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King Goblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
King GoblinKing Goblin

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

325 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 12
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phocion
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imperial pint poured into a 20 oz. nonic. Pours a dark, semi-transparent copper with two fingers of very rocky, off-white head. Ton of bubbles in the beer, and sticky lacing.

Aroma is primarily toffee, bready, nutty, and toasted malts. Slight doughy yeastiness and earthy hops in the background.

The taste follows the nose pretty well, with the exception of the grassy hops coming out a bit more. Fairly complex; sweet but not overbearing with a sour/tarty finish.

Medium-bodied with fairly light carbonation. Just slightly chewy and very smooth and creamy.

Hobgoblin has been a long-time favorite of mine and ESBs are one of my preferred styles. This is definitely one of the better and more sessionable (despite the 6.6% ABV) ones I've tried. Now...hopefully I can find more.

Phocion, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, red-mahogany colour with a creamy, tan head. Decent lacing.

Malty, nutty aroma with clear toffee notes. Dark fruit comes through as well.

Sweet malt with a moderate bitterness. Generic hop bitterness. Mild fruit and slightly vegemitey. Decent.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. This needs just a touch less carbonation.

A decent ESB and a nice one off from Wychwood.

dgilks, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of dionisio
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer tastes like I'm drinking an antique shop, but in a good way. It also tastes exactly like its color, and its color is something that takes me back to before I was born. And it's so beautiful, too. It looks like it really IS something. Looking at this beer, and then drinking it, and then looking at it again, and then drinking it again... it helps to counter nihilistic perspectives. This beer is that sort of thing.

dionisio, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These guys have a great website, you should check it out.

Pours a clear, red amber. A decent finger of head forms and slowly recedes, leaving good lacing. Better than average for these guys already...Aromas are not super robust, but I get Fuggles, caramel malt, some sweetness (but just a touch, like brown sugar), and a hint of cinnamon. Not too shabby so far. Flavor is very unique and quite robust. Let's see if my novice palate can describe it: A quick frothy carbonation swells up, but not too much, and then flies away. In the early middle of the drink, the flavors really come out. Very big and robust malt characteristics. A lot of caramel flavor, but without the sugar. Also a distinct and bizarre bitterness. In a way, it hearkens to Belgian yeastiness, so I'm guessing they are achieveing this bitterness through a yeast component. The late middle has a sharp black licorice note that appears for an instant, then vanishes. It's neat and befuddling at the same time. This is 6.6% ABV and $3.99/500ml bottle. Not cheap, but not backbreaking either. In the late middle I get a strange concoction of alcohol and cinnamon bark. and then the finish arrives with a decent hop character to it. This is bizarre, not fantastic but not terrible either. A confusing brew and challenging, but fun and unique.

What I like most: The strange and befuddling flavor profile.

What I like least: The strange and befuddling flavor profile.

Verdict: Super-unique offering from this UK brewer is sure to please some and repulse others. Find and try for weirdness' sake.

SolomonGrundy, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of Brad007
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, another beer from this brewery other than their standard offerings.

Pours a nice copper color with a one-finger head into my glass. Certainly has the hallmark of an ESB.

Grassy hops greet the nose followed by just a hint of buttery bread. Aroma isn't as bountiful as I'd hoped but it's still here.

More emphasis on grassy hops here. Very chewy and with just the right amount of malt flavor. Surprisingly drinkable!

Mouthfeel is full of lingering grassy hops and chewy malt. Nothing new here.

Quite possibly one of the better examples I've had. If you want an example of how beer should be, check this out. Drinkable (albeit not quite a session ale) and good enough for a couple of pints.

Brad007, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass. The bottle is cool, much like the regular Hobgoblin bottle, but white around the sides. A hard pour gives a tangerine/off white colored foamy head that produced excellent lacing. The beer itself is a nice amber red color that glows when held up to the light. The beer has extreme clarity.

The smell is incredibly malty, almost not believable. Caramel, toffee, with hints of coco powder, figs and raisins. A slight earthiness to it, but not very hoppy. The smell slightly warms the nose, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

The taste is intriguingly and complexly bitter. Still very malty, only a slight sweetness from it. Only slight hints of caramel and toffee here, with slight butterscotch flavors. The big flavors here are dehydrated fruits, dark fruits. Bitterness from earthy hops, almost s slight grape skin flavor to it as well.

A good full bodied mouthfeel. Slightly buttery with a hard bitter finish, a little zesty. Good drinkability, kind of a sipper, but something that you want to warm up and sit on with a meal or on a cool evening.

All in all a pretty good ESB. I'm not overly versed in the style, but I liked it a lot, I'm glad I made the purchase.

AndyAvalanche, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of Zimbo
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Zimbo, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of kashmoney
2.42/5  rDev -35.6%
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.

kashmoney, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle of this as a Christmas gift. Poured into pint glass.

A:: brilliant clear copper with nice frothy white head, heavy lacing and good head retention, looks delicious

S: notes of caramel malt, biscuit, faint notes of cereal grains. The nose is quite tame but nicely balanced. A subtle touch of hops on the finish.

T: notes of caramel up front along with bread and other grains, a touch of sweetness which turns into a nice bitterness. Very nice balance, quite tasty. ABV is undetectable.

MF: nice and creamy. Low carbonation. Fits the style well.

D: this is a great ESB. Much tastier and drinkable than Hobgoblin. Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a nice, well balanced, English ESB.

homebrew311, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of BeerLover99
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: light cherry red wood/hue of brown. Nice bubbly tan/white 2 finger head, very nice lacing throughout English pint glass.

S: floral aroma, sweet bitter earthy/grassy.

T/M: sweet front with bitter finish, mild grassy and metallic aftertaste, mild prickly tongue, high carbonation

D: Let me first say, that I love just about anything from the ENG, SCO, and ROI. This style is a favorite, but for some reason I don't love it. It's a solid ESB, but think the flavor + smell could be a little more accessible. Give it a try, I could be wrong and hey I may have to try it again, just to be sure. :)

BeerLover99, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of Erish
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 500 ml bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

A: bright, coppery-amber color, thick and fluffy cream-colored head that falls into a good cap with good lacing over the course of a few minutes.

S: lightly roasted malt, a slight metallic note, just a hint of grassy hops, lightly toasted oak.

T: bread-like malty sweetness up front, with a flash of green apple, and then a raisin-like fruitiness, the middle releases a flash of grassy hops, and then a drying, metallic/mineral note, the finish is grassy, lightly citrusy, dry and long lasting.

M: medium-bodied, somewhat silky, moderate carbonation, bracing finish.

D: Overall this is a good beer, but I find the extremely grassy finish a little off-putting.

Erish, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of goalie33
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into 16oz pint glass.
A: Clear redish-brown color, one and a half fingers of white head slowly subside. Not a whole lot of carbonation, but a lot of fine bubbles coming up from the bottom. Leaves a good amount of lacing in the glass.
S: Malt with a nice woody character.
T: Toffee, caramel malts with a slight bitterness. Very nice tasting beer.

goalie33, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
2.25/5  rDev -40.2%
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.

kojevergas, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are typical for the style. It is malty with some caramels/breadiness and plenty of light fruit notes. Earthy and nutty with a definitive English style mineral quality.

The tastes follow the nose to a tee. Bready malts with some flavors of prunes and slight caramel malts. This beer is subtle but interesting. The malt presence is tempered an earthy hop bitterness. Fruity, spicy and nutty. Finishes quite dry.

The mouthfeel is medium-full, slightly slick. Overall I enjoyed this beer very much, a little too caramely for an ESB in my opinion but still a quality offering.

claspada, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of regular Hobgoblin, looking forward to trying this one. Poured into my Victory Hopdevil pint glass.

A-Pours the color or grade A maple syrup, with an attractive fluffy light tan head. Leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S-Milk chocolate, pale malts.

T/M-Really malty. I expected this to be hoppier. It's fairly nondescript. Caramel malt sweetness is the most dominant flavor, followed by the Sovereign hops, which add just a touch of bitter dryness to the finish. Medium bodied with moderate, fizzy carbonation.

D- Glad I tried it, but don't need to have it again.

DaveHS, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of JamesS
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice mid-deep copper color with great initial head, non-lasting, and a bit of nice lacing. Great scent, very citrusy and deep malty aromas. Great taste, a huge malty backbone that's deep and strong; great earthy fuggle hops up front with a very slight citrus tone at the end; hints of chocolate and caramel in the flavor. Goes down wonderfully smooth with just a bit of hop roughness. Great beer.

JamesS, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a light brown color...like a dark cedar color...with faint, wispy head. The aroma is great: caramel and bread, a passing scent of alcohol, toasted malt, and earthy hops. The flavor is very well balanced: firm bitterness and a great malt presence. Finishes dry. Medium in body. This is a great drinking beer.

Suds, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep red-mahogany with a creamy white head that leaves globs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is malty with plenty of light fruit notes. Earthy and nutty. Definite English style mineral quality.

Taste is exactly what the nose lead me to expect. Flavor is subtle and interesting. Caramel malt presence is tempered an earthy hop bitterness. Fruity, spicy, and nutty. Finishes with a dry cedar character.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, slightly slick.

Overall, a pretty good ESB. Certainly worth a try.

Blakaeris, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of bashiba
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

bashiba, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of morimech
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing was left on the glass. Aroma is a bit subdued but it is pleasant with sweet malt and a little citrus. Quite malty flavor with notes of toffee and caramel. Bitterness is there but not much flavor from the hops. Just a little unidentifable fruit. Plenty of body resulting in a filling beer. Nice carbonation. Pleasant drinking beer with some clean flavors.

morimech, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of JizackFH
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a very nice translucent dark drown with a very nice fluffy white head that had excellent retention. Also, the head left very nice lacing on the glass, and there were some carbonation bubbles visible.

S - The smell was mostly sweet malts. There were notes of caramel, some citrus, and a bitter smell.

T - The taste is malty at the beginning, and has notes of caramel, toffee, and maybe a little chocolate. The one ends on a bitter note as I expected it would lol.

M - This had a nice mouthfeel. It had a medium mouthfeel, but it was leaning more towards the heavier side. It had good carbonation, and it went down smooth.

D - This was a pretty drinkable beer. It went down pretty smooth, and it made me want more after each drink. I liked Hobgoblin better, but I think that this is a real nice brew. This is my first beer of this style, and I am excited to try more. Cheers.

JizackFH, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of kmacphail
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 500ml bottle purchased from Morrison's in Inverness.

The beer poured an amber-copper colour with an initially thick off white head that settled to a 2mm film with some signs of lacing.

The nose was dominated with malty sweetness with a hint of caramel and lingering bitter fruit tone. A nice malty taste on the tongue and a lingering fruity afternote, but not as bitter as the nose would suggest.

A medium-heavy mouthfeel leaves the drinker in no doubt that that this is a beer. Overall a thoroughly excellent beer, but at a fairly hefty price and 6.6% alcohol volume this is not going to become my regular tipple, but a nice occasional treat.

kmacphail, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of stalker5
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured my King Goblin into a glass, it poured to a very deep reddish color with a nice thick head that retained well. Smells fairly malty smell with very light fruity sweetness in the background. Tastes great malty beginning and gives off some great chocolate and toffee flavors that finish fairly mild nicely. A great backbone to this brew. Mouthfeel; being a fairly strong beer with alcohol content, it's not as heavy as I thought it'd be. Nice and smooth. Overall drinability is an excellent beer for these rainy days we've been having. Warms you up nicely and tastes great.

stalker5, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear mahogany with a nice finger of substantial head. A very pleasant shade of brown.

S: Crisp malts have a heavy, if faint, alcoholic sweetness with a hint of hops.

T: Quite nice. As you may expect, this is Wychwood's Hobgoblin amped up on steroids. Less bitter than its lesser kin, with more fruity maltiness, King Goblin still maintains a slight sour bent that seems somehow out of place. The aftertaste lingers, fully revealing the wonderful, balanced bitterness that was concealed in the main taste.

M: Good! Carbonation is present, but not obviously so. The beer rolls easily around the mouth.

D: I liked the King Goblin quite a bit. Perhaps the full moon really does add something to a beer. At 6.6% it's getting up there for an ESB, but the flavour is heightened as well. A great example of the style (and conforming very well to the style description - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/66/) and a beer that I would definitely drink again.

Note: Apparently the first beer I've given straight 4's. Interesting, but in keeping with my experience with this beer. Everything was good; very little was either mediocre or excellent. Take this as you will.

AgentMunky, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of AEK
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

King Goblin, 500ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin pint pot. B.B.E 30/4/11

Wychwood states that this beer is only ever brewed on a full moon. According to their website this style is classed as a Special Reserve so I have put it in the ESB category.

A. Deep red/ copper coloured ale topped by a nice white head. Head retention is very good.

S. Raisins, plums, pruney, some candy sweetness and alcoholic warmth.

T. Chocolate and some floral notes (if that is how flowers taste!). Similar to Hobgoblin but with this beer you certainly get the extra strength. Strong alcohol warmth is present.

M. Surprisingly a bit on the thin side given its alcohol content.

D. Hobgoblin's BIG brother. Although it is available year round it is a good winter warmer. A little pricey but still nice to have one every so often.

AEK, Sep 26, 2010
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King Goblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.