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 billshmeinke
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Review from notes.

Pours an impenetrable caramel color with a 2 finger off white head that fairly quickly dies down to a layer of foam on top. The foam eventually disappears altogether as the beer is consumed.

Smells of doughy yeast, some zest, citrusy hops, a bright english ale fruitiness and some toffee in the nose. I expected a little more barrel characteristics.

Taste has caramel, some vanilla, raisins, bitterness, and a pretty substantial hop presence.

Fairly dry. Well carbonated. A pretty sharp bite to it as well.

I barely wanted to finish the bottle. Perhaps aging would allow some of the hop presence to fade, and produce a better beer, but I was a little bummed by the lack of barrel presence.

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Photo of bs870621345
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this today with 2 friends to give it a try, just cause it was expensive. Overall it was pretty good something I've never tried before.

Appearance is a dark honey/amber color with small white bubbles and a thin head.

Smell is of oak, vanilla, fruits, almost a wine scent

Taste is much of the same, an almost wine flavor, very different from what i expected.

Mouthfeel was light on the palate

Drinkability is pretty high, if it wasn't expensive i could easily drink one or more of these, as with any Samuel Smith's.

Worth a try if you have the money, and I'm glad i tried it. Wouldn't buy again only because of the price.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Euro pint. Poured a nice copper color with a two finger off-white head. No lacing was apparent. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and a slight oak hint. The flavor of this brew was sweet and had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a nicely flavored brew that was quite refreshing. This was a very nice offering from Samuel Smith. Too bad it is a limited release...

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jampics2 for sending this extra my way.

A: Pours a dark caramel-amber with a nice light tan head.

S: Loaded with sweet malt, caramel, and toffee; accompanied by plenty of fruit and hints of vanilla.

T: Doesn't pop quite like the nose, and a little bit of wood makes its way in.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Very nice all around. Haven't been disappointed by Sam Smith yet.

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Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours an almost cloudy dark amber with a medium size beige head, and good lacing.

smell is of whisky, wood, malt, and some caramel.

taste is thick, toffee, some spice, malt, and some dark fruits hiding in the back, ends smooth and a tad bitter.

overall like most of the samuel smith brews, pretty tasty.

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Photo of BierFan
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 18.7 ounce bottle into a cervoise. Back label says it's from 2008.

Appearance: Nice khaki colored head with a very cloudy amber/brown body.

Smell: I could smell the oak immediately after pouring. Cherry and a little vanilla. Fairly fruity and sweet.

Taste: Pretty tart, which I wasn't expecting. Green figs, some tart apple, cherry, and raisin. The oak is most noticeable in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: It's pretty filling, but I can't stop drinking this. It's so dang tasty.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Lightly chilled. Poured carefully from a 550mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Largely clear, somewhat pale, rose madder body topped by a slender buff color head which persists leaving a wake of light soapy lacing in its wake with every sip.

Aroma reminds me of an old ale at first - lots of toffee, a hint of treacle, notable oak, caramel, light fruity esters, and above all - rich lingering malt.

Raw sugar, faint molasses - brings to mind a rum on the palate, but this is balanced by some lighter fruit notes - dates, fresh green figs, and a some other dried fruit element. Malt comes on mid-palate lending a lightly toasted flavor accompanied by an almost vinuous tanginess that seems to come from the yeast interacting with the wood. Finish includes very weak smokiness, vanilla, and alcohol - but all in all is rather brisk despite the sweetness.

Creamy, almost oily in fact, but still medium-light bodied which really boosts the drinkability.

Sort of a more "sessionable" version of an old ale - one of the first examples of the style I recall reviewing, but this seems like a excellent point of departure.

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Photo of Pencible
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. This poured a hazy light mahogany with some light tan head. It smelled like raisin and honey wheat, with light caramel and some toffee and delicate oak and vanilla, and a bit of nutty malt and bready yeast. It tasted like succulent caramel and candied cherries and vanilla oak, with some honey wheat and raisin. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a mellow bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a fantastic beer, what I would consider to be the flagship for Samuel Smith. It had a great complex but subtle scent and taste that I could savor for a long time. I wish this beer had more body, but it hid the alcohol very well, so it was super easy to drink and a delight to sip. This is an old ale/barleywine that rivals Harvest Ale or Thomas Hardys, and could probably age for as many decades as those.

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Photo of morimech
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith has never let me down. Brewed in 2008.

Appearance- Pours a very dark, cloudy amber with a large off-white head that had good retention. Just a little lacing is left on the glass.

Smell- This beer is just wonderful in this regard. Notes of toffee, caramel, dark fruit, Golding hops, vanilla, and some very old wood. Sublime in quality.

Taste- Not as hoppy or boozy as American Strong Ales. A lot of fig flavor. A little caramel and earthiness as well. The hops show up in the finish. No sign that this is 8% ABV. Finishes somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel- I would of liked a little fuller body on this beer. But it is still good with nice carbonation.

Drinkability- Not as special as Sam Smith RIS, but this is still a spectacular English classic. Just not a very good value at $12 a bottle.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 4-9-10
2008 Vintage

Pours a semi-cloudy red/orange color, with a super thick off-white head that sticks everywhere. Almost glows under the light.

Smell is slightly sour, huge aromas of caramel, vanilla, raisins, a little toffee and a fruity kick. Very sweet, but extremely complex. Awesome.

Taste is intense sourness and bitterness, which tapers off to not much else. Sharp hops mask almost everything else, and all that's left is a disappointing, thin aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side with strong carbonation, which adds to the sharpness of the flavors.

Drinkability is only decent, odd flavor and feel.

Overall, glad I tried it, but I won't again.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A cloudy luminescent blood orange liquid with a thin but creamy looking head. This looks like serious business.

S- Pungent raisins, fruit, toffee, and a strong sour quality. There is a lot going on here and the complexity is great. This smells really really nice.

T- Raisins, apples, flowers, citrus, toffee, and an acidic/sour finish. Starts out awesome but falls a little short on the finish.

M- Creamy body with a tart and dry finish. Clean with a lasting acidity.

D- Starts out awesome, but the more I got into it the more I started to think of this as a treat beer that is better in small doses. The alcohol is well hidden and if this had a stronger finish, then this would be a stunner.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stingo pours an opaque dark copper color with a one-finger width creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is sweet with notes of caramel, oak, and dark fruit (raisin, grape). Very pleasant.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, slightly chewy with an effervescent fizz. The flavor is fruity with notes of sweet raisin, grape, apple and fig. In the middle is a fair amount of caramel malt sweetness which blends in with oak and a touch of vanilla. It finishes with a touch of alcohol and leaves behind a sticky sweet caramel cherry flavor.

This is one tasty well crafted beer that's meant to be sipped. Lots of flavor which really develops as it warms. It would go great with a steak dinner.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my new Arrogant Bastard pint glass...

This pours an extremely murky reddish brown with virtually no head... A small one if any... Extremely murky.. Looks very much like a cask ale to me which should be an awesome thing...

The aroma on this is just lovely... Absolutely one of the best smelling brews ever... The woody oakiness mingled with the raisin-like fruitiness and sweet maltiness work perfectly here... This beer is loaded with character and complexities in the aroma category..someone said something about Christmas pudding and they nailed it... This would make an excellent Christmas ale... There's a spiciness here that reminds me of spice cake and a sweetness like the boiled custard that goes over it... Magnificent...

Perhaps the most pronounced oakiness of any oak aged brew I've ever had... This is just a magnificently crafted beer...the deep sweet malty aspects along with that dark fruitiness has this one making me love it... Its a perfect sipping beer to relax on my patio and watch the hickory chips work their magic on my chickens...the vanilla and oak and sweetness mingle together perfectly...hints of booziness here and there... Very very nice...

Could I see myself ordering one of these in a smoky English pub? Damn skippy... A perfect beer for the style in my opinion... Very well done SS...

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Photo of dougofthefuture
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been holding on to this one for about five months. The bottle says "brewed in 2008". Poured into a tulip at cellar temp.

A - For some reason I thought this would be a darker beer - it is a cloudy, medium to light amber. Pours with a creamy bottle-conditioned head of 3 fingers, that hung around for a minute or so.

S - World class. Raisins, sweet fruitiness, definitely some oak - it just smells like dessert.

T & M - I've never been a huge fan of Sam Smith offerings - what I have had always seems a bit watery, with a strange aftertaste I haven't been able to describe. Maybe something to do with the water source? Anyway, this beer has the same "Sam Smithness" going on, but it works really well. The flavors of the nose are all here - it is sweet, but not overpowering, and the mouthfeel is very full and creamy. The oak gives it a nice depth and crisp aftertaste.

D - It warms as it goes down, but doesn't feel overpowering in any way. I like it a lot.

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Photo of Rockatansky
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Upon first pouring this beer, I was struck instantly by the smoky, oaky essence that was coming forth from my pint glass. A few feet away and my nasal passages were filled with a thick aroma that hung there and didn't seem to want to dissipate.

After allowing this sensation to wash over me, I took the opportunity to place the glass up to the ambient lighting in my kitchen as if it were a prism to see what color I could draw out. Burnished copper, slight reddish hues dancing in the background with faint eggshell white, wispy head that quickly dissipated into a skein on the top of my liquid. After a few drinks, no lacing to speak of is apparent.

Placing the glass to my nose, I am instantly drawn to a pouch of Red Man chewing tobacco, raisins, plums, dates and figs. A slight candy sweetness radiates out as well, giving light to the amount of malts that must have made thier way into this brew. The smokiness that was at once so omnipresent and inviting has slowly withdrawn, only allowing a few fleeting glimpses of that oak cask this beer was laid down in.

At first, the sweetness grabs your tongue and slathers on a nice dose of molasses, malt extract, toffe and prunes. But as quickly as those flavors are pronounced, they recede and a wonderfully boozy middle comes in to play and takes its time before allowing the beer to come to the grand finish. The oak that this beer was aged on seems to have certainly seen its fair share of use. As the flavors subside, a strong prsence of oak and all of the character that it imparts is left. Vanilla, a slight char, just a wisp of smoke and a hint of whisky thrown in for good measure.

The carbonation is spot on and allows for a proper introduction between tastebuds and beer. Not so powerful as to wash the flavor away before full enjoyment and appreciation can be reached. A slightly oily and viscous property to the liquid also promoted fulfillment of the senses, as if velvet were being tantalizingly pulled across your tongue.

Considering this beer clocks in at 8%, I find it to be remarkably drinkable. My mouth is left wanting more, as are my other senses. A beautiful beer, and a great addition to the Samuel Smith stable. While the price may be off putting to some, I can easily see myself justifying that price by my experience with this beer. Higly recommended and worth searching out!


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Photo of stakem
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes 11/26/09

Pours a hazy brown color with a creamy yellow stained head. Forceful pour reveals about a fingers worth of head but minimal retension. Smells of vanilla, oak, malt and the slightest amount of hops. Faint amount of lace clngs to the glass. Taste has a bit of hop bitterness upfront that blends right into a pleasant mixture of oak, vanilla, grain and some alcohol warmth in the finish. Medium, smooth feel with low carbonation. As it warms more caramel notes come out. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of tpd975
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for this one.

A: Pours light orange with a rather small head.

S: Sweet malt aromas with notes of brown sugar and light booze.

T: Sweet candy malt, caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Light oak from the barrel.

M: Medium in body, pretty nicely carbonated.

D: Not too bad. Worth a try.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550mL bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a hazy copper, yet reddish amber hue color. Produced a very large & frothy off-white head that slowly dissipated down to a good layer & stayed there for awhile. Left some bits of lacing on the sides of the glass.

(S)- Very aromatic. Bits of caramel, raisins, figs, apples, & cherries. Bits of toast & butterscotch. Has a little spiciness on the finish from the oak. Very dynamic & layered.

(T)- Very similar to what the smell foretold. More of that oaky spiciness mixed into the different layers this has to offer. A bit dry, fruity, and sweet at the same time. Again, a good taste that followed suit to the smell.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. Very dry, very sweet, very fruity, and very bitter all at the same time; it all balances out each other quite well though. Fairly thick, but it suits the feel of the beer well.

(D)- A solid strong ale. Great aroma. Lends itself more to a better drinkability score due to a lower abv than alot of strong ales out there; thicker than most too, but it fits it well. This might benefit from further aging, but its great now.

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Photo of adamette
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 550 ML bottle that I purchased for $10.99 at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago. My friend Bill reportedly bought it for something like $3.49 at the same store a few weeks before that. I guess that they wised up on the price since it really should have been the higher of the two amounts. "SB12I1" stamped on the neck of the bottle, whatever that might mean. Also the following printed near the bottom of the label: "Aged in Oak Ale casks Matured for over a year." 8.0% Alc./vol. Poured, of course, into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

A Brief light brown head that dissipated down to a ring around the top of the beer within a few minutes over a great looking slightly opaque dark caramel body. 4.0

S Nicely sweet malt goodness which has a molasses type quality with a minimum of hops. I like this smell since it is inviting and interesting. 4.5

T The smell proved to be a good indicator of the taste with the welcomed added feature of the oak in the taste. Sweet, light molasses sweetness of the malt with only a hint of hops and, as suggested, a nice oaken woody softness that is really nice. I cannot imagine that this can be improved. 5.0

M Nice and big with a syrupy stickiness, thickness, but softened, as mentioned, by the oak ale casks. Very good indeed. 4.5

D Well this is a big beer but the drinkability remains good for me since it is so delicious. If it did not cost $10.99 a bottle I probably would be buying many more of these. 4.0

Notes: A rival for Nut Brown Ale for my favorite Samuel Smith beer. I am very impressed by this one!

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

I've been saving this one for a special occasion, and tonight was the night. I had high expectations, and it exceeded them.

Fairly dark, looks similar to a brown ale.

Smells fruity, a bit like raisins.

Flavors of caramel, plum, and oak. The oak is *very* strong in this one.

Mouthfeel is rather light for this size of beer, and drinkability is OUTSTANDING. I'd never guess it was 8% ABV.

All in all, I really wish I had more than one bottle of the stuff. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for it in the future.

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Photo of nickd717
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from Whole Foods Los Altos.

Pours a brilliant but slightly hazy reddish-amber color with a one-finger whitish head.

Aroma is fruity and malty mostly. Raisin, cherry, oak, and caramel stand out.

Flavor is very nice and fruity. Cherry, raisin, and other fruits, oak barrel, caramel, toffee, and spiced pudding. I had heard this described as a bit sour, but I found it to be only mildly tart.

Smooth on the palate with medium-body and no hint of the 8% ABV.

Very drinkable. Nice beer overall, I like this a lot.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle, brewed in 2008. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a copper/brown color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention is good, but not much lacing. Aroma is pretty interesting, I can smell caramel and bready malt, dark fruit (cherries, raisins), oak, booze and some tart apples. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark fruit (figs, raisins), oak, caramel, tart apples, molasses and some pears. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and it's easy to drink. I'd buy this again in the future, I think it's a good overall brew.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: 8/28/09
Sam Smith
Yorkshire Stingo
8% English Strong Ale
550ml into oversize wine glass

Appearance= Beer pours a deep redish brown. Not opaque. Solid 1 finger off white head, that dissipates quickly. Good lacing but it doesn't cling to the sides.

Smell= Sweetness on the nose. Dark fruits?

Taste= Sweetness, a nice flavor though. Fruits and oak come through. Figs?

Mouthfeel= Active carbonation balances out the sweetness. If it was thicker, this beer would be gross. Nice lingering flavor in the mouth.

Drinkability= A sipper, not a quaffer. Good flavor, good nose, good mouthfeel. This is the kind of beer you get when you want to mix it up a bit.

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Photo of yuriruley
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - nice golden/red colors, not much of a head when it settles, but it stays with it.

Smell - mainly getting an apple smell, but it smells good.

Taste - Apples like I was getting on the smell, not sure if this is from the yeast they use, but I get it from a couple of their beers and I love it. Also some caramel and a bready flavor in there.

Mouthfeel - pretty crisp carbonation wise, thicker than I expected. Reminds me of some of the barley wines I have had.

Drink - going down easy for me could probably drink a couple.

I have wanted to try this beer many times, but it is always like $13 around here so I always decide against it. But I was feeling down tonight so I got it as a treat to myself, and I am glad I did because it is delicious.

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