|"Aged in old cask-conditioned ale barrels for over one year after fermentation in Yorkshire Squares, this beer has a subtle complexity for a less over-the-top woodiness and refined character than other oak-aged brews. The aromas are typical for an English old ale: sweet dark fruit, brown bread, caramel and oak, and the flavors are similarly intense with additional notes of dried dates, raisins and toffee. Medium weight with soft carbonation but exceptional balance, producing a sweet but not cloying drinking experience." —Lauren Buzzeo, Wine Enthusiast
"Whoa, Samuel Smith--one foot out of the box with a barrel-aged Strong Ale of towering alcoholic heights for its homeland.
Pours out a hazed twany liquid with a full three fingers of head. Thick aroma of brown bread, candied fruit, cake batter and a hint of ripe tropical fruit. Medium body is a little fluffy from the moderate-sized carbonation. Malt sweetness of caramel and Portuguese sweet bread tangles with an alcoholic warmth that resembles rum and dried papaya and passion fruit. Ghostlike buttery and yeasty tones go hand in hand with the cracker maltiness. Quick kick of wood tannin in the middle, then a little puckering dryness ensues. Alcohol stays on the breath but never becomes hot. Slightly dry finish lingers of wood and fruity alcohol.
A lovely creation here--kudos to Samuel Smith for making us beer geeks happy yet again. This is a yearly release so hunt this one down and cellar a bottle or two for the hell of it." —Alstrom Brothers, Beer Advocate