993: Hobgoblin

Name: Wychwood Brewery Hobgoblin
Brewery: Wychwood Brewery
Country of Origin: England
City & State: Not Applicable
Style: English Brown Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 4.5%
First Brewed: 1988

Tasting Notes
Ruby red in color, Hobgoblin is a full-bodied beer with heaps of malt flavor. It has a delicious chocolate-toffee-malt character on the palate, which is balanced with a rounded moderate bitterness and an underlying fruitiness. The beer’s finish is full of dark fruit.

Ricky’s Thoughts
Brown ales scare me. Not because I don’t like them, but because they ALL taste the same. When I learned that this beer was an English brown ale, I crossed my fingers in hopes that the word English would make this beer taste a little different than the typical browns I drink here in the States.

It smells good, but the nose doesn’t last very long. It’s there… then gone again. The one thing I do like about this beer is the aftertaste. It’s very thick, dark… and reminds me of what my mouth feels like say, ten minutes after eating a piece of dark chocolate. The beer itself is smooth, with a hint of carbonation that I feel could easily be masked as it brings down the overall enjoyment of the brew.

The beer itself has a VERY low ABV. Apparently that helps them sell more of this… but I don’t see it. Regardless, the beer is decent at best. The bottle is cool, and after learning the story behind the hobgoblin I now know the meaning behind it. But that doesn’t have anything to do with the taste of the beer. I’ll drink it, but I wouldn’t order it. Not even sure I would buy this again, unless it was on clearance. If you like browns, find one that has a higher ABV. Thank me later!

Rating: 2/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
I love the name of this beer.  It’s just fun.  I mean, with a name like Hobgoblin, wouldn’t you expect a lot of fun out of a beer like that?  It pours out kind of a reddish-brown color with not too many bubbles, so not too carbonated.  Which is fine, because I’m not big on carbonation in my beer anyway, really.  If I wanted bubbles, I’d drink soda or champagne.

The first thought I had when smelling the Hobgoblin was of cinnamon.  Now, maybe I’m crazy or maybe it was just because of the color, but that’s what came to mind with my first whiff.  It very vaguely tastes a bit like cinnamon too.  But just a tiny bit, really.  It’s only slightly hoppy, but has a great taste that I’m honestly not exactly sure how to describe, other than it’s really smooth.  It’s got a rich taste, definitely in the “brown beer” category (if you’ve had a brown, you know what I mean – it’s not just the color), but much more rich than most browns I’ve had.  I like it!  A good beer for the night, and a good one to try again at some point… yum!

Rating: 4/5

992 bottles of beer on the wall…

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