Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
1,066 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,066
Ratings:
2,519
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
21.24%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
410
For Trade:
1
HobgoblinHobgoblin
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,066 | Ratings: 2,519
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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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 russpowell
3.72/5  rDev 0%
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...

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Photo of mothman
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a stange.

Color is a dark dark coller amber, basically brown. Pours a very fluffy brown head, that leaves thick lace rings.

Smell is nutty and chocolatey. Taste is very similiar. It is rich and malty. There is also an earthy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but creamy at the same time. It goes down easy and has great carbonation.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer. I really enjoyed this and I can see myself getting some more of this when I am looking for a brown ale. It represents the style quite well!

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Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.9/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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...

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Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brownish amber with a large, thick, foamy, brownish head that has good retention

S - light citrusy aroma

T - malty, chalky, milky, some caramel, clean bitter finish

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

The chalky, milky flavor is incredibly off putting. Otherwise, this is a decent, sessionable ale. I probably won't be buying it again, though.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours the lightest shade of brown with orange/ruby highlights when put up to light. Bubbly white head impales itself to the glass till the very end. Smells a bit like minerals, mix up some raisins, brown sugar, dark caramel and dark fruit like plums or cherries with a hint of alcohol. Taste is sweet with brown sugar and caramel up front. Melds into a long lingering burnt sugar/treacle flavor that persists long after each sip. Some Melanoid in there reminds me a bit of a dopplebock. Creamy bubbly mouthfeel is the best part about this brew. Medium level of carbonation and a medium body. This is not a bad beer, maybe not a brown ale but certainly quaffable. I could see drinking a few of these on a cool autumn night.

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Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bottle, pours faintly cloudy, nice toasted almond color, nutty, malty nose, leaves well dispersed lacing. Malty British brown ale, lots of malt evident, moderate sweetness, balance is the British way and this one is a nice example. Nicely rounded mouthfeel, smooth finish. Fine sessioner.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad "dark ale". Basically this beer has some mellow fruit and caramel malt flavors. Really, we're talking subtle here except for a mice, spicy hop finish. So overall it's a nice session beer, but the mouthfeel is a little off. It's a sort of cheap beer tang. Meh, it's still a good beer, but I wish I could try it on cask and see if it opens up more.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a moderately translucent brown with no head. Not really getting a lot of aroma off the beer itself, maybe a little malt and sweet. The taste is typical of a brown, with a slight bitterness at the end. Flavors of nut, caramel, and barley in the beer. The beer is sharp and light in mouth, with a fairly easy, smooth finish. The higher carbonation makes this a beer not for mass consumption.

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

A - Reddish/amber color with low to moderate carbonation visible. A light lace and a wispy hurricane pattern ontop.

S - Light caramel notes and toffee sweetness. Some fruit sweetness and nutty bitter scents.

T - Very rich and smooth flavors. Nutty and dry, sweet and smooth, malty and buttery. Toffee and grains swirling around with a pleasantly light sweet aftertaste. A hint of chocolate or carob but the malt and nutty flavors shine.

M - Smooth and soft on the palate, with some refreshing soft carbonation. Smooth finish, a tad dry.

O - Balanced and flavorful, yet crisp and refreshing. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Want a sweet beer? Have a Hobgoblin. On to the beer:

It's a light bronze color in appearance. There's nothing in the smell at first, but warming it up releases sweet toffee and a bit of coffee. Nearly the same flavors pull through in the taste, but with a medium/light tone of grapey hops towards the end of each sip. Not cloying at all, well balanced. Oh darn, I'm done with my 12 oz bottle, may I have another?

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle into a Hobgoblin glass from a tin can gift set thing.

A nice hiss from the bottle, Hobgoblin spouts out a ruddy colored pond water brown and a off shade of white on a inch of head that fades quick. A ring around the glass and minor streaks.

Smell is very one demensional, pretty much toasted malt, caramel, and malt. That's about it. Malt.

Taste is very one demensional, pretty much toasted malt, caramel, and malt. That's about it. Malt.

Feel is smooth and luscious, no bitterness at all, sweet, yet not cloying. Aftertaste is minimal and not lasting.

This beer is simple. It packs in the malt, the caramel and if that's your thing, you will probably love this. While im not all that thrilled with this, it's not offensive, and well made. Im glad I got a fresh bottle. Why do they call this a ESB?

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle. A brown beer with a khaki colored head and minimal lacing. Smell is malty and nutty. Taste follows the nose with some caramel, toffee, mild roast and tea like hop bitters. A crisp, spritzy mouthfeel on a medium bodied beer. Excellent session beer from England, go figure.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle.... does not look like the BA pic anymore.. picked up at the Coop a couple of weeks ago.. I don't remember the price.. but it couldn't have been that much because I didn't write the price on the cap... poured into my shaped SA glass..

The brew is a surprisingly clear amber brown.. the head didn't stick around for that long.. but descent lacing for an English Ale..

Sweet malty nose.. caramel.. a little bit nutty.. light fruitiness... nothing at all is wrong with this brew with the aroma.. I bet it would be amazing from a cask.

The flavor doesn't quite deliver.. nutty and brown malts.. some caramel.. toasted malts are definitely there.. very balanced.. and very drinkable.. good bitterness to balance.. not much flavor to describe as expected.. finish is sorta tannic with dry caramel contributions.. slight cherry fruitiness.. lingering finish.. makes me want another sip.. the body is lite/medium with low carbonation without ever verging on flat.. very very drinkable as I come to the bottom of the glass..

It took me a while to come around to the Hobgoblin... but I am leaving a fan..

3.5/3.5/4/3.5/4.5

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, slight caramel malt, hint of dry hops, hint of adjunct, and hint of dark citrus. Fits the style of an Extra Special / Strong Bitter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, dry hops, sweet malt, hint of adjunct, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma and body, with an average feel.

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

Copper color with beige head. Aroma has dark bread, brown sugar and light caramel notes. Taste is very balanced, malty but slightly bitter. Body is on the light side with good carbonation. Very easy to drink.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,066 ratings.