Review: Hobgoblin Dark English Ale

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Time for another review and this one coming from across the pond. Hobgoblin is an English Dark Ale, though in truth I’ve never really heard of the style before so I did not really know what to expect. Fortunately for me, my copy of “The Real Ale Almanac” by Roger Protz had come a few days earlier. According to the almanac Hobgoblin is brewed with just Maris Otter and Black malt with traditional English hop varieties for bitterness and aroma.

From the pour a nice light tan head forms. Though the picture doesn’t show it well, this beer is not black in color, but rather a dark amber with red hues in it. Neither is it particularly clear, but I have never been a stickler for clarity.

The first sniff I get of the aroma really took me back to my time in England. I can’t describe the aroma in words to convey the what I felt, only that the aroma was similar to many of the bitters I had over there. Grainy, a little earthy, with a touch of fruity is the best I can come up with.

I drank this beer fairly slow and in doing that was able to pick up different notes at different times. The initial flavors were focused around a soft caramel like sweetness balanced with a nice earthy bitterness. There was also a touch of roast from the black malt that was barely noticable. One flavor that I picked up halfway through drinking was a sweet dark fruity flavor. The flavors definitely intensified as the beer warmed up and flattened out a bit.

Overall, a pleasant beer. Reminds me a lot of the Bitters I’ve had, which is not bad thing, but as a dark ale I kinda expected it to be a little different. Would I drink it again? Without a doubt. 7/10

Cheers!

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