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Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Very Good
2,636 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: 2,636 |  Reviews: 1,096
Photo of SeanChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint.02oz bottle with cool Hobgoblin label. Pours a red mahogany that is very clear in the glass. Small, beige head quickly fades into slick and collar lace. Aroma is caramel with a hint of floral hops. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, but very light bodied. Taste begins with active carbonation, leading into tart fruitiness. Toffee and malt flavors then take over. Some hops add some light floral and fruity notes, and the finish is dry and mildly bitter. A very average offering, overall, and seems lacking in body. Feels watered down, at times, and seems like something is missing. It's a very smooth ale that is quite drinkable, but just doesn't have enough character to make me want to have another one.

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Photo of Beersignal
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark hazelnut accented by ruby and caramel highlights, this beer poured crystal clear. Sandy tan head had medium staying power and left a trace of irish lace on my glass. At first smell, malty and slightly hoppy... but suddenly! Bananas, and other fruits laced with rum. Like a tropical fruit salad spiked with spiced rum. Carbonation was too light (my fault I think... kept swirling my glass to stimulate the release of that wonderful smell) and felt weak on the tongue. Medium bodied and initially silky mouthfeel gave way to a mild mineral grittyness. Taste was malty up front but quickly balanced by a firm bitterness accompanied by citric flavours in the middle and end. Drying resiny finish leaves a long after taste.

Pleasing beer with some of the signatures of the style which I will most likely purchase again one day if only to reaquaing myself with those hypnotizing aromas.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Half-a-liter bottle poured into a Hobgoblin pint glass. It pours a very dark ruby red color with two fingers of foam. There is a good amount of lace left over. The smell is fairly grassy and malty, it really smells like an oktoberfestbier. There is a little hop aroma present as well. The taste full of sweet malt and caramel at first, then it is a little grassy in the middle. The finish is slightly sweet, but has a zing of hops as well. Fairly well balanced. The mouthfeel is just a little light, but very smooth on the tongue. The drinkability is fantastic. A few pints of this wouldn't be a problem at all.

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Photo of TripelJ
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Wychwood Hobgoblin

Pours a deep translucent mahogany, with a medium-sized fluffy white head. The head recedes with nice lacing to form a creamy ring around the top that enhances the mouthfeel of each sip. Aroma is of sweet malts and faint hops with a little mustiness (says chocolate on the bottle, but I'm just getting sweet.) Taste is sweet at first with some roasted malts, followed by a vinous, semi-dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and nearly full bodied. This could definitely qualify as a session ale, with high flavor and a moderately low ABV. Overall, I had high expectations for this beer and they were definitely met.

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Photo of Mangus
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby coppper color with a thin white head.

Smells of skunky malt overtones with a hint of raosted caramel.

Malty smooth taste ends with a slight dry hoppy bitterness and leaves a pleasant afterthought of raosted malts and caramel. Nice ale. I'd have this with a nice duck dinner.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.12/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brown bottle. Pours out to a very clear beautiful mahogany, forming a pretty sad head with ok retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is very mild to absent. Aroma is pretty typical for English Brown ale...amber malts without any raisins or prunes, dank garage, some perfumish hops, kinda like Drakkar Noir and TPN. Mouthfeel is very wet and pretty mild with an aftertaste of fusel alcohol. Taste like any other brown ale...not being a fan of many of them. There is a soapiness in the finish. Medium body.

Flat and boring. This beer sucks.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.94/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce (355ml) brown glass bottle. No freshness, best before date or strength – nothing except a smug looking big eared Hobgoblin on the label actually.

Appearance: Big 12 ounce dunk into my 20 fluid ounce Beer Mug forms an expansive cream colored head that is thick and smooth. Lots of lacing but minimal levels of dissolved carbonation.

Nose: Toasted malts with a “dank” fruitiness. It smells kind of funky at times and somewhat off-putting I have to say.

Taste: Sweet toasted malts again, sometimes with a light roasted feel. Minimal hop character but there is some bitterness in the back end. A pretty simple beer all round but with a decent taste profile nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body with a nice malt dimension that lends some backbone to an otherwise very average mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I didn’t have any real problems drinking this one down, but it wasn’t exactly a quaffing beer. It is thin and rather one-dimensional at times.

Overall: I have to be brutally honest and say that I am not a big fan of Wychwood Brewery, their beers, or Pubs – but this is not that bad an offering, in fact it tasted better than what I remember of this offering on Cask. But it is still nothing better than average and will remain a one-off sampling.

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Photo of Shiredave
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great chocolate brown color and firm, jiggly tan head of rocky foam. Head slumps but leaves a boiled sugar lace behind.
Aroma is dead skunk. When will they stop using clear bottles for Gods sake? Some toffee and coco notes fight thru.
Classic brown ale flavors with a nice nuttiness and solid, earthy hop flavor and lingering bitter. Some mocha capuccino flavors mix with w/ grassy dryness. Medium in body, somewhat tinny tingle on the tongue.
Certainly more flavorfull and satisfying that a New Castle. More roasty, and hearty, less caramel character. Much better on tap.

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Photo of Gusler
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the bottle a transpicuous deep mahogany color with the head majestic in size, creamy in texture and a beauteous light tan in color, as it ever so slowly fades away a silky sheet of lace forms to cover the glass. Nose is sweet malt dominated, fresh and inviting to the senses; start is also malt rich and sweet with the top light to medium in feel. Finish is meek in its acidity with the hops delicate in their spiciness, very dry and slightly tart aftertaste, a good representative to the style.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite good, overall. This brew had been staring me in the face for weeks at one of my local haunts, JP O'Malley's. It poured out of the tap a deep, dark, and rich color, worthy of a second glance. The head was respectable, and laced away nicely. The flavor was intriguing, something sweet and malty, but I could not place a finger on the specific notes I was getting. This one is a must-try.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of frank4sail
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep dark red color with not a big head on the pour, just pale/white bubbles. Not much retention but lots of bubble action in the glass. Lively larger bubbles. slightly fruity and abv warmth in the nose. Fruity initial taste followed quickly by a sharp straw like bitter bite. The mouth is smooth upfront followed by a dry tongued finish. This beer just does not float my boat... That strangly bitter/sour (skunk)finish seemed off... maybe a bad bottle.. it is clear glass....?

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Photo of hotstuff
2.49/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

The appearance is a medium sized tan rocky head with fine-small sized bubbles. It has an opaque body with no carbonation observed and the hue is reddish. The nose is skunky and the flavor consists of malt and hops with an aftertaste observed. The mouthfeel is tingly, smooth, thin, watery and light bodied. This beer has good lacing to it.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrived an intensive, deep black with limited head, but pretty glass ring consisting of huge bubbles and some glass cling.
Aroma initially was lightly of the skunk but that quickly disapated

The taste began with a malty fruitiness and finished lightly to the hops with some toffee and dark chocolate in the back.
Medium bodied and carbonated...some lingering affect with the chocolate.

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Photo of bmills1608
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I had high hopes for this beer. Cool label of a Hobgoblin taking a night stroll with a bloody ax resting on his shoulder. Poured from a brown 12 oz bottle, really deep copper brown color, clear as a bell. Really handsome looking ale. Hobgoblin's head was small and faded early leaving behind a ring of film around the outer edges.

On the nose were doughy malts, toffee and tons of a fruity aroma that immediately reminded me of red licorice. Lots of this licorice in the aroma. First sip brought with it a light overall impression and mouthfeel, again this read licorice, very smooth and easy malt, lots of fruit esters and fresh bread. For a "darker" beer, surprisingly little in the way of typical "dark" beer flavors (coffee, chocolate, molasses etc). Overall flavor was actually a bit light to me. In the middle pallette was a little sour astringency. Finishing things off was more English dough, brewed tea, herbs, toffee (diacetyl) and a medicinal characteristic.

Overall impression - I must admit being a little let down by Hobgoblin. A nice beer, very drinkable, moderately complex, but ultimately a little too light. I feel it could have definitely used some more punch and mouthfeel. My thinking is this - If this was a local brew that was in line, price wise, I would for sure seek this out from time to time and have no regrets. But for the price, it did not give me my bang for buck, so chances are I will not seek the Goblin again. (The score I give does not reflect price considerations - its not the beers fault I live in the USA).

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Photo of saltydog
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearence: Clear, orange-brown, with a rapidly fading head. Serving was a 12-ounce brown glass bottle. Smell: Nutty caramel aroma. Some fruitiness from the yeast. No hops apparent. Flavor: Malt sweetness, some nuttiness. Also seems slightly oxidized as malt flavors taste faded. Mouthfeel: Slick and somewhat thin. Drinkability: Clean enough, somewhat bland.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent looking beer, this one had a look of steeped black tea with a nice, slighty retentive ivory head and nice lacing. The aroma was light and had a slight skunkiness, probably from the clear glass 500ml bottle.

The taste was sweet and had some light finishing hop sense. The feel was ultra smoot, but sadly, also somewhat thin and watery. Good drinkability.

 365 characters

Photo of beerguy101
2.52/5  rDev -33%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yet another british beer in a clear bottle. Brown Color, small white head. Nice malty barley aroma. Look like ice tea, not beer. Medium bodied brown ale. Some chocolate to the malts, Mouthfeel is slightly thin. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly malty.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.47/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – A very flat head and brown, clear in the body.

Smell – Strong burnt toast aroma with a sweet, sugary molasses scent.

Taste – This one is very thin at the taste. There are some interesting flavors such as molasses and maple, cane sugar, and toasted malt, but they all come out halfway and ill advised. This has a very clumsy profile.

Mouthfeel – Flat and light-bodied.

Drinkability – I won’t buy this one again.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.53/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I like to try new beers, so grabbed this when I saw it. If you've never had it, well, you are not missing anything. While not horrible, it doesn't quite live up to the 'review' done by R. Prolz on the bottle lable, imo.

Here goes: It's a 16.9 oz pour, sort of a rootbeer candy color, no head. The aroma is what I would call 'earthy': not bad, but not exactly enticing either. Taste is slightly bland, some malty sweetness, perhaps some hop bitterness in the finish, but nothing stands out, either well or poorly. Oner of the more boring beers I've had in a while. As it warms, the alcohol is a bit more present. The mouthfeel varies: at first it seemed a bit thin, as it warms it tends to get a bit fuller, but maybe that's just the alcohol taking over.

Again: not horrible, but difficult to recommend a second beer. pat

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Photo of clvand0
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one came in a 16.9oz clear bottle. Isn't it bad for the yeast to put it in a clear bottle? Surprisingly, it wasn't skunky. Pours a nice brown/amber color with a really small head that dies off quickly. The aroma is fruity and slightly hoppy. Smells a little flat. The taste is very smooth with very little carbonation. It is sweet and malty as well. The local pub is going to have this one on tap soon and I'll be sure to be there for the event. Good beer.

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

Hobgoblin pours a nice brown amber color with a small head that quickly withdraws to only a ring around the glass. The aroma is primarily of malt with some hints of hops. This one is not very sweet, but the malt is noticeable on the tongue. The malt notes which begin quickly become slightly roasty around mid swallow. The flavor then moves on to more hoppy notes and has a somewhat bitter finish and citrusy aftertaste. As the beer warms the mostly subdued sweetness begins to reveal some slight caramel notes. The body is light to medium. This brew complimented my bbq ribs rather well, however, it was pretty mediocre on the whole.

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Photo of edchicma
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmm...I was hoping for more in an English brew. Appearance, head and lace were fine and smell had that nice hoppy aroma I like, but....Taste left an unpleasant catch in the back of the throat...not smooth. Mouthfeel was likewise unspectacular. Drinkability was average at best. I guess the label caught my eye..not the best by a long strectch.

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Photo of dmarch
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now available in brown bottles for all of those scared of skunking. Pours a deep burgundy color. Aroma is of plums and raisins. Very sweet in the taste, like molassass mixed with plums. Excellent mouthfeel. The style is hard to identify. It seems like a brown ale, but with elements of a dubbel. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This English ale, pours a nice dark red/brown colour with a nice beige head. The aromas are of sweet malts, a bit of hops, some alcohol, and bread. The taste is nice and bready...malty, with a touch of hops in the after-taste, and a little sweet. The mouthfeel is M.O.R and the drinkability is pretty good. It should be noted that this beer tastes much nicer out of the clear bottles in London than it does from the clear bottles here!


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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 2,636 ratings
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