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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,973 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,973
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 49
Gots: 85 | 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: 1,973 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 01:15:18 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A- This beer has a dark amber body that is clear but a bit dense. There is a thick creamy light tan head that last a good while with a good carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The smell of bright fruity brown malt has a faint dark honey malt note and the light smell of yellow apple skins.

T- This beer has a dark brown malt flavor with a soft dark toffee note and a light chocolate malt hint that has a fruity edge. There is a light dry soft green hop finish that has a very faint taste of apple skins that hangs on for a second. There is a slight tartness after the malt that is a pretty non-distinct fruit tartness.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a very faint sweetness and hop bitterness in the finish that leaves this pretty neutral.

D- This beer has a good mouthfeel with a interesting complexity in the taste and smell. It reminds me of cask beer and I bet it would be amazing if it were served on cask.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2006 16:22:08 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of oriolesfan4


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

04-22-2014 05:05:11 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of XmnwildX12


3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

12-13-2013 05:35:18 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of Zorro


4/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2005 01:33:47 | More by Zorro
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

05-22-2013 15:59:30 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice full-bodied brew, smooth malty finish. Deep copper red, that poured with a good head and leaving no lace. The site has it with "a moderate hoppy bitterness" but it isn't that hoppy. As it warms it becames more mellow. A very good brown. Clear 500ml bottle and it did not affect the taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2003 16:22:21 | More by jdhilt
Photo of DoubleJ


3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
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?

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2007 03:10:51 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Serving type: can

11-19-2006 05:49:36 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of ppoitras


3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head above the clear dark amber brew. Head fades quite slowly, with excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is balanced of grains and hoppiness. Taste is light maltiness upfront, and as with the nose, well balances, but with a bit of an aftertaste that I can't put my finger on. Not off, but not exactly a benefit either. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both average to good, but could even be a bit better if the close was smoother. Nice brew nonetheless, which I imagine would be even better on handpull.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2005 23:22:07 | More by ppoitras
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.95/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 03:19:16 | More by mothman
Photo of ejimhof


3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

04-08-2012 22:30:37 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 21:44:07 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BARFLYB


3.45/5  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?

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 05:19:06 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of BillRoth


3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

12-07-2013 16:16:40 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The light auburn highlights concealed by its deep russet brown skin are exposed when the beer is held up to light. It has cooling, autumn themed tones. A thin spread of ecru blankets the top and stands taller around the perimeter. The little dots of lace seem to be slowly sinking.

Its aroma has the soft, nutty malt character typical of English Brown Ales, although it doesn't stand out for me as being one of the best examples of one. A few sips in and I'd change my mind to say it's not even really a good example. Approximately double the malt with about double the roast would be a good way to start making up some ground.

This would go a long way to solving the issues its flavour faces, too. There just isn't enough malt to give a convincing 'nutty' impression and the level of roast is too little to invoke notes of caramel or butterscotch. There may be a smack of molasses but I fail to pick out any hazelnut, any pecan, and only very little toffee.

I feel terribly cheated on the mouthfeel as well: little malt that has been little toasted makes for little mouthfeel. A well crafted brown ale has that dry, chalky bitterness paved over with the rich, sweet, gooey sensation of toasted caramelized malts. Instead, I get the texture of spent grains.

I think it's fair to say of Wychwood beers that, on the whole, they are pretty underwhelming. This is partly due to the fact that the majority of their offerings are plain old English bitters of one type or another, which are largely unexciting styles themselves. That said, a good pint of bitter won't be displeasing, but this on other hand...

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 02:53:44 | More by biegaman
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Lark in East Northport, New York.

Poured a dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light doughiness, some caramel and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of clean toasted malts, nuttiness, an herbal hop and a touch of smoke at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty and complex ale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2009 23:31:27 | More by plaid75
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poued a dark ruby red with a 1+ finger foamy off white head that faded rather quickly.

S: sweet malt and toffee along with light coffee notes and a rich sweet chocolate nuttiness.

T: The initial flavor was sweet with some toffee and sweet caramel which then progressed to a light roasted caramel and fresh coffee. There was some milky lactose chocolate notes, as well before finishing with a good dry earthy bitterness of burnt caramel and chocolate.

M: medium-full with a creamy lustrious lacing on the tongue.

D: Nice drinkability, can definitely have a couple and not get tired.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2008 23:51:23 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear red/brown, nice carbonation, holds it and laces well. Smells malty and fruity, very pleasant. Has a fruity taste that I really enjoy, sweet malty backbone, slight alcohol taste and taste of maybe its dark cherries. Smooth carbonation and goes down easy. Definately a session beer, I really enjoy this one for everyday drinking.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2005 02:55:06 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

02-14-2013 06:36:28 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A light brown ale in a clear glass bottle. Doesn't seem to carbonated.

Sweet tasting, no hop presence. This is what I think of when I hear the term session beer, not the lower than ___ % specific blah blah blah. Just something that you drink and just carries on at times. Caramel and a little chocolate on the nose. Nuts. Seemed a little pricier for something this bland. It barely had nuances.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 20:35:42 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Latarnik

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

05-24-2014 22:42:26 | More by Latarnik
Photo of DrJay


3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very clear reddish amber colour with a thin, light brown lacing of head. Retention was modest and stickage was minimal.

Smell: Good combination of caramel malty sweetness, rich fruity esters, a light roastiness, and earthy hops.

Taste: Fruity sweetness that reminds me of dried fruit and apples. The bitterness is subdued, but builds nicely at the finish once the sweetness gets out of the way. The finish is quite nice with a mix of sweet fruitiness, balanced bitterness and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium/low carbonation and medium bodied. Texture is quite smooth and nicely done.

Drinkability: Overall it's a little too sweet and earthy. Not bad at all, but a bit more bitterness would balance it nicely.

Clear 500 mL bottle with best before date stamped on the rear label.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2005 03:30:16 | More by DrJay
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

01-16-2014 00:30:07 | More by LXIXME
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 08:08:19 | More by tdm168
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
84 out of 100 based on 1,973 ratings.