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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,209 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,209
Reviews: 1,021
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 66
Gots: 179 | 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:
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
Ratings: 2,209 | Reviews: 1,021 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Taffle
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hobgoblin poured a dark amber color with quickly dissipating head. Lingering lace throughout most of the drink.

Aromas were weak, however some sweet caramel or toffee-like smells present

Smooth malt flavors blend and transition into mild hoppiness. A little sweet n' sour if you will - but not too bold of flavors. A hint of paleness teases the tongue on its way down. Surely a unique brew.

Body was a bit light, but well balanced. Overall not a bad beer. Didn't wow me with anything too special, but was uniquely tasting.

Taffle, May 12, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ML bottle served in a pint glass. Smells malty, fruity, and a little sweet. Clear brown color with quickly disappearing head. Light bitterness and very smooth taste, not at all what I expected. Light mouthfeel, and nice to drink. Wouldn't search it out, but wouldn't hide from it.

aubuc1, May 10, 2008
Photo of everetends
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a Whole Foods in Atlanta. 500ml poured into a pint.

A: A nice reddish brown. Got a good deal of lace that dissapated to just a touch. Still produced a lot of sticky lacing.

S: Roasted malt, cocoa, floral hops and mixed fruit. All are faint though. Not a huge aroma.

T: Light malt, cherries, chocolate, bitter hops, earthy. Very tasty, but nothing too killer.

M: Medium carbonation. No lingering flavors. Still very crisp and clean.

D: Very nice brew, not too much wow to it, but still got some flavors going. This a brew that can be easily consumed.

everetends, May 09, 2008
Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 500 mL brown bottle into a British pint glass. A huge lumpy head developed and lingered. The body was ruby/brown and clear of sediment. Some clumpy lacing. Dated best by: 08 Jan 09, in a gift-pack from my sister, from her recent UK trip.

Smell was grainy & fruity. Very rich aroma. Cocoa.

Taste reflected the aromas. Earthy fruits. Bitter chocolate. Bready malts. Mild to moderate bitterness, moderate sweetness.

Mouthfeel was medium in body. Smooth and rich.

Cresant, May 06, 2008
Photo of pinballwhizard
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally had this on tap at the Daily Pint in Santa Monica and I have to say that it is much better than the bottled ones I had before.

If, like me, you never had it on tap before and happen to be in the greater Los Angeles area, I suggest that you head to the Daily Pint while it is fresh and before they run out.

pinballwhizard, May 04, 2008
Photo of Strix
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful ruby-brown with a lingering head.

Smell understated, but mainly of malt.

Taste understated for me as well. Malt is the predominant flavor, but I'm having trouble picking up much else.

Low on carbonation, a bit flat. Not sure how old this is.

This is fine and drinkable, but nothing that really stands out for me.

Strix, May 01, 2008
Photo of Portertime
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at a tasting in my store. Served chilled. Poured a nice amber brown but not much head (bad conditions). Smelled pleasent, a mix of sweetness, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and a little floral. Taste was equally enjoyable with forward caramel malts, hints of toffee, milk chocolate and slight floral hops in the background with a smooth finish. It peaked my interest.

Portertime, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber brown with a lightly tan colored head. Excellent retention. Very little lacing on the glass.

S: Caramel and toffee. Very sweet malt smell. Some floral hops in the background, as well.

T&M: The sweet malts are there, but a bit understated for my tastes. The hops are there, too but don't really come out and announce their presence. I wouldn't call it well-balanced, because there isn't a ton of flavor in any part of the beer. This lack of flavor is really disappointing--there's no complexity to the taste. Light to medium body with a smooth moutfeel--not a lot of carbonation in this one.

D: Fairly drinkable because of the smooth character of the beer, but the overall taste isn't good enough to make me want to drink a lot of this.

I'll stick to Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, thank you.

BamaBeerBuff, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber-brown with very little head.

Scent of malts, toffee, caramel, and hops.

Initially the caramel, malts, and toffee hit the tongue, this is finished off nicely with the presense of hops coming in for an encore.

Not too heavily carbonated, but the ale is a bit watery in consistency. It's hard to place it exactly, because it is also a little creamy; not "thick" creamy, but "after-taste" creamy.

Very good stuff here, I think I've had this once in the past and I'm certain that I'll have it again at least once more in the future.

donteatpoop, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1 pint, 0.9 oz bottle poured into glass.

A = Clear reddish brown, small slight tan head, light, steady carbonation in small bubbles.

S = Light amount of maple syrup, dry malt balls, pleasant smells but too light. I expected more from this.

T = Semisweet chocolate, malt balls, strong bitterness at mid-palate and into the finish.

M = Light medium bodied, fair mouthcoating, carbonation stings a little.

D = I'm not sure this beer presented itself in a way that I would want to have it again. I probably will try again, but in the English brown ale category, there are many beers I would choose before this one. A little disappointing from a decent brewery.

Traquairlover, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review might be somewhat biased, er, tainted because I tried the brew after several Strongbows.

Poured into a pint glass. Dark brown at first glance, but very dark red when help up to a light. Had > 1/2 a finger of foam that quickly dissipated.

The aroma was sweet with a faint presence toffee/chocolate. The taste was hoppy with the toffee/chocolate essence not so prominent. It was a bit on the thick side, but still pleasurable.

Will definatly try this one again.

DesMoinesMike, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of ScottUCF84
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint.

A- Poured a clear brown with amber hues. There wasn't much of a head... it was off white I suppose. Scattered lacing.

S- I smell brown sugar, caramel malt, and some prunes.

T- Mainly sweet toasted malt, brown sugar, and dried fruit. There's a very faint touch of cocoa, and towards the end I can barely make out a touch of bitter hops. This is a well rounded brown ale.

M- medium to light body... low carbonation. Smooth, slightly creamy.

D- This is a very drinkable brown ale. Surprisingly light, and very flavorful. One of my favorite brown ales. Much better than Newcastle IMO.

ScottUCF84, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of Offa
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a nice, flavourful, complex, and very drinkable ale.

It's clear, dark red brown, slightly bubbly with a large off-white head that lasts, shrinking slowly to a permanent, thin foamy top, and leaves some weak lace.

The aroma is rich dark malt with toffee, flowers, earth, leaves and hints of fruit andchocolate.

The taste is full and rich, complex, and very, balanced. It is richly malty, toasty, with hints of chocolate and toffee, with leafy-earthy hoppiness to balance, light bitterness and a light spicey bite. It has an enjoyably smooth, long-lasting, aromatic finish. Everything blends very well together, leaving a delicious and flavourful, yet very smooth and drinkable beer.

Offa, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of nasty15108
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt 9oz bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A - Poured a deep brown color (Dark Amber when held up to the light). The pour produced a slightly tan colored head of foam. Sticky spotted lacing scattered throughout the glass.

S - Slight aromas of malts and toffee, nothing too overpowering.

T - Slightly sweet and nutty. Finished smooth and buttery with a hint of hoppy bitterness.

MF&D - Medium bodied. Creamy and smooth. I'd buy this again.

nasty15108, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Godot
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My beer store has pretty much the full line of Wychwood's but I have never tried them before. Grabbed this one because I was in the mood for a brown and the label looked great. It poured into an english pint glass giving a 1 1/2 inch head that quickly dropped to just a ring. The smell was a nice blend of toasted malts and a toffee sweetness, but it looked kinda weak with its lack of head and thin look when held to the light. However, with the first sip its threat of being watery was shown to be completely unfounded. The mouthfeel was smooth and sweet, with comfy flavours of malt and chocolate, a nice buttery toffee, which then gave way to a nice clean hop bitterness that lingered slightly but was very refreshing. This is a nicely balanced and very sessionable beer. Nothing extreme or unexpected, just well rounded and highly enjoyable.

Godot, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
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 Andreji
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the beers i've stored for about a year and a half now, rare event for me because i tend to be quite compulsive about taking it all in right away.

I didn't enjoy this one so much as the others. The pour was intriguing, quite deep brownish and with a comfy tan head, seemed very promising.

However, one sniff into the beer i wasn't all too thrilled. it had a decent wheaty complexion, but it was subtle and didn't go much further.

The taste was a reflect of the smell. 'superficial' taste, a bare feel of some wheat and a scarce bitter end feeling but that's about it. I'm all about the fruity or otherwise the complexity so this is too sessionable to have only one, and not decantable enough.

all in all it's decent for a few rounds, but not an everyday purchase.

Andreji, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into the Hobgoblin glass that accompanied it as part of a gift set. Had a dark brown color and a short-lived frothy light beige head that left light lacing behind.
Smell: lots of fruits and toffee and milked coffee notes. Very sweet. Hops notes? Nope.
Taste: bready malts, fruity, with a lot of toffee, caramel, and to a lesser degree, coffee flavor all wrestling around vying for attention. Light coffee bitterness comes forward as Hobgoblin rolled to the back of the palate but the hops bill is clearly subservient to the malt platform.
Feel: medium-bodied and a trifle syrupy.
Overall, not too bad as the second half paired well with the strawberry/blueberry fruit torte I had for dessert. Leans a bit too far in the direction of seriously sweet but still a nice brew.

Boilermaker88, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep ruby-brown with barely any visable light passig through. Pured with a syrup like thickness, left thin tan head with little lacing.

S - Deep and malty, has the sweetness of burnt brown sugars, carmels and dark fruits, rasins, prunes. Seemed a little one dimensional, I was hoping for a more rubust and complex aroma.

T - Suppers from the same one deminsional taste af the nose, it has a very malty and sweet pleasant balance but a bit lackluster.

M - Med bodied, a bit syrup-like, but goes down easy with little aftertaste.

D - A pleasant beer but could have been so much more.

trackstar1043, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of jsprain1
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a sixteen oz bottle based on discussion I had heard about it.
A- The appearance was a medium brown, with reddish edges with very little head.
S- The smell was really the only downfall to this one. The fruityness totally overwhelmed me. There was good malt aroma as expected, but far more prevelant were the fruit, grape and apple predominantly, with a bit of chocolate.
T- The taste did not match the scent at all. The same fruit scents were there but switched roles with the toffee, while the chocolate maintained a high amount of flavoring.
M- The carbonation was kept at an appropriate level. My mouth did have a mildly dry feel to it when I finished.
D- Overall, a decent beer, probably one of the best ones to match with a burger among the beers I've had recently. If you can get it for a reasonable price, it is certainly worth trying.

jsprain1, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a head that is about a fingers width that leaves pretty quickly.

S: Very malty but it's pretty sweet

T: This is sweet tasting malt beer with a nut hint to it. The beer doesn't really have much hops, and it's fairly tame. It's balanced though, which makes it's so good.

M: Nice, creamy and carbonated.

D: Yep, great session beer, however after a few I get sick of the flavour.

swizzlenuts, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Lukie
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with no head at all, but there was slight carbonation. Seems like it is a cola, as there is no lacing or anything discernable.

Hints of toffee and coffee, with subtle tones of dark chocolate and almost fresh dough.

Slight nutty and malt offerings. Mild chocolate. Not much really.

It is smooth and easy drinking, but I can't understand the complete lack of carbonation. It was in date, it doesn't smell or taste skunky, it just seems to be lacking.

Lukie, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of babaracas
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from brown bottle with label printer gone wild lack of discernible date (dots everywhere!), dark copper/ruby with tan head. Head fades to a quarter inch, lacing is impeccable. Smell: fruit esters, a little diacetyl, burnt grains. Taste: grassy, grainy, toffee, burnt notes, sweet/bittersweet and a bit astringent. Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied, smooth but the astringent character hurts it a bit.

babaracas, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of burtonbe
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep deep amber brown in appearance, with a smallish head. Smells of caramel with a hint of roastyness. Malt and prunes. Wow, just great.

The taste is very smooth, with malt dominating. Fruity and delicious. I'm getting a very slight nuttiness. Complex. Very good.

Mouthfeel is great, with low carbonation and substantial body.

Drinkability is so-so in my opinion. Overall a very very solid dark brown ale that is tasty and satisfying without being over-the-top in any one area.

The oddest thing is that it smells better than it tastes...

burtonbe, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with almost no head or apparent carbonation, some carbonation, and beer is a medium brown color.

Smell- Butterscotch in the nose, very smooth smelling.

Taste- Slightly bitter with relatively smooth taste. Darkish mocha flavors that do not overpower with a pleasant bit from carbonation at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Feels a little thin but has better than expected coverage, really seems to explode onto tongue.

Drinkability- A solid english brown ale.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Apr 03, 2008
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,209 ratings.