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

433 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Yorkshire StingoSamuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo

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

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

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Reviews: 433 | Ratings: 907
Photo of BWood
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional beer. Great look, taste, and feel. Good head that dissolves to a low but laces the glass. First time having this beer and I will definitely keep one in my beer fridge from here on out.

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

I see this bottle all the time, but I had no idea there was a hotel (an inn rather) named the Yorkshire Stingo. There is even a picture in the book of this place. The portrait is from 1770. I hope the beer isn’t that old! This beer is also made in very small batches, with only 2,000 cases sent out each year. Maybe that’s why this bottle is so expensive. Most of the Samuel Smith beers are cheap, but this one is a bit pricey. Oh well, bottoms up!

In the Glass: It looks like a good, copper-colored IPA in the glass. I know it’s not an IPA, so I need to stop thinking hops here. But it looks good, healthy, and easy to drink in the glass. The lace is solid too, as it sticks to the glass all the way up when I swirl it around in the glass.

Nose: It has a clean, wet nose that makes me think of amber ales. Not sure I have had this style before… at least not that I remember. But I do know that EVERY Samuel Smith beer that I have had has just been OK. Nothing to write home about. I hope this one changes my mind.

Flavor: There is an explosion of flavor on the front of the palate, and then the beer turns sour as you swallow on the back of the tongue. There are a lot of bubbles, but the burst of flavor helps. When that sour kicks in… man, that sour is awesome. I didn’t expect that at all.

Mouthfeel: From the second this hits your lips your mouth is on a roller coaster of flavor. You get the immediate bubbles, almost like drinking/chugging champagne. Then you get that sour. I can’t get over how much the sour helps this beer. Perhaps that is part of the aging process, but who cares. It’s awesome! By the way, if you want a good sour beer, Harvey from Brugge in Broad Ripple, Indiana is great.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste has a subtle sour, but quickly drifts. There is a hint of bitterness, but it also quickly leaves the palate. Oh well, I will just take another drink. But be careful, this beer has a pretty big ABV. The 2009 (which this bottle was) has an ABV of 9.0%. Some other years, more recent years, are around 8%.

I like it. I like it a lot. Samuel Smith might have just found a way back in to my fridge!

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I could have sworn this was an old ale. I'm not sure why it's listed as an English Strong ale. It certainly tastes like an old ale and was barrel aged for a year. The primary difference I noticed was that it was the best old ale I had ever tasted. This thing was like a meal in a glass, which was perfect because I was HUNGRY at the time. Each sip was like the next bite into a hamburger. It was quite sweet, with flavours of rotting fruits, but it was also malty and earthy at the same time, but not in a sweet Belgian brew sort of way. It was a tiny bit sour like someone added a few drops of warcestershire sauce into the beer and had an umami flavour to it as well. These are really what distinguished it as tasting meal-like. It could easily vie for the position of the most well-balanced high-alcohol sweet beer that I've ever had. Though Boulevard's dark truth and probably a couple others would still provide stiff competition. This beer definitely exceeded my expectations. I knew it must be good, but it was absolutely astounding. Only 11 oz of it really made my night.

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Photo of enfield249
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a cloudy rust red, with a khaki colored foam head. The head fades to a thin sheet, but sticks around.

S - Caramel, toffee, slight brown sugar and malty.

T - Very malt forward, with lots of caramel and toffee. Very slight woody flavor.

M - I can feel the wood more than taste it. Slightly boozey, but a fairly clean profile.

O - A really amazing beer, very complex, and kind of the style example.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 19 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Picked up for $5.99 (!!!) on sale at my local beer place.

A: Nice brown/red color with a nice, thick off-white head and great lacing.

S: Some dark fruits, malt, a tad, tad bit of oak.

T: Whoa! This is a weird one! Starts off with dark fruit, then shifts to a really sweet tropical fruit. There's a maltiness and butter/toffee flavor throughout with the slightest hint of woodiness at the end. It's really an enigma...It's not bad at all, but it's odd. There is also a moderately hot alcohol taste that sticks around for awhile.

As it warms, it becomes sweeter and the alcohol and woodiness comes through a lot more.

M: Creamy, moderate-heavy body, and a little bit of carbonation.

O: I honestly don't even know where to start...This is one of the more interesting and complex beers I have had in quite awhile. It's definitely the best offering I've had from Sam Smith's so far. It's definitely an odd mix of flavors in my opinion, but the overall result is pretty decent.

I only picked this one up because it was $5.99. Normal price is $13.99. I really doubt I'd pay $14 for this, but it's DEFINITELY worth it for $6.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours a deep, muddy reddish brick brown with a thin cap of beige head that leaves melted archway lace as it recedes.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, dark orchard fruit, bourbon soaked raisins, barrel wood and floral hops.

Tastes of roasted caramel apple, candied dark fruit, tangy marmalade, soft oak and more flowery green hops.

Feels smooth and creamy. Medium-full bodied with soft, sturdy carbonation. Finishes off-sweet.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Like an English quad.

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Photo of Shrews629
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A brownish/copper color that was cloudy and hazy. Orange highlights abound at the bottom of the glass. An off white, mostly creamy, smooth head with nice size and above average retention with an easy pour. Adequate lacing is left behind.

Smell - A malt dominated nose with characteristics of dried, dark fruits. The "woody" aroma is very pleasant and fits in perfectly. I got a dried apple chip type smell in there also. Very sweet!!! It does kind of smell Christmas-y with the dried dark fruits.

Taste - With the taste, I once again obtained the dried, dark fruit along with a Bourbon flavoring mixed with the "woody" tones. Malty tones that seem to be somewhat toasted. Some relaxed flavors of caramel and toffee. Well balanced. Rather sweet tasting.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium/full mouthfeel. Chewy, dry and smooth. Some welcome alcohol warmth teetering on a slight burn at the back of the throat. Covers the palate justly until the next sip.

Drinkability - Another solid effort from Sam Smith's. A very enjoyable beer. One for sipping. It filled me up, so the drinkability is not as high as some others from the brewery. Rather sweet also. I would have it again with ease, but it's not a brew I would want on a regular basis. A few times a year would be nice though. It's worth a try.

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Photo of PBoegel
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in 2009, bottled in 2010, drank in 2011.

Beer was recommended to me by BA Kendo.

Poured into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter. First pour roused a decent inch or so khaki tinted foam, not much staying power very little lacing to speak. Beer is a hazy copper to light amber in color.

Aroma gives wafts of cherry, dates and plum right upfront. Then a lot of powdery malt, moss, earthiness. If you have ever poured boiling or near boiling liquid on slate or stone you know it creates a very tangible aroma, this beer carries that. So touches of chocolate and tart sour fruit in the back. So port wine and belgian dark ale aroma as it warms. Very complex and rich. A bit of cognac with a good swirl as it warms as well.

A surprising bitterness and apparent carbonation upfront, tart cherries, raisin and bittersweet cocoa in the middle with a souring tart and very oaky tannin finish. There is caramel and toffee upfront too with some touches of grape and a bit of a grassy/hay tone (English Brett?)

This beer has mouthfeel in spades, luscious depth, medium full bodied, oaky tannins that blend with tart characteristics and sweet caramel malts, finishes semi-sweet but balanced with carbonation, alcohol and tannins.

Absurdly drinkable for the 9% abv with loads of character and depth. There should be three in your beer cellar to surprise the next three guests in your home who have not tried this beer yet.

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Photo of karait95
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber almost reddish, body looks bold but with rich carbonation, head is not too impressive but dissipates slowly but not many traces are left behind on the glass, color is light brown and a permanent layer remains on top of the beer.

S: Balanced aroma, mainly barley and fruity, maybe some dark fruits like prunes can be identified and some hops are present but not in first line, also alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

T: Flavor is complex, nothing easy to process but this is not an easy style, it has fruits, high alcohol, malt and hops, the good thing is that is well balanced and generates a full flavor beer.

M: Complex, balanced beer, sensation is as should. Start sweet and a little bitter at the end changing slowly on the pallet, for a long ending.

This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of ricke49
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A once a year treat for my palate. Very rich ale, but not so sweet or heavy as to be off putting. The oak / creamy / fig-dark fruits flavors produce a hugely pleasurable taste and mouthfeel. English through and through.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an imperial nonik pint.

A. Seriously nice-looking clear ruby copper colour. Little head to speak of and it disappears very quickly.

S. I'm liking this already. Rum, brown sugar, figs, raisins, all kinds of dark fruit both fresh and dried.

T. More of the same plus a little cassia bark maybe? There's a slight oaky astringency and a very nice, subtle bitter finish. Just enough to let you know it's there and no more, but it's the sweet fruit and toffee flavours that stay with me in the aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied, almost no carbonation in the glass but a slight prickle on the tongue.

O. A very nice beer indeed, but not one for every day. Now that I've drunk half the 550ml bottle in order to review it I'm getting out the cheese and some crusty bread to go with the rest of it.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a delirium tulip, initially pours a large head that reemerges nice and big upon agitation. Creamy lacing as I tilt; a body mahogany in color, with an overall look that makes it appear almost like a cream-soda float. Very cool.

Aromas are sweet, malty, exhibiting a bouquet with strong hints of cherry lollipop. Also some fruits including apples and raisins. It's all so very pleasant, with more oak and biscuit coming through as I agitate.

A broad spectrum of flavors from first sip to last, and includes toffee, raisins, pudding, biscuit-y malts, some oak, and a nice bitterness as the warming progresses. Read BA's description of an English Strong Ale and Stingo matches it perfectly.

Mouthfeel is thin, tingly in the beginning but more juice-like as I continue sipping.

Overall, I am a big fan of Stingo. Unmistakeably English in its character, and exhibiting such a fine balance of ESB-'esque bitterness with a splendid dessert quality.

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Photo of WhiteOak
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass- Riedel 6416/07

A- Copper color, expansive foam which settles flat.

S- Caramel malt, dark fruits, vanilla, yeast.

T- Diacetyl/vanillin barrel character, caramel, toffee. Sweet dried fruits: fig, date, raisin. Inviting, seductive, rich maltiness. Restrained, well integrated hops. Long, lingering malty finish.

M, D- Smooth, full, rounded flavors for a mid-weight beer. Nice, palate-coating viscosity. Perfect CO2. Wonderfully drinkable with very alluring flavors.

Comment: I consider "The Yorkshire Stingo" as a historical brewing artifact. This is what I believe a quality English brown ale was like 250 years ago, and drinking this is like a trip back in time. The methods, materials, ingredients are essentially a replica from that period, and the necessary economy then would call for the long-term reuse of expensive oak casks. These old barrels imparted a unique character, and I believe it to be shown skillfully in this brew. Good stuff!

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Photo of utfiero
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Color- hazy caramel. Slight head.

Aroma- Christmas cake and caramelized pears.

Taste- Deep and rich with Christmas cake, mild vanilla and Spanish oak flavors finishing with a lingering silky plum liqueur. This is a unique and quality brew!

Poured from 550 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass).

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Photo of Impfan
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like the Watney's Stingo of old. The color is a particularly refractive cognac/amber, and there are esters of raisin, plum, cherry, treacle, toffee, vanilla, plum pudding in hard sauce, and oak. The body is medium and oily, and the flavor and carbonation are very soft. It's a sweet brew, on balance, but never cloying, with just enough flowery hop dryness in the finish, and a lot of finesse.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was brewed in 2009.

A- A creamy looking off white bordering on a light tan head which holds for sometime. Not much lace after initial pour, a little better when swirled about in my tulip glass. The body appears to be a clear amber brown, but when held to the light it's a hazed burnt orange.

S- Wonderful nose, really complex. Sweet caramel malt greets aromas of sour and tart fruits such as green skinned apples, pears and grapes. Becomes increasingly sour as it warms, the sour and oak characteristics are very reminiscent of a Flanders Red Ale.

T- Beautifully balanced and not nearly as sour as the nose. The green fruit in the nose is nearly gone, in it's place is darker fruits consisting of raisins and cherries. Caramel malts more subdued, bready biscuity malt more pronounced. Oak, spiced rum, and some bittering hops on the finish.

M- Body is a little thin for my liking, carbonation feels alright though. Dry alcohol warmth present.

D- Really dug this for the first half of the bottle, but it started to get a little tiresome after. I think this may be due to the weight of it. Overall a really nice brew from Sam Smith.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Most folks, myself included, probably don't know that Stingo is an older word that means old ale or old beer. Seems appropriate for this beer, which is apparently aged for an entire year in Samuel Smith's famous Yorkshire Squares. I'm using a goblet for this one tonight, as a special beer deserves a special glass. Pours a murky and ruddy amber. Carbonation levels are pretty high, as there's a constant stream of bubbles popping up from the bottom of the glass. No real head on this beer, just bubbles on the outer rim of the glass. Aroma is rich, deep, and pungent. You can really pick out the oak, which adds a nice earth characteristic. The first taste is simply incredible. Flavor profile is stunningly complex, with loads of molasses, dark cherry, raisin, oak, and tobacco clamoring for attention on the palate. This beer has the perfect amount of carbonation to keep the mouthfeel balanced, as the heavy flavor profile and malt profile could easily become syrupy if left alone. Happily that's not the case here, though the heavy alcohol warmth makes this a sipping beer. Samuel Smith's has done it again, creating a textbook example of a classic English style - in the case of Yorkshire Stingo, the Old Ale. Highly recommended.

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

Pours a dense, cloudy dark amber with a thick off-white head which recedes rather quickly but does leave lace on the glass as you drink. The nose hits with a malty-oaky bomb of white raisin and baked fruits with numerous bourbon, spice and ripe tropical notes throughout. The palate starts as a splended malty mix of Italian Christmas panettone and caramel latte leading to an oaky dryness before finishing sweet again with butterscotch and nutty notes. Highly complex and wonderfully sweet.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.91/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Cloudy amber-brown body, two finger white head.

Smell: Fresh bread, honey, dark fruits.

Taste: See above, but add rich caramel.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation, slight alcohol burn.

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Photo of STEG
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a sam smiths pint glass with a 1 finger off white head. Smells of caramel and stonefruit, Tastes of peaches apricots and vanilla with other lurking flavors like oak and plum and I'm surprised that I'm not getting the stony flavor that I've gotten from those yorkshire squares in some of their other offerings most likely due to the oak barrel aging after the yorkshire squares. Mouthfeel is creamy and warming at the same time. Its wonderful to drink and I'm glad I got 2, I will be getting at least 2 more so they can warm me up in those northeast winter months.

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Photo of BDJake
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a translucent hazelnut brown with a good finger of foamy off-white head that laced and retained well. Sugary notes of leather and molasses with a good dose of toasted malts. Toffee and caramel up front, with the alcohol warmth right in the middle, and a nutty tobacco-like finish. Medium-bodied with carbonation that fades quickly, yet retains well enough to give a trademark English bite to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, but it may not be a true everyday staple for me- not because it's bad, but because of personal preference. Still an awesome beer for those who take interest in traditional-style beers.

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

Cloudy, almost dirty amber; nice, root beer like, beige head. Rich apple cider aroma and hints of sour dough. Very distinctive flavor; the oak is noticeable, spices, grapes, no bitterness, smooth and malty, excellent. Leaves the mouth a little dry, but no unpleasantly bitter. Overall outstanding.

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Photo of allouez86
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was brewed in 2010, poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Pours a dark amber/red with a small off-white head, appropriate size head for a beer of this style and age.

Smell is definitely caramel and dark fruits. Getting a nice sour apple and plum.

Taste is a little more forward with the dark fruits, the sour apple not as apparent as it was in the nose. Very slight hop bitterness, almost has that faded hop taste that comes with a beer of this age, one of my favorite characters in this style. Caramel and toffee is also finding their way in there, although only slightly. Smallest bit of oxidation.

Mouthfeel is nice, not too thin and definitely not heavy or sticky.

Overall this has become one of my new favorites. Just picked up my 5th and 6th bottle of it this afternoon. This beer tastes like it has the legs to last a couple more years and still improve. Would definitely recommend picking up a bottle or 6 of these. Its typical Samuel Smith quality and price.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Stew Leonard's in Clifton, NJ. Brewed in 2009. Poured into a pint glass a murky reddish brown with a frothy cream colored head. Great retention. Smell very fruity. Sweet raisins, plums, burned sugar. Taste sweet bready malts up front, then sweet like a fruit cake, finished with some roasted barley dryness. Very complex, fantastic winter beer. Scarily smooth and drinkable for 9% abv. Definitely going to pick up a few more of these.

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Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Half a 550 ml into a pint glass. My first Stingo, bottled in 2010, so a few years on it. From open, pour, and throughout the first glass, the aroma is amazing. Very precise smell, won't forget it. Taste is so mellow and sweet, very smooth. Not much to not like about this. Cheers!

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Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.08 out of 5 based on 907 ratings.
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