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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,977 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,977
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 51
Gots: 87 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,977 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vendetta

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Original Rating Date:
August 30, 2008

Pours dark chestnut brown, enticing brown. Smells of malt, bread. About a finger of head that slowly fades. Tastes of roasted malt, lots of maltiness, caramel. Creamy palate with carbonation. Not all that bitter for an ESB. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 23:40:27 | More by Vendetta
Photo of msolar


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike C @ Upper Falls for the bottle!

This was a decent beer. I'm certainly glad to have tried it (especially as this bottle was a gift), but wouldn't go out of my way to purchase it. We tried it in the company of some darker Rogue and Southern Tier beers, and that might have jaded us, but this seemed very run of the mill.

I'd strongly recommend Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale as an alternative for a darker English-style ale.

Note: mine came in a brown bottle, not the clear bottle as pictured above.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 22:07:21 | More by msolar
Photo of roadhouse


3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a brown-copper color with a once inch creamy light tan colored head that holds up very well and stays thick. Leaves some very nice lacing.

Aroma is nice and malty with notes of caramel, toffee, raisin, and some general fruitiness. Good but quite mild.

Taste begins with some sweet caramel that is quickly followed by toffee and the raisiny fruitiness. A light chocolate tinge and then a fair amount of spicy/herbal hops in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very creamy texture. Quite drinkable.

Enjoyed this one quite a bit and it's a nice example of the style. If you are into English ales I would recommend this for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 22:02:26 | More by roadhouse
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Burnt amber with cloudiness that does not settle. Thick offwhite head that settles rapidly

S-Nutty toffee and fruity malts

T-Smell continues in the taste, with mild sweetness of toffee and coffee followed by a mild hoppy bitterness. Very well balanced.

M-Moderate carbonation and again, well balanced.

D-Very drinkable beer, maybe not the greatest, but one that I go back to occassionally for a changeup to the old and familiar. I love the 500 ML bottles...the perfect portion size.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 00:32:03 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of cvfish


3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a reddish amber color with a minor white head that disappeared quickly and left no lacing

S - Slight nutty and toffee quality

T - Starts with a toffee/caramel mix and ends with the sutle sweetness of fruit

M - Medium bodied with over the top carbonation, feels unnatural

D - Very good beer, and very satisfying

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 01:23:24 | More by cvfish
Photo of thartman


4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz brown bottle a deep brown and ruby red in color, with a decent foamy off white head that disapated to a swirly lather. The lacing left on the glass was splattered like paint spots. Smell of toasted malts and caramel. Taste similar to the smell with some slight bitterness. Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Not much carbonation and very reminescent to an English-style brew. Nice brown ale and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 00:24:37 | More by thartman
Photo of Pencible


3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy dark mahogany with almost no head. It smelled like subtle roasted barley with a bit of bittersweet chocolate and vanilla oak. It tasted like molasses and bittersweet chocolate and earthy barley, with some creamy yeast and a bit of copper hops. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a pretty good flavor and body. It was still kind of dirty, but it was easy to drink. This was the best Wychwood I've tried, but that's not saying much.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 22:35:41 | More by Pencible
Photo of yossarian14


3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle @ Deep Ellum

Pours a reddish-chestnut brown with a small off-white head. Spotty lacing. Faint brown bread and coffee malt aroma. Tastes the same with a slightly tart, fruitiness in the finish. Tingling carbonation also in the finish. Very drinkable medium-full bodied beer.
I'd like to try this with a nutty cheese, maybe gruyere.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 14:11:19 | More by yossarian14
Photo of nramsburg

New York

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Hobgoblin pours to a deep, "burnt" amber color. Minimal head. On the nose, there's quite a bit of malty toffee flavor with hints of what might be closest to dark chocolate.
On the palate, Hobgoblin has a smooth brown ale flavor. It's full without overpowering. While it's a darker beer, it's pleasingly light on the finish -- definitely make me want to enjoy another -- and leaves a slight lingering note of hobs. Nothing terribly complex going on and certainly could be enjoyed as a session beer if, that is, your budget allows.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 02:00:58 | More by nramsburg
Photo of 6stringfunk


4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Deep brown with a tint of red. Head is light tan.

Smell: malts. Light hints of chocolate.

Taste: Taste of malts, chocolate, coffee. Slightly sweet in the best possible sense.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Creamy

Drinkability: A could drink these all night. I hesitate giving it a 5 just because I'm new to beer drinking, but it's at the top of my list for drinking. Not the most complex taste, but a very satisfying beer. I wish now I didn't share my bottle with a friend. ;)

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 03:05:12 | More by 6stringfunk
Photo of clayrock81


3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came in a dark brown color with a frothy, one-finger tan head that slowly died and left some lace patches. Had mild smells of chocolate and coffee malts with a hint of herbalness and more sweet malts. Mildy sweet, not overbearing, the cocoa and coffee are subdued. Real smooth, almost slick, with a little bit of creaminess and no dryness to it as it passes down easily and enjoyable. Hints of caramel and/or butter(scotch) around the backend. A very enjoyable beer to have sometimes.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 05:08:35 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Dogsgogrrrr


4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark copper, with light tan head.

Aroma: Very basic aroma, smells of caramel malts.

Taste: Chocolate toffee malt flavor is noticeable, but far from overpowering. Not the most complex taste, but malty and pleasurable.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, but light and smooth. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable for a dark ale. Definitely an ale that can be enjoying repeatedly.

All in all, a delicious and very drinkable dark English Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 23:55:56 | More by Dogsgogrrrr
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with a tan head and lace that has good retention.
Aroma of toffee,chocolate and malts.
The taste of caramel,chocolate and a good dose of malts and biscuit tones. It was sweet,but not overbearing.
The feel is smooth,full bodied,medium carbonation and only a bit of bitterness in the finish.

Notes: Very unique in the sense that it was brewed with a lot of thought. Flavors that pound the tongue and make themselves present in every sip. Overall, a well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 02:49:35 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a tawny, caramel brown, a light beige head of maybe a half-finger. Cool waves and swells of lace.

Aroma - light caramel malts, sweet and basic.

Taste - sweet, brown sugar, licorice, and malty grain flavor . Light bitterness on the swallow, gaining a little on the aftertaste. Finishes clean and dry. A light breath of alcohol with some warming.

Mouthfeel - moderately crisp, pretty average body and feel, as it should be.

Drinkability - a tasty sessionable ale. Pricy at $3.49 a bottle but I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 03:44:02 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of LunaChick


4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a wonderful rich ruby brown with a hefty tan head that retains very well. Aromoas of very rich malts, slight chocolate and hintss of maple and toasted nuts. Flavor is malt-o-licious. Thick, chewy and packed with sweetness balanced with a hint of bitterness. In the middle slight hints of yeeast-a tiny butterscotch note but predominantly the malts produce tons of rich flavor. This beer has low carbonation which makes it very very smooth--almost creamy in the mouth. Ridiculously smooth. And very full-bodied in flavor. Its a heavy brew but very drinkable. This will be a constant in my house for certain.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 15:56:28 | More by LunaChick
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Reddish color when held against the light. Amber brown in color. 1.5 finger creamy head that drags down the glass. Good retention.

Smell: Slight alcohol, nutty maple and sweet. Pleasant with some fruit and cream soda aromas hinting around. It's a very complex smell that keeps us coming back for more.

Taste: Very malty, nuts and maple. The fruit component is not here at all. Not complex at all, pleasing and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, chewy, and light. Carbonation is present but mild. "It's just smooth" - Wiseman Nick.

Drinkability: I think you could easily drink these all night, very light, if you have the money I'd go these over every crappy macrocrap for a party. I'd like to see this in a keg.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 04:53:02 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of Jyubei

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. 1 in light tan head on a dark brown body that is deep red in the light.

S. Hint of hops with a strong scent of malt and toffee.

T. Very slight bitterness with strong malt toffee and chocolate notes. Bitter almost lambic aftertaste.

M. Sticky at first but smooth as you swallow.

D.Wonderful dark ale that I will get again.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 21:19:26 | More by Jyubei
Photo of GRPunk


3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- The 1/2 finger tan head quickly fizzled to a light lace that left some decent sticky spots on the side of the glass. The body was a deep reddish-brown.

S- The aroma was mostly caramel malt that became more pronounced as the beer warmed. It had lighter tones of floral hops and something of a sweet berry accent.

T- A little ho-hum. Initially I felt like the earthy hops took center stage, but the caramel malts came on late and were more present when the beer warmed slightly.

M- There was a strong tingle from the solid carbonation and a drying effect from the hopping.

D- Very, meh. I remember drinking this some years back and really enjoying it. This go 'round was a little less inspiring. It's not bad, but it doesn't set itself apart from the other popular English Brown Ales on the shelf.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 02:38:11 | More by GRPunk
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.... does not look like the BA pic anymore.. picked up at the Coop a couple of weeks ago.. I don't remember the price.. but it couldn't have been that much because I didn't write the price on the cap... poured into my shaped SA glass..

The brew is a surprisingly clear amber brown.. the head didn't stick around for that long.. but descent lacing for an English Ale..

Sweet malty nose.. caramel.. a little bit nutty.. light fruitiness... nothing at all is wrong with this brew with the aroma.. I bet it would be amazing from a cask.

The flavor doesn't quite deliver.. nutty and brown malts.. some caramel.. toasted malts are definitely there.. very balanced.. and very drinkable.. good bitterness to balance.. not much flavor to describe as expected.. finish is sorta tannic with dry caramel contributions.. slight cherry fruitiness.. lingering finish.. makes me want another sip.. the body is lite/medium with low carbonation without ever verging on flat.. very very drinkable as I come to the bottom of the glass..

It took me a while to come around to the Hobgoblin... but I am leaving a fan..


Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 09:00:46 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of kinger


3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had to grab a Hobgoblin for Halloween, although I sampled this a week later. Light floral hop aroma with some sweet malt, rather faint but enjoyable. Amber pour with a medium white head and nice lacing. Medium bodied ale not very filling. Taste is subtle for being a "strong Ale", although I'm finding that many English styles generally are tame. Caramel with a light fruitiness backed by those nice floral hops. Again this ale seems typical with the English way, lightly hearty. A decent one but nothing shocking.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 00:54:28 | More by kinger
Photo of jbphoto88


3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber brown brew poured from a brown bottle with a greenish tint. The beer is relatively clear with sparkly bubbles that cling to the sides of the glass mid beverage. The off white head dissipates to a thin collar and spit like haze on the surface.

The scent is of caramelized malts with a mild earthy darkened fruit nose. A touch of roasted nuttiness is mild but is very nice.

Wow the taste falls short of the bouquet. The flavors are mild and earthy but don't pack the potency of the scent. There are some light cherry flavors and a tartness that is reminiscent of something bigger.

The mouthfeel is rather nice. There is a warm nutty finish and a nice tickle of carbonation. I can easily drink more of this beer, it's not big on the flavors but its a nice medium bodied brew that hits the spot after a long day.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2008 01:19:30 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The light auburn highlights concealed by its deep russet brown skin are exposed when the beer is held up to light. It has cooling, autumn themed tones. A thin spread of ecru blankets the top and stands taller around the perimeter. The little dots of lace seem to be slowly sinking.

Its aroma has the soft, nutty malt character typical of English Brown Ales, although it doesn't stand out for me as being one of the best examples of one. A few sips in and I'd change my mind to say it's not even really a good example. Approximately double the malt with about double the roast would be a good way to start making up some ground.

This would go a long way to solving the issues its flavour faces, too. There just isn't enough malt to give a convincing 'nutty' impression and the level of roast is too little to invoke notes of caramel or butterscotch. There may be a smack of molasses but I fail to pick out any hazelnut, any pecan, and only very little toffee.

I feel terribly cheated on the mouthfeel as well: little malt that has been little toasted makes for little mouthfeel. A well crafted brown ale has that dry, chalky bitterness paved over with the rich, sweet, gooey sensation of toasted caramelized malts. Instead, I get the texture of spent grains.

I think it's fair to say of Wychwood beers that, on the whole, they are pretty underwhelming. This is partly due to the fact that the majority of their offerings are plain old English bitters of one type or another, which are largely unexciting styles themselves. That said, a good pint of bitter won't be displeasing, but this on other hand...

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 02:53:44 | More by biegaman
Photo of Stro23m


4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer so so much and finally was able to get a six pack today but my god (my beer store doesnt have sticker price tags) so i was very supprised that when they rang it up, well it cost me $12 a six pack so 2 dollars a beer. The thing is i like this so much i didnt mind paying $12 a six pack cause this beer is so hard to find where i live.

To tell you the truth i wanted to rate this all 5's but ive never had a beer that was perfect but this is as close as it gets for me.

My favorite beer out of 100's that ive tried.

An english brown ale that has a fruity, biscuity maltiness and creamy mouthfeel.

This beer goes down so smooth that you literally wont beleive it.

I like enjoying a beer and not slamming it down but this one is so smooth after a couple of drinks i looked at my pint glass and it was empty.

I would reccomened this beer to anyone. I think this beer is so smooth and good that even people that only like budweiser may even enjoy this not just think its ok.


Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 18:02:07 | More by Stro23m
Photo of WHROO


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep ruby red, with a beige fluffy head, good lacing & head retention.
S: Fruity, some berries, even citrus, also a little nutty & biscuity. Quite sweet overall
T: Had some wild sour & bitter berryness about it, which I enjoyed...also some sweet malts, nutty & some caramel.
M: Medium with full flavour & complexity.
D: Yep...

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 01:07:58 | More by WHROO
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep red with a thin white head and some lacing.

Smells of dried fruit, sweet malt, hints of butter and chocolate.

Full sweet malt flavors with a buttery touch; some dried stone fruit attributes, a little hop bitterness in the background.

Beer is mildly carbonated and medium-full bodied. Flavors linger and coat the mouth. I can have maybe one or two of these before moving on -- which I did. Tasty, but not refreshing. Decent Fall/cool weather/food pairing beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2008 12:26:58 | More by OtherShoe2
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,977 ratings.