Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Hobgoblin IPA

Hobgoblin has a strange place in the British beer world. A strongly flavoured brown beer, it has a massive following from dedicated fans. Yet some beer geeks despise it with a passion. I have mentioned before how people love to have an enemy to hate and as it's considered bad form to slag off industrial lager 'traditional' British beers are a target for some. I even had to unfollow one bloke on twitter as he spend an unhealthy amount of time trolling hobgoblin fans.

So when the hobgoblin range (which already includes a gold spin off) was extended to include an IPA it was sure to get the crafties spluttering into their schooners. Nowadays many consider that beers have to be over 5.5% ABV and taste strongly of American hops to be an IPA and can be quite vocal about it. I'm not convinced myself, but then I can remember drinking sweet sub 4% IPAs when I were a lad.

See the little goblin
Over at Good Beer Hunting Matt Curtis seemed confused about the whole thing but definitely wasn't impressed. My curiosity was thoroughly piqued though so I snapped up a bottle as soon as I saw it.

The aroma was citrus and stone fruit with a touch of pine, and the taste was citrus and pine from American hops. It had a medium bitterness and body. Not as full on as an American IPA, or as thin as a "Session" IPA. Perhaps a hoppy golden ale, or a mid-Atlantic IPA. I have to say I quite liked it and as I've seen it at three for a fiver I dare say I'll be drinking more of it.


  1. I thought this was quite enjoyable - a good entry-level introduction to that particular style that isn't going to frighten the horses.

  2. I enjoyed it greatly myself: balanced and tasty, the "Americanness" more harmonious than many similar beers,definitely one to try again

  3. I've not particular axe to grind over Wychwood - but I recently had a bottle of ordinary Hobgoblin for the first time in forever and it was a sweet, sugary mess - the only beer I've not finished in years, other than a sour that was about pH 2. I would be embarrassed if I made homebrew like that.

    I know I've not got a particularly sweet tooth and I grew up with dry northern bitters, but I can't believe that it's meant to taste like someone dumped in a double dose of crystal or something. I also find it really hard to believe that Marstons would be shipping out liquid that wasn't thoroughly lab-tested, but I can only assume they either had some QA problems or there's something in Hobgoblin that I'm a super-taster of that I've not been aware of in other beers.

    1. Can't say I'm a fan of the normal hobgoblin either, unpleasant burnt sugar taste. Fortunately the IPA version doesn't have it.