Press Release from Merchant du Vin:
Merchant du Vin and Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery are proud to announce the third U.S. annual release of Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo. This barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned strong ale expresses the elegant refinement of every Samuel Smith’s beer, but with depth, length and power found in no other beer. This is a must-try beer: Extreme meets over 250 years of brewing experience. In November 2010, DRAFT Magazine awarded Stingo a perfect 100-point review: “Perfection in a glass.”
Vintage dated, Stingo is available nationally each year on England’s “Yorkshire Day,” August first. Annual releases do vary – this year, Stingo fermented to 8.0% ABV. Production of this fine ale is extremely limited.
A traditional strong ale that originated in the north of England, “Stingo” is mentioned in literature before 1700. Samuel Smith’s Stingo melds the signature elegance of the brewery’s ales with a long historical tradition. Brewed from British malts and multiple hop varieties, Stingo is fermented in open-topped stone Yorkshire Squares, then aged over a year in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale, gaining subtle complexity from the wood. Some of the barrels at Samuel Smith’s are over a century old – if a cask is damaged, the coopers carefully replace broken staves and put the cask back into service.
Samuel Smith’s Stingo shows rich, superb flavors of toffee, raisin, dried fruit, and caramel; waves of flavor ascend and ebb leaving soft oak notes. Hops add a perfect enhancement to dramatic malt and fermentation flavors, but without pushing bitterness past the point of balance. Bottle conditioning – that is, including live yeast in each bottle – produces soft carbonation, a fruity aroma and finish, and allows Stingo to age and develop in the bottle.