Smuttynose Smistletoe is a Bière de Garde with sweet cherries, black currents and plum, aged on oak chips. A cool looking bottle that is a bit sparse on the info has no ABV listed. No specific bottling date is provided either, but this is clearly marked as the 2016 vintage.
Given the season of it’s release I was expecting a Stout or Winter Warmer kind of beer, the pour caused me to do a little more research! The beer pours with a clear cranberry red color and a fizzy pink hued tan head. The fruits dominate the aroma, but there is some nice malt and honey that come on as the beer warms a little. Cherries hit my palate first, soon to be followed by some of the tart skin and sweet flesh of the plums. This is not quite the fruit bomb you might expect at this point. The Bière de Garde itself is certainly present in the taste with some sweet malt similar to a good Belgian Dubbel. The oak chips are pretty much absent from the taste and aroma of this beer. I’d say the carbonation is spot on, complimenting the flavor of the beer perfectly.
This beer was a pleasant surprise for me, I’ll be looking for this one a little earlier in the holiday season next year.