HSD Hicks Special Draught | St. Austell Brewery

no score
Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
St. Austell Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 10-24-2004

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 15
Photo of graywalker
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this hand pulled in St. Ives, Cornwall and was knocked out by it. Beautiful, dense, creamy head on a dark amber body. Lacing remained to the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was malty, with some notes of orange and pine from the hops. Super mouth feel - small bubbles, and just enough of them. The taste was like the aroma. Some hops in the finish, then back to the malt, with a little drying at the end.

A really nice beer. I could drink a lot of this. The best beer I had in Cornwall.

 490 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Used to love this beer when I lived down in Cornwall (late 70's), on draught (always cask) it was a wonderfully deep, full bodied brew. I hope this bottle will re-kindle some memoriers for me.

500ml brown bottle, best before Nov 2011, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard on Sunday afternoon 14th Aug 2011. Being bottle conditioned it was poured slowly so not to disturb any sediment.

What a picture this beer is: a fantastic mahongany/deep ruby reddy brown colour with a magnificent off white foaming head, it's a joy to look at. Why have I taken so long to have one?

The malty aroma has hidden within it such delights as toffee, caramel and mixed dried fruits like raisins and plums.

The taste follows along with those same flavours from the smell, this is a lovely semi-sweet malty beer which has a hop bitterness just under the surface (First Gold, Fuggles and Goldings).

A true classic and up there with Batemans XXXB and Adnams Broadside as iconic English top quality malty special bitters.

 1,003 characters

Photo of ChemESGH
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this when traveling to Newquay, Cornwall in the UK on business. We ate at a well hidden inn called the Falcon which is in St. Mawgan, not too far from the Newquay airport. On the recommendation of my boss, I tried a pint and am extremely glad I did.

It was "cellar cold" with a nice foamy head that remained until the Glass was drained. The flavor wasn't overwhelming, but had a nice multitude of different tastes to it. I was expecting it to be bitter but it was very smooth. Low carbonation also.

My favorite part was the creaminess of this beer and the excellent aftertaste. It went down very easily and the first was quickly followed by the second.

This was definitely the best beer I had while we were in the UK. I'm hoping to luck up and find it somewhere locally as it is now at the top of my list of beers. This will definitely be the one I compare future beers to!

A - Dark brown, akin to a Guinness with a light foamy head that remained until the glass was empty.

S - Fairly strong, almost like a toffee.

T - Slightly bitter, but the bitterness did not linger and the aftertaste was excellent. Hard to narrow in on specific taste.

M - Very full and creamy.

D - 100% recommend this beer!!!

 1,214 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut with lacey sand-colored head that trails a bit.
Apple skin, spicy hops, golden sultana and salted caramel on the nose.
Toffee, red currant jam and red pear, and slight dark toast then spicy, earthy hops.
Plum pudding finish and clean bitter linger.
Medium, fizzy, round.

At this strength, much more a Best Bitter than just a bitter. Just sayin'.

Lots going on, but lots isn't, too. I don't get the roast which is supposed to be there. Lots of St Austell beers get their buzz from unexpected hops like Galaxy (Trelawny) and Cascade (Proper Job) - this plays it straight with First Gold, Fuggles and EKG - thus, no surprises. And you absolutely must let it warms - sweetens, the fruit comes out and the IBUs bite harder and spicier.

Complex and competent, which is not to say exciting.

 801 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a amber hue with a 2-finger white head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail down the glass and ending in a wispy lace.

S: Malty aroma with a decent caramel and fruity background.

T: Sweet malt flavor with a slight fruity middle and finishes slightly sweet and malty.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Great example of English Bitter – second time having this beer and was great both time.

 463 characters

Photo of stcules
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber beer with cherry-colored reflex; off-white foam, creamy and compact (obviously a finger as usual).
Marked malt aroma, with hints of burned, and then make your mark to a light orange jam due to the English hop.
It is (relatively) strong for a English beer, and you can feel that, both as a malt presence, and in the structure of the beer itself. In addition to apricot, anyway present, you can feel, maybe too much, the malt and the sweetness. Nothing earth-shattering, but this issue certainly not giving freshness and ease of drinking (always compared to other English beer, of course). Even in aftertaste the malt and the sweetness tends to invade, but at the end you can find that bit of orange marmalade and a little hop bitterness which is not bad. Heavier than other beers of Cornwall, but this is its nature.

 822 characters

HSD Hicks Special Draught from St. Austell Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 15 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.