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King Goblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

King GoblinKing Goblin

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

282 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 282
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.73%

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

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AEK on 09-26-2010)
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Ratings: 282 | Reviews: 134 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Dubbledown


1.3/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a 14.9 nonic. Good half-inch beige, creamy head. Dark amber color. Mouthfeel is rather thin. First taste of dark malt flavor then a watery weight. Finally, an exquisite bitterness that tastes like nettles. So long does this bitterness last, that you taste it on the sides and back of your tongue until long after this sentence is completed. What can I say? I guess I should have known that a brew named "King Goblin" wouldn't taste pleasant. There is absolutely no sweetness in this beer. Even on the fourth or fifth sip when caramel makes an appearance, it quickly dissolves into profound bitterness. So I guess those questing after the ultimate English bitter could do worse than try this Oxfordshire product. I don't like it. Drinking it is like punishment to me. I poured the last 12 oz. down the sink.

Grade F Purchased at Stoney's -- $4.99 bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 00:36:40 | More by Dubbledown
Photo of kojevergas


2.25/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland, on December 10th, 2010.

A: Pours a dark brown with a hint of amber and an adult, thick head with some cream. Two a half finger head retains well. Moderately appealing.

Sm: Notes of toffee, cream, and a musty scent I usually associate with cask or barrel aged beers. Hoppy. Hard to discern notes with my broken nose.

Taste: Middling opening bleeds into the complicated body: stale barley jarred by hints of cream topped by a rough finish with lingering bitterness. Not the bitterness of a pale ale - it's more refined, but I don't know that it's better. The biggest problem with this beer is its balance (or lack thereof). The aftertaste is particularly foul. That said, this is a bold beer, and may satisfy fans of this style. I'm not a fan of regular hobgoblin either.

Mf: The best part of this beer. Coarse where it needs to be but the wetness is off.

Dr: This beer grows on you as you drink it, but ultimately there are better beers to be had at this price point (particularly here in Ireland). Don't write it off if you're a fan of the style, but don't expect it to lift your skirt up.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 17:53:41 | More by kojevergas
Photo of kashmoney


2.42/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought a bottle at the local liquor store and poured into a standard glass.

A: Maplesyrup colored. Very little head, less than one fingerwidth.

S: Raisiny with a hint of coffee

T: Initially sweet, then overwhelming hops. Clingy aftertaste.

M: Very thin.

Drinkability: After reading the other reviews, i may have just gotten an older bottle that was not preserved well but was fairly disappointed. Wanted more complexity before the hops hit me and also more body/head.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 04:35:09 | More by kashmoney
Photo of TMoney2591


2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Love the "only brewed under a full moon" schtick. This stuff pours a clear amber-russet topped by a finger of wan cream foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, light brown sugar, light red apple skin, light toasted biscuit, and the vaguest possible sense of candied orange peel. This is a strange amalgam of general fruitiness, sweetness, and spiciness. Diggin' the complexity, even if it means I can't pinpoint things entirely. The taste continues the complexity, but in a sideways direction: hints of old orange rind, dusty toasted biscuit, brown sugar, bad carrots, dark and musty greens, and grass. It's a sharply painful flavor at times, basically taking an evil mirror to the elements of the aroma. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, this stuff just didn't do it for me. The flavors break the promises made by the smell and rub my face in their deceit.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 18:40:31 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brownish in colour with easy easy forming rocky head which leavers some fluffy spots of lacing, this smells think with lots of cloying potential. You taste the alcohol all right but there is so little on the palate at the beginning and middle. Ends with a rather unusual unappetising sulphery dry taste.
Was hoping this beer would redeem this Tolkeinesque brewery in my eyes but it has unfortunately only reconfirmed my longstanding impressions.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 13:00:04 | More by Zimbo
Photo of DarthKostrizer


2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Alucard4

Look: Deep ruby red color with a 1/2 inch tan head and semi translucent with just ok retention

Smell: English malt with dark fruits and bitter hops

Taste: Very plain and boring pretty much just taste like malt caramel and toffee

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin body with mild carbonation

Overall: Boring as hell

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 07:27:03 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A malt job. Nothing special to look at (slight amber colour), neutral aroma, medium mouthfeel.Caramel, light toffee, light toast. Ok drinkable, but nothing special, another LCBO choice from their limited palate.Where are the nice balanced English ales?

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 05:53:31 | More by Sammy
Photo of tut2528


3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a dark caramel with slight touches of orange. moderate carbonation, about 1/2 fingers worth of of cream white head formation

S: i pick up on a strong burst of berries brings a touch of tartness that is complemented by a sweet malt backbone. thinking this one is pretty straightforward .

T: some dark fruits again here in the form of berries, a slight brown sugar note, big biscuit, touch of alcohol. i also pick up on heavy cream in the finish.

M: medium bodied, a slight tangy/berry feel is left on the palate. moderate carbonation

O: its a pretty decent beer, and a good starter for those getting into the micro/craft brews

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 23:25:31 | More by tut2528
Photo of sleuthdog


3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip
Enjoy by 11/25/12

Appearance: A murky brown color with one finger size head. Held up to the light reveals a reddish color.

Smell: A dark berry component is dominant here with a very mild hop. Some caramel and bread notes.

Taste: This follows the smell with dark berry and caramel and bread.

Mouthfeel: This has a medium body with a smooth feel. Carbonation gives a moderate tickle on the throat.

Overall: This is an ok beer with nothing standing out but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 23:14:00 | More by sleuthdog
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear dark amber/red with a thick, solid head.

S - Big fruit and malt aromas.

T - Lots of caramel and fairly sweet. Leaning towards the bitter side with nondescript hops. kinda fruity and a bit heavy tasting. A little bit of apple.

M - Lighter in body than expected but with a nice low carbonation level.

D - It's ok. not something I would seek out.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 23:48:39 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A disappointing beer. Sampled this at the same time as a Hobgoblin and the latter won for complexity and balance, hand's down.

Pours a beautiful dark colour with a decent off-white head. Mouthfeel is also pleasant, silky without being too oily. Aroma is slightly nutty, but more focused on malts and grains. The taste was a disappointment, as the alcohol harshness was the clearest element. Roasted malts were present, just not at the forefront of the palate.

Perfect concept for Halloween, but probably not a beer I'll purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 14:13:43 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a large fading head.
Nose shows banana, nutty and grainy malt and sultanas. Also a faint industrial note.
The nutty, grainy malt transfers through as a flavour along with the industrial note. Some caramel is also apparent.
Body seems pretty thin.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 09:54:49 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of bashiba


3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured an almost perfect ruby/amber, crystal clear with a big sticky tan head.

I found the smell to be less inviting than the appearance, a bit tart and sourdough bready, but in sort of an off way.

I was expecting something much closer to the original HobGoblin, but this is much different. A light bready malt base with a touch of woody cedar notes and a bit of funky herbalness followed by a long earthy hop character. Good funky bitterness.

The mouthfeel is long and dry and a bit oily.

Overall not to bad, but I have had much better ESB's at much lower prices.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 00:02:22 | More by bashiba
Photo of bark


3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is deep brown (39 EBC) with a tint of red; the liquid is clear. The compact three finger head is warm beige. It sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing.

The smell is a bit sour, but it is dominated by robust roasted malt sweetness. Some clean bitter flavours and hints of raisins and dried figs. Caramel in the background.

The taste is strong with a quickly passing clean bitter flavour. Some dried fruits and roasted-nutty malts. Dry notes of chocolate and raisins. The aftertaste got some matured notes of caramel, Madeira wine and nuts, clean bitter flavours, some hay, toffee. Some roasted malt sureness in the finish.

The carbonation is mild, the small bubbles are fresh. The liquid is smooth and a little sticky.

A good strong ale that probably will gain of some cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 19:11:22 | More by bark
Photo of dansmcd


3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Ruby red ale, under a finger of creamy head with extensive beautiful lacing.

S - Very light and mild. A bit stale also. Hints of caramel and butterscotch.

T - Follows the nose, some raisin and caramel and raspberry cordial.

M - Medium carbonation, light body.

O - Probably not something Ill be on the lookout for in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 05:31:08 | More by dansmcd
Photo of Brewski4Drewski

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Houblon Chouffe tulip.
A: pours light brown almost red with a reddish hue...2 finger off white head...carbonation

S: sweet smelling and a little zesty maybe, soft alcohol tones, mildly malty not like the original.

T: sweet...maybe fruity, slight hop presence, mild alcohol, nice and smooth not bad. English fa sho.

M: Medium bodied and smooth, stayed carbonated throughout

O: King Goblin is only brewed on a full moon so yeh, its kinda cool. A notch above 6.5 this King can cut loose. Not as malty as its subordinate and a nice change up from the Hobgoblin, but personally I'll let the King have his swill and drink with the grunts.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 18:41:55 | More by Brewski4Drewski
Photo of Drunkelstiltskin


3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imagine drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale that was crossed with an IPA. Very dark red in color, not much of a head. Tastes very rich, with caramel notes but is yet still easy to drink. Nice balance between sweet and bitter. Good beer to curl up by a fire with during the long winters up here in Vermont.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 21:28:29 | More by Drunkelstiltskin
Photo of BGDrock

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Appearance: amber hue; clear; head fades fast

Aroma: tough to put down; good interplay between mildly tart hops and light maltiness; slightly woody; some spice

Taste & Mouthfeel: somewhat grassy; bitter (but not the green hoppy kind) and gets more so for a lingering finish; clean with good carbonation

Overall: they definitely over-sell it a bit; this "special reserve" is not particularly interesting, but the hop profile is nice. A good Bitter but nothing more than that

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 15:12:37 | More by BGDrock
Photo of Maxwell


3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber red with nice amounts of carameling and some yellow along the edges. It also pours with a nice white head and good thick lacing that dissipates at a medium pace. Smells of sweet malts, almost an apple juice-like smell with a faint hint of biscuit in the back. Tastes again of sweet malts with a nice caramel backbone and an ever so slight tingle of hops on the tongue. There is a flavor in the initial swig that reminds me of sweet vegetables… Unfortunately that is the most specific I can be on the taste… Its swigs nicely on the tongue, a bit watery, but with just enough oomf to suggest its caramel flavor. Overall this is decent beer, I’m not as taken with it as I was with the HobGoblin, the wateriness of the beer is a little disappointing, though I’m sure it holds out well as an almost session-able ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 01:00:36 | More by Maxwell
Photo of ArrogantB


3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased for $4.99. I used to love hobgoblin back before I really got into craft and was mostly drinking British ales so i thought I'd try this for nostalgia's sake. Dark ruby red, creamy off-white head. Aroma of malt vinegar hits me almost immediately and this is what I usually pick up from British ales, not a fan. Flavor is very fruity, malty, not bad at all. Overall I wish I had my $5 back because this just isn't my cup of tea anymore.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 16:14:51 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Dentist666

Russian Federation

3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper beer with moderate beige head, consisting of big and small bubbles, good retention. Aroma of dark fruits, strawberries, cherry, candy sugar, raisins. Taste is full, not very complex, warming alcohol, caramel, like most of british beers, leaning to malt profile, simple unnoble bitterness, that disappoints. Liquorish palate. Low carbonation, good at winter, worse in summer. Decent english strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 16:33:34 | More by Dentist666
Photo of sandqvist


3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First review...

A- Nice red-brown. Off white head with decent lacing.

S- Typical English smell. Malts and caramel and earty hops.

T- Bready and caramel malts, earthy hops. Dry almost woody
aftertase with moderate bitterness.

Overall a typically English beer. I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 00:35:56 | More by sandqvist
Photo of beeroclock

United Arab Emirates

3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a - brown, all of the colors mentioned by other people, I just don't see. If anything in this world is brown, this is it. forms a nice head and the bubbles last throughout.

s - some caramel, malt with some coffee

t - good, it's got a bit of coffee taste with a little sweetness. it has some bitter bite too. I can pick up some fruit, maybe apple. a little caramel as well

m - not overly carbonated, but it sticks to your tongue leaving a long term bitter aftertaste.

o - a good beer, but I think it's a little closer to average, maybe slightly above. My first couple of sips, I thought it was much better, but with the long aftertaste it turns to a bitter coffee. Still a decent option. I'm harsh on beer ratings, so maybe I'm rating this lower than it deserves.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 11:59:36 | More by beeroclock
Photo of mithrascruor


3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper-brown color. Creamy off-white head is film-like, yet thick, and leaves lacing.

Smell: I'm honestly not getting much of any aroma off of this.

Taste: Earthy and bready with caramel and hop notes. The taste is actually quite nice, but marred by being much too sweet. Some bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: After a while I think I get a hint of alcohol in every sip, though it may just be the sweetness as this is only 6.6% ABV.

If the sweetness (and perhaps alcohol) were taken down a couple of notches, this would be a great beer.

Also, nice to see Wychwood using brown bottles now!! Hopefully their other beers are coming in such bottles now too.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 00:28:58 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of bort11


3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into a 20 oz Hobgoblin tumbler. With more room in the glass I was able to give it a strong pour, which produced a tall dark tan head. Not much lacing on the glass, but there was a persistent cap on the surface. Body color is a dark, dirty-penny copper. Bright highlights around the edges.

English Sovereign hops rule the aroma. It has been so long since I've had a traditional English ale that it's a new experience all over again. English hops tend to be more aromatic than American hops. I get a mild orange peel and some tannic bitterness. Crystal malts add a toffee sweetness. Taste follows smell, though the bitterness is kicked up a few notches. The finishing taste is a little leathery.

Mouthfeel has a low-medium body. Carbonation is mild. At 6/6% ABV it is pretty easy to drink one bottle. I'm not sure a second bottle would be a good idea. It is probably a good idea to switch things up after this.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 03:37:00 | More by bort11
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King Goblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.