Wychwood King Goblin

Reviewed by on October 16, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wychwood Brewery

  • Origin: Witney, Oxfordshire, England

  • Rated On: October 16, 2015

  • Best Before: September 4, 2016

  • ABV: 6.6%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English Strong Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

As All Hallows’ Eve draws ever near, it’s nice to see these goblin/elvish thematic renderings from this cheeky English brewery kicking about. Ooooh, and King Goblin is brewed on a full moon – spooky!

This 500ml bottle pours a clear, medium red-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent Swiss cheese pattern lace around the glass as it quickly and evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, doughy caramel malt, lightly biscuity toffee, a hint of treacle, zippy black orchard fruit (maybe some plum, maybe some dried cherry), a touch of that musty under the basement stairs thing, and a dark spirit type of edgy booziness. The taste is grainy, doughy caramel malt, reduced brown sugar, some mildly sozzled dark, indistinct fruitiness, a middling yeasty acridity, pithy nuts, and leafy, earthy, and somewhat grassy hop bitters.  The carbonation is quite light and hard to really corral, what with its underwhelming frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and generally smooth, the lame tartness of the fruit and the alcohol perhaps taking things down a peg or so here. It finishes well off-dry, the sturdy caramel & friends malt sweetness carrying on like the village lush, aided (duh) by the geared-up boozy-booze.

Overall, a generally well-made version of the style, with an elevated ABV and supportive malt structure to keep it from overstepping its bounds. As noted, it is rather warming, full of old-school brewing, er, character, and a suitable tipple as the days grow shorter and Hallowe’en appears on your to-do list.

Brady White

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