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Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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BA SCORE
84
good
1,074 Reviews
HobgoblinHobgoblin
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom
wychwood.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,074
Ratings:
2,564
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
21.56%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
445
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
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Reviews: 1,074 | Ratings: 2,564
Photo of JoLight
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Clear brown color with a finger-width frothy, khaki head that leaves nice lacing.

Toasted malt; metallic; banana bread; molasses. Something smells off....

Toasted grain; bread crust; paperiness; slight sour tang; some noticeable earthy hop bitterness. I think the flavor is a little bland.

Mouthfeel/finish: medium, not really carbonated; finishes semi-wet. Good for the style, but I don't care for the mouthfeel.

This is a highly unusual beer that had some neat attributes but is nonetheless bland and not so great. I suppose it's a good, solid beer for the style, but I don't care for this particular beer on its own: it has an unusual, unpleasant richness in the aroma (not the Aroma notes per se, but something that I cannot put my finger on) that is somehow met with a unsatisfactory blandness. I would not buy this again, but I recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of chimaymandy
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

first time trying this beer I hoped for it to be a bit darker and a bit heavier but it's not too bad I will finish the bottle that I have and will probably not buy another

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark reddish brown, 1 inch off white head, great lacing down the glass

S: Sweet malts, cherries, caramel

T: Sweet bready malts up front, a little of that cherry as the air hits your throat, sweet aftertaste

M: Medium, velvety smooth

O: I really like this beer. Sweet taste and smell, you can tell the quality is there.

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Photo of CultOfKings
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a chalice, pours a nice brown, borderline copper, colour. A head of about 2 fingers on top that dispersed into a nice cap with great lingering lace. Moderate carbonation that brings forth a nice smell of chocolate and black currant with a hint of coffee, but a nice malt sweetness to balance out the strong flavors. One of the smoothest beers I have ever had with the perfect amount of carbonation to finish off the body. Minor hops bitterness with some tastes of dark chocolate and malt. A buttery like quality appears on the finish. A very well balanced brown ale that I will definitely throw on the bookshelf where I keep my D&D collection.

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Photo of davidperez
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic pint glass, it pours a perfectly clear dark brown with ruby hues against the light. It forms a two-finger head, sudsy and creamy, with very good retention. Nice lacing.

Sweet and interesting bouquet, though not very assertive.
Slightly toasted malts, dark fruits, hint of chocolate, toffee, butter.

This beer confused me. I remember having it some years ago and really liking it; hence, I was surprised by the recent bad reviews and by its rating… but I must say, this flavor explains it all.
There's no much flavor to talk about. It's not that this beer lacks notes, there are notes, but it lacks assertiveness in those notes, they end abruptly, it has a watery mouthfeel and so is the flavor.
A pronounced bitterness at first, slightly earthy and acidic, followed by some sweet liquor, dark fruits, toffee and milk chocolate. The aftertaste has such decaying sweet notes and is slightly herbaceous and nutty, then bitterness prevails again.
Light body yet slightly smooth, watery mouthfeel, low carbonation, semi-dry.

I wouldn’t buy this again, although I would be interested in double-checking its flavor.

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Photo of Thisdrinkinglife
2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

Review: Bottle of Wychwood Hobgoblin Ruby Beer: ABV: 5.2%

There is no doubt that this beer stands out with its very amusing logo, inspired by the local myths and legends of the ancient Wychwood forest.

The appearance didn’t look good at all to be frank. It looked like coca cola, no head to speak of, very flat, dead and unappealing.

The colour was a deep ruby red, and on pour I got a big head, very frothy but dies, and no real lacing. Nice colour but the overall look was disappointing.

A lovely aroma, smelt like a nice stout to me! I got a smell of caramel, toffee and roasted malts, and a slight sour smell, but overall I liked the smell, pleasant.

Taste: Didn’t like this one bit, which was surprising to me as it is very much a hyped up beer. I really wanted it to be good, but alas……

Not much of a beer at all. Too strong for me, had a really strong bitter taste and could feel the alcohol. Very hoppy throughout, too hoppy for me.
Very sour creamy aftertaste,
Harsh flavours, chocolate, toffee and sweet malts, a lot of flavours in it alright, very robust and thick

I found it very hard to drink to be honest, one to sip, definitely not for a session, that’s for sure, for me anyway, lol.

It is a popular beer, but I do wonder if people are more swayed with the hype and the vibe than the actual taste.

Now I know they say that if you are a lager drinker beware, I would say that’s true. I think this is definitively an acquired taste, and perhaps with all the hype one for the nerds who like their war craft or whatever, or an English man and his real ales……….

This is reflected in their ad campaign where they challenge drinkers of pale lager to try a brew with more distinct flavours, “What’s the matter Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?”. Could be true, lol!

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Photo of woomThomas
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

The beer is not clear and has a dark brown color. The foam is beige with large bubbles. The foam disappears leisurely quickly and leave fine traces. The aroma of caramel and syrup loaf. Aromas of caramel. A little beef-like notes and bread. The taste is slightly sweet and medium bitterness. Roasted notes, roasted malt, caramel. There are some nuts and spices. Easy medium body. Soft and slightly greasy. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of SuperRevs96
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special ordered this beer after a friend of mine went to the brewery and really liked it.
Poured into a glass.
Look: Rich red color, very thin head, heavy lacing on the glass.
Smell: Subtle caramel aroma.
Taste: Malty with caramel, tiny hints of bitterness
Feel: Not very carbonated, thin, pretty drinkable.
Overall: Pretty good, good balance of caramel, pretty drinkable. My friend didn't disappoint!

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.89/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass mug.

Pours dark, like coffee, not much of a foam head, foam sits around the edge of the glass.

Smells nutty, maybe a caramel note.

Tastes like roasted malts and maybe a little nutty.

Feels thin, not a lot of carbonation and drinks very easy.

Overall, it's pretty good stuff, easy to drink and enjoy. Plus the name and label are pretty cool.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.79/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

**
04/29/2012
AROMA: Pleasant but weak....caramel, malt.
LOOK: Deep Dark Caramel color.
TASTE: Nutty, caramel, bread. slightly soapy
FEEL: very light carbonation,
**

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Writing as I drink.

500ml bottle poured into English pint glass.

Dark ruby brown with a nice fluffy off-white head to light brown head that faded gradually but left lots of lacing.

Nose is lovely but not assertive. Malt, caramel, brown sugar.

Palate is very nice - brown sugar, caramel, toffee and a little coffee. Very malty with low bitterness.

Mouth is a bit light which was disappointing but it's well balanced on the palate.

Overall this is very nice. fairly easy drinking and sessionable. This is an interesting beer. It reminds me of a light chocolate stout/stout with less bitterness.

Beeradvovate calls it an ESB while the brewery calls it a "Ruby Beer" which I think is a much better description. Compare it to Fullers ESB - and it's completey different. Thumbs-up for the ruby beers!

Highly recommended.

*edited because I'm already on my second beer and already feeling a bit squiffey - I forgot to finish the review

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Black with pretty red copper that shines through
about the edges when held up to the light. 1.4 inch head
that faded quickly. Mild lacing.

S-Faint sweet caramel, woodsy, roasted malt.
T-Strong bitter that endures throughout, burnt brown sugar, nutty, woodsy, earthy
with a mineral quality. Hints of charcoal, coffee & roasted malts.

M-Moderate carbonation with good creaminess
O-I really like the complexity of the flavors with sweet, bitter & earthy.
It's a beer I've had multiple times through the years & will hopefully again.
I can see why a hobgoblin would like it too!

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Photo of Dentist666
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

0,44l can.
Pours clear ruby beer with thick beige head, good retention, some laces.
Smell - somewhat fruity, caramel.
Taste - toasted malts, dark fruits, decent hop bitterness.
Smooth body, soft to medium carbonation.

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Photo of Delbertogrady
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark beer with hints of red. Needs a fairly robust pour to develop a reasonable head that is off white with hints of red/brown.
Got an almost fruity/berry aroma which was very pleasant.
The fruity/berry flavours continued on the tongue, and lingered for the aftertaste with a pleasant feel on the tongue.

Overall a very nice beer.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Can vs bottle. From cervezasespeciales (bottle) and carrefour huelva (can). In Ikea's english pint glass. Watching Sons of Anaechy 7x10. High drinkability and good balance between sweetness and bitterness. One of the best usage of english hops ive seen. Not much difference between can and bottled version. They use a good can! Maybe can version feels a bit more smooth and bottle version feels a bit more bitter? Not sure...

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby body with an almost yellow foam for a head. The scent is very boozy, with some notes of malt and very sharp English hops coming through. The taste has high bitterness along with some neat dark fruit notes and a bit of spiciness. Despite its bitterness, the beer is very smooth. Overall an enjoyable bitter.

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Photo of stevoj
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is what I consider a classic British ale. All is right in nose, taste and color. Soft smoky, peaty aroma, dark cola/ice tea color, thin beige head, taste is oak barrel, peat, hops and malt. Would like to enjoy this by a roaring fire on a cold, wet day in the English countryside.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: crystal clear; medium brown - looks thin, like watered down cola; <1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a very thin collar; no lacing;

S: sweet, dark fruit, caramel, toffee;

T: nutty sweetness up front; a little tobacco from the middle through the finish; mild bitterness at the end; a hint of smokiness in the aftertaste;

M: light to medium bodied; light to moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: a malt lover's dream; can't tell how old this is - no date stamp, only a code;

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep ruby color, clear, with a frothy head from a mildly aggressive pour. Leaves great lacing along the side of the glass. Smell is fruit and malt dominant, sweet raisin. Taste is a little bread and toffee sweetness, then that malt comes out in full force, very dark and fruity, finishes clean with bitterness, a hint of herbal and earthy hops at the most. Body is medium, very smooth and easy drinking beer, best served around 50 degrees F to start. Overall a nice English ale.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent plum-bronze color with a fine, tan, frothy head. Aroma smells of honey, toffee, and earthy, herbal hops.

The mild, balanced taste features apple skin, noble hops, some nuts, and traces of caramel. It reminds me very much of an Oktoberfest, to be honest. Warming introduces some toasted bread and tea. Medium body and moderate, fine carbonation make for the smooth, creamy mouthfeel so commonly found in English ales.

Overall, this is a palatable session beer with just enough going on to give you something to something to ponder, though it hardly demands attention. I tend to prefer much bolder beers, so take my appraisal with a grain of salt.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into an English pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy burnt orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Some white foamy lace roamed around the glass.
The smell had the sweet English malts up front with a light toffee, nuts, light biscuits and a little bit of coffee to balance.
The taste was mainly sweet through the malts. Coffee is mostly not there. There's a long lingering malty aftertaste arranging into a semi-sweet wet finish.
The mouthfeel was about light to medium bodied with a crisp sweet sessionable feel all around. Somewhat creamy, lingering.
Overall, in my opinion, this one is definitely a very nice ESB and quite welcoming at this time of the year. Also, definitely a great pairing with fish n'chips.

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best by date: May 31, 2016.

L- Dark ruby red, clear, filtered. Very light carbonation visible. Creamy tan head, persistent, nice retention, good lacing.
S- Faint caramel malts, not much going on nose.
T- Chocolate, toffee, toasted grains. Leaves a dull roasted aftertaste.
F- Medium, slightly watery.
O- Good decent beer. Expected more from the ratings above.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at cellar temperature into pint mug.

L) Dark copper colour, clear, off-white bubbly film.

S) Fairly weak odour of roasted malt.

T) Nicely toffee-ish roast malt bitterness.

F) Clean mouthfeel, a nice bit of fizz and no wrong aftertastes.

O) Decent beer, worth a try. I suspect this one has subtle aspects that work well on cask.

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Photo of Oleg85
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L: Clear brown, 3-4 fingers tall thick beige head that doesn't reduce much.
S: Smells more like lager. A bit malty, a bit hoppy, dried fruits.
T: Nice, the same as smell. Dry and slightly bitter finish (35 IBU I think).
А: Light-bodied, low carbonation.

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Photo of superspak
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into pint glass, 4BFH bottle code. Pours slightly hazy deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, light toffee, toasted bread, light nuttiness, herbal, wood, grass, light plum/apple, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, moderate earthy hops, and restrained yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, light toffee, toasted bread, light nuttiness, herbal, wood, grass, light plum/apple, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/woody bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light nuttiness, wood, and herbal/toasted earthiness after the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, moderate earthy hops, and restrained yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.2%. Overall this is an excellent ESB style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, moderate earthy hops, and restrained yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.71 out of 5 based on 2,564 ratings.
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