Twelve Beers of Christmas #9:
Wychwood Bah Humbug Christmas Cheer; Winter Warmer; Witney, UK
Date: January 2, 2019
The Story— We’re presenting our list of 12 great beers for the season. Some are relatively easy to find, others are from our archives and beer vault. Follow these posts for other beers in the series: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth.
Wychwood first brewed in 1983, in the early days of craft beer growth. It’s now owned by the big brewer Marstons, but retains much of its character. Since our first encounter with a Wychwood beer in 1990, we’ve tasted a good deal of mediocrity from them. the brewery always seemed to rely on labels and branding as much as the beer behind the clever labels. We think, however, that their beers may have more consistency since Marstons’s acquisition, the The Bah Humbug fits the clever label pattern, but the beer within is one of the best the brewery makes. A plus is that it’s relatively easy to find, at least in the Mid Atlantic area.
The Beer— We’d like to re-try this along side this year’s version of Anchor Christmas. Both self-identify as Winter Warmers and both show more malt than spicy flavors. Wychwood shows some lemon-accented fruit that helps frame it as a holiday beer. There are some herbal flavors along with a brown sugar sweetness. It is, all in all, a nicely drinkable beer and the 5.0% ABV is modest enough to make this a part of a larger holiday tasting.
Value — Good to very good. We’ve found them for well under $5 for a half liter import. Even a better bargain if you happen to be shopping in the UK.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.