Bah Humbug | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Bah HumbugBah Humbug

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 12-18-2003

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Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 373
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown colour with some scent of cinammon and malt. More sweet than spicey, a bit complex with nutmeg and some chocolate malts. Decent head. Spicy refreshing with drying finish. Some hops there. Medium mouthfeel.Not bad and worth having once. Appropriate carbonation. Drinkability=worth sharing.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.46/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, candied fruit, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, fruit, and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid caramel and fruit aspects all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.58/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this as a joke gift from one of my Aunts last Christmas. This one was pretty disappointing to me. I see it had pretty good reviews here but I had trouble finishing it. Seemed like it was unbalanced and was hard to even finish. The taste was very bland and paltry as well. I would not want to try this one again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's one of those obscure English brews that is chalked full of flavor, but very undescript. A deep coper color with nice retention, low carbonation, and nice lacing. Smells solidly malty, but with a light syrup / molassas malt character. Low fruityness or hopiness. Tastes, again syrup / molassas sweet, but little character afterwords. Perhaps some light spicing, but tough to tell with the sweetness. Feels less thick than the flavors and aromas would suggest. Pleasant, just sweet. Finishes sweet and bold with amber malts. The beer is a solid beer, but seems to be light with complexity or descernable character beyond dark amber malt.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
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? Oh, and nice label - the Dickensian yuletide imagery is pretty spot-on.

This beer pours an attractively clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of creamy, puffy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some thin webbed lace around the glass in its slowly-receding wake.

It smells of semi-sweet, biscuity and caramel malt, indistinct Christmas confectionery, a soft earthy nuttiness, and some very mild cinnamon/clove spicing. The taste is nutty caramel malt, some earthy dried dark fruit, and again, very, very subtle Christmas spices - cinnamon and ginger, mostly.

The carbonation is nice and soft in its lilting frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and adequately smooth, with a wee airy creaminess arising as things warm up a tad. It finishes well off-dry, with some more light maltiness, and 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 sort of outward attitude needs to show it on the inside as well, otherwise it's more of a "Meh, Humbug!" for this sugar-plum day-dreamer.

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Photo of brentk56
2.97/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany with a large bubbled ecru head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Well there is some caramel in there clearly, and butterscotch for those who like diacetyl, but the overall aroma is ruined by DMS (cooked vegetables)

Taste: The caramel flavor predominates up front, although it gets a bit dirty (if that makes sense) by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors tend to fade

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The off flavors here just make this one disappointing

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Reddish-brown with a slight haze to it. The head falls flat pretty quickly.

Smell - Nice balance of caramel malts and spicy hops. Nothing especially complex, but pleasant.

Taste & mouthfeel - Nutty and lightly roasted with a big backbone of caramel malts. Mild hop bitterness in the finish. Light bodied.

Notes - Unexceptional but solid and easy to drink.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear amber color ale with a good size foamy head with good retention and very good lacing. Aroma of caramel malt and cinnamon are very well balanced. Taste is again very well balanced between caramel malt and cinnamon with some notes of banana and cloves also discernable. Body is very creamy-like with some great carbonation and a medium full body. I thought the mix between the malt and the cinnamon was very well done in this one.

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Photo of zeff80
3.23/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Color is a light brown on the bottom of the glass and it has a really neat fade into a dark brown with a hint of dark plum. The head is thin, but leaves good lacing. There is some kind of sediment floating around in this beer.

The smell is very similar to a porter. Many sweet malty notes including carmel and honey. There is also a slight floral scent. The taste is of strong carmel honey malts with the similar side of floral hops.

Mouthfeel starts out very smooth and creamy and then becomes just a tad bitter.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer and it reminds me a lot of Sam Adams Honey Porter. It is a great beer and a must try for the winter months.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wychwood's Bah Humbug! pours a beautiful pint! It's clear, deep mahogany body reveals chestnut and orange highlights within; and its frothy tan head holds quite well and leaves remarkable lace.

The Wychwood yeast is apparent in the nose, lending it a bit of a mineral aspect along with some lightly roasted malt, notes of dark caramel, and a bit of dark fruit.

It's medium bodied and silky smooth across the palate with a fine, restrained carbonation.

The yeast appears again in the flavor, lending it a bit of iron, and perhaps some woodiness, as well as dark-skinned fruitiness (plum/prune, raisin, but there's also some apple and pear, and even some tangerine). The caramel appears darker, almost burnt, and more like hard-candy than anything soft and gooey. A soft, dull roastiness (perhaps from a bit of very highly kilned chocolate malt) acts as the mattress in this bed of flavors (the yeasty fruitiness is, of course, the colorful silk sheet on top); and beneath that is a solid base of dry bitterness. It finishes dry with a quick-passing note of darkly caramelish malt infused with a berry-like fruitiness. That immediately fades to become more like a bitter-skinned dark fruit, and then just as quick as it began only a lingering bitterness is left.

As a huge fan of English ales I found this quite remarkable. In fact, I loved it! I think I might pass out to find a pint of it, cask-conditioned, in London during the holidays.... but I digress. It should be enjoyed at or near cellar temperature, in the proper glassware (an Imperial pint), and with the right frame of mind. Beautifully done! A real gem.

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Photo of chinchill
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml brown bottle. Pours with a mostly short-lived, bubbly head. Lovely deep red-amber color.

Caramel and medium roast malts in the nose, with cinnamon and a subtle hint of coffee.

Flavor: largely follows nose, with cinnamon flavored caramel and medium roasted malts.

Feel: seems clearly too thin.

O: OK for the holidays.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange-bronze with highlights of festive cranberry and edges of ripe orange peel. The head is equal parts pale gold, pale orange and beige and gives a pretty good accounting of itself. It's bubbly, sturdy, a better than respectable lace generator, and is a fine capper to a good looking Christmas ale.

This is a Christmas ale? It sure doesn't smell like one to me. The nose is lightly caramel malty with an assertive amount of sour fruit and musky English hops. Where's the richness, the complexity, the holiday spice, anything that would make me think that this is something other than yet another Wychwood variation on the English pale ale theme? Bah...

Bah Humbug tastes like an ESB to which a more generous amount of caramel malt has been added. It's also sweet, although equally bitter, and is spicy. However, it's spicy in the generic sense, not in terms of any one particular spice or combination of spices. In addition, the beer tastes like overripe apple chunks rolled in black tea leaves

I can appreciate a firm, 'toasted bread' maltiness that is balanced by a respectable amount of hop flavor and bitterness, so it looks as if plenty of ingredients were added to the kettles. However, that 'certain something' that would excite my taste buds just isn't there. As far as being a winter warmer, I'm still not buying it.

The finish is probably the best part of the flavor arc. That's where the various flavors finally become comfortable with one another and meld into something resembling good beer. The mouthfeel is strictly medium and fits the beer's flavor and personality very well.

Bah Humbug is definitely one of Wychwood's better offerings. Jacking up the malt and hops does not a winter warmer make, but it does result in a pretty good beer from a brewery that, in my experience, struggles to brew 'pretty good' beer. I'm on the fence with this one. Since today is Christmas, I'll be generous and give it a tentative thumbs up.

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Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle is brown,,,Love the label..Poured dark copper/red with a creamy 2" off-white head. Very good lacing & okay head retention

Smell: Fruitty almost slight hefe bubblegum smell that fades as it warms?

Taste: fruitty, sweet & quinching for its abv! Some alcohol notes. Slight cinnamon notes & some fig/plum notes.

MF: Smooth/creamy, very good carbonation! Well balanced

Pretty drinkable, easily the best thing I've had from this brewery since i lived 25 miles from it! Will certainally seek this out again

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ok, so you probably saying why would someone be drinking this one in the summer. I found myself asking the same question, but when it has been sitting in the fridge for like half a year, it is time to get this one out of the way. Been long overdue to try this one and figured what the hay, and go ahead and pop it open and see whats inside right? Hoepfully it would not be too heavy in the heat of august, put we shall see..

A – Poured a deep caramel color brown, but with definite lightness to it, not nearly as opaque as I would have thought. Ample carbonation was evident streaming up from the bottom of the mug, yes I used a mug on this one. A nice, albeit short one icnh head of foamy tan lace formed on the top and quickly let itselg go to just a thin film around the outside of the glass. Lots of side glass lace on this one. Almost obscured the whole mug by the time I was finished, nice overall appearance.

S – The aroma was very much roasted, almost like a campfire I would say. Very nice roasted nut, hazelnut and wood smell to it. Lots of notes of sweetness were all over this one. Caramel and even like some kinda spiced apple fragrance came up through here. There were several spices noted, a touch of cinnaom and some nutmeg being the most pronounced. Definatly had a yule tide feel to it and almost a porter like aroma. Was shaping up rather nicely and was not coming off as being too heavy or overbearing, just kinda got me ready for fall if you know what I meaan.

T – Well this was a shocker, it was kinda light. I had thought it would be more like a porter or a winter warmer, but was rather nice and light, like a highly spiced lager of sorts. Nice roasted nuts and caramel tones came through almost immediately. It was rather sweet and nutty, like a hazelnut brown, but lighter. Some hop finish was present but not very overpowering, more of just a hint and that was about all. Some cinnamon again, and some kinda earthy twig like back, maybe it was the bittering English hops. But it was nice, definatly had the season feel going for it.

M – Very light, not a very robust or full feel to it at all. In fact I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed here to be honest. It fely kinda watered down, and a bit slick. The carbonation also seemed to fall a little flat, and it really could have used it to help build up some body to it. Maybe if it had a little more bubbles so to speak it would not have felt as watered down and light to me. But that is done now, and it needed more body to it definatly.

D – Very decent actually. As I mentioned it was very light which lended a lot to this. It went down very very easy and left almost no aftertaste. Kinda like water. So I could see in late fall really enjoying this. There is really no knock on it here because I mean you could just drink it with little to no effort really. A good sessioner and probably pretty fine on tap, though I doubt I would ever see that happen.

Overall this would have to get a decent from me. Nothing really spectacular going on here and just nothing really overwhelming me to say anything different. I really could not see myself having this during the winter season as it is just too light. Nothing that grabs you and says warm about it. It was just a spiced up brown ale for me and that was about it. I am not bashing it as it was quite tasty actually, just nothing mind blowing here. For session ale ok with a hint of something a little more..

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark amber. Moderate head, but it does leave a decent amount of lace.

Creamy aroma with a distinct yeasty touch. Strong malt presence, slight hop.

Surprisingly dry flavor given the aroma. The malt quickly gives way to a mild hop presence. Excellent (round) body and carbonation--this beer feels good.

This is an easy beer to have. It is well-balanced and without any flaws. I imagine if I were to have this in an English pub drawn from the cellar, it would be spectacular.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.46/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is somewhere between copper and amber. The creamy head is light brown and on the small side. Aroma is faint with a vague molasses-like malt smell. A sip begins with a sweet, bready malt flavor that has of touch of butteriness. So far this tastes a little bit like Fat Tire. Midway through a molasses flavor joins the mix alongside a moderate amount of alcohol. This taste carries through to the finish and is capped with a burst of dry hop flavor. Overall, the flavor is very good, but I expect something bigger and more interesting from a winter warmer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unusual bottle with witches imprinted onto the glass. Pours a nice soft dark shade of amber, clear with a tiny bubble, moderate head, and leaving better then average lacing. Minor nose of maple and malt. Smooth and malty brew, notes of light caramel, toffee, vanilla, and perhaps some light holiday type spicing. British all the way, pleasant winter sipper or would go nicely with a large winter meal. Nicely crafted and worth a try, especially for lovers of Brit style ales.

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Photo of jwc215
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with nice color and clarity. The thin head becomes a lasting patch.

Wintry spices - cinnamon, nutmeg - roasted grains with a touch of caramel. Dark fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet roasted grains, floral, fruity (apple and cherry). An underlying hop bitterness balances out the sweetness in the finish. Just a touch of warming alcohol comes through - just enough. Long, dry bittersweet finish.

It has a nice, smooth yet crisp texture. It does thin a bit to bring it to medium bodied, when it should be fuller. But, it does hold up enough to make it enjoyable.

Complex and tasty while being easy to drink for the style. It's not the heaviest or most "warming", but a great choice for a more drinkable, "sessionable" winter ale. A very good example of an English-style winter ale.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown, 500ml bottle, same cool shape as Wychwood's others with grumpy Ebeneezer S. on the label. Christmas may be gone, but the ale should taste good all the same, eh?

Muddy, deep amber hue, edging on crimson, with an adequate veil of foam, resting neatly atop. Fine lookin'.

Musty, malty aroma, sweetness and fruit, butterscotch a bit. Raspberry jam and pressed hard cider. Ginger bread cookie frappe' with a cherry on top.

Taste: good...but not special. Hoppy, rich in malt, slightly tangy, but doesn't pan out in body or finish. Dies a quick death on the palate, and is easily forgotten. Grapey/winey flavor dominates, and it's a nice change-up, but really doesn't stand out, or offer any extra rewards. Fades too fast off the tongue, plays too mellow in the mouth.

Even Scrooge couldn't get too crabby about this, though...except for the $4 price for the bottle. I even think I paid too much, now that I think about it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got two bottles of this for Xmas - kind of strange that I'm finally drinking it and it's almost April. Served in my Surly pint glass. This version says it is only 5% ABV.

A - A hard pour managed to rouse a finger of tan foam that dissipated quickly to a nice cap, but with minimal lacing. Semi-transparent brown raisin color.

S - Caramel with a hint of spice to it. There's some fruitiness - particularly purple grape and gala apple, as well as a touch of diacetyl (although I probably shouldn't have eaten microwave popcorn right before). I'm not really getting the cinnamon listed on the bottle.

T - Really mild taste - with some caramel maltiness and apple flavor to it. Again, not so much in the spice department. It's not offensive, like some spiced beers I've tried, but just not all that interesting. There's a faint aftertaste that has some bite to it.

M - Really thin, but still kind of syrupy. Not sure if that even makes sense. Low carbonation and negligible residual feel. Ho-hum.

D - 500ml was probably too much, but I didn't mind finishing it. Probably better shared with a friend at the end of a winter session.

One of the better Wychwood offerings that I've tried, although that's faint praise.

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Photo of liamt07
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before date of 14 AUG 12. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium to dark amber colour with ruby around the edges. Half a finger of bubbly cream coloured head formed and slowly receded.

S - Sweet caramel and bready malts with a touch of toffee and a hint of cinnamon in the background.

T - Caramel and bready malts with some toffee and spice. The cinnamon is not specifically evident among the other spices. A decent hop bitterness with some light floral notes. A fairly standard winter warmer.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

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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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours with a backdrop of crackling and loud sizzling. Bubbles stormed up at furious pace, assembling a mountain size capping of fluffy tan white head. The lacing has clung so tight that the thought of cleaning the glass is becoming a daunting one. A flawless clarity with shiny stained wood coloured body. The colour is simply lovely.

The spices and malt can be smelt from some distance. The spices are difficult to pick out one by one, the only one completely evident is cinnamon. A strong suggestion of ginger bread and brown sugar. Once you familiarize yourself with it, the aroma becomes almost therapeutic.

The mouthfeel is a little too drying, especially given the level of spicing. It would be nicer for a beer of this weight and character to have a little more mouth presence. There is a slight bitterness, but what I mean to say is that it doesn't seem to be hitting all parts of the palate and dries out completely before really becoming sweet, or spicy, or anything at all, really.

The flavour has obviously been crafted with balance and drinkability in mind. The English malt carries with it a sweet, honey-like taste. A little cardboard-like at times but the honey is always there if you look for it. The taste of spices is minimal but they still contribute greatly by mellowing the mineral harshness of the British water and complimenting the banana-like flavour.

Softened notes of gingerbread, cinnamon, and banana make for a darn fine winter warmer in my books. I approached this beer with a great deal of skepticism given Wychwood's inconsistencies, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'll revisit again during these holidays.

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Bah Humbug from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.51 out of 5 based on 373 ratings.
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