Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

1,079 Reviews

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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Reviews: 1,079 | Ratings: 2,579
Photo of ReebShorts
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark Brown color, some light coming throught the narrower portion of the glass, 1 fiinger off-white head, tight bubble, faded to slight layer with island effect.

Pretty potent aroma was evident from several feet away on the pour. Buttery malt, spices, pine, and fig.

Taste was ok, malts were up front, and there was something earthy/grassy also. A bit too sweet and lingering for my taste.

Mouthfeel was a bit watery.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

is this really an english brown ale?
dark amber color, almost brown, large tan head, tiny bubbles, almost stout looking head, leaves a thin top on the beer.
sharp, tangy malt smell.
coffee/toffee taste, sweet malt, quick hop bite, and a tinge of hidden cherry in there later in the glass. lovely ale taste.
little or no carbonation, classic english ale.
medium, slick, glides over the mouth, i've always liked this beer.


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Photo of nortmand
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First, the key to this beer is getting the gift pack, which just came out at the liquor store. Other than that, on-tap is the only way to get this non-skunky.
Pours tawny browm with some off white foam and a tad bit of lacing.
Smell is creamy chocolate not much hop presence.
Flavor follows suit, but with a bit more creamed corn flavor.
Really quite drinkable, just not too exciting.

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

A tad too sweet. Which i guess by definition makes it cloying.

Pretty representative of the style, as far as i've experienced it. It's just not a style that excites me very much. It has some body and flavor, but it's pretty bland as craft beer goes.

Preferable to all macro lagers. But not something i plan on revisiting again anytime soon.

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

Looks pretty good...nice very light, clear chestnut-ruby colour. Off-tan head is very active, with a mix of tight to loose bubbles. Recedes somewhat slowly, leaving an attempt at lace that looks like it;s going down with the head.

Sweet smell- light and malty, with a bit of brown sugar, orange, yeast, and hops.

The flavour is a little round and fruity- but at the same time, has an element not unlike burned sugar, that hits sometimes at the front of the tongue, sometimes at the back. It seems a little too tangy for its own good at times- at others a little too fruity. Overall, it's not too bad. Not world class, but I rather enjoy this one.

The liquid is just a little thick, which is rather nice- and the carbonation, while obvious, is not overbearing.

Very drinkable, IMO. I wouldn't turn down a second one, anyway.

Be well

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Photo of garymuchow
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma shows English style malt of some darkness with mild toastiness, slightly sweet. Not unpleasant.
Brown with reddish amber. Pretty clear. Decent head. Seems to look as it should.
Taste an extension of aroma with a fair amount of bitterness from mid to finish. Pleasant enough tasting, but not esp. bold, unique or interesting.
Seems somewhat thin with a water quality. Carbonation is fairly soft and balanced well.
Nothing really bad about this. Could do well with food I would think.
Thanks Mark.

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Photo of Bestuurder
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark, almost black, in colour with a slightly offset yellow head. Very thick head, though lacing set in very quickly.

Fairly pleasant aroma, though lacks the chocolate aroma that it so deserves.

Full taste, and thick mouthfeel. Chocolate is very descent and not overpowering. Taste is well balanced and fairly even.

You oculd easily drink three or four of these in a couple of hours, but begins to get heavy after a few. Really fills you up.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Brown with some slight ruby hints. Aromas are of black licorice, rose, apple, and some soft fruit. The flavors are fairly malty, with some minor grassy hop notes, and some roasted malt and chocolate making a brief appearance. However, there is very little body to this beer at all, and not much of a finish to speak of. Overall, quite disappointing.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Steve's Liquor here in Madison. 500 ml clear glass bottle with a cool curvy design, that clear bottle though...methinks it contributed to a skunky little brew here.

Pours a standard brown ale amber with dark garnet highlights, a nice tan head and some lacing. Smell is a little off-putting at first, adjuncty macro corn/Heineken skunk fades into caramel malts. Taste sadly does the same, skunky then caramel malts, maybe a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is crisp, body is a little light. Overall, the skunky Heineken aspect of this beer kind of drowned out the sweet caramel malty tones that I like in a brown. I can't help but think those damn clear bottles that British breweries love to use adds to this unfortunate characteristic. Has potential, but just didn't do much for me.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear glass bottle from a fresh unopened case delivered to my local store. The owner allowed me to pick my bottle from the center so I am certain that I got this in as good condition as is possible.

Pours a deep clear brown ale. Held up to the light you see a wonderful garnet red highlighting.

Smell is big malt and British ale fruitiness. Other smells, a bit of grass, a trace of sulfur, and faint herbalness.

Taste is very malty and fruity from the very start. Dry in flavor there is a strong herbal hop flavor and a trace of butter. Fairly bitter in flavor there is also faint coffee flavor from dark roasted malt. A tasty ale in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty and drinkable ale. This has a nice strong flavor that isn't fatiguing on the tongue.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head above the clear dark amber brew. Head fades quite slowly, with excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is balanced of grains and hoppiness. Taste is light maltiness upfront, and as with the nose, well balances, but with a bit of an aftertaste that I can't put my finger on. Not off, but not exactly a benefit either. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both average to good, but could even be a bit better if the close was smoother. Nice brew nonetheless, which I imagine would be even better on handpull.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great lablel.Poured a reddish-brown color with a tannish puffy head. Smell is of malt (dark fruit-cherries, plums) and a hint of coffee. Taste is fruity malt with little hops noted. Finish is very light and leaves a mild malt sweetness in the mouth. Easy to drink.

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Photo of niangelo
2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Chateau Louis in Edmonton in the 500ml glass bottle, served in a pint-glass.

Poured a smoky ruby-brown with a little head... smells fairly skunky, but faints of once it sits for a bit. Mouthfeel is nothing special, a tad watery with some dancing carbonation.

Taste is initally a little skunky, but this fades immediately, leading to a solid malt feel with a toasted finish and dates in between. Nothing that really spins my cap. Too expensive, there's way better local stuff for cheaper.

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Photo of Redrover
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 ML Clear glass bottle. Love the label and the raised design on the bottle, hate the clear glass part…. No freshness dating.

Beer pours a clear reddish brown with a lingering small tan head.

The beer smells of slightly toasted malts and some fruit.

The taste is slightly sweet with hints of fruit (apples) and just a bit of roasted malt. Turns a bit sour late. Low but noticeable hop levels.

I like the low levels of carbonation. Average enough drinker, but I would prefer something a bit more complex. I wonder if this one is better if it didn’t have to make a trip across the pond. Perhaps a road trip is in order?

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Photo of battlekow
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice mahogany, maple syrup color. A little ring of foam is all you've got for a head for most of the glass, with spotty lacing. Smells malty and little raisiny. Taste is really sweet, malty with some prunes. Finish is a little roasted. Weak, dead mouthfeel. Nothing to see here, folks.

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Photo of Higravity
2.61/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What a unpleasent little English beer. Nice label, about the best thing about this beer. It comes out of a clear bottle and into a IMperial pint glass. Pours like water and looks like a standard brown and I got a ok head of off white fluff. After the head sank quickly I was smelling the beer and it has a slight sulfur smell that distract from the decent malt. Drinking it is somewhat of a challegne as it is yet another slated British beer, not too bad like Sammy Smith's but I think the sulfur smell might come from one of these. The hops are pleasently mild and the malt was not too malty and I am quite sure there was some adjuct sugar used in making this. At least this beer is thin so I could chug the rest. Don't bother with this beer.

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Photo of mortarit
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Hazy medium brown with and small,mostlydiminishing, tight head.
Has marketing abilities with the label name.

Smell: Malt sweetness is most dominant among aromas, but I also detect, chocolate, caramel, earth, cherry and grape. Slightly metallic though it carried the english style.

Taste: It has a slight initial english taste that fades to reveal a flavor that follows the aroma with malts being in the forefront, but no real noticeable hops backing it up.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, watery texture, very low carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall, it was good… but bland. It started out alright, but finished off rather lacking in character. Don’t think I’ll be having this again, especially considering the price.

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Photo of whynot44
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, dark coppery brown with a decent ivory head.

Aroma is malty with hints of toast, maple syrup or brown sugar, and coffee.

The taste is somewhat sweet - again hints of maple or brown sugar - with biscuits, coffee and maybe a hint of chocolate at the finish. Some hints of smoke along the way and a bit of hops bite at the end..

Very drinkable, especially for cooler weather. A bit sweet and heavy for hot weather. Great label. Don't forget this one for Halloween.

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Photo of jp32
2.39/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This one pours much darker than I expected. Dark brown with copper-colored accents. There is virtually no head retention at first, but a little begins to appear as I make my way through the glass. The aroma is subtle. I notice a faint nut smell alongside extra-sweet malts. The taste is a little wild. There's a lot more going on in my glass than I thought there was. The overwhelmingly sweet malt flavor is definitly in command of this ship, but there are some hops, raisins, dried fruit and nuts, and maybe hints of toffee and chocolate as well. Almost one too many flavors crammed into a bottle. Interesting, though I'm not so sure all the different tastes in this beer are mixing well on my palate. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, maybe more. It could use a little more carbonation. The intense flavor gives this beer a rough drinkablility. I'd have a hard time knocking back a whole lot of these. Not bad by any means, just hard to really put em down.

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Photo of Luigi
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

RIch dark ruby color and a sticky tan head. Smells like hints of chocolate, toffee, and fruit. Silky mouthfeel. Malts are dominant up front. Hints of toffee and fruits. A little chocolate malt can be found as the beer warms a bit. Hop bitterness is light but balances out the maltiness just enough. A dry slighty buttery aftertaste. A damn good Brown ale. Well worth the $3.50 a pint.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small, light khaki colored head left a decent smattering of lace. Transparent, chestnut colored beer with an orange hue. Mild floral and hoppy tea aroma. Flavor is mild and clean as well. Pale malts and english tea hop flavor. Midway through it becomes just barely bitter. Finish is pretty clean, just a bit of lingering hops. Very nice beer that became more enjoyable halfway through the first glass.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark red with small amounts of foam covering the top. The head dissipated quickly without leaving a trace.
Smelled a slight amount of dark fruit and sweet malt. Nuance tone of toffee but nothing over the top.
I'm not the biggest fans of brown ales but I really liked this one. Toffee, some plum and a hint of yeast. Dark chocolate and very subtle hops finished the drink.
Overall I liked this beer. A good brown ale that leaves the mouth clean with a refreshing taste and feel,

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Photo of beertaster13
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown with a tannish head that dwindles to lacing. The clear bottle definetely had an effect on this brew. A nice roasted nut glazed with caramel aroma, hints of deep fruit, plums and alcohol aroma, hints of caramel muffin. The taste is suprisingly light, hints of plum and caramelized nectar, Honey bread with sugar. Medium bodied but goes down and refreshes, very refreshing for dark ale, Not as thick as most. While this is not the best brown I have had, it's not bad, I can imagine this being very nice straight from the source, the trip across seems to have gotten to this one.

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Photo of weeare138
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with a red tone. A 1 finger tan head fades to the center and outer rims of the glass. Small spots of lacing cling to the glass.
Smell is of sweet toffee, fruit, and nuts with an unsettling skunky grain aroma mixed into the mix..
Taste is of smooth toffe with a slight bitterness that is compimented by the fruitiness that seems to smooth things out.
Mouthfeel is very English Ale like as it is medium bodied and sweet with a bitterness that doesn't creep up or linger too long.

It's ok, dog.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. brown bottle.

Dark brown in appearance with red undertones and a white collar.

The smell is unsettling: uric acid, dank and funky, sweet malts hidden behind the stench.

Medium body with lively carbonation. Classic English flavors, a fruity ale with mellow hops and the typical metallic flavor from hard water. Yeast is also noticable in the taste.

Nothing stand out about this beer, nothing wrong but the smell.

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Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.71 out of 5 based on 2,579 ratings.
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