Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,383 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,383
Reviews: 1,061
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 75
Gots: 313 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,383 | Reviews: 1,061
Reviews by WaltTrombone:
Photo of WaltTrombone
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of my Valentine's present was a Hobgoblin Gift Set, with 2 bottles and a Hobgoblin Imperial Pint. Of course, I had to drink it from the glass...

It poured dark amber, with a fluffy off-white head. Aromas of grapefruit, malt, faint chocolate. Tastes were chocolate, malt, maple (where'd THAT come from?), and grapefruit. A smooth, thin mouthfeel kept things extremely drinkable. It finished dry, with grapefruit and leather.

Very tasty, one of my favorite brown ales! (so far...)

More User Reviews:
Photo of DiUr
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A full bodied ale which shows in ruby colour with a beige head that stays at half a finger. Smell of malts, chocolate, chestnut, apple pie and dark fruits, the aromas growing up as the beer warms. Taste of malts, earthy chocolate, cream and fruits is balanced by some kind of acidic character. Hints of toffee and orange too, and very subtle hops. Full bodied and smooth in the mouth, with almost no carbonation and good drinkability.

Photo of gumbee86
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice flavour. After taste to sharp

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good attention getter label,nice malty/chocalate beginning,with some fruit flavor in the end.Smell was a little musty on mind,but the appearance and taste was real nice.

Photo of RoyalT
2.47/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – A very flat head and brown, clear in the body.

Smell – Strong burnt toast aroma with a sweet, sugary molasses scent.

Taste – This one is very thin at the taste. There are some interesting flavors such as molasses and maple, cane sugar, and toasted malt, but they all come out halfway and ill advised. This has a very clumsy profile.

Mouthfeel – Flat and light-bodied.

Drinkability – I won’t buy this one again.

Photo of tectactoe
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Old Chicago. Pours an off-shade of brown with minimal head and lacing. Up front, the beer has a woody smell, full of roasted malts and caramel with some nutty undertones. It hits the tongue with a slight bitterness that grows and grows. The taste is somewhat standard, a bit boring, with the usual malty taste, a bit of caramel and yeast, with a super bitter aftertaste. The bitterness is welcomed at first, but by the end of the pint, it grows a bit tangy and tiresome. The body is medium thickness with a somewhat dry finish and a nice helping of carbonation.

Not bad, but not great either. The ESBs are an acquired taste, so if you plan on getting into the style, I would recommend starting elsewhere. Otherwise, it's still a decent brew to try if it's available.

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look ~ pours a deep coppery to ruby color. the head is decent: it comes up about two or three fingers, is cream colored, and falls at a usual pace with some decent lacing. clarity is very good with some nice visible carbonation.

Smell ~ overall, pretty good. it had a nice balance of hops and malts, though i'd characterize both as in the moderately-low range. the malt is pretty standard for the style (light, crystal, and some dark malt) and not too complex. hops are of the earthier english varieties (though i can't really identify it). some nice fruity esters round out the finish.

Taste ~ good, well-balanced, flavor. a little richer than what i got off the nose, although the character is more or less the same. the malt isn't too complex, but has a decent depth between primary malts (bread-like) and secondary malts (very light caramel, some chocolate/coffee). the malt is balanced nicely by a prominent earthy hops with a hip of floral in there. a bit of fruitiness on the finish.

Feel ~ medium-full body with moderately low carbonation. no alcohol warmth. nice mouth-coating feel.

I'm a big fan of this one. while it's not as complex and deep as Fuller's ESB, it achieves a great balance between hops and malt with some nice fruity esters in there that round out the flavor well. great sessionability.

I had this with some great english fare like yorkshire pudding, lancashire hotpot, and shepard's pie.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a light caramel/ apple-juice colored brew which gives little in the way of head or smell. It tastes of light, but full flavored caramel malt with a unique robustness, there is a subtle apple fruitiness and spicy hops clench the finish. Very drinkable. There is definately something special about this beer, but most days I'd take a Sam Smith Nut Brown for about the same price per serving.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice pretty molasses brown with a brief
head and no real lacing going on .

S/T: Sweet and malty but otherwise unoriginal
and kind of bland as the style goes.

M: Thin and undercarbonated perhaps.

D: I think I'll have to pass when given other
craft opportunities but still head and
shoulders above any macro offerings that I
can think of.

Photo of PATECO
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wychwood brewery Hobgoblin Dark English Ale in 12 fl oz Brown glass bottle. Bought at Whole Foods Market in Coral Springs FL for $7.99 per six pack.

Cute Logo on the bottle got me to buy it. poured sort of heavy with small head of dense but coarse foam clear but dark brown in color, does not look natural. Sweet malty aroma with very little hops. Flavor starts sweet and goes nowhere, lots of malt, but does not evolve into anything else sort of bland. overall not a bad beer, better than many, but not a standout either. just ok to allright. Sort of what I would expect Anheiser Busch to make if they made a Dark English Ale. Not a star, but definitely quite drinkable

Don't think I would buy again,but will not have any problem finishing this six pack.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This came in a 500ml brown bottle that cost $3.99. An OK, but not very great beer. It was a dark brown color with a small head. Aroma was all sweet malt. Fair taste, toffee with a little bit of hops. Mouthfeel was good, as was drinkability, but I wasn't too impressed with this beer. I enjoyed Fiddler's Elbow more.

Photo of niangelo
2.81/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Chateau Louis in Edmonton in the 500ml glass bottle, served in a pint-glass.

Poured a smoky ruby-brown with a little head... smells fairly skunky, but faints of once it sits for a bit. Mouthfeel is nothing special, a tad watery with some dancing carbonation.

Taste is initally a little skunky, but this fades immediately, leading to a solid malt feel with a toasted finish and dates in between. Nothing that really spins my cap. Too expensive, there's way better local stuff for cheaper.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 oz clear English looking bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep reddish copper with a patchy spidering light tan lace that holds its own.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee with hints of malt sweetness and a buttery nose from the yeast.

Taste: Close to being silky smooth with a nice fullish body. Malt sweetness is dominant in the front though soon lets in some vague nutty and chocolaty flavours with a slightly subdued hop bitterness. More chocolate flavours become noticable as well as a light buttery yeasty finish.

Notes: A tasty rounded and full bodied brown ale.

Photo of merlin48
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint.02oz bottle with cool Hobgoblin label. Pours a red mahogany that is very clear in the glass. Small, beige head quickly fades into slick and collar lace. Aroma is caramel with a hint of floral hops. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, but very light bodied. Taste begins with active carbonation, leading into tart fruitiness. Toffee and malt flavors then take over. Some hops add some light floral and fruity notes, and the finish is dry and mildly bitter. A very average offering, overall, and seems lacking in body. Feels watered down, at times, and seems like something is missing. It's a very smooth ale that is quite drinkable, but just doesn't have enough character to make me want to have another one.

Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bottle, pours faintly cloudy, nice toasted almond color, nutty, malty nose, leaves well dispersed lacing. Malty British brown ale, lots of malt evident, moderate sweetness, balance is the British way and this one is a nice example. Nicely rounded mouthfeel, smooth finish. Fine sessioner.

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: iced tea brown in color, 1/4 inch head, cloudy

Smell: toasted malt birch, and nut

Taste: toasted malt, slight hops, and tea

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet, dry, moderate carbonation, crisp, medium bodied

Drinkability: An above average English brown. I get a tea taste that dominates. A good beer for the style, but not likely one I will get again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with an off-white head. The aroma is strong caramel malt with some English malt, hops and yeast. The flavor is caramel malt with a little bit of chocolate. There is some roasted and nut character with some English hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rereview, this brew being one of my first beer reviews on BA. It's a favorite of mine and deserved another glance.

Poured into a nonic glass. Nice foamy head, great retention, surviving as a thick ring with sticky lace. Dark amber, only slight ruby hues when held to the light. Great-looking brew.

A malty, sweet nose, with some lovely cherry, chocolate, butter, and fig notes. Slight metallic twang typical of an English pale. A touch of bitterness to it as well.

Sweet, malty, good fruit and chocolate notes, nice dry bitter hopped finish. Robust enough to enjoy sipping slowly, but smooth enough for some serious drinking. Medium bodied, mild carbonation, slight dryness to the finish. The hop bitterness lingers long after each sip.

A solid brew, very tasty. Good default sippin' ale.

Photo of GerryPendry
4.71/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't usually get excited about a beer's aroma, but this one really stands out. It has as much complexity as a lot of "bigger" beers. Superior drinkabilty...I could drink this all day.

Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap at the Princess Pub. Clear mahogany with a little ring of bubbles. Sweet, malty aroma. More malt and nuts in the taste, but bitter this time. Good brew. This is not to be confused with the other brewer that uses similar bottles and similar art to cover up the crap inside.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served into a nonic glass from a clear 1pt. 0.9oz.bottle with a crimped on cap.

Intense,clear deep ruby red color,very creamy looking light tan head,2'' thick dissapating to a thin layer of foam with spotty lacing down the glass.

A very pleasing,moderate malty aroma that was nutty/chocolatly with burnt carmell aromas also.A nice complex aroma with fruitty notes throughout.

A very good,clean well balanced taste very malty with notes of chocolate/toffee,nutty with a burnt taste also noted.Very fruitty with a taste of dates and figs with a slight tartness. The finish was a bit dry,a nice bittersweetness at the end.Not an overpowering taste,very relaxing and enjoyable.

A light to medium body,very smooth and creamy. Extremely drinkable,a very good English ale that's very refreshing and enjoyable. Could drink this one all night long.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured in a snifter.

Nice deep brown color with a small light brown head. very malty smooth aroma. It's quite thick and smooth, nice amount of carbonation for an English brown. It's got some bready sweet notes to it as well. I think it's pretty good for a session ale.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle pulled from my fridge poured into a nonik pint glass. nice to see this in six packs as ive only seen it in the bowling pin bottles.

pours a clear chestnut brown color with one and a half fingers of off white head that eventually faded to a small ring and some patchy foam. just tiny spots of lace. really nice color, not the best head.

in the aroma theres a nice range of malts. chocolate, crystal, slightly roasted, toffee. a slight herbal tea like quality maybe from the hops and some slight fruity like esters.

that nice range of malts transfers to the taste as well. chocolate, toffee, slightly roasted/ toasted malts, nutty, a little buttery. a little bit of the fruity esters coming through. finishs with a slight hop bitterness.

a very nice silky smooth feel on the palate. medium bodied. good carbonation for the style.

this one drinks with the best of them. one of the best choices for halloween. i will come back to this beer again and again. theres something about it that i really love but cant quite put my finger on. definatly worth a try.

Photo of masikon
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent auburn with a light off-white head. Nose is pretty faint with butter and caramel sweetness coming through. Taste is not really what I expected, much lighter and easy drinking than I had envisioned with a soft flavor profile and somewhat fizzy mouthfeel. I'm pretty sure this bottle was at least partially light stricken because I'm really not finding much going on here besides a light malt sweetness followed by a puckering bitterness that I don't really think is natural. I'll have to come back to this if they ever start using colored bottles for export to the U.S.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml can with a BB of Jan 2012. Features an image of a hobgoblin that has become the icon for this brewery.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear ruby-brown hue with medium carbonation. Produces a nice thick head of tan foam with a creamy consistency and good retention; eventually subsides to a surface layer. Smells rich and malty with notes of roasted grain, caramel, brown sugar and dried fruit. A hint of spice and alcohol.

Tastes of sweet roasted malt with a mild dry finish. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, dried fruit, stewed leaves and subtle burnt grain. A faint background hint of solvent/alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry with pleasing carbonation, but a bit thin. Bitter, malty aftertaste.

A decent brown ale and one I would happily drink again. The sweet caramel notes are nice, although there is a background off-flavour that could be improved. The mouthfeel also seems a bit insubstantial for the style. Worth trying if you come across it.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,383 ratings.