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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,315 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,315
Reviews: 1,046
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 72
Gots: 251 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,315 | Reviews: 1,046 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Floydster
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
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
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
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
3.75/5  rDev 0%
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
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
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
4.2/5  rDev +12%
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
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
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
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
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
3.75/5  rDev 0%
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.

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

This beer poured a deep coppery brown and had a decent, though not particularly fluffy, tan head. The aroma was clean, I expected more fruitiness but instead got a very light blend of malt, toffee, and caramel. The flavor was a little more fruity, almost that juicy fruit flavor (but lightly so) and also had a nice blend of licorice notes, caramel, toasty maltiness and a slight hop bitterness. Overall this was tasty, a good session beer I think, seems lighter than 5.2% alcohol though.

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

Attractive copper pour without a lot of head that definitely did not hang aroound for long. Nice lacing on glass. Flavor is mildly sweet with notes of roasted malt with moderate hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel was medium. Not bad, would have again. This is one of Michael Jackson's 500 Classic Brews.

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

Dark brown-red color with an average size head. Most of the head diminishes. Clear body, but not much carbonation. Smells of roasted malts and resin. Initial flavor is a bit sweet, bitter finish with an average duration. Medium body with a dry texture and flat carbonation.

Photo of Night
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark crimson with scarlet and amber flecks and a large, beige, rocky head. Medium lacing. Aroma is elusive, but suggests caramel, chocolate, toffee, and fruity esters. Mouthfeel is juicy and a bit fizzy. Flavor is malty, nutty, and yeasty with a strong undertone of banana. Plum and grape throughout. Bitter hops reside in the background and provide a spicy herbal kick. Raisin, fig, and vegetal flavors in a somewhat dry finish. Aftertaste is vaguely woody, sweet, and sour.

Photo of beeragent
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a deep amber, forming a thin head that quickly fades. Light spots of lace on the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, and a hint of nuts. The taste is very much as the aroma, consisting of thick sweet malts, and finishing with a light peanut flavor. Very smooth mouthfeel and finish. This is easily a sessionable ale, due to the full flavor, and moderate abv. Overall, I was expecting one thing and got another. However, I wasnt dissapointed. This is a decent example of an English brown ale. Try it!

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

16.9oz brown bottle. Glad they replaced the clear bottles as the brown ones give a longer shelf-life. Witches on broomsticks fly a ring around the neck of the bottle in glass relief. Love the creative halloween feel of the packaging. Doesn't seem to drive up the cost as my sample was only $3.95/bottle. Pours dark ruby-red brown with a light fluffy creamy head that lasts. A unique color, this beer seems in between brown ale and ESB. Smells of chocolate malt(milk choc & cocoa power) and it's inviting me to taste. Taste is on the sweet side but overall flavor profile is fairly mellow. Has a salty banana fruitiness. Good balance of bittering hops with a background taste of salty sulfur towards the end to give a semi-dry finish. Mouthfeel is very creamy. Tried it when it first hit Mass. and liked it right away. Makes a great cool weather beer. Think I'll jack up the A/C and have another.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost 8 years ago on a vacation in London I found this beer at an affiliated Thai restaurant. Oddly they didn't have it on draft, bottles only. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the dinner as well. Why do I relay that bit, well it has to do with the glass bottle. It's been in NH for about a year or more now and I'm super leary about England beers in glass bottles. I have not had a great success rate to say the least (skunked). So after much deliberation I thought I'd try this one again.

A - cinamon brown with a small off white head.
S - molasses and rich sweet malts with a touch of floral hops.
T - similar to the aroma but with a syruppy aspect. Kind of a split between as Sam Smith's nut brown and an english breakfast stout.
M - light to medium bodied with a buttery / syrupy aspect that is intruiging but not overwhelming.
D - Sessionable and quite good paired with a steak tip and gorgonzola cheese salad and soy / ginger salad dressing.

Photo of theformula
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber color with a small, cream-colored head that dissipates pretty quickly. Semi-sticky lacing.

Rich and malty, notes of cramel, hops, toasted nuts.

A little oily/viscous mouthfeel, making it velvet-y. Very conservative carbonation gives it only a little zip.

Rich and somewhat thick taste. Nice toasted/nutty flavor initially. Caramel, dark malt, yeast and faint hops. Also some chocolate and coffee in there.

Average beer. I don't know how to put it any better. Viscous and filling. Almost in between a porter and a brown ale. Just not too interesting IMO, as there is much better out there. Sweet label though.

Photo of basica
3.16/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Hobgoblin is an Ale by Wychwood brewers in England; they are the same folks who brewed
the Duchy Original Organic Ale which I tried a few days ago. The Hobgoblin comes in this
interesting transparent bottle with a Goblin on the label; at 5.2% it was called a Strong
Dark Ale... I was honestly amused. Anyway this ale pours out a dark brown color with a good
thick looking head. I think it smells lagerish to start with but whatever it was, it was
definitely not something impressionable. It's taste was not fruity or really ale like; it
tasted like a not bad lager; the malty ale taste only came during the finish of a mouthful
and in the shortlived after taste. The only thing that was a little more impressionable was
this malty, yeasty after taste. The mouthfeel was disappointingly light and thin bodied. I
could really ignore the slightly over-carbonation but for an ale of this nature the body
is just too thin to satisfy me. It seems washed-down, blend and lacking in character if I
were to compare this to most Belgian dark ales. I do confess that I was pretty underwhelmed
by this beer; I had higher expectations to start with.

Photo of allengarvin
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a can, into a nonik glass. This beer is a slightly murky walnut color with a foamy, frothy head about 3/4ths of an inch thick. Toasty, caramel-tinted malt nose with some sweet fruitiness and a touch of hops. Quite malty flavor, caramelish, with a hint of toffee. Bitterness is moderate to low, with emphasis remaining on the malt. Fruity and sweet in the finish. Less carbonated than the bottle form, with a more English-pub level of carbonation.

Very nice. I'd avoided the cans thinking they were nitro-injected. Happy to find they're just straight cans.

Photo of DESTRO
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice shade of brown with a small head that quickly dies into a ring. leaves some lacing. smells fruity and tastes much like the nose. fruity, a bit nutty with a nice caramel malt backbone. taste isnt light but def. "clean". just enough to keep things interesting. the right amount of carbonation rounds things out, this has session written all over it.

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,315 ratings.