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 jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
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 -22.4%
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 -18.3%
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 +12.4%
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 -2.2%
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 -4.3%
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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Photo of canadianbarman
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

**My 4th review**
This beer was so cool looking on the shelf that I just had to give it a try. I opted for drinking staight out of the bottle for no reason other than the bottle (and label) are interesting.
--My only complaint was that it seemed a bit skunky. I don't know if this was because it was skunky or because that is the ways it is supposed to taste. I am a long time beer drinker but a rookie reviewer, and am not sure on this. It was still not bad and, if fresh I am sure I would absolutelly enjoy this beer. Draft would be awesome, or maybe even in a non clear bottle. I would definetally give this beer a second chance.
**Thanks for reading**

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.33/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Asides from the cool, axe weilding label, the only thing going for this beer is the colour and the smell. I got a fresh bottle, so skunkiness was nonexistent as it was for some reviewers. Beautiful, dark amber glow I fell in love with. Aroma was sweet enough to be pleasant, but not so sweet that it smells like a calorie stuffed dessert. That was all I enjoyed from this beer. It tasted bland. I"d give it a lower taste score, but after a few sips, I guzzled it. Then guzzled, it tastes okay, but not enough to save it. Mouthfeel was sticky, chewy and dry. Drinkability? No way will I ever be drinking this beer again. Which sucks. I really wanted to like this beer. Don't know why, but really, I did. Oh well.

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Photo of Viking
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, clear, garnet-colored body, with just a bit of apparent CO2. Not much of a head, and that fades pretty quickly, though a fine lace stays atop the beer nearly until the end. Malty chocolate aroma with spicy, floral hops. Hints of fruit present as well. Rather hoppy flavor - spicy and somewhat fruity - with a smooth malt backing. Chocolate flavor is subdued, but comes through strong in the finish where it blends with a rich fruity flavor. Mouthfeel a bit thin, but somewhat saved by an oily hop finish. Very interesting ale. I'd purchase again if it didn't come in clear bottles.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark amber/reddish color. hints of chocolate are immediately apparent in the smell and the taste. coffee flavouring is not so apparent in the smell but is definitely noticeable in the flavour. a very smooth ale. i bought this on a whim as i had a friend who enjoyed it quite a bit and i can now say the same. a good english brown.

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

Hobgoblin lives up to it's name. It's a little known beer that causes a great uproar in your mouth. It has a nice golden brown color to it and has a golden taste. The taste is somewhat remeniscent(sp?) of a chocolate malty flavor mixed with fruit which is deep and strong. It has a good head to it and, ofcourse isn't carbonated and comes off fresh. Give it a try and you'll be suprised.

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Photo of jtw5877
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown hue with a white/tan head, possibly a little bit light stuck due to a slight skunkiness in the smell. A good english brown ale, nothing that knocks my socks off. A very cool bottle however.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Points for a cool label and name. Very pretty dark amber color with a thick beige head. Light skunk aroma buried the malt and caramel that should have been more within reach. Luckily my bottle wasn't lightstruck long enough for the flavor to be affected as well. Even so, the flavor was a little unbalanced on the buttery/malty side. There was a slight nutty and hoppy flavor but not enough in my opinion. This wasn't too bad but I won't be rushing out to get it again.

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Photo of MTMugs
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice color; poured well. The head held nicely. But it wasn't the ale taste that I expected. Not hoppy at all. It was a very hot day and it did hit the spot. But for the price and the availability of other brews...I'd choose something else the next time.

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Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good attention getter label,nice malty/chocalate beginning,with some fruit flavor in the end.Smell was a little musty on mind,but the appearance and taste was real nice.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

nice looking bottle anyways.... even if it sometimes gives skunk.
It pours with a 2cm head that dissipates to a persistent thin layer of tan foam. The colour is amazing, a beautiful deep dark coppery red. The taste is smooth, with some bitterness, and also a nice sweet leading edge. Certainly something I would drink again.

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Photo of tigerpaws
2.96/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

LOL as with previous post I have to agree this beer has a very bad scent or should I say smell to it. Not impressed with the color either was very opaque. The taste saved it somewhat, while it didn't have near enough hops for me, my friend said it was very bitter. I will drink this brew agian but won't go out of my way for it...........CHEERS

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Photo of mickeymac
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As with Wychwood's Fiddler's Elbow, I got a big noseful of skunk, probably because of the clear bottle. It's got a decent sweet malt flavor with a hint of hops. A slight amount of chocolate comes through. It seems a bit thin.

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Photo of rastaman
2.32/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

One of the smellliest beers i've ever had, kind of had a rotten smell, which didn't really make me want to drink, but to my surprise, it was OK, quite malty, and bitter hop finish, just a bit strange. Oh yeah, lose the clear bottles.

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

Pours a reddish-brown color, with a solid tan head. On the nose there are aromas slight hops and a pinch of chocolate could be detected after reading the description on the back label. On the palate hops, nutty, slight caramel, and rounds out with some fruitiness. Mouth feel is smooth. Overall good stuff, but a bit high in price.

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Photo of John
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz. bottle. Rich ruby colored brew...impressive appearance. Nice bubbly cascading effect when poured. Lumpy head reduces to a persistent layer of tan foam. Sweet wort, caramel and hoppy aroma. Slick and full on the palate. Chocolate malt is evident as well as molasses with an orangey hoppy flavor in the finish. I'd love to try this cask conditioned.

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Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 oz clear English looking bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep reddish copper with a patchy spidering light tan lace that holds its own.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee with hints of malt sweetness and a buttery nose from the yeast.

Taste: Close to being silky smooth with a nice fullish body. Malt sweetness is dominant in the front though soon lets in some vague nutty and chocolaty flavours with a slightly subdued hop bitterness. More chocolate flavours become noticable as well as a light buttery yeasty finish.

Notes: A tasty rounded and full bodied brown ale.

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Photo of Reverand
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off love the label and bottle design! Wychwood certainly has some colorful labels. Hobgoblin has great deep brown color with very little head. Taste was really good most dark beers taste heavy but not this one.

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Photo of inebrius
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky, dark amber with a slight lace. Initially fruity nose gets lost in a sea of malts. Toasted hazelnut malt body finishes with a hint of hop and fruity-ester. Creamy-mellow form makes this Brown a drinker.

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Photo of AaronRed
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A really nice, malty brown ale. A slightly buttery flavor, combined with a smooth chocolate taste, made this beer very easy to drink.

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