Pacific Northwest - While you are enjoying that light in color / alcohol beer, we thought we would let you know that Fall isn't too far behind. Known as the importer of Samuel Smith, Lindeman's, among others; Merchant du Vin recently informed us that they will soon have another 'Sam' Smith beer for you to check out.
Starting August 1st (check your local grocery store or pub for details), Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo will begin showing up on shelves across the Northwest. With a limited production of only 2000 cases, this oak-aged ale is a must try, if not a must buy.
Here is what Samuel Smith and Merchant du Vin had to say regarding this annually released ale.
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. Vintage dated, Stingo is available nationally each year around England's "Yorkshire Day," August first; annual releases will vary - this year, Stingo fermented to 9.0% ABV. Production of this fine ale will be 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.
Serve Stingo alone as the ultimate digestif, or pair with beef, wild game, or demanding deeply-flavored foods like pickled fish or strong aromatic cheeses. Try with lamb, duck, smoked meats, or Kalamata olives; serve in a nonik glass or red wine glass and remember to pour gently, leaving the remaining brewers yeast behind in the bottle. –source, Merchant du Vin & Samuel Smith
Look for this beer to show up after Yorkshire Day (August 1st) and as always if you can't find it on the shelves or on draft, ask your grocer or bartender to order some.
The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was founded in 1758 and is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. Samuel Smith is one of the few remaining independent breweries in England, and further is the last to utilize the classic Yorkshire Square system of fermentation solely in stone squares.
The rich Samuel Smith strain of yeast at The Old Brewery dates from the early 1900s. Hops are hand-weighed by the master hop blender, and the brewing water is drawn from a well sunk over 200 years ago. –source, Merchant du Vin’s website
Merchant du Vin is the brainchild of Charles Finkel, who founded the company in 1978 after having established for himself an enviable reputation in the wine trade. Charles had witnessed the way in which hundreds of thousands of Americans had awakened to the rewards of fine wines during the 60’s and 70’s. It was his theory that a similar audience must exist for beers of distinction, and he decided to put his theory to the test.
Charles identified two dozen classic styles of beer and set about to find the definitive styles of each.
It was his idea that you should sell fine beer much as you sell fine wine. The secret to this, and the goal of Merchant du Vin, is to educate the consumer and arouse curiosity as to the differences among these classic styles. [more] –source, Merchant du Vin