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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 BigIrishman

New Jersey

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

Had at Porter's in Easton, PA

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Pours a raspberry, dark red with a small amount of white head. Smell mostly malty with a slight chocolate undertone. Tastes rather sweet and malty with a tiny bit of chocolate on the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, runs pretty heavy in your mouth. Overall, I wouldn't be opposed to having more than one, but it's not the first thing I'm reaching for.

Overall, a pretty decent beer and very different than the classic style.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 03:08:12 | More by BigIrishman
Photo of GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

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

Pours a dark red-brown, with a thin tan head. I remember this beer being darker before?

Nutty, grainy-malty aroma and almost some sourness to it. Has a doughy, soury, nutty, toffee like taste to it with some slight hop bitterness, pretty well balanced, but this bottle seemed almost winey or over fermented like moldy grapes.

I think I got a bad bottle because I remember this being better before, I'll have to try it again and re-rate. Smooth mouthfeel , overall this beer is decent but my taste buds must have improved because I remember this being alot better.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 18:34:55 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of taylor714914


2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle which was split with a fellow BA

A- A rich brown leather color with a finger of head that calmed down within a few short minutes to leave just a thin scum on the top with virtually no lacing.

S- Lots of malts in the nose, some biscuit like aromas as well.

T- Sweet biscuity flavor with some malts. Almost no hops flavor. It reminded me of a ever so slightly heavier newcastle.

M- Thin, almost watery.

D- This just didn't seem to be drinkable for me. 2 at best. Too one noted, just no depth or complexity that would keep me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 01:43:34 | More by taylor714914
Photo of dotsonjamesg


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wychwood: Hobgoblin Dark English Ale

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Dark brown and clear with light carbonation; little to no head.

S: Smell is of sweet malts with fruity overtones. Scent of hops also piles in to the mixture.

T: Sweet malts with fruity notes. Bitter balanced with hops and hints of alcohol.

M: Fairly thin and not too carbonated.

D: I found it better as it warmed, the flavors were a little constricted when I drank it ice cold.

The brew is good but the publicity this brew has received led me to believe it would be better. If you're a fan of New Castle or you are looking to test "new waters" (and move away from fizzy, yellow beer), I highly recommend it.


Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 07:06:15 | More by dotsonjamesg
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ample carbonation puts up only a modest, rocky head that drops quickly, depositing some lace over a clear, auburn-to-brown beer.

The aroma is a hybrid of cedar and rye bread with some orange peel in the background. This one warms to reveal light bourbon and raisin notes.

Mild bitterness accompanies a flavor profile that follows the aroma without any note of the bourbon. Mild bitterness also permeates a quick finish.

Hobgoblin is a watery, thin-bodied beer with surprisingly little carbonation on the tongue despite appearances. This is remarkably dry with no sense of any alcohol.

A good standard beer and I will definitely finish the bottle after a long, hard day.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 21:19:42 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Vengeance526


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

Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights, producing a 1 finger fluffy off-white head that leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, some roasted malt and a bit of coffee.

Taste is fairly nutty, with added notes of brown sugar, caramel, roasted chocolate and some dark fruits. Rich taste, a little on the sweet side but they pulled it off nicely.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Full bodied with medium carbonation, a great brown ale that is easy to drink and I would probably go for this one again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 04:49:54 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A very dark brown ale that can still bee soon through with a light carbonation a thin decipating foam head.

Smell- The smell on the beer is amazing smells like apples or grapes or some sweet fruity juice, obvious malts come ripping into your nostrils.

Taste- A tasty sweet dark ale, fruity tones and malty goodness which match what was picked up on the nose. Impressive flavor. A slight bitterness to help balance the sweetness you get upfront.

Mouthfeel- This is one smooth mutha sucka! It goes down incredibly soft and smooth. Very little carbonation.

Drinkability- A tad sweet for one I would drink session ably but still a very good beer that is a fine model of its style. Worth getting again for sure

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 04:31:50 | More by Stunner97
Photo of pablot71


3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured beer into a mug. Has murky or hazy brown color with a slight head that leaves almost no lacing. The aroma is citrusy. The taste continues with some fruity qualities which over takes other more traditional malty qualities that I look for in an English brown. Medium mouthfeel. This definitely stands out among English brown ales. For my personal preferences I'm not sure it is for the better but it is still an interesting and well crafted beer that many may enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 04:35:10 | More by pablot71
Photo of droomyster


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

Pours a clear, dark ruby red with a small off-white head. Aromas of steaming butter, and sweet dark fruits; a bit chocolatey as well; a very promising nose. A rich and interesting flavor. Sweet, fruity and toffeeish malts are dominant; faint hops bring up the rear. Those hops need to speak up a little more to give this beer some balance, but with that said, I enjoy it's off-kilter taste. A smooth, full-bodied brew whose presentation is beautiful to behold and almost as fun to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 07:58:27 | More by droomyster
Photo of Tolnik


4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a great amount of head and reduces to a great amount of lacing. The ruby red brown beer gives a great aroma and taste. As the aroma greats the nose with brown sugars, caramel and malts. A great balance has been found within this beer. For the aftertaste it leaves a wonderful taste, if a bit dry.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 01:21:27 | More by Tolnik
Photo of bum732


4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red brown leaving a very fluffy head. Smells of brown sugar and caramal sweetness with a grassy pilsner aroma. Tastes of sweet caramel brown sugar malt followed by a nice thick richness. There is a nice toffee taste in the malt with a tad of fruit in the background. Ends with a touch of bitterness and carbonation drying the palate.

A very nice beer, i'm not usually a fan of brown ales, but this has a nice rich malt presense that i feel lacks in many brown ales. Truly representative of an English brown ale, definitely have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 23:37:09 | More by bum732
Photo of yesyouam

New York

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

Wychwood Hobgoblin is a very clear, reddish brown ale with a creamy, dense, yellow-beige head that has outstanding retention and leaves thick sheets of lacing on the glass. It looks perfect! The aroma is nutty and a little sweet. It has a roasty quality and there may be a note of chocolate in the nose. It smells slightly herbal and medicinal, and very English. It is medium-light bodied; very smooth with a dry, slightly scratchy finish. It's a simple flavor that's very pulled together. It's slightly sweet, slightly bitter and perhaps a touch sour. There may be a little nuttiness. This is very sessionable!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 15:29:40 | More by yesyouam
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange-brown color, bright presence in the glass with a large, loose head of large, quick to pop bubbles, above average lacing. The nose has an admirable balance between malts and hops, even with light cocoa powder and dark fruits could pass for a pilsner with its grains, straw and tobacco wrapper. Light-bodied, quite smooth with a creamy texture given its lack of heft. Mixed berry, nuts and a hint of caramel, however, in no way sweet. Here, malt dominates the attack with hops gaining the lead through the finish. The high level of carbonation doesn't disturb the flavor clarity, fits the weight and keeps the brew refreshing. A floral side comes through with the aftertaste. Very tactful and easy to consume.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 17:39:45 | More by farrago
Photo of lpayette


3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours mostly brownish in color with a slightly red hue with good clarity. Solid two-finger off-white head that produces quite a bit of lacing up and down the glass.

Smell- Is mostly balanced on the sweet malty side of things with suggestions of caramel and faint toffee. Yeasty bread-like character as well.

Taste- Initial impression is malty up front followed by a near banana bread middle and finishes nutty and lingering. Going deeper, it's fruityness is not limited to banana but also contains suggestions of apples. The maltyness can be broken down into several areas which inclue caramel, toffee, and a whisper of smoke. Subtle low alpha acid hop presence keeps everything in check for the most part and lends a woodsy/earthy flavor presence.

Mouthfeel- Full-bodied, and well-rounded overall, but finishes a bit drier than I'd like.

Drinkability- Definitely sessionable for sure. Interesting and complex enough to not get bored with it, especially if starting off cold and seeing how it progresses as it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 01:45:01 | More by lpayette
Photo of Jeffo


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up at the LCBO, and it seems as though they've gotten rid of the clear bottle in favor of a brown one.

Into my pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small beige medium thick head that quickly dissipates into a thin film with a few larger bubbles on top. No carbonation at all. Looks brown / rust in colour and is very clear. No lacing, but a rim of film stays until the end.

SMELL: A slight malt sweetness and some dark fruits, caramel, and a hint of licorice there as well. A little weak, which seems to be common for the style, but a nice combination non-the-less.

TASTE: Malt sweetness with some dark fruits as well, including grapes and dates at the end. A bitter sweet hop finish and the aftertaste is strong and makes a statement. Aftertaste lingers long as well. The toffee is there as well, as advertised, but the promised chocolate undertones didn't show up. Non-the-less, an interesting and relatively complex taste profile.

PALATE: Velvet smooth, goes down rather creamy without a bite and finishes quite dry. Medium body and low end carbonation. Not bad.

OVERALL: An enjoyable brown ale. Tasty with a longer hop presence at the end. Definitely drinkable and would make an enjoyable session beer, thought the ABV is technically a little high. This was probably the best brown ale I've had, so I'd revisit this one for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 03:43:58 | More by Jeffo
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a stange.

Color is a dark dark coller amber, basically brown. Pours a very fluffy brown head, that leaves thick lace rings.

Smell is nutty and chocolatey. Taste is very similiar. It is rich and malty. There is also an earthy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but creamy at the same time. It goes down easy and has great carbonation.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer. I really enjoyed this and I can see myself getting some more of this when I am looking for a brown ale. It represents the style quite well!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 03:19:16 | More by mothman
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with very little head and no lacing. Very light carbonation.

Nose is sweet malt, dark dried fruits.

The taste is quite sweet all the way through. Candied caramel malts dominate early and lead to a slight spicey hop profile. Not a lot of bitterness to balance all the sweetness. Not overly complex.

The body is pretty thin and the carbonation is quite low.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 02:59:54 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of BeerImmediately


4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Poured a brown/amber color, w/a lite head fading to a film.

Smells like a red wine - merlot, to be specific. Grapes, alcohol, and even some cranberries.

Had an acidic, fruity flavor. Not overpowering though.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, but not watery like so many brown ales.

Ranks high on my drinkability meter - interesting smell, unique flavor, and low ABV = Good Combo!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 03:07:31 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of lhaqq


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

A: Medium brown body with a good-sized light tan head.
S: Really effervescent. Brown sugar, molasses, and caramelized malts. Some nuttiness too so the sweetness isn't cloying but well-balanced.
T: First flavor is of the brown sugar, and some dark fruits. Shifts into the maltiness with a slight sweetness at the end.
M: A great beer to have at cellar temp. Not too carbonated and enjoyably so. Good and robust yet still quite drinkable.
D: A great session beer. Granted its not trying to mask a terribly high abv, but it still packs a lot of flavor while remaining quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 06:46:42 | More by lhaqq
Photo of cpn920

New York

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

Pours a ruby/mahogany color with a nice creamy head that left moderate lacing. Malty smell that was smooth on the taste buds with mild bitterness to finish. Very smooth and balanced but Hobgoblin is an unispiring brew for me. I just felt that one was enough and it was time to move on to something else.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 22:01:11 | More by cpn920
Photo of ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

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

Pours a very deep ruby red with about a two finger tan coloured head that slowly settles. Smells of chocolate and biscuits and a bit fruity. The taste is buttery malt and chocolate accompanied with a nice level of bitterness. Nice lacing that follows the beer to the end of the glass. This beer is very smooth and creamy and very well balanced. I would definately grab this again. Merry Christmas!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 05:51:37 | More by ludachris
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright walnut brown beer with a nice fairly substantial eggshel colored head with good retention.

Smell: Sweet caramel, biscuit, light hops and floral/fruity notes.

Taste: Sweet caramel/toffee and biscuit, with a light but substantial bittersweet finish

Mouthfeel: Medium, and oh so smooth

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: A great drinking/session English Brown...fresh on tap is even better than out of the bottle/can

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2008 06:33:12 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice dark brown color with some cherry in it. Hobgoblin initially leaves a 4 cm head, which recedes to a mere collar with some patchy lacing.

Smell: Not a strong smell, but the toasted malt with some caramel notes, buttery texture, and light nuttiness are all noticeable to my nose.

Taste: Overall there is a consistency to the taste throughout the sip. The toasted malt, light toffee flavor, an smooth nuttiness are omnipresent. I am greeted by some light, nutty sweetness up front, which slowly fades into the rest of the flavors. The buttery nuttiness is the main taste, and although I do not taste the alcohol, I get a slight warming in the middle of the sip. A slight kick of hops is noticeable finishing out the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat less than medium carbonation, smooth and consistent taste.

Drinkability: The consistency of the taste and the mild nuttiness make this a very drinkable brown ale. Not the best out there, but a worthy choice.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 08:22:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of ajmoody76


3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got a sixer of this from my sister-in-law. thank you! pours a clear dark copper color. thin tan head. looks good.

caramel malt. some fruit in there also. no off odors.

good malt base. sweet taste. a little hop fruit. hop aftertaste.

mid-full body. okay carbonation. i like this beer. may drink again. send more my way!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 03:51:53 | More by ajmoody76
Photo of magictrokini


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

Tap at the Princess Pub. Clear mahogany with a little ring of bubbles. Sweet, malty aroma. More malt and nuts in the taste, but bitter this time. Good brew. This is not to be confused with the other brewer that uses similar bottles and similar art to cover up the crap inside.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2008 19:48:00 | More by magictrokini
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,977 ratings.