Today's seasonally themed beer from Wold Top in Yorkshire was packaged especially for this calendar as a Canadian Edition, which is awfully cool.
Shepherd's Watch pours a deep, rich reddish-brown, reminiscent of Smithwick's, or perhaps molasses without the thickness. The aroma is malty, like dark bread, but notes of coffee, chocolate and maybe coriander or anise lurk around the edges.
The first mouthful reminds just how much I love dark ales: malt-forward as you might expect, but wrapped in oatmeal nuttiness. There are traces of dark fruit and licorice-like spices around the finish, which is extremely smooth despite being a strong beer (6% abv). The kinds of beer that will probably make you regret saying, 'oh, sure, I'll have another', but you do it anyways.
Shepherd's Watch would be a be a great beer for 'sharing a bit of Christmas cheer' with a guest, maybe over a dish of mixed nuts or perhaps a charcuterie plate.