Bah Humbug! Christmas Cheer! Ale | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

374 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Bah Humbug! Christmas Cheer! AleBah Humbug! Christmas Cheer! Ale

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 374 |  Reviews: 237
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.

 421 characters

Photo of NightINgale
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 742 characters

Photo of EsoxLucius
3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

 692 characters

Photo of morimech
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 670 characters

Photo of FernMaster
2.27/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Is it appropriate to say Bah Humbug to a beer titled Bah Humbug?

I opened this beer because today was a miserably cold day and a winter warmer sounded like a good idea. A winter warmer would probably be a great thing for a day like this, however this wouldn't be the beer I'd recommend.

The pour of Bah Humbug was something bad. There was no head, which naturally leads to no lacing. The smell is perplexing, an oddity of flavors. Multiple fruits are present as is some yeast and it kind of smells like a Brown Ale to me actually. These fruit flavors, maybe grape, oranges and the yeasts, possibly some sort nut don't blend well together at all. It's like the line-up of a drive in movie theater, both of the features may be good, but the juxtaposition is non-appealing. It looks septic kind of too. A morbid, rancid caramel color. The taste is a combination of all the flavors you get on the nose and a few others that don't work as well. I don't have a cute metaphor for how this doesn't work. The problem is all the spices in the beer are conflicting for your attention with the fruit flavors and everything else in the beer. I can't decipher everything in one drink either, each gulp seems to have a different play to it and if this was a beer where the flavor was good I could enjoy that fact, but in this it's too bad. I really like Wychwood, Hobgoblin is one of my favorite beers, Bah Humbug is not. I, for a fact, will never buy this beer again.

Ignore this entire review if it was intentionally bad and naming it Bah Humbug was some sort of avant-garde humor.

Update: Drain Pour!

 1,636 characters

Photo of nighthawk
2.89/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500mL bottle (this one's a brown glass bottle), with best before date printed on back label. Poured into a snifter.

Small tawny film of head retains well, sitting atop a rust coloured body that has orange hues near the bottom, turning chocolate brown near the top of the glass. Patches of lace stick here and there

Very mild aroma with some ephemeral white grape and pear smells alongside some caramel and hints of cinnamon.

Brown sugar and caramel form the bulk of the taste here, with the same mild fruity qualities of grape, pear and apple. Cracker-like malts in the background and a bit of soft cinnamon.

Mouthfeel seems dreadfully thin, watery even. Carbonation is smooth. Slight stickiness on the finish, and sweet through and through.

It's not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, but it's pretty mediocre. Worth a try, nice and malty on a grey late autumn day, but just not quite robust enough.

 916 characters

Photo of Long813
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

G: Affligem Chalice

A: Dark copper body with thin half an inch head with pour retention. Leaves fine lacing.

S: Caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits and some toffee. I find the aroma is a little weak.

T: Toffe, raisin, figs, grapes, caramel, some hints of smooth vanilla and chocolate. I also find this weak in flavour.

M: Medium light bodied, low carbonation. Leaves a faint toffee finish with some bitterness.

D: I think this is to weak in all aspects. It's easy to drink, but I don't have any reason to buy another. Also to add, this beer states 5% and not 6% as BA says.

 580 characters

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with over one inch of bubbly head that shows no signs at the outset of dissipating. Laces well. No complaints here.

The aroma is very mild. Fruity. Vanilla and toffee. Caramel. Subtle though. I was expecting cinnamon or nutmeg and that sort of thing, but I'm not really getting any of that.

The taste is very toffee like, grape and pear like frutiiness, sweet with a mild bitterness keeping things nicely in check and a satisfying vanilla rounding things out, making the flavors play nice. Chocolate notes pop up as if out of nowhere in the aftertaste. There's just a hint of cinnamon here, maybe nutmeg, but I almost suspect I'm tasting them more because I am expecting them than because they are actually there.

Light bodied. Low carbonation. Could use some beefing up here to help the flavors register on the palate a little better.

Overall, yeah. I kind of don't mind this. It's a very English tasting Christmas beer.

 945 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought I'd kick off the holiday season with a winter warmer - this one was one of a scant few available at the LCBO.

Poured into a Wychwood ale glass. A ruby-copper colour, slightly opaque. A bit of white head that dissolved into a thin ring.

The nose is very nice, but you have to let this beer warm up a few degress to get anything. At first, it simply smells like a typical pale ale, but after a few minutes, wonderful Christmassy notes begin to creep in: cinnamon, cloves, bread and chocolate, a bit of nutmeg. Very pleasant.

The taste is about the same. Traditional pale ale at first, but the finish is a wonderful blend of chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. A bit of mint would have sealed the deal as a true Christmas brew, but I understand how risky that would be. All in all, a solid brew.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but certainly enjoyable for a session.

A good start to the Christmas beer season; can't wait to pick up more holiday brews! If you're looking for a decent Christmas ale, Bah Humbug is worth a go.

 1,023 characters

Photo of cfrancis
2.31/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Rather disappointed in this beer. Aroma is non-existent. Colour is orange amber with slightly off white head. Taste is fairly bland. Some spice and malt in the taste. With the flavours coming out mostly in the aftertaste the initial mouthfeel is non existent. Overall this beer is lackluster and I really won't revisit this next year.

 334 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Great artwork on the bottle, as with all of Wychwoods' products! I poured this into my beer mug rather than a glass, and it delivered a thick frothy head that took several minutes to dissolve into a reasonably thick layer over the beer. It has a nice dark amber color, that is slightly hazy, with a bit of a reddish hue. It looks a little like an unfiltered apple cider. Oily looking with not much lacing however.

S- The aromas are of baking spices primarily, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The sweeter malt aromas are balanced out by some hop bitterness. I can also detect some baked red apple in the background. I do smell the alcohol in this beer, so I can't give it the better marks that I want to though.

T- Very nice flavors, with the cinnamon and nutmeg, that I smelled coming through first, and I also can taste a bit of gingerbread as well and that taste gets a little stronger as the beer warms up. The sweet apple malts is also noticeable, but to a lesser degree. The finish is mild, as the hops aren't as noticeable right away, but do linger on the palate for a couple of minutes afterward.

M- It's quite light in body, but the fine carbonation makes this a smooth, creamy, easy drinking ale! I am very much reminded of pumpkin and apple pie during the holidays, along with spiced apple cider slowly brewing in the crockpot.

D- Very quaffable beer, and a perfect brew to enjoy on a cold day in front of the fireplace or just while watching a movie. It would make an excellent dessert beer as well, but I don't think I'd be able to drink several of these together. I will, however, purchase this one to enjoy on Christmas Day, and will get it again in the future!

 1,679 characters

Photo of Methodd
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a mug.
Good amount of head. Slight off white.

Appearance: Nice clean amber. Very inviting. Looks warming.

Smell: Cinnamon, alspice. Reminds me of spice cake.

Taste: Cinnamon, vanilla, alspice. The smell gives away the tatse.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Maybe not quite enough carbonation but close.

Drinkability: I want to go outside and get cold so I can come inside and drink this.

Greate beer, great taste. The lable and the name suits the brew.

 470 characters

Photo of Shadman
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can a beer be described as having a bright cinnamon brown hue...well this beer had it. Decent head and lacing.

Some sweet maltiness and a hint of the cinnomon spice that was mentioned on the back label. Certainly can find fault here.

Has a bit of bite to it initally either from the carbonation/spice or some hop. Malts are sweet, smooth, and slighty earthy. Spice stays in the back ground and provides some dry bitterness that would normally be left for the tea-like hop the brits like so much.

Found it to be a bit watery and over carbonated.

Neat idea and certainly better than the pumpkin spiced beers I have tried ( not a fan of the pumpkin pie...looks pre-digested) Worth a try and i could certainy drink more than 1

 727 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice reddish amber with a beautiful, lasting head that leaves a very nice head.

Smells sweet and malty with a slight hint of plums and pine. Christmas in September?

Tastes like sweet malts, brown sugar, spice, and yummy. The taste has held up well considering this was at least last year's brew.

Feels good in the mouth, but leave a little more sugary film than usual. Not bad, but makes me thirsty.

That said, the drinkability is quite high. If I ever found this at a bar I would definately order one or two. I'm excited for this year's batch.

 556 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a cloudy dark amber, with a 2 finger thick of white foam head that lasted about 5mins. It left a thin layer and clung very well to the sides. Aroma was slightly sweet, hints of brown sugar, oranges, and cloves. Also picked up some yeast and malts. Taste was spicy sweet, oranges, nutmeg, and cloves. Felt solid in the mouth, coated well, and nicely carbonated. A bit of kick on the toungue. A little strong to drink, definitely a sipper.

 483 characters

Photo of Offa
4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a characterful, full-bodied ale, fruity and caramelly, with a fairly full body and well-rounded character.

Deep red-brown, it has a large, dense tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves a sizeable foamy top plus some thin lacing.

The aroma is a rich, malty caramel with yeasty bread and a sweet, mild earthiness along with caramel, tangy fruitiness.

The taste is largely as above with a mild hoppy bite and a fruity finish. It's lighter than some winter warmes in body yet still pretty solid and has an engaging liveliness.

 537 characters

Photo of icemanrulz
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came across a bottle of this one this afternoon and decided it was time to give it a try. I received it as a Christmas present this past year and have to say it was one heck of a nice gift (you have to appreciate the label artwork). Not sure what exactly I was expecting from this, but was pleasantly surprised from the get go. Poured into a traditional English pint glass. Pours a smooth, sandalwood color with a nice frothy head. The nose is sweet, candy-like, a bit of licorice and honey. The first sip is pleasingly sweet, too, with the same mix of licorice and honey, almost like a Bit-o-Honey candy. The finish is soft, smooth, and warming, which you would come to expect from any good winter ale. Definitely a beer you can sit an enjoy on a cold winter day, or with any hearty dinner (stew, potroast, etc). Coincidently, this was my first experience with a Wychwood beer. After this selection, it will certainly not be my last.

 934 characters

Photo of dionisio
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't really interested in a winter warmer, but since I have it in the house and it's April 1, I figured I better drink it soon. But then I tasted it. Leave it to Wychwood to always make a good beer. I find they excel at making complex tasting beers that are perfectly balanced. This one tastes a lot like Twizzlers, but it's also bitter, and somehow there's no clashing at all. The flavor evolves in the mouth in a perfectly logical fashion.

 445 characters

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.

 1,216 characters

Photo of caddybuyer
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy opaque reddish amber with a creamy offwhite head and delicate lacing

S-Sweet, malts, spice (cinnamon, vanilla) and a waft of citrus like sourness.

T-Malts predominate here, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, balanced off by a bit of hops. A bit on the sweet side, but not much, and not cloying. The spice takes a backside, but is always there, as it should be in a Christmas beer. This is a tasty winter brew with a classic English feel, and I like it a lot.

M-Moderate carbonation, medium chewy mouthfeel, but overall good for the style.

D-Very drinkable example of a winter warmer. I will definately go back for more.


If you like Winter Warmers and you like the English style, this is one of the best combinations of the two. This is not the best warmer by any means, but there is something about it so comforting, so appealing, and so damn drinkable that I went back to my local distributor and bought out the rest they had in stock.

 968 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear ruby/medium brown color with a fine-bubbled creamy tan head. Decent retention but not much lacing.

Minerals and caramel are heavy on the nose. Definite British feel to this one already, sweet and toasty.

Taste has alot of the toasty, sweet, cola and mineral flavors that are in the nose. I dont get much of a christmas feel from this beer. Has a nice creamy mouthfeel, but the unfermentable sugars are a bit much for me. Nothing particularly excites me about the brew, I think I will say bah humbug and pass on purchasing this one next year.

 549 characters

Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brownish red, somewhat cloudy. Thin head with light lacing left on glass.

Smell: Sweet and fruity with a slight yeast/bread note.

Taste: Sweet malt, strong butterscotch, faint alcohol taste, light bitterness. Ever so light notes of spice (just a hint).

Mouthfeel: Creamy but finishes dry.

Drinkability: Very nice English ale. Happy that the ale is not over powered by spice flavors, when they're too strong they tend to ruin the beer. Definitely nice for a cold winter's night.

 493 characters

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

This beer has a dark amber color and a opaque appearance that doesn't let much light through. It has a slight scent where you can smell the spices. Likewise the taste is not all that exciting. You can definitely taste the hops first and then the spices. The beer is not carbonated that much either. Overall it is ok to drink. Though probably not one that I would seek out.

 372 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being January, I am trying to clear out a few Christmas Ales from my inventory. This one is a 500 mL bottle of Bah Humbug Christmas Ale from Wychwood. A somewhat tawny and cloudy liquid emerged from the bottle with a head that quickly reduced to a tenacious ring around the glass.

An inviting bouquet above this brew. Bready malt, caramel, rum soaked dark fruit and a little spicy hops. The beer displays a medium to full body across the palate. Sweet malt and caramel give way to a round slightly juicy center. A small dab of spiciness rounds things out at the end.

This isn't a bad brew. A fine and easy going sipper.

 622 characters

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.

 707 characters

Bah Humbug! Christmas Cheer! Ale from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.51 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.