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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,007 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,007
Reviews: 999
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 53
Gots: 97 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,007 | Reviews: 999 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DogFood11


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

Poured into a pounder glass it forms a respectable head and sticky lacing. Brown body with some reddish hue.

I didn't pick up too much in the smell other than a sweet malt presence.

Taste was much better as it has a nutty characteristic that was pleasant and balanced by the slightly toasted malt presence. Yeast was subtle but needed.

This brew glides its way around the palate from start to finish. Milky mouthfeel and an oily finish. Drink one today.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 22:12:50 | More by DogFood11
Photo of dgallina


2.63/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from a clear 16.9 oz bottle with no freshness date. Nearly still dark copper color with frothy thin white head that quickly dissolves, leaving light lace. Metallic skunk and earthy, damp toasted grains in the nose; not good at all. Thin and sticky sweet in the mouth. Grainy caramel sweetness throughout, with a touch of roasted malts and hop dryness towards the end. Tin foil and skunk finish.

A very poor brew apart form the initial appearance. Doesn't leave me eager to try the breweries' other products.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 02:33:59 | More by dgallina
Photo of ReebShorts


3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark Brown color, some light coming throught the narrower portion of the glass, 1 fiinger off-white head, tight bubble, faded to slight layer with island effect.

Pretty potent aroma was evident from several feet away on the pour. Buttery malt, spices, pine, and fig.

Taste was ok, malts were up front, and there was something earthy/grassy also. A bit too sweet and lingering for my taste.

Mouthfeel was a bit watery.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 23:22:15 | More by ReebShorts
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

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

is this really an english brown ale?
dark amber color, almost brown, large tan head, tiny bubbles, almost stout looking head, leaves a thin top on the beer.
sharp, tangy malt smell.
coffee/toffee taste, sweet malt, quick hop bite, and a tinge of hidden cherry in there later in the glass. lovely ale taste.
little or no carbonation, classic english ale.
medium, slick, glides over the mouth, i've always liked this beer.


Serving type: bottle

10-07-2005 23:57:55 | More by NClifestyle
Photo of nortmand


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

First, the key to this beer is getting the gift pack, which just came out at the liquor store. Other than that, on-tap is the only way to get this non-skunky.
Pours tawny browm with some off white foam and a tad bit of lacing.
Smell is creamy chocolate not much hop presence.
Flavor follows suit, but with a bit more creamed corn flavor.
Really quite drinkable, just not too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2005 01:59:11 | More by nortmand
Photo of Bonhoeffer


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

A tad too sweet. Which i guess by definition makes it cloying.

Pretty representative of the style, as far as i've experienced it. It's just not a style that excites me very much. It has some body and flavor, but it's pretty bland as craft beer goes.

Preferable to all macro lagers. But not something i plan on revisiting again anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 14:26:01 | More by Bonhoeffer
Photo of UncleFlip


4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty good...nice very light, clear chestnut-ruby colour. Off-tan head is very active, with a mix of tight to loose bubbles. Recedes somewhat slowly, leaving an attempt at lace that looks like it;s going down with the head.

Sweet smell- light and malty, with a bit of brown sugar, orange, yeast, and hops.

The flavour is a little round and fruity- but at the same time, has an element not unlike burned sugar, that hits sometimes at the front of the tongue, sometimes at the back. It seems a little too tangy for its own good at times- at others a little too fruity. Overall, it's not too bad. Not world class, but I rather enjoy this one.

The liquid is just a little thick, which is rather nice- and the carbonation, while obvious, is not overbearing.

Very drinkable, IMO. I wouldn't turn down a second one, anyway.

Be well

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2005 03:23:24 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of garymuchow


3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma shows English style malt of some darkness with mild toastiness, slightly sweet. Not unpleasant.
Brown with reddish amber. Pretty clear. Decent head. Seems to look as it should.
Taste an extension of aroma with a fair amount of bitterness from mid to finish. Pleasant enough tasting, but not esp. bold, unique or interesting.
Seems somewhat thin with a water quality. Carbonation is fairly soft and balanced well.
Nothing really bad about this. Could do well with food I would think.
Thanks Mark.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 00:33:52 | More by garymuchow
Photo of Bestuurder

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark, almost black, in colour with a slightly offset yellow head. Very thick head, though lacing set in very quickly.

Fairly pleasant aroma, though lacks the chocolate aroma that it so deserves.

Full taste, and thick mouthfeel. Chocolate is very descent and not overpowering. Taste is well balanced and fairly even.

You oculd easily drink three or four of these in a couple of hours, but begins to get heavy after a few. Really fills you up.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2005 03:52:19 | More by Bestuurder
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Brown with some slight ruby hints. Aromas are of black licorice, rose, apple, and some soft fruit. The flavors are fairly malty, with some minor grassy hop notes, and some roasted malt and chocolate making a brief appearance. However, there is very little body to this beer at all, and not much of a finish to speak of. Overall, quite disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2005 16:31:56 | More by fisherman34
Photo of Golden2wenty1


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

Picked up a single from Steve's Liquor here in Madison. 500 ml clear glass bottle with a cool curvy design, that clear bottle though...methinks it contributed to a skunky little brew here.

Pours a standard brown ale amber with dark garnet highlights, a nice tan head and some lacing. Smell is a little off-putting at first, adjuncty macro corn/Heineken skunk fades into caramel malts. Taste sadly does the same, skunky then caramel malts, maybe a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is crisp, body is a little light. Overall, the skunky Heineken aspect of this beer kind of drowned out the sweet caramel malty tones that I like in a brown. I can't help but think those damn clear bottles that British breweries love to use adds to this unfortunate characteristic. Has potential, but just didn't do much for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2005 21:49:23 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of Zorro


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

Clear glass bottle from a fresh unopened case delivered to my local store. The owner allowed me to pick my bottle from the center so I am certain that I got this in as good condition as is possible.

Pours a deep clear brown ale. Held up to the light you see a wonderful garnet red highlighting.

Smell is big malt and British ale fruitiness. Other smells, a bit of grass, a trace of sulfur, and faint herbalness.

Taste is very malty and fruity from the very start. Dry in flavor there is a strong herbal hop flavor and a trace of butter. Fairly bitter in flavor there is also faint coffee flavor from dark roasted malt. A tasty ale in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty and drinkable ale. This has a nice strong flavor that isn't fatiguing on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2005 01:33:47 | More by Zorro
Photo of ppoitras


3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head above the clear dark amber brew. Head fades quite slowly, with excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is balanced of grains and hoppiness. Taste is light maltiness upfront, and as with the nose, well balances, but with a bit of an aftertaste that I can't put my finger on. Not off, but not exactly a benefit either. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both average to good, but could even be a bit better if the close was smoother. Nice brew nonetheless, which I imagine would be even better on handpull.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2005 23:22:07 | More by ppoitras
Photo of tgbljb


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

Great lablel.Poured a reddish-brown color with a tannish puffy head. Smell is of malt (dark fruit-cherries, plums) and a hint of coffee. Taste is fruity malt with little hops noted. Finish is very light and leaves a mild malt sweetness in the mouth. Easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2005 23:52:00 | More by tgbljb
Photo of niangelo

Alberta (Canada)

2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Chateau Louis in Edmonton in the 500ml glass bottle, served in a pint-glass.

Poured a smoky ruby-brown with a little head... smells fairly skunky, but faints of once it sits for a bit. Mouthfeel is nothing special, a tad watery with some dancing carbonation.

Taste is initally a little skunky, but this fades immediately, leading to a solid malt feel with a toasted finish and dates in between. Nothing that really spins my cap. Too expensive, there's way better local stuff for cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2005 05:40:24 | More by niangelo
Photo of Redrover


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

500 ML Clear glass bottle. Love the label and the raised design on the bottle, hate the clear glass part…. No freshness dating.

Beer pours a clear reddish brown with a lingering small tan head.

The beer smells of slightly toasted malts and some fruit.

The taste is slightly sweet with hints of fruit (apples) and just a bit of roasted malt. Turns a bit sour late. Low but noticeable hop levels.

I like the low levels of carbonation. Average enough drinker, but I would prefer something a bit more complex. I wonder if this one is better if it didn’t have to make a trip across the pond. Perhaps a road trip is in order?

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2005 00:57:14 | More by Redrover
Photo of battlekow


3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice mahogany, maple syrup color. A little ring of foam is all you've got for a head for most of the glass, with spotty lacing. Smells malty and little raisiny. Taste is really sweet, malty with some prunes. Finish is a little roasted. Weak, dead mouthfeel. Nothing to see here, folks.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 03:31:15 | More by battlekow
Photo of Higravity


2.6/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What a unpleasent little English beer. Nice label, about the best thing about this beer. It comes out of a clear bottle and into a IMperial pint glass. Pours like water and looks like a standard brown and I got a ok head of off white fluff. After the head sank quickly I was smelling the beer and it has a slight sulfur smell that distract from the decent malt. Drinking it is somewhat of a challegne as it is yet another slated British beer, not too bad like Sammy Smith's but I think the sulfur smell might come from one of these. The hops are pleasently mild and the malt was not too malty and I am quite sure there was some adjuct sugar used in making this. At least this beer is thin so I could chug the rest. Don't bother with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 12:52:50 | More by Higravity
Photo of mortarit

North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Hazy medium brown with and small,mostlydiminishing, tight head.
Has marketing abilities with the label name.

Smell: Malt sweetness is most dominant among aromas, but I also detect, chocolate, caramel, earth, cherry and grape. Slightly metallic though it carried the english style.

Taste: It has a slight initial english taste that fades to reveal a flavor that follows the aroma with malts being in the forefront, but no real noticeable hops backing it up.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, watery texture, very low carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall, it was good… but bland. It started out alright, but finished off rather lacking in character. Don’t think I’ll be having this again, especially considering the price.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2005 05:01:20 | More by mortarit
Photo of whynot44


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

Medium bodied, dark coppery brown with a decent ivory head.

Aroma is malty with hints of toast, maple syrup or brown sugar, and coffee.

The taste is somewhat sweet - again hints of maple or brown sugar - with biscuits, coffee and maybe a hint of chocolate at the finish. Some hints of smoke along the way and a bit of hops bite at the end..

Very drinkable, especially for cooler weather. A bit sweet and heavy for hot weather. Great label. Don't forget this one for Halloween.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2005 03:32:02 | More by whynot44
Photo of jasonpeckins32


2.4/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This one pours much darker than I expected. Dark brown with copper-colored accents. There is virtually no head retention at first, but a little begins to appear as I make my way through the glass. The aroma is subtle. I notice a faint nut smell alongside extra-sweet malts. The taste is a little wild. There's a lot more going on in my glass than I thought there was. The overwhelmingly sweet malt flavor is definitly in command of this ship, but there are some hops, raisins, dried fruit and nuts, and maybe hints of toffee and chocolate as well. Almost one too many flavors crammed into a bottle. Interesting, though I'm not so sure all the different tastes in this beer are mixing well on my palate. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, maybe more. It could use a little more carbonation. The intense flavor gives this beer a rough drinkablility. I'd have a hard time knocking back a whole lot of these. Not bad by any means, just hard to really put em down.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2005 12:47:21 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

RIch dark ruby color and a sticky tan head. Smells like hints of chocolate, toffee, and fruit. Silky mouthfeel. Malts are dominant up front. Hints of toffee and fruits. A little chocolate malt can be found as the beer warms a bit. Hop bitterness is light but balances out the maltiness just enough. A dry slighty buttery aftertaste. A damn good Brown ale. Well worth the $3.50 a pint.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2005 06:36:15 | More by Luigi
Photo of HappyHourHero


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

Small, light khaki colored head left a decent smattering of lace. Transparent, chestnut colored beer with an orange hue. Mild floral and hoppy tea aroma. Flavor is mild and clean as well. Pale malts and english tea hop flavor. Midway through it becomes just barely bitter. Finish is pretty clean, just a bit of lingering hops. Very nice beer that became more enjoyable halfway through the first glass.

Serving type: growler

06-23-2005 18:04:33 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of Ahhdball


3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark red with small amounts of foam covering the top. The head dissipated quickly without leaving a trace.
Smelled a slight amount of dark fruit and sweet malt. Nuance tone of toffee but nothing over the top.
I'm not the biggest fans of brown ales but I really liked this one. Toffee, some plum and a hint of yeast. Dark chocolate and very subtle hops finished the drink.
Overall I liked this beer. A good brown ale that leaves the mouth clean with a refreshing taste and feel,

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2005 01:44:23 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of beertaster13


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

Pours a ruby brown with a tannish head that dwindles to lacing. The clear bottle definetely had an effect on this brew. A nice roasted nut glazed with caramel aroma, hints of deep fruit, plums and alcohol aroma, hints of caramel muffin. The taste is suprisingly light, hints of plum and caramelized nectar, Honey bread with sugar. Medium bodied but goes down and refreshes, very refreshing for dark ale, Not as thick as most. While this is not the best brown I have had, it's not bad, I can imagine this being very nice straight from the source, the trip across seems to have gotten to this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2005 02:57:06 | More by beertaster13
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 2,007 ratings.