In a nutshell: A strong, rich and roasty Imperial Stout from Sam Smith's of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.
The lowdown: Imperial Stout is a distinctive style which was originally brewed to withstand the rigours of shipping it in foul weather to Imperial Russia. It was a favourite of Russian nobility whose taste for the finest food and drink was world famous. It's a rich, full-bodied ale, deep chocolate in colour with a roasted barley nose and flavour that is a complex blend of the malt, hops, alcohol and yeast.
One of the few remaining old independent regional brewers, Samuel Smith's was established in 1758 and makes claim to be the oldest in Yorkshire. The brewery is still based in Tadcaster which is the region's brewing capital.
They brew a wide range of tradtional English beers some of which are one of the last breweries to retain coopers for their wooden casks and stabling for dray horses that still undertake local deliveries.