Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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1,074 Reviews

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
United Kingdom (England) | website

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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Reviews: 1,074 | Ratings: 2,554
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wychwood’s Hobgoblin has a very thick, creamy, beige head and a clear, brown appearance, with some thick, splotchy lacing. The aroma is of toffee, caramel, brown bread, and sugar, and the taste is likewise of those items, plus a decent hop bitterness and some orange flavor. Mouthfeel is medium and fluffy, and Wychwood Hobgoblin finishes delicious and highly drinkable. This is not too dry. Overall, it’s a very nice beer to drink.


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Photo of dmarch
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
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 Saint
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very pleasant brew. It pours very smooth and has a deep dark brown look when it is poured. It is just as smooth as you drink it, and with a slight chocolate taste to it, feels perfect for a late calm evening brew. Its all round a dark deep and rich, just as a good English Brown Ale should be. All around a enjoyable beer.

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Photo of konadrinker
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass

A- Poured a dark brownwith a small tan head and some lacing.

S- Malty sweetness and toffee with a light hop aroma.

T- Thick malt flavor with toffee, very smooth flavors.

M - Full and creamy with a lingering flavor with very little carbonation.

D- Smooth and easy drinker. A nice brown ale that would go well with a good steak or prime rib.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark copper color. Creamy light brown 1 finger head dead in around 3 minutes. Average legs and highly active.

Strong aromas and flavors of toffee, citrus and fruitiness with some herbal spices. Great combination of crisp sourness and thick sweetness taste with a earthy roasted nut feel.

Slick full body with perfect carbonation. Pleasant balanced finish ending with a sweet mouth coat and smoky bitter clove like aftertaste.

Overall : Tons of flavors and good freshness, well balanced excellent craft.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
4.37/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent, but dark chestnut brown with a medium foamy head. Reduces quickly, leaving some stringy lace.

Very nutty and malty in the nose. Mild burnt sugar and a little dark bread.

Starts malty, but before the sweetness has a chance to settle on the tongue, a nice rounded hop flavor hits from all sides. A touch roasty overall with a little coffee-like bitterness in the aftertaste. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light bodied. Very subtle carbonation. This beer is flavorful, but not filling or heavy at all.

An excellent English Brown in my opinion. I could drink these 'till I fell down.

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Photo of Premo88
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: dark orange/amber ... brown ... it's a fantastic array of darker colors, crystal clear; head is smallish and dissipates quickly, tan colored, does keep a nice collar; no sticking and very little lacing

S: buttery sweet malt with a good English ale fruitiness (peach, apricot) ... fruit note is almost toasted, again the malt showing through; after tasting it, I can start picking up the earthy hops in the nose, but they're very subtle; sour grain underneath

T: classic sweet/bitter dance of the good English ale ... the brew has plenty of sweeter malt flavors including bread, nuts and butter with a hint of sugar, and the fruit note in the nose comes across like a toasted peach in the flavor; a generic bitterness balances it, "generic" as in there's little flavor to the bitterness, just something bitter ... typical earthy hop note

F: solid all around, great carbonation for a good crispness that works well to my American palate ... love it

O: for the longest time I figured this brew was just a bit -- a subpar beer with a fancy label and cool name to help market it to the masses. it's much more than that. compared to the general array of English imports in my area, Hobgoblin is as good as any ... a nice English pale ale fruitiness mixed with a subtle-but-detectable earthy hop bitterness make it a pleasant quaff. it's a good beer and one I'll revisit.

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Photo of Mikeus
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a rocky two finger head which diminishes to a frothy lacing after the first couple of sips. Dark brown until light hits to reveal a deep copper hue.

Smell: Almonds and biscuit, with an undertone of coffee and a pinch of nutmeg at the last second.

Taste: A nice baked malt hits the front of the tongue and evolves to a nice wet brown sugar finish with a lingering of hops mixed with a bit of chocolate. Feel is somewhat full and softly carbonated. Continue drinking and the yeast will make itself known with whipped butter and oil.

Final thoughts: A supremely drinkable English brown which doesn't fill the stomach or dry the mouth. Signature sweet biscuit English malt flavor is gracefully balanced with a clean hop finish. My favorite English beer to date.

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Photo of pittvkyle7
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep brown with a little orangeish red coming through. White head that fades to a ring with just a little lacing.
S- Stong malts. brown sugar, toffee, chocolate, a little bready.
T- Wow great flavors. Again tons of malt, basicaly no hop untill the very end. chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, coffee, hazelnut, a little fruity too maybe apple I don't know.
M- medium body, creamy though, perfect for the style. It would be more smooth if the carbonation was lower.
D- low alcohol so very drinkable, also very tasty!

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Photo of Cryptic
4.34/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love dark beers and this one was really nice. I still think I enjoy New Holland Log Cabin better but this was a real close second. Enjoyed this immensely, and would consider buying this again. I think initially I had heard good things about this beer and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.34/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A very dark brown ale that can still bee soon through with a light carbonation a thin decipating foam head.

Smell- The smell on the beer is amazing smells like apples or grapes or some sweet fruity juice, obvious malts come ripping into your nostrils.

Taste- A tasty sweet dark ale, fruity tones and malty goodness which match what was picked up on the nose. Impressive flavor. A slight bitterness to help balance the sweetness you get upfront.

Mouthfeel- This is one smooth mutha sucka! It goes down incredibly soft and smooth. Very little carbonation.

Drinkability- A tad sweet for one I would drink session ably but still a very good beer that is a fine model of its style. Worth getting again for sure

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Photo of TCMike
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours, a nice reddish/dark brown color. Produced about a 2 finger beige head.
The aroma was of malt, caramel, and maybe a hint of cherry.
The taste was the same as the smell, but with a little bit of a creamy taste, and mouth-feel. Fairly low carbonation, and a medium mouth feel. No noticeable hops.
Very drinkable.

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Photo of claytri
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ale poured a thick opaque reddish brown with thin tan head. The aroma was light but smelled of sweet malt and dark fruits. The taste was very appealing it was truly sweet malt with a great cherry finish and a strong alcohol burn throughout. It's feel was thick and syrupy almost medicinal. I normally avoid beers with the most fanciful names. So I found myself in the Intermezza Cafe in Atlanta and the selections lacked a little umph. This ones promise of chocolate malt fet my thoughts and so it was ordered. I was pleasantly surprised as it was quite a treat.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

grabbing this brew so reminds me of my college days when we would jack some kegs to get the deposit money for a 9-pack of Hobgoblin. Ugh to be young! ... Ok, from a 16.9oz bottle

A- a dark, dark brew that leaves the "rocky mountain" head of foam that is only imagined. There is ridiculous carbonation slaughtering the glass

S- wow, wicked toffee and chocolate coffee. That is a malt backbone. Lack of hops though. Makes me wonder if there is brew out there that fits that profile

T- yup, that is a great example of western europe dark ale. Coffee,Toffee,Chocolate... all producing the desired malty experience. Sure, it's an English Imported Style... so grade that taste for what it is


D- not that much alcohol for a brew that delivers. Still, it's filling and delicious. I really enjoy having one of these

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Photo of killianf
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of DoktorZee
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been saving this one for a bit, but today was the day. I poured a 500ml bottle into custom Hobgoblin class (both contained in a special gift tube). The bottle noted it was best drunk before July 2010 (a few months away).

A - It was a deep rusty brown color, neither dense nor cloudy. It wasn't overly carbonated on inspection. It had a fairly voluminous head which disappeared fairly quickly.

S - on the nose it had very pleasing smells of caramel and roasted malts. It wasn't hugely potent.

T - very nice taste with a solid balance of toasty malts with strong caramel undertones. Very pleasing aftertaste, though without any real element of hops present.

M - was very good with light carbonation. It was lighter than the color would suggest, but also very smooth.

D - this one is dangerously drinkable; goes down very easy, perhaps too easy.

This is definitely a beer I'd like to keep around for future sessions. Very enjoyable drink.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Liquor Shed in Casper for US$10.45 a 6pack.

This pours from 12oz brown bottle a dark amber bordering on brown with a good 1 finger head of foam and it has some good lacing.

The smell is of caramel and roasted malt and there's some fruit going on there as well....nice nose.

The taste is a nice big load of caramel malt up front...very tasty. After another sip, I get a touch of roasted malt, a healthy biscuit presence, and a surprising amount of fruit...especially when I swish it in my mouth. Cherries, some fig, a little bit of citrus. Very tasty indeed. I've had this before so it comes as no surprise that I'll probably end up giving it a good review. lol

Bottom line: This is a tasty brew....more flavours than I'd expect from a typical English Brown Ale and they work well together. At least to my palate. Will I buy this again? It looks pretty in the glass, has a good inviting nose, is very flavourful, has a good mouthfeel, and is pretty darned drinkable...yep. I sure will.

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Photo of Fladder
4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown, still transparent and quite clear. Didn't pour with much head.

Very prominent spice character that I would expect only in doppelbocks, but it swells out of the glass into a strong vapor like few other beers. Really sucks me into the drink.

The strong spice of the smell initially drives itself like a dull spike into the center of the tongue and spreads out with a dry, rough hay-like flavor. There are hints of salmiakki and a good backbone of bitterness. I like it.

This beer is dry and a bit heavy and sticky. It feels a bit heavy by the end of the pint, but it sits well in the stomach.

This beer takes a doppelbock as its base and adds the complexity of an ale and extra bitterness. I've had this beer a few times, with many months in between tastings, and each time I've come to the conclusion that this is one of the essential beers that everyone must try.

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Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Lark in East Northport, New York.

Poured a dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light doughiness, some caramel and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of clean toasted malts, nuttiness, an herbal hop and a touch of smoke at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty and complex ale.

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

appearancea - Nice dark ruby color, poured a nice head and left some lace.

smell - Toffee and malt.

taste - Nice mellow malt taste, not too sweet, not much hops.

mouthfeel - Medium body with some carbination.

drinkability - Very nice malt drink, not too sweet. Balanced right enjoyed it.

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Photo of c1377
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At cellar temp, this was poured from a brown bottle into a stein.
The color is dark, and the lacing hints of brown.
The aroma is very malty with caramel/chocolate undertones and just enough hop for the overall effect to be... wholesome.
Very smooth (nearly thin and slippery) and sweet malt flavor, not at all chewy or bitter. One might describe this as an English Altbier.
This could be a great beer for introducing craft brew to others. I would say that this is a highly quaffable brew with a satisfying aftertaste. As the beer gets flat, it becomes overtly sweet like wort. Drinking this cold, poured over dry ice could do wonders for this brew...

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Photo of 6stringfunk
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Deep brown with a tint of red. Head is light tan.

Smell: malts. Light hints of chocolate.

Taste: Taste of malts, chocolate, coffee. Slightly sweet in the best possible sense.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Creamy

Drinkability: A could drink these all night. I hesitate giving it a 5 just because I'm new to beer drinking, but it's at the top of my list for drinking. Not the most complex taste, but a very satisfying beer. I wish now I didn't share my bottle with a friend. ;)

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

I picked this up on a whim, before I had had anything else from Wychwood, and I was profoundly impressed.

Appearance is a very solid, but clear, brown. Head dissapated fairly fast, within the first minute of pouring. Not as much carbonation as I'm used to. Definately the weakest field of this beer.

Smell was nice, malty, nutty, a tiny hint of something sweet. Not alot going on though, good but average.

Taste was great. A malty carmel with a tiny hint of something sweet, coffee would be my guess. Flavor was bittersweet, and lasted quite a bit on my pallate.

Mouthfeel was interested. It felt a tad thick to me, however it was smooth and went down well. Here the lack of carbonation was a good thing, and in retrospect I'm glad it had less, as this beer wouldn't be as smooth if it had more.

Drinkability is high. I'd recommend this beer with a dinner of say, stew or really anything beef. Definately rich so I wouldn't have more than a few at a time.

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

I love the beer label on this one.

Dark brown with hints of red and light carbonation. This is a nice, creamy, lightly malted ale that goes down smooth and mellow. Slight hoppiness, not the predominant flavor here. Nutty tones and muted, subtle sweetness round out this cozy offering.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.71 out of 5 based on 2,554 ratings.
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