Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry Fruit Beer

Finally! The last post before I’m completely caught up. I know that the picture is weird on this beer, but I thought that it was pretty cool that everything was pink.
Sam Smith

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Handcrafted at the tiny All Saints 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 cherry, strawberry, raspberry or apricot fruit juices and more organic beer to create fruit beers of considerable strength and flavour. The smooth distinctive character of the matured beer serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pure organic fruit juice.”

Random: According to Kate, people should not have 19 children. I can tell that she’s reading her large families blogs.

This brew poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut color with a pink tinge. The carbonation was generous on this bad boy. The nose was all raspberry, almost like a lambic. The taste was nicer than the nose (and I didn’t mind the nose). I got tart raspberries with a touch of mineral water and bitterness. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with tart raspberries. Although this beer is all about the fruit, I enjoyed it. Since it was very similar to a lambic, I can’t see having more than one. Try it if you see it!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Organic Best Ale

Funny enough, Kate and I were having a discussion about all things organic last night. Her sister buys only organic things for her family. She basically lives at Whole Foods. One time, Kate and I were dog sitting at her sister’s house and I was eating something that needed ketchup. The only ketchup they had in their house was this weird organic brand. I consider myself a ketchup purist and only like Heinz. I can’t stand Hunt’s or anything kind. This organic ketchup was absolutely wretched. But, I’ve had a few organic beers and they been basically tasty. This one was a Christmas gift from my parents.

ABV: 5%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with well water (the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground); best barley malt, yeast and aromatic hops; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’ to create a full, rounded flavour and after-taste.”

Random: I like the antique feel that the Samuel Smith labels give off.

This one poured with a finger and a half of slightly off white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing, but a crown on top of the body. The body itself was a touch on the hazy side and tangerine colored with low carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very minerally with a touch of flowers, pretty much what I was expecting from a Sam Smith brew. The taste started with bready malt and oats. It was very grainy, but no real bitterness on it at all. The mineral quality of the water used was present, but not overdone. The body was thick and the carbonation could have used a little boost. The finish was instantaneous and had a touch of grain. This beer is like Switzerland…neutral. There really wasn’t a large amount of flavor and in my opinion, the worst offering of a very strong brewery.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout

This was a brew that I had over the weekend at my parents’ house. My Dad picked it up for me awhile ago. Despite the insane heat, I picked this one saying my other option was Corona Light. So, I popped this bad boy open, not really knowing what to expect…

ABV: 7%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the importer, “Rich, flavorful, deep chocolate color, scented and roasted barley nose. Complexity of malt, hops, alcohol and yeast.”

Random: I absolutely love the bottles and the labels from Sam Smith. They’re classic to me.

This brew poured with a hugely thick, tan head, which dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, dark brown with no visible carbonation in it due to the color. The nose had a lot of dark chocolate, coffee and some booze…really, really inviting. The taste was almost the same as the nose, except more intense with a velvety mouthfeel. I got a lot of dark chocolate and coffee with some booze on the end and a dose of roastiness. The body was thick with moderate carbonation and velvety. The finish was long with coffee coming along for the ride and a touch of booze on the end. I would have this again in a second. This could be one of my favorite offerings from the brewery. Just divine!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager Beer

Here’s another beer that Kate picked up for me. Not shockingly, it’s a British beer. I really think she just picks based off the labels. I actually found a new fruity thing that she loves. It’s Mike’s Hard Lemonade – Black Cherry. It’s one of the few from them that doesn’t get old after one or two and isn’t sickeningly syrupy sweet. So, onto the brew.

ABV: 5%

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the importer, “Samuel Smith is most famous for classic ales, but it also offers what is described as ‘England’s finest lager.’ The all-malt beer is brewed with a softer water and fermented in separately-housed stainless steel lager vessels using bottom-fermenting yeast.”

Random: I hate the heat. It has been oppressively hot and it’s just ridiculous. I’m ready for winter.

This brew poured with a huge white head that dissipated slowly, yet left no lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with lots of active carbonation. It almost looked like a macro. The nose had some sweet grain (which bordered on too sweet for me) and a little hay. I thought the taste would start with the really sweet grain that was apparent in the nose, but it didn’t. I got hay and some grass first and then the sweetness came through at the end of the sip. I was pleasantly surprised that the sweetness wasn’t obnoxious or abrasive. I really liked it. The grain also had some earthy notes to it. The body was a medium thickness with generous carbonation and finished quickly. This was definitely a session beer. For a beer that I thought would be a struggle to drink, I really enjoyed it. I could see throwing a few of these back on a hot day. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s The Famous Taddy Porter

This was a beer that I had during the first weekend that I had the kid by myself. I have never even babysat and having a four year old all to yourself and no clue what the hell to do? Yeah, it actually went much better than it sounded. So, as a reward, Katie bought me two beers that I reviewed over the weekend after kid went to sleep. Here’s the first one.

ABV: 5%

Style: English Porter

Trivia: According to one of the importers, this beer should be paired with the following, “Oysters on the half shell, Rockefeller or Cajun style; clams, mussels, crab cocktail, lobster bisque and other shellfish, smoked mackerel pâté, veal with green peppercorns, porterhouse steak and of course chocolate. Traditionally served in a nonik glass or tumbler at 55 °F.”

Random: How do four year olds have so much energy? It’s ridiculous.

This is a brew that I’ve been waiting to try for awhile. It poured with a generous two finger tan head on a dark brown body. The head dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. There was no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was pleasant and filled with roasted malts and coffee, right up my alley. The taste was just as nice. The roasted malts took center stage with coffee and a little bit of chocolate in the background, really well-balanced. The body was a perfect thickness, smooth and silky. It was just thick enough with moderate to low carbonation. The finish lingered with roasted malts. This was easily one of the best brews of the style that I’ve ever had. I would definitely have this one again. This was just a great brew all around.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo

What a day. Work was not fun at all today. Then, I went to the Academy and learned all about fire hydrants and water supplies. It was actually pretty interesting. The only bad part is that I still have 3 chapters worth of homework to get done this weekend. So, today we’re going to start with another British brew. I’ve had a few other brews from this brewery and this is one that always gets written up. Let’s see how it goes.

ABV: 9%

Style: English Strong Ale

Trivia: According to, “The Yorkshire Stingo was a public house in Marylebone, London which was a significant landmark outside central London in the eighteenth and 19th century. Located on the south side of the Marylebone Road, it was a rural location when first built. An admittance charge was made, redeemable with the waiters, as a method of preventing those with no money from enjoying the facilities. Its name comes from a fashionable slang word of the 18th century for strong beer.”

Random: I usually am not a fan of Samuel Smith labels, but I really like this one. It’s retro, but not stale.

This brew poured with a one finger off white head on top of a dark and cloudy mahogany body. There was some strong, visible carbonation on the brew as well. The nose started with some oak, toffee, caramel and dark fruits. The scent of raisins was exceptionally strong. The taste started with a lot of oak and some booze and transitioned into plums and raisins. The oak wasn’t overwhelming, but really worked with the other flavors going on. The toffee and caramel took a backseat on the taste. The beer was medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with booze and a bit of oak. Despite the fact that the booze was pretty apparent in the beer, the oak and raisin flavors really worked well for this, making it a very enjoyable winter drinker. I would definitely have this one again. This is my new favorite brew from Samuel Smith.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s India Ale

This brew was the last offering I received in the gift pack from my father. This paired with Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale and Samuel Smith’s Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout. The bottles themselves are really pretty but also look old school.

ABV: 5%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The brewery operates over 300 pubs, which are notable for their independence: The beers are all produced by the Tadcaster brewery and no large-corporation spirits or soft-drinks are available. Prices are kept minimal by only increasing in line with alcohol duty and inflation increases. In the year 2000, Samuel Smiths began phasing out the branding from their pubs and in November 2004 the company took the decision to ban music in its pubs to save Performing Rights levy.”

Random: For some reason, I’m not the biggest fan of British beers. I think that I should start exploring more of their offerings.

This brew poured with a three finger foamy white head that dissipated quickly. It left minor lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly orange brown clear color with moderate carbonation. The nose was pretty muted and more malty than I expected, but a slight hoppiness came through. The taste was very slightly bitter, but not overly piney or grapefruit-y. The carbonation was prickly. I take that back, by the third sip, there is a definitely hop presence, but it was balanced by a caramel maltiness. This was a very crisp beer. It was more hoppy on the finish and lingers. This might be a good beer to introduce someone to more hoppy beers, but it’s just an okay beer for me, nothing really fantastic.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale

This was the second beer that I had on New Year’s Eve. Since my sister actually liked a craft beer, I gave her my pint of Ithaca Apricot Wheat and decided to open this brew. This was another brew from the gift pack that my father gave me that came with a really nifty imperial pint glass.

ABV: 5%

Style: English Brown Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “In 1847, Samuel Smith, a butcher and cattle dealer from Meanwood, Leeds, funded his son John to buy a struggling brewing business in Tadcaster from the Hartley family. That brewery, founded in 1758, is said to be the oldest in Yorkshire. John Smith took over the brewery in 1852 forming John Smith’s Brewery. He was later joined by his brother William. John then left the brewery to the eldest son of his other brother Samuel and the joint custodianship of the business to both William and Samuel. However William bought Samuel’s half and moved the business to a new brewery, next door, which is where John Smiths is now brewed, then leaving the business to his sister’s sons. Meanwhile, Samuel’s son Samuel Smith inherited the Old Brewery on William’s death in 1886, and re-opened the brewery under his own name. He then ran it in competition with his cousins’ business, John Smiths. Samuel Smith’s remains independent, the only brewery in Tadcaster to do so.”

Random: This is probably one of the first craft beers that I ever had. I think that I was about 21 or 22 and I really don’t remember all that much about it.

This brew poured with a two finger tan head that leaves significant lacing on the glass. The body was a clear brown color with significant carbonation. The nose has definite notes of nuttiness and caramel, which are to be expected from this type of brew. I also got some roasted malts that came through as well. On the taste, there is a hint of mild bitterness that comes through with a lot of roasted malts. The nuttiness, which again, is to be expected, is a major flavor of the brew. The carbonation comes through as well up front. The finish was lots of caramel and nuts with some light bitterness. The body of the brew isn’t all that thick, but is really perfect for the beer. I would definitely have this one again. It makes a really nice fall or winter beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout

This was another brew that I received courtesy of my father. He picked this up in a gift pack, along with two other Sam Smith brews and a really nice pint glass. I’m really liking Costco right now, since that’s where he picked up all these wonderful gift packs.

ABV: 5%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to a website I found, the name of the brew comes from where it’s brewed, “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.”

Random: This beer received an A- on BeerAdvocate. After drinking it, I have to say, I was pretty surprised.

This brew poured with a two finger tan head that dissipated leaving no lacing. The body was a dark brown, almost black color. No visible carbonation due to the color. The nose is full of good smells like roasted malts, coffee and hints of chocolate. I didn’t get much oatmeal, but what does oatmeal really smell like anyway? I also find that I never pick up oatmeal in the nose of an oatmeal stout, primarily in the taste. After all these hoppy brews, I was really looking forward to a good stout. The first sip hit me with some creaminess and then bitterness, but I didn’t get a lot of the flavors I found in the nose. I’m missing the coffee and the chocolate. I do find some of the oatmeal, which is nice. It’s also a hint more bitter than I expected. The finish is pretty quick. I thought the brew was okay, but definitely not an A. Perhaps it’s just because I prefer an Imperial Stout and it’s hard to compare this to something like Founders Breakfast Stout. Either way, I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0