Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

2,600 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

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Ratings: 2,600 |  Reviews: 1,085
Photo of Mandrake
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep brown with lots of red and forms a thick head that is nearly white and stays very well, leaving tons of lacing. This may be the best looking brown ale I've ever seen. Smelled of hops and caramel, with a malty tone, less impressive than the appearance. Malty taste with some chocolate and caramel sweetness. Feels a little thin for a brown ale, but not so much as to impact its drinkability, which is quite good. A very nice beer overall, although it's not particularly bold or complex.

Unfortunately, every other bottle I've had has been terribly skunked.

 579 characters

Photo of Frosty80
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color: sits a clear, dark brown with a red hue

Smell: malty sweetness with just a hint of mild hops.

Taste: malt sweetness balanced with a dry bitterness. dry, slightly bitter, yeasty finish.

Mouthfeel: med body. moderate carbonation. becomes harsher towards the finish when the bitterness settles in.

Notes: not all that bad. the dry bitterness makes you wanna keep going back for more just cool off your tongue.

 417 characters

Photo of Pjev11
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of coasterfreak75
2.92/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a dark mahogany with a two finger head that slowly dissapated to a thin white lace on top of the beer.

The smell was that of a lager with just a hint of fruit in the back of the nose. Alot of skunk smell, also a trace of acidity.

The drink started with a kick of carbonation, no flavor, then the middle was a hint of fruit with some pronounced hops. The finish was grainy with a lingering aspect that I can't quite put my finger on. It's quite odd, almost bordering on metallic, but I didn't care for it.

All and all not a bad beer, but not a great beer either. The gift pack my wife got for me had two bottles and a pint glass. I thought the gift pack was pretty cool, but it's not a beer I'll run out and look for again.

 744 characters

Photo of lighthabit
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

reddish brown, bit hazy, not much head, dies down to thin layer of surface bubbles. moderate lacing, a bit clumpy in spots. a sense of black cherry hits the nose (love the smell here), followed by a smooth maltiness, hint of hops to even it out. almost a bit sweet. i learned tonight that an esb is actually not really bitter (i'd always assumed from the name it would be). mouthfeel is ok, if a bit thin. carbonation is mild, but i'm reading that's typical for the style, so it gets a bump up for correctness. not a home run for me, but a solid second base effort that i enjoyed. i'd try it again.

 598 characters

Photo of kirbmeist
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of TheMaineBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of pwdiamond
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of basica
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Hobgoblin is an Ale by Wychwood brewers in England; they are the same folks who brewed
the Duchy Original Organic Ale which I tried a few days ago. The Hobgoblin comes in this
interesting transparent bottle with a Goblin on the label; at 5.2% it was called a Strong
Dark Ale... I was honestly amused. Anyway this ale pours out a dark brown color with a good
thick looking head. I think it smells lagerish to start with but whatever it was, it was
definitely not something impressionable. It's taste was not fruity or really ale like; it
tasted like a not bad lager; the malty ale taste only came during the finish of a mouthful
and in the shortlived after taste. The only thing that was a little more impressionable was
this malty, yeasty after taste. The mouthfeel was disappointingly light and thin bodied. I
could really ignore the slightly over-carbonation but for an ale of this nature the body
is just too thin to satisfy me. It seems washed-down, blend and lacking in character if I
were to compare this to most Belgian dark ales. I do confess that I was pretty underwhelmed
by this beer; I had higher expectations to start with.

 1,155 characters

Photo of TT--Cashout
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of azkkr
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of KGilmour
4.59/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: ruby red in sunlight, light head.

Smell: Malty, roasty, chocolate. Not overpowering.

Taste: Rich notes of chocolate and roasty malt. Caramel. Maybe a hint of cherry. Finish is slightly acidic--almost citrus, but not. Much like a perfect blend of a dark ale and a lighter European lager. Delicious.

Feel: Light and smooth. Slightly creamy.

Overall: This is an easy drinking ale, well rounded and flavorful, without a huge ABV or a heavy feel.

 451 characters

Photo of beerinator
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ruby brown, with a lingering head. Clear.

Aroma: Sweet maltyness. 'Heavy' smelling.

Taste: Lingering bitterness. Clean slight hop finish. Smooth beer, with only a little flavor up front, leaving a dry finish.

Notes: Not a bad beer. Tasted very fresh for something poured from a clear glass bottle. Would be a pretty good session beer, but I can think of a few that I would prefer in that situation.

 419 characters

Photo of Wordslinger
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Darwin232
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NatsnSkinsDC
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of horndecker
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A coppery red brew, with a quick off-white coarse head which left little lace.

The first aromas are of grass and caramel, with a floral smell developing soom after. As it warms there are hints of leather and earth, then something funky and not too pleasant. Hard to pin down, but maybe old fruit would characterize it.

The taste starts nutty and toasty, with chocolate and a bit of fruit. It's got nice body, pleasantly smooth, and finishes with a quite mild, dry and hoppy bitterness.

A nice brew, but there were aspects of the smell that disappointed.

 565 characters

Photo of omnigrits
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Guinness pint (imperial).

A. Dark brown with a thin head that vanished very quickly. No lace.

S. Lots of toasted malt with some floral hops mixed in. Definitely some nutty aromas in there.

T. Sweet toasted malts at first with a delicate bitterness around the side of the tongue and a subtle bitter finish. Not one of those sweet brown ales.

M. Medium-bodied and smooth with a gentle carbonation.

O. Still one of my favourite English brown ales. Well balanced and delicious.

 510 characters

Photo of PaulD
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of jaycar06
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of shamus
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer a few times before but never drank with the intent to review it. Hobgoblin is a wychwood beer and tthus has a cartoony fantasy figure on the label that screams novelty beer but I really loved their stout and Fiddler's Elbow.So my expectations are higher than if I were to judge this bottle by its label.

It poured with a very thick and cramy looking tan head. It has a very pleasant bread smell not overly yeasty but biscuity perhaps.Mmmmm a lovely sweetness but not cloying. This is good. Not my usual type but a great surprise because of that.

I would gladly drink another.

 600 characters

Photo of WGO
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of DrMullet
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark ruby brown.
The odor is faintly sweet malt
Taste is a slightly sweet caramel. Earthy with a bit of nut.
Not much of an ESB profile really.

 155 characters

Photo of BrewCaveDweller
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Clear 500ml bottle. Cool label and bottle cap.
Pours a deep brown /red color with light carbonation and an off-white creamy head. The head diminishes, but leaves a fine layer and some sticky lace. The aroma is of malt, light hops and is a little tart (astringent). The taste has a light sweetness in the start, a citrusy middle and a mild hop finish with some smokiness lingering. The mouthfeel is light and creamy with a little carbonation and a lingering hop (astringent) bite. This beer was better than expected, and just got better.

 551 characters

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.71 out of 5 based on 2,600 ratings.
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