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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,279 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,279
Reviews: 1,035
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 71
Gots: 230 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,279 | Reviews: 1,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deanhead
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Nice brown Toffee like color. Poured a nice subdued head that lingered to the finish of the beer

Smell-Malty and toffee like, hints of chocolate, and caramel.

Taste- Nicely balanced. Malty with subtle hints of noble hops in the front. Finishes with a slightly mild chocolate, toffee-buttery note.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied in the front but finishes thin. Either way it is a respectable beer

Drinkability-Good beer, but not really my bag. I may try another in a few months and see if anything changes.

Photo of t0rin0
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown with a little redness showing through in the light. Fairly hazy but pleasant looking. It produced a 3/4" inch thick head. Nice lacing left in the glass.
The aroma was sweet and malty. Some caramel in the nose and no hops to be found. This holds true for the flavor as well. Very smooth and malty. Definately some crystal malts in there to give it that caramel-browness that it has. I didn't detect any coffee wich I thought was odd considering this supposed to be a brown ale. I would almost suggest that it is a dark mild ale. Anyway, it had a nice medium body and was quite drinkable.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown with almost purplish highlights. The smell is pleasantly malty with a little hint of nuttiness. The taste starts off sweet with a little bit of malty caramel taste and ends up with a slight hops bite that is refreshing. The mouthfeel has a nice thickness and mild carbonation. To me, the big draw of this beer is its drinkability. I could imagine putting back quite a few over the course of the night if they served it at my local bar, it's a tasty beer that doesn't sit too heavy.

Photo of dsa7783
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 16.09 oz bottle which ran me $3.50, poured a nice, dark-reddish, slightly purplish color with a minimal head... Smell is captivating, almost stout-like, with a strong coffee / cocoa / and toffee aroma which grabs you by the nose... Taste is great... full of a slight chocolate and coffee flavor that is somewhat subtle yet noticeable... The great thing about this beer is that it goes down very smooth... It was a pleasure drinking it, with a good mouthfeel and easy drinkability... The second brew I sampled from the Wychwood Company, and I am not dissapointed at all... Tastes very similar to a stout, but with a less pronounced chocolate flavor... A really good brew, and definitely recommended...

Photo of foles
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This was an unusual one. Pour was really good, nice head, etc. Dark brown colour. Sweet caramel and fruity mouthfeel and taste, with a very slight medicine style twang.... I know this might be reminiscent of a english brown ale, but something wasnt right. Like an almost artificial taste. Not too bad I guess but not really for me.

This tasting will probably be a one-off, but i had no problem drinking it.

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

This interesting ale poured a rich, dark, amber brown from a 500 ml bottle into my glass.

The smell had aromas of malt, hops, and a subtle fruitiness. The taste had a rich toffee maltiness and a bit of caramel malt as well. There was a medium hop profile with hardly any harsh "bite". Definately indicative of a well-brewed beer. There was a little bit of a fruity flavor as well, evidently a by-product of the yeast used. The carbonation was medium and the consistency was medium/thick.

A good dark English ale. I enjoyed it's quality and volume, and would drink one again, especially with a hearty meal of meat and potatoes. ;-)

Photo of iceball585
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin lacy cover that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Caramel malts, nutty, fairly sweet, hint of cocoa

T- Sweet, roasted malts, caramel, nuts, cocoa, some bitter hops

M- Medium weight, light carbonation, smooth, fairly oily finish

D- Worth trying

Definatly not my favorite brown ale but it's not too bad. Just not much auroma or complexity to this beer.

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

12oz bottle, found in the garage fridge at home over thanksgiving...time for a beer after a number of glasses of wine

appearance: pours into a pint glass - fairly clear mahogany-amber body with a light beige head and very little lacing

smell: dry maltiness present, euro-skunk present as always, sweet and nutty

taste: actually a pretty good example of a style that i'm not terribly fond of...dry and malty, sweet and loaded with nutty traits, light caramel, touch woody - not too bad

mouthfeel: smooth and chewy

drinkability: good

Photo of TheBeerWolf
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark amber with an eggshell head that doesn't stick around too long but laces the glass nicely.

S - Nice malty scent. Hints of chocolate and roastiness.

T - Initially you get a little bit of a bitter hop bite not overwhelming. There is a dry sherry like taste too its but very subtle and comes out more in the aftertaste. Just like the smell hints of chocolate and roasted malt. A kind of dark cherry aftertaste to it also. Very balanced.

M - The mouthfeel is medium not overbearing and not thing and fizzy, Carbonation normal to this style.

D - With all the above factors and with a 5% alcohol content this would make a good session beer. At least to me.

I think you have to like "english" styles beers to really enjoy this one. They have a style all their own. Overall I enjoy this one a lot and glad they are now in brown bottles. I had tried this beer a while back and it was skunky as hell. The bottle I am enjoying right now does not seem to have that problem. Awesome.

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

This beer pours a nice dark amber with little cream colored head that all but disappears.Good malty/bready taste with a hint of chocolate and coffee.Finishes with a slight hoppy bitterness.I would have no problem drinking these all evening long.
Also, is great with pasta and pizza

Photo of Sleestak
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off nice artwork on the label. Pours a dark reddish amber with thin head. Some sweet malts on the smell, really not much at all. Sweet toasted malts, toffee, buttery, a touch of nuttiness with a crisp hop finish. Seems fairly balanced to me though isn't that the English way? Medium mouthfeel and not overly carbonated. Worth a try especially if you're into British browns.

Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown color with a one-finger head. Aroma is rich and malty with a bit of sweetness in the nose. I'm liking it for some reason. Taste is thick and malty, chewy with a lot of the malt showing through more than anything. A second sip confirms the maltiness of this brew. The aftertaste is somewhat dry and sweet. Definitely tastes like an English Brown Ale should in my opinion. The maltiness is a definite positive sign here. I like this beer.

Photo of Gehrig
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This ale from Wychwood was a nice find at a local store, one I've tried several times. It has a nice deep brown color, and a somewhat fruity aroma that appears only somewhat in the taste. I was a bit surprised because the beer, while not bitter, was rather hoppy, which I like, but overpowered the fruity flavors. Still, it was a good, smooth English ale, one I enjoyed at 45-50 degrees more than I did chilled, and I almost always enjoy cold beer more than warm.

Not a beer that I would have several consecutively, but worth a try. A good, moderately strong ale in taste. Give it a go.

Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad "dark ale". Basically this beer has some mellow fruit and caramel malt flavors. Really, we're talking subtle here except for a mice, spicy hop finish. So overall it's a nice session beer, but the mouthfeel is a little off. It's a sort of cheap beer tang. Meh, it's still a good beer, but I wish I could try it on cask and see if it opens up more.

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

When poured from bottle to pint glass, it had a light brown color with a medium tan head. The aroma and favor had chocolate notes. I also detected a subtle spiciness. What I really liked about this beer was it's full bodied texture. It's sweet finish really made this brew drinkable.

Photo of scottyshades
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice beer, picked one up at ABC in a mix n' match for a whopping $2.10 per bottle.
A: Beautiful rich brown color with some amber hues, 2 finger head that dissipates slowly with a very nice lace

S: Very sweet. Alot of caramel, malts, and dark fruits

T: Molasses, caramel, malts, toffee and roasted flavors

MF: Very clean, good aftertaste, I wish this beer was fuller and more robust

D: Not exactly a session beer, I could drink a few

I recommend this beer to anyone who spots it...there are definitely better EBAs out there but this one is worth the pickup if you choose to pay for it

Photo of goochpunch
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a slightly hazy dark amber with a beautiful, creamy looking head that stays put. Leaves some rings of lace after each sip. Smell is of pleasant, sweet malts, toffee, and a touch of earthy hops. Good aromas here, but this is just so damned weak in the nose. It takes a lot to pull things out. Flavor is in the same boat with the weakness. Just tastes like it has been watered down. Tasty malts and hops, though, with just a hint of diacetyl towards the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and not sticky at all. Almost a little too light, though. This is decent, but I won't go out of my way to drink this again. The light nature of it makes it pretty good for drinking in mass quantities, I'd imagine.

Photo of Winter
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The "Unofficial Beer of Halloween", so states their web site.

Pours dark brown with a creamy tan head. Aroma of chocolate, fruity raisin, caramel, and sweet malt. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and smooth with mild carbonation. Flavors of chocolate and dark fruit (raisin and prune) are noticeable upfront. You can taste what effect the local water has on the flavor. Malty, yet maintains an ale fruitiness throughout. That characteristic here is interesting for a brown ale as it focuses less on the caramel and nutty flavors that these tend to have. The finish is a little bit dry on the middle of your tongue.

I'd have to say Hobgoblin out of the can is much better than from the bottle. No more clear glass means less risk of being light-struck. I haven't had this brew in years, but it was a nice return.

Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a rocky beige head that leaves a few dots of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Toffee, hazelnuts and plummy fruit

Taste: Opens with a slightly fruity toffee flavors that yields a touch of earthy bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow there is a hint of chocolate but the bitterness turns peaty and builds to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated; a touch watery

Drinkability: Overall, I really enjoyed this; it has enough going on to make a brown ale interesting

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

A- Pours a ruby brown color with an off white head, that dissipates quickly.

S- Smells of fall fruits, baked apples and figs.

T- Malty, yet lightly bland, but has a taste of warming apples.

M- Mouthfeel was a little dry.

D- this beer is very drinkable, great for the fall season especially.

Photo of srandycarter
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the trusty tulip

A - Decidedly dark brown and a little murky. Nice whitish head leaves quickly. Lacing light.

S - I am getting spice, a little pepper mixed in with some cooked fruit and bread.

T - Definitely sweet malts and some fruit, a little twinge of bitterness at the end.

M - Thin for my tastes and not carbonated enough.

D- Low alcohol, not overly taxing, enjoyable enough. Could make a session.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Want a sweet beer? Have a Hobgoblin. On to the beer:

It's a light bronze color in appearance. There's nothing in the smell at first, but warming it up releases sweet toffee and a bit of coffee. Nearly the same flavors pull through in the taste, but with a medium/light tone of grapey hops towards the end of each sip. Not cloying at all, well balanced. Oh darn, I'm done with my 12 oz bottle, may I have another?

Photo of ablaze
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500 ml brown bottle into a pint glass.

Off-white bubbly head that quickly settles, good clarity and brown-red. Average lacing.

Light nutty, bready smell.

Light body with ok carbonation. Malty caramel, lightly roasted, plums, red apples, more nuts and bread. Dry with a mellow hop profile.

5.2% and pretty drinkable ale. They've moved from clear bottles to brown, which is good. I'll see it again as it's quite tasty.

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

Appearance - A dark to dark brown red ale, with a nice 1/2 inch to inch head that persisted in lacing to almost empty.

Aroma - Surprisingly light, hints of sweet, buttery malt and a inkling of hop bitterness.

Taste - Sharp bitter taste with a large, sweet to bready note. Finish contains lots of caramel bread and some bitter hops.

Mouhtfeel - Initially sharp and bitter, later mild and sweeter.

Drinkability - The beer wasn't as in good condition as Ive had previously, but pleasant and strongly different nonetheless.

The beer is 5% in cask and 5.2% in the bottle.

Photo of armock
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark brown color with a light brown head that leaves lacing

S - Was of roasted malt and some fruit

T - Sweet malt and fruit stood out

M - light carbonation made it very smooth

D - If this was available at most places it could easily be a session beer

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,279 ratings.