Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wychwood's Hobgoblin

Beer: Wychwood's Hobgoblin
Brewery Location: Oxfordshire, England
Beer Style: English Brown Ale
Serving Style: on-tap
ABV: 5.2%

I am a little late getting this out. I usually like to do it right away, but it's been a very busy few days for me. Thursday I found myself out with the good people from The Hoosier Beer Geek at one of their meetings for a tasting. You should check out their website and come to a meeting when they have one. They are all very inviting and friendly, and it is always good to get out and talk about beer and experience one of the best things about good beer, and thats the social aspect that good beer and good people can create.

We met at the Chatham Tap on Mass Ave. It was fairly busy in the bar, but we had a big front table all to ourselves. I was bitching about the lack of imperial pint glasses, and then I was told it was because all English drafts on Thursdays are only four bucks. My bitching quickly stopped when I found out I was saving a couple of bucks.

The beer pours a reddish/amber hue with soft affects and had a thin white head. The head dissipated very quick and left very light lacing on the glass. There isn't much to smell on this beer when it is full. I picked up on a slight malty scent and bit of sweetness. As I got about halfway through the beer though the scent at least came to life and I got more sweet/dark fruit scent with a bit of yeasty/fruity esters. The first sip isn't really much to write home about for me. Middle of the road maltiness with slight tastes of dark fruits and also a slight iron/heavy mineral water flavor that got stronger as the beer warmed a bit. The beer is light and actually refreshing because it is so very smooth and coats about the same consistency as tap water. For what this beer is, being an English brown ale, it is not bad, but it just doesn't really deliver the flavor profile I am looking for here.

If you are a fan of English brown ales you will most likely really like this offering, but if you are in the mood for something with a lot of character and more bold this isn't your beer. I also was trying to compare this to another English brown I know well in Samuel Smith's Nut Brown and there is no comparison. They are both made in England with roughly the same ingredients and the Sammy Smith's delivers on the flavor and this is my beer of choice in the category.

3.0 out of 5.


CorrND said...

The was the second time, and likely the last, that I'll ever be ordering the Hobgoblin. As everyone has said, it's not that it's bad, it's just boring.

Chatham Tap currently has Oberon on tap. I wonder if they'll pick up a different Bell's seasonal once the Oberon runs out. Oh man, if they could get Java Stout on tap, I'd be there all the time.

Matt said...

I would like to see a nice Bell's Rotating tap down there. MacNiven's usually has something from Bell's on there as well, and as a principal, you will never see Oberon on tap at MacNivens. A few months back Bell's brought in a special firkin of barrel aged bourbon vanilla stout. I would kill to find that out there again, but the Bell's rep said they don't make it often and it rarely gets out of Michigan. I have't ever seen Java Stout on tap either. I like Expidition and Java out of a bottle, but the expidition gets the nod from me. I need to get some speaking of that.

I would love to see the Samuel Smith's on tap somewhere, but I have only seen it in bottles and the Rathskeller usually has it.

CorrND said...

Actually, I was just at Shallos for the first time ever on Friday -- I'll have a post about it this week -- and they have Java Stout on tap right now. I've had it in bottle, but it's even better on tap.

And speaking of Expedition Stout, I just picked up a 6-er from Kahn's today. I've never had it before. Like you, I'm a huge hop head and only in the last 2 or 3 months have started exploring the stout world.

theculinarybrewer said...

HArdly an English Borwn Ale, more of an ESB. You read my thoughts here (The Beer Diary).