Wuchak Black: If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Hops

Wuchak Black from Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario pours dark brown with crimson tinges visible when held towards the light and a frothy, tan-coloured head that leaves spotty lacing and settles a thin collar. This Cascadian Dark Ale (aka Black IPA) has a rich roasted malt character on the nose. Coffee, cigar, wood and chocolate tones are accented my piny hops and red berry juice.

This Winter Seasonal has a Rich Roasted Character
This Winter Seasonal has a Rich Roasted Character

The taste of Wuchak Black goes hand-in-hand with its smell. Deep, dark chocolate and coffee flavours are anchored by an assertive bitterness, with complimentary notes of lemon rind, pepper and grainy biscuit. The mouthfeel is fairly thick, grainy and oily, the carbonation is on the low side and a persistent collar creates a smooth creaminess that helps ease the ale down. Coffee, pepper and a lingering, lemony bitterness permeate the aftertaste.

The name Wuchak Black comes from the Algonquian word that refers to a groundhog or woodchuck. The branding features a surly looking wuchak flexing an arm tattooed with the Kichesippi logo and the carved tap handle at the brewery is particularly bad ass. The brewery’s growlers are unmistakable and have a description of the family run business on the back.

Wuchak Black strikes a fantastic balance between light and dark, refreshment and heat, making for an ideal winter seasonal in my book. This ale pairs well with creamy cheeses such as havarti, fresh cut french fries, hearty pub fare and I think it would be a great match for black forest cake.

The wuchak pokes his head up in January and disappears in March. You can find Wuchak Black on tap at select licensees in the Ottawa area and get a freshly poured growler at the brewery six days a week. They also offer a free tour and samples every Saturday at 2:00 PM.

Type: Cascadian Dark Ale / Black IPA
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario, Ottawa
Brewery: Kichesippi Beer Company
Format Purchased: 1.89 L
Price: $16.75 (Including $4.00 Growler Deposit)
Alcohol Content: 6.4%

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