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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
HobgoblinHobgoblin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

2,065 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,065
Reviews: 1,003
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 58
Gots: 122 | 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
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Ratings: 2,065 | Reviews: 1,003 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.6/5  rDev -30.7%

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.

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

North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -24.5%

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.

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

Missouri

3.6/5  rDev -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.

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

Michigan

2.4/5  rDev -36%

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.

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

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

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

Indiana

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

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

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

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,

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

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

06-13-2005 02:57:06 | More by beertaster13
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

Appears a dark brown with a red tone. A 1 finger tan head fades to the center and outer rims of the glass. Small spots of lacing cling to the glass.
Smell is of sweet toffee, fruit, and nuts with an unsettling skunky grain aroma mixed into the mix..
Taste is of smooth toffe with a slight bitterness that is compimented by the fruitiness that seems to smooth things out.
Mouthfeel is very English Ale like as it is medium bodied and sweet with a bitterness that doesn't creep up or linger too long.

It's ok, dog.

06-10-2005 12:47:40 | More by weeare138
Photo of Shultzerdugen
Shultzerdugen

Missouri

3.18/5  rDev -15.2%

12 oz. brown bottle.

Dark brown in appearance with red undertones and a white collar.

The smell is unsettling: uric acid, dank and funky, sweet malts hidden behind the stench.

Medium body with lively carbonation. Classic English flavors, a fruity ale with mellow hops and the typical metallic flavor from hard water. Yeast is also noticable in the taste.

Nothing stand out about this beer, nothing wrong but the smell.

06-09-2005 00:57:24 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -9.3%

Stained crimson glow. Skimpy, baggy, blanched ivory crown. Narrow collar keeps and light skeletal lacing clings.
Vapid aroma of stale graham cracker crust, flat vanilla abstract, and obtuse cocoa.
Flavors usher in a bland and empty front with a mild dark grainy malt. Slow middle with common and infinitely inadequate roast barely reaching the surface. Eases off slow and gradual with a bit more huskiness building with a exaustingly soft effort into a rounded out tameness of roasted grains. Slender sweetness sticks a bit. Slightest of slight hints of vanilla and hazelnut dust sit underneath.
Clean and firm mouthfeel with only a partail carbonation keeping a lighter airyness about it. Tender on the palate but has a slight chalky gracing and softly airs out with a scantly small drying tone.
An average typical English Brown drinker thats altogether bland and boring with meager but acceptable flavors and body to get ya to finish the pint.

06-08-2005 00:29:36 | More by tavernjef
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

3.23/5  rDev -13.9%

Poured copper brown from brown 12 oz bottle with unreadable date printed on neck. Aroma very unpleasant- saying horseblanket would be too kind.Redeeming taste of rich malts with faint coffee and bitter chocolate. Some diacetyle but correct for style. Nice hop bitternes in aftertaste. Slick mouthfeel. I would suggest trying a single bottle.

05-28-2005 14:54:27 | More by karst
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%

Clear red/brown, nice carbonation, holds it and laces well. Smells malty and fruity, very pleasant. Has a fruity taste that I really enjoy, sweet malty backbone, slight alcohol taste and taste of maybe its dark cherries. Smooth carbonation and goes down easy. Definately a session beer, I really enjoy this one for everyday drinking.

05-25-2005 02:55:06 | More by Viggo
Photo of horndecker
horndecker

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

A coppery red brew, with a quick off-white coarse head which left little lace.

The first aromas are of grass and caramel, with a floral smell developing soom after. As it warms there are hints of leather and earth, then something funky and not too pleasant. Hard to pin down, but maybe old fruit would characterize it.

The taste starts nutty and toasty, with chocolate and a bit of fruit. It's got nice body, pleasantly smooth, and finishes with a quite mild, dry and hoppy bitterness.

A nice brew, but there were aspects of the smell that disappointed.

05-09-2005 02:30:24 | More by horndecker
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

2.9/5  rDev -22.7%

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.65.

Poured a dark brown with amber highlights. Modest, off-white head that dropped quickly, though there was a halfway decent amount of lace and a foamy collar.

Wasn't much going on in the aroma department. Mildly toasted malt, very minor brown sugar and very mild raisin aromas. Kinda weak.

Taste was a little more interesting than the smell. The brown sugar taste was a little more dominant. Still, this is a very restrained brown ale. I think my last Newcastle had more character than this, and that's kinda sad.

This is the most light-bodied brown ale I've ever had. It's far more watery than it has any right to be. Carbonation is there, but it's very mild, like the rest of this beer.

This is a brown ale that is scared of it's own shadow. It's incredibly meek. If it doesn't run and hide from you in the beer store, there's not much point in picking it up.

05-08-2005 01:22:34 | More by woemad
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.35/5  rDev -10.7%

Perfectly pellucid orangish bronze. The hobgoblin's cap is light beige with a hint of orange. It isn't the typical brown ale appearance, but more closely resembles a robust English pale ale. The head looks respectable enough, stays for a spell and leaves a few arching streamers of lace. Okay, but nothing special.

Surprise, surprise; I received a blast of skunk when popping the cap. It hasn't completely faded, but then the beer has only been breathing for a few minutes. Hobgoblin smells nothing like a brown ale. Dark ale? Maybe. I can appreciate moderately toasted grain, dark fruit and... lingering skunk. Sad to say, this beer isn't that far removed from what Bud Dark (please, may it remain a figment of my demented imagination) might smell like. It's better than that, but you get the idea.

Even though there's more flavor and more personality than the nose suggested there would be, this is still only so-so beer. Dark caramel/toffee is the dominant flavor with a little hoppy spiciness for good measure. Mildly sour dark fruit is present as well. Unfortunately, the flavor profile lacks even a modest amount of complexity.

The body/mouthfeel is light (I might be convinced to call it light-medium given the style). I have no doubt that the lack of flavor, the lack of depth and the truncated finish are due, in part, to the aqueous mouthfeel. Definite room for improvement.

I've stayed away from Wychwood beer until now for a host of reasons, clear glass bottles foremost among them. Overpricing is another. The bottles are well done with an attractive shape and embossed witches on broomsticks; as are the colorful, cartoony, Tolkeinesque labels. It has always looked to me, however, that the brewery is trying too hard, putting more emphasis on the packaging than the beer. Now that I've had my first bottle, I can't say that I was that far off the mark. I take back what I said about Bud Dark, but I have no desire to go hobnobbin' with this hobgoblin again.

05-04-2005 14:52:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of beersarang
beersarang

California

2.53/5  rDev -32.5%

Pours a brown with a nice head. Promising appearance, nice brown.

Smells yeasty, metallic. Yegh!

Tastes a little odd, yeasty, skunky, metallic. I can't put my finger on what went wrong with this beer. I might have to re review.

Thin, watery, light carbonation. Does not do it for me...

04-29-2005 05:44:37 | More by beersarang
Photo of abcsofbeer
abcsofbeer

Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Poured from a twelve oz bottle with no fresh date, but a stamp on the neck that may be it. It pours a rosewood, dark color that is very clear with no carbonated bubbles present.

The head is tannish and thin, only about one finger that dissipates quickly. There are traces of lace. The aroma is kind of grapey, like a sweet white wine. There are other hints of fruit present along with some grassy overtones.

The taste is kind of bland with no tingle of carbonation at all. It almost tastes flat. It is kind of fruity. The aftertaste brings up a slight bitterness on the palate. Also, a slight toffee, malty bitterness as well.

04-27-2005 23:18:04 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of Tballz420
Tballz420

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Damn, a brown ale, not my favorite style. Nevertheless, This brew is a brown bodied brew, big bubbly cream head results from a nice cascade show. Lots of rising bubbles. The scent is mainly sweet caramel malt, some butteryness to it as well. Quite rich taste, chocolate and sweet caramel malts. Some nutty and buttery notes, slight hop bitterness. Not a horrible brown, but these beers just dont do it for me.

03-27-2005 23:43:08 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

Was able to try Hobgoblin on tap last evening. The color was a dark brown amber with a nice sized off-white brown head that broke down and left a haze over the brew leading to lacing through out. The aromas from this brew were very malty with a fairly heavy concentration of caramel with a noticeable scent of hops. The taste is very smooth and is dominated by malt, which tends to be on the sweet side. Can notice some fruit like flavors that complement the brew nicely. Also can notice a nice hop like taste at the end of the sip. Overall this is a very nice brew, one that can be a session type brew with its nice taste and medium alcohol amount. Much better on tap than from the bottle IMO.

03-16-2005 21:28:00 | More by Stimack
Photo of Opethsprite
Opethsprite

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

This English Ale poured buckeye brown with exceptional clarity and a thin, short-lived head. It smells like intense sweetness in the malt--brown sugar, perhaps.

After the tingle of carbonation and hops comes an extreme chocolate-caramel flavor. It's tasty, but it lacks balance until the ash-y finish comes to round it out.

A very enjoyable beer!

02-26-2005 20:29:09 | More by Opethsprite
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +4%

Picked up a single Hobgoblin 12 oz brown bottle this evening. In the past whenever I have seen this beer, its always been offered in a clear bottle. As the bottle states, this is an imported English Ale from Witney, Oxfordshire, England.

Pours an attractive shade of brown. Some nice light brown highlights.

Whiifs of malty sweetness. Pleasant to the nose.

Taste is reminding me a of strong, nutty brown ale. I like the sweet and chewy malt presence here. Buttery caramel smoothness with a noticable hop snap.

02-07-2005 03:28:37 | More by Hibernator
Photo of claytri
claytri

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +16%

The ale poured a thick opaque reddish brown with thin tan head. The aroma was light but smelled of sweet malt and dark fruits. The taste was very appealing it was truly sweet malt with a great cherry finish and a strong alcohol burn throughout. It's feel was thick and syrupy almost medicinal. I normally avoid beers with the most fanciful names. So I found myself in the Intermezza Cafe in Atlanta and the selections lacked a little umph. This ones promise of chocolate malt fet my thoughts and so it was ordered. I was pleasantly surprised as it was quite a treat.

02-04-2005 03:40:54 | More by claytri
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%

Appearance: Very clear reddish amber colour with a thin, light brown lacing of head. Retention was modest and stickage was minimal.

Smell: Good combination of caramel malty sweetness, rich fruity esters, a light roastiness, and earthy hops.

Taste: Fruity sweetness that reminds me of dried fruit and apples. The bitterness is subdued, but builds nicely at the finish once the sweetness gets out of the way. The finish is quite nice with a mix of sweet fruitiness, balanced bitterness and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium/low carbonation and medium bodied. Texture is quite smooth and nicely done.

Drinkability: Overall it's a little too sweet and earthy. Not bad at all, but a bit more bitterness would balance it nicely.

Clear 500 mL bottle with best before date stamped on the rear label.

01-31-2005 03:30:16 | More by DrJay
Photo of FenwaySquid
FenwaySquid

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +4%

Presentation: 1 Pt. 0.9 Fl Oz clear bottled poured into a hobgoblin pint glass.

Appearance: Beer poured a deep brown color with a good head that dissipated slowly to a lace sound the rim of the glass.

Smell: Rather malty with hints of chocolate. Pleasant.

Taste: Again, a very slight hint of chocolate, but for the most part I detected a roasted malt flavor. Some hops thrown in there too for good measure on the finish.

Mouthfell: Very smooth, not too complex, though.

Overall: A most enjoyable beer and a great example of the style.

01-30-2005 03:21:44 | More by FenwaySquid
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,065 ratings.