From the Bottle Collection: Watneys Stingo!

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

Image courtesy

Written by Ken Carman

When I saw the Professor posted an article on Stingo I was obviously on the net. I looked up at the part of The Bottle Collection that dangles above my Mac. Stingo! Only by Watneys. I suspect this current incarnation is a re-release: Samuel Smith’s version of the Watneys product.

I don’t have a picture of my bottle: so the Professor provided one from that’s obviously an older version. Mine is a bit more elaborate: border red, tan circle and a big black dot with the Watneys logo and description of the beer, but still from the defunct Watneys. Says “Watney’s Mortlake Brewery.” Also says “Dark Ale.” The Samuel Smith description of Stingo seems more accurate. More of an Old Ale. Various web pages claim this was a barley wine. No way: not from what I remember: carmelization, few if any hops even for the Brit barley wine. I know barley wine and this wasn’t it. Much of the flavor driven by sweet malt, carmelization and some darker malts. Another site claims it was a Cream Stout. Perhaps, though the Old Ale nature sticks in my memory. And, yet, it was so sweet it was a bit sticky. But I really think the sweet was more malt driven, not any lactose that may, or may not, have been used. Admittedly vague memory says, “Not.” In other words: probably a dark, sweeter, version of Old Ale.

I didn’t put it on my best shelf, though who knows for sure… now that I know more about styles I might have. I’d have to try it again to be sure. Give me a break: I think I had this in the late 80s, or early 90s.


Written by Beersage for

North Yorkshire, England) – Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo, a beer of historic proportions, will ship to the U.S. through Merchant du Vin later this year. According to the back label pictured below, the beer is billed to have a rather interesting flavor profile: “fruit, raisin, treacle toffee, Christmas pudding and slight oaky flavours.” In part due to the extensive aging in oak casks for over a year, the beer has an ABV level of 8%. This would appear to make Yorkshire Stingo the second biggest (ABV-wise) commercial beer ever produced for the old brewery. It is brewed with a traditional method once popular in England using Yorkshire Squares. There is a full write-up for brewing history buffs at the Merchant du Vin site.

Label approvals also came through for Samuel Smith Organic Raspberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Fruit beers this week.