King Goblin | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

very good
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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

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Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 452
Photo of werehereforthebeer
3.09/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured in a tankard.
Appearance: a pleasing dirty copper look. A pour thin head shortly lived.
Aroma: apple, caramel. Nothing stood out drastically possibly because of poor glass choice.
Taste: malty, metallic and a little harsh at the end. As the beer warms up, the bitterness softens.
Mouthfeel: surprisingly hollow but the bitterness at the end lasts too long.
Overall: although not awful it doesn't come close to hobgoblin.

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Photo of JMMOlenick
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perfectly decent, but nothing really special. From the bottle into a Carlsberg pint glass.
Look: very appealing orange/copper color, excellent creamy head (probably due to the pint glass design with etched base).
Smell: honestly just fine, malty caramel with a slightly noticeable high-alcohol-content undertone.
Taste: disappointing given the lead-up; more metallic than expected, fairly bitter, but safely redeemed by the malty caramel notes and alcoholic warmth hinted at by the smell.
Feel: neither thin nor heavy, surprisingly fizzy, but pleasant with the head described above.

Overall: despite being branded as somehow premium compared to the usual, I would describe this as no better than (possibly worse than) standard Hobgoblin. Less appealingly red, equal malty character, and a similar metallic bitterness. Redeemed mostly by the cost-efficiency of its high alcohol content.

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Photo of zpakalnis
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a huge fan. Introduced to the 'lesser' Hobgoblin by my dad who loves it. Definitely malty which I'm always a fan of but has a bitterness on the back end that just did not go well with the beer. Hardly any alcohol taste which is another bonus. Smelled of caramel and had a pretty nice head. Though would agree with many other users on lack of lace and staying power. It was decent but I'm sad to say I won't likely be getting it again.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Smokey, woody aroma. Hint if Apple. Opaque dark copper. Medium white head. Alcohol is present in taste, woody, semi-bitter. A stronger version if the hobgoblin, but not necessarily better. I’ll have to check my rating on that.

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Photo of TheHammer
2.94/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Alright Wychwood, this is your last chance. If this one tanks, it's going to be a long while before I buy anything else but Hobgoblin or Fiddler's Elbow (should it return).

Appearance: Poured with a finger and a half of head that retained decently, but did not produce much lace. The body is a deep, murky brown with the barest touches of red crimson. Carbonation is the body is practically absent, which is a bit concerning.

Smell: Warming is really needed to bring this one out, but even then is lacklustre. Some brown sugar, a little bit of roast malt and sandy bitter hops seem to dominate the nose.

Taste: Toffee malt with a strong plum presence, that then turns to a more burnt brown sugar notes and some slight berry touches. Then it ends with an abrupt dry earthy and pine hop note that is unpleasantly accented by a very clear alcohol note. It really doesn't mask itself well at all, as it tastes very boozey at the end.

Mouthfeel: Apart from the boozey note, the beer seems to lack carbonation as a whole, it also transitions in an odd way, like it has an identity crisis. The dry note at the end really doesn't do it favours here. At least it redeems itself with a mild toffee aftertaste with slight notes of hops.

Drinkability: Well, it didn't get drain poured, and despite it's high alchohol, it is very easy on the system, although smooth and easy drinking it is not. I just have a hard time of picturing when I'd drink this.

Final Thoughts: Well, that pretty much settles it, I'm done with Wychwood. King Goblin wasn't at all what I was hoping for, that being an amped up version of Hobgoblin. Instead I found a beer that wasn't sure what it was. Was it supposed to be a brown, more potent Hobgoblin? Was it a strong amber trying to showcase malt? Was it a strong pale ale trying to do something different? It pretty much was a beer that didn't seem to really have an identity, and frankly, while passable, was a disappointment. All in all, I can't recommend it, as while the beer isn't bad, I can't really conceive when I'd want to drink this.

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Photo of pcbnumber1
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Poured from bottle into brand pint glass. Poured a dark ruby colour with off white head. Minimal retention but left a ring. Some further lacing too.

Smell: No real pronounced aroma. Is a slight caramel smell and some dark fruits. Light floral hops present.

Taste: Wow. Brilliant balanced beer blending a malty, rich caramel and chocolate taste with a light earthy hop bittering tinge. High alcohol content is masked. Long lasting drying bitter finish.

Feel: Lingers. It thins out but very smooth throughout and easy drinking enough as fairly low carbonation.

Overall: Very well put together beer. Looks decent, not much to the nose but a wonderful rich sweet taste that blends perfectly with a drying bitter end. Doesn't feel like a 6.6% ABV beer but remains one of the best English strong ales.

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Photo of lmaduells
2.99/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Traveling to Ireland trying to prove than the typical beer Guinness. And by chance I found this beer .This is a good choice. Although I like most Belgian beer

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Obviously, the label is fantastic. But the beer itself is lacking; milky reddish-brown body with hardly any head, lazy bubbles rise. Nose has raisin and plum, a bit of caramel malt. Flavor is based n raisins, but also adds other dark fruit and currants, which add a nice sweetness and a bit of a tart bite. There is also a good amount of toffee malt, adding more sweetness. No bitterness, which is unfortunate because there is nothing to add variety or interest to the sweetness and uninspiring flavor. Body is thin, kinda flat.
Just an OK beer. Appearance was uninviting with all the haze and milkyness, and the nose and flavor just weren't impressive. It's fun to play Dungeons and Dragons with, but I think that's the only appropriate time to pull one of these out.

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Photo of Lewnanny
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Super real nice beer.

IBU is probably zero. The color is a nice reddish brown color.

I really like the smell, but cannot describe it.

and the taste is absolutely nice.

I will have this one again soon.

The 500 ml bottle retailed for 4.35$ (CAD) for a ABV of 6.6%

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Photo of Curiosibeer
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of stevoj
2.84/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I was expecting this be better than the Hobgoblin. Bland, slightly sweet and uninteresting. Decent look, as it has a nice head for an English ale, Aroma is caramel and sweet malt, taste is just faintly sweet malt. Taste dissipates quickly, some lingering candy sweetness remains. Disappointed in this.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 0.5L bottle into a pint glass, comes out a dark amber color, ruby highlights, nice frothy head develops that leaves some lacing. Smell is rich, lots of sweetness, deep and bold maltiness. Taste is as expected, big malty sweetness and character up front, booze soaked fruits, finishes dry and bitter but with an unexpected medicinal aftertaste. Body is too heavy and with the aftertaste this ends up as not the greatest. Regular Hobgoblin was much better. Pass!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I thought the King Goblin was quite nice and definitely sessionable. It poured a rich amber with white head that did not lace. The scent was pretty not descript....maybe a touch of biscuit. The taste was very nicely balanced with slightly sweet malt backbone. The mouthfeel was medium in body with subtle carbonation. Overall this was a solid beer....I liked it.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L- Filtered dark amber body, white head with low persistence.
S- Caramel burnt sugar and malts.
T- Caramel burnt sugar, roasted malts and some alcohol.
F- Medium, slightly smooth.
O- Nice beer, not much to praise.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Sept 4 2016 and served at cellar temperature. I've had my eye on this one for a while now, but it only recently became available locally.

Pours a deep-hued copper-amber colour, topped off with one inch of creamy, khaki-coloured head. Displays good retention; the head slowly dissipates over a period of time somewhere between five and ten minutes, eventually depositing a solid, even curtain of lacing, and also leaving behind a bubbly, foamy cap and collar. Doughy malt, toffee and Wychwood house yeast are the first things I detect on the nose, with fruity hints of plum, raisin and cherry following closely behind. The hops don't come through as clearly, but seem to have an earthy, leafy vibe to them.

Biscuity, doughy malt and brown sugar sweetness comprise a sturdy flavour backbone, with suggestions of toasted nuts, orchard fruit, dates and raisins providing added complexity. This is all appropriately balanced in the back end by a concentrated dose of tea-leafy, earthy English-style hop bitterness that continues on well into the aftertaste. This is eventually joined by a yeasty, leather-like flavour, as well as a touch of boozy-sweet warmth. It really reminds me of Hobgoblin, though definitely a bit sweeter/boozier. On the more generous side of medium-bodied, with light carbonation levels and a smooth, satisfying mouthfeel that is quite befitting of an English-style strong ale.

Final Grade: 4.01, an A-. Not bad at all - as expected, Wychwood's King Goblin really reminds me of its little brother, Hobgoblin, though this monarch of a strong ale represents an experience that is both more warming and intense, while remaining extremely well-balanced. It's a solid introductory-level English Strong Ale that I'm pleased to try - I think I still prefer its lighter relative by a small margin, but I'll certainly be buying another bottle of this in the near future. Recommended.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Veiled dark copper color with a low amount of activity. Creamy and foamy, well defined, light brown 2 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with some very good leggings.

Faint aromas of booze, burnt sugar, ginger, bread and butter. Flavors of ester fruits like apple, berries, and grapes with some ginger bread feel and peppercorn, roasted grains with a wood feel and herbal spices. Highly sugary but with a strong bitterness.

Slick full body with prickly carbonation. Medium to strong finish, ending with a vinous fruity earthy feel and lingering herbal spices with some ginger. Thick sugary feel of bubblegum.

Overall a little above average in quality having decent flavors that I find slightly off, and its missing some freshness from a highly boozy, but warming feel. Although well spiced and well balanced, its a little flat and very acidic.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, more goblin/elven thematic renderings from this cheeky English brewery. Ooooh - brewed on a full moon, spooky!

This beer pours a clear, medium red-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent Swiss cheese patterned lace around the glass as it quickly and evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, doughy caramel malt, lightly biscuity toffee, a hint of treacle, zippy black orchard fruit (maybe some plum, maybe some dried cherry), a touch of that musty under the basement stairs thing, and a dark spirit type of edgy booziness. The taste is grainy and doughy caramel malt, reduced brown sugar, some mildly sozzled dark, indistinct fruitiness, a middling yeasty acridity, pithy nuts, and leafy, earthy, and somewhat grassy hop bitters.

The carbonation is quite light and hard to really corral, what with its underwhelming frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and generally smooth, the lame tartness of the fruit, as well as the alcohol perhaps taking things down a peg or so here. It finishes well off-dry, the sturdy caramel & friends malt sweetness carrying on like the village lush, aided (duh) by the geared-up boozy-booze.

Overall, a mostly well-made version of the style, with an elevated ABV and supportive malt structure to keep it from overstepping its bounds. As noted, this is replete with a warming, and full of old-school brewing, er, character, rendering it a suitable tipple as the days grow shorter and Hallowe'en nears.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
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!

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown with red highlights, full dense off white head which dissipates quickly, some lacing. Nose is pleasant fruity malt, not much from the hops at all. Taste has those same fruity malts, both light and dark fruit and malt coming through. Some musty and cardboard notes. Bit of sweetness gives it a bigger feel, but still not a big beer. Quite a decent beer, and better than the other Wychwood offerings, but not super special. Would certainly give this another try if I ever saw it on cask...not sure if this one is produced that way or not.

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Photo of DypsoBubble
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Quite fruity. I think there are a fair amount of esters in this...banana and pear flavours. Quite a rich mouth feel but tends to dissipate into a carbonated bitterness at the back of the tongue. The beer tastes high in alcohol and feels a bit rough round the edges. 'Rocket fuel' comes to mind. It's not subtle but it is fun.

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Photo of drmeto
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

-pours a clear dark amber with a big,frothy, offwhite head
-medium carbonation
-moderately bitter
-light to medium body
-medium carbonation
-slight alcohol warming
Pretty Decent,mouthfeel was lacking

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $3.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that films out in around 2mins. Very dark brown and filtered clear

S- Yeast and cloves.

T- Bready good. Good malt backbone. Not very sweet at all. Nice brew. Cloves, cinnamon and yeast

M- A bit watery that was not expected

O- Pretty good brew. Nice blend and nothing sticks out at you. Will buy again.

Food Pairing

This wonderful little brew went well with....... BBQ'd shish kabobs! Made these ones with chicken breast cut into 1" square chunks then plum tomato, yellow onion and mushrooms.


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Photo of vladdswrath
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
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.)

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King Goblin from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
3.75 out of 5 based on 452 ratings.
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