Posted by dave
Wychwood Brewing (hit the link for the “story” of the Hobgoblin name) have themselves a real gem with this somewhat oddly-named ale. A healthy 5.2% ABV doesn’t hurt the experience, but it’s the flavor that makes this a curious, yet desirable brew.
First things first – it’s an ale, and we here at The Bar Project likes us an ale any day of the week. Ales tend to be a bit hoppier and fuller in flavor. On the downside – that is, to anyone wanting to drink about 15 beers at a single sitting, they also tend to be a bit heavier.
This ale is actually relatively light, and even a bit fruity. Normally, I’d be totally turned off by this. I’m of the recently dedicated Man Law “Don’t Fruit The Beer“. But it’s so – hidden – that it’s really not something of concern. It flavors the beer very subtly, so I won’t take off points for it.
You’ve also gotta love the fact that Hobgoblin comes in a full pint plus an extra 0.9 oz for good luck – none of this measly 12 oz per serving nonsense. If you give the Brits nothing else, give them that they understand beer should come in pints, not anemic 12 oz servings.
I’ll try to straighten out this post that so far is completely all over the place. Flavor wise, you’ve got a standard ale hop strength – mild, but noticeable. It’s slightly fruity, but I have no idea what fruit it is I’m tasting, but there is a sweet side to this beer undoubtedly.
The more-than-pint-sized serving (which, as an expression, is usually is a derogatory, but here is meant as a compliment) is quite appreciated. The color is reddish brown and unimpressive, and the head doesn’t have much lasting power, but these are trivial things that hardly detract from the beer.
Hmm… look at that. As usual, I’m drinking currently what I’m reviewing, and I’ve noticed something that you don’t see much in beers these days – sediment. It’s not a bad thing – in fact, it’s a byproduct of the brewing process, so this simply means that Hobgoblin isn’t filtered millions of times. That could in fact help add to the flavor, so I’ll just let it pass.
As I noted above, this review is all over the place, so I’ll just end it and put it out of its misery. Hobgoblin Strong Dark Ale is good. I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to find it, but it’s a solid English ale, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to experience it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s still more to drink. 500 ml is just about 41% more beer than a normal 12 oz bottle, and I’m feeling like 41% more of an ale fan tonight.