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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
HobgoblinHobgoblin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

2,117 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,117
Reviews: 1,011
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 63
Gots: 140 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hobgoblin Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,117 | Reviews: 1,011 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeranbrews
2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I haven't had this beer in years. I think I must have gotten a bad batch.

A - Light beige fizzy, light bubbly head. Clear and carbonated like brand X cola. A very high clarity amber color. Seems maybe over filtered.

S - Sweet sugars with some stale dry dead yeast off flavors. A bit of rust.

T - Weak, distinctive. A bit hoppy, a bit stale. Not much in the way of malt flavor or yeast. The aftertaste was sour and hoppy. They managed to keep in the off flavors and take out most of the good parts.

M - Too loose. Too thin. Like I said, this beer didn't bubble like beer. It fizzed like cola. Kind of sad.

D - This is pretty disappointing. A bad showing for what should be a good beer. After it was finished I felt more parched than refreshed or filled.

jeranbrews, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of cnally
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A special one, as my local doesn't have tons of brews from across the atlantic.

A mahogany brown color in the beer with a modest off white head that fades quickly.

Aroma is wonderful, with the malt just bashing you over the head. A little sweet and superbly floral for a brown.

The flavor has a lot of caramel malt to it, very subdued bitterness is barely noticeable upon its finish. A little nutty, almond mostly.

Watery mouthfeel, slick and low carbonation presence.

Very drinkable, since it is a fairly subdued brew, with subtle tastes and an easy to swallow consistency.

cnally, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of franktheman
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this one in a bottle. I must say that the bottle is very cool looking! The smell is average, the taste ok, but there is a weird aftertaste. It actually looks like a viking beer if you serve it in a big mug! I would not recommand this beer to a friend because of the aftertaste. It is not a bad beer tho! Cheers!

franktheman, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid brown with a small reddish hue in the middle with a thin tarp of beige head.
Smell is lightly malted with some sweet yeasts.
Taste is a strange combination of sweet malt and some kind of yeasty spice that give it a dynamic profile.
Finish is close to clean with this yeasty spice lasting a bit with me.
Drinks solidly, I get hung up in places but solid drinker.

ThaBobfather, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of MikeGill
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was introduced to Hobgoblin a while ago and it went something like this...

Me-"Hey, what's that stuff with the wicked tap
handle?"
Bartender-"That's the Hobgoblin. It's from
England I think."
Me-"Cool, I'll have one of those please."

It is good to now approach this beer analytically. 500ml bottle poured into a large rocks glass.

Dark clear copper with red highlights. Head did not stay around long but left ample lacing. Toffee on the nose with some hops and tiny amounts of yeast and molasses coming through. Light to medium bodied with nutella, light coffee and butter flavors. I seem to remember this beer having a more aggressive flavor profile. But, that's not to say it's lacking character because there is plenty. Clean finish, great drinkability, for me a nice session brew.

MikeGill, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of kpoole25
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle to glass. Dark brownish red color, fairly thin head. Not a lot of aroma, a little bread and spice. Right out of the fridge it was a little bitter, but at 55-60F the malt came out to balance it. I got a lot of coffee moreso than chocolate. This was a pretty solid effort.

kpoole25, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Minotaur
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An exceptional bottled example of English brown ale. Even without the goblin marketing it comes off as a solid clear dark red-brown with the characteristic thin head.

Very little aroma; a tiny bit of malt presence but otherwise fairly neutral.

The taste is predictably nutty, malty and crisp. Hops finish clean with very little bitter aftertaste, but enough to keep the beer interesting and not dull.

Very smooth and round mouthfeel and it is extremely drinkable. A good session-able brown ale but satisfying enough to drink as a one-off.

Minotaur, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of KI9A
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, dark amber, nice head, nice retention.

S: Earthy, sweet, some alcohol sting to the nose.

T: Heath bar, chocolate, toffee, finishes with some slight hop bitterness.

M: Clean, light feel.

D: At 5%, nice session beer. Easy to have more than one of these!

KI9A, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of beerjerk
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the beer label on this one.

Dark brown with hints of red and light carbonation. This is a nice, creamy, lightly malted ale that goes down smooth and mellow. Slight hoppiness, not the predominant flavor here. Nutty tones and muted, subtle sweetness round out this cozy offering.

beerjerk, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of seand
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark translucent red-brown, with a light tan head filled with big bubbles. Much of the head dissipates, but a layer of bubbles does retain, which is enough to leave some lacing.

S: Light earthy and nuttiness, some malty sweetness, and a touch of bitterness.

T: A sweet background lasts throughout, though a little stronger at the start, leading into a balanced earthy flavor.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body, though very smooth, finishes lighter than it starts.

D: Made to be quite easy to drink, as you'd expect for an English brown.

seand, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of dbtoe
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz poured into a pint glass
I'm a big fan of this beer. This is one of my favorite browns, wish I had it more often.
Look is a dark amber with a good finger of head.
Smell is yup, malts and a touch of yeast.
Taste I get a lot of toasted malts and English yeast. There is a very slight bitterness just enough to let you know it is there.
Feel is smooth and creamy with a very clean finish.
Drink I could have these all night long and into the next day.

dbtoe, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

Mora2000, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is highly overrated in the bar scene.

A - Nice color, a deep translucent chestnut brown.

S - It smells vaguely of brown rice syrup or a bit cidery minus the apples.

T - Has a mellow bitterness that is highlighted along with a perfume-y floral finish that I am not a fan of.

M - Feel is thin with lesser carbonation and a dry finish that is parching.

D - Its okay, but not outstanding.

ktrillionaire, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of Duxx
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown with just a hint of red. Head was beige and 1 finger high.

S: Minimal hop aroma. Marked English yeast with sweet notes.

T: No hop bite. Malty and toffee flavor.

M: Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

D: I could drink several of these but given the price, probably not.

Duxx, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of Gump
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a gift set, including a tall glass and 17oz brown bottle.
A reddish pour with quality head.
The aroma is totally english yeast. Like a sharp cheese.
Very little hops.
Mostly a smooth drinking beer with roasted carmel malt flavors, but a little watered-down.
Pale finish.

Gump, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of cooncat
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this one directly from 'across the pond' as a Christmas present from my friend in the UK. Cheers, Graham!

Taken from the fridge, and poured into a 20 oz. tankard, (had to have room for this 16 oz. bottle), I get a beer that doesn't know if its a brown or red ale. Holding up to the light, its definitely red, but if just looking at it, it could almost pass as a brown. Light ecru head which diminishes quickly, and leaves some splotchy lacing.

Nose is very light ... not much in the way of hops, but a light caramel sweetness comes through.

Taste is pretty balanced between caramel malty sweetness, and a light hop note, of Brit character ... thinking Fuggles. Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is pretty fair .. this is definitely in the session beer strength arena. The finish is on the dry side.

I'll be honest. This isn't going to 'knock your socks off'. Best I can say is that its an easy drinker, and a passible session brew. If you're looking for complexity .. keep looking. Nevertheless, an enjoyable brew, which you could easily quaff with other blokes.

Na Zdravje!

cooncat, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby brown, with great clarity just like the bottle promises. Initially, it looks like no head is forming, but after a slight pause, a whole bunch of tiny bubbles coalesce out of the body, leaving a frothy light beige layer on the top. Good lacing. Not a lot of carbonation, but the bubbling that does exist is exceptionally fine. Looks very nice.

A little malty sweetness on the nose, with a hint of dried banana, and a slight port character. A light metallic phenol character is also present, which ensures the nose isn't overly sweet overall. It's quite light, but it's a very nice English ale nose.

Taste is initially smooth, but with a crescendo of darker grain notes and a zing of metallic bitterness. Finish is quite phenolic, as though the natural grain and hop notes have been replaced by something artificial. I visualise it as though what starts in a verdant forest slowly morphs into an industrial city of steampunk pipes. Lacks sweetness and smoothness on the rest of the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, although the latent carbonation becomes noticeable here.

Not bad, overall, but the most important element is disappointing - the harshness on the back is quite disconcerting, and while it stays pretty drinkable, it's not something I'll seek out with alacrity.

lacqueredmouse, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of NicholasSchell
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark, dark copper, light tan 2 finger head hangs around for a while, lace sticking as it settles, medium carbonation.

S- Malt, Coffee, Toffee, hops don't stand out too much.

T- Again the malt stands out, slight bitterness reminds me of baker's chocolate, coffee, a bit sweet.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, full bodied, medium carbonation.

D- With only 5.2% ABV and a pretty good beer overall, a few of these and I would be happy.

Note: bottle was brown, unlike example pic.

NicholasSchell, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of jadpsu
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.09 ounce bottle. Pours dark brown, with a tan head that has very good retention and side lacing. Excellent appearance.
Smell has stronger malts but there is some hoppiness in the background. Malts are noted by sents of coffee, breads and Chocolate.
Same things show up in the taste, aided by some sweet buttery notes and a hint of vanilla.
Smooth, medium body with light to medium carbination.

jadpsu, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of jamiesessions
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown colour and a head that quickly goes away and leaves little lacing. Smells of fruit and nuts, but nothing too pronounced, the nose is present, but not prevelant. Toffee and fruit is noticeable in the taste, and while it's not mind blowing, it is certainly a pleasant taste. It feels good on the palate, and goes down quite easily. Overall, this is not a life-changer, but is a nice little treat that you might not write home about, but you most certainly won't regret.

jamiesessions, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of roddwolff
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed watching the final of the Champions League 27 may 2009;

A: Very dull brown, the foam layer is thin, the irish goblin of the logo looks like Leprechaun;

S: Fruity, lots of prunes, malt with nutty essence and some spicy hops;

T: Exceptional, dark fruit too, but now figs, raisins and cranberries, combined with malt, molasses and biscuits;

M: Sweet, medium bitterness and medium body;

D: Leprechaun makes excellent beer!.

roddwolff, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of brewdoc75
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up as part of a gift set.

A: Dark brown with ruby and mahogany hues. Nice white head sits atop the slender, tall Hobgoblin glass. Some yeast suspended.

S: Not a ton going on. Get some tootsie roll chocolate aroma followed by a faint grassy/earthiness from the hops. Otherwise not a whole lot.

T: Some caramel, some chocolate. Very faint nuttiness and maybe some biscut. I get a slight citrus component from the hops, which end a bit "green." The most pleasant component is a tobacco like flavor. Nothing is really bad in the flavor department, it is just not "wowing" me.

M: Light bodied. Crisp, clean and very sessionable body.

D: An average brown ale. Not my first choice. It isn't bad, but definitely isn't the best I've had. The light body and mildness makes it very sessionable however. I'll give it another try sometime.

brewdoc75, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Guinness-branded tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color. The head is tight and foamy and dissipates quickly leaving copious lacing on the glass.

Smell: Slightly fruity with a little bit of nuttiness as well. Backed by a kind of sweet malty smell.

Taste: Kind of nutty up front and finishes sweet, malty, and fruity. Has a slight metallic taste to it, unfortunately.

Mouthfeel: A little thin but still crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: A decent brown ale. I've certainly had better and, for the price, I'm not sure this one stacks up. Still, not bad and certainly worth a try.

wahhmaster, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of EarlNuce
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish ale with an average head. Few bubbles to be seen.

S: Smells lovely. Bready and malty, hints of fruits.

T: As it smells: a malty ale with hints of fruits and chocolate.

M: Powerful flavours to start tingle the taste buds, the beer then goes down smooth.

D: Very easy to drink this. Not an overpowering beer but still packs a punch with its flavour.

EarlNuce, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of ATPete
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 500ml bottle

Im pretty sure this bottle is about a year old give or take having picked it up in January or so and since forgot about it. Pours a warm chestnut brown color, transparent with a medium sized large bubbled and frothy light brown head. Candy sweet malts, some gingerbread and a nutty aroma in the nose. Super creamy body, fine carbonation, soft fruity notes, and a mild chocolate cherry cake like sweetness late on the quaff. Malt dominated for sure and believe me no complaints here, this one shines in pure mouthfeel above anything else though, a pleasure to drink.

ATPete, Nov 30, 2009
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,117 ratings.