Hobgoblin called “A Dark English Ale” is an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) from Wychwood Brewery of Oxfordshire, England. I don’t review a lot of ESBs, but it’s a classic style and a wonderful introduction to traditional English ales. The nose on this one is faint, with just a bit of grain and figs. The middle has caramel and orange notes, fading to a nutty finish that has some bitterness that turns to sweet molasses right at the end. Ultimately this is a nice classic ESB, and very enjoyable.
I give it a 4 out of 5.
With Daylight Savings Time in effect, and spring officially only a few days away now, it’s time to review the last of the winter seasonals. The year, honor of the final winter seasonal review goes to Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale. This winter warmer is a malty brown ale with a nose containing toasted grain, a bit of toffee, and some slight orange, and floral notes. The middle has some apple and grape, lemon zest, and well roasted grain. The finish is the same, with a good bit of toffee coming back as it warms. Nothing spectacular here, but a fine beer with which to wish winter a fond farewell for another year.
I give it a 4.1 out of 5.