It's been a while since I've reviewed any beer but I hope
2013 will be different. For Christmas, my wife got me a bucket of beer, most of
which I haven't had before, from a new liquor store that opened in an old
department store down on the coast. I sense a road trip coming on.
First up is Hobgoblin
, the flagship
brew from the U.K.'s Wychwood Brewery
. It's classified as a Dark English Ale,
which it is if you're comparing it to the sickly yellow swill that's so common.
It has a reddish-amber body, "ruby", if you prefer. It has a slight hop aroma
that arises out of a solid tan head. For me, it tasted like a Bass Ale
when it was still a good beer. The beer finishes with a hoppy bite at first, but
then it fades. 5.2% ABV
The website states that they use a blend of Styrian, Goldings & Fuggles
hops, which I would expect from an English Ale. The chocolate malt and crystal
malts provide the sweetness and color, though there isn't too much of the former
as this would be a darker and sweeter beer. I don't notice the "toffee" or
"biscuit" taste notes, but as I don't my beer at the recommended 60°F maybe
Overall, this is a good solid session beer (for me at least). The English are
good about that. I'd drink it again and will try others if the price is right.
Sales of Bass
(now owned by InBev)
from 2001 to 2010 (see, I'm not the only one that noticed the quality dropped).
If you're feeling nostalgic about it how it used to be, try Hobgoblin instead.
A far different beer is Peg Leg Imperial Stout
. It's been a while since I had any
of Clipper City Brewery's Heavy
line and this was a good way to come back to it.
On the pour, a chocolate aroma arises from the glass. An ample brown head covers
a black body. A bright light will reveal hints of ruby color hiding within.
It has a robust taste, coffee mixed with chocolate.
The website states that Warrior, Simcoe and Fuggles were used, with the Fuggles
used for dry hopping. Warrior is a recent creation so I'm not familiar with it,
though the website says that it was the primary bittering hop. Simcoe is no
Despite this beer's robust character it has a very smooth finish. Just as the
last molecules leave your tongue, it reminds you that this is an Imperial. Until
this point, you'd be forgiven for not noticing that this is an 8% ABV
brew. And after a couple more you might not notice at all.
Definitely a really good beer and one that I'd get again.