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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

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

2,103 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,103
Reviews: 1,008
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 61
Gots: 132 | FT: 0
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
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Ratings: 2,103 | Reviews: 1,008 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afordney
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%

Amber in color, paper thin head dissapeared quickly.

Smelled nutty and hoppy, slight caramel hints

tasted hoppy and bitter, hints of caramel and a nutty finnish, suprisingly light and refreshing.

Very balanced mouthfeel, not to bitter and very full

A fantastic interpretation of Brown ale, It has entered into the rotation, probably my favorite brown ale ever.

afordney, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of hopsaplenty
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%

500ml clear bottle. ‘DHK 16:44’

Pours tamely, the ruby highlighted amber beer is topped with a sand and khaki colored head made up of fine and medium bubbles that slowly settle leaving moderate lacing and a smattering of floating head dust. The smell is vacant, faintly of mild hops and not much else. The taste is nice and malty sweet, toffee and caramel are present along with some restrained chocolate interlaced. The finish is tame, relaxed hop spice tones, and doesn’t linger. Kind of like the party guest who shows up, eats some food and then leaves. You’re left scratching your head wondering if they actually came or if you only imagined it. The mouthfeel is smooth and punctuated with some prickly carbonation. Medium bodied with a little bit of heft behind it. This was an enjoyable English ale and a welcome diversion from the standard bitters.

hopsaplenty, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.3/5  rDev -12%

This poured a burgundy red colour with a minimal head and low carbonation.
Smell was caramel and fruity and some wood and marmelade notes.
Taste was dominated by the bitterness, which was sort of in balance with the sweetness of the beer. This stuff makes my lips stick. Other tastes were caramel and fruit, especially strawberries and cherries. Body was quite thin, but suits the style.
All together a decent brew with a nice bitterness and lots of character for a 5,2% beer.

Absumaster, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours medium brown with ruby highlights. The head descends to a thin, well-retained covering.

The smell is of sweet toffee with a lemony tang.

The taste is of sweet toffee with subtle hints of brown sugar. A lemony hop tang balances out the sweetness nicely. Suggestions of chocolate emerge as drink progresses. It has a pleasant, well-balanced taste to it Nutty finish. A slight warming alcohol touch finishes it off.

Fuller side of medium bodied. Smooth.

This is a nice English "session" ale.

jwc215, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of goodbyesoberday
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a very thorough brown with a hint of red, and very clear. Some of the bubbles on the head were the size of warts on a toad, and the head has receded dramatically.

The flavour is very rich and sweet, almost like a wussy dubbel without the funky yeast. Toffee, some malt and a very faint fruitiness like dried grapes dirty off the rack. Light toffee and fruit on the aroma, though my beer is a little too cold.

The first english brown ale I've tried, it seems to fit in with the guidelines but I'd like a little more hop flavour.

[edit] I'm getting some oxidation from it as I finish it but I'm not modifying the review.

goodbyesoberday, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of Mandrake
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a beautiful deep brown with lots of red and forms a thick head that is nearly white and stays very well, leaving tons of lacing. This may be the best looking brown ale I've ever seen. Smelled of hops and caramel, with a malty tone, less impressive than the appearance. Malty taste with some chocolate and caramel sweetness. Feels a little thin for a brown ale, but not so much as to impact its drinkability, which is quite good. A very nice beer overall, although it's not particularly bold or complex.

Unfortunately, every other bottle I've had has been terribly skunked.

Mandrake, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of Naes
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%

This ale is dark brown in color with a two finger off-white head.
The aroma is of caramel malt with a bit of English style hops.
The flavor is a little toasty with a caramel malt base and a semi bitter finish.
Mouth feel is light in body and moderately carbonated.

Naes, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of sevineyes
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%

Poured from a clear 500ml bottle with a "hobgoblin" toting a sword and quiver of arrows on the lablel.

A: Poured with scant head and no lacing. Murky brown with a lot of apparent carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel almost like caramel apples. Very candy-like. Taffy tones. Evolves to a smell not unlike pouring chocolate syrup over ice.

T: Caramel that gives way to more of a sweet breadiness. Finishes dry but with some sourness like apricot skins. Has some floral notes in the end that evolve into the aftertaste.

M: Prickly carbonation perhaps a little overcarbonated for my tastes. Thicker than what I would expect.

D: Fine.

Overall: An intriguing brown. Very balanced and certainly not devoid of flavors even though it took me a while to pick up on some of the elements.

sevineyes, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of NolanGTI
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Boy was I happy to see this on cask. The pour presented a nice medium-dark brown beer, nice and clear, with a soft head resting on top. The nose presented some funkiness (dirty socks??) with a hint of roasted malt/chocolate, but really not much at all. The taste was pedestrian. Not much going on, a very slight malty backbone with some fairly uninteresting flavors going on. No alcohol kick at all, just a bland brown ale. You could drink a bunch of these as almost a session beer, but doesn't live up to the tops in its class.

NolanGTI, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

I tried this on-tap in a bar in Swindon, UK (can't remember the name) in early 2006. It was poured into a pint glass, and looked good enough with deep brown color and creamy frothy head.

The smell wasn't really outstanding, just a little malty (I guess I expected spices or something). The taste was OK also, kind of a standard brown ale, but on the mild side flavor-wise.

This was OK but nothing immense to seek out in my opinion.

TurdFurgison, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%

This is a light caramel/ apple-juice colored brew which gives little in the way of head or smell. It tastes of light, but full flavored caramel malt with a unique robustness, there is a subtle apple fruitiness and spicy hops clench the finish. Very drinkable. There is definately something special about this beer, but most days I'd take a Sam Smith Nut Brown for about the same price per serving.

JudgeRoughneck, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours dark copper witha chunky 3 fingers+ sand colored head. Good lacing and below average head retention

Smell: Intense fruitcake/Christmas pudding aroma

Taste: Caramel, frutiness, & toasted malt. Slight bitterness as it warms. Slightly sweet finish

MF: Good carbonation but oscillates between hints of thin and astringent to me

Drinkable, but just didn't pull together the way I know this ale can (on cask), i'm sure the clear bottle ain't helping the cause...

russpowell, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of funkengruven
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%

Poured a dark brown with almost no head and a touch of lacing, a little boring looking. Smell is a bit malty with no skunk, which is definitely a bonus. Taste is good, complex, raisins and light prunes, certainly very nice. It's not overly carbonated and holds it's flavor all the way through. This is easy going down, not bad at all.

funkengruven, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of sraimondi
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Just had this one on nitrous draught at Otter's Pub In Torrington, CT. Very smooth and drinkable. Nice malty start with some hops thrown in at the end, but this one is definitely on the malty/sweeter side. Far superior to the bottle version. Will definitely have thos one again. Good stuff.

sraimondi, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%

Ah, good old Hobgoblin. Saw it today for the first time in a few years and had to grab it, even if $3.99 seemed a tad excessive. I used to drink these in London and once drank in a pub of the same name near Twickenham before an England rugby match vs. Australia. Fond memories.
Okay, so the Goblin starts with a dark, translucent amber with little more than a skulcap of head. Nose is malty with chocolate and alcohol in the taste as well.
Taste is malty but clean in the finish. Bitter but comfortablty so. Round, open texture that mellows and sits happily in your mouth.
This is just a good, honest, English ale, welcome at my table anytime

daliandragon, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of bruachan
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

at the coventry winking lizard

looks like dark rootbeer. even the head on top takes the same sort of pattern

toffee aromas with slight diacetyl
i get some hoppiness among the roasted flavors but not much by any means. minimal esters so the light malt-based flavors can shine

bruachan, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of vanrassel
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

This beer had a dark copper colour with a reddish tinge. It poured with a nice, foamy, two-finger head that dissipated rather quickly but left nice lacing on my pint glass.

As soon as I opened the bottle, I could pick up a skunky smell — so much so, that I checked the best-before date to make sure it hadn't gone "off." As it turned out, there was still a couple of weeks' room, and the skunkiness died down as I poured it. In the glass, I could pick up some fruity esters.

I was pleasantly surprised how refreshing this beer was considering the heavy smell I was greeted with. It started with a malty sweetness and finished with a crisp bitterness with a slight alcoholic aftertaste. It had a lively carbonation without being too bubbly. All in all, a pleasant brew.

vanrassel, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of riversider76
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Pours dark amber.Not much head,and minimal lacing. Not much of a smell here, light malts, and that about it. Mouthfeel is light,almost watery,with a bit of carbanation. Taste is light and malty from start to finish. It seems like they could have done more with this beer.

riversider76, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of kelticblood
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

Light and bubbling head. Off white in color with spotty lacing. The color looks great. It's a ruby red and clear. Would of liked more from the aroma. The aroma is faint with hints of malt and bread. Finish has a real bitterness but goes down smooth and dry. No real hop character.A touch on the watery side. I'd like it to be a bit thicker. Tastes of raisins,malt,and bread. An average Brown Ale. It is very drinkable however.Finish leaves a puckering bitterness after awhile.

kelticblood, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%

Appearance – Very cool bottle art. Beer is a deep rich mahogany brown. Light and frothy head.

Smell – Nutty and earthy, hints of sweetness.

Taste – Sweet and nutty malts, very strong. Minimal hops. Brown sugar with a bit of tartness.

Mouthfeel – Smooth but not the most sessionable, I served it a slightly lower than room temp. Carbonation was right on.

Drinkability – I would expect a beer in this style to be a little more mild and balanced. More sticky sweet and tart that I like in a drinkable English beer.

akajimmyd, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
3.9/5  rDev +4%

Big rocky head with thin sticky lacing. Light reddish orange color.

Smells of dark berries. There's a hint of sugar in the nose that I would get occasionally.

Slightly bitter malty taste with hints of chocolate and toffee.

Good creamy mouthfeel with a smooth creamy palate that sticks around enjoyably. I'll have this one again.

timtheenchanta, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

pours a burnt amber with a beige head that falls into a slight lace.
the aroma is malty, hopsack, dates.
the flavor is rich with malt, a good bitterness, spicyness, hint of citrus, minerially, lingering hop flavor.
the beer is very drinkable. i would drink this year round.

plaztikjezuz, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of wingnutter
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%

Poured from a BROWN bottle - a nice dark brown color with a pillowy head. Smells sweet with a bit of toffee/caramel/nuttiness.

Taste has a spiciness to it along with some toffee notes. Zero bitterness. Northing spectacular here, but not bad either. Brown ales arent my favorite style but this one goes down really easy.

Decent beer, I wouldnt turn one down but wouldnt seek it out again either.

A non-offensive brew.

wingnutter, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

This is a good session beer, but not something I'd want for a special occasion. Pours with a nice head (with big, frothy bubbles) and a nice caramel color. The nose is filled with spicy, cookie fragrances. The flavor is a bit more bitter than expected, but nothing assertive. The slightly sweet malt flavor mixes with the unassertive hops to create something very mild and drinkable -- a brew that can be consumed in many pints over an evening.

geexploitation, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of crwills
4.2/5  rDev +12%

This is the type of beer you could sit in a bar and drink all night. Good, not great, but good enough and better than most of what you can get on tap in normal Toronto bars.

Poured into my brand new Hobgoblin glass (woo!), a dark amber/brown with a thick, fluffy head. Looks like a pint should look.

Crisp, clean malty-sweet smell with no hint of bitterness. Taste is smooth and bready, and goes down very easily. Mild bitterness in the aftertaste, but just makes you want more.

I bet this would be better on tap.

crwills, Jan 21, 2006
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,103 ratings.