927: Yorkshire Stingo

Name: Yorkshire Stingo
Brewery: Samuel Smith
Country of Origin: England
City & State: Tadcaster, United Kingdom (England)
Style: English Strong Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 9%
First Brewed: 2008

Tasting Notes
Deep burnished copper-brown in color. Lots of dried fruit in the malt-driven aroma, alongside some interesting leathery notes. Sweetness on the tongue turns into a woody, almost vinous dryness, with a creamy texture and followed by a malty, dried-fruit finish.

Ricky’s Thoughts
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!

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
This looks like a heavy beer.  It’s so thick that I can’t see through the glass at all.  It’s a reddish-brown color, with a little bit of white foamy head.  It smells all kinds of good.  It has a lovely fruity spicy smell to it, kind of like a barleywine.  I could sit here and smell this beer all day long.  The nose to it seems to be more fruit than anything else, but it’s a great smell and one that makes you expect it to be a great beer.

First sip… well, at least this time I am a little bit more prepared.  I just drank a soda before our last beer and wasn’t really prepared to taste a beer.  One thing I noticed – this beer seems to have, as Ricky calls it, good lacing.  The foam clings to the side of the glass pretty well.  When taking that first sip, you get some carbonation, and some flavor.  It’s not quite as good as some beers of this style that I’ve had, but it’s pretty good.  I think the smell adds a lot to the flavor of the beer, because I don’t think it would taste quite as good without the smell.  In fact, the more I drink it, the more I think that.  I also think we are drinking this beer a little too cold.  That’s a big part of what I taste with it – cold.  It takes away from the rich flavor that this beer has.

The beer tastes a little spicy, carbonated, with a fruity flavor.  To me, it does taste like a barleywine, but not as good as a lot of barleywines I’ve had.  I probably wouldn’t buy it again, not because I don’t like it, but because of the price.  It’s a good beer, but not quite worth what it costs.

Rating: 3/5

926 bottles of beer on the wall…

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