Hobgoblin Dark English Ale is a 5.2 percent alcohol offering from Wytchwood Brewery located in the village of Witney, Oxfordshire, England.
This full-bodied ale is brewed with chocolate and crystal malts and three different hops including the English favorites Fuggles and Goldings.
It pours a dark ruby color with a meager head but lacing that clings to the glass with each sip. On the nose chocolate and toffee compete with a trace of citrus.
Taste is big and malty but finishes dry and crisp. There is a bit of a toffee aftertaste, but it doesn’t linger.
Hobgoblin is a tasty import that sounds a lot scarier than it is. It drinks smooth and easy, defying it’s dark color and the mischievous character on the label. Wytchwood lists it as their October seasonal, but it’s available year-round.
This is one of my go to ales when I can’t decide what to buy.
Pair with a hearty beef stew or bold barbecue.
Rating: 5 caps
Hobgoblin isn’t frighteningly great, but it is good enough to haunt your favorite local retailer to pick it up as a Halloween treat.
If you like toffee flavors, your bag will be full of treats with the flavor of the malts in this brew. It ends up being a little on the sweet side for me, but not to the point of being unpleasant. This beer bears some similarity to Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale though that offering comes out the clear winner in head-to-head comparison.
Should you find Hobgoblin lacking, consider Sam Adam’s Double Pumpkin Ale as a fine Halloween substitute. I’ve never been a fan of the pumpkin beer phenomenon, but the Boston Brewing Co. has crafted an excellent dark ale with strong overtones of cinnamon and nutmeg and just enough pumpkin flavor to satisfy.
Rating: 4 caps