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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
HobgoblinHobgoblin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

2,278 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,278
Reviews: 1,035
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 71
Gots: 229 | 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: 2,278 | Reviews: 1,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear, dark chestnut body reveals glimmering highlights of orange beneath a short but creamy head of ivory colored foam. The head retention is fairly good, and it holds well before dropping to a standard collar and whispy surface covering that leaves minor spotty lace about the pint. The nose reveals dark fruit (plum/prune, red grape/raisin); a smear of buttery diacetyl; an edge of iron-like minerals; and a dusting of dark chocolate. It's smooth and light across the palate with a delicate carbonation and medium-light body. The flavor is not as rich as the nose might suggest, but its lightly vinous fruit appears first on the palate, followed by some light notes of toffee, and some mild diacetyl and leafy hop in the finish. It's quite well balanced, and the bitterness simply balances what not-particularily-sweet malt is there. It's interesting, and has enough character and drinkability to make it a decent session ale.

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/30/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, maple, nuts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with sweet flavors of caramel, maple, honey, roasted nuts and a little fruit. There's a decent hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter despite the sweet start.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if your in the mood for the style and especially with a meal.

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

Presentation: 16.9 oz clear English looking bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep reddish copper with a patchy spidering light tan lace that holds its own.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee with hints of malt sweetness and a buttery nose from the yeast.

Taste: Close to being silky smooth with a nice fullish body. Malt sweetness is dominant in the front though soon lets in some vague nutty and chocolaty flavours with a slightly subdued hop bitterness. More chocolate flavours become noticable as well as a light buttery yeasty finish.

Notes: A tasty rounded and full bodied brown ale.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

BTW, I forgot to mention thank god these guys switched to brown bottles it means their beer actually has a shelf life and that the Hobgoblin in cans is a great move as well but pretty hard to find. Aroma has a great mix of dark raisins with malty nutty sweetness going on, herbal and earthy hops in the background but a really nice roasted malt character overall. Flavor upfront roasted malt with a mild nut finish, some sweetness brings in the fruity raisins with a slightly sour bread finish blended with the bittering hops which have an earthy herbal feel. Mouthfeel overall is pretty damn solid one of the best English brown's I've tried outside of Sammy Smith's. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with gentle carbonation goes a long way I like the drying herbal and earthy hop bitterness it is what makes this beer work. Drinkability overall is pretty good, again another worthy contender taking Newcastle Nutbrown Ale to the next level and hopefully crossing many more folks into the American micro section of the industry.

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into the same pint glass that it came packaged with.

Pours a clear dark amber with a couple fingers of dirty off-white head. Retention is GREAT, with a full, creamy layer across the top that left a huge latticework of lace. The aroma is a rich smelling malt sweetness and a surprising amount of dark fruits. I'm also picking up some light citrus notes as well as a light hop bitterness.

The taste is thick, sweet chocolate and caramel malts that's mixed with that same dark fruit presence that was in the aroma. It's not necessarily a tart dark fruit taste, actually giving off more of a sweet note that goes well with the malt. Finishes with some light hop bitterness that helps end things with a pop. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a full yet smooth feel.

The flagship beer from the Wychwood Brewery, I found this be a quite flavorful and easydrinking ale and one that is worthy of leading the charge against the rising "Euro Pale Lager" dominance in Great Britain.

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts off well, but fades fast. You get just a hint of a full bodied ale, but it drops off nearly immediately. Because it had no lasting power, I wouldn't go for it again, or recommend it for that matter. Beyond that, I can't really think of anything constructive to deliver to you.

Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at BBC in Walpole. Another one of those beers I'm surprised I haven't reviewed yet.

Very light fizzy head covering as the beer is filled to the brim, clear mahogany brown amber colored.

Nose typical English brown, light brown malts, toasty and light biscuity, some brown sugar, and light esb like bittering hops.

Taste semi sweet earthy brown malts, light brown sugar, biscuity, light herbal earthy hops, even a bit creamy that gives that same feel and taste as nitro but isn't. The hops turn slightly grassy with the herbal, and mild bitterness, and even slightly estery. finishes a bit drier but not much, with a bit more grassy herbal hops, semi bitter, sticky sweet, brown sugar and brown malts.

Mouth is med bodied, bit creamy, decent carb.

Overall typical English brown ale, decent malts, sessionable, brown sugar, herbal grassy hops, nothing special but a classic at the same time.

Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked this up at Quick six on Mt Rose ave in York. Poured chilled from the 11.2oz into a sampler stange

A- A resplendent ruddy copper bordering on bronze w/ a light tan cap of 1/2 inch w/ tiny bead. The clarity, head retention and lace are all excellent

S - The smell is sweet and bready malt nose w/ light fruit ester, biscuit w/ mild apple-like aroma. There are tinges of hops w/ slight woody odors w/ a mild plum note in the background

M - Feel is light, crisp and fruity w/ dry and light toasty maltiness and moderately high carbonation w/ a clean finish

T - The taste has a crisp mild sweet malt essence w/ dried fruit notes. The flavor has a light red pear fruitiness w/ gentle pine and mild hop flavor w/ slight yeast red currant note. There is a mild flavor of biscuit malt that accents the yeast flavor

D - Hobgoblin has a green fruity and refreshing quality, the ale is very good and I am always willing to try this on every now and then. A basic pale ale that is brewed well and is highly quaffable

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper witha chunky 3 fingers+ sand colored head. Good lacing and below average head retention

Smell: Intense fruitcake/Christmas pudding aroma

Taste: Caramel, frutiness, & toasted malt. Slight bitterness as it warms. Slightly sweet finish

MF: Good carbonation but oscillates between hints of thin and astringent to me

Drinkable, but just didn't pull together the way I know this ale can (on cask), i'm sure the clear bottle ain't helping the cause...

Photo of Rifugium
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: bottle from Eulogy, Philly, PA

Clear brown color on this one, with a thin eggshell head. Nutty aroma, toasted grains, and sweet malts; a bit stale. Similar taste, with sweet malts, thinned out a bit, toasted grains and bread, lightly hopped. Light mouthfeel, pretty thin and lacking in flavor generally. Moderately drinkable if you're not looking for anything outrageously daring.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy brown color, perfectly clear, with a nice, creamy layer of froth.
Nice aroma, for a brown ale/ English pale ale style, fruity, malty, light on hops, sweet, nutty, smacking of yeast, a bit.
Nice and tasty....wait, third time I've used that word, "nice"...bad monk, bad...but, it can't be helped, it's unflinchingly pleasant and, as taste now tells, palatable. No hops, thick malt, rich and round, mix of cherries, and grapes, with a distinct malty,...yumminess.
I'm liking this more and more, actually. Hadn't any clue, as my other encounters with this brewery were less than spectacular, or, at least, didn't live up to expectations raised by artistry and imagery....but this is pretty damned good. Easy to drink, packed with full flavor, medium bodied, long, fruity/nutty finish. I don't mind this little devil at all!

P.S., if it matters, this was from a brown bottle, not clear.
Although, I did see some of their other offerings in clear vessels at the same store...curious...

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

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with thick frothy off-white head. The aroma seems a bit skunky, but I can detect a hint of roasted barley and victory malt. The taste is good, but not great. The beer just does nothing for me. Sure, I can drink it, but where is the complexity. They have these really cool labels, but the beer just isn't as good. When will the European breweries quit with the clear glass bottles? The mouthfeel is fine. This is a medium bodied beer and is a good sessions ale.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with ruby highlights. The head descends to a thin, well-retained covering.

The smell is of sweet toffee with a lemony tang.

The taste is of sweet toffee with subtle hints of brown sugar. A lemony hop tang balances out the sweetness nicely. Suggestions of chocolate emerge as drink progresses. It has a pleasant, well-balanced taste to it Nutty finish. A slight warming alcohol touch finishes it off.

Fuller side of medium bodied. Smooth.

This is a nice English "session" ale.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crystal clear and dark amber in color. Light head which dissipates to a thin bubble layer. Spotty lace on the glass side.

Dark malts predominate the smell. There's a touch of "freezer" to it as well.

The initial taste has the slightless touch of sweetness. Afterward, it is quite dry. Astrigent and slightly bitter toward the end of the tasting. The aftertaste is mild with some chocolate notes. Moderate body with a high level of carbonation.

Bottom line: Pleasantly drinkable with some complexity.

Photo of kojevergas
2.01/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into an Irish pub style (real) pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland, on September 30th. Pours a dark red with a nice bubble show into a relatively thick two finger head that retains well. An appealing colour.

Smell: A light estery aroma. Very fruity raspberry maybe? Too much malt. Not appealing but doesn't turn me away.

Taste: Overwhelmingly fruity, which is only pleasant on the aftertaste. I don't taste any of the chocolate or toffee described on the back of the bottle at all. Not much of a finish. Surprisingly one-note. Almost sour in its fruitiness. Not built well especially for an English Brown Ale. Is this categorized correctly?

Mouthfeel: Far too wet. Too thick and chewy. I'd like for the finish to dry off at least a little.

Drinkability: I wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with an off-white head. The aroma is strong caramel malt with some English malt, hops and yeast. The flavor is caramel malt with a little bit of chocolate. There is some roasted and nut character with some English hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev 0%

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

Pours a pretty deep ruby-amber color that is topped by a creamy light tan colored head. The aroma is predominantly malty, with a deep fruitiness reminiscent of raisins and cherries, perhaps a bit of cough syrup as well. Quite light on the palate up front, which moves to a soft malty sweetness and the same type of fruitiness as in the nose. Actually this is pretty nice, it is easy drinking and is driven by the light maltiness and the ale-yeast derived fruitiness. Definitely a good session beer.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have always drank this in cask condition before (draught in a pub) and liked it very much. I haven't tried it in a bottle before, this review is for the bottled variety, I haven't had a draught one since joining the BA world.

The bootle version is not (in my opinion) as good as the cask, but here goes anyway.

Looks good, dark amber, ruby brown in colour, with an inch high off-white, cream coloured head, which stayed throughout the pint, although it was a lot thinner by the end.

Sweet and malty, with a hint of fruit, apples maybe, not sure.

A good honest ale taste, a little sweet, but to my tastebuds, about right. Malty aftertaste which stays until the next mouthful.

Fairly thick, it hangs around for a time, not heavy, but a pleasant body to the beer.

Very drinkable in my book, still prefer the draught, but after a hard days work and 3 hours on a University course and then a drive home, this beer did the trick and I was normal again half way through it.

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,278 ratings.