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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo

ABV: 9%
Origin: Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England

Yorkshire Stingo

An extended review of a beer featured as a strong and special beer  on the bottled beer review page in the November 2010 issue of BEER magazine, sent free every quarter to CAMRA members, who can also view it online. The magazine is additionally available in selected newsagents.

Samuel Smith’s, one of the three remaining historic breweries in the once important North Yorkshire brewing town of Tadcaster and the only one that’s still a family-owned independent, is best known for three things. real ale drinkers will be familiar with the brewery’s curious estate of pleasantly traditional central selling their single cask ale, Old Brewery Bitter, at jaw-droppingly low prices. International beer hunters will be familiar with the range of impressive speciality bottled beers they developed mainly for their US importer in the 1990s. And beer writers and researchers will know them as one of the most publicity-shy of all brewers, with not even a website to their name.

Running a business in this way, you rely on the products to speak for themselves, and this they most certainly do. At the cost of some frustration to real ale fans, the speciality bottled range, excellent though it is, has been limited to filtered beers. In 2008, an unexpected exception appeared in the form of Yorkshire Stingo, which is not only bottle conditioned but matured for over a year before bottling in the brewery’s unique collection of oak casks, some of which date back over a century. Stingo is a traditional term in some regions of England for a strong barley wine, but the emphasis on oak ageing reflects the growing interest in wood aged beers in the US craft beer market.

It’s a deep burgundy beer with an orangey-beige head and a malty, cakey and lightly woody aroma, with notes of spiced toffee, grapes and raspberries. A tight, dryish palate is rich with nutty flavours, generous splashes of red fruit and a definite broad oaky note. The finish has that wood-sucking dryness of similarly matured beers but is well balanced by mouth-coating cakey malt, spiced candy and a light peppery bitterness way back in the throat, with some lightly charred notes. A beer that will do nothing to harm the brewery’s reputation for quiet excellence with traditional styles.

Buy this beer from as part of a special pack containing all the beers featured on my beer review page in BEER this month. BEER readers receive a special discount by entering the voucher code shown in the magazine.

To download BEER if you’re a CAMRA member, see

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4 comments to Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo

  • Buy this beer from

    I’d love to, but I can’t find it anywhere on the site. Have you got a more specific link, either to the beer or to the Nov 2010 ‘special pack’?

  • Des

    Sorry, Phil, that’s an external site and nothing to do with me. I don’t know if they’re still doing the box or have any Stingo left in stock — try emailing them.

  • Pete Yarlett

    Bought a bottle from Tucker’s Maltings, Newton Abbot, during the SIBA shindig on 20 April. Opened it a week later and supped it along with a big lump of Stilton. Now I know what heaven is like.

  • Lawson Davies

    Drank this in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – a Samuel Smith’s pub in Fleet Street. An absolutely gorgeous beer – my new favourite bottled beer. not cheap in a pub though.

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