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HopHead - Dark Star Brewing Company Limited

Not Rated.
HopHeadHopHead

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

46 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hand-pumped at the Wenlock arms in northern London.

Pours a clear golden amber color with a frothy white head. Subtle hop aroma with slight pilsner malt presence. This is a very smooth drinkng beer. It is kind of watred down yet has a creamy characteristic with nice subtle soft hops. Crispy, refreshing nice dry finish but not very bitter.

corby112, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of wl0307
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always went for a pint of this beer whenever I got a chance to visit the Evening Star pub in Brighton. Sort of got used to it when living down south. But it was not until moving to London have I really started to miss it... Happy to see it on draught at my local Wetherspoon's pub in East End London recently, praying that it'd be fresh and nice...

A: it pours a pale straw colour, with extremely tiny, fine bubbles in the liquid, and a very thin, white beerhead lasting well and leaving tight lacing around the glass.
S: white grapefruit-peel dominates the nose along with a semi-sweet, juicy fruity note, against a mild malty aroma. Overall the hop aroma is very assertive but not aggressive.
T&M: upfront is a mouthful of juicy, softly-citric hops (Cascade?), with very soft palate of malts underneath; reasonably lingering aftertaste of fruity hops and a hint of wild, high-mountain honey and pollen-like floral flavour on the tongue. Towards the end the hops gradually overwhelm the mouth, resulting in a kind of crisp bitterness b/w the teeth and tongue, arousing more and more thirst~~
D: overall it's a thin-bodied, balanced hoppy ale with almost full flavour; extremely enjoyable!

wl0307, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of bark
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The colour is yellow with some hints of gold. The thin head is airy and white.

The smell is sweet with some notes of honey and lots of hops. It is bitter and a bit rough.

The taste is bitter. Lots of bitter hops, but in a very English way. More like an IPA than a Bitter. The malt is clearly in the second room here. Notes of beef stock and perfume-like esters. The aftertaste is a bit sour. It is rather short and finishes with notes of shortbread.

The liquid is creamy; the mild carbonation got some medium sized bubbles.

This beer was a bit if a disappointment: I found it unbalanced. Perhaps some American α–hops would have made it a bit better?

bark, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

atrocity, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of stcules
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper color, english foam, quite beautiful and creamy. One finger.
Inthe smell, quite a lot of hop, malty notes, and grainy. Light background grapefruit. Citrussy. Pleasant and light.
Soft taste, again citrusnotes, pink grapefruit like. Anyway, good, good hop.
Good drinkability, quite dry,pleasant, drinkable.

stcules, May 21, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at 7 Stars in London. From notes.

A - Poured with a half finger soapy white head on a light gold body. Head gone fast to thin ring then nothing. No carb as to be expected. Bright. No lacing. Looks weak.

S - Mild. English hops with a little spice and lemon.

T - Slightly spicy and peppery hop. A little lemon and that English hop profile again.

M - Mild carbonation, very light body. Dry and slightly bitter finish.

O/D - Tasty, light, and hopppy. Pump clip read 'light and hoppy' which is exactly what this is. Refreshing, crisp, and highly drinkable. Better than BMC anyday. Easy drinker.

tbeckett, May 24, 2011
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.85/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Presented in a straight sided Pint Glass at d.b.a. on a rather chilly and drizzly dark November night during a recent week long stay in NYC. Straight out of the Cask and dispensed through one of the Beer Engines at the end of the bar. Enjoyed a Pint of this with my fellow BA and Ex-Pat Sir Alex the Imbiber.

Appearance: Luscious golden body, clear with some residual milky conditioning, a good sign that, took some time to settle but this must have helped it form a nice looking tightly compacted white head when it did, which in turn must have contributed to its great staying power. Impressive soft carbonation and a fine presentation.

Nose: High strength aroma for a Cask Ale. Lots of fruity odors mixed in with a laid back but juicy hop character, cut grass and a very floral dimension, all of which is nicely balanced by some grassy tones and light hints of toasted malts.

Taste: As good as it gets; more lightly toasted bready malts merge with a supreme balance with an accent on grassy hops and a classic English Bitterness. Immense clarity of vision and a very refreshing crisp and clean feel. Bloody Hell this is a great brew.

Mouthfeel: The conditioning in the HopHead on the day I had the beer was very impressive. Obviously my pet bitch that US Bars so often mis-use or never use spiles properly is not the case at d.b.a. The talcum soft mouth feel mixed perfectly with the hoppy tang and fruity aspects of this one. Quite Simply – Perfect.

Drinkability: You what?!?! A straight 5. And its only 3.8%!!! Easily one of the most quaffable English Ales that I have had in New York. I am sure it is partly down to the fact that this was served “reet on form” and at the epoch of its cask prime, but a majority of the quaffability is down to its supreme balance.

Overall: A long overdue Beer Review that I promised my good friend Imbiber and the BeeryMatts that I would add, even though I don’t usually add them for Beers drunk in Bars, it took a while, but I make no excuse for making an exception in this case. This truly was and is a really great Working Class English Session Bitter with a killer hoppy twist.

Sampled alongside one of New York’s favorite Englishmen, and at the same time appropriately dedicated to another one. Is it really 25 years? Dr. Boogie could have got his Pension in England this year…….doesn’t seem right does it?

“You're just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You've got to get down to your own God in your own temple. It's all down to you, mate. Power to the People”
John Winston Lennon, 9-Oct-40 to 8-Dec-80.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of woosterbill
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Handpump halfpint at the Harp.

A: Clear gold body beneath a finger of creamy ecru foam that towers above the glass's brim, recedes slowly, and leaves some solid lace. Excellent.

S: Hoppy indeed, in a spicy, herbal, piney kind of way. Very sharp. Some husky malt as well. Good, not great.

T: Starts out with spicy hops, then mellows out with a nice wave of dry, bready malt, and finishes with powerful bitterness. A little astringent.

M: Medium-light body, low carbonation. Ok.

O: I honestly expected more out of this beer, having had good experiences with other Dark Star offerings, but this one was only a little above average for a session bitter.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev +2.3%

tom10101, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on cask at the Beer Circus in Croydon, outside London, Nov. 2004.

This English Bitter poured a clear, dark golden color with white, sudsy foam that persisted and clung to the glass. The smell was nicely fruity and floral hops. A very nice, strong aroma. The taste was hoppy, floral and bitter with a light malt sweetness to balance. The mouthfeel was smooth and hoppy with medium-light body and low carbonation. The hoppiness lingered nicely in the aftertaste. This was a very good bitter, and would make an excellent session beer.

UncleJimbo, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of StJamesGate
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Wenlock Arms, near Wenlock Basin, London.

Pours clear yellow with ringy white head. Resiny hop nose. Sourdough bread malts, a twiggy bitterness and citrus hops. Grapefruit pith leave. Light to medium, clean and a bit sticky.

As much hopping (both bitter and aroma) as you can fit into an ale without it being an IPA.

I'd love to have an American beer this low in ABV yet still this hoppy that I could quaff with impunity.

StJamesGate, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +2.3%

chickenm, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big Beer night and this kicked it off

a good looking pint pale amber, clear and full on thick white head

nice citrus notes on the nose

tasted like a fairly standard bitter, okay the hops were slightly turned up
but not that much

good easy drinking beer but considering just HOW good cask beer can be
and how distinct Original Boddies was in it's day and the biting brews of Dobbins a bit run of the mill IMHO

EmperorBevis, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

pin, May 20, 2013
Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

CwrwAmByth, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of monitorpop
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

monitorpop, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Stimack
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew on cask the other night at Mahars. The brew was pulled to a darker golden yellow color with a nice fluffy white head that had quite good retention and left chunks of lace at the top of the glass and a fair amount rings through out the rest of the brew. The first thing that I noticed about the aroma was hops, pleasant grass note aroma. Also can pick up the malt, gives it a somewhat sweet scent that seems to balance out the beer quite well. The taste was good, nothing spectacular but had a pronounced bitterness to it that was not as enjoyable as I was expecting. Also had a nice malt backbone that seemed to tie everything together. Over this is a pretty good brew, I would have this one again in the future but will not be one that I go out of my way to get.

Stimack, May 08, 2005
Photo of sleazo
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A_Golden straw hue with a nice white cap. Plenty of lace

S_Mild aroma of toasted wheat and a bit of fruitiness

T_Taste is similar to the aroma but much stronger. Mild toasted wheat up front with a strong hop wallop at the end. Grass and earth notes predominate with a bit of pine.

M_Medium body w fairly aggressive carbonation which promotes the hippiness

O_very nicely done. On the stronger end for the style hop wise but a nice change of pace.

sleazo, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of klewis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From the firkin at the Buckeye Beer Engine, Lakewood, OH - 5/28/07

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden with a frothy head. Good sustain and lacing.

S: Mild hop aroma with a slight smell of caramel malt.

T: Very dry malt flavor with a kick of hop bitterness in the end. A bit unbalanced, the bitterness overwhelms any other flavors.

M: Light-bodied and soft with mild carbonation. Extremely dry.

D: Not bad, but a bit one-dimensional. The dryness of the flavor and palate would make this a difficult beer to session.

klewis, May 28, 2007
Photo of jrfehon33
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

jrfehon33, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of sfprint
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Wenlock Arms in London

A: Transparent dull gold, zero carbonation and just a little fuzz for a head.
S: A very mild, smooth, almost sweet hops. bitterness is very mild yet retains a powerful hop smell. slightly planty. slightly cat quality to is as well (but not in a negative way)
T: Mild, slightly sweet grassy hops, but so mild bitterness. Very hoppy,. pretty damn smooth and delicious.
M: Turns your tongue into a fine grain sand paper, , dry, softish and fairly smooth.
O: Great, easy going down and very tasty.

sfprint, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Neffbeer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Neffbeer, May 14, 2012
Photo of fitzy84
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at Moan and Dove. The appearance was definitely a slightly amber-colored gold color with a really bubbly head that extinguished quickly. The aromas were moderately potent of sweet citrus and hops. The taste had a bitter-sour balance going for it with vocal orange flavors. The thinness of the drink was enjoyable and light but I felt it did not have to be that watery. Overall, a simple but good drink.

fitzy84, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of gory4d
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Rattle N Hum last week. Presents with zero head, a clear, pale amber. The smell is straw, apples, and pine. The taste is grass, gooseberry, and a long, bitter, deliciously hoppy finish. There's no carbonation to speak of, but the mouthfeel is full and round. Incredibly easy to quaff.

gory4d, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of paulys55
4/5  rDev +2.3%

paulys55, Jun 09, 2014
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HopHead from Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
87 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.