1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Wych - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
Black WychBlack Wych

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

97 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | 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:
Brewed primarily for export.

(Beer added by: the42ndtourist on 10-09-2002)
View: Beers (44) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's...

Poured completely black - no light gets through even when held up to light... Creamy brown head poured thick and foamy then faded to nice light layer... to dark to see any carbonation... light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Quite strong roasted chocolate maltiness, molasses / dark brown sugar notes, strong coffee, dark tart fruits (blackcurrents, prunes), peppery hop bitterness, light smokey / musty notes..

Taste – Strong roasted malts, creamy dark chocolate with some bitterness, some aniseed notes, tart fruits (blackcurrents, prunes), definite mustiness, some oat traces just come through, some light molasses sweetness, nice peppery hops, light burnt toffee notes...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... Full bodied. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent and well balanced example of a stout.... Recommended !!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2006 08:39:55 | More by mdagnew
Photo of GreenCard


3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep dark brown, opaque, creamy layer of tan foam, great head retention, lots of lace

Aroma: faintly roasty, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, molasses, band-aid phenols

Flavor: firm roasty bitterniss with a touch of acidity; balanced by a slight oaty sweetness; coffee; a peach-pit hop bitterness in the dryish finish with a tangy aftertaste of roast, green olives, and leaves

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, smooth texture, slight astringency on the teeth

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 19:20:26 | More by GreenCard
Photo of Globetrotter


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found in a Moscow grocery store, this clear bottle with wise shoulders and a nicely curved neck features an oval label with a painting of a rather sultry witch holding a frog by the leg. Ingredients include oats. Best before 2/7/07, I opened it on 6/9/06.

Pours a clear but very dark reddish brown under a one finger tan head that settles very slowly, leaving some very nice sheets of lace at first, then settling to strings. The nose has a clear floral pine scent, slightly subdued but unmistakeable. The mouth is light and very well-carbonated. Very interesting taste: it opens like an IPA, slightly sour malt followed by coniferous hoppy bitter. Only much later does a bit of roasted smokiness emerge. The hops never go away, leaving a very floral finish and aftertaste. This is a very taste brew, albeit a rather odd stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 07:52:44 | More by Globetrotter
Photo of DaveFL1976


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, hey! This isn't bad at all!
I was a bit skepticle at first, what with the clear bottle, but it poured a nice deep brown/mahogany with a decent off-white head. Smell is of roasted barley and chocolate malt. Taste is rich and smooth with a bit of a dry coffee aftertaste. Really a nice all-around stout. It doesn't knock you over the head with chocolate, coffee, smokey-roasted barley or alcohol. It's just a nice, easily drinkable stout. Grab a bottle or two!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2006 07:17:03 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of shamus

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark as night with a lovely tan head that has exceptional retention. Ruby highlights just add to its splendour. Smell is mild caramel some pleasant notes i can't identify.

What a treat. I am surprised by how smooth this is.A really attractive complexity to the flavours.Aftertaste of toasted grains. Not too sweet.

My favourite of the Wychwood beers available in these parts. I will remember this one and it goes on my list of pleasures.

The novel label threw me off for a long time. I hesitated to purchase this because I was afraid that it wasn't a serious brew. A great surprise. Now if they switch to a brown bottle, as I've heard that they are doing, it will be perfect.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 23:16:09 | More by shamus
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice and dark with lots of lacing. Smell is rich with hints of caramel and roasted malts. Tastes great, roasted malts make their way to a subtle bitterness which leaves for a slight but not overpowering aftertaste. Pretty drinkable, but pretty thick, not something you could drink a bunch of, but certainly is a nice example of an English Stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2006 05:17:34 | More by funkengruven
Photo of stoutman


4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I like stout and this is a pretty decent one. Really dark and dry. An IPA-like fresh hoparoma. Rather thin to be a stout, but it is like a dry irish stout, with hoppy afterglow. Roasted black malt and oats with a nice finish of progress hops. This is a velvety smooth stout with a full dry and biscuity flavor and a clean cut aromatic bitterness. Light flavor from coffee and/or dark chocolate. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 00:20:50 | More by stoutman
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smooth English stout, good representation of style. Lower alcohol than the US versions, understated, medium mouthfeel. Smooth easy drink. Great bottle and nice black appearance. Roasty smell. Uncomplicated taste. Not too malted, and malts a taste taken away at end of dryish finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2006 21:48:06 | More by Sammy
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark of course. The colour of coke maybe - not jet black, but a dark, dark red-brown. Good thick tan head. Lots of lacing.

S - Mostly burnt/toasted grain. A bit of a dark seaweed smell and alcohol.

T - Rich and bitter. Roasty malts and a hop kick at the end.

M - Just OK. Not as creamy or thick as some other stouts.

D - Medium. Stouts aren't something I knock back a lot of, and there's nothing special about this one that would make me want to.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2006 23:51:25 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

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

Pours a very dark brown with ruby in places. The head formed was a medium tan and thick, with fairly good retention. Smells malty with a chocolate overtone, quite nice. The taste is sort of woodsy, with a lot of coffee in the finish and some very subtle bitterness. Feels a bit thin, but still very drinkable. A solid beer in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 17:57:47 | More by Mandrake
Photo of jakester


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a gift from a friend...
I drank it in a pilsner glass.

Pours an opaque brown with light creeping through at the edges. A one finger head of tan foam forms on top, which drops to islands and a ring. There is good lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong black licorice and molasses with no real detectable hop smell. The smell increases as it warms.

Flavor is definitely licorice and black patent malt, not overly roasty. It has a sweet start, but quickly thins out and gets drier. Kind of weird. There is a slight hop bitterness, but this remains mostly malty. The aftertaste has a faint metallic twang to it, but it's not too bad.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but like I said, it thins out in mid-taste. Carbonation is fairly soft. Finish is slightly astringent.

This isn't a bad beer at all, but it is different. Not your mother's English stout. The licorice flavor is quirky, and it's weird how the mouthfeel thins out in the middle of your swig. But it is interesting, and I would drink another if I had the chance.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 03:08:00 | More by jakester
Photo of Bestuurder

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressively black in colour, with a strong aroma of malts and that good old chocolate. The name says it best, it's black. The cascading could be better, if it has that little widget of Guinness'. But other than that, the appearance was well-thought and pronounced.

The head was descent with a brownish hue, lasting about 15 mintues before lacing began.

The bottle choice was quite constructive, and appealing. It's rather rare to see a Wychwood beer in Ontario, but this one really impressed me.

Tatsewise, it was very pleasant, well balanced, and not offsetting at all. No taste of casking, probably brewed in aluminum, which as well - thank goodness - not present in the taste.

Mouthfeel was thick and enjoyable without being so thick that it had caused a syrup-type of thickness. Making it very easy to drink, but only a couple due to the weight of this stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2005 19:08:42 | More by Bestuurder
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

2.38/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Black in color with some hints of red. There’s hardly any aroma to this beer, and hardly any flavor either. There’s some suggestion of black patent and some caramel malts, but those flavors are faint at best. The body is also thin and watery. The only real stout like quality that it has is its color.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2005 19:23:57 | More by fisherman34
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note the review bottle is about a week past it's best before date.

Pours a dark root beer brown with a thin tan head that fizzed away rather quickly. The smell has a touch of skunk to it, but isn't bad. It is grassy and perhaps a bit nutty.

The taste is a dark roasted coffee type of malt with a faint hit of bitter chocolate. Again it seems to have a bit of nuttiness in the flavour. The finish is fairly dry and bitter. A bit of the skunk is also noted in the flavour, but nothing major.

Mouthfeel is just what I'd expect for the style. Some good body to it, slightly thick, with a light carbonation.

Drinkability is fair, but I was happy with the one 500mL bottle, and don't think I'd have many more in one sitting.

All in all a decent stout. One I would like to try fresh one day.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 04:30:28 | More by elricorico
Photo of bark


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is black with a tint of wine red. The head is beige and two fingers high.

The smell is soft with notes of dry, roasted malt, coffee and some vanilla.

The carbonation is creamy with small bubbles that tickled my tongue.

The taste is somewhat sweet with roasted, velvety malts. There are some fruity hops and a full-bodied taste. The long aftertaste is creamy with some delicate bitterness, coffee and toffee.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2005 21:35:30 | More by bark
Photo of Cwrw

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring from Wychwood's uniquely shaped clear bottle, the beer is opaque, thick black, though a little dark brown near the edges. The head starts large and fine, and seems to shrink very quickly, staying for most of my drink at about 1or 2 cm. Swirling the glass a little improved the creaminess of it. The foam is light brown, almost red in some spots, leaving fast moving screens of lace. A moderate appearance for a stout; nothing extraordinary. I get more brown ale aromas than stout ones, but that is certainly nothing which detracts. The aroma is slightly sweeter than some stouts, more caramel-like, with fresh bread, and a good deal of flowery hops. Creamy mocha, raisins, and mostly a typical stout aroma except the greater sweetness. The aroma is the best aspect of this beer. I get lactose up front on the tongue, good malt in the middle, and sweetish, almost sour bread on the finish. Treacle, more raisins, chocolate cherry, nuts, caramel. I enjoyed the subdued dryness of this stout on the finish; indeed, I am left more with sweet malt than any hop dryness. Mouthfeel: this beer needs much more substance in the mouth; it is far too light feeling for a stout, though it does render the brew easily drinkable. Creamy carbonation; silky, though a little watery. While this is not my favourite stout, I would buy it again: the flavour is there, it just needs to reach its potential through increased body and mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2005 09:47:51 | More by Cwrw
Photo of crookedhalo


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deepest crimson/black color with a thin, light tan head. Aromas of black patent malts, a hint of currant-like fruitiness, a hint of clover honey and a lot of earthy undertones. Tastes almost more like a fruity porter than a stout, but it is all about the flavor. The malt is the predominant taste in the beer, and it has a faint astringency throughout the beer. Slightly winey and earthy. A little thin, but definitely not lacking in flavor. Easily drinkable like many beers from the U.K.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 10:54:03 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First product from Wychwood I have seen and tasted. Clear 500 ml bottle embossed with Wychwood around bottom and broom riding witch on shoulder. Black liquid that poured to a full tan head with large bubbles, almost had a bit of cascade action happening. It has an aroma of burnt caramel and coffee, strong but not overpowering. Taste is OK, but not really what I was expecting. Very bitter and hoppy, almost harsh when you expect a smoother body. Had a lingering sourish after taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2004 03:26:51 | More by BigBry
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml clear bottle

Pours with a dark body, almost black with little light penetration, slight tan head, poor retention

Smell, aromas of smoked malts, roasted at least, hints of coffee

Taste, chocolatly, slight hint of coffee, dry and bitter

Not bad, bit bland, not particularly strong flavours

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2004 21:38:46 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Sigmund


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(500 ml bottle, bought in Denmark). Very dark reddish brown colour, moderate thick tan head. Moderate but pleasant roasted aroma, hints of tar and old woodwork. Flavour is all roasted malts, a bit thin mouthfeel compared to some other stouts, but refreshing. No masterpiece, but nice enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2004 18:29:03 | More by Sigmund
Photo of DrJay


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark with ruby highlights. Thin lace of tan head on top. Roasted barley really comes through in the aroma, along with a sweet caramel-like smell. Dark malts are prominent in the flavour, with some grainy roasted notes. The combination of malt and hop bitterness reminds me a bit of dark chocolate. Moderate sweetness provides balance for the drying effect of the roasted barley. Medium/low carbonation, medium body. Finish is slightly dry on the tongue, but with a lasting maltiness also present.

500 mL clear glass bottle, best before date on back label.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2004 00:10:41 | More by DrJay
Photo of Garin

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep black, with a nice creamy ice cream float head that sinks slowly, leaving a very clingy lace behind. It looks great. When I poured it, I got immediate sweet fruity aromas. I also found licorice and rum.

The flavour is very lightly acidic and char/roasted up front, with a slightly perfumey but dry finish. In the middle, a slight bitterness works into a toasty/grainy feel.

In the mouth, it feels smooth and easy-drinking, with a light carbonation and a richness that doesn't add weight. I really like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 04:06:32 | More by Garin
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally available in Cowtown, along with the Hobgoblin again.

I like the design of the bottle, the witch of the Wychwood logo on the neck label and cap, the embossed logo on the bottle, and mildy seductive witch on the label (according to individual tastes I suppose, although she does look strikingly similar to Helena Bonham Carter), holding up the toad ready for brewing whatever comes next.... The clear bottle is a bit of of turn-off though.

Poured from a 500 ml clear bottle, a dark coffee coloured body, with a small creamy beige head that settles to a thin cap and leaves some slight lacing. Dark mahogany highlights when held up to direct sunlight. Smells of light roasted malt, some licorice and coffee, a touch of chocolate, but all very faint and watered down. I tried a new bottle from the one I originally reviewed, and found it far more flavourful and robust than from my first sample. Starts out with dry roasted malts, and quickly picks up a chocolate sweetness in the middle, finishing with a sticky hybrid of sweet malt, chocolate and licorice. Dry espresso and almost a burnt character come out on the aftertaste, a little bit of charcoal. Creamy smooth mouthfeel with decent body, but light enough to make it enjoyably quaffable. I'm rather glad I went back and tried another one of these over a year later, I had picked up a sub-par bottle initially, and had all but written this stuff off. A decent stout, all things considered, even though I still have to get over the stigma of the clear bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 02:55:52 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of baiser


3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I gave this one a try because I enjoyed wychwood's other brews, but, this one was a bit disappointing.

Clear bottle, neat label. Poured an ink black, with a thin head which didn't last. Lots of lacing. Right away you could tell this was much thinner than what you'd expect from an UK stout. More of a dark ale than a stout.

Malty aroma, a little cocoa.

Goes down smooth, coats the tongue. Tastes of licorice, a little sour, a little...plum. Ends tasting more like chocolate. Starts malty, ends hoppy and dry.

If it were presented as an ale, would've received a few more points. Overall, disappointing as a stout, but nice to drink nonetheless. Would probably have again, just not when I'm in the mood for a nice creamy stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2004 03:54:25 | More by baiser
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was the odd man out in this tasting. I like stouts...figured this would be a traditional one as it’s from the UK...bzzzt wrong! I didn’t expect much with arty label and the trendoid embossed clear bottle but it wasn’t skunked. Poured a lucid dark brown instead of the expected dead black color of traditional stouts....this looks more like weak porter. The pour (and I hated to defile such trendy packaging actually opening it and drinking the artfully wrapped contents) was anticlimactic...what you saw in the bottle was what you got in the glass...low carbonation, weak nose..some coffee some malt...very weak. Stated watery for a stout...medium-light malt body outbalanced by hops..finish comes too fast with nothing left on the tongue to impress but a bit of astringency. This would be a passable mega porter if it had more malt character. Not bad but not good and the package is overstated for the contents.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2004 04:53:05 | More by pootz
Black Wych from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.