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:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,622 |  Reviews: 1,090
Photo of macrosmatic
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of kyledg
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of bobbo_
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ejimhof
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hobgoblin? What is this crazy brew? All I know is that the strange name and bottle shape of this one have been staring me in the face ever since I walked past the import cooler at the local bottle shop. Here’s to random beer purchases!

Brewed anywhere from four to fifteen months before the date of this tasting, but that’s all I know.

A: Dark brownish-red, shining with a red-orange hue in the right light; I like the color here. There’s not much of a head, but what does show up is a fast-dissolving inch or so of off-white fizz. Nice strings of lacing, though there isn’t much retention apart from a ring around the edge of the body.

S: Damn, those are some rich caramel and toffee aromas; smells like someone’s making fresh butterscotch candy. Dark, grainy malts come in and rattle the cage a bit, but their straw and spiced plum aromas don’t get too far past the natural sugars at the front end. A little bit of strawberry shortcake scents come through in the end, but not for long.

T: If I had to describe this palate in a single word, I’d say “natural.” The starting flavors are a smooth, caramel malt, toasted in a smoky, bready, and peaty way – exactly what you’d expect if you just took a bite of some roasted barley. The only problem is that the flavors aren’t very pronounced, though I expected that for this style. Still, it’s a perfect transition into the bitters of this palate: natural, again, giving off a full-on orange and lemon rind character. Ends on a bit of a metallic note, but with a main aftertaste of banana, brown sugar, and light char.

M: Very light, so much so that it’s almost too watery at first. Soon after, though, it leaves a sticky-smooth residue on the tongue that’s much more satisfying.

O: This is a definitely a dark representation of the ESB style, though it has its light, hoppy moments. The roast and fruit peel flavor combo definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was a tasty surprise. At any rate, pick this one up if you’re a fan of easy-drinking malt flavor, because that’s the overall showcase taste of this beer.

 2,110 characters

Photo of mzeld
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of traumaqueen
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

Photo of scratch69
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark amber color with two fingers worth of off white head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Faint aroma of sweet malt and toffee. Just a hint of hops.

Taste- Malty with notes of toffee and bread with a slightly bitter finish. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, crisp, medium bodied brew. High amount of carbonation.

Overall- A nice, easy drinking brew.

 404 characters

Photo of vlodko62
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of bh123
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of killianf
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into pint glass

A: Pours a crystal clear ruby red with a 3 finger bubbly off-white head. Retains a film all the way down with good lacing. Very attractive held up to light! Initially a lot of carbonation.

S: Toffee sweet aromas, chocolatey notes, deep and rich dark fruity smells, malty. Complex and inviting.

T: Toffee and fruit dominate the first sup. It's a slightly sweet beer with a nice bitter finish. Malty flavours are also present, and the aftertaste carries some nice fruit.

M: Full bodied, with carbonation tickling the tongue. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall: This is the second time I've tried this beer, and the first time I wasn't hugely impressed. However, I was completely new to the style then and was still training my palette. I now think this is one of my favourite beers. Very very enjoyable, really a lovely pint. Complex and full of nice flavours, and totally drinkable. Would highly recommend.

 940 characters

Photo of fenix1300
5/5  rDev +33%

Photo of bsimms
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of redleg411
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of WritersBlock
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mlhenson
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Nfrey
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of locckdown
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ColSanders123
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Bigben0328
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of ChrisTHE
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a semi-clear dark ruby amber, with a decent finger width head, giving way to a decent, somewhat sticky lacing.

Smell - A fair amount of clean, sweet malty aroma. Toffee and caramel. A bit of hop as well. Decent, but not a strong impression on the nose.

Taste - A particularly sweet caramel and toffee feel to start, quickly offset by an earthy, anise-like bitter hop to finish.

Mouthfeel - Fairly light body, carbonation is about right.

Overall - Classically English, this one, for me, is a treat every other year or so. The mouthfeel isn't all that great, but there's just enough to keep me coming back every now and again. And a name like Hobgoblin with the bottle presentation? Pure awesome.

 717 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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