With Halloween only a matter of days ago how could I opt for any beer other than the one that labels itself the "unofficial beer of Halloween"? In fact, the new orange label on the Hobgoblin I picked up at the supermarket convinced me I'd found a seasonal brew from Wychwood that I hadn't laid hands on before. Only when I got round to tasting it did I realise that I'd sampled many of these crafty goblins before, under their usual guise of a dark blue label. Would this be a trick or a treat?
Hobgoblin pours a mystical, dark ruby red, a frothy head bubbling up to the brim of the glass before calming down slowly, leaving no trace around the edges. A mischievous brew indeed.
I picked up some chocolate malt as well as rum and raisin from the faint aroma that lurked in the glass. I got no trace of hops from the aroma in the Halloween version, although its regular counterpart gave me the faintest hint of citrus. Probably for no reason other than that I'd not long released the Halloween bottle from the fridge.
|Oxfordshire within England|
The flavour is complex yet balanced, rich yet refreshing: dark berries, toasted nuts, burnt toffee and a hint of dark chocolate were complemented by herbal and peppery notes which lingered on. This, coupled with the smooth texture and medium dry finish, paves the way for a very moreish brew.
At the stronger end of the scale with 5.2%, there's still, amazingly, barely any trace of an alcoholic flavour. This makes it a cheeky session beer that you'll happily stick with all night, even if that night ends sooner than you expected!
Beer Belly's rating:
Have you dared try the Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery? What do you think? Leave your comments and rating below!