1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

King Goblin - Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Not Rated.
King GoblinKing Goblin

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

354 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 354
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 14
Gots: 48 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 354 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chefelf
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with not much head. This really reminded me a lot of their Hobgoblin ale just with more hops. It had a nice malty flavor and was quite enjoyable. At 6.6% ABV it did not have a very heavy alcohol taste at all.

A very nice English brown ale.

Photo of welldigger888
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured a golden copper hue with a nice tan head and ample lacing.

Malty and a hint of buttery with minamal hop aroma.

SMOOTH and well worth the drink, buttery smooth with a nice maltiness that reminds of butterscotch goodness.

Well this elixer is very much the standard, creamy and smooth with a very drinkable side.

I like this English Swill.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a crystal clear deep garnet red body with a thick bubbly cream tan head and a slow carbonation pushing to the surface.

S- The rich aroma of crystal malt has a strong shampoo quality with some dark pot caramel that gets softer as the beer opens.

T- The mellow smooth soft malt has some dry toffee note with a woody quality and a green hop note in the finish. There is a yeasty character in the finish. There is a green bitterness that lingers after the finish.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a creamy texture and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is very mellow with some soft dry malt and soft hops, being mostly bitterness. There is an odd character in the aroma and the taste that could be age or ringwood yeast it is slightly vinous aswell, but because the beer is so soft that flavor sticks out.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 4/3/11

Appearance: Copper color, very clear, excellent foamy white head that sticks around for a while - nice lacing, too

Smell: Very English, to say the least - dry malts, hard water minerality, some roastiness

Taste: Good, not particularly special - very earthy and dry, kind of like licking a rock - very dry biscuit, an interesting herbal hoppiness - some bitterness, some roasted flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth

Overall: Good, not great

This beer was really more of an English Pale Ale than a strong ale. And for that style, it was about average. I will always remember this beer for it's name, which should obviously be "David Bowie, the Goblin King." Yup.

Photo of endincolorado
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is of a clear, beautiful, ruby-amber with rising bubbles and a nice, foamy cream-white head that settles slowly.

Aroma is one of welcome roasted malt, reminiscent of crusty baked bread with strong notes of caramel and ripe fruit. Some faint bitterness is noticed in back, as well as a slight hint of alcohol.

I cant help but take a huge mouthful of this beer, and upon doing so, I find the hops to be more prominent than expected. This bitterness is delivered alongside a pleasant, sweet plum-like flavor of malts (as well as that breadiness). There's also a very faint phenolic flavor- or maybe I'm just tasting the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a nice creaminess from the carbonation.

This is a drinkable beer. The flavors are balanced and not overpowering.

Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amped up version of Hobgoblin. Copper colour with a cream coloured head. Sweet caramel, Ovaltine and biscuits. Low, fruity hops.

Sweet, malty taste. Light metallic taste hidden in there. Banana, milk chocolate and even apple are hiding in there. Quite nice - well balanced. Complex but not overly rich.

The carbonation could stand to be a bit less, but its not entirely out of style. A nice, richer version of the Wychwood classic and one of their better beers.

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very malty aroma, with traces of toffee and hops as well.

T: Tasted of malt more than anything else, but also had toffee, hops, a nutty quality, and a slight spiciness. An interesting flavor, that was more complex than I expected.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of Wychwood's better efforts. A very solid, drinkable beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Malty rich yet highly drinkable, Wychwood's scaled up version of Hobgoblin puts this classy brown ale's body and boldness on par with today's advanced American brown ales.

Pouring a very clear and solid brown color, the beer allows for ruby highlights and heightened visual weight. Dense off white foam tops the glass in a most creamy appearance. Light lace adorns the glass wall. This is one handsome beer.

Moderate aromas seem light compared to what's expected in taste. Chocolate, toffee, nuttiness, light woods, spicy earthiness, subtle fruitiness, and malted milk work into the aromatic mix with a meldedness and maturity that's inviting and almost seductive.

Very malt and richly flavored with medium toast, light coffeeish roast, deeply caramelized toffee, walnuts, bark, mild cherry and apple esters, and a balance of earthy spice from hops fade from mid palate to clean bitterness late. Flavors which are rich early seem to mellow into a true malted finish with grassy bitterness that linger into the aftertaste.

Creamy and robust with just enough carbonation to accent the fullness in texture. But with the all the flavors that swirl across the mid palate, the beer lightenes and leaves much of it's complexity and weight at the mid portion of the taste and only allow for a semi-dry maltiness, crisp hop dryness, and mild alcohol evaporative warmth to finish the beer. The beer marches wonderfully from sip to finish.

With a mere 6.6% abv., the beer is much more akin to a more robust English brown ale than Southern browns usually exhibit, but as the trend upwards in gravity, strength, and flavor continue, perhaps this is the new stride in English browns. ...and Wychwood can say that they were there first.

Photo of tapman
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown-red color with a creamy off-white head @ 1.5 fingers. My description doesn't do it justice.

Light, sweet toffee in the nose with a little caramel. Hops are floral and a little bit of dried mint. Not outstanding, but sweet and clean and pleasant.

Thinner than in the nose. Bitterness is relatively strong, which isn't that strong, and the taste is the same as the nose, but less. Caramel is barely clinging on and there is a really big pale malt/ marris otter flavor in place of the deeper notes I was picking up in the nose.

A little dry.

All right, I guess.

Photo of beergod1
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark amber with an off white head. Some lacing all the down the glass. It smells of toasted malt with caramel and a light chocolate characteristic. The flavor is sweet, roasted caramel malt with good balancing bitterness. It finishes with some toasty, toffee accented bitterness. This brew is quite enjoyable. Smooth, just a hint of Alcohol on the back end. It's been some time since I had a Hob Goblin, it's time to compare it to it's big brother.

Photo of Heischman
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

King Goblin - Wychwood Brewery Company
United Kingdom (England)
ABV – 6.6
IBU - ??

DATE – 30 MAY 2011
SERVING TYPE – 500 ml. Bottle
GLASSWARE – English Pint

APPEARANCE – Cherry Kool Aid Red and clear, Nice cascading Head when first poured. The head dissipates at an average pace, but stays at about ¼ inch. Nice lacing
AROMA- The aroma is very faint. I smell a little roasted malts but that is about it.
TASTE – Nice roasted malt flavor, but nothing over powering. Has a fruity note on the back of the tongue
MOUTHFEEL – Carbonation stays with the beer through the whole glass. Not to carbonated though. At first there is kind a silkiness’ as well.
CONCLUSION – Not a bad beer, I like the Hobgoblin better. I would drink and buy this beer again.


Photo of ILessThan3Brett
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip. Dark copper color. Two-finger head gradually recedes to a healthy amount of lacing. Very mild malt toast nose.

This is an excellent representative of the ESB style, but it isn't unique enough for me to go out of my way to find it again. I tasted it in comparison with similar-tasting Fuller's London Pride, and King Goblin is definitely the better beer, but not by a ton. It seems a little pointless for me to describe the characteristics of King Goblin because I'd just be parroting descriptions of the English ESB style. It does have good mouthfeel, good carbonation. Tastes malty, toasty, a bit solvent. This is is a good ESB and it won't jump out and surprise you either positively or negatively.

Photo of daliandragon
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this a few weeks back when I visited my buddy Nate in Dayton, Ohio. I picked this up at Papa Joe's Payless Liquors in Richmond, Indiana. I am a big Hobgoblin fan and had never seen this before so I had a mild freakout in the store. I haven't seen it since either. Review conducted from notes.

Color is an even brown with roasty red highlights (I realize that sounds stupid, but that's what I wrote). No lace and lots of visible carbonation. The smell is bubblegum over a vague graininess and some late bitterness.

Features a mature, full bodied flavor and aftertaste but has too much carbonation, especially at the outset. Light in texture and easy drinking. Complex with nice balance. A well crafted heir to the Hobgoblin throne.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light ruddy amber body with off-white head head that retains admirably. Lighter in color than Hobgoblin, somehow.

Nose is tricky; very English, with hops and plenty of biscuity malt.

Taste follows the nose; it's a more bitter and refined Hobgoblin; the malt cleans right off the palate with teh hops and the balance is good, but there's a hop aftertaste I don't particularly enjoy, but understated compared to almost any American craft beer.

Mouthfeel is normal, unexceptional but not unpleasant.

A nice bitter, and it's actually bitter. Beyond that, not much to say.

Photo of Derranged
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into an A&W Rootbeer mug. A mug is a mug, it works fine.

A- Pours a dark brownish red with a white head that dissipates quickly. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S- Pleasant, smells like floral hops, tea, raisins and prunes.

T- Not quite as strong as the nose, but similar. This beer was sweet but not overwhelmingly, and had a nice lemon, bready backbone with a bitter aftertaste. No detectable alcohol whatsoever.

M- Creamy, smooth without much carbonation.

O- Drinks very easily. Very solid beer, definitely worth a try. I could picture myself drinking pints upon pints of this stuff at a pub in England all day, then stumbling my way back to the hotel. Good stuff.

Photo of bark
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of ramseye4
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wychwood is an underrated brewery, in my opinion, Anyway, King Goblin is brewed only on a full moon, albeit possibly only for the marketing factor.
A=A beautiful semi-opaque copper color, one finger head, great lacing. To me, this is what an English Ale should look like.
S=Heavy on the earthy, grainy malt, combined with English natural, earthy hops
T=Very bitter hops combine with natural feeling grainy malt make this a well balanced and delightfully bitter beer.
M=Highly carbonated and medium bodied
O=A solid ESB, but it doesn't meet my expectations. For a beer that is this highly touted by the brewer, it needs to back it up with a higher quality flavor.

Photo of bort11
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of colts9016
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has poor retention; moreover the head is white and frothy with no lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a dark orange copper color with reddish hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with some carbonation bubbles.

Nose: A very fruity aroma with floral esters and pine. There is a nice malty balance that is toasty. The aroma is a touch sweet with some yeast, and orange.

Taste: A very nice bitter that is has orange, lemon, grapefruit, and floral hops. The malt is subtle with caramel, toasted malt, and bready. Other flavors are yeast and a touch of solvent.

The mouth feel of the beer is carbonated, astringent, and crisp.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium light and the finish is medium. This is a good easy drinking beer that can make for a session beer.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer is copper with a beige medium large head that dissipates into nice lacings.

S: Sweet malt with a mild bitterness. Fruits and a metallic tone.

T: Nuts, apples and oranges. Sweet malt, very bready.

M: Long bitter aftertaste. Full body and mild carbonation.

O: Very smooth. A sipping-beer.

Photo of mattkoon
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always been a fan of wychwoods hobgoblin- so I was pretty excited to see this king goblin special reserve. I really like the coloring of this beer a really rich deep brown. The smell is of faint spices. The taste is a strong bitter. This is what I think of when I think of an english beer. Makes me wanna go sit in a pub and watch some rugby.

Photo of Dubbledown
1.3/5  rDev -65.6%
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

Photo of sandqvist
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of NordeastBrewer77
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 500 ml bottle into imperial pint glass. Rich, deep reddish bronze color with a small tan head that retreated to the edge of the glass quickly.

The aroma is caramel, earthy hops and bread. Nice simple and straight forward, some alcohol detected.

Dark caramel malts are up front but nicely balanced with an astringent bitterness and nice grassy hop flavor. Very complex and unique. Some alcohol warming noticed. Finish is quick and dry with a slight lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel's slightly chewy and a bit fizzy for the style... Some fusel noticed if you let the drink linger on your tounge... Not exactly the high point of this beer.

Overall, this is a great example of a bottled strong bitter. But until I can try a cask version of the 'king' goblin, I'll stick with Hobgoblin next time I buy a Wychwood ale

Photo of rarbring
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear deep amber almost brown, a tan head, rather small, but leaves good lacing.

The smell is sweet, bread and dried fruits, some orange and a slight metallic presence.

Initially sweet dark bread, bitter orange jam, lemon zest.

Small carbonation, soft bubbles, a good body, a very dry finish.

A full grown ESB, much taste and stamina.

King Goblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.