Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time to Get Serious with Hobgoblin

Okay, it's time to get serious. No more joking around with half-assed beer tasting. I'm doing some research, and learning some lingo, and here it goes.

A seasonally appropriate Wychwood's Hobgoblin, a dark English ale. I'm not messing around anymore. I even purchased a glass from the dollar store just for the purpose of this blog. I believe it is a Weizen glass (see helpful photo). Unfortunately, according to BeerAdvocate.com, Weizen glasses are for several types of brews, Dark English ales not being one of them. I should be drinking Hobgoblin in a pint glass. Perhaps another trip to the dollar store is in order. Now, American Dark Wheat Ales are acceptable in a Weizen, so this will have to do for tonight.

I chilled the glass. This has some controversy. The naysayers think possible odors from the fridge or freezer being left on the glass and tainting the delicious drink. Also the condensation could spoil the balance of the beer. But most people say it's a good idea and drinks should be cold! So I took a risk, and stuck the Weizen glass in the cheese drawer for half an hour or so. As far as I can tell, there was no cheese smell OR condensation on the glass. SUCCESS.

I try to pour the beer correctly with the tilted glass and swirling of foam. Most guides say there should be a "finger of foam" at the top of the glass. Um, what does this mean? I think I got about a knuckle's worth.

Then you must enjoy the beer with all your senses. I admit, this one is pretty! And not just the bottle this time. It's a nice amber color, I suppose from the amber waves of grain, but the British version. There is supposedly a chocolate and toffee malt flavor. One challenge for me so far is understanding what this "malt" is and how to recognize it. I mean, to me it just smells like beer but good beer. Maybe the fact that I read the bottle influenced me but I can almost smell the chocolate...

Overall, I am delighted with this beverage. It is a good treat after a hard day's work. And yes, I was attracted to it due to the label, but also did not realize until afterwards that it was seasonally appropriate...Speaking of which, pumpkin beer tasting is soon to come!


  1. Your comment about trying to figure out the "malt" taste reminded me of when I worked at Starbucks and we had to taste all the different coffees and say whether they were "citrusy" or "earthy" or whatever. Everything really just tasted like bitter coffee to me. I still don't like Sbux coffee, just the espresso. I did learn that "earthy" is basically a nice way to say "tastes like dirt."

  2. ah ha ha ha. yeah it's funny how people try to make things more complex then they really are.

  3. A finger of foam means you put your finger parallel to the top of the glass where the foam is. So it should be the width of your finger.