Hobgoblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

HobgoblinHobgoblin
BA SCORE
60.1%
Liked This Beer
3.76 w/ 2,617 ratings
HobgoblinHobgoblin
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom
wychwood.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#19,033
Reviews:
1,089
Ratings:
2,617
Liked:
1,574
Avg:
3.76/5
pDev:
13.56%
Alströms:
4.05
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
485
Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,617 |  Reviews: 1,089
Photo of mothman
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a stange.

Color is a dark dark coller amber, basically brown. Pours a very fluffy brown head, that leaves thick lace rings.

Smell is nutty and chocolatey. Taste is very similiar. It is rich and malty. There is also an earthy hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but creamy at the same time. It goes down easy and has great carbonation.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink beer. I really enjoyed this and I can see myself getting some more of this when I am looking for a brown ale. It represents the style quite well!

 534 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear, dark chestnut body reveals glimmering highlights of orange beneath a short but creamy head of ivory colored foam. The head retention is fairly good, and it holds well before dropping to a standard collar and whispy surface covering that leaves minor spotty lace about the pint. The nose reveals dark fruit (plum/prune, red grape/raisin); a smear of buttery diacetyl; an edge of iron-like minerals; and a dusting of dark chocolate. It's smooth and light across the palate with a delicate carbonation and medium-light body. The flavor is not as rich as the nose might suggest, but its lightly vinous fruit appears first on the palate, followed by some light notes of toffee, and some mild diacetyl and leafy hop in the finish. It's quite well balanced, and the bitterness simply balances what not-particularily-sweet malt is there. It's interesting, and has enough character and drinkability to make it a decent session ale.

 931 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle served in a snifter (original) and 500 ml bottle with a BB date stamp nearly 1 year from review date, purchased and served in Scotland (some minor revision).

Pours clear mahogany with a modest, semi-durable head.

Aroma: raisins and toffee with biscuit and bread base.

Flavor: Light grassy and herbal hop presence but dominated by toffee, bready and dark fruit elements. Slightly sweet overall but decent bitter/sweet balance. Approaches 4.

Feel: nice smooth mouth feel; good carbonation.

 507 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at BBC in Walpole. Another one of those beers I'm surprised I haven't reviewed yet.

Very light fizzy head covering as the beer is filled to the brim, clear mahogany brown amber colored.

Nose typical English brown, light brown malts, toasty and light biscuity, some brown sugar, and light esb like bittering hops.

Taste semi sweet earthy brown malts, light brown sugar, biscuity, light herbal earthy hops, even a bit creamy that gives that same feel and taste as nitro but isn't. The hops turn slightly grassy with the herbal, and mild bitterness, and even slightly estery. finishes a bit drier but not much, with a bit more grassy herbal hops, semi bitter, sticky sweet, brown sugar and brown malts.

Mouth is med bodied, bit creamy, decent carb.

Overall typical English brown ale, decent malts, sessionable, brown sugar, herbal grassy hops, nothing special but a classic at the same time.

 897 characters

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

 169 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/30/08 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, maple, nuts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with sweet flavors of caramel, maple, honey, roasted nuts and a little fruit. There's a decent hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter despite the sweet start.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if your in the mood for the style and especially with a meal.

 781 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of dcmchew
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into the same pint glass that it came packaged with.

Pours a clear dark amber with a couple fingers of dirty off-white head. Retention is GREAT, with a full, creamy layer across the top that left a huge latticework of lace. The aroma is a rich smelling malt sweetness and a surprising amount of dark fruits. I'm also picking up some light citrus notes as well as a light hop bitterness.

The taste is thick, sweet chocolate and caramel malts that's mixed with that same dark fruit presence that was in the aroma. It's not necessarily a tart dark fruit taste, actually giving off more of a sweet note that goes well with the malt. Finishes with some light hop bitterness that helps end things with a pop. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a full yet smooth feel.

The flagship beer from the Wychwood Brewery, I found this be a quite flavorful and easydrinking ale and one that is worthy of leading the charge against the rising "Euro Pale Lager" dominance in Great Britain.

 991 characters

Photo of Rifugium
2.68/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: bottle from Eulogy, Philly, PA

Clear brown color on this one, with a thin eggshell head. Nutty aroma, toasted grains, and sweet malts; a bit stale. Similar taste, with sweet malts, thinned out a bit, toasted grains and bread, lightly hopped. Light mouthfeel, pretty thin and lacking in flavor generally. Moderately drinkable if you're not looking for anything outrageously daring.

 392 characters

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

Copper color with beige head. Aroma has dark bread, brown sugar and light caramel notes. Taste is very balanced, malty but slightly bitter. Body is on the light side with good carbonation. Very easy to drink.

 208 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper witha chunky 3 fingers+ sand colored head. Good lacing and below average head retention

Smell: Intense fruitcake/Christmas pudding aroma

Taste: Caramel, frutiness, & toasted malt. Slight bitterness as it warms. Slightly sweet finish

MF: Good carbonation but oscillates between hints of thin and astringent to me

Drinkable, but just didn't pull together the way I know this ale can (on cask), i'm sure the clear bottle ain't helping the cause...

 474 characters

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

Crystal clear and dark amber in color. Light head which dissipates to a thin bubble layer. Spotty lace on the glass side.

Dark malts predominate the smell. There's a touch of "freezer" to it as well.

The initial taste has the slightless touch of sweetness. Afterward, it is quite dry. Astrigent and slightly bitter toward the end of the tasting. The aftertaste is mild with some chocolate notes. Moderate body with a high level of carbonation.

Bottom line: Pleasantly drinkable with some complexity.

 502 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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

Appearance: Clear brown body with a small, frothed, ivory-color head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted grain, nuts, and fruit. All of these notes are quite light, making for an overall pitiable scent.

Taste: Mild maltiness with a taste of toasted nuts and a light powdered sugar sweetness. Faint fruitiness. Minimal amount of hop bitterness that lingers into the watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: A little too bland, a little to lifeless.

 471 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Perfectly pellucid orangish bronze. The hobgoblin's cap is light beige with a hint of orange. It isn't the typical brown ale appearance, but more closely resembles a robust English pale ale. The head looks respectable enough, stays for a spell and leaves a few arching streamers of lace. Okay, but nothing special.

Surprise, surprise; I received a blast of skunk when popping the cap. It hasn't completely faded, but then the beer has only been breathing for a few minutes. Hobgoblin smells nothing like a brown ale. Dark ale? Maybe. I can appreciate moderately toasted grain, dark fruit and... lingering skunk. Sad to say, this beer isn't that far removed from what Bud Dark (please, may it remain a figment of my demented imagination) might smell like. It's better than that, but you get the idea.

Even though there's more flavor and more personality than the nose suggested there would be, this is still only so-so beer. Dark caramel/toffee is the dominant flavor with a little hoppy spiciness for good measure. Mildly sour dark fruit is present as well. Unfortunately, the flavor profile lacks even a modest amount of complexity.

The body/mouthfeel is light (I might be convinced to call it light-medium given the style). I have no doubt that the lack of flavor, the lack of depth and the truncated finish are due, in part, to the aqueous mouthfeel. Definite room for improvement.

I've stayed away from Wychwood beer until now for a host of reasons, clear glass bottles foremost among them. Overpricing is another. The bottles are well done with an attractive shape and embossed witches on broomsticks; as are the colorful, cartoony, Tolkeinesque labels. It has always looked to me, however, that the brewery is trying too hard, putting more emphasis on the packaging than the beer. Now that I've had my first bottle, I can't say that I was that far off the mark. I take back what I said about Bud Dark, but I have no desire to go hobnobbin' with this hobgoblin again.

 1,984 characters

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

 615 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark amber, pretty much brown with a nice one inch head that faded to reveal a thin film of lace. Nothing clinging to the glass, but not expecting it to. Smell was faint but nice. English malts and barley, nuts, oak, and grassy earthy tones predominate. The taste was pretty much what I expected, nice English Dark, well round and very sessionable, I could kick these back all night. Not the biggest taste profile but worth a try

 443 characters

Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 60.1% out of 100 with 2,617 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.