Wychwood (the maker of Hobgoblin and its regal cousin King Goblin) are “Brewers of Character” and one of those breweries that have a little place in my heart. I like the approach they have to their beer and the way they present them. I’m also very fond of their range and Wychcraft is no disappointment.
This 4.5% blonde beer is made with lager malts (and caramalt – a favourite of mine since our session with Fergus Fitzgerald of Adnams) which makes it light, sweet and, for lack of a better term, fluffy. The head is nice and frothy, thicker than a lager and lingers for quite a while before receding into a tidy film across the top of the light amber liquid delight.
The enchantment isn’t in the nose, there’s no striking scent, you get a light citrus floating through but no powerful ‘beery’ odours – the trickery, however, is in the sip. It’s dry, like Merlin’s knuckles, and the sweet/bitter balance is something that Sarah (from Hocus Pocus) would struggle to compete with. Coupled with a healthy dose of Fuggles you get a full bodied, tradition-ale mouthful.
Maybe Hermione has popped over from Hogwarts and Obliviate’d me, but the strong bitterness that I usually chase isn’t even missed as I work my way through this beer. There is a bitterness, but it’s not harsh and the aftertaste is subtle rather than arresting. I’m half-inclined to say that this beer is a little boring, but perhaps safe is a better term. It’s not a particularly unique beer by any stretch, but what it lacks in creativity it makes up for in pleasantness. It’s mildly flavoured, but balanced well. I would recommend this to anyone trying to convince those lager louts to invest in some real beer – it’s not too much of a jump initially, but you’ll definitely educate those mud bloods.