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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
HobgoblinHobgoblin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,977 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,977
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 51
Gots: 87 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002)
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Ratings: 1,977 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4/5  rDev +7%

01-17-2012 06:52:58 | More by nickfl
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -23%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 01:52:53 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2002 12:36:04 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2004 09:23:50 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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...

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 04:54:59 | More by russpowell
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 22:50:07 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 17:50:27 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 17:19:44 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2003 01:17:13 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2012 20:01:37 | More by jlindros
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.9/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 20:15:25 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 06:54:01 | More by Rifugium
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a characteristically english ale, i really like this. it pours a medium brown color, with a hint of copper to it, and a vibrant but quickly fading white head. the nose is sweeter english malts, some chocolate malt in there too, with a pungent earthy tinge. the taste is good, certainly malt driven, with what seems like an alcohol kick, but shouldnt be at this abv. theres also some cool barky woody flavor to this, birchy and distinct. caramel finish, mildly sweet. feel works well, lighter than the color, still big medium body, and enough carbonation. a good not great beer, nice for fall.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 00:36:34 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2004 17:02:30 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 22:51:26 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +7%

11-27-2011 00:03:42 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 12:53:10 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 01:35:55 | More by smcolw
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

1.95/5  rDev -47.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 20:18:23 | More by kojevergas
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 04:05:56 | More by corby112
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2005 12:47:40 | More by weeare138
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 00:37:56 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 21:59:28 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2007 02:14:25 | More by tempest
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml clear bottle. BB 30 SEP 06. Served slightly chilled in a jug.
A: dark ruby hue with strong brownish hint; nice creamy off-white beer head with decent retention; constant and moderate carbonation; looking healthy~~
S: semi-creamy caramelised black-sugary malts mixed well with lightly sweet berry-fruits and toffee-ish note, with a tinge of tea-leaf and herbal bittering yet semi-sweet elements of hops at the back. But some funky elements appear from time to time, maybe due to it's packaging--clear bottle?
T: toffeeish flavour upfront, developing in the mouth with stronger caramelised sugar and semi-sweet edge of nuts, gradually giving way to a satisfying black tea+licorice-kind of bitter-sweetness and moderate underlying dark-fruitienss at the back of the palate; balanced and pleasantly malty, with a lingering toffeeish and roasted nutty flavour in the long, moderately bitter finish.
M: medium-bodied and flavoursome, while the mouthfeel retains the smoothness throughout, allowing the subtle bitter-sweet elements to gradually prevail on the platform. Well-structured and deceptively quaffable!
D: this is a quality brew, something you don't want to drink too warm on cask; I know, it's a disaster as I've often suffered. You could still bump into a decent Wychwood tied-house somewhere in Oxfordshire, but for people out of that region this bottle is decent enough. Just curious: why wouldn't they consider using brown bottles to maintain a better consistency of the quality of this beer?

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2005 20:46:17 | More by wl0307
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,977 ratings.