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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,053 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,053
Hads: 2,458
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 21.24%
Wants: 85
Gots: 376 | 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.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hobgoblin Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,053 | Hads: 2,458
Photo of Chris_Burton
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hobgoblin is something of a go to beer for me, and I'd been meaning to review it for a while.

It's definitely on the darker of ESB, although not dark or rich enough to really qualify as a porter. The body is a translucent brown with shades of ruby when held to the light. A finger of head quickly disappears. It smells of forest berries and caramel. The taste is a strange combination: light hints of chocolate, a slightly bitter dryness and an aftertaste of cherries. A very balanced beer, being neither sweet and malty nor bitter and hoppy: as Goldilocks would put it, this one is juuust right! Mouthfeel is full enough to support the chocolate and dark fruit without being rich and heavy; this is a beer you can enjoy a few of in one sitting.

Hobgoblin isn't quite my favourite ESB, but it definitely stands out from the crowd. Probably the best beer Wychwood have to offer.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark copper color. Creamy light brown 1 finger head dead in around 3 minutes. Average legs and highly active.

Strong aromas and flavors of toffee, citrus and fruitiness with some herbal spices. Great combination of crisp sourness and thick sweetness taste with a earthy roasted nut feel.

Slick full body with perfect carbonation. Pleasant balanced finish ending with a sweet mouth coat and smoky bitter clove like aftertaste.

Overall : Tons of flavors and good freshness, well balanced excellent craft.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle in to a Samuel Smith pint glass. Moderate hand. No identifiable date, but stamped 4CGM 20:24.

A: Classic amber body with good clarity. 1 finger of eggshell-colored head. Ok retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Fruity malt with notes of grape, apple, raisin, prune and cherry. Faint toffee, dark bread, toasted nuts, chocolate.

T: English hops hit first, soon followed by relatively subdued, bready malts. The backbone fades to a decently dry finish. Nice, clean lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol presence.

M: Moderate to light carbonation with a medium to light body. Feels English.

O: I particularly like the finish on this one. Not quite as "dark" as expected. Fairly straight-forward. I'm good for a few of these.


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Photo of CraigS119
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, rich (but translucent) mahog, with some big-bubbled head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of buttered toffee, caramel malts, cherry, and winey notes are cut through by an umami soy-sauciness. Very clean front-end berry/cherry soda flavors are followed by some sour/bitter notes and then some really roasty, wood-fiery malt. Overall a pretty good beer, I could see someone comparing this to lighter version of Founder's Dirty Bastard actually. I'm not much of a fan of the style, but for like a dead-of-winter 1500s British pub beer selection, this would be up there.

*What she said (about the taste): "Nothing. Just... beer. It does have some hoppiness, but..."

3.79/5 _ her: 3.5/5

*I have a new segment where my fiance takes a sip of my beer and reviews. She's more of a cider/mead fan, but she tries.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This has some really interesting flavors happening. It looks nice, smells of candy and has plenty of layers in the mouth. Burnt grains, toffee and a bit of chocolate combine nicely with some bitter hops to finish things off. It is clear that this recipe has stood the test of time!

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

Appearance: Dark brown body allowing shadows through with a light tan creamy decent sized head. Spotty lacing.

Aroma: Rich caramel candy aroma with a bit of a wood scent.

Taste: Biscuit and toast flavors with a touch of roasted nuts.

Mouthfeel: It has a good mouthfeel. Nothing spectacular to point out, it just feels right for this beer giving it a medium presence on the palate with a touch of bite from the roasted grains.

Overall: It's a fairly average ESB. It's an import so I'm willing to try it again if I can get it fresh. It didn't have as much of a caramel overtone as many other ESB's that I've had, but it has a nice biscuit quality which is pleasant enough to make it an enjoyable drinking experience. It's in that middle ground of not recommending but not warning against drinking.

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Photo of tedvr
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/ amber with a thin, creamy head. Smells are faint, but has a malt backbone. There is a mild taste of raisins and sweet malt, kind of leaning towards a mild barleywine. There is a little syrup in the mouthfeel, with mild carbonation. Overall a beer that is a little complex, but very drinkable.

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Photo of GerryPendry
4.71/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't usually get excited about a beer's aroma, but this one really stands out. It has as much complexity as a lot of "bigger" beers. Superior drinkabilty...I could drink this all day.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great beer of a dark red/amber color with an ok foam of cream color that.
Aroma is full of red fruits, specially cherry, it's also very yeasty and a bit hoppy.
Taste is somewhat complex, different tones arrives one after the other. It's possible to feel the malts and the yeast, and then the cherry, and then some raspeberrys. Great!
Bitterness comes really late in this beer.
Body is a bit light, carbonation is at good level.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep redish-brown pour with clingy white head. Nose is all malt and slight caramel. Bright semi-sweet body with lingering malty finish. Very smooth and way too drinkable.

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Photo of Barnoloid
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A classic English bitter which comes across with big toffee and nutty notes. Light and thin in mouthfeel, goes down very easily, with enough a faint hop presence to keep things ticking along.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very nice dark brown with a finger-width head that is cream colored.

It has a nice fruity taste with a hint of hops.

The initial taste is a bit raisiny followed immediately by chocolate.In the middle some of the fruity notes break through The hops begin to come out at this point. The beer finishes with toasted malt which lingers on the tongue.

The mouth-feel is surprisingly crisp with more carbonation than I expected.

Overall, this is an interesting dark ale. There are a lot of subtle flavors in this beer and it doesn't have the bite at the end that many dark ales tend to have.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a slight malt smell, a little sweet with maybe nut, not a strong smell. Taste was bland, would have preferred a lot more malt. A little toasted bread with a bitter, dry finish. Overall I would say only okay with not a lot to offer. I will not be having this one again unless there were severely limited choices.

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Photo of ordybill
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500cl bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice caramel and malt aroma.
Appearance- A rich dark brown color with a tan colored head.
Taste-A toasted malt and yeast flavor with a caramel aftertaste.
Palate- A medium bodied brew with light carbonation and a slightly oily feel.
Overall- A really enjoyable ESB for me, I will definitely drink this again.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Dark, reddish brown with fair amount of fine off white foam and lacing.

Smell: a bit horsey, barnyard and yeast, hint of malt and a mild metallic twang.

Taste: hint of barnyard musty, Malt and nonspecific nut/chocolate, finished is fairly well hopped with a fairly clean finish.

Mouthfeel: minimal carbonation, rather smooth without being syrupy.

Overall not a bad brown ale, an odd flavor profile (perhaps I got a bad bottle?), I prefer a maltier, nuttier brown ale, but I wouldn't turn this down, but wouldn't be compelled to stock up on this one.

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Photo of DiUr
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A full bodied ale which shows in ruby colour with a beige head that stays at half a finger. Smell of malts, chocolate, chestnut, apple pie and dark fruits, the aromas growing up as the beer warms. Taste of malts, earthy chocolate, cream and fruits is balanced by some kind of acidic character. Hints of toffee and orange too, and very subtle hops. Full bodied and smooth in the mouth, with almost no carbonation and good drinkability.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%

One of the first I tried, I drink this beer a bit rose tinted but overall I still think it's a very solid beer. Pours a dark brown with a khaki head. The smell is full of sweet flavors with some floral notes from the hops. The taste has dark chocolate and vanilla notes well balanced by the floral hops making for a tasty and refreshing brew.

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Photo of Tilly
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Clear brown. Creamy Lacey head. Malty coffee aroma. Deep dark bitter chocolate flavour slight coffee and just a hint of vanilla. Overall, enjoyable beer. Not an everyday drinker for me but highly recommended!

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Photo of barczar
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Toasted, lightly fruity specialty malt aroma. Vegetal flavor, with a tangy character that's offputting. Finish is bitter and dry. May have been compromised.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle served in a snifter (original) and 500 ml bottle with a BB date stamp nearly 1 year from review date, purchased and served in Scotland (some minor revision).

Pours clear mahogany with a modest, semi-durable head.

Aroma: raisins and toffee with biscuit and bread base.

Flavor: Light grassy and herbal hop presence but dominated by toffee, bready and dark fruit elements. Slightly sweet overall but decent bitter/sweet balance. Approaches 4.

Feel: nice smooth mouth feel; good carbonation.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.66/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance – Deep reddish Amber with great two finger head of beige foam that has amazing retention lasting between 5-10 minutes after pouring. When it dies it is to generous cover and leaves some sticky clumping lace behind.

Smell – Very sweet and fruity. This one has a great toffee aroma with earthy bitter hops, sweet stewed apple, plum and prune. There is also a wonderful smokey phenolic whiff at the very back like fresh baked cookies in a wood fired oven

Taste – Wonderful sweet and roasted toffee flavour with a slight smokey biscuit edge. The same stewed fruit flavours that were present in the smell profile. Slightly spicy middle with a great hoppy bitter back.

Mouthfeel – Full and creamy with the low carbon body common to the style. There is mild alcoholic warmth that makes this a great Autumn beer and a final mouth-watering linger.

Overall – I cannot pretend this beer is anything other than outstanding. It has a brilliant flavour profile with excellent balance and it is a very fine example of the style. It is simply perfect for those long Autumn and winter nights with a roaring fire and plate of roasted pork ribs or a cheese platter!

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Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours nice in the glass: frothy, medium brown, and lively. Nose is characterized by malty aromas that remind me of malt vinegar or fermented asian black vinegar. Smell is malty, with some toast and grain wafting around the suds. Taste is malty, but not sweat, smooth with a medium body but with a light mouthfeel. Flavors of grain, and fresh pumpernickel crust.

Mild, but balanced. Reserved, but refined. Almost a stoic sensibility, but with a dry wit and pleasing charm. Very British! Tasty brew.

I just tried this and it's fall, close to Halloween in New York state and it's perfect for this time of year. The color is evocative of the season, the flavors complement the weather, especially the cool nights, and it's just fun drinking a beer called Hob Goblin in October.

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Photo of byronhicks
4.5/5  rDev +21%

I had this at The Victoria Pub near Victoria Station.

Color was a cloudy brown, with a nice white head.

Flavors were smooth, with a hint of chocolate. The head stuck around for most of the pint. It had a creamy mouth feel and went well with the Steak and Ale pie I had for dinner.

2nd favorite ale I experienced this trip to England.

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Photo of Act25
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

Finally an ESB to love. Almost belgian in the pour and first impression on your nose.
A: Now in a great looking brown bottle.
Deep mahogany body with patchy lace from an active light tan head. Good looking 4.2

Smell: Bright, malt sweetness and a belgian nose from the yeast. Chocolate, caramel, and coffee with loads of flavor and depth. An espresso drinkers beer.

Taste: Malt sweetness is the first, colored by nutty and chocolaty flavors with a coffee & hop bitterness. More yeasty and complex than any other ESB I have tried. Lots of complexity.

MF: Silky smooth, weight, full body. Like a much bigger more alcoholic beer.

Reach for this when you want a strong beer without more than 6% ABV, or turn your friends on to this if you can find it. Great beer. Must try ESB!

Notes: A tasty rounded and full bodied brown ale. Better than Fullers or Sawtooth.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Just getting into English Milds, but I liked this one.

The fuggles are there, but not overpowering. Good malt.

Solid beer. Will try to brew something similar.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,053 ratings.