Hobgoblin Ruby
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #67
Ranked #31,276
3.78 | pDev: 13.49%
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Notes: Formerly Hobgoblin

Drink legendary. This distinct ruby beer’s sweet caramel and fruity aromas tease the taste buds. Brewed with smooth and rich Chocolate and Crystal malts & a blend of Fuggles and Styrian Golding hops. Expect a delicious full-bodied toffee flavour and a fruity finish of figs, raisins and dates. Hobgoblin: Born Different.

Hops: Fuggles & Styrians
Malt: Pale, Crystal & Chocolate

Only bottled Hobgoblin Ruby is 5.2% which is this listing. Canned, cask (tap and hand-pull draft), and 5L mini-cask's of Hobgoblin Ruby are 4.5% and reviews of them belong under that separate listing.
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Reviews: 1,134 | Ratings: 2,738 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Singlefinpin
Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking this at European Street Cafe in Jacksonville Florida.
Poured from a bottle into a snifter.
Appears dark brown with a tannish foamy head that dropped quickly to a thin ring.
Smells roasted, malty, sweet, chocolatey.
Taste follows the nose nicely.
Mouth feel is medium for the style.
Overall a very nice Porter that I would definitely order again and would love to try on tap.

Dec 07, 2020
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Deegee54 from England

5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never ever as I given 5 outta 5 for any ale.
This Ale is blooming fantastic! There's an aftertaste that builds through to a crescendo of sweetness--I think it maybe the caramel.
Anyway, buy it, pour it, drink it, pour another

Nov 11, 2020
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FritzieGettleman from England

3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was 4.5 ABV, poured out of can. Nice rich color, starts with a light mix of sweet and bitter tastes that merge into a berry flavor. The ending is weak with a bit of bitterness. Overall a decent beer that I will drink again.

Apr 18, 2020
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KooVee from Finland

3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml on tap.

Clear red shade of mahogany. Thin but resilient head leaving little lace.

Nose is an understated mix of sweet malt, some dark and dried fruit and practically no hops.

Taste is malty, a tad nutty, somewhat sweet and quite thick. Hops do show up in pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste to counter all that sweetness. Not really a typical bitter, but too bitter for a brown ale or mild. Carbonation is actually a bit too loud for my tastes, but it serves to differentiate even more.

An individual between styles that is technically well done. Even if not that original really, gains points for balanced understated innovation in the small. Very drinkable.

Feb 19, 2020
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This was a very enjoyable English ale. I was expecting it to be a little stronger and a little harsher but it ended up being very mellow and smooth. Best by 8/8/20 date listed on bottle. Pours a honeyed amber color with a little fluffy off-white head and some sticky lingering lacing. Smells of malt, toffee, bread, caramel, vanilla, lightly toasted nuts and maybe a little biscuit. Taste follows the nose, very easy to drink and highly enjoyable. Nice low ABV without any warming alcohol. Smooth, mild mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. This was truly very enjoyable and paired very well with savory dinner.

Feb 03, 2020
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Davedrinkinbeer from Indiana

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

Beer pours into a caramel/amber/ruby color that is translucent with a 1/2" off-white head. Smell is mostly maple syrup, but also malt and faint hops. Taste is hops, yeast, biscuit, with faint syrup taste. Mouthful is mostly even with a bitter taste ending which becomes an aftertaste that is more pleasant than not. Feel is medium carbonation, and finishes not to dry or sweet.

Beer is good, and tasty without being overly heavy or sweet.

Jan 26, 2020
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Kurt49rs from California

4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought it fairly cheap, at Grocery Outlet. It was a good find, especially for the price. Not disappointed, at all. I like Porters, Stouts, and Red Ales, so I figured this would be right in my wheelhouse.

The color is a ruby, leaning towards browncolor, with a little bit of a tannish head.

Nice malty aroma with hints of brown bread.

I didn't get much of the chocolate flavor, but definitely some citrus and raisin. Nice balance of maltiness and hoppy bitterness. Maybe a tad more carbonation than I prefer, but not too much and not too thick feeling. I'll drink it again.

Dec 02, 2019
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James94 from England

3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Clear dark reddish amber, fairly thick lacing, small head
S: Roasted malts, cherries, raisins
T: Bitter hops, hint of orange, cherries, dark chocolate, banana puree
F: Right level of carbonation, smooth feel, average alcoholic feel for the ABV, not overly bodied though

O: 4

Nov 23, 2019
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gvickery from Texas

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

Look is great, dark reddish amber with a creamy light tan head. When held up to a light it’s clear and has an almost ruby color.
Smell is molasses, dried fruit, brown bread and some floral earthiness.
Taste is similar to the smell. It’s not as flat as some others of the style. I appreciate that because I just like all my beer well carbonated. It has a medium mouthfeel and a moderate amount of bittering on the backend. I really like it, one of my favorite bitters.

Nov 18, 2019
Photo of Nofoba

3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle. It has a clear copper colored body, and a thick white head with lots of lacing.

The aroma is fruity and sweet; notes of grapes and bananas.

The taste is hoppy, slightly bitter and sweet. Low carbonation. The aftertaste has a dry grapy bitterness to it.

A solid IPA, with well balanced hops and sweetness.

Oct 18, 2019
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JamFuel from Sweden

3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark reddish brown with fine, soft head.

Smell is malty and sweet with notes of raisins, dried apricot and dark bread.

Taste is malty and fruity with notes of dried fruit, dark bread and raisins. Soft bitterness and slightly yeasty on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium well carbonated.

Overall, a classic, easy to drink beer that sort of feels like a bitter/dubbel hybrid.

Sep 10, 2019
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elnachooo from Spain

3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cerveza de color rojo oscuro, de carbonatación baja y cuerpo medio. Aroma a malta, caramelo y notas cítricas. En boca es rica, equilibrado con un dejo a chocolate y a naranja.

Aug 18, 2019
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rxmk from New York

4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle into an english pint glass. Beautiful dark brown to ruby red color with a thick creamy head. On the nose hits you right away with malts, sweet caramel toffee, spices and dark fruits. Tastes sweet and malty with hint of fruit and hops. Very light carbonation. A bit to light on the mouthfeel and finish to my taste. Overall a nice enjoyable brew of this style. Would have it again.

Aug 18, 2019
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jjamadorphd from Florida

3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

English bitter? I think not...

On it's own, this beer is pretty good - nice reddish coloration, decent foam, no lacing. The smell is full of raisins, cinnamon, and some spice. I did find the mouthfeel a bit watery but not terribly so. A plus for this brew is the taste of what I smelled in the brew itself, liking the raisins quite a bit. Overall, I enjoyed this beer but it wasn't a good representative of the style - bitter, it was most certainly not.

Jul 29, 2019
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the can. (Hotel)

Some nice bready malts on the nose. Sweet with some toffee/caramel with slight noble hop grass presence. Not bad, but really sweet smelling for something this light.

English malts, bready notes, really sweet, some toffee and caramel again.

Slightly dry, slightly syrupy. Not too thick, not too thin but that syrupy sweetness just gets to me in this style.

Overall, I wouldn’t be real excited to have it again and could do without having it again but it’s not “bad” either.

Jul 03, 2019
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Stoven5 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow this is beer at its best. The 5.2 ABV is not what I get in Canada at the LCBO, it is 4.5 ABV so not sure if its higher in the UK. Anyway this good tasting beer just love it.

Jun 23, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear ruby red hue. Khaki head; frothy lace.

Black fruit, bread-y malts & light yeast.

Medium mouthfeel.

Sweet caramel & wheat notes.

Nice but not essential.

Apr 07, 2019
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ism from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown color, pours with just one finger head that dissipates. Deep and slightly bready malt with a bright bitterness to balance it. Nothing too complex, but perfectly tasty and well within the style. Perfect for cooler Spring or Autumn nights and always happy to have one.

Apr 06, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an English pint glass.
The appearance was a nice looking dark orange almost brown color with a thin cap of a little white foamy head quickly sliding off to leave some messy wispy lace.
The aroma had some slightly fresh nutty/caramel/toffee malts playing with a mild earthy/grassy hop note. Fuggles hops? That's what I'm guessing is the main hopping of this beer. Soft touch of soap on the back end.
The flavor mildly mixes the malts to the hops semi-sweetly allowing a clean presentable biscuity quality right before the aftertaste hits. The aftertaste was malty with a touch of soap.
The mouthfeel was between light and medium bodied with a fair sessionable sort of feel to it. Carbonation felt somewhat low but expected. Good ABV. Semi-smooth finish with a slight crisp earthy hop edge.
Overall, sometimes it's hard to look past that "soapiness" but yes, I understand it's part of the style so my numbers won't be too harsh for this beer.

Mar 03, 2019
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a fair beer. Seems right in the English bitter wheelhouse, if not a wee too malty. I could see having a few of these in an olde style pub. Not bad for $2.

Mar 02, 2019
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

from notes 10/31/11: Pours a dark brown with a frothy, fast fading, tan head that leaves very little lace. Aroma is caramel sweet and biscuit malt, toast, nuts,dates, dried figs, butterscotch, tobacco, floral and faintly fruity. Taste is malt forward caramel, candied apple, toast, biscuit, butter, raisin and earthy. Dries in the finish to become a mildly bitter, earthy, toasted, astringent aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, moderate carbonation, watery.

Dec 06, 2018
Photo of Vyacheslav
Vyacheslav from Canada (ON)

3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bought in form of a can, my impression was that the beers taste reminds me of a good wheat beer foundation spoiled by too much grassy/hoppy character that I've experienced many times in different sorts of beer but never liked, so that dragged my rating down a bit.

Nov 25, 2018
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Anacross from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good british brown, bitter and strong beer. Well balanced and complex. Bitter but not too much. Sweetness and spicyness in perfect balance. Toasted grains and spicy banana are very noticeable.
I'd drink this again and again.

Nov 07, 2018
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jpeek345 from California

4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

unthinking reaction: robitussin...with some cool modification and some bubbles.
thinking response: There's been buzz on the streets in the past two years around another British invasion but this time it isn't rock-n-roll. Its British bitters and brewers respectively.
Hobgoblin is a Ruby Red with a classic mead or ale style tradition of brewing.
When I first sipped this beer it had a rather course aftertaste that *i thought* would interfere with its drinkability. I've drunk about 8 Hobgoblins on three separate occasions spanning about 8 months....and let me tell you, once you get past the little ACTUAL Hobgoblins that visit you the day after...little contradicting voices when you fire up your sense of reasoning for a work day and you hear "someone" new inside your committee in your head...(Hobgoblins from Wychwood!)... fear not for once you practice the acceptance and contentment necessary to quell the little beasties...they seem to go away AND KEEP YOU hooked on the brew for good! The only drawback to this outstanding ruby red is that its caloric. It'll go right to your girlish figure. Nonetheless, drinking 2-3 of these on this Halloween eve 2018 is a very good time indeed.

Nov 01, 2018
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Stoutmaster9 from California

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hobgoblin label art, as ever worthy of praise.

Poured into a pint glass, no smoke from the bottle.

An easy on the eyes ruby, earthy ruby hue. Finger and a half head, of wee and big bubbles. Not a trace of carbonation.

Mild Malt / "Ruby-malt" scent. Eventually some nutty-fruit notes emerge.

Easy drinking, wee bit watery. Moderately creamy, somewhat crisp.
Surprising cherry mid- aftertaste, yet not the typical sweetness Piercing, which make cherries generally loathsome.

Good brew for quiet daydreaming.
Offers vast expanses of calm, lazy space, with just a tricky pinch of goblin magic!

Oct 31, 2018
Hobgoblin Ruby from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 2738 ratings