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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Ratings: 373 |  Reviews: 236
Photo of skullx
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

just wanna say all the wychwood beers come in really nice bottles with great artwork. i think this one is there best one yet though its nothing like all the other christmas ales ive been trying . it pours nice color good aroma . the thing that stands out on this beer is the mouthfeel it really tingles on the tongue . i know its a seasonal but i think this could be a good all year beer like i said its not really in the christmas ale category .but since i dont live in england it is rather expensive if you were to session it .

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brown 500ml bottle states the abv is 5%, is it a watered down version they sell in the UK I wonder?

After an evening of putting Christmas decorations up I needed a decent drink, would this do?

Poured into a straight sided pint glass it looked fine, a deep mahogany red/brown body with a large biege foaming head, that sadly faded to a wisper very swiftly.

The aroma was of malts, unsweetened toffee and some plum pudding spices. It reeks of winter nights in front of a coal fire.

The taste follows the aroma, this is an accomplished winter beer, a reminder of Victorian times, Dickens and Christmas past.

A little on the fizzy side, but still a well balanced beer with a good flavour retension and a body with some substance within.

As I have already indicated, a fine beer, pity the head did a runner early.

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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 ericj551
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Wychwood Bah Humbug Christmas Ale pours a clear deep red with a thin but lasting head. The aroma is rich caramel and dark fruits, very sweet with some hints of metallic hops. The flavor is nice and flavorful, but seems to be lacking something from the aroma. The dark carmel malts are there and there is a nice rounded bitterness, but the beer seems thin overall. There's some diacetyl in the background, but not too much to be unpleasant.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.37/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an inviting dark-brown / toffee color out of a tall bottle... Smell is wonderful - full of spices... cinnamon, toffee, and vanilla... Such an explosion of flavors in the aroma... high hopes for the taste, which doesn't dissapoint... Much different than some other winter warmers I've sampled... this one is easily the best one I've had so far... The cinnamon and vanilla-spice flavor is so rich - this is an awesome brew.... definitely worth the $4.00 for the 16.9 oz bottle... too bad I can't find it in a six-pack... Doesn't have that oily flavor that some other winter warmers have, which I really appreciate... Mouthfeel is great, but with such an explosion of flavors, I wouldn't want to down more than one or two of these in a single setting... Although I love the spicey- graham cracker taste... Superb beer... Definitely worth a try, and certainly recommended...

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass. BB Aug. 09

A- Clear copper/red in color with and off white head and pretty good lace.

S- Aromas of spices, cinnamon, some caramel and sweet toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit, hops are slightly noticed, vanilla, its hard to pint point everything.

T- Very sweet up front. Almost too sweet. Flavors of caramel, vanilla pudding, toffee, cinnamon obviously. There is hops noticed in a somewhat bittersweet finish. The transition from super sweet to bitter is a change of pace from some of the other crappy winter warmers out there.

M- is silky smooth on the tongue and the carbonation works well. Candy like mouthfeel.

D- easily drinkable.

Overall the sweetness is respectable and the bitterness is there it just seems unbalanced to me. But nevertheless its one of the better winter beers and hands down the best offering from an average brewer. Worth a try around Christmas for sure.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This ale is a beautiful coppery amber, generates a decent head. Aroma is strong and malty with a nice nip to it and a hint of spice. Flavor is rich and malty, with spicy sub-tones and just a whisper of molasses. It goes down very smoothly and pleasantly. There is no thinness in the taste or texture - this is a rich winter ale. Besides, you have to love the name!

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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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Photo of edbeered
4.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle, this pours a clear reddish brown color, with a small white head and minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is slightly sweet. The taste is sweet, with cherry and plum flavors predominating, with a hint of vanilla. I don't detect much hop presence, as seems typical with winter warmers.The flavors blend together smoothly and the mouthfeel is rich and satisfying. This is a nice solid English Christmas Ale. Now if only I could get it on draft or on cask.

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.24/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't go wrong with Wychwood as far as I'm concerned, and this is no exception!

Pours with a large billowy head, medium size bubbles and quickly dissapating. Very nice colour, red/organge and crystal clear. Thinnish lacings from the red-tinged foam.

Alot of toffee in the aroma. Smells quite sweet, as was expected, and the cinnamon is definately there. Possibly some maple or other sweet syrup gives it a real festive sweet smell.

Immediate cream soda-like taste, not a bad thing, but it's certainly quite sweet in a non-fruit sort of way. That nice light, sweet malt that marks all of Wychwood's brews is there, great that they were able to balance it with the other spices. Call me crazy but there's a bit of an eggnog taste to it! The cinnamon, maybe nutmeg and certainly some vanilla combined with perfect, creamy body. Despite all those lovely sweet flavours, there is still a good bit of alcohol there to warm me up on this freezin' winter night after trecking home through the snow on this Friday night.

As already mentioned, this is a nice creamy beer, surprising for the appearance to me. Good ale carbonation, no complaints there. Great winter beer all around, love it.

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

This is probably the best beer I've had from Wychwood. I'll have to stock up. Also, it came in a brown bottle instead of clear. Is this a new trend, or just specific for this brew? Colours sort of a light, almost murky brown. Very little head to speak of. Just a light, perhaps 1/4 finger of foam was the best I could get. Smell was delightful. That almost signature British ale smell. Sweet malts, caramel and toffee, bit of figs, and some light cinnamon. Somewhat floral and earthy hops, with the emphasis slighty towards floral. Very balanced flavour. The sweet and bitterness intermingle. Just the right amount of malt, caramel and fig sweetness counterbalanced by a grassy, earthy bitterness. The two never overpower one another. And for the finish, a spicy, cinnamon bite. Quite a nice flavour. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light. It's by no means watery, but it's light. Very little carbonation that seems to give it almost a creamy, milky feel. The mouthfeel adds to the drinkability. Very good beer, with enough flavour to keep your tongue satisfied but not so much that it overwhelms the senses. Too strong for a session brew, but definitely an enjoyable beer.

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

A great Christmasy beer: Pours out a nice burnt orange color. Medium head that collapses down to a light foam around the edges of the glass.

The smell wasn't overwhelming, so I was surprised by how complex the flavor was; caramel, vanilla, and some kind of spice I can't put my finger on. The alcohol flavor came out soon after, but wasn't cloying or overwhelming compared to some 6% beers, and actually complemented the other flavors. Fruity (CARAMEL APPLES!) flavor followed, with a nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was a little light for such a malty, thick beer, but matched fairly well anyway.

This is definitely NOT a session beer, but something to be savored in front of a fire. I have tasted quite a few winter beers, and this is currently my favorite.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another decent offering from Wychwood. This was neither exceptional nor a displeasing. Poured a lovely orange spice colour with a big fluffy, craggy white head. Smell was almost entirely malt with a bit of fruit hiding in the back. Taste was bitter hops up front, sweet malt in the middle, and a biscuity malty finish. Mouthfeel seemed par for the course for both the brewery and the style. Again, this neither impressed me nor did I dislike it. Good.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with a small head of off white bubbles on top. The head falls within a few seconds to end up as a very small ring around the top of the glass.

Aroma: The aroma showcases the typical British malts and the hops so that there is already a bit of a metallic hint to the overall balance of the aroma. The toasty/buttery British malts have lots of caramel hints and they are so rich that they come across fruity with hints of plum and raisins. The hops are coming out more as the beer warms up, and they are quite catty and somewhat grassy. Not much for flowers.

Taste: The flavor's balance is lead by the malt, and it deposits malty sweetness on your palate early to remain there for the entire profile until the finalie. The finish has some hops comming out, and along with the water, finishes a little bit dry. The alcohol is present as a mild peppery spice that comes out late in the finish. The beer doesn't change much as it warms, except for the minerals in the water becomming more noticeable. Further into the warming beer, you can pick out the caramel a lot more, and the fruitiness starts to become more pronounced giving this beer an almost candy-apple flavor as it warms.

Opinion: This is an interesting beer, and I have to admit early on that I am not a huge fan of British Bitters for the most part. This is labeled as a Winter Warmer, but it isn't as rich as a lot of them are. This beer is on the boundary between an ESB and an Old Ale...and closer to the former. It is an allright beer, but I won't be seeking it out. Not for it's own beer, but because it's not my style.

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Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful ruby red color with a nice thick head. Aroma is mostly malt and spice and it also smells somewhat sweet. Taste is malty upfront and the aftertaste is a little sweet with some spice. Chewy and I'm able to detect somewhat of a gingerbread vibe to this. A second sip confirms the spice. This beer is very bready and thick. The aftertaste leaves a lot to be desired but other than that, this beer is nice and drinkable. Inoffensive and it doesn't ramp up the spices like most winter warmers.

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Photo of shamus
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A Christmas ale? Bah. Humbug! this tastes like cough syrup. I think it's supposed to taste like liquefied Christmas cake. if that is true then it is a raging success. It's alright. I don't hate it. It's a novelty beer. The label said it had cinnamon in it but that particular spice doesn't come through enough for my liking. Maybe this would taste good mulled. I bet it would. Mulling

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampling this one for work. We're bringing this one in for the holiday season. The appearance is a coppery-reddish color with a thin, off white head which disappears quickly. The smell is a mostly sweet smell. Not much else to it. I taste mostly sweetness (caramel) and not much hops at all. The mouthfeel is a medium body with medium carbonation. The drinkability is not bad. It's an above average beer with a nice malty taste. The heaviness is something nice for winter.

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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 PorterLambic
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy brown with red throughout. A good head to start but drops fast to a thickish film, leaving some lace.
Smell is sour, malt, with faint hints of citrus and spice.
Taste is hops, sour, malty, smoke, wood.
Aftertaste hangs around a good while. Medium body at best, light efferevescence. All told, a middle of the road English ale across the board. Easy ot drink but nothing to really separate it from any other brown ale.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy red/copper/orange color with a thick, creamy light tan head that laces the glass nicely.

Smell: Has a nice aroma of caramel, green apples, and some yeast.

Taste: Starts with a malty caramel flavor, a bit bready, followed by apples. Then a bit wave of hop bitterness comes in with the finish (strong, but doesn't overpower the other flavors). Aftertaste has remains of apples and hops.

Mouthfeel: A bit lighter than I expected (light- to medium-bodied), and fairly creamy smooth. Gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: The extremes in the taste limit the drinkability.

Overall, an enjoyable yet unusual beer. If you like winter beers it's certainly worthy of a try. Personally, while I found it rather interesting, it's not so much my thing, and I'll probably pass in the future.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So, this one poured a perfectly ordinary copper-brown with a frothy orangey-tan head.

The aroma was malty fruitcake batter with some grated orange zest sprinkled on top.

The mouthfeel was slick with average carbonation. On par, on par.

The taste was an immediate burnt cookie. Like the time I charred the batch of 'em. When it warmed a bit, I was able to discern some honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, and some unidentifiable spice (which is likely cinnamon, according to the label, but I don't think it tasted very cinnamon-like).

When cold, this beer is overwhelming burnt-bitter, but once cooled down in the English style (even the Queen would be 'amused)' it was extremely well-rounded and pleasant. Above average! Merry Christmas in April!

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Photo of Braudog
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, so it’s March Madness ... what better time for a Christmas beer? This poured a nice big, duddy, rusty orange with a solid cloud cover of off-white foam. The aroma is surprisingly sweet and tart, like a freshly picked orange dripping all over your hand. The first sip is also sweeter than I’d expected ... more orange peel than the advertised cinammon. There’s a milkiness here, too, though, that settles into a banana smoothie essence as it warms. The more I go, the more of a banana cream pie I think I’m consuming, a 150-degree change from the tease of the first aroma, and contrary altogether from the dark visual. This is a big creamy and fruity beer for the style. Definitely drinkable. (#2757, 3/18/2007)

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Photo of theopholis
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured a semi-clea, rich, red/amber color with a decent off-white head. The head dissapates fairly quickly, but leaves a fairly good lacing.

Aroma- Smell is faint, but I get some malty sweeteness with some bread/yeasty character and a hint of bittering hops.

Taste- Mostly malt sweetness with some bittering hops. Just a hint of caramel. Nothing impressive, nothing objectionable

Mouthfeel- Medium body. A tad under-carbonated.

Drinkability- Not great, not bad.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Stacy for including this beer in a surprise assortment on my birthday. On a freezing cold night in February, this will do just fine.

Served in an imperial pint glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear rich caramel red, supporting an absolutely stunning, pale tan three finger head that sits there like a pile of soap suds. The lacing leaves o-rings down the glass where it once treaded, a great looking beer by all counts.

Smell- Rich, sweet toffee-like malt notes that also reveal suggestions of licorice and light molasses. Sumptuous, full-bodied aroma. Towards the end of the bottle, the nose begins to take on a yeasty, almost citric character.

Taste- The malts provide a solid backbone for the subtle spicy highlights. Not a beer to wax poetic... it's simple and straightforward, and really easy to drink. For the colder months, I would personally go for something more robust in character and flavor.

Mouthfeel- Disappointingly vapid, almost transparent weight... the minimal carbonation flattens immediately and the beer goes nowhere. Fabulously boring. With pour #2 which empties the bottle, the overall texture improves slightly and it thickens to a more enjoyable mouthfeel.

Drinkability- On the one hand, it's light and approachable... so that's good. But there's nothing memorable here... for the style, the belly should be slightly warm and the senses titillated with holiday spices. This falls a bit flat.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: ruby-brown, great clarity, thick pillow of tanb spongey foam that slowly compacts, great head retention, bits of lace

Aroma: malt loaf, raisins, hint of orange marmalade and cinnamon

Flavor: full malty palate but not overly sweet; rum-soaked plum pudding; hint of cinnamon; finishes semi-sweet with a malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, pert carbonation, crisp texture, warming

Other comments: Not too bad. It's actually one of the more Christmasy Christmas special ales I've tried -- rather than the usual English winter warmer comprised of a brewery's standard bitter with an extra pound of malt and hops added. The cinnamon adds an interesting back-note and warmth.

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