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Northern Lights IPA - Starr Hill Brewery

Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

598 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 598
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.48%

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 09-19-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 598 | Reviews: 223 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 57md


3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is a copper color with a finger of fluffy white head. The head sticks around for quite awhile and leaves some nice sticky lace behind. The nose has notes of both hops and grapefruit. The flavor profile is somewhat balanced, but I’d say the malt slightly overwhelms the hops. There is also a trace of citrus taste. The finish is milder than most top shelf IPAs.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 03:57:54 | More by 57md
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap at hard times in Arlington VA. pours an amber color with a nice head. smell is malty and sweet. not bad but not what I was expecting from an IPA. taste is more of the same. hard to call this an IPA. medium body with light carbonation.

overall its decent but wouldn't call this an IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2013 01:23:43 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of ALBuff


3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid "gateway IPA" for those individuals who may not yet appreciate the finer things in life hops can offer. Not overpowering by any stretch, the subtle citrus and herbal hops sit quietly in the background without imposing themselves too harshly onto the palate. Light, crisp, & refreshing, but I think Star Hill just missed the mark of a true IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2013 16:03:28 | More by ALBuff
Photo of oldirtycaffrey


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

Decent IPA. Pours a dark amber color with a foamy-off white head, leaving some lacing along the glass as you finish it. Smell is very hoppy, slightly sweet, a hint of fruit/orange peel. Carbonation for me was just a little too strong, which made it hard to want to have more than one of. Has a dry finish. Overall, this was just OK.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2012 15:21:47 | More by oldirtycaffrey
Photo of MDDMD


3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-slightly hazy amber color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-citrus, malt, nice floral aromas, hints of pine

T-citrusy upfront with a solid malt backbone and floral notes, very light pine and mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, thick and smooth mouthfeel

O-a decent IPA, but would prefer a bigger hop presence here, easy drinking beer

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2012 03:32:43 | More by MDDMD
Photo of kylehay2004


3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the brewery.

A: single finger head on a hazy golden body and crimson hues.

S: very nice aroma with candied citrus, mostly tangerine, pineapple and orange. Nice malt presence.

T: well balanced but still too lightly hopped. Hops mostly provide citrus notes, minimally floral. Nice malts presence.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: like so many of their brews, drinkable, nothing stands out and therefore not much memorable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2012 23:22:22 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of rhartogsq


3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at American Tap Room, Ballston Location in pint glass

A. Gold, lighter than most IPAs Almost no head, however, out waitress was super slow and the head probably dissipated before she brought it out to my table.
S. Nice, floral scent. Pretty average smell for and IPA, but I like that.
T. Not bad, a nice hoppy note, finishes a little dry.
M. Refreshing, the a little dry. Decent balance.
O. Halfway through this beer, I had a sip of Lil' Sumpin Sumpin, and that ruined the Northen Lights for me. As Lil S.S. is awesome. But Give Northern Lights a shot and decide for yourself.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 16:16:52 | More by rhartogsq
Photo of AgentMunky


3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Nice head, fades fast. Good lacing. Clear golden-orange.

S: Hoppy and fun. Powerful, vegetal hops. IPAish.

T: A bit sweet. A tad bitter on the endtaste. Goodish aftertaste. Decent, if underwhelming, IPA.

M: It's there, but a bit dry. Not great.

O: Again, it's an okay IPA, and, although I'd drink more, I probably wouldn't recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2011 19:49:22 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Hopfenpeter


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

This time I had the chance to taste this beer on Tab, while waiting for a train at Union Station in Washington.
It was served in a pint glass and had a nice clear meduim gold color, with half a finger of white head, which dissipated very fast.
The smell was fruity, with hints of peach. Malt and caramel are also present.
The Taste was according to the smell. Fruity up front, sweet and malty in the middle and a nice hop finish. I liked the "on Tab" version of this beer better than the bottled version. Could be that the bottle was much warmer served, or the fact that I just was more thirstier.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2011 21:03:55 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of Nay


4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in non- beer geek bar, good session ipa. Hoppy and bitter, malt subdued, but there. Fresh tasting but not a lot of aroma, still good what was there: some malt yeast and hop aromas. Hop bitterness tasted like a blend of american hops leaning toward pine, not candy or bubblegum thankfully. Nice dry finish.

A tasty session ipa: not overly bitter or malty or alcoholic; dry.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 01:35:21 | More by Nay
Photo of goblue3509


3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color with a two finger white head which recedes to skim and leaves very little lace. The aroma is of a slight citrus smell, there are hints of grapefruit and orange as well as a slight hop bite. The taste follows the nose a lot of citrus..grapefruits and oranges with some lemons. There is a decent hop bite but it is not over the top hoppy. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated but it is a little watery. Overall it is an average ipa there is no big smell or big taste, a good starter ipa but not something for hop heads.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2011 18:45:02 | More by goblue3509
Photo of nickthetick


3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden yellow in to an American shaker with a finger of light khaki head that leaves very little spotty lacing.

S: Grapefruit, oranges, strong citrus and even a bit minty.

T: Deep flavorfull citrus; lemons, tangerines and grapefruits. Good balanced malt sweetness keeps the bitterness from being cloying.

MF: Light, a bit watered down. Great effervescence.

O: This would be a great IPA for starters but it isn't my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2011 14:59:04 | More by nickthetick
Photo of BeerMarshall


4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried on tap at Starr Hill and from bottle in the past.

A: golden, thin head
S: piney hop aroma with citrus hints, high on the cascade
T: Again, high on the cascade hop aroma but not in your face.
M: Appropriate to style.
O: A good IPA. Not the best, but definitely a go to of mine for a hoppy beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2011 23:22:30 | More by BeerMarshall
Photo of engagechad


3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at the Boathouse in Richmond, VA - pint glass - fresh keg

Pours yellow amber with a perfect head, carb and lacing. Smells of bitter hops, earthy and dirty in a way. Tastes extremely bitter for the ibus. I feel that they must have used a lot of bittering and not as much dry on this one. The mouthfeel is a little to puckery for my tastes however I do like really bitter IPAs..

Overall this is a good brew and I would absolutely buy it again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2011 14:50:50 | More by engagechad
Photo of jsprain1


3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear orange. One finger head retains itself pretty well. Little lacing.
S- Bread dough and citrus hops.
T- Initially it seems caramelly and bread doughy but mid sip it releases a lemon and grapefruit hop flavor on the tongue. This comes earlier and earlier the more it warms up. Not extreme hoppiness, but the way it emerges on the palate is unexpected.
M- Moderate body, slightly low carbonation, but it worked well.
D- A decent IPA but nothing that particularly stands out from the pack.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2011 15:27:32 | More by jsprain1
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From tap to shaker glass at Clyde's in NW DC on 2/24/11
*From notes

A: Light golden amber with a good looking two finger head and sub-standard lacing.

S: Simple nose of malt and bread with trace bitterness.

T: Earthy grains up front, with a heavy dose of malt and bitterness on the back end.

M: Blase. It's nothing special, though it certainly isn't awful. It's just average.

O: It is what it is - a drinkable east coast IPA. Starr Hill has yet to really impress me, and though this one is passable, I can't say I'll be making a point of tracking down the rest of their suds.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2011 22:22:08 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy copper color with good carbonation and a tiny off white head. Aroma is of light citrus and floral hops and some slightly sweet caramel malt notes. Taste is floral hops, some citrus, caramel and a little bit of a grainy note in the background, light bitterness on the finish. Well balanced IPA and rather solid with lacking some punch.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 16:35:51 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of AgentZero


3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Burnt amber color, little bit cloudy. Small white head, little bit of lacing.

S - Light citrus hops, little bit of pine, sweet malts, and corn syrup.

T - Sweet malts, some citrus hops, little bit of resin finish. Little bit of grass and floral notes, but a little too watery.

M - Light body, decently carbonated, little bit watery.

D - Not bad, fairly drinkable, not a ton of taste.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2010 04:42:39 | More by AgentZero
Photo of BarrytheBear


3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Belly up at Old Ebbits after an awesome foot tour some of the city's finest

Reddish-orange pour with a thin coating and a steady tiny stream of bubbles. A nice lace follows the beer's demise.

The nose and taste follow the same script, so I'll comment as such. Quite malty with some spicy hops leave a snappy, bitter finish. Overall, rather clean and more malty than hoppy, which fits the east coast modus opernadus.

I had doubled back through town because this is a cool bar and I wanted to try this beer on tap. A cool overall experience, but the beer is not overly worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2010 22:04:16 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of chickenflea


3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber orange color with good head retention and lacing. Smell is light citrus and with a h hint of earthiness. Taste follows the nose. Very lightly malted. Overriding dimension is a dry hoppiness with some pepper, earthiness and light wet tobacco. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is average. It's dryness had me ready for another style after just one beer. A solid IPA. More in the English style.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2010 01:55:44 | More by chickenflea
Photo of thekanna


3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Clyde's Tower Oak Lodge in Rockville, MD.

A: Slightly dark gold with a bit of haze and almost no head.

S: Somewhat indiscernible... some faint sweet malts and a bit of hops, but overall just a generic freshness.

T/M: Medium-bodied and juicy. Medium to strong hop bitterness which hits the palate and continues into the aftertaste. Malts followed by slight citrus afterward.

D: Pretty drinkable IPA with a nice albeit biting hoppiness.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 05:28:04 | More by thekanna
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light orange in color with a 1/2" head that broke down quickly. No lace developed.

Smell: some soft caramel tones and a hint of hop bitterness came through but were tough to detect.

Taste: bready malt profile with a moderate but slightly harsh bitterness, caramel, lemon, and a bit of ripe fruit sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout with some dryness late.

Drinkability: a somewhat slower quaffing beer, as the refreshment level was reduce with some of the harsh bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 17:39:00 | More by Gavage
Photo of drabmuh


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at some crappy bar in downtown DC. Served in an odd glass closest to a shaker pint glass. Beer is clear as far as I can tell and kind of amber / red. Forms a one finger head of small off white bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks OK.

Aroma is a little weak. Mostly piny with some malt notes.

Beer is medium body and kind of smooth. Overall its just an OK IPA. Minimal sweetness up front, minimal bitterness in the back. Overall I enjoyed it but there are better IPAs out there.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2010 18:13:39 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty solid American IPA, a bit shy on the nose but other than that rather pleasing.

Presentation: 16 oz draft serving. Menu only notes the name of the brew. Tap handle with the logo of the brewery in the distance. Served in a pint shaker glass.

A - Medium to deep amber pour, 1/2" inch frothy head, good retention, nice and persistent surface memory, and rather rich lacing. This is probably as good as an IPA can look on a pint shaker glass.

S - A touch of a hoppy citrus sense on a lightly fruity and fresh aroma.

T - Citrus and grapefruit hop notes, with a nice malty touch lingering in the background.

M - Medium-light body and carbonation, in fact if it were not for the hoppy bite it could feel a tad watery luckily it is really not the case and balances itself out rather nicely.

D - Pleasing IPA, solid within the style and a nice regional offering.

Notes: First Starr Hill brew I have an opportunity to try and this is rather worthy... Glad to be remembered with a brew like this that regional does not only mean looking up north.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2010 02:49:50 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of TMoney2591


3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chilled mug at The Tombs.

Pours a light amber-ish straw with about a finger or so of light ecru head. The latter has good retention and produces some nice rings of lacing. A constant stream of bubbly bubbles flows from the base. The smell is pretty heavy on the hop citrus, with a lesser turn by the pine and not much else there at all. The taste generally follows, though the pine is more pronounced than the citrus, and an overall bitterness pervading throughout. In the back, though, is a strongly bitter bite that lingers into the aftertaste. The body is at the lightest notch on the moderate ladder, and the carbonation is fairly pronounced. In sum, this is a pretty drinkable brew, but that last strike of hoppy bitterness keeps it from a very high drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 22:18:10 | More by TMoney2591
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Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 598 ratings.