A nice chill wind. Surrounded by snow. Sitting outside on a haybale in front of a firepit.
If there's a better environment to enjoy a fine winter beer, then it was crafted by Antarctic science-doctorate holding mall santas. This was perfect.
Back at 8 Locks' Flat after walking down the frozen Rideau Canal, (the skate rental line was a mile long, or 1.60934 kilometers, my Canadian/metric friends), I resisted the urge to warm myself with a Bailey's and Hot Chocolate in the interest of keeping the beer marathon alive. With a fresh keg of another fine Kichesippi beer, the temptation was slight.
Kichesippi's Wuchak Black, named for the old First Nations term for woodchuck, is one of the truest Black IPA's I've ever had. It's relation to woodchucks evokes images of furry beasts swimming amongst the fermenters, but considering the incredibly tasty balance of bitter and dark, it's more likely the name popped up simply due to the rhyme scheme.
Wuchak has the lightest of stoutness, almost mocha-like in taste, and it gives way to that strong IPA flavor which fits unusually well as a winter beer. While most winter brews are spiced ales or flavored beers, a Black IPA to celebrate the colder months is unique and perfectly appropriate. It's a strong taste to battle the cold, and balances the best of both IPA and Dark stout.
Kichesippi Wuchak Black
Kichesippi Beer Co., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Alcohol Rating: 6.4%
Class: Black India Pale Ale
Rating: 9 out of 10
Quote: "Guh, schwaa, look! Beer! AAAaaa!" (After walking a few kilometers around parliament hill and down the canal).