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Beer Review: Wychwood Brewery Hobgoblin

“What’s your matter, Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?” is the current motto for Wychwood Brewery’s HobgoblinHobgoblin is a dark English Ale brewed in Witney, Oxfordshire, England.  Wychwood brewery produces about 8,200,000 liters of cask ale each year, and Hobgoblin is their flagship brand.  That’s a lot of beer!  Their cool fantasy logo is one of the reasons I picked this beer up.

Here is a picture of the Wychwood brewery from their website.  The town of Witney was known for 3 “B’s”, blankets, beer, and bread.  Sounds like a nice town to me!

Hobgoblin is categorized as an “ESB”, or Extra Special / Strong Bitter, and is ranked #48 in category.  Here is a picture of my beer.

Wychwood Brewery: Hobgoblin
ABV: 5.2%
Style: ESB
Rank: #48 in style at

Hobgoblin pours a dark brown with a tinge of red and with a one-finger cream-colored head.  The smell is very malty, but also nutty with chocolate.  Hobgoblin is not really that bitter, despite being a beer in the ESB category.  But there is a certainly a touch of bitter on the back end.  A hallmark of good ESBs is that they are not really that bitter to the taste, ironically.

Hobgoblin will challenge your palate a bit, as I feel it’s the subtleties and backnotes of the beer that make this beer stand out.  On a trivia note, Hobgoblin was presented by Prime Minister David Cameron to President Obama in a beer exchange in 2010.  Whether that fact entices you to drink Hobgoblin or not, that is your choice.


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