Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wychwood Hobgoblin

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (671) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 5, 2012

Since I’ve never been to the UK I can’t say how accurate a representation Wychwood Hobgoblin is of a traditional British pub style ale. It certainly seems to be cut from the same cloth as a lot of others of the style I’ve had, though. It’s familiar, but a little unique as this beer seems to be noticeably more sweet than your average ESB.

I poured a 330ml bottle into an English nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Dark maroon/mahogany color. Mostly opaque but some translucence to it. Forms a large, off-white, soapy head, which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Classic English characteristics of red apple and subtle caramel notes.

Taste: Caramel is the most prominent flavor, followed by a red apple juice-like flavor and a minor toffee taste as well. There’s a distinct dry bitterness through the middle, even a tad tangy or sharp (perhaps my bottle was old?). The aftertaste is slightly sweet, but for the most part clean. It’s a subtle palate that those with more discriminating tastes will enjoy, but I don’t think anyone will have their socks knocked off from this.

Drinkability: While too big to be a true "session beer," Wychwood Hobgoblin drinks like one. While the mouthfeel is on the lighter and more tepid side, it is not a thin or watery beer at all. It’s very soft and comfortable in the mouth. I’m actually a little surprised it weighs in a 5.2% ABV, as it seems like something smaller. While flavorful, this is not the kind of beer that shakes up your palate. Still, it’s tasty and easy to drink and that’s a great combination.

Grade: 8/10