Imported by: Imported by: Merchant du Vin, Tukwila, WA
Available: All states, except where state laws prevent it (AL, MS)
Fermented in open-topped vessels made of stone (slate) called Yorkshire Squares and aged for a year in oak casks that previously held ale – some casks are over 100 years old. Bottle conditioned for perfect soft carbonation and extremely limited production – fewer than 24,000 bottles for the entire US.
Original gravity: 1080
Rich, evolving aromas of ripe stone fruits—plums, prunes, nectarines—pile on the malty aromas: cookies, bread, plum pudding. The malt character is massive here, not thick or cloying, but deep, multi-layered and evolving as I breathe over it. The yeast adds a nuttiness, a curl around the edge; there’s even a hint of wood. Refreshing for a malty, 8 percent beer, too. Layer a plate with apples, cheese and nuts, and pour yourself a stoneware mug of this burly beauty. Complex, but not bludgeoning.
Some of the wooden casks used to age this ale are over a century old, so don’t expect any profoundly oaky character. Instead, enjoy the rich toffee, chocolate, raisin and peppery vanilla spice notes in the aroma and malty, warming body of mixed dried fruit, light oakiness, cocoa powder and your dear old Aunt Shirley’s Christmas spice cake, all underscored by the seductive minerality common to all Sam Smith beers. Enjoy at leisure all winter long, sharing the joy with friends and family.