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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

2,148 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,148
Reviews: 1,014
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 63
Gots: 159 | 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
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Ratings: 2,148 | Reviews: 1,014 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -4%
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.

Sammy, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown with a little redness showing through in the light. Fairly hazy but pleasant looking. It produced a 3/4" inch thick head. Nice lacing left in the glass.
The aroma was sweet and malty. Some caramel in the nose and no hops to be found. This holds true for the flavor as well. Very smooth and malty. Definately some crystal malts in there to give it that caramel-browness that it has. I didn't detect any coffee wich I thought was odd considering this supposed to be a brown ale. I would almost suggest that it is a dark mild ale. Anyway, it had a nice medium body and was quite drinkable.

t0rin0, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -20%

djrn2, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev 0%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

acurtis, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +6.7%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

metter98, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Texasfan549, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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

brentk56, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 04, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

BEERchitect, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

kjkinsey, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Phyl21ca, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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

mikesgroove, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +6.7%

jaydoc, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: brown and amber. Half finger head.

S: semisweet malt. Not much else.

T: dark fruit malty taste. Finishes semi sweet and wet. A little fig and apricot notes

M: mild to medium body. Mild to medium carbonation.

Overall: This was a decent brown ale. I like the fig and apricot nots I was getting in addition to the typical english brown background.

kylehay2004, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Knapp85, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

oberon, Aug 07, 2002
Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

TMoney2591, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. 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 Hobgoblin, this past weekend.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, frothy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent layered and webbed lace around the glass as it evenly falls away.

It smells of mildly bready caramel malt, middling, kind of sour dark fruit, a small metallic flintiness, and earthy, leafy noble hops. The taste is lightly biscuity, bready pale and caramel/toffee malt, wet wheat crackers, ethereal dry cocoa notes, a soft raisin and date fruitiness, and more flowery, earthy hops.

The carbonation is quite low, manifesting as just a mild edginess throughout, the body generally smooth and a solid medium weight. It finishes a bit off-dry, some nutty breadiness and pithy earthy hops closing things out.

While the label may be scary here, the beer inside is certainly not - it's more a slightly above average brown ale, and definitely not as hoppy as the packaging would suggest. That said, it is simple, drinkable, and perfectly adequate for the evening's activities.

biboergosum, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

zeff80, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +12%
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.

NeroFiddled, Jan 26, 2005
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a characteristically english ale, i really like this. it pours a medium brown color, with a hint of copper to it, and a vibrant but quickly fading white head. the nose is sweeter english malts, some chocolate malt in there too, with a pungent earthy tinge. the taste is good, certainly malt driven, with what seems like an alcohol kick, but shouldnt be at this abv. theres also some cool barky woody flavor to this, birchy and distinct. caramel finish, mildly sweet. feel works well, lighter than the color, still big medium body, and enough carbonation. a good not great beer, nice for fall.

StonedTrippin, Nov 03, 2012
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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,148 ratings.