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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

HobgoblinHobgoblin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,891 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1891
Reviews: 989
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%


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: 1,891 | Reviews: 989 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An average beer all around. Hoppy, decent appearance but soapy bubbles. OK to drink if food around. Some citrus hop bite smoothed over by malts, carmel. Carmel colour. Some cocoa bittersweetness, roastiness Spot of nuts.. Medium mouthfeel. Decent brown style.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2004 20:01:48 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to nothing. Spotty small lacing on the drink down. Smells of roasted malt and caramel. Taste is the same but with a somewhat medicinal essence. Low bitterness on the tongue after each sip. Good carbonation but with a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability is average as the medicinal taste kind of kills it for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 19:18:16 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Perfectly pellucid orangish bronze. The hobgoblin's cap is light beige with a hint of orange. It isn't the typical brown ale appearance, but more closely resembles a robust English pale ale. The head looks respectable enough, stays for a spell and leaves a few arching streamers of lace. Okay, but nothing special.

Surprise, surprise; I received a blast of skunk when popping the cap. It hasn't completely faded, but then the beer has only been breathing for a few minutes. Hobgoblin smells nothing like a brown ale. Dark ale? Maybe. I can appreciate moderately toasted grain, dark fruit and... lingering skunk. Sad to say, this beer isn't that far removed from what Bud Dark (please, may it remain a figment of my demented imagination) might smell like. It's better than that, but you get the idea.

Even though there's more flavor and more personality than the nose suggested there would be, this is still only so-so beer. Dark caramel/toffee is the dominant flavor with a little hoppy spiciness for good measure. Mildly sour dark fruit is present as well. Unfortunately, the flavor profile lacks even a modest amount of complexity.

The body/mouthfeel is light (I might be convinced to call it light-medium given the style). I have no doubt that the lack of flavor, the lack of depth and the truncated finish are due, in part, to the aqueous mouthfeel. Definite room for improvement.

I've stayed away from Wychwood beer until now for a host of reasons, clear glass bottles foremost among them. Overpricing is another. The bottles are well done with an attractive shape and embossed witches on broomsticks; as are the colorful, cartoony, Tolkeinesque labels. It has always looked to me, however, that the brewery is trying too hard, putting more emphasis on the packaging than the beer. Now that I've had my first bottle, I can't say that I was that far off the mark. I take back what I said about Bud Dark, but I have no desire to go hobnobbin' with this hobgoblin again.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 14:52:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark amber, pretty much brown with a nice one inch head that faded to reveal a thin film of lace. Nothing clinging to the glass, but not expecting it to. Smell was faint but nice. English malts and barley, nuts, oak, and grassy earthy tones predominate. The taste was pretty much what I expected, nice English Dark, well round and very sessionable, I could kick these back all night. Not the biggest taste profile but worth a try

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 00:47:37 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a rocky beige head that leaves a few dots of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Toffee, hazelnuts and plummy fruit

Taste: Opens with a slightly fruity toffee flavors that yields a touch of earthy bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow there is a hint of chocolate but the bitterness turns peaty and builds to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated; a touch watery

Drinkability: Overall, I really enjoyed this; it has enough going on to make a brown ale interesting

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2007 22:46:10 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a red/brown colored beer with a nice head with usual british ale retention, i.e. not much. Carbonation is below standard and aroma is great with a mix of orange and caramel. Taste is quite refreshing with again a nice mix of sweet orange and caramel. The finish is quite dry. Overall, I would qualify this one as a good but not great English ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2004 18:56:45 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

Compared to the bottle, the beer pours a lighter-than-expected brown with ruby and golden highlights. Well carbonated and shows nice retention and lacing. The tap blends the flavors into a very suble yet heavied sweetness, hiding the chocolates, fruits, and nutty flavors. The flavors take on malty sweetness without the differentiating flavors that I noticed in the bottle. Though nice, smooth, and malty rich, the character is a bit empty without the individual flavors and fruitiness noticed. But this won't keep me from trying another.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2006 20:50:20 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that died down a bit but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of sweet toasted malts, toffee and fruity yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but isn’t as complex and sweet; a slight amount of bitterness from the hops helps to keep the malty sweetness in check.
M: It feels a little shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 00:06:50 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear brown body with a small, frothed, ivory-color head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted grain, nuts, and fruit. All of these notes are quite light, making for an overall pitiable scent.

Taste: Mild maltiness with a taste of toasted nuts and a light powdered sugar sweetness. Faint fruitiness. Minimal amount of hop bitterness that lingers into the watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: A little too bland, a little to lifeless.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2008 00:31:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2002 08:48:01 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Ah, one of the first real imports I remember trying back in the day. Memories. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear midnight amber topped by a finger of dirty khaki foam. The nose comprises light buttery biscuit, perfume-y flowers, light greens, and a kiss of honey. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a bit of hard water, some grass, and a touch of toast. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a nice bitter, nothing that will shake your perception of the style or the beverage, but something easy to drink and easy to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 18:39:11 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear, dark chestnut body reveals glimmering highlights of orange beneath a short but creamy head of ivory colored foam. The head retention is fairly good, and it holds well before dropping to a standard collar and whispy surface covering that leaves minor spotty lace about the pint. The nose reveals dark fruit (plum/prune, red grape/raisin); a smear of buttery diacetyl; an edge of iron-like minerals; and a dusting of dark chocolate. It's smooth and light across the palate with a delicate carbonation and medium-light body. The flavor is not as rich as the nose might suggest, but its lightly vinous fruit appears first on the palate, followed by some light notes of toffee, and some mild diacetyl and leafy hop in the finish. It's quite well balanced, and the bitterness simply balances what not-particularily-sweet malt is there. It's interesting, and has enough character and drinkability to make it a decent session ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2005 00:45:24 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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

Picking up a few brews for suppin' whilst helping hand out treats to the (sometimes not so) wee ones, it was a no-brainer to grab a beer such as this, this past weekend...

This beer pours a clear medium amber hue, with two fingers of creamy beige head, which leaves spotty lace as it falls away. It smells of mild caramel malt, and earthy, noble hops. The taste is biscuity, bready malt grain, and more flowery, earthy hops. The carbonation is quite low, the body fairly smooth and medium weighted, and it finishes a bit off-dry, some nutty breadiness closing things out.

An above average brown ale, though not as edgy as the packing would suggest.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 06:50:57 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy brown color, perfectly clear, with a nice, creamy layer of froth.
Nice aroma, for a brown ale/ English pale ale style, fruity, malty, light on hops, sweet, nutty, smacking of yeast, a bit.
Nice and tasty....wait, third time I've used that word, "nice"...bad monk, bad...but, it can't be helped, it's unflinchingly pleasant and, as taste now tells, palatable. No hops, thick malt, rich and round, mix of cherries, and grapes, with a distinct malty,...yumminess.
I'm liking this more and more, actually. Hadn't any clue, as my other encounters with this brewery were less than spectacular, or, at least, didn't live up to expectations raised by artistry and imagery....but this is pretty damned good. Easy to drink, packed with full flavor, medium bodied, long, fruity/nutty finish. I don't mind this little devil at all!

P.S., if it matters, this was from a brown bottle, not clear.
Although, I did see some of their other offerings in clear vessels at the same store...curious...

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2004 09:23:50 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/30/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, maple, nuts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with sweet flavors of caramel, maple, honey, roasted nuts and a little fruit. There's a decent hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter despite the sweet start.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if your in the mood for the style and especially with a meal.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2008 01:09:29 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper witha chunky 3 fingers+ sand colored head. Good lacing and below average head retention

Smell: Intense fruitcake/Christmas pudding aroma

Taste: Caramel, frutiness, & toasted malt. Slight bitterness as it warms. Slightly sweet finish

MF: Good carbonation but oscillates between hints of thin and astringent to me

Drinkable, but just didn't pull together the way I know this ale can (on cask), i'm sure the clear bottle ain't helping the cause...

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 04:54:59 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with thick frothy off-white head. The aroma seems a bit skunky, but I can detect a hint of roasted barley and victory malt. The taste is good, but not great. The beer just does nothing for me. Sure, I can drink it, but where is the complexity. They have these really cool labels, but the beer just isn't as good. When will the European breweries quit with the clear glass bottles? The mouthfeel is fine. This is a medium bodied beer and is a good sessions ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2003 01:17:13 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 20:15:25 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear, burgandy/amber color with a foamy, small, off-white head. Left behind a little soapy/lacy residue.

S - It smelled earthy and floral with a caramel malt aroma.

T - This had a nice biscuity malt flavor with a subtle nuttiness and some bitter hop kick.

M - This was smooth, soft and somewhat creamy. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a pretty good brown. Maybe a little overpriced, but good.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 20:35:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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

Tap at BBC in Walpole. Another one of those beers I'm surprised I haven't reviewed yet.

Very light fizzy head covering as the beer is filled to the brim, clear mahogany brown amber colored.

Nose typical English brown, light brown malts, toasty and light biscuity, some brown sugar, and light esb like bittering hops.

Taste semi sweet earthy brown malts, light brown sugar, biscuity, light herbal earthy hops, even a bit creamy that gives that same feel and taste as nitro but isn't. The hops turn slightly grassy with the herbal, and mild bitterness, and even slightly estery. finishes a bit drier but not much, with a bit more grassy herbal hops, semi bitter, sticky sweet, brown sugar and brown malts.

Mouth is med bodied, bit creamy, decent carb.

Overall typical English brown ale, decent malts, sessionable, brown sugar, herbal grassy hops, nothing special but a classic at the same time.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2012 20:01:37 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty deep ruby-amber color that is topped by a creamy light tan colored head. The aroma is predominantly malty, with a deep fruitiness reminiscent of raisins and cherries, perhaps a bit of cough syrup as well. Quite light on the palate up front, which moves to a soft malty sweetness and the same type of fruitiness as in the nose. Actually this is pretty nice, it is easy drinking and is driven by the light maltiness and the ale-yeast derived fruitiness. Definitely a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2004 17:02:30 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a copper colored liquid with a nice looking creamy head on it. The head leaves behind a pretty good lacing. smell of the beer is mostly malt and earthy aromas. The taste of the beer is earthy as well. There is a pretty nice hop bitterness to the beer too. The mouthfeel was very smooth, just enough carbonation to not be flat. Overall it's a pretty nice beer all around.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2011 04:15:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Pours medium brown with ruby highlights. The head descends to a thin, well-retained covering.

The smell is of sweet toffee with a lemony tang.

The taste is of sweet toffee with subtle hints of brown sugar. A lemony hop tang balances out the sweetness nicely. Suggestions of chocolate emerge as drink progresses. It has a pleasant, well-balanced taste to it Nutty finish. A slight warming alcohol touch finishes it off.

Fuller side of medium bodied. Smooth.

This is a nice English "session" ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 22:51:26 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have always drank this in cask condition before (draught in a pub) and liked it very much. I haven't tried it in a bottle before, this review is for the bottled variety, I haven't had a draught one since joining the BA world.

The bootle version is not (in my opinion) as good as the cask, but here goes anyway.

Looks good, dark amber, ruby brown in colour, with an inch high off-white, cream coloured head, which stayed throughout the pint, although it was a lot thinner by the end.

Sweet and malty, with a hint of fruit, apples maybe, not sure.

A good honest ale taste, a little sweet, but to my tastebuds, about right. Malty aftertaste which stays until the next mouthful.

Fairly thick, it hangs around for a time, not heavy, but a pleasant body to the beer.

Very drinkable in my book, still prefer the draught, but after a hard days work and 3 hours on a University course and then a drive home, this beer did the trick and I was normal again half way through it.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 12:53:10 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts off well, but fades fast. You get just a hint of a full bodied ale, but it drops off nearly immediately. Because it had no lasting power, I wouldn't go for it again, or recommend it for that matter. Beyond that, I can't really think of anything constructive to deliver to you.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 01:52:53 | More by RblWthACoz
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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,891 ratings.