Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Very Good
2,656 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: 2,656 |  Reviews: 1,102
Photo of Brunite
1.99/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: A nice rich mahogany color with a nice 2 finger head of off white foam.

S: Very, very faint biscuit.

T: Arghh. Not balanced at all for this style. First sensations are a bit of malty, bready sweetness that you would expect. The middle and finish is very different. Very, very bitter notes kick in along with a lemony tartness/sourness that is not pleasant to my tastes.

M: Very thin. Very highly carbonated.

D: Well....I could not finish this one. Draino! The balance was just not there and the high carbonation along with the bitter tartness was not something I felt obligated to continue with. I have plenty of other options in the fridge.

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Photo of xodin
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crisp, mohagony brown appearance with a mild, somewhat neutral smell. Very bitter flavor, reminiscent of an IPA, but without the kick at the end. Rounds out nicely at the end of the swallow, but I don't detect any originality, boldness, or gusto. A characteristic "slightly above average" brew, IMHO.

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Photo of Naugros
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cola-colored with ample and evident carbonation. The head is frothy and the color of cooked egg whites which leaves behind short-lived lacing.

The smell is sweet caramel malts with floral/spicy hops.

Caramel and hops come through in the first sip and they are nicely balanced. The hops hit the palate without imparting a whole lot of bitterness. Dark fruits and vanilla also appear at the sides of the tongue in the aftertaste.

You'd expect more body from a beer this dark, but it is pretty light in mouthfeel. The carbonation is copious, but doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of this beer. In fact, the lightness of it all and the carbonation make it quite drinkable.

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Photo of Brabander
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hobgoblin was sold in one of the cheaper shops in Holland, Lidl or Aldi, not sure which of the two. I got this bottle form a beer tasting buddy, thanks Bill!!

Poured it in my Struise glass. Very nice looking beer. Deep amber/darkcopper coulour with a very decent very lightbrown head. Too bad there is no carbonation at all. The head stays quit a while.

Taste is light,roasted malts and a very pleasant sugar taste, must be some brown sugar. Not many spices and the hops are not noticable.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, the alcohol could be a bit higher, but also smooth and soft.

Good beer all the way!

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, the joys of being a tax accountant in February...

Finally home to enjoy this tall brew. I need a nice refresher, and this appears to be just that. Pours a brilliant red-amber, very clear and lots of nice, creamy head atop. Lacing is sheet-like and the beer is middling carbonated. Better than I recall it being in the past.

Aromas are very British. I get some vanilla, but mostly caramel malt and also some of those wonderful, slightly metallic notes. Not exciting and not unique, but very British!!!

A large quaff brings the malt to the forefront. A somewhat sharp, rounded only a bit by a creamy mouthfeel, tang of malt slaps your tongue, then slowly dwindles into a middle and that leaves you wondering what flavors are in there. I get a confused jumble of malt, some bitter hops, and a fleeting lemon like note - without the citrus. That's the best I can describe it. Maybe like a Lemonhead candy, but it's faint. It helps to pull the malt and hop characteristics together. The finmish is hoppy bitter in a good way and this beer is better than I recall, but not elite by any means. $4.49/500 ml bottle, and only 5.2% ABV. This is almost worth the price, but not quite.

What I like most: The surprisingly creamy and pleasant mouthfeel.

What I like least: The faint aroma profile and metallic notes.

Verdict: Not bad, but not scintillating either. If the price point was slightly lower, this would be worth it.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark amber color with some slight copper edges. There is a nice tight off-white cream head that is about 1 inch tall and recedes slowly with some nice sticky lacing.

S - Aroma of delicious dark English malts. There are hints of fresh baked bread and some slight banana sweetness. There is some slight hop bite to the nose especially at the back end and very similar to a English Pale Ale. Not as emphasized though.

T & M - Taste starts off with some light roasted malt hints. There is some nice biscuit malt notes as well as some grassy grainy notes. The malt bill in the beer is quite strong and delicious. The hops just act as a slight counter weight with some dry finishes and slight bitterness on the end. Quite light offering with good flavors.

D - The beer is quite good but nothing too impressive.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy orange brown with red hues. 1.5 fingers of khaki head. Very good retention all the way through.

S - Deep bready malt, toasted caramel, sorghum, & raisins.

T - Creamy malt, white bread, sorghum molasses, citrus hops show up in the background in the middle and follow to the finish. Some nuttiness and slightly fruity on the finish.

M - Medium body, creamy, adequate carbonation, slightly metallic.

Nice malt character. A very enjoyable brew. 1st from the brewery. The metal was very close to being too much. Would go great with fish and chips.

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Photo of midwestbrewers
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful creamy looking 2 finger head. Kind of a complex color. A very dark ruby red color. Amazing lacing.

S: Carmel notes as well as some light chocolate. Nice malty smell but fresh on the nose as well.

T: Amazing. Nice creamy toffee/chocolate flavor with very smooth bitter finish.

Overall this beer deserves a try from anybody. I think it could easily suit many drinkers. It's got some body to it, but isn't real heavy. The malt and hops marry beautifully to make a sweet, smooth and crisp brew. GREAT BREW WYCHWOOD BREWERY!!!

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Photo of bylerteck
2.59/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Pours a brown/amber colour with significant amounts of carbonation and a fluffy, three finger tan head. Bright.

S - Cola. Maybe some mild toffee but that's it.

T - Some cola, mild burnt coffee, mild hop. Let down.

M - Medium carbonation and a medium body.

D - Weird. I could have some of this but it's overly sweet. Odd. So odd. I've had this numerous times in bottle, on tap, and once on cask and it's been much better. Either that or my palate has matured.

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Photo of SebD
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown amber colour to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderalty and lacing is present.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of caramel, toffee, malts and fruity notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has nice carmaly/toffee flavours with a sweet roasted malt taste and a bitterness coming from the hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a low to medium carbonation with a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Drinkability: It's a very drinkable beer accompanied with great flavours and aromas.

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Photo of Mardukk
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber color with an off white head and some lacing.

Smells of fruit with a hint of toffee.

The taste is of lightly roasted malt with fruity hop bitterness typical of many english ales. Toffee and and fruit dominate the flavor. Alcohol taste becomes more evident as the beer warms.

Low carbonation and no off tastes make this a nice smooth drinking ale. The drinkability is very good for this medium bodied english ale.

Overall, the distinct taste with a bit more bite than most English Ales makes this one of my favorites of the genre.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich copper/brown color with amber highlights and a frothy, off-white head that slowly recedes and leaves heavy lacing on the glass.

Aroma malt, toffee, butter, caramel, toastiness and very light fruity notes.

Taste is rich with caramel and toffee malt flavors accented by slightly roasted and toasted notes. There is just enough hop bitterness to balance the malt sweetness and the finish leaves malty toffee notes, a bit of burnt caramel and a bit of earthiness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/low carbonation.

Overall this is an easy drinking, malty, smooth beer. It has a nice depth to the caramels and slight roasty elements and I would drink this again.

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Photo of manzilla86
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served 1/14 in a pint glass from a bottle.

(A) Clear dark brown-amber color. There was a white foamy head, but it dissipated quickly.

(S) A really sweet honey like smell.

(T) It reminds me of a quadruple I had a couple of weeks ago. It has a sweet honey taste along with some cranberry/apple taste. I don't notice much hop.

(M) There beer doesn't linger. I notice a little carbonation buzz on my tongue.

(D) I like it more and more as I drink it. A sweet easy drinker.

I expected it to be more like a dark lager, but I don't get any chocolate or coffee taste.

Peace out

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Photo of jmperez
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this ale poured a beautiful copper with a beige head. Nice lacing. I found the aromas and taste to be pretty simple. Aromas of malty sweetness, toasted grains, a hint buttery. Tasted roasted malts, caramel and bitterness in the end. A rich, smooth ale.

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Photo of cudmud
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours with a deep ruby color and a lush head that quickly dissipates. The foam, what's left of it, produces weak lacing.

Smell: This sample smells of toffee and raisins. In all, this is a pleasing smell.

Taste: This beer has fruit and malt flavors, which are evenly balanced with hops. I enjoy the bitter aftertaste that lingers in my mouth.

Mouthfeel: Thin and tangy.

Drinkability: A worthy effort and and one enjoyable brew.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of JT2875
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance-A 500ml brown bottle poured a full three finger tan head on top of a deep amber body with no carbonation.

Smell-Hint of hops, sweet chocolate and coffee, with a roasted malt tone.

Taste-Good balance of the smell with a mild alcohol the quickly fades. But tastes flat!

Mouthfeel-Smooth, mild and balanced but no carbonation! It tastes flat. Bad specimen????

Drinkability-Smooth, dry, and balanced but flat. I couldn't finish it.

I must seek out another because this might be a bad bottle. If a second offering tells me different I will update this.

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Photo of scootny
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A billowy head atop a wonderfully clear light cola brown ale. Good retention with a nice amount of lace. Smell is sweet malt and english ale fruitiness. Hops are earthly and mild. Fruit esters are so big and ripe it feels like Belgian banana with English plums and overripe banana pudding. Notes of toffee and roasted grains as well. Taste follows nose and is a perfectly delicious brew. A good nuttiness and a light chocolate flavor. Finish is dry and earthy with a lingering biscuity breadiness and earth. Feel is light and perfectly carbonated with a crispness that makes the drink quite quenching. Different for a brown ale. Very drinkable as I downed the whole 599 ml bottle rather quickly.

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Photo of hippityhops85
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500 ml bottle with some very smile-inducing artwork. Love it.

Pour is a deep amber/ruby with a great off-white head that slowly dissipates to a ring around my dimpled mug.

The nose is EXACTLY what I wanted it to be. Simple malts and simple hops. Nothing extreme going on here. Perfect.

The taste is right on par - biscuity, caramel-like malts with a delicate, bitter finish. and the mouth feel is outstanding. Smooth and creaming. It makes you want more and more although it's definitely not a session.

A beer like this will be lost on a "snob" who's looking for the next mouth-ripping wild ale or the most bourbon out of a stout. Delicate flavors that dance together in perfect harmony. Highly recommended.

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Photo of A380
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark ruby red, with nice brown head with ok lacing. not that strong though. smells like strong sweet toffee and chocolate tastes the same with a hint of alcohol. overall a food beer i find. tastes great with a steak on a cold winter day! with some lovely asparagus. :) enjoy!

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

This was a very nice beer with a thin foam head that laced lightly down the glass. The color is a nice ruby red color through the glass. The smell was nice and had a good malt aroma. The beer is smooth and vey easy to drink with just a little hops finish. I will definately add this to my regular stock.

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Photo of brewymcgee
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber with a frothy head that reduces to a nice persistant lace for the rest of the drink.

Aroma: Dark fruity malts with caramel a hint of hops.

Taste: Sweet malts (but not overbearingly sweet) with a little caramel and a hoppy bitterness at the end to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Light yet creamy with a perfect balance of medium carbonation

Drinkability: It's a well balanced easy drinker

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
2/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thick foamy yellowish white head and a little lacing. Smells of malts and more malts. Tastes of caramel, a little coffee, and a huge malt explosion on the palate. Mouthfeel is light and a little watery and drinkability is low, I couldn't finish it.

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Photo of PubliusII
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark, blackish red pour, with a h decent half-finger head. A very sticky lace

Smell- Chocolate aromas with a hint of coffee.

Taste- Rich, dark chocolate with subtler tones of citrus and coffee. Has a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly light body with medium carbonation. Has a crisp, light finish.

Drinkability- Great brew! It has a rich delicious taste that is complimented by a light body.

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Photo of welldigger888
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well well well,poured from pint bottle into an Irish pint glass,deep ruby maybe garnett color with a slight tan head and very good lacing down glass.
Very fragrant sweet aromas, malty bready goodness with some dark fruit and fragrant euro hops.
Same as above, raisen plum & pear with sweet bready malt with some hoppiness.
This beer really does it for me on mouthfeel, low carbanation and slight creamy fullness.
I like this beer!!!!

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 2,656 ratings