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.

Organic Apricot Ale – Samuel Smith’s (Tadcaster, England)

Organic Apricot Fruit Ale – Samuel Smith, 5.1% ABV, 550 ml., (Tadcaster, England)

on the back label:

“Handcrafted at Melbourn Bros’ tiny brewery set in a time warp in Stamford using the old manually operated brewing equipment. finest organically grown barley and wheat are used to create a complex ale which having undergone primary and secondary fermentation with different yeasts and extended maturation, is taken to Samuel Smith’s small, independent British brewery at Tadcaster. There it is blended with pure organic apricot fruit juice and a previously cellared organic brew – creating an unparalleled fruit ale. The smooth distinctive character of the matured ale serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pure organic fruit juice.”


  • Style: (Apricot) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Super apricot fruit forward wheat malt tangy slight sour
  • Where I got it : Firefly / Vancouver
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 550 ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Pours cloudy pale apricot orange with a smallish dissipating head, thick ringed retention, half lacing, clusters and of very active streams.

Nose: fragrant unfiltered tangy apricot puree, slight alcoholic edge. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thicker, mild fizzy-tingly, bright-fruity tangy

Mid-palate: background subdued barley malt, sweet wheat malt, (lvl-4-sweetness), soft unintrusive sour, very fruity apricot puree

Finish: subtle bitterness, a bit of wheat malt palate dry

Summary: Super fruity and a whole lot of authentic apricot flavour with enough grain malts to balance it out. Very easy drinking, but I find the finish somewhat short.

Oatmeal Stout – Samuel Smith’s – (Tadcaster, England)

Oatmeal Stout – Samuel Smith, 5% ABV, 550ml., (Tadcaster, England)

on the back label:

“An opaque, wonderfully silky and smooth textured ale with a complex, medium dry palate and bittersweet finish. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), malted barley, roasted barley, oatmeal, yeast and hops, Fermented in open-topped ‘stone Yorkshire squares’. Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is a style benchmark revived by Samuel Smith’s and the inspiration for hundreds of commercial oatmeal stouts.”

  • Style: (Oatmeal) Sweet Stout
  • Taste: Fruity berry tangy light sour roasted barley malt chocolate
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $6.85 (after 10% off) – 550ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Foil sealed cap. Pours super dark brown with a dissipating very small head, a half-sized island with thin ringed retention, steady tight streams.

Nose: sweet caramel, light roasted barley malt, a bit of bourbon booze. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: flat slick-crisp

Mid-palate: underlying light tangy-sour brightness, tingly CO2, (lvl-6-sweetness), raspberry, brown sugar, roasted barley, woodiness

Finish: lingering maltiness, cardboard, molasses barley exhale

Summary: Quite a bit of tangy fruitness in this one, counterbalanced with sweet roasted barley malt and a bit of bittersweetness at the end. Somewhat lacking in thickness/fullness as well as a creamy mouthfeel. Decent, but not remarkable.

Imperial Stout – Samuel Smith’s (Tadcaster, England)


Imperial Stout – Samuel Smith, 7.0% ABV, 550ml., (Tadcaster, England)

on the back label:

“Brewed at Samuel Smith’s small, traditional British brewery with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, roasted barley, yeast and hops to create a rich flavourful ale; deep chocolate in colour with a roasted barley nose and flavour that is a complexity of malt, hops and yeast. Fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’. This distinctive type of ale was originally shipped to Imperial Russia; it was a favourite of Russian nobility.”


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Cacao roasted liquid barley malt
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn @ Hastings/Burnaby
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 550ml., February 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not memorable

Visual: Foil sealed cap. Pours coffee black with very minimal head, a thin layer of fine retention, lots of micro streams near the surface.

Nose: light burnt bread, sweet baked molasses. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: watery-slick, immediate burnt light-sour liquid malt

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) cacao, roasted barley, caramel, coffee sourness, soy sauce, hints of vanilla

Finish: lingering roasted malted barley, partially thin finish.

Summary: A bit dry on its own but goes nicely with a meal. Not what I’d expect from an Imperial Stout, it’s rather light but where it lacks in body it makes up for it in composure and balance. This one makes you notice subtlety.

Organic Chocolate Stout – Samuel Smith’s (Tadcaster, UK)


  • My Rating: A-

Organic Chocolate Stout – Samuel Smith’s, 5.0% ABV – 550ml, (Tadcaster, UK)

on the back label:

“Brewed with well water from the original well  sunk in 1758, the gently roasted organic chocolate malt and real organic cocoa used in this ale impart a delicious, smooth and creamy character, with inviting deep flavors and a delightful finish – this is the perfect marriage of satisfying stout and luxurious chocolate that will lead to smiles and refills. Samuel Smith’s brews in traditional coppers, uses stone ‘Yorkshire Squares’ for fermentation, and ships every bottle from the brewery with great pride.”

  • Style: (chocolate) flavoured Stout
  • Taste Profile: malty sweetness -> chocolate/coffee/hazelnut -> bitter roast/coffee/lingering bittersweet finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off), Feb 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe 1x more
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: absolutely

Tasting notes: pours jet coffee black with a small creamy head, long-lasting foamy retention, lots of sticky lacing. Robust and a distinctly milk chocolatey nose.

Attack: fizzy/creamy, 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: malts, milk chocolate, hints of cola/sarsaparilla, hazelnut

Finish: mild bitter roast, traces of sourness, light coffee & bittersweet malty lingering long finish.

Amazingly full-bodied for a relatively low ABV (5%) beer. A superb balance of sweetness, flavour, bitterness, and drinkability.

Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale (England)


  • My Rating: B-

Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale, 5.1% ABV – 550ml, (Belgium)

  • Style: Fruit Ale
  • Taste Profile: creamy fruity sweet -> tangy/strawberry/malt bitter -> clean fruity light bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly (?)
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off), sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes and non-beer drinkers alike

Tasting notes: pours cloudy marmalade orange with a large foamy head, sticky lacing, good retention. Fruity sour-sweet strawberry jam on the nose.

Attack: dense 8/10-sweetness, silky-creamy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: light-med tang, strawberry jam, med-malty bitterness

Finish: clean fruity light bitter finish

Becomes progressively sweeter. Clean flavours & texture, very drinkable.