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Northern Lights IPA - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

817 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 817
Reviews: 242
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 13
Gots: 98 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 09-19-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 817 | Reviews: 242
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Pantalones
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second bottle of this one from the Starr Hill Loadout variety pack; bottling date is December 15th, 2014.

It's a dark golden color, pretty clear, with lots of little bubbles rising up at first (though they eventually stop, only briefly returning if the beer is swirled around a bit.) Nice white fluffy head on top at first, which gradually fades until there's just a bit on the surface, leaving significant trails behind on the glass as it goes. I suppose this is what other reviews refer to as "lacing," as there is indeed a lacy sort of pattern going on.

Smell is piney, with a little bit of something else I can't quite identify and occasionally hints of grain--grain becomes more noticeable and pine less so as the beer warms. Not as strong as I was expecting of an IPA, based on my limited experience with the style; actually the smell here might be fainter than the Grateful Pale Ale in the same pack, as I need to put my nose right near the glass to pick much up (rather than being able to smell the piney, citrusy hops from several inches above like with the pale ale.)

Taste is similar to the smell. Piney hops, a hint of something maybe closer to "leafy" or "grassy" every now and then (more noticeable after the beer has warmed slightly), and occasional bits of bready and lightly toasty malt. Oh, and bitterness. Just plain bitterness. The amount of actual hoppy flavor doesn't seem to match the amount of bitterness going on here--it's not super bitter, but it almost seems like there's more "just bitter" than there is hop flavor, which is really odd. Thankfully, that "leafy/grassy" sort of flavor seems to blend with the "pure bitterness" taste a bit more as the beer warms, which is an improvement... but it's still really odd that this beer has that much extra bitterness without a matching increase in hop flavor. And then, as if sensing my complaints as I type them, the last drink in the glass was all pine and toastyness with only a little bitterness... weird.

Mouthfeel is not bad in any way, but not amazing. Doesn't have that interesting "fizzy but it works" thing I noticed in Ranger, but it doesn't feel too watery or light or have any other really negative qualities either.

Overall, while this isn't *bad* by any means it's also definitely my least-favorite from the Loadout variety pack. While the Grateful pale ale grew on me quite a bit between my first and second glass, my opinion on this one hasn't shifted much (though letting the beer warm a bit so that "leaf/grass" sort of flavor began to blend in with the bitter and more of the toasty grain sort of flavor came out was a slight improvement over drinking it right out of the fridge.) I won't have trouble finishing my last bottle of this one, but I'd still rather just have another bottle of the pale ale instead.

EDIT: Bumped up my score for taste just a tad after having the last bottle of the six-pack and enjoying it noticeably more than the previous two.

Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good to see this brew show up in my local area.Poured into a nonic a dull slightly hazed full golden with a large tight wthite head that left broken rows of lace as it settled slowly.If I did a blind test on aroma I would never think this was an American IPA,mainly caramel malt with just a passing herbal hop note,not to impressed with that.Flavors regain a little of the hop character but still mild in my mind,light citric and herbal hop mixed with some biscuit malt.A little thin and not the most complex IPA but its not awful.

Photo of Cvillebogey
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of petewheeler
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of HerbMeowing
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours a hazy amber body with a medium offwhite head. Abundant patch lacing adorns the glass.

Aroma has lots of grassy/earthy hops with a hint of grapefruit. Biscuity caramel malt underneath.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a mild hops bite.

Taste begins with a grapefruit hoppiness which quickly turns to a bitter and grainy earthiness. Maltiness is grainy and biscuity. Finishes with some citrus rind with a grassy hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

A decent American IPA but the grainy bitterness detracts. Not as good as the other Starr Hill brews I've sampled.

Photo of tripelz
1.25/5  rDev -64.9%

Photo of KolbMarley
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of avitallo
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cbradio
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the two cask offerings at the downtown Capital Ale House. Major kudos to the wife for suggesting CAH as a dinner location to celebrate Anniversary #5.

Light amber in color. Clear, with a nice layer of off-white head. Sticky lacing of the glass all the way down. Aromas are somewhat small. There are notes of bitter hops, mostly grassy/citrus and a smidgen of sweetness. Flavor is more of the same. A cask-mellowed flavor of bitterness up front. Nothing brash. Middle allows the honey sweetness to stand center stage. Finishes with a well-balanced bitterness that is attenutated by a caramel sweetness. Good mouthfeel and drinkability. Just beind the Big Daddy in my book.

Photo of deanwilson
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this beer-six-pack of 12 oz.bottles at at the Broadway Deli in Richmond, Va

A. Sightly hazy when first poured cold into a glass. It almost gives the appearance of being non filtered. It soon clears into a nice amber-copper color.

S. The smell is the only drawback to this beer. It doesnt smell nearly as good as it looks or tastes.

T Very smoothe and extremey hoppy. The hops hang around on the front-sides then back of the tongue for a long time. If you like hops, this beer will definitley give you your fix.

M. Appropriately carbonated and surprisingly rich for an IPA with an ABV of only 5.8% (this is what it says on the label, contrary to the information above)

D. Very drinkable. Great with spicy food. The reasonable ABV makes this a beer you can sit down with and enjoy a few.

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Bike2work
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of KOP_Beer_OUtlet
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of MisterMoore
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a tulip glass, carbonation bubbles climb up the glass moderately.. finger and a half head I would say

A: Foggy copper color....some good lacing but the head fizzles away before you know it

S: Slight hop smell... It's very subtle but you pick it up. As far as an IPA goes i think this smell won't turn away any newcomers from trying it.

T: Hops... it's kinda watered down though, good intro beer to this style since it wont overwhelm your palate.

MF: The taste lingers in your mouth like all IPA's but it's not as strong as others that I've had. Drinkability is very high on this one, but it doesn't knock my socks off.

O: I like this beer... but I don't love it. Nothing is wrong with it, just saying that i want more from an IPA. I encourage people who haven't had an IPA before to try this one...it's a fabulous intro to this style.

Photo of ryser2k
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of dmk91
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated best by Nov. 2011 served in a pint glass.

Light orange/amber; hazy with a generous off-white head that looks both sudsy and creamy. Lots of irregular sticky lacing.

Aroma is mainly hoppy citrus with some malt, grass and pine underneath. Somewhat herbal. Alcohols esters appear upon warming.

T - The taste features a citrus-tinged but mainly bitter hop bite. Plenty of white grapefruit bitterness in the lasting finish ... more than warranted by the mid-taste hop level.

M: medium body; very good carbonation level.

O - bolder than average, but lacking the balance and complexity of a world-class IPA.

Photo of SPRichard
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of jamiemottram
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of bdtva
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of OCain
4.8/5  rDev +34.8%

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Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.