Yorkshire Stingo | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Yorkshire StingoYorkshire Stingo
952 Ratings
Yorkshire StingoYorkshire 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 952 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember drinking something called stingo before in England, but I believe was probably not from Sam Smith's. Just as well; I found that offering to be a boozey mess even after 10 pints...

Pours a hugely effervescent caramel/chestnut with 3 fingers of pinkish cream colored head. Stellar head retention & good lacing

S: Tons of dark fruit, a bit of oak, a kiss of booze & apricot pits

T: Dark fruit, oakyness, leafy hops & persimmons & dryness up front. Dryness & fruittyness dominate as this warms, along tannin & vanilla. Finishes pretty darn dry, tart with a kiss of booze & figs & cherries

MF: Fairly chewy with prickly carbonation, decent balance

Drinks fairly well, but I bet another year or 3 would help this more down the road... not sure I would ever cough up $12 for this again...

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is always nice to see new beers from the brewers at Samuel Smith. This is a strong ale aged in barrels. This is a rose colored beer, with a good amount of white heading that lasts a long while. As the label indicates, I get smells of prunes and Christmas pudding. More of the same in the flavor, with some mild alcohol notes and a bit of sweet molasses. Mouthfeel is perfectly balanced, with the alcohol never seeming hot. A sipper of a beer too, this is one to sit in front of the fire to sip and enjoy. This is a stellar beer from Samuel Smith, and perfectly fits the criteria for what I look for in a strong ale. I highly recommend laying a fwe of these down to age in the cellar. I can imagine a little time would do wonderful things to this beer. Cheers

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Photo of digr
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Brown liquid that pours to create a large 4+ cm head of light brown medium to large bubbles. The foam lingers for quite sometime (3+minutes) slowly breaking down.

- A most interesting smell, a slight hint of vinegar and fruitiness and a slight hint of mustiness with an overall toasted malty warmth. No real hop aroma.

T - Mild flavor, brown malt flavors and a mild hint of sourness, but only as an after thought. Just enough hops to balance the malt flavor complements the hind of sour. No notice of the 8% ABV.

M - good- appropriate for the drink. Medium - which works with the profile of the style. After a few moments there is a "dryness" left that makes you looking for the next sip.

D - Very. Despite the 8% ABV I found this 550 ml bottle disappearing quickly. I really like sours and old ales and this is a fine example of an old style brew that deserves plenty of modern attention!

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Chilled to approx 38 degrees (warmed as drinking, as always)

Pours a dark, golden amber color. Almost two fingers of light tan foam sit on top. Retention is very good and lacing is solid and fairly sticky.

Huge notes of treacle and raisins. Nice presence of dark fruits and some mildly under-ripe orchard fruits. Mild brown sugar and caramel notes.

Wow, this is young and green.
The treacle notes are already full and delicious, along with raisins and figs. Mild yeastiness. Big oakiness, but it's very fresh and green, giving a tart cherry impression.
It's nicely drinkable now, but you can easily see the aging potential. In 6 months, a year, 3 to 5 years or more, this could become an incredible brew.

Medium bodied beer. Medium level of carbonation. Nice and smooth with a good level of creaminess.

Very drinkable now, while it's fresh, but I think that it will become even more delicious with some extended cellar time. I'll let you know in a few years....

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Photo of Nick3
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber colored brew forms a 2 inch head which dissipates slowly. Small, tight bubbles surface themselves in a hypnotic fashion. Nose is enticingly complex with notes of toffee, malt, sour cherries, vanilla, and bread pudding. Taste has an overall sweetness to it but some mild bitterness sneaks itself in and out of the drink effortlessly. Oak lends itself nicely through the finish. Medium bodied creamy brew exceeded my expectations and I would recommend it.

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Photo of glid02
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head tries to dissipate before settling into a medium-sized pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with good amounts of mostly sweet but slightly tart fruits. The tartness is nothing near an American Wild, rather it's fruit aromas without being sweet.

Tastes very similar to how it tastes. Sweet caramel malt flavors up front followed shortly by fruit flavors echoing the aromas above. As it warms the oak influence shows itself but it always stays in the background. Ending is mildly bitter and a bit dry.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a very nice thickness with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished the bottle without much problem and could see myself having another.

Overall, I believe this is my first English Strong Ale, and the flavors were a bit of a shock as I was expecting more of an English barleywine. Once you become acquainted with with the fruit flavors this turns into a decently complex beer. Worth a shot.

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Photo of gory4d
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear russet with a two-finger white head; some lacing down the glass, but not much, with a lingering white rim. The smell is sort of like mincemeat without so much of the spicing: savory and sweet, with notes of dried currants and indeed a little nutmeg. There is a definite alcohol presence. The taste is more of the same, with strong hits of maybe juniper added in -- that comes up at the finish with the alcohol burn. It's highly carbonated, a little thick, very full in the mouth. I've been an hour working on this pint: not a sipper, exactly, but slow and pleasant going. A very nice beer.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red black in the glass with a very thing white head.

Nose is very Belgian fruit character with hints and undertones of vanilla (the oak in which it was aged-a nice character here on the nose).

Mouthfeel is mixed. Starts a bit thin but then developes a little creaminess and character.

Flavors are malt, sweet carmel and toffee, Belgian fruit and sweet creamed coffee. A bitter carmel/toffee finish. Nice characteristics when you take them one at a time.

The beer is good and a decent drink. Yet, the parts are actually better than the whole on this one. It's decent; in fact, it's very good; but there is a body, texture, solidity missing. I confess that it gets better and better and seeminly more complex and attractive the more one drinks it. I'm generally not a fan of most English brews. This is one of England's best; even with criticism, this is a complex, well made and well conceived brew.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stingo means "old beer" that is sharp or strong.
Pours a golden amber brown with a decent head, and a little hazy.
Smells of butterscotch and raisins and a little horseblanket.
The taste is a bit acetic and astringent at the start, and then additional flavors of butterscotch and spice kick in, with a black/green peppercorn finish and a lingering note of vanilla and oak.
The mouthfeel is soft and full with substantial effervescence. It is a palate cleanser, but one that ends with a butterscotch candy coating.
This is a distinctive and unique beer that is very enjoyable and drinkable. It is sharp and somewhat strong as the name implies.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a cloudy amber/rusty red with a nice, foamy, off-white head. Aroma is thick, malty and awesome. Lots of sweet malts, some bourbon and a nice mix of malty fruitiness and sweet cake give this brew a rich nose.

Taste started out a little thin, some fruitiness and malts, though it was not very sweet, had an almost sour aftertaste during the first glass. But this brew really grew on me, thick maltiness emerged as time went on, giving this brew a very complex taste, a tad sour, a bit bitter and very complex in the mats: lots of dark fruits and dark sweets make up this brew, has a lot of different characteristic of dark Belgian brew, English barley wines and English pale ales.

An interesting brew and another must-try brew from Sam Smith.

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Photo of essie
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Leffe chalice. Nice red body with a creamy head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Smells of malt caramelization with fruit and a tiny bit of oak. In some ways, it reminds me of an oude bruin or one of the more fruity styles of dubbel.

Taste is like the aroma, but much more complex. Fruit, raisins and caramelized malts are the most dominant, but there's also a subtle oakiness and roasted malt presence in there too. The finish is somewhat dry, with a grassy hoppiness that works well but was unexpected given the style.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy without being cloying or too thick, and the carbonation is great.

This is definitely a sipper, so drinkability is somewhat limited (as expected).

Overall, I found this to be a fantastically complex beer that is perfectly balanced and has a lot of unique flavors going on. Whereas many oak-aged beers I've tried have been overpowering, the oak here takes a back seat and provides a wonderful background for all the other flavors. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try if you can get over the high price.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle ($12) served in a large beer mug.

Red/Amber color with a thick, creamy tan head that clung to the sides of the glass.
Aroma reminded me of sour cherries with a touch of malty sweetness in the background.
The taste is quite complex and delicious, bouncing back and forth between sour and sweet with slight bitterness and a taste/warming of alcohol on the finish. The after taste is sticky sweet and fruity.
Medium/Full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.
A good sipper. Pounding this beer would be a waste of time and money as it is fairly pricey.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep red, but with a glowing clarity that gives it a jewel-like appearance. Head is just over a finger tall - not particularly creamy, but it does hold its own.

S: Smooth malt scents, complemented by soft vanilla oakiness and a spot of raisin or perhaps more towards grape. There is a tartness to it that would leave me thinking more likely the grape, but it has that little bit of a raisin-sweetness, like somewhere in the middle.

T + M + D: The first sip of this took me back a little... there's quite a few flavours going on and it is most certainly robust! The malt profile, like many English styles, are modest in comparison to many American beers... smooth and creamy, but the oak aging has added a big flavour of vanilla and 'damp wood.' There's quite a tartness to it... almost even a bit sour, and quite intense as it breathes. It can become a little cloying and challenging to drink, and is more appropriate to be taken very slowly or shared with good company.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting for Stingo to hit our shores for about a year now. Really excited to finally try this one. A 550ml bottle purchased for $9. Poured into my standard tulip glass. The ale appears a crystal clear bright crimson color with about an inch of off white head. Truly awesome looking when help up against a light. Nose and flavor consist of raisins, prunes, dried cherries, treacle, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, figs, slight alcohol, fruity. Dry with a medium to full body and rather light carbonation. Excellent stuff and quite easy to drink. All strong ale fans need to seek this one out.

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Photo of stephens101
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light cherry red with a large and furious pure tan head which begins to fade quickly, then about halfway down stops, and slowly disintigrates before settling into a thick covering. Some small jagged lines of lace are scattered to and fro. Big sweet malts and spice hit the nose up front as some dark, sweet and sour fruits and some booziness float around in the back. Tastes of spice, big sweet malts, vinegar, brown sugar and sour grapes. A lingering, but not at all bothersome alcohol heat sticks to the tongue and the back of the throat. It's medium bodied, yet goes down fluidly, with a little airiness involved. Our British droogs should be way proud of this one.

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Photo of Riggo
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very attractive ruddy, orangey-amber. A nice creamy beige head.

Smells wonderful. Dark fruits--orange candy, caramel, and cherries (cough syrup). Woody, peaty sourness with some "christmasy" spices--clove, cinnamon, orange and cedar or pinon wood.

Creamy and silky in the mouth with a good body, low carbonation--perhaps too low. Tastes of orange candy, caramel, perhaps some subtle cedary hops. Pretty sweet, with an alcohol hit on the back end. Finish seems to drop off quick. Not much lingering in the mouth.

A sipper. Wouldn't want more than one of these. Interesting--particularly in the nose. The wood from the cask aging really comes through in the smell. A bit cloying and oddly sort of boring in taste. Not one I would seek out again but worth a try.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy reddish caramel color with light tan head that slowly falls.
S - Sweet malt, caramel, fruit, some spice as well as a woody note.
T - I get dark fruit and sweet caramel malt up front. The oak fills in the middle with a little alcohol burn. Some spice lingers.
M/F - The body is rather round and slippery. It's at least medium in body. The carbonation is active yet delicate which makes the brew very smooth.
D - I was very excited to try this brew as Sam Smith's has always been a quality brewery. I did enjoy this beer though the flavor wasn't up to the standard that I am accustomed from S.S's especially considering the high price tag.

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Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to oversized snifter.

A: Dark pale brown color with slight reddish hue, pretty clear, huuuge head about 4 fingers that slowly dissipates

N: Medium malt nose, very reminiscent of red ale or Oktoberfest style, a slight sweet brown sugar, slight alcohol, and touch of British hops, a very slight musty toasted malts too, a touch of toffee and dark fruits, but all are pretty subtle and mix to an interestingly light nose

T: Taste starts with a very strange tangy but sweet fruity taste, like plums but not raisin, some dark rich malts, lots of oak and strong warming alcohol, a rich old ale taste that is almost the staple for an "old ale" that dominates, slight yeast taste, some toasty taste finds its way through with a touch of woody esthers, more burnt brown sugar and sweet but soft dark fruits, a slightly juicy center stands out as well, a slight earthy bitter taste starts to come through towards the end

M: Pretty thick, lots of carbonation, and a slight alcohol burn, but slightly molasses thick and soft on the tongue

F: Finishes pretty sweet and bitter, some British hops seem to come out on the end slightly, more dark fruits and earthy flavors, the bitterness seems to linger for quite a while as the sweet malts and fruit dry off the tongue leaving an earthy bitterness

Final thoughts: This is a really interesting beer, the nose is a little light, but the taste starts very curiously with tangy but sweet and rich fruits as well as deep malts, it's almost like the staple beer for a British old ale, some nice sugary tastes as well as some slight oak and other rich flavors, and follows with a slight bitterness. It's very complex and tasty, but perhaps just a touch too sweet on the finish.

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Photo of philbe311
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Fairly active pour... Two fingers worth of tightly compact fizzy tan head is slow to form and rises post pour... The head sticks around for a while, but ultimately fades and leaves a full creamy lacing... Seems quite still, but upon closer examination some of the smallest carbonation bubbles that I've ever seen rise very rapidly... The pace of the carbonation seems to slow throughout the session... A translucent medium brown color with some minor ruby highlights... Very attractive brew...

S - Absolutely terrific aroma... Rich caramel... Toffee... Raisins... Fig... Slightly fruity... A mild alcohol booziness...

T - The taste isn't as sweet as the nose would lead you to believe... The effects of the oak aging are evident, but not overpowering... There is a solid toasted malt base... Some minor spiciness was detected... Quite complex and enjoyable...

M - Slightly creamy at first sip... Lots of carbonation on the tongue and throughout... Medium bodied... Slightly chewy... A faint burnt texture... The warmth of the alcohol comes through on the finish...

D - Exquisite and worldly... This is a sophisticated brew... An enjoyable experience... Slightly more than a sipper, but a beer to be enjoyed and relished slowly..

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Photo of boatshoes
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a Dark amber with a light tan head died rather quickly.

Smell of caramel and malt with some spice.

Taste of malt and very sweet caramel along with whiskey overtones.

Mouthfeel starts syrupy then with malt sweetness and lastly an alcohol bite.

Drinkability very enjoyable the high gravity at 8% makes it a bit heady after a full bottle

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Photo of coastie04
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, it's got a great dark copper color with a slight haze and a yellowish-tan head that dissipates fairly quick. Nose is sweet with pronounced hop and fruit characters and a background of leather. Starts off with an oaken malty spiciness that progresses to some nice flavoring hops, then some slightly roasted and nutty characters before finishing with an alcoholic warmth and lingering floral bitterness reminiscent of a lambic. Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly effervescent, almost like a bubbly cognac. This beer is extremely drinkable and balanced. It's a great example of what an old ale can strive to be; there's a fine balance between an old ale, english barleywine, and flander's ale. If you have a chance to purchase a bottle, get two!

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Photo of somabeer
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark amber hue. It's well carbonated and has nice creamy pale head It smells bready and sweet, with lots of vanilla, almost like a fresh baked cake. The taste is very sweet again with vanilla is very present along with toffee, dark fruits. There is a little bit of oak less than I was expecting from a barrel age. It goes down super smooth, its just creamy enough. The high abv mixed with the sweetness of the beer, makes me feel that I wouldn't want to drink this too often but, overall it was very enjoyable.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice orangey amber color with a nice just off white head that lingers quite well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is full or some raisiny malt, slight tart oaky vanilla notes, and clear british influence.

Taste follows. Nice and mildly sweet raisiny malt profile. Oak aging is apparent but nowhere near as blatant as many american styles. Nice and smooth. There is a slight bit of hop bite on the finish, but really this is a malt driven brew. Certainly not oversweet, in fact quite drinkable.

Mouthfeel is right about where it should be for how the beer feels. Many of the style are a bit more viscous, but this one is still nice and chewy with a good body.

Drinkability is solid here. Even though the abv is not exactly large for the style, this is still drinkable. Could easily put away a couple of these.

Overall a very pleasant and very drinkable strong ale from SS. A clear british influence in this beer, and the barrel aging is nice and subtle leaving one able to enjoy quite a bit of it rather than 12oz followed by heartburn. I love me some bourbon soaked US gnarliness, but a good traditional strong ale is good for the soul. A fine beer, however the $13 pricetag is pretty damn ridiculous. Give it a shot though, its pretty good, and could probably do a couple years in the cellar.

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Photo of ricke
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Yorkshire Stingo from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 952 ratings