Black Wych - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Black WychBlack Wych

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90 Reviews
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 150
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 6
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: the42ndtourist on 10-09-2002

Brewed primarily for export.
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Reviews: 90 | Hads: 150
Photo of Andrewharemza
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle. Dark brown, almost black with a thin tan head. Sweetish aroma with chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Taste is similar with a little liquorice. Not bad. (165 characters)

Photo of HurrahBeer
2.89/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pour - Very dark with a sizable head and a great deal of carbonation.
Smell - Bit of a dark roast, toffee aroma.
Taste - An earthy finish, a bit on the watery side. Roasted malts present, as is a slight bitterness.
Feel - Not much left to be desired. Not much really lingers on the tongue. (291 characters)

Photo of henkmudi
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Almost black with mild red highlights, big redish creamy head with solid retention. Coffee and roasted malt, sweet taste , medium carbonation, bitter honey and sweet cherry. Watery light body with low to medium carbonation. Chocolate and licorice, favorite winter porter. Very good overall. (290 characters)

Photo of mick303
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

A bottle from the lcbo, good lacing and a pleasant roasty spicy aroma, a bit vegetal. Taste is smooth, with a gentle bitterness with a really nice English hop profile, long drying finish. Pleasant drinkability, good balanced porter. (232 characters)

Photo of -steve-
4/5  rDev +9%

This one pours as a very attractive beer. Plenty of brown foam with satisfying light roast malts flavours. Feels great swirling around the mouth. Beautiful Wychwood additional. Will look for this one again. (206 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle served cool into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $3.50 CDN.

Appearance - opaque impressive black coloured beer. Topped by a finger of tan foam, which leaves a nice ring of lacing as it recedes, albeit slowly.

Smell - caramel, toffee, some orchard fruits maybe pears and plums with a hint of currants. Nose isn't huge but is inviting. A weird metallic smell kinda gets in the way of an otherwise very good aroma.

Taste - yummy and mysterious, some toffee, black licroice with orchard fruits again being pears and plums. Caramel at first then bitterness kicks in from licroice and something hard to put my finger on.

Mouthfeel - smooth and silky, well carbonated but subtle and leaves an oily feel in the mouth. Medium finish.

Overall - a pretty damn good stout, with great feel and certainly a mysterious quality as advertised. It's a bit of a strange brew with black licorice, orchard fruits and a toffee base somehow mixed together but yet worthy. This is one of the best I've had from Wychwood. (1,021 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before July 20 2015. The label describes this one as a porter rather than a stout, but as far as I'm concerned those are pretty much the same thing to begin with. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep, brownish-black cola colour with some crimson highlights; topped with just under an inch of dense, creamy beige head. It dissipates, slowly but surely, over the next handful of minutes, resulting in a modest collar and a full swath of lace sweeping around the glass. The aroma is decidedly sweet and malty, with toffee, toasted nuts, raisins and roasted barley being the most prominent of its contributors. There is also a slight hint of baker's chocolate and licorice.

After a few sniffs, I was getting a little worried that this one would be too sweet - but the first sip puts that fear to rest. Roasted malts, caramel and dark roast coffee are the first descriptors that come to mind, with another hint of baker's chocolate, equally subtle as it was in the aroma. It finishes earthy and leafy, with an almost acrid burnt/roasty coffee bean bitterness lingering into the aftertaste before fading quickly. Rather dry. On the light side of medium-bodied, with restrained carbonation that gives this one a silky, luxurious mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 3.75, a B+. Wychwood's Black Wych is a proper English-style dark ale - a bold malt bill that takes centre stage, but is kept in check by a combination of roasted notes and the leafy English hop bitterness. Combine that with an enjoyable mouthfeel and relatively low abv, and you've got the recipe for one highly serviceable session porter. This is not an especially remarkable beer, but I have no major objections and it's definitely one of the better products I've tried from this brewery over the years. (1,798 characters)

Photo of Jigglenaut
4/5  rDev +9%

Purchased two bottles from an LCBO in Canada.

Pour: Poured with a sizable light tan head
Look: Jet black with hints of ruby when looked at through a strong light
Smell: Subtle smell, hints of coffee, dried fruits and malt.
Taste: dark and malty with hints of coffee and a very vague taste that reminds me of blue cheese. nice savory finish that hangs on the tongue for a long time.

Overall a great beer from an outstanding brewery, definitely worth a try at least once. Fantastic color is enough to make it notable. (519 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%

Bottle labeled as "A Dark Mysterious Spellbinding Porter" (exp. 31 May 15).

Pours a tan, one-finger head with moderate retention; leaves considerable lacing. Body is nearly black with garnet highlights. Aroma is largely comprised of caramel, butterscotch; some raisin and dark chocolate also present. Roasted malt flavor takes center stage; additional flavors include overripe fruit, earthy hops, alcohol, minimal sweetness. Body is medium-light with a dry texture and lightly metallic finish; soft carbonation provides a small bite.

Current bottle and official website describe this one as a (robust?) porter. Not bad, though the roasty, nearly acrid quality dominates without much else to round out the flavor. (717 characters)

Photo of basica
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a black color with a slight reddish-brown hue into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass yielding a two-finger thick pretty, foamy tan head with fairly good retention lacing the glass as it gradually settles to a thin layer of foam (4.5)

S - The nose is primarily roasted malts and some earthiness; surprisingly light hints of funk amidst the earthy notes (3.5)

T - Roasted malts hit head on along with a mild amount of malt sweetness whilst light coffee flavors and some nuttiness show up in the middle; finish is toasty, slightly lactic and mildly bitter (4)

M - Between light to medium bodied thickness (though leaning more towards medium) with moderate carbonation and a creamy smooth texture going down quickly and easily; would have easily moved up a notch if the body is thicker (4)

D - Very easy drinking and very sessionable to my surprise. Flavors were not bad, not fantastic though together with the mouthfeel, lends it pretty good drinkability (4.5)

The best by date on this bottle is August 2009, one and a half years ago but seems like it held up well besides a slight earthy funk on the nose. The key characteristics of this stout that attracted me are the pleasantly concocted roasted malt flavors along with the light lactic notes as well as the creamy smooth texture. Not bad, not great but definitely refreshing and sessionable. (1,357 characters)

Photo of DoktorZee
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a larger size bottle into the official Hobgoblin glass. The label listed the brewing date as April 30, 2010 - as noted here it's retired, and on the Wychwood website it no longer appears, but they do seem to be selling it right now (just picked it up).

A - Deep black with the ability to reflect light! Big tan colored head on the pour, with moderate lacing as the head slowly disappears (never quite gone).

N - A little more elusive nose than I would have expected - a bit of caramel and malt, with perhaps a hint of burnt toast.

T - Surprisingly light considering its apparent density. It's got a bit of toasted malt/smokey flavor with a moderate bitterness that doesn't endure all that long.

M - Very nice mouthfeel with slight carbonation, not overly thick.

D - Also highly drinkable - goes down surprisingly easily. One of the more impressive elements of this stout.

Overall this is a solid stout, but not exactly a memorable one - it's well made, but doesn't really stand out in any dimension unfortunately. (1,031 characters)

Photo of lamergod
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got the last batch of beers for this beer at my new beer store.
Best before Oct 10 so it isn't what you call fresh

Poured into a Wychwood Hobgoblin pint glass with a hedeous looking thing in-front.

Appearance. Beautiful pour of a dark tanned, toffee colour head of 4.5 fingers Coupled with a full opaque black body

Smell: Maybe it's due to it's freshness, there was some cardboard smell when I opened the cap. Due to the head being so thick, not much smell can come through, but as it became warmer, the smell started to appear. So here is what I recorded. There was an explosion of Roasted malts and espresso smell coming out. I mean real dark espresso. Then, as the drink got warmer, there was a hint of dark chocolate smell, some roasted malts, hops, alcohal and a slight hint of caramel

Taste: The taste was pretty awesome. Lots of complexity to the beer. Just like the smell, roasted malts, espresso, hops and chocolate is present. The drink was really dry. There was a sensational bitter aftertaste to it. The only beer I've tried with a bitter aftertaste was the SA Boston Lager and this was heaps stronger than the SA.

Mouthfeel: Pretty balanced, there was a bit of carbonation going on. The drink was pretty sour, not sure why, it stays around the mouth a little before going down.

Drinkability: Just like any other stout, pretty heavy. But this is less heavy than Guiness or Murphys and I was on a pretty full stomach. I would rate it medium body

All in all, a very nice stout. Nice complexity (1,511 characters)

Photo of ChrisCage
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm wondering if this beer is no longer being brewed as it isn't listed on the Wychwood site any more...hmmm

A- I poured this into my official Hobgoblin pint glass and get a 5 inch thick tan colored head, which retains perfectly, taking several minutes to finally settle to a thick puffy film over the beer. The color of the brew is black with just a slight brownish hue when up against anything white. Lacing is awesome as there is thick puffs of foam that cling to my glass. It looks like how a stout should and with the always cool artistry on the bottle depicting folklore, this area is perfect IMO.

S- This stout has a more mild aroma than others that I've sampled, but it isn't void of smells. I detect the expected roasted malts that have hints of unsweetened cocoa and a slight burnt toast smell followed by a bit of an alcohol aroma. This stout also has a more herbal/earthy aroma that I haven't really smelt before....slight licorice, as another reviewer noted is detectable. There isn't a big hop presence in the aroma. Different but good.

T- This beer has a dominant chocolate malt flavor and is quite distinguishable from the sweetness of said malt. It's slightly nutty. The bitter cocoa flavor is there as well. Along with the hops used and the burnt toast aspect, the finish lingers with an earthy/herbal bitterness that is actually quite good.

M- Not as thick as other stouts, but a solid medium body defines this beer. It is creamy smooth, with carbonation being very mild. Reminds me somewhat of what a strong coffee would taste like.

D- This is an easy stout to drink. Of course this would be great with a beef stew or bbq'd steak with a rich sauce. I like this beer and think it's a great session beer for the pub with friends. This stout is different from the norm somewhat and I recommend for those who want something unique in this style. (1,867 characters)

Photo of rvdoorn
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Look: black, almost no head and messy lacing

Smell: not too strong, some sharp coffee

Taste: Coffee and some caramel. Aftertaste is very bitter coffee and incredibly dry

Mouthfeel: thin and watery, no body at all

Overall: Well, nice to try once, not my favorite beer of this style at all (291 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this in my fridge for a while, I've been meaning to try it given how much I liked Wychwood's Hobgoblin and Fiddler's Elbow.

Appearance: As black as night, with touches of brown when put to the light. Thankfully, not the blue/green that the witch on the bottle might fool your eyes into thinking. Two solid fingers of head that left nearly a wall of lace on one end of the glass and stayed around a good long time.

Smell: Roasted walnuts seem to be the dominant, with thickly roasted malts and a touch of earthy hops in the background. Really, nothing special here as it makes an all around average appearance.

Taste: Starts with well roasted malt, that just stops short of being burnt in a good way, then touch of coffee with is devoured by a kick of earthy hops with a floral accent. Solid, but I wouldn't call it spellbinding.

Mouthfeel: Decent transitioning with a almost burnt malt and hop aftertaste, which just barely avoids overstaying it's welcome. Transitions well, but a bit on the simple side, and not quite as creamy as I'd expect a stout to be.

Drinkability: No issues getting it down, and it is medium bodied which is a plus, given it is a stout. Refreshing enough, but it just seems a bit too mild for a stout which leaves me a bit disappointed. Not quite what I was expecting, that is for sure.

Final Thoughts: I dunno, I think the marketing might have swayed my review a bit, but I was expecting a bit more diversity, maybe some sweetness or odd hopping or welcome bizarreness. What I found was a mild stout, which certainly beat the curve but I wouldn't call remarkable. I think Nitro would have really helped this out out. (1,656 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The woman on the label, presumably the 'Black Wych', is actually green; the beer itself, fortunately, is black... more or less. Its body is devotedly opaque, even when held straight against the light, but flashy auburn highlights do prevail, albeit only along the bottom and only when titled at odd angles. There's nothing better suited to a beer with this appearance than a creamy, mocha coloured head - unfortunately, this doesn't have it.

The aroma, although not teeming with character, offers at least a snippet of a considerable number of scents, none of which are uncustomary (but all of which are highly appreciated) for the style. Included is a pleasantly smokey chocolate, the faint whiff of a particularly roasty coffee, dark fruits, burning wood, and a good deal of black licorice.

The flavour makes its offerings in a similarly thorough yet painfully temperate fashion. A sweet, toffee-laced, nougaty maltiness is coerced by a smokey, heavily roasted element. Hints of dark berries, black licorice and milky chocolate gently seem onto the palate. The taste might more readily be likened to smoked meats than it would a decadent dessert.

But both of those comparisons would be a great stretch given the tame and tepid makeup of the beer. My personal plea would have been for a little more malt - not so much for the flavour's sake as for the mouthfeel's. This biscuity, buttermilk texture could use a nice drizzle of caramel syrup if it is be considered anything more than simply quaffable.

I wouldn't consider the beer to be spell binding (bear in mind that this style of stout rarely is). Those stout lovers with insatiable appetites and the indulgent sweet-tooth might find themselves left with much to be desired, but this should be a well considered option for those who enjoy a mild mannered, easily quaffed pint of stout. It didn't put any spells on me, but I'd still say it's worth a look if you're one to dabble in the black arts. (1,957 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a good thing it's Wychwood, because I'd feel bad otherwise, but I totally bought this one because of the bottle design!

Poured into a nonic glass. Left about a centimetre of dark tan head, which receded into a thin ring around the glass. A bit of lacing.

The smell is quite sharp, but not very complex. Roasted malt, toffee and chocolate.

Actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. The taste started off with a roasted nutty flavour, perhaps a bit of caramel, but then completely turned into a dry, bitter, coffee finish. Incredibly dry actually.

Mouthfeel is thin carbonation, not very creamy. I did a lot of puckering here.

A solid stout, one I'll certainly pick up again. Go for this one if you like your stouts dryyyy.... (735 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass nov14 2009

A black with half a glass of mocha head with decent retention and lots of lace.

S I don't get too much of anything just some dark malt and mild coffee

T again not a whole lot going on but more then the smell by having a little chocolate added to the coffee, still not that strong

M a little bitter with a silky feel pretty good in this department

D better then average but not by much

I had to try this one for the label alone, looked much better then it was, oh well still worth trying (542 characters)

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked a few of these up when I saw them at an the queens quay LCBO as they aren't too common. Glad to see it back on the shelves for Halloween. I've always enjoyed Wychwood's packaging and this bottle is one of my favourits with the gothic blue I mean black Wych on the label. Anyways on to the beer.

It pours a black as night with a magnificent thick, light brown head which settles down after a good while to the appearance of an ice cream float.

A very fine nose coffee notes right up front as well as burnt sugar, and toffee, good roast malt presence here. In the background are hits of raisins and other dry fruit along with nutmeg.

This is one fine tasty English stout sweat yet puckering roast malts all over the place. These bring forth the wonderful tastes of coffee, burnt toast, toffee, and toasted nuts. The astringent hop pleasance provides a fine balance to the robust malt characters and along with the alcohol imparts a clean dry finish. This is very smooth and drinkable, having faintly vicious milk feeling in the mouth, which is very pleasing.

I'm a stout fan and this one did not disappoint. I stocked up on these while there here and shall be enjoying them though the colder months. An excellent session beer for sure. (1,244 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another good choice, marketing-wise, at least, for Hallowe'en festivities...

This beer pours an opaque black, with red edges in the light, and two fingers of off-white, foamy head, which leaves a ring of lace around the glass. The aroma is mild roasted malt, some coffee, and bitter chocolate. The taste is biscuity, chocolate malt, some mild coffee, and floral, earthy noble hops. The carbonation is fairly soft, the body just north of medium weight, and quite smooth, and it finishes dry, with a bit of roasted nuttiness.

A decently tasty, if not spell-binding, old-world stout. (582 characters)

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours an impenetrable black with a thick, bubbly coarse head of foam. Laces nicely.

Smells roasty with underlying notes of milk chocolate. Nothing special though.

The taste is all roast, almost acridly so. Very dry. Very burnt. A bit of black licorice. No discernable hops present. I don't love it.

The mouthfeel really lets this beer down, it's very watery and lacking carbonation.

I'd go on but in a nutshell, I'm so unexcited by this beer I just can't be bothered to write a lot about it. There are so many other stouts that are far better than this.

When it comes to beer Wychwood seem to excel at mediocrity. None of their beers that I have tried are exactly horrible, but none are particularly great. They seem to get on shelves and in fridges based on the bottles, names and artwork...not based on the beer. (820 characters)

Photo of jbonapar
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Rating this on Halloween Night 2009! In honor of the Black Wych
Appearance - Dark. Black. Dark as the light on a moonless night.

Smell - Minimal Nose. Some dark toffee and that "stouty" smell. But not distinct.

Taste - Smooth malts at first. A Bitter sweet that lingers. A long Bitter Finish. The stout comes out just at the end of the finish. Otherwise, light espresso and toffee.

Mouthfeel - A smooth stout, not heavy at all. Carbonation is a fake for my liking. Fake in the sense, not bottle conditioned and you can tell.

Drinkability - Best aspect of this beer. For a dark ale its an easy down. Given that it is not a "Bad" beer but an average tasting stout but very easy to drink, i'd recommend for the dark beer drinker who wants to have a few, particularly on a moonless summer night.

Not bad, I'll buy again for sure. But prefer something like the Propeller Porter in this class of beer. (905 characters)

Photo of CanuckRover
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An oily black with a big, bubbly, tan head. Excellent lacings to the finish.

Really not much at all on the nose. Little bit of caramel malt sweetness, but not particularly strong.

Whew, bitter, and not in a good way. A very strong taste of coffee grounds, quite astringent. There isn't even much malt sweetness to redeem it. Some english hop flavour to add to the bitterness in the finish, doesn't help.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy and helps drinkability, but really not a fan of the taste here.

EDIT: I may have spoken too soon. A bit of warmth has a major impact on this beer. Bitterness settles down quite a bit and helps the flavour come through. Points added to taste. (680 characters)

Photo of Shadman
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer that was availoable for sampling @ Medicine Hat's inagural beerfest.

Black as night which probably would please the
Black Wytch. Used diesel oil in color with a frothy off white head 2 fingers deep. Leave some decent lacing.

Decent aroma consisting of dark roast malts with a hint of coffee and floral, yet somewhat earthy hop.

Roasted malts with coffee in the front...velvet smoothness in the middle before hop bitterness dries things out.

Found it quite smooth and easy to drink. Balance was very good. Not complex, but a stright up good session stout. (572 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkish brown, which is surprisingly clear when held to light. Head is a pancake bubbled crackle of milk chocolate dust. Not much lacing unfortunately; body is thick but not insane. Not bad.

Very intense sweet toffee nose. Very sweet and quite rich, with darker notes of dried figs or raisins, but certainly nothing dark or particularly burnt, a very sweet and subdued nose for a stout.

Very mild on the palate too, but very smooth and pleasant. Initial soft powdery chocolate, moving quietly to a light roasted grainy husk character. Very nice and very subtle. Mouthfeel is undoubtedly a little thin, but it's not bad.

An extremely drinkable mild English stout, smooth and inoffensive, with just enough character to keep you interested. I do like a nice drinkable English stout, and this is a good example. (810 characters)

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Black Wych from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.