28 December 2008

Bah Humbug! Christmas Ale

Another entry under the 'seasonal' catagory, Wychwood Breweries' Bah Humbug! Christmas Ale is another novelty beer brought in by the LCBO for the holiday season. Wychwood Breweries is based in Oxfordshire, England and its line includes other brands such as Hobgoblin, Fiddler's Elbow and Winter's Troll. Most of their products have a colourful cartoon mascot for that particular brand, and Bah Humbug! is no different. The label is a scowl-faced caricature of Dicken's Scrooge (which the beer is somewhat named after) with the ghost of Jacob Marley in the background. The illustration is fitting for more than the obvious reasons.

Wychwood tends to use heavy bottles for its beer, which is great even if you don't live in a country where bottling your adversaries during drunken pub brawls are a common event. The bottle is sturdy and gives the impression of quality. The reverse label indicates the following:

Spiced beer. Brewed with the choicest hops and malt, lightly spiced with cinnamon, this is a rich ale complimented with the subtle taste of dried fruits. Beer with cinnamon.

Now I don't know about you, but the last 'spicy' beer I drank was Chimay and the coriander aftertaste did not fit the flavour profile at all. Undaunted, I poured the dark brew into a pint glass and drank. It smelled not unlike any other dark ale I have tried, with no evidence of cinnamon, nutmeg or any other surprises they may have added for laughs. The taste is a sweet, malty profile to be expected from such a dark brew, kind of flat with a slight cinnamon aftertaste. I personally could not detect any "dried fruits" in the mix, and it was somewhat reminiscent of the dark malt homebrew I used to make at home with my dad. While I couldn't see myself drinking more than one of these without getting turned off alcohol for the rest of the night (and/or becoming violently ill), it really wasn't bad for a before-dinner drink on a cold December night. Definately something different for the holidays, and with enough of them in you, you might just see the ghost of Jacob Marley yourself!

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