HopHead | Dark Star Brewing Company Limited

BA SCORE
87
very good
68 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom
darkstarbrewing.co.uk

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-19-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
68
Reviews:
26
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 26
Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of corby112
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 341 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

 1,197 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of bark
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
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?

 663 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 439 characters

Photo of stcules
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

 317 characters

Photo of samEBC
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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

 412 characters

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

 2,624 characters

Photo of BdM
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woosterbill
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
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!

 664 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 542 characters

Photo of hopley
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

• Look – 4.25 – Gold color and clear, 1 inch head that fades to nothing except a little layer on top and leaves sparse but artful lacing on the side
• Smell – 3.5 – Couldn’t get much smell but did smell fresh – more like a lager
• Taste – 4.0 – Bitter – just about right for an IPA.
• Feel – 3.75 – Light mouthfeel
• Overall – 4.0 – Enjoyed this beer but didn’t find it overly exciting as I’m more used to IPAs in the 6% - 8% range with a bit more body - but this one may be the carbonated, bottled version of what I’ve had on pulled on tap in Brighton at room temperature – prefer it that way.

 645 characters

Photo of Jcarriglio
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of steverx8
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of vinicole
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw to light amber. Very little head.
Citrus and floral hops.
Taste follows the smell and is balanced by some subtle malt.
Soft feel from a cask dispensed brew. An easy drinker.

 179 characters

Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -37%

Photo of jrfehon33
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of stephenlee
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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HopHead from Dark Star Brewing Company Limited
3.97 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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