Smuttynose Hanami Ale pours to a hazy cherry red color with a light, semi-creamy head formation and an enticing sharp fruity nose. Extra credit for those of you who guess which fruit. Taking a sip, I get a good, solid malt body underneath. It's a tad biscuity, and even toasty if you roll it around the tongue and consider it for a moment. And the reason you have to consider it, of course, is because the malt is really a subcomponent to the real player here: cherry.
The fruit is apparent immediately upon sipping, and quickly takes over for the rest of the ride. Dark, luscious black cherry flavor simply dominates the whole affair, with perhaps a hint of vanilla, too. The amazing thing is how dry Hanami is-it's not at all sweet or cloying and has a decidedly tart finish, making it very refreshing, indeed. A hint of grassy Goldings hops poke through there, too.
If you think you don't like fruit beers, think again. The fact that this is not a wheat beer helps to make it a bit firmer in body and more substantial. Being that it is Smuttynose's spring seasonal, that makes sense, as it's not too light for still cool spring evenings. And yet as I sip it in late April, the refreshing, dry cherry flavors make it a perfect refresher on a very warm evening.
This is a delightful little beer, and a fine example of how fruit beers should be done.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.