Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Wuchak Black

From Ottawa, Ontario comes Wuchak Black, classed alternately on the 473mL can as a Black IPA and a Cascadian Dark Ale. Its stats are unremarkable for the style--slightly understrength at just 6%, but amply bitter at 77 IBUs. Wuchak is brewed by the Kichesippi Beer Co. The beer is definitely dark--almost black and nearly opaque--buried underneath a froth of loose cream-coloured head.

I didn't find that there was a lot of aroma that made it through the thick, foggy head, but what there was displayed as resinous bitterness and roasted malt. Initially, the flavour packs a slightly more substantial bill of roasted malt, though this is subsumed fairly decisively by a whip crack of hops that dominates the back half of the brew. Bitterness manifests in dank, earthy notes, and the ale finishes quickly.

Kichesippi's Wuchak Black proved to be a nice ale. It could certainly have been stronger, both in percentage terms and with respect to aromatics. This is a less macho black IPA than I was expecting, but I don't see that as a negative. There is lots of room for subtlety in bitter black beers, and this one certainly had some of that. Where I found it falters a bit is in the front end, with too little emphasis on the rich flavours that roasted malts can impart. The finish, though, is really quite good. Would I buy this beer again? Oh, no question--in a heartbeat! But it's unlikely to ever be my favourite black IPA.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

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