Thursday, 28 October 2010

Hallowe'en Special: Hobgoblin (Wychwood) - 5.2%abv

The Bunker launches itself into what is probably an opportunistic gimmick by saluting this spooky time of the year. I have to confess though I do love Hallowe'en, partly due to it's ancient roots, but mainly because they don't sell cards for it at Clintons (I think..)

Hobgoblin of course offers itself up as a prime ghoulish-monickered product to review. It's a drink that'll be familiar to many, not least of all Barack Obama, who was given some by David Cameron when he visited earlier this year. Whatever your politics, real ale gifts are a top diplomatic move in my book. If only he'd recieved a six pack of Dogfish Head in return, the special relationship might have been cemented for another 100 years.

Hobgoblin pours a deep oxblood ruby. The head brewer says if he'd added any more dark malt it would have looked like Guinness. It's head is undulating but thin and fairly brief. The nose is rather toffee and somewhat roasty, happy autumn smells. Malts are prevalent, and the whole effect appealing.

It's proper tasty as well, sturdy and balanced. There's a wash of tea in the taste, but its a delicate edge rather than overpowering. Bitter hops are fairly intense at the end, but fruit swirls about to lessen the sourness and nothing unpleasant is left in the mouth once it's gone.

It's a fine drink, and one of the easiest to drink 'complex' beers readily available in supermarkets. I think this is a great ale to stock up on for any occasion. Only the most closed-minded lager devotee or real ale novice will fail to find something delightful in it's bewitching flavours.

8/10 - This ale is becoming something of a diabolical national treasure.

- The Broadside


  1. I certainly think its the best of all the £1 a bottle ales out there, not sure it hits the 8/10 mark for me though.

    Great review though, only missing the gentle toffee notes i think....

  2. Cameron got some Goose Island 312 in return, which is a nice beer!

  3. Aha! Thanks Anon, I thought he got a New York Knicks shirt or something (imagine Eton boy Cameron in that...)