Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

2,622 Ratings

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,622 |  Reviews: 1,090
Photo of jdmorgan
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This interesting ale poured a rich, dark, amber brown from a 500 ml bottle into my glass.

The smell had aromas of malt, hops, and a subtle fruitiness. The taste had a rich toffee maltiness and a bit of caramel malt as well. There was a medium hop profile with hardly any harsh "bite". Definately indicative of a well-brewed beer. There was a little bit of a fruity flavor as well, evidently a by-product of the yeast used. The carbonation was medium and the consistency was medium/thick.

A good dark English ale. I enjoyed it's quality and volume, and would drink one again, especially with a hearty meal of meat and potatoes. ;-)

 632 characters

Photo of imfinished
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stephenlee
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of werehereforthebeer
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cwkash
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of olegv40
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown red, almost black unless held up to a light. A thick foamy head formed and laced all the way down the glass.

Very malty and a slight hint of caramel with a nice hopy bitterness. Maybe it was just my bottle, but there was a weird metallic taste like you get sometimes from cans, although this was in a bottle. But even saying that, the true flavor of this beer came though and it was very good. Mouth feel was downright silky. Ultimately, this was one fine beer.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown burgundy with an off white head leaving little bumps of lace. Smells like a good belgian dubble, strong, alcoholic and malty. Taste is much the same with a slight endorsement towards the alcoholic overpowerment. Feels bubbly and strong across my pallet. A good beer but I'm not much for the dark ales yet.

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Photo of QuentinCompson
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint 9 oz bottle into Goliath glass

A - Nice pour, luscious head, dark brown blackish brew, creamy lacing, good looking.

S - Malty, hops, smoky, slight caramel, syrupy

T-M - Roasted malt nose moving into syrupy hops; a touch watery; nice carbonation, bitter and bready finish

D - Nice dark ale; works well for the style; would like to experience this on tap

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Photo of dgilks
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful clear chestnut colour with a small, foamy tan head. Poor head retention.

Dull, malty aroma. Slightly nutty but not all that powerful.

Smooth, luscious malt. Tasty light toffee note. Moderately fruity from yeast esters. Nice.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A really tasty beer which is easy to drink and the half litre can is a nice touch.

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Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bottle, pours faintly cloudy, nice toasted almond color, nutty, malty nose, leaves well dispersed lacing. Malty British brown ale, lots of malt evident, moderate sweetness, balance is the British way and this one is a nice example. Nicely rounded mouthfeel, smooth finish. Fine sessioner.

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Photo of TownDunkel
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

English Dark Ales, what can you say but yum. I never tried hobgoblin so this is a first taste

Appearance - A gorgeous molasses brown that sucks in light and generously lets it out, only because it wants too

Taste - Now I dig the flavors mix in here, cocoa with coffee with tree bark makes it. If your a fan of dark ales, this is the flavor you will want

Mouthfeel - The only point where the beer makes me not happy, the flavor doesnt stick around long enough and what does taste like old bottom of the bottle

Overall - This is a nice beer, just needs some work on the mouthfeel and it would be a keeper / daily drinker

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Photo of Mark
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to trying this beer which has always aroused my curiosity. While English ale is my favorite genre of beer, I hate clear glass bottles and that's what probably steered me clear up to now. Beer poured a deep amber, head retention was good but there was no lace at all. Sweet malty aroma also had hints of chocolate.
Sweet malts, toffe and chocolate seemed to dominate the taste profile. Fruitiness came out as well as the beer warmed. Hops were subtle. A decent enough beer but not in the same league as Young's, Fullers, or even some Sam Smith beers that we get here in the States.

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Photo of Yeppy
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really nice cool looking beer, lacks smell but taste amazing.

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Photo of mattgreger
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour on this brew poured a dark brown with some great ribbons of ruby red. It also had a beautiful creamy tan head that sat and capped the brew. It had some good retention, then follows the glass with some great sticky lacing.

The aroma is filled with sweet malts. There is a great toffee flavor that hits the nose as well. As the brew warms, I can also smell some great notes of a floral hops. Its smell great, I am looking forward to it.

Once I had my first sip, I was impressed. It has a great sweet toffee flavor that I can taste right of the bat. It then feeds into a dark fruit and hoppy bitterness. Its a nice blend, not overly bitter. The brew finishes with a bit of sweetness that gives this brew a very well round, complex flavor system, that pleases the palate. It also has a great dry finish.

The mouthful on this brew is very smooth. It has a great, light and refreshing carbonation. The mixture of the sweet and bitter flavors of this brew give it a great taste, that has you wanting more.

Great brew to drink. Not super heavy, and great for any season or time of the day. It a great brew, and would be something I would drink on more of a regular basis, if it wasn't so expensive. Its a great brew. I will have to seek out others from this brewery.

 1,273 characters

Photo of engagechad
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - tulip

Pours a nice mahogany with okay head and no real lacing. Smells very nice, floral with a sweet malty backbone. Taste follow, there is a little spice to it however it's a mild smooth flavor. Body is super nice and smooth.

This is a really great English Brown and I would buy it again

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Photo of tubacharlie
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A short, frothy head existed when delivered to the table (who knows how long it sat though). What little head was there remained for the duration of consumption of the clear, red-brown ale.

Fresh hop aroma exudes from the tall Pilsner glass in which it was served, with a good malty backdrop.

More full-flavored than the last bottle sampled, but not by a lot. Both had well-developed flavors, pretty smooth up front, with caramel notes and toasted crusty bread accents, followed by a blast of hop bitterness akin to an ESB as the swallow ends.

Satisfying ale, but it slightly overshadowed the pork ribs it was washing down. Probably would have gone better with a Caesar Salad and pizza with anchovies or a falafel sandwich with pickled turnips.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Russet brown color with a thin off white head. Clear.

S: Malt aromas dominate. Malt is sweet toffee. A very nice mild aroma. Faint trace of fruity esters develops as beer warms.

T: Malt tastes predominate up fornt. Malt flavor is toasted. Nice bitter finish that is nearly astringent. No hop flavor.

MF: Medium light body. Moderate carbonation.

D: A good English brown ale. A little too bitter onthe back end but quite drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of MikeGill
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was introduced to Hobgoblin a while ago and it went something like this...

Me-"Hey, what's that stuff with the wicked tap
Bartender-"That's the Hobgoblin. It's from
England I think."
Me-"Cool, I'll have one of those please."

It is good to now approach this beer analytically. 500ml bottle poured into a large rocks glass.

Dark clear copper with red highlights. Head did not stay around long but left ample lacing. Toffee on the nose with some hops and tiny amounts of yeast and molasses coming through. Light to medium bodied with nutella, light coffee and butter flavors. I seem to remember this beer having a more aggressive flavor profile. But, that's not to say it's lacking character because there is plenty. Clean finish, great drinkability, for me a nice session brew.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with an off-white head. The aroma is strong caramel malt with some English malt, hops and yeast. The flavor is caramel malt with a little bit of chocolate. There is some roasted and nut character with some English hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into the same pint glass that it came packaged with.

Pours a clear dark amber with a couple fingers of dirty off-white head. Retention is GREAT, with a full, creamy layer across the top that left a huge latticework of lace. The aroma is a rich smelling malt sweetness and a surprising amount of dark fruits. I'm also picking up some light citrus notes as well as a light hop bitterness.

The taste is thick, sweet chocolate and caramel malts that's mixed with that same dark fruit presence that was in the aroma. It's not necessarily a tart dark fruit taste, actually giving off more of a sweet note that goes well with the malt. Finishes with some light hop bitterness that helps end things with a pop. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a full yet smooth feel.

The flagship beer from the Wychwood Brewery, I found this be a quite flavorful and easydrinking ale and one that is worthy of leading the charge against the rising "Euro Pale Lager" dominance in Great Britain.

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Photo of pierrebeer
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Shanty76
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scottyshades
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice beer, picked one up at ABC in a mix n' match for a whopping $2.10 per bottle.
A: Beautiful rich brown color with some amber hues, 2 finger head that dissipates slowly with a very nice lace

S: Very sweet. Alot of caramel, malts, and dark fruits

T: Molasses, caramel, malts, toffee and roasted flavors

MF: Very clean, good aftertaste, I wish this beer was fuller and more robust

D: Not exactly a session beer, I could drink a few

I recommend this beer to anyone who spots it...there are definitely better EBAs out there but this one is worth the pickup if you choose to pay for it

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have always drank this in cask condition before (draught in a pub) and liked it very much. I haven't tried it in a bottle before, this review is for the bottled variety, I haven't had a draught one since joining the BA world.

The bootle version is not (in my opinion) as good as the cask, but here goes anyway.

Looks good, dark amber, ruby brown in colour, with an inch high off-white, cream coloured head, which stayed throughout the pint, although it was a lot thinner by the end.

Sweet and malty, with a hint of fruit, apples maybe, not sure.

A good honest ale taste, a little sweet, but to my tastebuds, about right. Malty aftertaste which stays until the next mouthful.

Fairly thick, it hangs around for a time, not heavy, but a pleasant body to the beer.

Very drinkable in my book, still prefer the draught, but after a hard days work and 3 hours on a University course and then a drive home, this beer did the trick and I was normal again half way through it.

 974 characters

Photo of WaltTrombone
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of my Valentine's present was a Hobgoblin Gift Set, with 2 bottles and a Hobgoblin Imperial Pint. Of course, I had to drink it from the glass...

It poured dark amber, with a fluffy off-white head. Aromas of grapefruit, malt, faint chocolate. Tastes were chocolate, malt, maple (where'd THAT come from?), and grapefruit. A smooth, thin mouthfeel kept things extremely drinkable. It finished dry, with grapefruit and leather.

Very tasty, one of my favorite brown ales! (so far...)

 489 characters

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 2,622 ratings
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