonna age a bottle for a year and see where we end up

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Picked up a 550 mL bottle of this at a local store. Poured into a pint glass in two parts.

Appearance: Dark to medium brown in color. Almost burgundy. Two finger beige head with decent retention.

Aroma: Subtle toffee and oak upfront. Not very aromatic at first, but opens up throughout the glass. Some raison and plum notes here too. A sharp alcohol note makes its way in toward the end as well.

Taste: Caramel and plum upfront provide some sweetness. Toffee always pretty noticable here. The oak hits near the end, but is rather astrigent and harsh. The more I drink the more the alcohol really comes through.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, but not that crisp or smooth. Much more well suited for sipping.

Drinkability: The alcohol was really smooth and well hidden at first, but half way through the glass hit hard. I was all set after one.

Overall, I was dissappointed in this offering. Nothing really stood out as great and the blend of flavors seemed inconsistent. For the price tag, this was one and done for me.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a cross between dark cherry/raspberry with a firm smooth 1 finger beige colored head that displayed moderately good retention with light raspberry hues. The lacing was clean while the visible effervesce appeared rapid and strong.

S: The nose was light with watery whiskey scents being the most pronounced against a stale malt backing. The barrel aging is noticeable here with light oaky cask notes of alcohol soaked wood, and a light sour malting. Honestly have to say wasn't to impressed here, maybe a bit of aging would of made this a bit more rounded, but as is was average at best.

T: The initial flavor opens with a tart, sourness of stale grains and a semi-tart raspberry fruitiness. A dry alcohol touch of water and whiskey provides an alcohol spicing that gets progressively warmer and more noticeable as you proceed. Warm apple cider and toasted sweet grains with dried honey bread are also evident while the alcohol stays with you to the very end, spicy in nature with a dried warm fruitiness of cooked pineapple. The warming sensation of the drink certainly takes over with noticeably boozy cask notes while the complexity lagged behind. Decent, but nothing that would make me go wow or rush out and buy again, honestly Sam Adams had a longshot version of an old ale I thought was heads and tails above this and much better priced. Yorkshire stingo comes in at $12 a pint, which in no way influenced my perception of the drink, but may for the casual drinker who gets sticker shock.

M: syrupy slick with a medium consistency. A boozy warming sensation of alcohol spicing linger on well after the swallow.

D: I rated drinkability was average, a bit boozy with a limited complexity and particularly didnt make my tongue dance with excitement. Didn't go down as easy as old ale should at 8.0%. I might be in the minority here but this was a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Part of my cellar clearance. Room temperature bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish amber body with a finger of creamy off-white head that retains poorly. The final result is a thick collar with a scattered film on top of the brew. No lacing that sticks, but it leaves some nice sheets of bubbles down the sides when I take a sip.

S: Caramel, toffee, butter, candied dark fruit (dates, figs, plums). Molasses and brown sugar, as well. The sweetness is lightly tempered by oak.

T: Butter, caramel, toffee start off. The mid-taste is flavored with candied dates, figs, plums, and brown sugar; but the sweetness is held in check by tannins and a light spice. The oak pulls into the finish, which reveals hop bitterness I couldn't pick up in the aroma. Unfortunately it's still heavily sweet and I find it hard to drink.

M: Medium-bodied; slightly chewy and quite flavorful. Finishes with a light astringency. Unfortunately the carbonation is low enough that the beer begins to get very syrupy and throat-clotting very quickly.

D: Not worth $12. On top of that, I found it pretty hard to finish before I was even a third of the way through. Too sweet for me.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a nice pint bottle into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown color that is topped with an off white head.

S Kind of a faint sweet fruit smell. Almost like fruitcake.

T This is pretty much fruitcake/maraschino cherries in a glass.Much sweeter then I was expecting. Also while the distinctive Samuel Smith's hardwater taste is there it is quite muted.

M medium body works well with this one. A surprising amount of alcoholic heat.

Overall this is a pretty good beer to have while celebrating the holidays with friends and family as it is essentially fruitcake in a glass. Should be interesting to see how this one turns out after some time in the cellar.

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Photo of Premo88
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

18.7 oz. bottle poured into nonic glass

L: murky dark orange/brown; very soapy looking head of tan, about 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch; the bubbles are really big, and the foam is whispy ... NOT thick; no stick off the whispy head and no lacing

S: very old ale-like -- malty for sure, some sweeter/lighter bread notes but also the old-ale raisins/figs

T: much like the nose but with a mish-mash of things you can't smell, most notably a twang from the oak-ale casks ... at least I'd swear that's what I'm tasting, just a hint of oak/wood in there; first sip is a really good mix of the bit darker old-ale figs/raisins but with that sweet bready malt goodness of a lighter English ale

F: slick, not much carbonation, comes off a bit flat

O: I LOVE Samuel Smith's, but this brew is not my jams. in fairness, I might have a "bad one" (though there is nothing to suggest it -- bottle has SE28L1 printed on it, and i'm not finding the code translation anywhere) ... but a malty brew like this should age OK, right?

anyway, this brew is not worth it for me for the price. i'll pick up one at a place where i'll know it's fresh later on down the road to give it a fair second chance, but a 6-pack of Old Peculier or even a sixer of Anchor Steam Bock would taste about the same or better -- this brew simply doesn't pop, and i'm not a big old-ale figs/raisins fan to begin with.

sorry Sam Smith ... still love ya though!

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Photo of Phelps
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Looks: a cloudy, opaque amber-maroon with a fizzy head the color of beach sand. It flees after just a few seconds, becoming a ring and leaving little in the way of lacing.

Smells: treacly. Sweet raisins, bread pudding, brandy. Perhaps a bit of toffee and toasted bread. Not bad at all.

Tastes: like raisin, mostly. Very, very lightly roasted, the sweet malt reveals notes of toffee and raisin bread. Light notes of alcohol-ridden brandy poke their heads in the back. Maybe the lightest hints of oakiness in the back, but for a year of aging the amount that's here is just sad.

Feels: medium carbonation, medium-light bodied, but nicely mellow across the palate.

Drinks: I was recommended this by someone whose beer knowledge I greatly respect, but I can't see the allure. I can think of several better strong ales.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours hazy brown with a large head.
Nose shows honey, cardboard, prunes, sultanas.
Sweet and rich flavours, vanilla oak, malt, sultanas, caramel. Dries out in the finish creating a slightly abrasive contrast to the initial flavours.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for this one.
Hard to find, but its from the folks at Samuel Smith so expectations are high, especially since its 2-3 times the price of their other beers.

From my notes:
Poured from the bottle into a snifter. It pours cloudy, with noticeable sediment. A ruddy amber color, little to no head and thin lacing. Honestly, it looks like a darker shade of cherry 7-UP.
The 7-UP comparison is not unfounded, as there’s a residual sweetness to this beer as well. (Nothing as syrupy/sugary as a pop, however.) It’s more of a mellow, malty flavor, with only the slightest bit of oak/wood. This was a curiosity pick that wasn’t worth the price.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving some light sticky lacing. The smell had some dark roasty malts with a nice dark coffee and a light dark fruitiness running all over. The taste was combined through the previously mentioned flavors. On the palate, this one sat about a medium in body with a fairly decent sessionable aspect about it. Overall, for the most part, this was a pretty good English Strong Ale but is it over hyped? There’s other beers by SS that I’d take over this.

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Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, cloudy amber color with a two-finger head into my glass. Nice presentation here. Looks tasty.

Aroma is full of sweet malt with a strong hint of plum/raisin and alcohol warmth.

Taste is a bit sour for some reason with raisin/plum standing out the most on the tongue. Malt seems like it's toasted in some way.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and unappealing for some reason. Alcohol lingers in the mouth but the flavors somehow fade.

Could be much better. Thicker. It's certainly a strong ale but I wonder if this batch is off or something?

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Photo of brureview
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a very difficult beer to find. I was expecting more- a prominent raisin-plum taste and aroma.
The aroma was light- fig and mild plum.

The mouth feel was soapy and watery- I tried two glasses and this mouth feel was the same.

The taste was a mild plum and fig, Overall- disappointing. The bottle was brewed in 2011, perhaps a fresher bottle would have better. The Boulevard Collaboration 3- a Stingo-was far superior: more distinct fruit and tart.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this. A new style tick for me in the process!

A: The beer pours a copper sort of color with a thin ring of off-white foam--there's no real head to speak of.

S: Smells quite sweet. Lots of white and brown sugar notes to start. Seems to be some toffee and a lot of sherry notes (including alcohol). I get some miscellaneous fruits, but raisins in particular.

T: Quite a lot of fruit on the palate. I get pears, apples, and raisins for the most part. Again, a strong sugar presence with brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. The oak is well represented and there is a definite alcohol flavor.

M: Medium in both body and carbonation.

D: Not sure why this one is so talked up, I thought it was pretty mediocre.

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Photo of nick76
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is fruity and malty with alcohol and a bit of hops to balance. The appearance is hazy medium brown. The taste is like the aroma. The palate is average. Overall a good beer that somehow doesn't score that high. It just seems rather good at first and declines with time.

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Photo of Derek
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Chestnut-copper with a light tan head, thin ring of retention, very little lace.

S: Nutty fruit bread, figs, citrus rind, toffee.

T: Nutty, grainy bread, raspberry, hint of a grainy astringency & leather (like a dried out Old ale).

M: Light to moderate body has a slight acidity.

D: It's intriguing, but not something I'd have pints of.

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Photo of montecristo2
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a small snifter.

I have to say after reading the 100 review from Draft magazine, coupled with the positive reviews on this website, I was really interested in finding Yorkshire Stingo. I have always enjoyed Samuel Smith's other offerings, so I figured I'd give it a try.

Pours a dark copper color with a slight tan colored head.

Aroma is of some fruits and caramel. Feel like it could be more aromatic and I expected a greater aroma of dark fruits/figs/raisins but didn't get it.

Taste was of oak, and that is nice, but I didn't get the vanilla like other reviewers. Slightly astringent, as one reviewer said, and a VERY slight caramel flavor.

I bought two of these and am going to let the one sit. A bit expensive for a smaller bottle. Maybe it was temperature or it was shaken a bit in transport. I trust the other reviewers and am not willing to give up on such a reputable brewery!


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Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 417 ratings.