Greetings once again readers, or should I say seasons greetings? As it is still officially Christmas. As I have mentioned in earlier posts much as been expected from this years Christmas day beer session and indeed it was successful. As with last year the Christmas turkey was well matched with the savory character of Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome ale whereas the real gamble came with the match of Christmas pudding and Chimay Grand reserve. This match seemed to work well as the rich fruity flavours of both harmonised well. The afternoon also brought some excellent tastings, including Samuel Smiths Imperial stout and the very rare, oak aged Samuel Smiths Yorkshire Stingo at 8% abv. As a beer I have hunted for some time I found this prestigious offering completely fascinating. As a rich amber ale one would expect rich fruit and malt and possibly toffee nuances, and although this was present the beer seemed to possess and extra dimension (probably from American oak) that brought an unorthodox strawberry and vanilla like tang that bounced off the malt intricately balancing the beer. What was also interesting was how this beer matched Wensleydale cheese (matching Yorkshire with Yorkshire) and I could immediately tell that Wensleydale with cranberry would have matched better.
Sadly the session seemed to deteriorate in the evening as I fell asleep unexpectantly, maybe I'm getting old? But overall it was a great day mainly highlighted by Samuel Smiths and its masterpieces. As a long favourate of mine I have noticed how not only are Samuel Smiths arguably one of the best brewers in Yorkshire but are highly reputable on a worldwide stage with big followings in America and various other countries. But lets not forget the other great brewers of Yorkshire, such as York brewery with its sublime session bitters with cascading hop characters. Acorn with its full bodied chocolaty award winning old moor porter. Black Sheep and Theaskstons with true classics, and not to mention the mighty Daleside brewery with its wonderfully structured malt masterpieces such as Monkey Wrench and Morocco Ale.