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

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
430 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Yorkshire StingoSamuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 12-22-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
430
Ratings:
890
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
15.44%
 
 
Wants:
119
Gots:
112
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 430 | Ratings: 890
Reviews by Halcyondays:
Photo of Halcyondays
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

550 mL bottle, great late 19th century style label, by far the most expensive Sam Smith's beer, but I got a BevMo gift card for Christmas, so I picked this up,

A: Pours a beautiful Burton amber with a nice cask-like soft head with very good retention.

S: Complex and rich. A nice mix of dark sherry soaked cherries and mild lemon, bread pudding, almost Flanders Red like at times with the sour oak components. Light notes of cheese/funk and mild oxidation notes, but works wonders in the nose of this style of ale.

T: Definite English/Maris Otter type malt hits first. Delicious oak and acid flavours mid-palate. Some sweetness at the end with raisin and caramel candy. A contemplative effort.

M: Perfect. The carbonation is there, it hits, is crisp but dances on the tongue and glides away leaving you wanting more. Great complex aftertaste of oak and fruit. Smooth and silky throughout. Alcohol is non-existent.

D: This is fantastic beer. Man I wish this was $5-6 a bottle, but alas it's not to be. I can only see this getting more complex with time. I don't know how long it will last, but I'd like to be with it on the journey. Sam Smith's introduced me to English beers, and with this effort is reminding me that the English make some of the best beers in the world, especially with their strong/olde/barleywine type ales. This is a beer that harkins back 200 years to tradtional English brewing with true lactic character, minerality and complexity. A must buy even at the $13 price-tag, open up a book of Tennyson or Hardy and relax and reminisce on a cool winter evening.

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More User Reviews:
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 ONovoMexicano
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle poured into an oversized tulip glass.

I give this a vigorous pour and a frothy but creamy head emerges. The liquid is sort of a cloudy raisin color with light trickles of carbonation visible. The persistent head is a nice sight. 4.5

Quite the curiosity of a nose as it seems to cross elements of a Belgian quad and a dubbel. Raisin, plum and figs are prominent, but so too is a floral bouquet. Rich caramel shines too. 4

Interesting how the flavor seems to get away from the nose, as it's far less fruity than I was led to expect. Upfront flavors blend raisins and floral hops before giving way to an almost buttery caramel. Grassy notes close things out. 4

Lighter in body than I would have expected and desire, especially given the rich caramel and fruit aromas, plus there's more of a hop presence which again throws me for a loop. Still it has enough thickness and sweetness to linger pleasantly on the tongue and drink like something you'd want post-dinner. 4

First time with this style and I must say it's unique. Seems somewhere between a barleywine, old ale, and Belgian Quad, I guess. Perhaps lacking the body and bold flavors I expect from the greatest of these styles though. Still, as a beer that preceded so many, this deserves some respect for having standout qualities that would please today's consumer in need of aggressive flavors and feels.

 1,377 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Immediately one of my favorites, after already-high expectations from the rest of this brewer's lineup.

Slightly cloudy mahogany pour in a tulip, holding a clingy finger of dense foam. The aromas of raisin, prune, and caramel seem a mix of elements from my two favorite styles: dopplebock and belgian quad. Indeed, I already know this is a favorite before tasting, but the flavor only reinforces the sweet, ripe-dark-fruit flavors and clean non-cloying finish. Wish I'd bought more than one. Back to the store...

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Photo of sjccmd
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich and rum-y aroma. Figs, dates, bread pudding. Leather, tobacco, raspberries too. Earthy oaky notes. Sarsaparilla and spices. Pumpernickel bread. Earthy funk and acidity is notable. Difficult to place any hop character.

Pours hazy reddish brown with a moderate sized off-white head. Fizzes away slowly. Lacing is there but not too sticky.

Rich and even bready-er than the nose suggested. French toast, slightly burnt. Lots of oak with just a touch of acidity. Figs and raspberries. Clove and cinnamon. Spicy alcohols become more evident as it warms. Burnt sugar. Steely bitterness. Fairly dry finish with lingering bread pudding, raspberries, and oak. Sherry notes for sure.

Medium full body with medium carbonation. Higher carbonation than other Sam Smith beers. Somewhat acrid on the palate, but in a way that balances the sweetness rather than being offensive.

A sherry drinker's beer for sure. Lots of complexity without being cloying. Tons of oak character.

 969 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murky dark ruby color. The head is a quarter inch of off white foam that recedes into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is big and malty. There is ample caramel, cherry, raspberry, licorice, and oak. The taste has nice oak up front..much more so than in the aroma. There is more caramel and some nice toffee too. The fruit that is so present in the aroma is still there in the taste but is much more muted. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an almost watery texture. This is the only real knock I can give this beer. It would be more enjoyable to me if it were a little fuller bodied. Overall, however, this is a fine beer that I wish I hadn't neglected trying for so many years. I can see myself visiting this beer on occasion in the future. Well done, Samuel Smith.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

stingo is one of those crazy styles thats different every time you see one, which is all too infrequently these days. this is one of the classics, maybe the longest running in our market, and just phenomenal in every way. whether they take some of this out and do it with cherries, or blend some lacto soured beer back into the mix, there is no denying its complexity, dried fruity finish, and tannic pucker uncommon in english beer. amazingly rich, malt forward but so interesting. not chocolate or caramel or normal english yeast, but somehow drawing on all of these. its more mature, aged in oak, and mellowed and better integrated than most others. i get a ton of cherry in the finish through the rich but tannic froth on the back end, and there is just a slight tartness like fruit from the tree a few weeks before its pickable. stingo means something different to every brewer, but for me this is the one by which all others must be judged. the original and still the best, brewed in 2011 was my bottle, thanks for this beauty. best in the morning or in the icy cold!

 1,073 characters

Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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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 71ADub
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 807 characters

Photo of ricke
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 1,439 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of brownbeer
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of SanFranJake
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 485 characters

Photo of R_Kole
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Magister_Beav
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Lgrec8
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -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.

 275 characters

Photo of ledouge
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheRamie
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of magictrokini
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 402 characters

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Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.
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