Welcome back on this day, the day of All Hallow’s Eve! Come now, ghosts and ghouls, and gather round as we try a sip of some brew… Hobgoblin English Ruby Beer by Wychwood Brewery!
Before we get started I wanted to give a shoutout to my patrons on Patreon! We just launched our new donation platform the other day and it’s been great to see the feedback and fandom speak for itself. Patrons will eventually be getting their own publications of musings on the state of craft beer, some giveaways, and first-notice on bottle shares and gatherings as we get this show on the road.
Back to the beer! This cursed can hails from… I dunno, England? I can’t keep it straight.
Pulling meself a pint, this looks… SPOOKY! Just kidding. Whew. Scared you there, didn’t I? This pours out a brown/reddish color, not unlike rusty water, with a big, lacy, frothy white head at the top slopping everywhere that stuck around forever and ever. JUST LIKE YOUR MOM AFTER I TOLD HER THAT I ORDERED HER A CAB EEEEYYYYOOOO.
The beer smells like raisin and toffee. And old British wool sweaters. Completely, exactly, unmistakably identical, but not to be confused even in the slightest with mothballs. Super sweet, like that old guy at the bar who just wants to talk about dead war buddies and starts every sentence with “You’re too young to know this, but…”
Might I add at 4.5% this smells much bigger than I imagine it actually is. It smells like it was aged in a barrel that once held Welch’s grape juice concentrate during prohibition.
Before I tasted this, I swear the goblin looked at me.
I’m not sure what I did to this Rumpelstiltskin cosplayer to make him mad at me, but this beer is BITTER. Bitter, bread-like notes is what I’m getting, with two heaping scoops of dirt from the quarry. I haven’t tasted this flavor since I ate an all-crouton salad that I dropped in a sandbox on a playground. Metallic flavors linger as I breathe out.
I feel like this beer foams in my mouth as I sip it, making a good burp later. There’s a dry finish leaves me wanting another. Damn monkey-pawed Hobgoblin!
Here’s a fun fact about tasting beer: when you smell it for the first time, you get hit with a wave of sensations that truly set your expectations of what the flavor is going to be. Think about when you walk into your favorite Supermercado and the scent of adobo is in the air making you drool. When you bite into some adobo chicken, you should have an expectation of what it’s going to taste like based off of the aroma alone. Try to smell again after you’ve eaten that food: You generally have forgotten all about that smell and probably wouldn’t pick it up a second time (JUST LIKE I WOULDN’T PICK YOUR MOM UP A SECOND TIME EEEEYYYYOOOO).
When you smell this beer, you get an expectation of what it’s going to be. Sweet, toffee, fruity and big on the booze. But then it Catfishes you after you go in for a sip with that crazy bitter, soapy, earthy sensation and you think, “Is this the same beer? Did someone switch this on me? What ancient black magic just happened? EXPLAIN IT TO ME, FOUL IMP!”
I feel tricked.
I also feel treated.
Try this: smell a beer. Remember that smell. Then taste it. Get a good mouthful of it. Taste it again. Now try to smell that beer.
The aroma disappears.
That’s how intertwined your olfactory senses and your taste is. The lingering taste on your palate interferes with your sense of smell (as your sinuses are connected), greatly affecting what you can smell after that.
It’s exactly why people smell their beer before they taste it. If you dive right in, you won’t be able to pull the different nose notes later.
If you didn’t have a sense of smell, that greatly diminishes your ability to taste, as well, quashing your ability to separate the flavors, parsing what would be equivalent to muted tones as opposed to crystal clear music. If you didn’t have a sense of smell, you would’ve had zero expectations of this beer and would’ve gone right in and not been bamboozled.
You also wouldn’t be able to properly taste beer, and that sounds like a sad, sad little world to live in. I’d rather die.
While this beer might not be for me, I’m sure it’s for someone! I recommend pairing this beer with eye of newt, candy corn (no joke, that actually sounds like a really good pairing), and killing Spider-Man to avenge the death of your father, Harry Osborn.
Have a Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe, have fun, watch Hocus Pocus, and enjoy a good beer. Got a brew you want to share with me? I take submissions and donations to the cause! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a message on any of my social media accounts. I’m sure I can find a reason to talk about your choice of brew. You can follow me on Twitter @drinkpintsized, Instagram @thepintsizedreview, or the way your parents get their news: on Facebook. Just search “The Pint Sized Review” and you’ll find me. Donate on our Patreon, and if you can’t please like, share our posts, and join the mailing list so you always know when we are putting out some stupid stuff for a laugh and maybe, just maybe, some education.
… ur mom!