Wychwood Black Wych

Reviewed by on October 30, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wychwood Brewery

  • Origin: Witney, Oxfordshire, England

  • Rated On: October 30, 2015

  • Best Before: August 10, 2016

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Wychwood Brewery excels in providing fantasy and spooky-themed offerings, and Black Wych is another good choice, marketing-wise, at least, for Hallowe’en festivities, i.e. drinking while waiting for the neighbourhood kiddies to come begging for early-onset diabetes – I mean candy.

This 500ml bottle pours a near opaque black, but upon closer back-lit inspection, prominent red cola highlights are revealed, with two chubby fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves a band of cobwebbed (natch) lace around the glass as it slowly lumbers out of sight.

It smells of mildly roasted caramel malt, coffee spiked with somewhat sour milk, apple and banana fruit esters, bittersweet chocolate, faint anise root, and a weak earthy hop bitterness. The taste is grainy, kind of biscuity caramel malt, dry cocoa powder, day-old coffee and milk that’s been sitting out on the kitchen counter for about as long, peevish yeast, a subtle muddled black fruitiness, and meek floral, earthy noble hops. The carbonation is fairly soft in its gently rendered frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and more or less smooth, with a suggestion of an airy creaminess arising as things warm up a tad. It finishes off-dry, but trending towards the latter, with a bit of nascent roasted chocolaty nuttiness.

Overall, a decently tasty, if not particularly ‘mysterious’ or ‘spell-binding’ (but certainly dark) old-world brew, with more than a few nods to the porters of a different English age. Scary? Not really. Scarily drinkable? Nope. More than adequate for all your All Hallows’ Eve activities? You betcha.

Brady White

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