Pours a deep, clear reddish brown with a mall creamy tan head that fades slowly and clings to the glass. Almost no carbonation visible in the dark depths.
First sip: Malty sweetness and a nice nuttiness up front, with a caramel and faint chocolate after-taste. Very subdued hops. Mouthfeel is smooth with a faint tingle of carbonation on the tongue.
The flavours, and the malt in particular, become more noticeable as the beer warms in the glass.
It is beers like this that most Australians joke about being warm and flat.
It is beers like this that turn my trips to England into a pub tour. Every village pub I drive past makes me wonder what yummy beer am I missing out on by not stopping. I'm being silly, of course. I know most pubs are ordinary and usually sell whatever the big breweries send them. I always have my default beers Benskins in the Home Counties, or Bass in the South. or Newcastle Brown up North, to drink if the other options on tap are lagers. But I do love walking into a pub and asking for a Half of whatever the local bitter is -- after laughing at the Convict jokes, and convincing the locals that I do not want a Fosters. Ha ha ha yes, never heard that one before. I don't drink it at home, why travel 12,000 miles to drink it?
Wychwood have helpfully posted a map of pubs that stock Hobgoblin. It's a yummy beer in a bottle. I think it would be even yummier from a cask. And now I know where to get my half.
Wychwood Brewery (Flash + subdued sound warning)
Same again, sir? Yes please!