1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,337 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,337
Reviews: 1,051
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 72
Gots: 264 | 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.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,337 | Reviews: 1,051
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Reddish color when held against the light. Amber brown in color. 1.5 finger creamy head that drags down the glass. Good retention.

Smell: Slight alcohol, nutty maple and sweet. Pleasant with some fruit and cream soda aromas hinting around. It's a very complex smell that keeps us coming back for more.

Taste: Very malty, nuts and maple. The fruit component is not here at all. Not complex at all, pleasing and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, chewy, and light. Carbonation is present but mild. "It's just smooth" - Wiseman Nick.

Drinkability: I think you could easily drink these all night, very light, if you have the money I'd go these over every crappy macrocrap for a party. I'd like to see this in a keg.

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

A. 1 in light tan head on a dark brown body that is deep red in the light.

S. Hint of hops with a strong scent of malt and toffee.

T. Very slight bitterness with strong malt toffee and chocolate notes. Bitter almost lambic aftertaste.

M. Sticky at first but smooth as you swallow.

D.Wonderful dark ale that I will get again.

Photo of GRPunk
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- The 1/2 finger tan head quickly fizzled to a light lace that left some decent sticky spots on the side of the glass. The body was a deep reddish-brown.

S- The aroma was mostly caramel malt that became more pronounced as the beer warmed. It had lighter tones of floral hops and something of a sweet berry accent.

T- A little ho-hum. Initially I felt like the earthy hops took center stage, but the caramel malts came on late and were more present when the beer warmed slightly.

M- There was a strong tingle from the solid carbonation and a drying effect from the hopping.

D- Very, meh. I remember drinking this some years back and really enjoying it. This go 'round was a little less inspiring. It's not bad, but it doesn't set itself apart from the other popular English Brown Ales on the shelf.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.... does not look like the BA pic anymore.. picked up at the Coop a couple of weeks ago.. I don't remember the price.. but it couldn't have been that much because I didn't write the price on the cap... poured into my shaped SA glass..

The brew is a surprisingly clear amber brown.. the head didn't stick around for that long.. but descent lacing for an English Ale..

Sweet malty nose.. caramel.. a little bit nutty.. light fruitiness... nothing at all is wrong with this brew with the aroma.. I bet it would be amazing from a cask.

The flavor doesn't quite deliver.. nutty and brown malts.. some caramel.. toasted malts are definitely there.. very balanced.. and very drinkable.. good bitterness to balance.. not much flavor to describe as expected.. finish is sorta tannic with dry caramel contributions.. slight cherry fruitiness.. lingering finish.. makes me want another sip.. the body is lite/medium with low carbonation without ever verging on flat.. very very drinkable as I come to the bottom of the glass..

It took me a while to come around to the Hobgoblin... but I am leaving a fan..


Photo of kinger
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had to grab a Hobgoblin for Halloween, although I sampled this a week later. Light floral hop aroma with some sweet malt, rather faint but enjoyable. Amber pour with a medium white head and nice lacing. Medium bodied ale not very filling. Taste is subtle for being a "strong Ale", although I'm finding that many English styles generally are tame. Caramel with a light fruitiness backed by those nice floral hops. Again this ale seems typical with the English way, lightly hearty. A decent one but nothing shocking.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber brown brew poured from a brown bottle with a greenish tint. The beer is relatively clear with sparkly bubbles that cling to the sides of the glass mid beverage. The off white head dissipates to a thin collar and spit like haze on the surface.

The scent is of caramelized malts with a mild earthy darkened fruit nose. A touch of roasted nuttiness is mild but is very nice.

Wow the taste falls short of the bouquet. The flavors are mild and earthy but don't pack the potency of the scent. There are some light cherry flavors and a tartness that is reminiscent of something bigger.

The mouthfeel is rather nice. There is a warm nutty finish and a nice tickle of carbonation. I can easily drink more of this beer, it's not big on the flavors but its a nice medium bodied brew that hits the spot after a long day.

Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The light auburn highlights concealed by its deep russet brown skin are exposed when the beer is held up to light. It has cooling, autumn themed tones. A thin spread of ecru blankets the top and stands taller around the perimeter. The little dots of lace seem to be slowly sinking.

Its aroma has the soft, nutty malt character typical of English Brown Ales, although it doesn't stand out for me as being one of the best examples of one. A few sips in and I'd change my mind to say it's not even really a good example. Approximately double the malt with about double the roast would be a good way to start making up some ground.

This would go a long way to solving the issues its flavour faces, too. There just isn't enough malt to give a convincing 'nutty' impression and the level of roast is too little to invoke notes of caramel or butterscotch. There may be a smack of molasses but I fail to pick out any hazelnut, any pecan, and only very little toffee.

I feel terribly cheated on the mouthfeel as well: little malt that has been little toasted makes for little mouthfeel. A well crafted brown ale has that dry, chalky bitterness paved over with the rich, sweet, gooey sensation of toasted caramelized malts. Instead, I get the texture of spent grains.

I think it's fair to say of Wychwood beers that, on the whole, they are pretty underwhelming. This is partly due to the fact that the majority of their offerings are plain old English bitters of one type or another, which are largely unexciting styles themselves. That said, a good pint of bitter won't be displeasing, but this on other hand...

Photo of Stro23m
4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer so so much and finally was able to get a six pack today but my god (my beer store doesnt have sticker price tags) so i was very supprised that when they rang it up, well it cost me $12 a six pack so 2 dollars a beer. The thing is i like this so much i didnt mind paying $12 a six pack cause this beer is so hard to find where i live.

To tell you the truth i wanted to rate this all 5's but ive never had a beer that was perfect but this is as close as it gets for me.

My favorite beer out of 100's that ive tried.

An english brown ale that has a fruity, biscuity maltiness and creamy mouthfeel.

This beer goes down so smooth that you literally wont beleive it.

I like enjoying a beer and not slamming it down but this one is so smooth after a couple of drinks i looked at my pint glass and it was empty.

I would reccomened this beer to anyone. I think this beer is so smooth and good that even people that only like budweiser may even enjoy this not just think its ok.


Photo of WHROO
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep ruby red, with a beige fluffy head, good lacing & head retention.
S: Fruity, some berries, even citrus, also a little nutty & biscuity. Quite sweet overall
T: Had some wild sour & bitter berryness about it, which I enjoyed...also some sweet malts, nutty & some caramel.
M: Medium with full flavour & complexity.
D: Yep...

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep red with a thin white head and some lacing.

Smells of dried fruit, sweet malt, hints of butter and chocolate.

Full sweet malt flavors with a buttery touch; some dried stone fruit attributes, a little hop bitterness in the background.

Beer is mildly carbonated and medium-full bodied. Flavors linger and coat the mouth. I can have maybe one or two of these before moving on -- which I did. Tasty, but not refreshing. Decent Fall/cool weather/food pairing beer.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep garnet copper color, with a creamy light tan head. Leaves patchy lacing on the glass. Very attractive.

S: Chocolate and sweet maltiness, with buttery and coffeelike hints.

T: Prominent malt sweetness initially, with chocolate and nutty undertones. The hops are moderate, but provide a well-balanced bitterness. The finish brings forth more chocolate and some slight butter and yeast flavor. Very well-rounded and tasty.

M: Extremely smooth, with a moderately full body and carbonation leading to a rather creamy mouthfeel. The feel is great, but it seems a touch more delicate than I'd prefer.

D: A really nice balance of flavors with a smooth, appealing mouthfeel and an attractive presentation. It's not a world-beater, but it's extremely well executed in my opinion.

Photo of scoobybrew
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - deep amber color with a thick collar-like head that is well retained

S - toasted malt aroma with some hop accents

T - rich, complex malt flavors initially with a mild hop finish that lingers a bit; yeasty fruitiness is fairly dominate also

M - medium body, moderate to low carbonation

D - This is a nice English brown with great session potential. I imagine this would be fantastic on the cask and close to the source.

Photo of mterrence5
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled 43 degrees in pint glass. Dark brown color very little head (good pour). Faint earthy hoppy smell. Smooth carbonated feel to mouth slightly thick. Sweet hoppy, slighty caramel taste with a hint of fruit (apple taste). Good drinkability but incosistant earthy dark chocolate aftertaste effect the rating. Depending on the batch I could drink a dozen or maybe not finish a sixer. This maybe be due to time on the shelf at various liquor store. I wish I could tap a fresh keg of this. Highly recommend though

Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly reddish brown with two inches of dense tan head. Retention is good with some spotty lacing left on the glass surface.

The smell is nutty and malty. Has that specific English malt aroma.

Nice brown ale flavor. Malt has a nutty and woodsy flavor. Not much for hops or bitterness. Not overly sweet.

Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Body is medium and the carbonation is low.

Really a smooth drinking brown ale. The low ABV helps putting several of these down. My sixer was a bit expensive though and maybe something I will not enjoy often because of cost.

Photo of bbeerman
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Provided in a dark brown bottle (not like the clear bottle shown). Unable to drink from a glass, so I gave the appearance an average score.

Very nice smell. Inviting with a good amount of malt present.

Very good taste from start to finish. Almost sweet, but not in a dessert wine or chocolate beer kind of way.

Mouthfeel is quite good too. A heavy feel, but not uncomfortably heavy at all; a pleasing heavy that good beer should have.

Quite drinkable (I know I wanted another once mine was done). This is a beer I could have three or four of easily in one session, any time of the year. I really liked this English brown a lot and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys beer.

Photo of Goregazm
4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Appearance: Dark brown with a slight red tint to it. Has a thick foamy head which dissipates somewhat rapidly, but not too fast. Leaves just a tad of lacing.

Smell: Wonderful smell combination of malts, toffee, and a woodsy scent. Has a very slight bitterness. Nothing to strong on the senses.

Taste: Rich, creamy blend with a malty taste to it, and it blends just right. Has a slight hint of a mildly sweet cream in it. Wonderful.

M: In the mouth it has a slightly thick consistancy, but not too heavy by any means. The aftertaste is rather sweet and leaves a nice creamy feeling behind.

D: This is a great beer to drink anytime, especially while sitting back relaxing after a long day at work. I would recommend eating this with a salty snack (maybe potato chips, Especially Salt & Vinegar) and enjoying how the salty bitterness of the food blends with the rich, creamy taste of the beer. A spectacular choice.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this on draft at the Fox and the Hound in Mason on $2 pint night.

She poured a cloudy, deep reddish, almost dark brown with a nice off-white creamy head with nice sticky lacing on the pint glass.

Smells of sweet malts, light caramel and toffee.

The taste is really malty and sweet with a nice bready backbone. Caramel flavors mixed with floral hops in the middle with very mild bitterness to finish. Nice balance of flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied overall. Light on the carbonation, but very drinkable as a session beer.

The tap handle kinda threw me (I thought it was going to be a cheesy beer), but it was really quite nice and enjoyable. You can't beat $2 for a very tasty pint of beer. Sorta reminiscent of Rogue's Dead Guy Ale, minus some hops - recommended.

Photo of mcsquint
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into 20oz mug.
A - Medium dark reddish color. 1 finger head which dissipated faster than expected. Decent lacing.
S - Toffee malt,nutty, slightly fruity aroma
T - Rich malty taste with hints of nuts and fruit. Hoppier than expected.
M - Full, rich mouthfeel with decent amount of carbonation.
D - A bit heavier than other ales in it's class. If I was looking to drink more than one, I would probably choose something else.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poued a dark ruby red with a 1+ finger foamy off white head that faded rather quickly.

S: sweet malt and toffee along with light coffee notes and a rich sweet chocolate nuttiness.

T: The initial flavor was sweet with some toffee and sweet caramel which then progressed to a light roasted caramel and fresh coffee. There was some milky lactose chocolate notes, as well before finishing with a good dry earthy bitterness of burnt caramel and chocolate.

M: medium-full with a creamy lustrious lacing on the tongue.

D: Nice drinkability, can definitely have a couple and not get tired.

Photo of velkyal
4.68/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring it into my 600ml IKEA glass, it was deep red, when held up to the light it was like a fire ruby, and had an ivory head. The smell of this beer was sweet, reminding me of three of my favourite things in life, condensed milk (loved condensed milk sandwiches as a kid), tablet and povidla - the English translation of "plum jam" just doesn't do povidla justice. On drinking, this was just an explosion of fruit, big juicy amounts of fruit. In the mouth this was a wonderfully smooth beer, like liquid jam that had just the barest trace of bitterness. Is it obvious yet that I enjoyed this beer lots and lots?

Photo of Spidey13
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hobgoblin pours a medium brown color with ruby highlights and a small, off-white head. The smells is very malty, with a bit of roastiness and a hint of raisins.

The taste is fairly complex; very malty with a pop of roast at mid-swallow. A bit of alcohol is detectable. The finish is bready and very quick, with hardly any aftertaste. The hop bitterness is very light. The mouthfeel is a bit thin with an above-average amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is an above average beer and very drinkable.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

11.2 ounce bottle, not like the one shown.

Moderate pour into a tulip glass yields a two-inch light-tan quickly-fading head over a chill-hazed mahogany body. Head fades to a solid ring, leaving decent lacing.

Smell is malt, caramel malt, a bit of milk-chocolate, and a pleasant floral sweetness. Must be no hops but fuggles?

Taste follows the smell to a "T:" mild malt and floral sweetness. Not an overt flavor, but spot on for an English Brown Ale.

Mouthfeel is nice, not too thick, but round enough. Nice fine carbonation.

This beer is the definition of sessionable. Easy, easy, smooth, and nice.


Photo of Rayek
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep chestnut brown with a small foamy head. Head has OK retention and leaves bits of lace. A tiny amount of carbonation bubbles are present.

S: Very woodsy. Oak and pine scents dominate. Toffee and clove sit in the background.

T: More wood plus a bittersweet toffee flavor. Bitterness is quite acidic, but has a bit of cloves to it. Finishes very dry.

M: Medium body is both oily and syrupy. Carbonation level is right.

D: Unique. I'd need to be in the right mood to visit this again.

Photo of Jayli
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber-brown. There was about a finger head with minimal lacing. You can smell the hops, malts, and a bit of caramel.
This is a decent tasting beer, not much of an aftertaste. It's mild bodied, and not too filling...would go nicely with a meal.

Photo of beerorRIP
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 'hobgoblin' tulip. Hard pouring yields a one finger, off-white, large-bubbled head that dissipates quickly. the body of the beer is rather dark; a deep red / brown color but is clarified well.

smell mostly of sweet malts. toffee notes, caramel, and some coying chocolate. not much hop aroma to speak of.

The taste is malty and sweet. the coying chocolate shows up, while caramels and toffee from the malts are abound. a touch of fruit flavor / esters here, but not nearly enough to stave off the malt sweetness. the earthy hops show themselves near the end with some mild bitterness to even things out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Not to much carbonation stinging the tongue.

Overall, i beer i like quite a bit. I remember finding this one years ago... it was one one of the gateways to better beer. it was unfiltered (and in clear bottles no less) and a bit more raw. It has certainly become more 'mass produced' but it is still a good one for me. A good session beer when i'm hanging with the right group.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,337 ratings.