sunshine biere de garde can

Bière de Garde (literally ‘beer for keeping’) is a malt driven French style that shares a lot of DNA with Saison.  This Gisborne brewed example has had a touch of ex-chardonnay oak, which I find can make a beer richer or (paradoxically) drier, depending on the condition of the wood and length of contact.  Mellow toffee malt up front, then fruity and doughy yeast-derived esters follow: almost strawberry jam on scones.  The palate has a firmer grip, with that chardonnay oak tannin drying out the rich malt and leaving the delicate fruit esters on display.  A robustly bodied, but delicately flavoured beer that I can best describe as a Saison with a bit more grunt to it.