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Smiles Holly Hops


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Formerly brewed at Davenports (prev Highgate)

Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
Bristol, England
Serve in English pint


on tap


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RATINGS: 9   MEAN: 3.07/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.94/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
Cask; Seasonal - available December.
Now brewed at Highgate following the closure of Smiles Brewery.

A strong traditional/ festive draught beer, dark gold in colour, with a warming character to ward off those winter chills, brewed using Crystal and Wheat malts bittered with a blend of Fuggles & Goldings hops.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
BlackHaddock (6384) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - MAY 8, 2012
Cask pint: drank in the Brier Rose, Wetherspoons pub in Birmingham, on winters evening early 2007. Dark with an off white head, looked an OK winter warmer. Burnt malts, mushrooms and biscuits dominate the aroma. The beer tasted of burnt malt and nothing else, it was watery and had no depth, not at all what I was expecting, hence the low scores.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
jehoey (765) - Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2006
aroma was of malt, and I think that I could detect the wheat. Has a stong matly flavor with some fruityness and some bitterness in the finish. Really nothing great. but not horrible

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - MAR 1, 2006
Cask (Pillars of Hercules): Amber with a beige tight head. Mild fruits, spice, nutmeg? Sweet nutty fruity and spicy flavour. Medium bodied, perfectly drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
DJMonarch (9179) - Northwich, Cheshire, ENGLAND - FEB 23, 2006
1. Cask Handpump at the Penny Black, Northwich (JDW) 27/12/2002 Amber golden coloured and sweet on the palate. Slightly bitter malt finish. 2. Cask Handpump at the Penny Black, Northwich 15/01/2003 Copper coloured and malty. Strong in alcohol with a slightly dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
harrisoni (17352) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - DEC 19, 2005
Cask handpull at Pillars of Hercules, London Xmas Pub Crawl. Well it has come out of retirement thanks to Highgate. Red/chestnut colour with thin beige head. Tarry fruit with good malts. Fruit is a little sour in the mouth with dark cherries. Again, I quite like this, bit of liquorice hiding in that sourness somewhere too.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
haddonsman (1234) - Derby, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - JAN 19, 2005
Cask at Royal Oak, Ockbrook. The Boxing Day pint; good chewy stuff to go with the hot pork rolls, hops struggled against the sweetness but managed to give it an overall feeling of control.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
chriso (7513) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 27, 2004
Deep reddish brown colour. This year, I seem to hitting a lot of "Christmas" beers that are perfectly decent but, frankly, not very Christmassy. At least, not in the way I anticipated. This one was no exception. More like a strong autumnal bitter really. There’s a significant element of dry, chewy malt with quite a noticeable hop rush coming through on the palate. Can’t say I noticed the wheat. Cask (handpump), Penderels Oak (JDW), Holborn, London.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sully (1380) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - DEC 10, 2004
This one was at the Carpenter’s Arms as opposed to the Masons. The latter must work harder because this one was not a bad drop but let down by a slight weakness in the beer. The wheat adds little I feel as opposed to the great partnership of the F&G hops. A pleasant seasonal beer that helps to make London at Christmas a great place to be.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
imdownthepub (13390) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 6, 2003
Cask Conditioned at The Bell, Banbuery. Deep golden colour with bubbly white head. A full malt and wheaty grain flavour, heavy base flavour with a sweetish light overnote. Plenty of alcohol on the nose, warming and insistent. There is a hoppy finish which doesn't quite overcome the sweetness of the base malt.

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