Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
HobgoblinHobgoblin

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,034 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,034
Hads: 2,394
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 77
Gots: 326 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,034 | Hads: 2,394
Photo of Rifugium
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (1,022 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.01/5  rDev -45.5%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (502 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +7%
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... (992 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (507 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -3%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
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! (534 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -3%
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. (498 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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? (814 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (294 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (974 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
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? (413 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (356 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium caramel brown with a short head that quickly dissappears.

Smells lightly of toffee with a faint hop background. Not much there.

Taste is not bad, but not a homerun. Very malty woth a treacly flavor and an underlying saltiness. Sort of like saltwater taffy thats been a little carmelized? There is even a little bit of iodine on the finish. Somewhat intriguing flavors, but nothing spectacular here.

Mouthfeel is very soft with light carbonation.

Somewhat drinkable, but a little sticky and bland for my taste. (536 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber/chestnut brown color with burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a frothy yellowish beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring, leaving minimal lacing.

Nice caramel malt aroma with hints of biscuit, hazelnut and subtle hops.

Smooth creamy body with a lot of sweet caramel malt as well as hints of biscuit and hazelnut. Well balance with a nice amount of bitterness from the hops. (417 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with a red tone. A 1 finger tan head fades to the center and outer rims of the glass. Small spots of lacing cling to the glass.
Smell is of sweet toffee, fruit, and nuts with an unsettling skunky grain aroma mixed into the mix..
Taste is of smooth toffe with a slight bitterness that is compimented by the fruitiness that seems to smooth things out.
Mouthfeel is very English Ale like as it is medium bodied and sweet with a bitterness that doesn't creep up or linger too long.

It's ok, dog. (518 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (722 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby brown, with great clarity just like the bottle promises. Initially, it looks like no head is forming, but after a slight pause, a whole bunch of tiny bubbles coalesce out of the body, leaving a frothy light beige layer on the top. Good lacing. Not a lot of carbonation, but the bubbling that does exist is exceptionally fine. Looks very nice.

A little malty sweetness on the nose, with a hint of dried banana, and a slight port character. A light metallic phenol character is also present, which ensures the nose isn't overly sweet overall. It's quite light, but it's a very nice English ale nose.

Taste is initially smooth, but with a crescendo of darker grain notes and a zing of metallic bitterness. Finish is quite phenolic, as though the natural grain and hop notes have been replaced by something artificial. I visualise it as though what starts in a verdant forest slowly morphs into an industrial city of steampunk pipes. Lacks sweetness and smoothness on the rest of the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, although the latent carbonation becomes noticeable here.

Not bad, overall, but the most important element is disappointing - the harshness on the back is quite disconcerting, and while it stays pretty drinkable, it's not something I'll seek out with alacrity. (1,293 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear glass bottle from a fresh unopened case delivered to my local store. The owner allowed me to pick my bottle from the center so I am certain that I got this in as good condition as is possible.

Pours a deep clear brown ale. Held up to the light you see a wonderful garnet red highlighting.

Smell is big malt and British ale fruitiness. Other smells, a bit of grass, a trace of sulfur, and faint herbalness.

Taste is very malty and fruity from the very start. Dry in flavor there is a strong herbal hop flavor and a trace of butter. Fairly bitter in flavor there is also faint coffee flavor from dark roasted malt. A tasty ale in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty and drinkable ale. This has a nice strong flavor that isn't fatiguing on the tongue. (772 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with almost purplish highlights. The smell is pleasantly malty with a little hint of nuttiness. The taste starts off sweet with a little bit of malty caramel taste and ends up with a slight hops bite that is refreshing. The mouthfeel has a nice thickness and mild carbonation. To me, the big draw of this beer is its drinkability. (350 characters)

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 1,034 ratings.