Tag Archive: Dark Star


Dark Star: Sunburst (England: Golden Ale: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold, large amounts of carbonation and good sized bubbled to froth head.

Nose: Coriander and cinnamon. Lemon fresh. Slightly soured bitterness. Sweet condensed cream. Peach. Vanilla toffee.

Body: Good bitterness. Liquorice. Small hints of chocolate liquore. Dried apricot. Frothy texture. Lemon sherbet. Peach and light cream.

Finish: Good bitterness. Very ripe banana. Dry hop character. Light apricot.

Conclusion: The third golden ale this week and this one is a belter. Good bitterness for my tastes and great apricot and sherbet flavours. Sweet, quite distinctly so and if it wasn’t for the accompanying bitterness it would get old fast. As it is the two work with each other so when you get to the end the kick of bitterness is a nice twist.

Very full and fruity, worth holding on the tongue for a while as this allows the sweetness to grow. In fact if you hold long enough you get off liquorice and chocolate liquore out from the mix. This is unexpected and gives that touch of extra luxury to the show. This drinks very nicely, lots of elements that contrast very well. It’s a touch above the run of most golden ales. The flavour range goes to unexpected places and somehow manages to brace against the heavier bitterness.

It’s interesting in that the aroma leads you in nicely, with almost condensed cream sweetness. You get no hint of the bitterness but great foreshadowing of the coming sweetness.

For downsides. Well the finish, though impressively bitter, doesn’t do much else. Not a huge lot wrong else though.  It reminds me of Moor’s takes n golden ales, but I would give this one the pip for ambition.

Overall a great bit extra on a golden ale. Lovely bitterness without making it the only thing. Well used fruit and nice extra flavours. Definitely a touch above the crowd

Background: One of a set of beers my family had got in so I had a few beers to review while I was back home over Christmas. This one, from Dark Star, I had high hopes for. I’ve had a few Dark Star beers so far, none had really grabbed me, but they always felt like there was good craftsmanship behind them so it was just a matter of time.

Dark Star: Espresso Stout (England: Stout: 4.2% ABV)

Visual:  Black with a thin mocha bubbled head. The head leaves bubbled trails around the glass of firm consistency.

Nose: Bitter. Ground dark coffee. Dusty and coffee granules. Light milk. Charred wood and mocha.

Body: Big bitter and coffee. Chalky texture. Slight treacle back, Roasted nuts. Mocha.  Too thin at the front.

Finish: Charring. Big amounts of nuts and some chalk.  Touch of treacle. Very dry feel. Slight black cherry and bitter chocolate, but more hinted at than completed flavours.

Conclusion: This needs a thicker body, and then some. Pretty much my first thought on sipping, and nothing since has done much to put me off that conclusion.  The nose is full of coffee power, and the finish is charred and bitter, but the body comes in just a bit too light.  On big mouthfuls you get more, as you would expect. Never that solid though.

Still the flavours are pretty much in place, even if they lack some umph to get them going. Nowt special I must say. Does improve slightly as you progress, but never a showstopper stout. Not bad, not great.

Background: Dark Star has always had a great rep, which I’ve never seemed to gel with.  So far, I’ve found the beers good, but never quite as worth raving about as others have seen them.  Possibly I’ve just not tried the right beers.  This one I’ve tried before in bottle, but this is the first time I’ve tried the more highly regarded cask version.

Dark Star: Hylder Blond (England: Golden Ale: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Hazy amber fold with a rim of light bubbles.

Nose: Light dusty hops, smooth but with a dash of wheat grain Light glucose sweetness. Grapefruit and elderberry.

Body: Grapefruit that’s slowly growing throughout the pint. Light wheat grain. Medium hops. Slight custard sweetness and sharp sour touch.

Finish: More grapefruit that hovers in the air, hops but with only slight bitterness. Toffee.

Conclusion: Normally I would be giving this beer a rave review, it’s a refreshing mix of elderberry. grapefruit and hops, not complex but flavoursome.

Today it finds itself being tasted directly after two stonking beers of a similar take and tasty as it is it cant compete, and I cant help but view it different in light of that..

Stull don’t let that put you off, A grapefruit refresher done well is usually worth a try against most things on tap.

Dark Star Oktoberfest (England: Oktoberfest: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Honey/orange with a bubbly white head.

Nose: Light lime and vanilla, some malt.

Body: Very grainy and wheat bails. Citrus – lime jam. Slight sweetness, lots more grain like wholemeal bits in white bread.

Finish: Dry and hoppy, bitter initially then airy vanilla and sugar.

Conclusion: A Sussex Oktoberfest? Surely not! A bit too strong on the lime elements which hides the other notes, carries through as a refreshing beer however. It tries for sweetness but ends up more cloying.

A very wheat filled experience, almost like an alcoholic representation of a farmers gathering – very Sussex character.

It’s not a bad beer but its not a patch on most Oktoberfests

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