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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,058 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,058
Hads: 2,489
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 13.71%
Wants: 89
Gots: 394 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
United Kingdom (England) | website

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 (50) | 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: 1,058 | Hads: 2,489
Photo of 57md
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown with reddish edges. The nose has a sour touch. The body is lighter than expected and the malt profile is a tad wanting.

This beer looks like a full flavored malt bomb but looks are certainly deceiving in this case.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very nice ESB and affordable in Mexico. Nice example of the style, looks deep copper almost brown with a mild white foam head. Smells malty and alcoholic. Taste is malty and alcoholic with a mild bitterness.

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Photo of Premo88
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: dark orange/amber ... brown ... it's a fantastic array of darker colors, crystal clear; head is smallish and dissipates quickly, tan colored, does keep a nice collar; no sticking and very little lacing

S: buttery sweet malt with a good English ale fruitiness (peach, apricot) ... fruit note is almost toasted, again the malt showing through; after tasting it, I can start picking up the earthy hops in the nose, but they're very subtle; sour grain underneath

T: classic sweet/bitter dance of the good English ale ... the brew has plenty of sweeter malt flavors including bread, nuts and butter with a hint of sugar, and the fruit note in the nose comes across like a toasted peach in the flavor; a generic bitterness balances it, "generic" as in there's little flavor to the bitterness, just something bitter ... typical earthy hop note

F: solid all around, great carbonation for a good crispness that works well to my American palate ... love it

O: for the longest time I figured this brew was just a bit -- a subpar beer with a fancy label and cool name to help market it to the masses. it's much more than that. compared to the general array of English imports in my area, Hobgoblin is as good as any ... a nice English pale ale fruitiness mixed with a subtle-but-detectable earthy hop bitterness make it a pleasant quaff. it's a good beer and one I'll revisit.

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Photo of Boardwalk
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer. Had a smooth toffee taste and pleasant aroma. The caramel color of the beer was beautiful and appetizing. Good tasting beer without an overly strong finish.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant deep copper color. Snow white head. 1 and a half finger height. Decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Toffee, raisin, orange. Buttered treacle biscuit; orange marmalade.

M: Med-light in character. Soft body, but firms up on the edges with quick, moderate carb bite.

T: Nice toffee and malt biscuit character. Treacle comes to mind. Not overly, aggressively sweet. Has an aged, port-like flavor of dried raisins, apple, pear. Spicy hop notes. Woody, cinnamon. Nuanced chocolate.

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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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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,058 ratings.