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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,312 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,312
Reviews: 1,046
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 71
Gots: 249 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,312 | Reviews: 1,046 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SteveS1
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the glass-
Look: Pours dark amber with a thin light brown head.

Smell: Typical aroma for a dark beer.

Taste: A little spicy on the tongue. Very woody going down, a little bitter. Pine aftertaste with a hint of molasses.

Feel: Mouth feel is light with moderate carbonation.

Drink: A nice surprise, complex and interesting. Everyone will get something different out of it, definitely have again.

Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Lark in East Northport, New York.

Poured a dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light doughiness, some caramel and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of clean toasted malts, nuttiness, an herbal hop and a touch of smoke at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty and complex ale.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured in a snifter.

Nice deep brown color with a small light brown head. very malty smooth aroma. It's quite thick and smooth, nice amount of carbonation for an English brown. It's got some bready sweet notes to it as well. I think it's pretty good for a session ale.

Photo of dionisio
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is pretty much perfect. It is delicious. It has a complex enough flavor, without any elements standing out glaringly. This is really one of the most solid beers out there, from, in my opnion, one of the best breweries. This is the perfect example of what an ale should be. If you were trying to convince someone that they should drink better beer, this would be a good beer to have them try so they can see what it is that they're missing.

I bought all my friends a round of this one time at a bar, and everyone was impressed with it (these are friends who appreciate beer though; it's not related to the end of that last paragraph).

I also had this from cask one time in York, but I don't remember enough to write a separate review for that.

Photo of TheSarge
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this brew out of a dark brown/vice clear bottle, into my Stone Imperial Pint glass. With a semi vigorous pour, about a two finger thick crown of light tan head came about. The cranium dissipated pretty quickly into light lacing. The body is dark copper and ruby in color.

The aroma is light, with the hops being the most prominent trait, which is somewhat citrusy, but a hint of light cocoa is detectable too.

Taste wise, it's a little leathery and fruity up front, but gives way to a brisk cocoa like flavor. The cocoa actually cuts the fruitiness quite well, making this beer a little complex.

Though this is a "dark" beer, it's still light and refreshing; not overly done with burnt malts and keeps the palate moist. I'd go with this brew whenever the opportunity arises.

Photo of johnd513
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark orange brown with a small fizzy head. Smells of sweet malt, not much going on here. Tastes of malt and nothing else really. The mouthfeel has a light body with mild carbination. Drinkability is limited by the bland and average taste of this beer. Not worth the import price.

Photo of Buggies
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark orange brown. Very little head just a slim fizzy one at best.

S: Has a sweet herbal aroma to it which is interesting.

T: Most sweet with that herbal taste to it. Some hints of caramel and butterscotch there too. A slightly sweet finish.

This tasted a bit thin to me. But it had enough going to make it interesting. I'd have a few of these again.

Photo of kellywilson50
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is great except for the head, which was fizzy and disappeared quickly. The aroma is biscuity, with a slight hint of English hops. Flavor has subtle caramel/roasted characteristics which combine to give a light root beer flavor. Pretty average mouthfeel, very similar to a soft drink with slightly more body. Although pretty "drinkable", I prefer to sip and enjoy the subtle flavors of this beer. I had served it pretty cold, and as it warms up the more complex flavors come through.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice pretty molasses brown with a brief
head and no real lacing going on .

S/T: Sweet and malty but otherwise unoriginal
and kind of bland as the style goes.

M: Thin and undercarbonated perhaps.

D: I think I'll have to pass when given other
craft opportunities but still head and
shoulders above any macro offerings that I
can think of.

Photo of webbcreative
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured clear amber color with very small head. Not too much aroma just a little bozey. Fast is where it stands out sweet, nutty the finisher a bit sweeter than it started. This is a very smooth beer, and mouthfeel is medium.

Overall, this is a very mice brew, I thought it was going to be abut stronger than it was, and not In A good way, bit I was pleasantly suprised. Could drink a few of these.

Photo of Stavage
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a ruby red brown with a decent head. Retainment was ok and the lacing it left was ok.

The smell was grain and berries at first. It degraded fairly fast though and the smell soon become dominated by an unpleasant metallic twang.

At first I thought the taste was interesting but not really my kinda thing. There was a strange phenolic taste I couldn't quite place, with some light maltiness and almost a citric bite. Not much fruitiness despite the berries coming through on the nose. Unfortunately as with the smell the taste degraded too, not becoming unpleasant but the flavour profile was very thin and watery.

Way overcarbonated in my opinion. When flavours are so light too much fizz really helps to kill off any chance they have of making it through to your palate and that was the case here.

Nothing really unpleasant here, just nothing pleasant for me either. I could drink it, just wasn't a particular enjoyment to do so.

Photo of LieutenantWort
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a dark brown 500ml bottle into a pint glass. This beer has dark chocolate/walnut color, but is quite clear despite the dark color, not at all cloudy or opaque. Head is moderate and fizzy, evaporating quickly.

Nose is good, lots of caramel and malt with a thin, sharp tang of pine and lemon cutting through the sweetness.

Taste is predominately grain, just a few roasted notes, and a veneer of lemon. The light citrus tartness of the citrus is nicely balanced against the mild malt notes. Fairly drinkable, although surprisingly bitter for the style.

For me the biggest drawback to the Hobgoblin is its sharp, fizzy carbonation. Together with the lemon bitterness, it can wear out the palate a bit too soon.

Photo of janubio
3.02/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

50 cl bottle. I was hoping some more of a beer that in the commercial description reads "Michael Jackson 500 clasic brews".
Copper-red colour, with a good head that leaves some lace. Smell is the biggest problem to me, besides limestone and dust, I don’t smell much, maybe some caramel. In the mouth I find it a bit watery. Taste of caramels, the same limestone and some medicinal thing. Esay drink, but nothing more that would make me want to repeat.

Photo of Anthony1
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance- a very dark, deep red color. a very small head with thin lacing that seems to stick around longer then expected.

smell- a deep chocolate, toffee, caramel aroma with hits of oats and yeast.

taste/mouthfeel- a full bodied ale that runs smooth. can taste hops, malts, and chocolate. Bit of bitterness.

drinkability- enjoyed drinking although not a lasting flavor that i would enjoy drinking multiple.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Copper/ruby pour with very small head.
Sweet dark malty aroma, almost confectionery toffee/caramel like, with some oats and diacetyl in the background. English hops quite prominent also.
Flavour profile is rather thin, mainly toasted malts and a decent hoppy bitter.
Mouthfeel is great for the style.

Photo of BierFan
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2 ounce brown bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin layer of light tan foam. Clear reddish brown body.

Smell: Kind of a tootsie roll chocolate aroma with diacetyl.

Taste: This beer is light on malty flavor which lets the flowery hops dominate much of the experience.

Photo of NightINgale
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown colour to the body, with a ruby glow, as promised on the label. I got a finger-thick off-white head, with somewhat decent retention and great lacing.

S: The smell of sweet caramel malts is dominant, you also get some roastiness, some hops, and notes of raisins and/or cherries. Overall, the smell is rather unique and isn't a typical brown ale smell.

T: Hobgoblin has a woody, nutty, slightly sweet malty taste, with a good amount of herbal hops, and a touch of caramel. You also get some subtle fruit notes (cherries, plum, raisins). Finishes in lingering breadiness, with some balanced bitterness.

M: Light-to-medium bodied. The carbonation is very mild, which is only logical for an ale.

D: Very drinkable, for my taste. You wouldn't want to have too many in a row, though. Nor it is a good idea to drink this ice-cold.

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a pretty sweet goblin cartoon on the label. Pours a deep brown with a white, half inch, head. Leaves quite a lot of lacing. Smells of earthy, English hops and maybe some caramel. Tastes of the same earthy hops upfront, some malty sweetness, then a surprisingly bitter finish on the tip of the tongue. Went well with a patty melt. A good example of a true English brown.

Photo of Boozefox
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear, reddish copper brew, the color of smoky garnets or scorched cedar. Thin off-white head with relatively quick dissipation and little real retention, but a trail of fizz maintains some edge lacing throughout the experience.

S: I literally put my nose in this one trying to get more than faint esters, but I still got very little. Some light malt, some spice. It's probably my nose's fault, though, as I couldn't get much out of either of the bottles I had last night, either.

T: Good. Crisp, clean, clearly carbonated... quite characteristic. Some metallic notes on the soft palette, a smoky haze of roasted nuts and pecan bitters at the end. Long finish, smoky, nutty.

The more I drink, the more prominent the nutty, oaty, roasted barely notes become, but they never overpower the "English ale" flavor. Some small hops oiliness helps keep the malt from running rampant.

M: Definitely carbonated, but not too sparkly. Thin, but not in a bad way, more in a non-cloying way. Fresh. Slightly oily, coating, but not stifling.

D: Very very drinkable. As drinkable as kolsch, as a clean lager, as water. I could swig this all night.

Conclusion: A Damn Fine Import. Love the name.

Photo of Cs1987
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark red, small head with good retention.

Smell - Quite malty, not much else to comment on.

Taste - Very malty, well balanced with the hops. Fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, but should have higher carbonation.

Drinkability - Good for the style.

Overall - Certainly enjoyable, but not the best Brown Ale I've had.

Photo of argock
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.95.

A: Light amber hue with 1-finger beige head with average retention and minimal lacing.

S: Herbal, woody, with overly sweet malt aromas

T: The sweetness takes hold off the bat with a lot of butterscotch and a little bit of lightly toasted malt. Hops are very herbal and woody but without the nutty quality that would really help out the flavor profile of this brew.

M: Overly light without no mouth-filling quality. Aftertaste is honeylike with a light herbal tea tanginess.

D: Not one I will go back to, especially for the price. The flavor and feel are more along the lines of the mild ale style.

Photo of Duhast500
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark brown with a slight white head, no locaing.

The smell is fruity, a bit like apples or slightly like apple cider.

The taste is fruity with the taste of apples as well as a slight grape flavor. Is also a little chocolate in taste and is a bit bitter.

The feel of this beer is a bit smooth and is also a little light. Goes down good and does not have a heavy aftertaste.

Photo of chaunur
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a med/dark brown with a hint of red, a somewhat disappointing head only .25" little lacing. A malty aroma was present but not overwhelming so. Very nice taste, again more malty with slight sweetness, for a beer this dark it was surprising light in taste and feel. A good beer but a little overpriced for what you get.

Photo of brianlg
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 0.9 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Nice dark amber/copper color with fluffy bubbly cream head. It smells of malts, and nuts. The taste is phenomenal. This is what I think of when I think of how beer tastes. It's very smooth, medium carbonation, just the right amount of malts and hop bitterness. This is going to be my new session beer.

Photo of cdizinno
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Red copper with tan lace.

S: Coffee with hints of malt sweetness.

T: Smooth with a nice fullish body. Malt sweetness is dominant with some vague nutty and chocolaty flavours. Slight hop bitterness.

Notes: A tasty, decent, full bodied brown ale.

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,312 ratings.