1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Bah Humbug - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Bah HumbugBah Humbug

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

291 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.61%

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 12-18-2003)
View: Beers (40) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 220 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper-ruby colour with a moderate tan coloured head that leaves minor lacing and settles as a thin collar.

The aroma is malt forward with a syrupy caramel tone, a peppery spiciness, a slightly sour ripened fruit tone, a touch of pine needles and a hint of cinnamon.

The taste has a caramel malt body with a crisp and spicy bite of cinnamon. A bitter, chocolatey taste is balanced by a sweet dark fruit taste that reminds me of plum. The finish is dry and mildly bitter.

The ale has a medium body with a low carbonation level. A strong biscuit or bread quality weighs down the tongue and the aftertaste has a syrupy fruit quality.

Not a lot of actual warming given its rather mild ABV and I find it a bit too syrupy overall; however it's a nice, crisp-tasting and fruity ale that has just the right amount of spice.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 22:37:43 | More by bryehn
Photo of Zonthark

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours out a ruby red kind of colour, very little head, good lacing. Tastes pretty good lots of hop presence, verry bitter, you can taste the cinnamon they talk about but I didnt really get the dried fruit too much, but after I had some bread I got a nice cherry taste. The body is a bit too dry for my liking. All in all a very nice beer.

There are alot better beers out there, even out of the same brewery. On the other hand it is a very enjoyable drink, Im finished it now and I wish I had another.

I would definatley buy this beer again, the cinnamon flavour stays in your mouth, it looks good, love the bottle, even though its considered a winter warmer I find it refreshing and could drink this all year round.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 04:05:27 | More by Zonthark
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottler from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before August 14, 2012.

Pours an almost opaque burgundy, with a finger or two cap of cream coloured head. Bubbly retention, and similar, denser lacing. Nose is faint, some caramel malts, a bit of butter, shades of darker fruits and darker breads. Taste follows, some lightly buttered dark breads, some mild spicing - maybe some cinnamon. Some brown sugar and vanilla notes, but some bitterness in there as well. Dry finish. Medium body, soft carbonation that is suited to this beer. Relatively drinkable, but fairly uninteresting throughout. Certainly a step up from the Samuel Smith Winter Welcome I had earlier, but I'm still gonna stick with St. Peter's Winter Ale as my choice Winter Warmer from over the pond.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 21:52:21 | More by liamt07
Photo of Kartoffeln

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear but dark coppery amber with a dense, creamy, light tan head, average in size but with excellent retention. Slowly dissipates to a frothy cap and leaves spotty lacing.

S: Bursting with toffee malts with a faint tang - slightly sour, slightly musty, both in a very good way; probably the rye malt listed on the bottle. Loads of fresh dark fruits, candied fruits, and hint of zesty orange. Brown spices, particularly cinnamon and coriander, round out the nose. Rather like a Christmas pudding altogether, but I wish the nose was more robust.

T: Rather raw, bold toffee and perhaps some brown or even chocolate malts; the tang from the nose is present but fainter. Brown spices come in partway through the sip, only cinnamon really standing out, along with butterscotch note. Very faint leafy hops in the finish, maybe Goldings - all taste and no bitterness. Ethanol comes through in the finish as it warms.

M: Medium-bodied with light, smooth carbonation and slight chewiness. The finish is actually pretty clean, the understated hops doing quite a bit to balance the flavour profile. Drinks heartily as a winter warmer should.

D: A very solid winter warmer that satisfies, but lacks complexity. Still a good sipper for these cold nights in and an excellent low-spice segue from plain ales to the more aggressively spiced winter warmers.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 22:31:10 | More by Kartoffeln
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear dark copper/red colour with a an average size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, strawberries, caramel, cherries, cinnamon, raisins

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with caramel and some cinnamon quite a bit of fruit taste going on. Seems like Strawberries, cherries and some raisins. It ends with a fruity and spicy aftertaste.

Overall - One of the better holiday themed beers I've tried so far. The taste was very pleasant and not cloying in any ways. I'll grab a few more bottles of this and probably look for it again during future holiday seasons.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 18:33:13 | More by spinrsx
Photo of AEK

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin pint pot

A. Deep copper with a soft White foamy head.

S. Chocolatey, dried cherries and roasted malt.

T. Cinnamon, chocolate, raisins and a hint of clove.

M. Medium bodied.

D. A delicious dark mid winter ale to sip during the short winter days and/or long winter evenings.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 15:41:33 | More by AEK
Photo of DoubleJ


3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank this with dinner tonight. Listed at 6% ABV, on to the beer:

This beer is muddy orange in color with red amber hues. The 500 ml bottle pours nicely into my Guinness pint glass, leaving a a head two-finger's thick on top. The head eventually drops to a lace, then towards the bottom nothing but a few whispers of lace sticking to the glass. It's all butterscotch and soft yeast in the nose, which all by itself is nice, but a kick of sovent alcohol takes the enjoyment down a little. The same applies to the taste; butterscoth and nutty flavors run around, but the alcohol isn't shy of showing itself. Tasted blind, I would have guessed more along the lines of an ESB than a winter warmer. All said, solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 06:16:16 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Flightoficarus


3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First time giving an English-style winter warmer a shot!

A - Pours a deep, murky chestnut brown, with minimal head and lacing. Some visible yeast in suspension. Looks kind of like an old ale in a way.

S - Smell is of strong honey, some cinnamon and molasses, and cherry.

T - Taste is of sweet, cherry and honey flavors, with a hint of molasses and mild spices. Just enough hops for balance, but this is a malty offering, no doubt.

M - Mouthfeel is of a medium-bodied beer, with minimal carbonation, and very smooth overall.

D - This is one I could do just fine with one or two of, but I wouldn't session it.

Overall - A good, but not outstanding winter beer. Those looking for the coffee bitterness/mild hop kick found in American Winter Warmers (which I do like) will not find it here. Still worth a shot for fans of the style though.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 05:55:37 | More by Flightoficarus
Photo of StephenRich

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every year as falls starts to roll around one of the things I look forward to the most is the seasonal Christmas Beer Release at the LCBO. This release typically brings to Ontario 10 to 20 exciting beers mostly of exceptional character and rich flavors. It is winter by then after all, and the season calls for warm, rich, spicy and contemplative beers. Among this release is always the Wychwood Ba Humbug Christmas Cheer Ale. It is branded almost identical to the Wychwood Hobgoblin, which is available year round, as over the years has become to taste oddly similar.

The Wychwood Brewery is buried behind the main streets of the brewing town Witney, in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, UK. The brewery has been in operation since 1841, however it was not until 1988 when they first began to produce their flagship beer The Hobgoblin, and it wasn't until 1996 when they finally started to bottle it! Regardless, we do still, and have for several years been treated to the Ba Humbug every Christmas. The Ba Humbug is available in a 500ml dark bottle at 5% abv. I do remember older versions being 5.5 and 6%, so I am not sure why Wychwood has decided to tone down this spice beer. This bottle was from the 2009 early Christmas release, so is now about six months old. Every year I am impressed with this beer, so I had bought several bottles, some to drink, and some to age.

It pours with life and energy swelling the glass with a golden bronze beer; ambers, browns, orange and mahogany shining through it. The head was somewhat sturdy, medium tan, about a half inch high with very small fine bubbles. The nose, which is always something I have purely enjoyed about this beer, is ripe with fruits and caramel up front teasing a cinnamon spice which I know lies behind. Its balanced with banana, pumpkin flesh, bread and biscuits in its heart, showing light apples, nutmeg, sweet alcohol and yeast in behind. It does smell like it has built a touch of strength while ageing in my cellar, so I was excited to see what it now brings to my palate.

I did let the beer warm up slightly before enjoying it, probably to around 6 degrees Celsius (42F) so that I would be able to absorb the spices that I expected this beer to produce. It is very creamy and quenching on the palate showing mild carbonation and a full, very wet mouthfeel. Initially warm biscuit, toffee, light malts and pear flow across my tongue, and slowly invite apples, honey, nutmeg and bread along with. Ripe banana and pumpkin slide in the sides with cinnamon and caramel hinting more at sweet malts and warm alcohol. There is still more fruit here too, almost fruit cake like with plums and apricots.

There is a light hop fading in the back which is very soft and distinctly British and also very refreshing. It definitely helps bring all of the flavors together. Overall its all very mellow, none of these flavors are jumping out at me, they are all simply flowing happily along just enjoying the ride. I do remember previous versions of greater strength showing me more spice, more ripe fruits and a bigger more full body. This 2009 is still very nice, and almost every novice beer drinker I offer it to agrees that it is perfect in many ways.

It is the richness though that I seek from this sort of beer, so while I did enjoy what I drank, I was hoping for that big red firetruck for Christmas, not the socks and underwear which were probably more practical.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 01:27:53 | More by StephenRich
Photo of drpimento


3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eh, not bad. This is a brown bottle that's been sitting out for a couple, three years. Poured with a nice, fine, creamy head that slowly settles down. Color is a cloudy brown with garnet highlights. Aroma is malt, caramel, toffee, maybe a bit of wet cardboard. Flavor's like aroma. Not overly sweet. No cinammon in nose, but perhaps a smidgen in the finish. Body is good and so is carbonation. Alcohol in the finish too. Drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 03:43:43 | More by drpimento
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part two of the winter warmers roundup, another offering from England courtesy of Wychwood.

A Hazy polish bronze brew fills the pint glass. Billowing forth from the torrent a clotted cream coloured head, thick and foamy, rushes to the brim of the glass. Despite mild carbonation there is good retention and traces of lace through the drink.

Fresh cut pumpkin and cinnamon are first in the nose. Honey coated fruit cake and spiced rum evoke the yuletide spirit in decadence and booziness. Scents of hulled sunflower seeds perfume alongside the pumpkin adding their subtleties. Orange zest and floral hop aromas effervesce smoothing out the robust aromas with their delicate bouquet.

Mirroring the initial aromas pumpkin pie with cinnamon cookie crumb crust are the first perceptible tastes. Candied ginger dusted with light brown sugar contributes to the spicy side of things backed by hints of nutmeg. A fruity note of dried apricot tantalizes the tongue precedent to a light, balanced hopping.
Light in body and surprisingly water, with only a suggestion of viscosity, it proves refreshing but leaves something to be desired substance wise.

Overall it's a good beer, a little one sided on the cinnamon front and too light bodied for my liking though.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 18:57:20 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of EskimoDave

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle filled my glass with a pale copper, which in turn filled my nose with cinnamon, dry fruits, butterscotch, and caramel. The taste is very similar. Hints of cinnamon, dry fruits, creamy butterscotch (diactyl? whatever, it works) caramel, and vanilla. Bah Humbug has an even finish, smooth, good presence in the mouth. Only downside for me is a touch too much CO2.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 19:03:19 | More by EskimoDave
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 25 oz bottle into glass mug

A - Poured a hazy, cloudy orange amber with lively carbonation and a generous white foamy head. Lacing clung to the glass a bit.

S - Malts dominate the odor

T - Not bad at all. The taste follows the nose with caramel and toffee in the mix.

M - Lively carbonation is nice in my mouth. Finishes nicely. Touch bitter wit

D - Very drinkable brew. A step or two up from the macros and a nice winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 00:40:45 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This appears at the LCBO most Christmases but this is my first time trying it. Pours light brown with some autumnal red, topaz as it settled in the glass. Half finger tan head left a half-glass wispy thin cloud on top, no lace or ring, almost featureless. Under a light, there are a few strands of slow moving intermittent bubbles and regeneration not too bad.

Smells lightly spiced, cinammon, English toffee, sweet aromas up front. Taste of caramel is most pronounced, some sweet dark fruit, low-medium bitterness and malty finish. Chewy mouthfeel, hints of Christmas cake, rather on the smooth side for a beer named after Scrooge. Overall, not bad at all and a suitable Christmas beer regardless of what calendar you follow.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 01:19:41 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had out of a 25 ounce bottle. This is a beautiful beer. Brown, basically opaque. It has a ton of sediment that it's practically gelatinous. It has a strong alcohol, malt scent. And like the scent, it's very malty, very alcoholly. Almost Port-wine-ish. It has kind of a brownie taste. Not that spicy for a Christmas ale, but flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 21:44:09 | More by Amalak
Photo of MAB

Alberta (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bah, indeed!
Nice color, not much aroma.
Tasted a bit watery, with a hint of cinnamon. Reasonably bitter but kind of sour, at the same time.
Definitely improved as it warmed up, but not to the point where it became good enough/ interesting enough to ever bother with it again.
Nice label, though.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 17:55:24 | More by MAB
Photo of DesMoinesMike


3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bah Humbug isn't just the name of this brew, it's what I think of it's review.

It's a cloudy dark brown that produces head that dissipates quickly. It's aroma is rather lack-luster. Some simple malts and a touch of sugar. When I taste it I just get this feeling of generic brown ale, it's got some weight and body but nothing distinctive. It finishes good but it just wasn't worth the Wychwood price.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 02:58:47 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last day of xmas vacation? Bah Humbug!

Pours a dark, hazy reddish copper color with maybe a finger of off-white head. Head quickly evaporates until only a thin film is left. Minor lacing left on the glass.

Scent is very much of a sweet malt. I am thinking of things like brown sugar and molasses.

Taste has a creamy texture to it. Starts out with some sweetness, though not as much as expected. Some banana like flavors in there as well, and maybe a hint of cinnamon. The brown sugar sweetness lingers for a bit.

Doesn't really feel like a winter warmer though. Very light, with the ABV just below the average for the style. The banana flavoring actually reminds me of a hefeweizen, but with additional sweetness.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good beer and I enjoyed it, just not what I have come to expect from a winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 00:20:05 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazed copper topped by a finger and half of beige head. Mediocre head retention and spotty lace. Big brown sugar aroma with notes of cinnamon and nuts. Tastes of toffee, dried fruit, cinnamon, and nuts. Slightly sweet and reminiscent of fruitcake. Mild, earthy, floral bitterness in the finish. Light-bodied with low carbonation, feels thin. It has a nice flavour to it, but could use a little more heft.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 19:49:52 | More by mintjellie
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half-litre bottle - only 5% ABV in the version sold in Alberta - does that disqualify it from the Winter Warmer style categorization?

Nice label - the Dickensian yuletide imagery is pretty spot-on.

This beer pours an attractive medium amber hue, with two fingers of creamy, puffy off-white head, which leaves some thin webbed lace in its slowly-receding wake. It smells of biscuit and caramel malt, and a very mild cinnamon/cloves spicing. The taste is nutty caramel malt, some earthy dried fruit, and again, very, very subtle Christmas spices, cinnamon, mostly. The carbonation is nice and soft, the body medium weight and smooth, and it finishes with some more light maltiness, clean as a whistle.

While a nicely balanced, and enjoyable English ale, that's all there seems to be to it, the promise of the packaging gone up in the fireplace's smoke, metaphorically singing poor ol' St. Nick's sexy backside. Something with this outward attitude needs to show it on the inside as well, otherwise it's more of a "Meh, Humbug!" for this dreamer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 07:02:06 | More by biboergosum
Photo of eat

Quebec (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark copper with a good covering of off-white head, dissipating to a ring around the glass. Traces of lacing. Decent looking beer in spite of the somewhat silly label. My parents bought this for me for Christmas because I'm an atheist. Very clever. I've got a dark brown bottle, not clear like in the picture.

Wheat, banana, spices, yeast, sweet malt. Smells like a good hefeweize but a bit darker. Vanilla and cotton candy as it warms. This smells pretty nice actually.

Banana bread, mild spices, some cooked vegetable. The label says cinnamon but I can't really pick it out specifically. It's not bad but a little weird. It tastes like it's trying to be three different beers at once.

Nice feel: creamy medium body with a moderate carbonation.

This is drinkable but not one I'll be buying again. It's labeled as a Christmas ale but the taste is too all over the place. Also, for a Christmas ale I'd prefer something a little stronger. There is no warming with this one at 5%.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 00:05:25 | More by eat
Photo of zeff80


3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a slightly hazy, copper color with a small, thin white head of bubbly foam. It left a little lace.

S - It smelled grassy and earthy. There was a subtle caramel aroma, too.

T - It tasted like an English Ale, not so much like a Winter Warmer. Grassy and caramel malty.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth finish. A light bodied ale.

D - This is an easy drinking ale that is not particularly special.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 03:25:08 | More by zeff80
Photo of NightINgale

Russian Federation

3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a tulip pint glass...

A - Slightly cloudy reddish brown body, with a nice beige head. Some moce lacing, and a pretty decent head retention.

S - Very malty, with caramel and toffee notes and a fair amount of cinnamon. A little floral.

T - Moderately sweet, with some nice pronounced toffee notes, some hints of cherry and plum, and some cinnamon in the finish. Some breadiness lingers in the after-taste.

M - Light-to-medium body to it. Quite smooth, with some crisp carbonation. Not enough warming sensation for a winter warmer, but still pretty good.

D - Considering the version I'm trying is only 5%, the drinkability is quite high on this one. The cinnamon might get a bit boring after a few bottles, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 02:39:29 | More by NightINgale
Photo of EsoxLucius

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For some reason, our variant of the beer sold here in Canada is only 5.0% and comes in a dark, near black bottle.

A: love it, reminds me of Christmas. looks like a dirty red brown. head is light tan, lacing is great throughout the drink.

S: the low, it doesn't have a strong odor for me, or perhaps the -41*C windchill tapped my senses for tonight. i definately smell spice with some flowery tones.

T: i like the way it tastes, the spice comes through along with a pleasant toffee / malts with nice hop and fruit detection as well.

M: decent, feels like a real drink for an enjoyable day.

D: also, i'm glad its seasonal because it makes it more enjoyable.

worth a go, definately try it!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 04:58:17 | More by EsoxLucius
Photo of morimech


3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a opaque caramel color with a large tan head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Nothing wrong with the look of this winter warmer. I was surprised by the amount of hops in the aroma and flavor. The wonderful English hops give a floral and herbal aroma complimented by the malt that smells like caramel. Nice hop and malt flavor. The hops gives some herbal and earthy notes, the malt, toffee. Bitterness is low to moderate. The body is where this beer is let down. Surprised by how thin and watery it was. Although it might aid drinkability it does not feel substantial enough for a hearty winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 23:26:52 | More by morimech
Bah Humbug from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.