Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
HobgoblinHobgoblin

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,036 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,036
Hads: 2,399
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 77
Gots: 329 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,036 | Hads: 2,399
Photo of tillmac62
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear beautiful rich garnet when held to light. World class lacing and retention, outstanding head volume.

Light, but complex, nose of biscuit with notes of sweet chocolate and a touch of earthy hops. As it warms, subtle notes of dark fruit appear.

Almost medium body with a nice smooth texture that is almost creamy in the finish. Superb carbonation with a nice bit of effervescence in the middle and a tight prickly finish.

While not a typical ESB, this one is outstanding. It hits the bitterness marks with a nice herbal and earthy bitterness over a solid malt backbone. It exceeds typical levels of complexity by providing notes of chocolate, toffee and a light fruit. Balance is perfect. The finish is a slow fade of mild bitterness over a charred grain note. (782 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish/ruby red, massive foam head, soapy lace with great retention. Buttery aroma, dark fruit and malt. Taste very malt forward and buttery . Hops finish adds bitterness. Low carbonation and a full mouthfeel. This one is good especially with a good hearty meal. (273 characters)

Photo of Dennis-King
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank this beer many a time from bottles and always thought it was just an OK beer. Tried it as a draught beer for the first time this week, via a hand pump, and have to say it is far better than the bottle. Nice malt and hop balance. (234 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a few weeks ago in Totowa, never having had this before. It didn't taste like an ESB to me and the balance and dark feel of this three me off a bit. It became much more intense as it warmed up even though the alcohol never came into play. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and look forward to picking this up again soon! (342 characters)

Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby, with a long lasting cream head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, nuts, earth.Taste is much the same. Not to bad at all will try again. (157 characters)

Photo of Czequershuus
4.14/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours clean rich brown. Liverly fresh carbonation gives rise to a simple, toasty malt nose. Hop bitterness it present, but used less as a flavor and more to balances out the malt. Excellent dry finish. I wish there were more classic beers like this on the market. (273 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown with reddish edges. The nose has a sour touch. The body is lighter than expected and the malt profile is a tad wanting.

This beer looks like a full flavored malt bomb but looks are certainly deceiving in this case. (223 characters)

Photo of Premo88
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: dark orange/amber ... brown ... it's a fantastic array of darker colors, crystal clear; head is smallish and dissipates quickly, tan colored, does keep a nice collar; no sticking and very little lacing

S: buttery sweet malt with a good English ale fruitiness (peach, apricot) ... fruit note is almost toasted, again the malt showing through; after tasting it, I can start picking up the earthy hops in the nose, but they're very subtle; sour grain underneath

T: classic sweet/bitter dance of the good English ale ... the brew has plenty of sweeter malt flavors including bread, nuts and butter with a hint of sugar, and the fruit note in the nose comes across like a toasted peach in the flavor; a generic bitterness balances it, "generic" as in there's little flavor to the bitterness, just something bitter ... typical earthy hop note

F: solid all around, great carbonation for a good crispness that works well to my American palate ... love it

O: for the longest time I figured this brew was just a bit -- a subpar beer with a fancy label and cool name to help market it to the masses. it's much more than that. compared to the general array of English imports in my area, Hobgoblin is as good as any ... a nice English pale ale fruitiness mixed with a subtle-but-detectable earthy hop bitterness make it a pleasant quaff. it's a good beer and one I'll revisit. (1,414 characters)

Photo of Boardwalk
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer. Had a smooth toffee taste and pleasant aroma. The caramel color of the beer was beautiful and appetizing. Good tasting beer without an overly strong finish. (178 characters)

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant deep copper color. Snow white head. 1 and a half finger height. Decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Toffee, raisin, orange. Buttered treacle biscuit; orange marmalade.

M: Med-light in character. Soft body, but firms up on the edges with quick, moderate carb bite.

T: Nice toffee and malt biscuit character. Treacle comes to mind. Not overly, aggressively sweet. Has an aged, port-like flavor of dried raisins, apple, pear. Spicy hop notes. Woody, cinnamon. Nuanced chocolate. (494 characters)

Photo of Chris_Burton
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hobgoblin is something of a go to beer for me, and I'd been meaning to review it for a while.

It's definitely on the darker of ESB, although not dark or rich enough to really qualify as a porter. The body is a translucent brown with shades of ruby when held to the light. A finger of head quickly disappears. It smells of forest berries and caramel. The taste is a strange combination: light hints of chocolate, a slightly bitter dryness and an aftertaste of cherries. A very balanced beer, being neither sweet and malty nor bitter and hoppy: as Goldilocks would put it, this one is juuust right! Mouthfeel is full enough to support the chocolate and dark fruit without being rich and heavy; this is a beer you can enjoy a few of in one sitting.

Hobgoblin isn't quite my favourite ESB, but it definitely stands out from the crowd. Probably the best beer Wychwood have to offer. (879 characters)

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark copper color. Creamy light brown 1 finger head dead in around 3 minutes. Average legs and highly active.

Strong aromas and flavors of toffee, citrus and fruitiness with some herbal spices. Great combination of crisp sourness and thick sweetness taste with a earthy roasted nut feel.

Slick full body with perfect carbonation. Pleasant balanced finish ending with a sweet mouth coat and smoky bitter clove like aftertaste.

Overall : Tons of flavors and good freshness, well balanced excellent craft. (511 characters)

Photo of fourstringer
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle in to a Samuel Smith pint glass. Moderate hand. No identifiable date, but stamped 4CGM 20:24.

A: Classic amber body with good clarity. 1 finger of eggshell-colored head. Ok retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Fruity malt with notes of grape, apple, raisin, prune and cherry. Faint toffee, dark bread, toasted nuts, chocolate.

T: English hops hit first, soon followed by relatively subdued, bready malts. The backbone fades to a decently dry finish. Nice, clean lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol presence.

M: Moderate to light carbonation with a medium to light body. Feels English.

O: I particularly like the finish on this one. Not quite as "dark" as expected. Fairly straight-forward. I'm good for a few of these.

Prost! (798 characters)

Photo of CraigS119
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, rich (but translucent) mahog, with some big-bubbled head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of buttered toffee, caramel malts, cherry, and winey notes are cut through by an umami soy-sauciness. Very clean front-end berry/cherry soda flavors are followed by some sour/bitter notes and then some really roasty, wood-fiery malt. Overall a pretty good beer, I could see someone comparing this to lighter version of Founder's Dirty Bastard actually. I'm not much of a fan of the style, but for like a dead-of-winter 1500s British pub beer selection, this would be up there.

*What she said (about the taste): "Nothing. Just... beer. It does have some hoppiness, but..."

3.79/5 _ her: 3.5/5


*I have a new segment where my fiance takes a sip of my beer and reviews. She's more of a cider/mead fan, but she tries. (826 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This has some really interesting flavors happening. It looks nice, smells of candy and has plenty of layers in the mouth. Burnt grains, toffee and a bit of chocolate combine nicely with some bitter hops to finish things off. It is clear that this recipe has stood the test of time! (281 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark brown body allowing shadows through with a light tan creamy decent sized head. Spotty lacing.

Aroma: Rich caramel candy aroma with a bit of a wood scent.

Taste: Biscuit and toast flavors with a touch of roasted nuts.

Mouthfeel: It has a good mouthfeel. Nothing spectacular to point out, it just feels right for this beer giving it a medium presence on the palate with a touch of bite from the roasted grains.

Overall: It's a fairly average ESB. It's an import so I'm willing to try it again if I can get it fresh. It didn't have as much of a caramel overtone as many other ESB's that I've had, but it has a nice biscuit quality which is pleasant enough to make it an enjoyable drinking experience. It's in that middle ground of not recommending but not warning against drinking. (799 characters)

Photo of tedvr
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/ amber with a thin, creamy head. Smells are faint, but has a malt backbone. There is a mild taste of raisins and sweet malt, kind of leaning towards a mild barleywine. There is a little syrup in the mouthfeel, with mild carbonation. Overall a beer that is a little complex, but very drinkable. (317 characters)

Photo of GerryPendry
4.71/5  rDev +27.6%
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. (186 characters)

Photo of JaimeLondon
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great beer of a dark red/amber color with an ok foam of cream color that.
Aroma is full of red fruits, specially cherry, it's also very yeasty and a bit hoppy.
Taste is somewhat complex, different tones arrives one after the other. It's possible to feel the malts and the yeast, and then the cherry, and then some raspeberrys. Great!
Bitterness comes really late in this beer.
Body is a bit light, carbonation is at good level. (428 characters)

Photo of tekstr1der
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep redish-brown pour with clingy white head. Nose is all malt and slight caramel. Bright semi-sweet body with lingering malty finish. Very smooth and way too drinkable. (170 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A classic English bitter which comes across with big toffee and nutty notes. Light and thin in mouthfeel, goes down very easily, with enough a faint hop presence to keep things ticking along. (191 characters)

Photo of KonigObHops
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very nice dark brown with a finger-width head that is cream colored.

It has a nice fruity taste with a hint of hops.

The initial taste is a bit raisiny followed immediately by chocolate.In the middle some of the fruity notes break through The hops begin to come out at this point. The beer finishes with toasted malt which lingers on the tongue.

The mouth-feel is surprisingly crisp with more carbonation than I expected.

Overall, this is an interesting dark ale. There are a lot of subtle flavors in this beer and it doesn't have the bite at the end that many dark ales tend to have. (607 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a slight malt smell, a little sweet with maybe nut, not a strong smell. Taste was bland, would have preferred a lot more malt. A little toasted bread with a bitter, dry finish. Overall I would say only okay with not a lot to offer. I will not be having this one again unless there were severely limited choices. (319 characters)

Photo of ordybill
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500cl bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice caramel and malt aroma.
Appearance- A rich dark brown color with a tan colored head.
Taste-A toasted malt and yeast flavor with a caramel aftertaste.
Palate- A medium bodied brew with light carbonation and a slightly oily feel.
Overall- A really enjoyable ESB for me, I will definitely drink this again. (367 characters)

Photo of ThaneMcC
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

A: Dark, reddish brown with fair amount of fine off white foam and lacing.

Smell: a bit horsey, barnyard and yeast, hint of malt and a mild metallic twang.

Taste: hint of barnyard musty, Malt and nonspecific nut/chocolate, finished is fairly well hopped with a fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel: minimal carbonation, rather smooth without being syrupy.

Overall not a bad brown ale, an odd flavor profile (perhaps I got a bad bottle?), I prefer a maltier, nuttier brown ale, but I wouldn't turn this down, but wouldn't be compelled to stock up on this one. (558 characters)

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.