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Hobgoblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,215 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,215
Reviews: 1,022
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 66
Gots: 179 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hobgoblin Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,215 | Reviews: 1,022 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bromine
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Bromine, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of obywan59
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a crystal clear light amber with a light tan head of 2 1/2 fingers. Moderate lacing.

The nose is rich in caramel and toasted malt. It's a bit chocolatey.

The taste starts out sweet with a hint of chocolate, but then I get substantial grapefruit-like tartness, almost metallic at first. Some light bitterness rises in the end.

The feel is moderately light, with peppery tingle on the tongue, followed by light stickiness, with faint warming in the throat.

This beer grew on me. I liked it much better in the end than at first.

obywan59, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of Wsherry1
1.25/5  rDev -66.8%

Wsherry1, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of MisledTitan
4.25/5  rDev +13%

MisledTitan, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of baiser
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, almost opaque brown with a creamy tan coloured head which reduced to a nice thin film coating the top of the beer.

Smelled of roasted malts, caramel.

Tasted grainy, with a definite toasted character. Ends quite bitter and is pretty astringent. Really bitter for an English ale, but this is what I liked about it.

An excellent brown ale, but the style is more american than it is english IMO.

This is something I buy every so often.

baiser, Aug 13, 2004
Photo of CrazyMike
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown appearance with lots of foamy white head that quickly settles down leaving some lacing. Smell consists of caramel, coffee, dark fruit and spices. Appearance is generic but smell is interesting.

Taste consists of malt, chocolate, caramel, raisins and other dark fruit and bitter hops. Very smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a bitter caramel finish.

Overall this is a well rounded and refreshing beer with a lot of interesting features. Will be trying this again.

CrazyMike, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of Redwood21
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: I enjoyed the color and the head on this beer. The head starts out very rocky but dies off relatively fast, leaving some good lacing.

S: Very clean aroma, nothing off, but nothing that great either a little malty bread aroma but nothing strong or lasting

T: A tad nutty with a little sweetness its not bad not great. there is a little bit of bready taste as well.

M/D: Ok this is my big knock, i think it is too watery. im not asking for a syrupy thick goo, but this tasted immensely watery beer that needs a tad thicker touch, this does however make the beer very sessionable, but oh well cant have everthing

Redwood21, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of gr0g
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

gr0g, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of baconman91
4/5  rDev +6.4%

baconman91, May 31, 2012
Photo of Bubbalito
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Bubbalito, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of jasonpeckins32
2.4/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This one pours much darker than I expected. Dark brown with copper-colored accents. There is virtually no head retention at first, but a little begins to appear as I make my way through the glass. The aroma is subtle. I notice a faint nut smell alongside extra-sweet malts. The taste is a little wild. There's a lot more going on in my glass than I thought there was. The overwhelmingly sweet malt flavor is definitly in command of this ship, but there are some hops, raisins, dried fruit and nuts, and maybe hints of toffee and chocolate as well. Almost one too many flavors crammed into a bottle. Interesting, though I'm not so sure all the different tastes in this beer are mixing well on my palate. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, maybe more. It could use a little more carbonation. The intense flavor gives this beer a rough drinkablility. I'd have a hard time knocking back a whole lot of these. Not bad by any means, just hard to really put em down.

jasonpeckins32, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of vhmf1978
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

vhmf1978, May 29, 2014
Photo of DaveBlack
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a stein

A: Clear brown color, almost entirely opaque. Maybe an inch of head that fades pretty quickly

S: Maltiness with a sour note to it. I'm not picking much up beyond caramel malts, there's just not a whole lot on the nose from this one.

T: Really, really well balanced. Caramel, toffee notes with breadiness and just enough sweetness to balance. The flavor is not overpowering, but it is very solid.

M: Medium level of carbonation and medium bodied. Goldilocks would be proud: not too heavy, not too light, JUST right.

D: Very drinkable. I don't think that there are any outstanding qualities to this beer to overwhelm, but it is, overall, just a very good, very well rounded beer. Good if you're just having one or as a session beer. I can't say for sure, but I imagine it would go well with food because it can compliment with sweetness without competing.

A really good beer. If you're looking for a middle-of-the-road beer for any occasion this would be a good choice. Inoffensive enough that anyone would like it, but sophisticated enough for the discerning consumer.

DaveBlack, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Buttermilk
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Buttermilk, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Drinkerofales
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber brown and a creamy head.

Smells floral and slightly fruity, with a touch of yeast.

Tasted a bit of caramel and slight nutty. Light hops are balanced throughout.

Felt a bit thin, but easy to drink.

Overall, not a bad beer, but nothing special.


Drinkerofales, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of sachie23
1.5/5  rDev -60.1%

sachie23, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of iceball585
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin lacy cover that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Caramel malts, nutty, fairly sweet, hint of cocoa

T- Sweet, roasted malts, caramel, nuts, cocoa, some bitter hops

M- Medium weight, light carbonation, smooth, fairly oily finish

D- Worth trying

Definatly not my favorite brown ale but it's not too bad. Just not much auroma or complexity to this beer.

iceball585, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of BrooklynPanch
4/5  rDev +6.4%

BrooklynPanch, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite beer drinking glass from 11.2 fl. oz. bottle.

Poured a nice reddish brown color - Very little head and lace -

Smell was of toffee and roasted malts or hops -

Taste had hints of coffee carmel and chocolate .

nice overall brew - easy drink-ability - would definitely drink it again .

InebriatedJoker, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of GRUUMSH
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

GRUUMSH, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of hotsudge
4/5  rDev +6.4%

hotsudge, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of BuckSpin
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In that this was a new tap at my favorite haunt in Belfast (Rollie's) I decided to give it a try.

A pretty beer, sharply crisp & clear, warm, subset-brassy, tea stained hue. A nice parade of carbonation from the bottom, head was 1 finger of tight cream colored foam that faded quickly, however it laced the glass innards like curtains....cool.

Nose was light, some wood tones, mild fruit, a little yeast peek, some subtle spice.

Its initially crisp, sharp on the tongue, roast malts, even, a little earthy. The hop bitterness bites softly & rises on the pallete and lingers on the swallow, then fades. No real aftertaste to speak of, some lite bitter tones if anything.

It was refreshing, but seemed confused. Like a roller coaster it peaked early, then all downhill. It wasn't bad, but it didn't really impress or wow me. It did go well with my burger & fries. I would recommend trying it, and I would drink it again if nothing else caught my eyes (and tastebuds).

BuckSpin, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of jaluria
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a semi-opaque brown color with rust colored highlights and a billowing off-white colored head that left some nice rings of lacing behind in my glass. Aromas of alcohol, toffee, malt, and caramel were detectable. The taste was somewhat creamy with malt sweetness followed quickly by fruit-derived sweetness with a subtle toffee & caramel notes underneath. The finish was dry and slightly bitter. Easy to drink, but sweetness gets to be a bit much after the 1st glass making it harder to drink the entire bottle. Overall, this beer seemed more like a combination of old ale and english brown ale styles.

jaluria, May 30, 2006
Photo of MrKennedy
2.63/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle from Vintage Cellars, Wynyard into a Great Divide goblet.

A ruddy amber colour with a reddish tinge to it. Nice foam upon pouring, but minimal lacing from the off-white foam.

Smell is relatively muted. Some toffee, singed caramel and sweet darker malt. Not a lot else there.

Taste has a lot of malt happening. Sweet at times, a tiny bit of hop spiciness, but it's pretty well all malt coming through in a tangy, slightly off-putting manner.

Average body, carbonation is about right. Sessionability is hampered a bit by waves of sweet malt coming through.

Disappointing. Another beer i remember being better than what this was. Is it the Refresh impact? Not sure, anyway, this doesn't make me too keen to seek out more.

MrKennedy, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of battlekow
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice mahogany, maple syrup color. A little ring of foam is all you've got for a head for most of the glass, with spotty lacing. Smells malty and little raisiny. Taste is really sweet, malty with some prunes. Finish is a little roasted. Weak, dead mouthfeel. Nothing to see here, folks.

battlekow, Jul 30, 2005
Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 2,215 ratings.