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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

45 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 5
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)
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChapelTom
ChapelTom

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev +2.3%

12-27-2011 23:24:37 | More by ChapelTom
Photo of Ruds
Ruds

United Kingdom (England)

4.93/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hophead - the ultimate session beer!

I've had this beer many many times over the last 10 years or so.

If it's on at a beer festival with dozens of beers I've never tried before, I will always push some aside for a pint of Hophead - that's how highly I rate this beer

Light to golden blonde in colour and ordinarily little head, it refreshes the palate immediately with cascade hops tingling your tongue

You really can drink this all day (within reason and your own capability of course!)

Serving type: cask

12-02-2011 22:41:07 | More by Ruds
Photo of sfprint
sfprint

Germany

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.

Serving type: cask

10-28-2011 23:35:46 | More by sfprint
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: cask

05-24-2011 12:41:08 | More by tbeckett
Photo of stcules
stcules

Italy

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.

Serving type: cask

05-21-2011 17:46:04 | More by stcules
Photo of


4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Charles Lamb in London.
Appearance - It is pale straw in the glass with a slight white froth, but nothing you would call a head.
The aroma is dominated by clean floral hops with a subtle tart fruitiness.
The taste is well-balanced but leaning toward hoppy, with fruit and citrus near the fore as well. It’s a little lower in alcohol but still very full-bodied. If I could get this here it would be my go to session beer.

Serving type: cask

04-19-2011 23:53:46 | More by
Photo of bosox941827
bosox941827

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served hand-pulled at The Harp in London at cask temp in an imperial pint glass (is there any other way?).

A - Was REALLY surprised at the color; it is a clear yellow, almost like a classic pilsener or (dare I say it) a big American brewer. Very little head present upon handing over the pint.
S - A nice mix of malt and hops but not too much off the nose to be honest.
T - An American seeing the name "HopHead" might expect something different than this beer, and perhaps justifiably, as this really is more like an English bitter to me. However, taken in the context of the low ABV and the brewing location, that means a bit of pale malts at the front, and then a perfect balance of hops on the finish.
M - Very low carbonation (it's a cask ale) and a bit on the thin side.
Since drinkability category has been removed, I'll just note that you could drink this all night and be pretty happy; just a very well-made, perfect-for-sessioning beer.
Wish the appearance had a bit more "character" to it, but that's a fairly minor complaint; this is a great-tasting example of the English bitter style.

Serving type: cask

03-28-2011 17:17:42 | More by bosox941827
Photo of paxton1978
paxton1978

United Kingdom (England)

4.97/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just wish I could give this a '10' for drinkability. Had on cask at the GBBF '10 and was the beer of the festival for me. Light, exceptionally hoppy and extraordinarily drinkable, this was a great treat since it's one that you can drink all day and still bursts with fresh hoppy flavour. Goes to show that big hoppy beers don't necessarily have to be booze monsters...

Serving type: cask

08-10-2010 07:26:37 | More by paxton1978
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

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.

Serving type: cask

08-05-2010 15:43:33 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of gory4d
gory4d

New York

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.

Serving type: cask

11-26-2008 00:11:54 | More by gory4d
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: cask

11-21-2008 00:38:01 | More by corby112
Photo of Antilochus
Antilochus

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the White Horse in Parsons Green. 3.80% abv, stamped pint glass.

Even, stable straw body. Generous white cloud and collar with lots of lace.

Stale lemon, pale malt, floral hops in aroma.

Palate is astringent, light, a bit acetic, on mild fruitiness and hop oil. Reasonably well balanced, although noble hop spiciness in the finish might be a bit overdone. Caramel cake, bitterness round out the finish well. Carbonation is a tad aggressive.

Serving type: cask

08-03-2008 15:17:10 | More by Antilochus
Photo of fitzy84
fitzy84

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: cask

04-19-2008 18:08:48 | More by fitzy84
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

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?

Serving type: cask

09-16-2007 12:39:04 | More by bark
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

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.

Serving type: cask

05-28-2007 20:55:04 | More by klewis
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

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.

Serving type: cask

12-08-2005 07:26:58 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

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!

Serving type: cask

08-14-2005 16:54:25 | More by wl0307
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

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.

Serving type: cask

05-08-2005 12:53:53 | More by Stimack
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: cask

12-07-2004 04:46:21 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of gentlebubbles
gentlebubbles

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

NERAX 04

Bright straw-yellow with low, fluffy head. The piercing citrus scent gives fair warning of the grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. Nice juicy finish that sets you up for another one. Yummy, easy drinking.

They call it a bitter, but I'd say it's an excellent rendition of the juicy American IPA, like Concord IPA or the Bastard.

Serving type: cask

04-30-2004 17:01:25 | More by gentlebubbles
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HopHead from Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
87 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.