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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,276 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,276
Reviews: 1,034
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 71
Gots: 227 | 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: 2,276 | Reviews: 1,034 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexskovan
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy iced-tea-like amber with a big fine-grain head that was rock solid. Aroma is sweet and alluring, grains and fruit. Taste is round and full, tea-like, with a dry bitter finish. A very English sort of ale, with the malt out front and the hops in the background.

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

Pours out a dark reddish brown, with a very slight head, which ended with just a tiny ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Smells good, with a hint of chocolate that doesn't really manifest as much in the taste. The mouthfeel was strangely thin for such a dark beer. There was a hint of alcohol in the nose that I only ever notice in stronger beers (this was the 5.2% abv version). Taste was good, with an earthy background. Roasted and malty. Not an absolute favourite, but I would drink it again, especially if I could find it on tap somewhere.

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

A - Poured into a pint mug from a pint bottle..pours dark brown with red highlights forming a finger and a half light brown head that fell slowly leaving a nice lace around the glass

S - Heavy malts with a touch of roasted nut smell

T - Good sweet malt up front with light dry hoppy taste in the finish

M - Light but could be a little more carbonated for me..overall very good

D - Drinkability is high..a good balanced brew overall..I like it very much

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at G.W. Tavern in Washington Depot. Conn.

A: Pours a clear, reddish brown that looks much darker in this low light. A slight tan head fades to a spider's web lace just a minute after it was drawn.

S: Smells a bit nutty, but not too overpowering where it turns me off to drinking it. Nice malt sweetness with a little bitter hop noticed.

T: A squall of sweet, toasted malt, with a mildly bitter hop background. Not the best of balances, but tasty enough to order again. (and again).

M: Mouthfeel is light-bodied, which adds significantly to the drinkability. If this were a heavier brew, like Wolaver's brown, or some other Americans, I don't know that'd it'd be as enjoyable.

D: It's a sweet, tasty malted brown that goes great with the fall season, and could be quaffed well into the winter months.

Overall, a nice English brown. More full-flavored and complex in terms of sweetness than Newcastle, but a fine example of English styles compared to U.S.

Photo of brewshakes
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer this afternoon after getting home from work. I purchased it in a mix six pack earlier in the week. It poured a rust color with a thin tan head. The nose was malt and roasted grains. The taste is pretty good, dry towards the end. All in all a pretty good English Brown Ale.

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

Had this from a 1 pint can into my trusty pint. Pours a murky, copper red, with no light passing through. Has a thin foam head that is just barely there, but does not go away. Smells malty, some fruity and butter smells. Holy sweet. The sweetness of the malt attacks the tounge like few beers do. With that being said, it is not obnoixious. Mouthfell is good as far as carbonation goes, leaves a nice dry finish that invites another sip. Overall, a very well done beer. I wish I could have this from a cask in a pub, then it would be hard to beat.

Photo of pittvkyle7
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep brown with a little orangeish red coming through. White head that fades to a ring with just a little lacing.
S- Stong malts. brown sugar, toffee, chocolate, a little bready.
T- Wow great flavors. Again tons of malt, basicaly no hop untill the very end. chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, coffee, hazelnut, a little fruity too maybe apple I don't know.
M- medium body, creamy though, perfect for the style. It would be more smooth if the carbonation was lower.
D- low alcohol so very drinkable, also very tasty!

Photo of shadow1961
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wychwood Hobgoblin pours a nice stiff tan head over a brew which is quite
dark unless you hold it up to a light. The nose is toasty malt with a whiff of
herbal hops. The flavor is English Brown Ale all the way- big, mellow, and
toasty, with notes of espresso, butterscotch, and molasses, and a bit of an
herbal hop finish. Mouthfeel is round and full- though it's not as heavy as
the dark color promises. It's just a big, friendly, quaffable beer, just what you
want as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer...

Photo of kkosmoski
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz clear bottle poured into a Sam Smith Imperial pint glass:

Color is dark brown and clear with a cream colored head that settles down to just a covering after a minute. A very distinct and unique malt character in the aroma, including roasted nuts, toffee, chocolate, and maybe a hint of licorice. Flavor is dominated by the pleasing maltiness of this beer. Nutty, sweet flavor to start, followed by toffee and a hint of some darker roasted flavors. Just enough earthy bitterness to balance - barely even on the radar. Mouthfeel starts out a bit prickly, and fades down into a light-medium body.

This is right at the top of my list for an English Brown. I really enjoy drinking it as the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are falling in upstate NY-its my official Haloween beer! This is a very unique beer with some very interesting and pleasing malt flavors that leave you guessing through the session.

Photo of Jonte
2.63/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is the version with 3.5% alcohol.

Reddish brown color. The color of the fast shrinking head is light brown.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, and maybe some notes of toast and nuts.

The taste is sweet and malty with notes of caramel, chocolate and fruits. Some light bitterness in the finish. A bit thin and watery, but still quite good for a 3.5% beer.

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

Appearance - 4.0
Poured two fingers of creamy beige head that reduced slowly, over a deep reddish brown body that looks to be quite still.

Smell - 4.0
Yum! This smells malty sweet, with other smells like chocolate, roasted grains, mild coffee, buttery and a vague fruitiness. Perhaps a tiny trace of grassy hops.

Taste - 4.0
Much like the smell, with heaps of malty sweetness, a rich, roasted grain flavour, raisins and a bit of cocoa. The finish is slightly bitter, with a little dryness, and the aftertaste is very smooth and pleasant.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Although it looks still, there is a persistent light carbonation. Weight in the mouth is moderate to heavy. Almost creamy.

Drinkability - 4.0
This goes down really smoothly, and could definitely be used as a session beer (although I wouldn't want to at the price!).

OVERALL - 4.05
This is pretty pricey for a beer of 5.2% ABV, but is surely much cheaper in England, and it tastes bloody good, so was definitely worth the try. Smooth, malty, full of flavour and not too alcoholic, this is how a brown ale should be. Ignore the clear bottle, this is top quality stuff.

Photo of Floydster
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle purchased from BevMo in Torrance

Had no idea what this was, just bought it because I am a huge fan of brown ales

Pour was medium brown with a 1/2 inch vanilla head

Smell was a little nutty with a good amount of malt, and a lot of sweet caramel

Taste was not as sweet as I though it would be, dry with lots of hops, but still very good

Could drink a couple of these, pretty heavy brew and kind of expensive for what it is

Photo of CanuckRover
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight prejudice, Wychwood is one of my favourite breweries, I enjoy all their beers.

Pours a dark, slightly opaque red, looks far more formidable than it actually is. Bark is louder than it's bite, everytime I pour it I wonder whether I have mixed it up with another beer. Nice big pillowey head that dissipates into a thin, but steady film. Good lacings.

Milk chocolate on the nose with dried fruit, you can tell right away this isn't for the hopheads.

True to the aroma, taste is just about all malt with chocolate and raisins to the fore. Bitterness is subdued and from the malt, not the hops for the most part. Because of the strong malt character, finish is lacking, but that's not a horrible thing. Instead it makes this incredibly drinkable for the style, leaving only a slight stickyness in the mouth, along with some roasted notes that just beg for more beer.

Certainly English and certainly tasty.

Photo of Mryup
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A: A deep reddish brown. Small tan head.

S: Malt with some nuttiness.

T: Very mellow toffee/chocolate maltiness. A little bitter and dry towards the end. Not complicated at all.

M: Well carbonated and medium-bodied. The dryness at the end makes it feel thin and anemic.

D: Goes down like grape medicine (if you're in to that sort of thing). Very nice.

Photo of bort11
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin tall pint glass. Very active tan head that jumps to the top of the glass. Takes a couple of pulls to pour the entire bottle. Head recedes to a filmy lace. Leaves a couple of sticky patches on the glass. Color is a dark mahogany red.
Smell and taste is a dark resin, very woody and smokey. A bit of sweet toffee/caramel in the back notes. Bitterness is subdued and is really more spicy than bitter.
Mouthfeel is medium body and slightly chewy.
Definitely has English characteristics. Interesting to go to every once in a while.

Photo of JamesS
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice, darker ale. Not what I would strictly call a brown ale, it seemed more like an ale style black lager almost. But that works for me. I enjoyed it immensly. I picked it up on a whim because of the nice label artwork. I'm glad I did, because it was good enough and different enough to be worth the extra dollar or two I spent on the six pack. Not much head or lacing, but the aroma is nice and the taste is smooth with a nice combination of sweetness and bitterness.

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

Hobgoblin has a reddish brown kinda copper color with a
beautiful caramel colored head,reasonably bubbly but dissipates
rather quick
It has a smokey caramel aroma,didn't quite notice the smokey side of it but it came out as the beer warmed,a little bitterness towards the end.
it has a rich and full bodied texture.
This is a great evening beer,something to sit down and relax with,
upon further drinking i did notice a toffee liquorice flavor.Not a beer
i would have with a meal but an evening or a cool night drink.Great
for a winter night.Highly enjoyable...will have again.

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

This beer is very delicious, It pours a dark brown color with a cream colored head. I couldn't really pin point an exact smell to this beer, but the tast was a little malty with a nice after taste. I will be drinking this beer agian and will be enjoying it for years to come. I would recomend this beer to anyone who wants to try this delicious lager.

Photo of Bobikel
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served in a .5 liter goblet

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear deep ruby red with a generous off white head. Almost blood red. Retention and lacing are both good.

Smell - Yeasty, and malty with a little lager like characteristic. Maybe DMS? Not to sure... Definetly and English Brown Ale.

Taste - Caramel and toffee dominate, as to be expeced, but with a good hoppiness that I didn't expect so much. A touch of butter. Quite good.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and even, but with a little higher carb than I would like.

Drinkability - An easy drinker, for sessions or otherwise.

Photo of cyrenaica
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle
5.2% ABV
I tried this beer on August 13, 2007 after purchasing from my local LCBO store. The beer poured a dark brown with a small head that quickly disappeared. The aroma is malty with a hint of almond. The mouthfeel is thick and fullbodied with medium carbonation. The flavour is a slight touch on the sour side with some citrusy hints backed up by a heavy malty taste. This beer goes down very well.

Photo of nightcrawler
2.63/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The liquid was dark brown in my glass with a decent foamy head. Carbonation lasted well as I drank the beer.

The smell was toasted malt with an alcoholic tint that tickled my nose. No real sweet smell that I expected.

The taste was initially sweet that turned into a burnt bitterness. The alcohol taste became more and more apparently the more I drank of it.

I will try a can version of this, but in the bottle, I was less than impressed with this beer compared to other brown ales I've tasted.

Photo of Phatz
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Zeno's Pub in State College PA.

Appearance: Served a dark copper crimson color with a beige colored cap and little lace. Nice.

Smell: Malty and rich with caramel and grains and fruits like apple and pear in a bready body with some toasted ness and even touch of dark cherry.

Taste: It is a light easy drinking English Brown that is built for consumption. It was a great Lunchtime beer Saturday and a good way to start of my day. It is not complex but it has enough flavors to keep me quite satisfied. A light grain, toffee and cocoa malt attribute; a touch of fruit and cracker and a detectable hop presence. Approachable.

Mouthfeel: medium body, exceptionally smooth malty center with a soft light finish.

Drinkability: The feature of this beer is how easy drinking it is. This is a session beer if every I had one. I love it in volumes.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of peabody
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours out a dark brown clear with black tints. Three fingers of off-white/tan suds.Good lacing.
Smell is dark caramel malt with pungent yeast and butterscotch sugars.
Taste is watery coffee and dark cherry sugar with bitter hops finishing it all off.
Mouthfeel is watery but clean.
Drinkability is OK but could be so much better.

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

poured a dark brown with hints of red when held up to a light with an off white head that left nice lacing on the glass smells of nutty and hoppy yummyness. taste just as it smells not too bitter. nice carbonation and crisp. if this was locally available i'd probably drink this one from time to time.

Photo of StargherKing
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this out of a bottle last time, trying it in a can now. Pours a chestnut brown with hints of red. Light, fluffy yellowish head that quickly dissipates. Smell is hops, a nuttiness, and a hint of malt. Taste is much the same, with just a hint of yeasty bread. I didn't notice nearly as much hop flavor last time, it seemed a lot nuttier. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, good carbonation. Drinkability would be a lot better if I liked hops. I don't know if I was just having an off day this time or if I need to stick with the bottled version of this particular fantasy creature, but either way it's not going to kill the beer for me.

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,276 ratings.