Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Liked This Beer
3.76 w/ 2,619 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: 2,619 |  Reviews: 1,089
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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Photo of TerryW
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Walnut brown with a nice tan head. The head settles to a thin film, spotty lace the rest of the way. Smells a little sweet (caramel) and of slightly roasted malts. Nice on the mouth, finishes up with some easy hops.

No remarkable flavours or other characteristics, just an average beer. Comes in one of those great looking Wychwood bottles, of course. Clear glass, but this beer was in good shape regardless.

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Photo of beerinator
2.91/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

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Photo of putnam
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

brown with brick red highlights, some bubbles etc.
The smell is of brown sugar, only wierdly sweeter than that...antifreeze perhaps? I detect no herb on the nose at all, only a glycerine-slick caramel and crisco quality.
On the palate it is reasonably dry with inocuous, iced coffee and baked sugar flavors. I've never had a "Mild," but I expect this might resemble one...darker than a bitter/pale and sweeter. There is barely a trace of hop extract in the smell or flavor. With repetition the cool, watery nature of this beer becomes benign. Still, it seems like a fairly commercial effort.

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Photo of beerman599
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

oved this beer a couple of years ago in an unfiltered bottle but sense then they have changed hands and our now more easily found but i have to say this beer lacked something it was thin and tinny with an undesirable off character maybe a bad keg but the bottles i've had recently were disappointing as well

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Photo of leeenglewood
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A quick pick when nothing looked exciting and the graphics caught my eyes figuring that it was just a gimmick brew. Just to note this beer had been skunked but was not horrible. Poured a ruby brown color with a head that dissipated after a few minutes. Smell was slightly skunk but you could make out a faint smell of sweet malt. Tasted sweet with little hop to it. Mouthful was decent. Sad part is this beer was in a brown bottle and purchased in a store that has a very high turnover had been distinctly light struck I would drink again insuring storage was better on the part of the importer and distributor as this beer would be infinitely better had it not been mishandled.

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Photo of hopjack13
3.31/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a clear glass bottle?? normally i'd stay away from.
it wasn't a bad beer , wasn't real good either.
found it rather boring at first but a little beter as i reached the bottom of the glass , probably just glad to get it done and over with.
im not going in to detail about aroma , flavors and what not as i don't have one in front of me. i'll just say it was not by any means an offensive beer, however i'd never buy it again , unless the only other things to choose from where the big three.

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

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with thick frothy off-white head. The aroma seems a bit skunky, but I can detect a hint of roasted barley and victory malt. The taste is good, but not great. The beer just does nothing for me. Sure, I can drink it, but where is the complexity. They have these really cool labels, but the beer just isn't as good. When will the European breweries quit with the clear glass bottles? The mouthfeel is fine. This is a medium bodied beer and is a good sessions ale.

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Photo of granger10
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one poured a light brown color and had chunks of yeast in it. The head was an off-white color and faded abruptly. The nose was kind of skunky and a little sweet, caramel. The taste was very bready up front. It also had a buttery slickness to it. Hops were very strong in the finish. A decent but very unspectacular brown ale.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany brown with a thick off white head, decent lacing. Aroma is of hops and malt and a hint of caramel. The taste is fair. Starts off with a nice malt flavor to a dry hop finish. The finish is a bit sour but not a nasty spoiled sour. There are slight hints of coffee and roasted malt in the flavor. Decent mouth feel , dirnkability is average. A good beer but nothing I would want to buy again ….unless it was on draft.

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

On tap at Eli Cannon's in Middletown, CT. I was excited to see this, so i could actually try an unskunked version of Hobgoblin (clear bottles). Anyways, the beer flowed out of the tap looking amber brown, with a nice head that quickly settled into a thin haze over the beer. Aroma is malty, with a hint of caramel and plenty of esters. Hops come through as well, in the english style. Goldings and Fuggles? Flavor is very nice. No skunkiness! Malty, with very mild small bubbled carbonation. Fairly sweet. Plenty of fruitiness, particularly pear, and perhaps a little white grape, but that might have just been from the dryness of the finish. Hops come through in the end of the sip, and finish the beer with a nice dryness. Beautiful balance, long finish, an excellent beer.

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Photo of Darkale
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany brown body, thick tan, pocked head. Aroma is musty, slightly earthy, with malt tones. Touch of chocolate or dry cocoa in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is chewy and dry.

Sharp and full of bitter chocolate and hops. Astringent. Aftertaste is sour but not unpleasant. There is also some spice in the aftertaste; this is odd, since I cannot detect much spice when I first put the beer in my mouth.

Good lacing. Taste is round and satisfying. A good, solid English ale. Sharp, peppery, balanced with chocolate and malt.

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

Nice full-bodied brew, smooth malty finish. Deep copper red, that poured with a good head and leaving no lace. The site has it with "a moderate hoppy bitterness" but it isn't that hoppy. As it warms it becames more mellow. A very good brown. Clear 500ml bottle and it did not affect the taste.

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Photo of xgrigorix
2.88/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with luminous red highlights. Small / tight white head quickly dissapates. Scents of flowers mixed with wisps if alcohol. Very pronounced malt character. Bready with some caramel. Flowery finish, dry and just slightly spicy. A very faint metallic note lingers long after the pint is gone. Not terribly complex, but a nice one if you'll be having a few for the evening.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

clear glass nice label shades of tan brown and black beige sticky head smell of dark malt and saaz-like hop taste is too dry needs some sweetness to cover the burnt flavor from the abundance of chocolate and roasted malts substantial body without being syrupy overall a decent scottish-ale-type brew

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This "English Ale" is Ruby/Cola in color with bubbly off-white head and trailing lace. Tea, berry and caramel w/ a slight alcohol aroma. Medium/full malty body and amply hopped with metallic, tea-like and citrus bitterness. A hint of berries inch forward. Chocolate notes can be detected with a little concentration. Smooth and well-rounded mouthfeel. Unique shaped bottle, but clear is so wrong!

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Photo of Beguiler
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I first encountered this ale when I went to the Great British Beer Festival in 2000, however I have to say I do not remember to much of that tasting since I consumed more then my share of ales that day. I have since had a bottle at my favorite drinking establisment and enjoyed it. It reminds me of a lot of the better tasting brown ales that I had in northern England . I did not notice a strong nose to it but it did a full malt flavor that I do like. There was that very english bitter flavor to it but that did not last. On the whole I would recomend this beer for some one that wants a beer with a lot of flavor but not heavy.

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

This came in a 500ml bottle with a picture of the creature it was named after on the front (honestly, the picture is what first drew me to this in the cooler). Poured a dark reddish-brown color with a very nice head with good retention. Aroma was similar to a brown ale, Newcastle to be exact, and had the "soft" nose characteristics of other English Ales. The taste begins as almost pure hop bitterness, however it quickly takes on a malty fruit-filled character and finishes off with a balance between the two. The way the flavors changes multiple times and with such contrast , all in one sip, is something I find unique about this ale. While it isn't something I would buy again, its worth a try and would likely be favorable to anyone that enjoys this particular style.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 60.1% out of 100 with 2,619 ratings
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