King Goblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

very good
169 Reviews
no score
Send samples
King GoblinKing Goblin

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AEK on 09-26-2010

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 451
Photo of Offa
4.92/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is wonderful, somewhat like a stronger, richer Hobgoblin, which I love anyway.

Bright deep red copper-brown, with a big tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, foamy top, some nice lace.

Aroma is lots of nutty, toasty barley and bread crust, caramel, rich earthy leafiness, overall very bright and aromatic in character.

Taste is wonderful, complex, balanced with nutty-toasty bread crust, dried fruits, caramelized fruit, grain and tea, with a lot of earthy-tea bitterness to balance the sweetness, along with wood, spice, and herbal hints.

 552 characters

Photo of santomark
4.74/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I must admit, I'm a huge fan of the original Hobgoblin and I wish they had more of their lineup here in Los Angeles County.

A - Looked very amberish, not a lot of head with very mild lacing.

S - This thing smelled amazing, coffee tones, nice breathe of citrus hops, a tad malty, pretty much what I judge English Ales by now.

T - I didn't think it got better than hobgoblin, but this is tastes like everything that makes Hobgoblin unique, only this crazy taste bud foursome happening on the palate. Very dark tasting, coffee, malts, spic and citrus from the hops, a tad more sweeter, but a great malty, hoppy finish. I was absolutely left coming back for more sips.

M - Nicely balanced, not a heavy beer. You can definitely get through a few of these and not feel like you drank maple syrup. Great carbonation, nothing too much like soda and nothing to little to have it flatten out.

O - This is one of my favorite beers. I loved this brew and how it's Hobgoblin all grown up. I wish they had more of their selection out here. I love Wychwood! I'm a fan boy forsure!

 1,072 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.67/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very nice English Strong Ale, complex aroma and flavour. Also very affordable and easy to get in Mexico. Pours deep amber with a very mild white foam head, strong character is present, smell and taste is malty in profile.

 221 characters

Photo of Phocion
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imperial pint poured into a 20 oz. nonic. Pours a dark, semi-transparent copper with two fingers of very rocky, off-white head. Ton of bubbles in the beer, and sticky lacing.

Aroma is primarily toffee, bready, nutty, and toasted malts. Slight doughy yeastiness and earthy hops in the background.

The taste follows the nose pretty well, with the exception of the grassy hops coming out a bit more. Fairly complex; sweet but not overbearing with a sour/tarty finish.

Medium-bodied with fairly light carbonation. Just slightly chewy and very smooth and creamy.

Hobgoblin has been a long-time favorite of mine and ESBs are one of my preferred styles. This is definitely one of the better and more sessionable (despite the 6.6% ABV) ones I've tried. Now...hopefully I can find more.

 783 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.62/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice mid-deep copper color with great initial head, non-lasting, and a bit of nice lacing. Great scent, very citrusy and deep malty aromas. Great taste, a huge malty backbone that's deep and strong; great earthy fuggle hops up front with a very slight citrus tone at the end; hints of chocolate and caramel in the flavor. Goes down wonderfully smooth with just a bit of hop roughness. Great beer.

 409 characters

Photo of clickpush
4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought in New Jersey at some store in Lambertville.
Pour: 500ml bottle to tulip glass. Clear, golden/copper, highly carbonated body topped with off-white head, starting at two fingers and slowly reducing.

Nose: Very faint aroma. Sourdough, biscuits, minerality.

Mouth: YUM!! Lightly hoppy, grassy, chewy biscuits. Lingering tasty bitter flavor, some caramel, cinnamon. Oh my! Grassy, hoppy, citric. I could drink this over and over again. Feel is a combination of crisp and creamy, delighting my pallet.

Powerhouse of a beer. I want more!!

 542 characters

Photo of AEK
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

King Goblin, 500ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin pint pot. B.B.E 30/4/11

Wychwood states that this beer is only ever brewed on a full moon. According to their website this style is classed as a Special Reserve so I have put it in the ESB category.

A. Deep red/ copper coloured ale topped by a nice white head. Head retention is very good.

S. Raisins, plums, pruney, some candy sweetness and alcoholic warmth.

T. Chocolate and some floral notes (if that is how flowers taste!). Similar to Hobgoblin but with this beer you certainly get the extra strength. Strong alcohol warmth is present.

M. Surprisingly a bit on the thin side given its alcohol content.

D. Hobgoblin's BIG brother. Although it is available year round it is a good winter warmer. A little pricey but still nice to have one every so often.

 830 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Very nice deep copper coloring with red hues in the background and super clear! The carbonation cascades to the top immediately and appears aggressive but really seems to be mellow in the end. The head is exceptional....being two fingers thick and retention is very ideal....eggshell in color! The lacing is nice as well, if not always, the artwork, label and bottle contribute in a positive manner to the appearance.

S- The aromas are of modest booziness, bready/fruity smells of alcohol steeped berries and/or dates....somewhat tart best explains this. The alcohol is somewhat rummy yet fresh and perhaps of slight wood. Slightly caramel/molasses in sweetness with an Earthy note on the finish....interesting!

T- There is a medley of flavor happening here....toasty nuts, yeasty bread notes, slightly tart fruits, caramel sweet malts and the finish is of leafy, yet mild hop cones.....smooth Earthiness all around and the alcohol is noticeable but not offensive. Aftertaste is clean, smooth and crisp, which defies the richness of the flavor profile as it sits on the palate.

M/O- Surprisingly, this is light in body, but the flavors make it seem like more....the carbonation is plentiful, and zingy on the palate, yet maintains wee tight bubbles that once they explode, the flavors really dig into the palate! It is well noticed that this was brewed during a full moon.....think of it as a super charged Hobgoblin Ale.....excellent color, great aromas and taste make this another winner from Wychwood....thank you to the mystical world of this brewery!

 1,582 characters

Photo of TippySelenoid
4.41/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

It's a clear amber with a foamy off white head. Wonderful lacing.

It's carmely and molassesy. bready,

It's got a nice roasted toffee taste. Not as buttery as Hobgoblin. Some molasses in the middle. The hops lend a nice bite to the finish.

A bit lighter than medium bodied. Lots of tiny carbonation. Smooth and soft.

This beers better than Hobgoblin. I'm a fan of traditional English beers, and this is another one that I've really enjoyed.

 470 characters

Photo of dionisio
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer tastes like I'm drinking an antique shop, but in a good way. It also tastes exactly like its color, and its color is something that takes me back to before I was born. And it's so beautiful, too. It looks like it really IS something. Looking at this beer, and then drinking it, and then looking at it again, and then drinking it again... it helps to counter nihilistic perspectives. This beer is that sort of thing.

 425 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

King Goblin is a ruddy dark red color. Once poured, it's capped by a tan head just about a finger tall that shows good retention. Patchy lacing has some legs to it and is pretty plentiful on the glass.
The aroma has the hearty earthiness I expect with a lightly alcoholic undertone. There's an herbal note prevalent as well. A particular nuttiness brings it all together as distinctly English, with a sweetness that's a little more subtle than it is in the flavor. It's good, but it needs to be unwrapped a bit.
And the flavor is. After a nice toasty note, it's strongly earthy with the same herbal element in a gentle bitterness countered by caramel and a touch of something like brown sugar but without imparting that sweetness after it, which is instead provided by caramel and toffee notes from malts. Nuttiness continues to pull through and a very light dash of peppery spiciness rounds it out into a taste that's complex and one in which all the the complementary elements hold their own and meld into one great substance.
This beer is remarkably smooth, making a real pleasure to drink, especially considering that the smoothness is balanced by a light crispness that doesn't wane to give in to the creamy texture, but comes alongside it very nicely.
This is simply great stuff, and in my list of the top English Strong ales to date.

 1,340 characters

Photo of GabesAles
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer had decent head retention, decent lacing and good mouthfeel - nice brown color, a nice hop profile both on bitterness and taste/aroma. Good bold taste and well balanced. I quite enjoyed this one, and would buy this again, overall: another nice product from Wychwood

 275 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like the standard Hobgoblin ale, been drinking these ales since I lived in California back in 2001. Pours a deep ruby chestnut amber with a light khaki head, forms thick nicely retained head dwindling slow leaving behind speckled lacing with each sip. Aroma has a nice rolling fruitiness rich malt character with a touch of caramel and dark fruit with hint of a vinous/tart white grape character. Flavor is pretty dry a herbal tea earthy herbal hop character going through with each sip, moderate dark roasted malt character. A nice balanced beer not overtly sweet or one dimensional in anyway which makes for a nice fall beer. Pretty boozey for an English ale, compared to other fall seasonal ales. Again easy to drain the 500 ml bottle and completely enjoyable, my kind of English ale.

 796 characters

Photo of vladdswrath
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red amber with smallish head that disappears quick but manages to lace the glass, although it's a pretty feeble lace. Aroma is very sweet and a hair of nuts and fruits, reminiscent of the better brown ales that I've had. Flavor wise, it's as sweet as it smells...but it's not heavy like a lot of the dessert stouts, so I feel like I could put a couple of these down and not feel sick about it later. Mouth feel is a little thin, but in this case I think it helps the brew stay out of the desert box. One of my favorites...

(Supposedly this is the same as Hobgoblin Ale, but brewed under a full moon. It's 50 cents more, but I'm glad to pay it, as I don't want to anger the moonbeams and ruin the brew.)

 718 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Malty rich yet highly drinkable, Wychwood's scaled up version of Hobgoblin puts this classy brown ale's body and boldness on par with today's advanced American brown ales.

Pouring a very clear and solid brown color, the beer allows for ruby highlights and heightened visual weight. Dense off white foam tops the glass in a most creamy appearance. Light lace adorns the glass wall. This is one handsome beer.

Moderate aromas seem light compared to what's expected in taste. Chocolate, toffee, nuttiness, light woods, spicy earthiness, subtle fruitiness, and malted milk work into the aromatic mix with a meldedness and maturity that's inviting and almost seductive.

Very malt and richly flavored with medium toast, light coffeeish roast, deeply caramelized toffee, walnuts, bark, mild cherry and apple esters, and a balance of earthy spice from hops fade from mid palate to clean bitterness late. Flavors which are rich early seem to mellow into a true malted finish with grassy bitterness that linger into the aftertaste.

Creamy and robust with just enough carbonation to accent the fullness in texture. But with the all the flavors that swirl across the mid palate, the beer lightenes and leaves much of it's complexity and weight at the mid portion of the taste and only allow for a semi-dry maltiness, crisp hop dryness, and mild alcohol evaporative warmth to finish the beer. The beer marches wonderfully from sip to finish.

With a mere 6.6% abv., the beer is much more akin to a more robust English brown ale than Southern browns usually exhibit, but as the trend upwards in gravity, strength, and flavor continue, perhaps this is the new stride in English browns. ...and Wychwood can say that they were there first.

 1,726 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this a few weeks back when I visited my buddy Nate in Dayton, Ohio. I picked this up at Papa Joe's Payless Liquors in Richmond, Indiana. I am a big Hobgoblin fan and had never seen this before so I had a mild freakout in the store. I haven't seen it since either. Review conducted from notes.

Color is an even brown with roasty red highlights (I realize that sounds stupid, but that's what I wrote). No lace and lots of visible carbonation. The smell is bubblegum over a vague graininess and some late bitterness.

Features a mature, full bodied flavor and aftertaste but has too much carbonation, especially at the outset. Light in texture and easy drinking. Complex with nice balance. A well crafted heir to the Hobgoblin throne.

 739 characters

Photo of Curiosibeer
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another visit to the Siegburg store, another 3 (!!) beers for the collection. Good thing is that there is always a good rotation in relation to what the man has for sale. The first choice was this beauty, the King Goblin Special Reserve. The brewers, Wychwood Brewing Company, says that is produced only during periods of full moon.
It has a beautiful ruby color, with good creamy foam. The aroma is quite hoppy, with hints of ginger and a touch of caramel. The flavor is strong, sweet-sour, fruity and well hopped. The 4 types of hops used in its manufacture are well present in this beer.
It should be served at cellar temperature, between 8 and 12 degrees, in a goblet.

 672 characters

Photo of xShoWTeKx
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Color is a dark copper, has about a 1 and a half finger off white head and has bubbles rising throughout. Head dissipates quickly leaving light lacing.

S: Muscadine, caramel, toffee, bread/grain, little alcohol.

T: Toffee/caramel, bready, muscadine, with a light alcohol presence in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

O: Very solid beer for not a lot of money and good for any occasion.

 449 characters

Photo of kmacphail
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 500ml bottle purchased from Morrison's in Inverness.

The beer poured an amber-copper colour with an initially thick off white head that settled to a 2mm film with some signs of lacing.

The nose was dominated with malty sweetness with a hint of caramel and lingering bitter fruit tone. A nice malty taste on the tongue and a lingering fruity afternote, but not as bitter as the nose would suggest.

A medium-heavy mouthfeel leaves the drinker in no doubt that that this is a beer. Overall a thoroughly excellent beer, but at a fairly hefty price and 6.6% alcohol volume this is not going to become my regular tipple, but a nice occasional treat.

 661 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear ruby with huge short lasting beige head. Aroma caramel, toasty malts. Slight nutty. Taste sweet malts, toasty malts. Slight bitter finish with some toasty notes. Light body, high carbonation.

 203 characters

Photo of Greg_Nall
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quick Review, personal enjoyment, not style

Poured from bottle, into pint glass, dark color with 2 fingers of head lasting several minutes.

Nice dark malty aroma.

Flavor was high in malts, with a very low hop bite at the end.

A full mouth feel, with appropriate CO2 levels

A very enjoyable ale, for late evening or a cool / cold day

*I tend to favor malty heavy brews.

 374 characters

Photo of bryehn
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby colour with amber highlights and a fluffy tan coloured root beer-esque head that gets retained as a thin collar and leaves spotty lacing.

Sweet, toasted caramel malts, a light, grape-like fruit note that's reminiscent of wine. Light chocolate, fresh grains and pungent floral hops.

Fruits, malts, bread and a peppery tone make up the taste. Bitter at the start and at the finish.

Slightly heavy and malty overall, but still pops over the tongue. The aftertaste is dry with a bitter chocolate tone. Very clean.

Yet another quality product from Wychwood and one of the best English ales I've had in a while. Took me two just to BA. Ironically, the others I've really liked lately have been Goliath and Wychcraft.

 733 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had many times, not sure how I missed reviewing. Clear copper pour with quickly disappearing off-white top. Aromas are bread and caramel. The malt makes up most of the flavor, very smooth and semi-sweet. Really balanced, with a clean, somewhat dry finish. I really like this stuff.

 281 characters

Photo of gdkersey
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - brilliantly clear copper with a solid off-white head

S - fresh hops, caramel malts

T - awesome deep, sweet malt; dark fruit, figs, caramel, slight chocolate. slight fresh hop character with a firm, bitter finish

M - medium carbonation, chewy malt body

Great strong ale that was enjoyed by myself, father, and grandfather. I don't typically come across a beer that all three of us would find outstanding, but this was one. A traditional English ale turned up up a notch with big malt and a assertive hop character. Would definitely recommend!

 549 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22oz. Another winner from Wychwood Brewery. Similar to the staple HobGoblin from Wychwood with a bit more flavor and kick. I actually enjoyed this more than a HobGoblin but certainly this one is a beer that might get a bit much after one or two bottles. While English Beers are not my thing, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Give this one a shot as well as the other fine beers from Wychwood Brewery. You'll be glad you did.

 430 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
King Goblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.76 out of 5 based on 451 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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