Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo
I must admit that I first bought Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo (7.6% alcohol by volume) because of the name. "Yorkshire Stingo" struck me as some kind of north English con game or perhaps the mae of a particularly obnoxious terrier. Stingo, actually means strong ale and Yorkshire Stingo is an English Old Ale, a style on the cusp between a Strong Ale and a Barleywine. Its strength is midrange - from 7.6% alcohol by volume up to 9.0%) and having spent a year in wood. Yorkshire Stingo has an oak quality that British Strong Ales lack. My current bottle was brewed ion 2014. It smells like a rich and malty bread pudding next to a fresh cup of dark tea, some cubes of dark brown sugar and a bowl of dried fruit. There are some earthy notes in the background. It pours lightly hazed dark amber to auburn filled with streams of bubbles rising rapidly to refresh a 1/2" white foam cap with fair retention. Dark caramel coated bread pudding and a savory spice start the palate and a tea like bitterness provides some dryness and leads the bitter finish supported by some moderate oaky tannins that provide a light astringent touch. In the middle vanilla, dark dried fruit and some earthy notes slowly work their way forward as the beer warms. The beer lacks the Brettanomyces or lactic acid notes that some old ales develop but some sherry notes are just starting to develop. The beer is very creamy and almost mousse-like which lightens the body and gives it a luscious texture. The body is still medium high but it is not viscous. It has a very mild alcohol warming. The alcohol is hot or harsh. The big malt flavors, the yeast influence, the alcohol, the hops and the oak all work very well together and result in a very well rounded and enjoyable beer. It works very well as an after dinner drink and also pairs nicely with roast beef and apple pie. Due to the name, I would like to try it with Yorkshire pudding. I rate it 90.
Go to Old Ale Reviews for an introduction to the style, food pairing and glassware recommendations and links of similar beer.