Make Up your Own Mind

Evaluations on beer websites that use a point system are of course a wealth of information. You can quickly and easily get an idea of the profile of a beer. The score is the result of an average calculated on those of the voters. Sometimes, that is where the shoe pinches.

That’s the case with Hobgoblin, flagship brand of the Wychwood Brewery (Witney, Oxfordshire, England), a 5.2%-ABV ruby beer. Beeradvocate rate it 84, which means “good”. Ratebeer rate it 54, which is not flattering. In both cases, there are enough of reviews and votes for a meaningful average. One may be tempted to think that ‘best is the enemy of good,’ since the averages contradict.

This convinces me that it’s necessary to form your own judgment. Certainly, mine will only be another opinion. And, I must say, my ‘average’ is closer to 84 than 54. This is a very enjoyable offering balancing bready malts and earthy hops. Light and smooth, elegantly allying sugars and fruits, it’s a lively fresh beer that has stood the test of time.

In this connection, I would note that Roger Protz, founder of the British Guild of Beer Writers, referenced it in his 300 Beers to Try Before You Die!, and that Prime Minister Cameron swapped it with President Obama for a Goose Island 312. There are unmistakeable signs…