Yorkshire Stingo – Samuel Smith (Tadcaster, England)

TL:DR – “boozy raisiny malt base, too heavy (flavour not quite right) for my liking”

Yorkshire Stingo – Samuel Smith, 8.0% ABV, 550 ml., (Tadcaster, England)

on the back label:

“Bottle conditioned only. Previously 8.0%. Some of the oak casks at Samuel Smith’s date back more than a century with the individual oak staves being replaced by the Old Brewery coopers over the years. Gradually the casks soak in more & more of the character of the ale fermented in stone Yorkshire squares. Yorkshire Stingo is aged for at least a year, matured in these well-used oak casks in the brewery’s underground cellars deriving fruit, raisin, treacle toffee, Christmas pudding and slight oaky flavours, before being further naturally conditioned in bottle.”

  • Style: English Strong Ale
  • Taste: raisin whiskey barley malt heavy boozy
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $10 CAD (after 10% off) – 550 ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: not really
  • What made an impression: it’s heavy

Visual: (cellared for 7 years). Gold foil on the cap. Pours translucent copper reddish brown without a head and barely any activity. Some large bubbles at the base of the glass.

Nose: wet brown sugar maltiness, musky wood. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming boozy

Mid-palate: sourish light whiskey barley malt base, raisin, (lvl-7-sweetness), heavy weighty boozy

Finish: cherry/birch bark, dry oak, alcoholic heat

Summary: Boozy and sweet, quite heavy with a raisiny barley malt base flavour. I can appreciate the aging and old casks used, but it drinks a bit too harsh for my liking.

Rum Cask – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

TL:DR – “tiresome I&G sweetness after 1 glass, toffee barley malt with a touch of oak. Average.”

Rum Cask (beer aged in rum barrels) – Innis & Gunn, 7.4% ABV, 1 pt 9.4 fl.oz., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

on the back label:

“Since discovering the secrets and joys of maturing beer in oak barrels we have been on a journey of further discovery, which has lead us to some pretty incredible taste experiences. Rum Cask is one of our firm favourites! A slow maturation using American oak and rum infused oak has imparted this beer with a delicious warming character that is bursting with fruit and lively spiciness.”

  • Style: (rum barrel aged) English Strong Ale
  • Taste: cloying sweet toffee grainy-ricey barley malt
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $8 CAD (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: dat I&G sweetness (excessive)

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Pours translucent root beer brown with a smallish fine ringed retention, lots of steady micro fine streams.

Nose: caramelized barley malt (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming heavy sweetness

Mid-palate: brown sugar barley malt, soda-like cloying (lvl-7-sweetness), grainy-ricey rum, oaked caramel

Finish: molasses exhale, dry alcoholic

Summary: That trademark I&G sweetness shows up again in this one, overshadowing the subtle oak infusion in the toffee barley malt. Two-note at best, there’s not much this beer offers past one glass. Just average. Slightly higher ABV than their “Rum Aged” variation.

Polaris Julebryg – Nanoq Beer Co. (Quqortoq, Greenland)

Polaris Julebryg – Nanoq Beer Company (dead homepage), 6.0% ABV, 50 cl., (Quqortoq, Greenland)

on the back label in Danish:

“Denne julebryg fra Grønland er opnævnt efter Polaris, Nordstjernen. Polaris har altid været vores og julemandens ledestjerne. Denne julebryg dufter og smager af julens sødme og er sammensat af de bedste råvarer, det reneste grønlandske vand – og tilsat indlandsis samt krydderier, som sammen vækker den rigtige julestemning i os alle. ”

(google translation):

This Christmas break from Greenland is established after Polaris, Nordstjernen. Polaris has always been our leader and Santa’s leader. This Christmas wreath smells and tastes of Christmas sweetness and is made up of the finest raw materials, the cleanest Greenlandic water – and added icecream and spices that together bring the true Christmas atmosphere together.

  • ]
  • Style: English Strong Ale
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : 16th St Liquor / W. Vancouver
  • How much: $7 CAD (after 10% off) – 50 cl., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours clear copper brown with no real head, a thin haze on top, not much activity.

Nose: sweet toffee barley malt (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, sweet malt impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), toffee barley malt, mild metallic tang

Finish: barley malt exhale

Summary: An easy drinking, no frills beer. Not terribly exciting, but no major flaws either, except for the dull appearance.

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish – 6.8% ABV (Scotland)

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish – matured for 57 days, 6.8% ABV, 33 cl., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

on the back label:

“This ruby red beer is matured over the finest rum-infused American Oak heartwood resulting in a beer with delicious warming character that is bursting with fruit and lively spiciness. These vibrant flavours perfectly balance the beer’s toffee-malt backbone making it an ideal accompaniment to game meats like venison or duck. It is sublime with mature cheeses served with good chutneys and relishes.”


  • Style: (barrel-aged – American Oak Rum cask) English Strong Ale
  • Taste: Dense overly sweet toffee’d barley malt brown sugar-molasses
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 CAD – 4 x 330 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: fabulous

Visual: Pours clear mahogany brown without a significant lasting head, ringed retention with a small island, countable singular sporadic streams.

Nose: sugary thick toffee’d liquid barley malt (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming densely sweet malts

Mid-palate: heavy (lvl-7-sweetness), brown sugar-molasses, toffee’d liquid malted barley

Finish: residual malted sugars

Summary: I usually enjoy I&G brews but this one tasted awfully plain, short, and uninspiring. The toffee profile just becomes overly heavy with the addition of the rum barrel.