Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

2,593 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,593 |  Reviews: 1,082
Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 282 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 991 characters

Photo of pierrebeer
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of Shanty76
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scottyshades
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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

 595 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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 +4.6%
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

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/30/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, maple, nuts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with sweet flavors of caramel, maple, honey, roasted nuts and a little fruit. There's a decent hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter despite the sweet start.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if your in the mood for the style and especially with a meal.

 781 characters

Photo of ludachris
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep ruby red with about a two finger tan coloured head that slowly settles. Smells of chocolate and biscuits and a bit fruity. The taste is buttery malt and chocolate accompanied with a nice level of bitterness. Nice lacing that follows the beer to the end of the glass. This beer is very smooth and creamy and very well balanced. I would definately grab this again. Merry Christmas!

 397 characters

Photo of ronniebruner
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hobgoblin is a typical English ale, full of nice color, a decent head, a nice hoppy taste and a taste of barley o finish. This is not a heavy beer by any means, but well worth the price. Definitely a good beer, for beginners or experts of English Ales.

 252 characters

Photo of BlueShepard19
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DegenErik
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ndekke39
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this from the 1 pt, 9 ounce bottle. Poured into a pint glass. It's a clear reddish-brown with a tall tan head. Smells and tastes of heavy, toasted malts. Nice bitter finish. Features caramel and toffee flavors. Light-to-medium mouthfeel seems to fit with the flavors. Very pleasantly drinkable.

 300 characters

Photo of oelergud
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear deep red body, low carbonation and a light tan head, moderate retention and lace.
Burnt coffee and mild hops in the nose along with some caramel notes.
Sweet malt with a little honey, burnt toffee and molasses. Goes slightly astringent before the aftertaste which is fairly long lived and lets the subdued hops come through with some grass and faint flowery notes.
Good mouthfeel, little to moderate coating. Sharp at first but smoothing out at the end. Lightly dry finish.
Pleasant and easy to enjoy. Good warm up for the heavier winter brews. Definitely a fall brew.


 596 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with almost no head or apparent carbonation, some carbonation, and beer is a medium brown color.

Smell- Butterscotch in the nose, very smooth smelling.

Taste- Slightly bitter with relatively smooth taste. Darkish mocha flavors that do not overpower with a pleasant bit from carbonation at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Feels a little thin but has better than expected coverage, really seems to explode onto tongue.

Drinkability- A solid english brown ale.

 470 characters

Photo of doktorhops
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #84, we've come a long way haven't we? From the soaring highs (Duvel) to the crashing lows (VB). Along the way we've made some friends (Weihenstephaner in particular) and enemies (Aussie macro lagers in general), but all the time we've focussed on what matters: the brews. And today's review #84 is no exception... lets not forget it also came with a swanky pint glass (for a 500ml bottle? Does that make sense on some other planet?).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Hobgoblin conical pint... where is the rest of my pint dammit!

A: Deep copper/rust coloured body with a boisterous 1cm cream(y) head. Certainly is a nice looking beer!

S: Hobgoblin smacks of toasted biscuit, burnt caramel/toffee malt grains and sets a bold promise in the process. Hops take a backseat and I find that I'm again reminding myself that it isn't always about the hops [get lost me! :@]. In any case a big brown ale awaits!

T: The big malt characters are there with a nice bitterness at the end that says "Look Dok, Hops!". There is also a pleasant buzz of alcohol within (it's not a slouch by any means), and a tinge of raisin flavour... just a hint in the background though. Yeast characters also make an appearance with a sour bread note.

M: Mid to low carbonation, decent medium body, English ale territory here.

D: Would be quite the session ale if it wasn't dirty expensive here in Australia (felt like I was giving myself a treat just by looking at it). It's easy down the gullet and will give me an 'empty-glass' remorse once it's finished which in my book is an apt description for 'session beer'... only wish I had another bottle in the fridge... mmm, burnt caramel (just had another

Food match: I can't get the image of Medieval-pork-roasting-on-a-spit out of my head so I'm inclined to say Medieval-pork-roasting-on-a-spit, and other Medieval fare; Blawmanger, Broiled Venison and Blancmange (the three "B's" of Medieval cuisine!).

 1,944 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1 Pt. 0.9 Fl Oz clear bottled poured into a hobgoblin pint glass.

Appearance: Beer poured a deep brown color with a good head that dissipated slowly to a lace sound the rim of the glass.

Smell: Rather malty with hints of chocolate. Pleasant.

Taste: Again, a very slight hint of chocolate, but for the most part I detected a roasted malt flavor. Some hops thrown in there too for good measure on the finish.

Mouthfell: Very smooth, not too complex, though.

Overall: A most enjoyable beer and a great example of the style.

 549 characters

Photo of BeerdedEric
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper amber color body. Not much of a head as it seems to fade quickly. Leaves decent lacing on the glass.

Slight metalic smell. Some roasted malts, caramel and toffee also but they're pretty well hidden.

I get a sweet nutty taste, I'm thinking hazelnut, with caramel. It tastes real good. A little bitterness at the end; not a whole lot. This is what I kind of expect from a English Brown Ale. You got the malt being the main upfront taste and then the slight bitterness at the end.

Mouth feel is very smooth and crisp. Feels nice. Carbonation is there. Light to medium body.

Drink ability is good. This goes down easy but is enjoyable enough to pace. No alcohol taste at all.

I got this in a Glass & Bottle Gift Set. It comes with a limited edition Pint Glass and 500 ml bottle. Looked cool so I bought it for myself. Got it for a real cheap price.

 860 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with almost purplish highlights. The smell is pleasantly malty with a little hint of nuttiness. The taste starts off sweet with a little bit of malty caramel taste and ends up with a slight hops bite that is refreshing. The mouthfeel has a nice thickness and mild carbonation. To me, the big draw of this beer is its drinkability.

 350 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single Hobgoblin 12 oz brown bottle this evening. In the past whenever I have seen this beer, its always been offered in a clear bottle. As the bottle states, this is an imported English Ale from Witney, Oxfordshire, England.

Pours an attractive shade of brown. Some nice light brown highlights.

Whiifs of malty sweetness. Pleasant to the nose.

Taste is reminding me a of strong, nutty brown ale. I like the sweet and chewy malt presence here. Buttery caramel smoothness with a noticable hop snap.

 519 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mmmbeer
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle with no freshness date. It pours a dark reddish-copper with medium carbonation and a two inch tan head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is malty sweet, almost sugary, with caramel and a light fruitiness (peach?, apple?, berries?). It is fairly full-flavored, with caramel, green apple,and leafy green/grassy hops that impart a mild to medium bitterness. The body is medium, smooth and coating, with a medium, lightly drying finish. Overall a good, solid ale, and I was happy to find one in a brown bottle - so much better than the clear half-liters.

 571 characters

Photo of TheBierBand
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 500ml brown glass bottle into my trusty pint glass. The head came up to a perfect 1" of light beige foam. The color of the ale is a dark amber with ruby highlights when held to light.

Smell?... not too much here... faint maple syrup

Taste: Quite nice. Maple, with a nutty (hazelnut) taste. a little earthy.... nice

MF: Not too thick.... but nice and rich. good body.

Drink: heck yeah... go for it.... pleasant surprise. Recommended.

 452 characters

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a pretty sweet goblin cartoon on the label. Pours a deep brown with a white, half inch, head. Leaves quite a lot of lacing. Smells of earthy, English hops and maybe some caramel. Tastes of the same earthy hops upfront, some malty sweetness, then a surprisingly bitter finish on the tip of the tongue. Went well with a patty melt. A good example of a true English brown.

 373 characters

Photo of beerphan
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> tulip
no date

Pours a clear amber with a respectable bone white head that leaves some droopy spiderwebs. Intense carbonation is present.

Nose: Sweet caramel malt, a tad nutty.

Taste: Toasted malts with a little of the caramel sweetness from the nose sticking out. A mild drying finish.

Smooth full and thick mouthfeel. A bit drying also.

This brew seems extremely drinkable, alas i have only one.

 432 characters

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.71 out of 5 based on 2,593 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.