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Northern Lights IPA - Starr Hill Brewery

Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

599 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 599
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.45%


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: 599 | Reviews: 223 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper tinted amber, minimal cap of barely off white froth, nice sticky lacing. Scent is firmly malty and nutty with a bite of grapefruity hops. Taste follows scent, firm grapefruity hop presence but clouded by large biscuty, nutty and lightly carmel malts. Smooth creamy body from cask, still dry despite maltyness. Decent IPA that's a touch too malt forward. Nice presentation on cask.

Serving type: cask

07-04-2011 16:39:56 | More by rfgetz
Photo of ElGeordie
ElGeordie

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must admit Starr Hill beers have usually left me unimpressed in the past. The whole deadhead thing smacks of yuppie marketing and frankly the beers have been very ordinary...
Until this one. I'm an English Cask-conditioned / CAMRA type of guy and this one did not disappoint me.
I had 3 pints (or was it 4) of this at the Capital Ale house in Midlothian. The colour reminded me of a Yorkshire bitter (Sam Smiths ?): Clear dark gold with a good white head. Served at a cool (not cold) temperature the malty notes came flooding out. For an American IPA the hoppiness was very restrained. The CAHs tasting notes said 8.5% ABV I must admit that it didn't taste that strong - but maybe that's because I was enjoying it so much. A very drinkable pint.

Serving type: cask

03-27-2009 00:03:52 | More by ElGeordie
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber (hot brewed tea)Paired with crab BLT at Capital Ale House on the first day of spring in downtown Richmond, Va. Aroma from the well poured pint with 2 fingers of dense white cream head is making the wait for it to recede seem long. I am astonished at the level of carbonation from this cask.

As the food hits the table I admire the persisteant showy lace, inhale the nearly hop vinyard fresh hopped IPA and take my first taste. No bite! A midly bitter finish with medium body and well balanced malt O.G./IBU ratio. Finish is supurb - dry and a velvet soft round mouthfeel suggests dextrins of honey. A session with a growler is in order!

I am just blown away with the awesome fresh citrus hop flavor and want to know if this is a freshly tapped cask.

I resolve to find this brewery! My server Michael G stops by and resolves to try this local cask beauty at the end of his shift. Another cask brew and 29 more on tap including half dozen locals follow. I envy the locals who are able to savor a second glass with out the pressure to try the extensive Capital Ale House offerings. The day was made by Stinky!

Hats off to Mark Thompson - a true master brewer.

Serving type: cask

03-26-2006 14:45:17 | More by karst
Photo of phisig137
phisig137

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on cask at Commercial tap house. Pairs well with the fish and chips there... doused in malt vinegar, this is just about a perfect pair. For the first time, I want to visit England now.

Pours a orange-straw color, with a 2 finger head protruding above the top of the imperial pint glass. Aroma is typical cask IPA.... muted hops and dry.

The flavor of this beer is quite nice, and very well balanced. The malt and hops blend beautifully, leaving a relatively dry finish, and begging for another sip. Light enough to quaff large amounts of it, this beer is almost a session brew. Best Starr Hill beer I've had on cask to date.

Serving type: cask

03-06-2006 23:47:02 | More by phisig137
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask down at the Capitol Ale House Innsbrook location. Amber body with a good sized layer off egg shell white foam served in an Imperial pint glass. Rings of lace were left all around the glass as I consumed this. The aroma was made up of citric and earthy hops with a slight bitterness to it. A decent amount of caramel was present as well lending a slight sweetness to it, overall all though it is a bit weak. Taste is similar with citric and grassiness flowing over a fairly equal malt backbone. This was a pretty balanced taste with neither the sweetness nor the hops coming on too strong. Mouthfeel was about medium and very creamy. I could definitely put down a few of these and would have it again next time I returned to here.

Serving type: cask

11-09-2004 02:00:41 | More by meathookjones
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: cask

09-19-2004 15:30:48 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of godlessape
godlessape

Georgia

3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA
The body has a light clear amber hue to it topped off with a thin but creamy white head.
The aroma is somewhat floral and grassy, with some sweet fruitiness, finishing off with just a little grapefruit.
As far as taste goes everything seems rather subtle. Nothing jumps out and slaps you on the kisser. The caramel malt is there, as is the expected hop bitterness on the tail end. The balance in this is great.
The Mouthfeel is high in carbonation, with a juicy aftertaste.
Overall this is a decent brew, a solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 02:38:55 | More by godlessape
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
ThePaintedGrey

Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a rich copper color with a creamy tan head that starts out two-fingers in height after an aggressive pour. Dwindles pretty quickly, leaving an acceptable amount of lacing down the sides. A roughly 1/4" creamy cap retains like a champion.

S: Floral hops with some citrus fruit. Grapefruit dominates the citric aspect with some tangerines floating around. A little bit of grassiness and some bready malts lingering. Aroma is intense, but lacks in complexity. Nothing astounding, but nothing that can be scored too harshly.

T: Those bready malts up front. A little bit of caramel malt maybe? There's a lot of malt presence in the initial sip. Some weak hop bitterness cuts through, but doesn't really do a great job of taking the driver's seat on the flavor bus. A little bit of medicinal-like bitterness in the end that's still overshadowed by the lingering malt presence. None of these flavors are bad, by any means, but they're very disappointing for an IPA.

M: Medium body, maybe slightly above, I'd say. Crisp carbonation. A bit chewy in the mouth, likely due to the strong malt presence. This one feels great and definitely has some session potential. It's overall a bit too chewy and clean in the finish for me though, given the style.

O: I want to clear up that even though my score for this infers mediocrity, that's not particularly the case. Starr Hill's Northern Lights is a quite enjoyable brew. It's flavorful, it's smooth, it's a great grab for sessioning, BUT it's not a good example of what I look for in an IPA, and I scored accordingly. The malt presence is too dominant and the hops, for the most part, take the backseat. Like I said, this brew is enjoyable and sessionable, but not what I look for in an IPA. This would serve better as perhaps an American Amber Ale, perhaps?

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 19:31:34 | More by ThePaintedGrey
Photo of Edward-Nipplebrew
Edward-Nipplebrew

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice copper color not a bad IPA. Average in taste and quality. Good drinkability. A fine run-of-the-mill IPA nothing wrong but nothing to write home about. Strawberry fields forever. This would be a good choice for novice IPA drinkers as an introduction to get you into trying IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 20:36:30 | More by Edward-Nipplebrew
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a nice clear deep amber with a creamy white head which provides nice lacing

S- Mild bread with some light citrus hops and a faint sweetness at the end

T- Very similar in profile to the aroma. Nothing really stands out with this one, but it's not bad, either

M- a little watery, given the nature of American IPA

O- it's a decent IPA, worthy trying once for the sake of it

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 01:05:21 | More by delta490
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's Beer Distributor

A- a copper orange color that is in the middle between clear and opaque. The head is a frothy white that leaves a straight circular lacing on my pint.

S- citrus/grapefruit hops nose with faint malt hints.

F- a strong sharp and tart grapefruit/citrus flavor. not much else in the flavor.

M-light bodied but the tartness of the hops is overpowering and takes away from the other notes that should be in in IPA. It is not as dry or hoppy either.

O- an average IPA. the tartness is too over powering but a good brew all the same from Starr Hill.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 23:51:03 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
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 GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a very bright, slightly hazy, orange-gold coloring with a frothy, tall, foamy, dense, off-white head that clings all over the glass as you drink. Good looking beer. Aromas of tropical fruits, pepper and tobacco spice, and subtle grass and pine. Flavors are roast forward, with a more subdued fruit character and a solid tart grapefruit profile providing tart and bitterness. Subtle caramel backbone, and with some grass and cedar hops characteristics coming forward towards the tail-end of the palate. Smooth, light body with a tart and roasted sweet aftertaste, with hops bitterness to clean everything up at the end. The finish is dry, with a subtle resinous linger. Solid beer, and easy to drink. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 19:07:49 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is clear, golden-copper in color with a small ivory-colored head. Decent amount of lace.

S: Some citrusy and piney hops, though not big and in-your-face.

T: Surprisingly malt-centric for an IPA; first impression is the caramel malt & toffee of the malt. It loses flavor generally mid-sip, seeming almost watery, but then on the finish there's a mild amount of hop bitterness (think weak grapefruit), along with some green hops (grassy and piney). Decent lingering piney bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A bit slick in feel. Lighter than medium in heft. Carbonation is modest.

O: OK; reminds me more of an APA than an IPA, but it's not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 03:53:14 | More by Kendo
Photo of Steff_Wantz
Steff_Wantz

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautifully copper colored, can clearly see carbonation, nice head of foam

S: smells a bit musty, definitely has a strong hop aroma to it, hints of floral

T: a bit bitter at the start but a crisp IPA finish at the end, some sweetness to it

M: this brew covers your whole palate and leaves a coating on your tongue after

O: Overall this is a very enjoyable IPA, I would like to try this on draft. I typically forget about Starr Hill but this beer made me remember that this brewery is nothing to forget about. I am going to make sure I put some emphasis on trying more from this brewery in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 01:54:15 | More by Steff_Wantz
Photo of Altrurian
Altrurian

New York

3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this as a "premium" selection at the United Club near C-18 at IAD.

A right viscous pour, with noticeable churn as a one-finger, yellow-shaded head takes shape. The head disappears, but cling lingers. The aroma is alluring, with citrus and toffee on an unidentifiable floral base.

The beer's taste is hard and hoppy; no citrus--metallic instead, but with a clean finish. No nonsense, which, I guess, is a generous way of saying it's lacking in complexity and not much fun. But there's something there. Texture is just a touch too prickly. Sure beats the Miller Genuine Draft that preceded it.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 18:08:57 | More by Altrurian
Photo of TheMultiYeast
TheMultiYeast

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy burnt yellow. Small white head.

Nose is grassy, mildly hoppy, tropical notes, C-hops predominate, herbal.

Mild herbal notes, grapefruit hoppiness, decent balance, bitterness is pretty strong.

Feel is a little thin, a bit seltzer-like, but good for a session.

My first beer from Starr hill and although it's not an outstanding IPA, I'm willing to try more of what the brewery offers.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 01:09:18 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours crystal clear and golden orange to light amber in color with a 3 finger near white head that recedes slowly leaving some lasting sticky lacing.

Fresh, vibrant, and redolent in aroma with grassy, over ripe citrus, and caramel components. Yeasty dough at times.

Straight out of the fridge, the front forward bitter aspect was a bit much, but it quickly settled down as the beer warmed. Sweet light caramel from the malts and grassy and bitter hops. Occasional spice in the back of the mouth.

Medium to medium thick in body. Plenty of bite, especially early on. Bordering on creamy, however. Decent warmth from the alcohol.

From the initial smell of it, I thought this might approach the quality of a Stone brew, but the flavor didn't quite hold up. Nonetheless, as it warmed, the flavor was greatly improved and became more than passable. This ranks among the better of the Virginia brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 01:53:43 | More by obywan59
Photo of pacino77
pacino77

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a lot of people say negative things about new jersey. there's traffic, they insist, and whitetrash, and it's just a suburb of new york. i rode this train for a while as a result of peer pressure--i overlooked a lot of the simple charms of this eastern seaboard state because of the reputation it had in my mind on account of everyone else. the real fact is that there's a lot to be charmed by here, simple undeniable charms like when cat stevens sings, "take your time, think a lot," and you sort of hum along and bob your head in agreement. new jersey is a great place. now, have you ever heard anyone speak negatively about charlottesville, virginia? likely not. because it, too, is a nice place, but one that happens to be slightly more removed from interstate ninety-five. and like new jersey, it has its annoyances, like record shops that still charge $5 for michael jackson thriller and too many dudes in seersucker suits with polo shirts on underneath. charlottesville also, however, hosts and is home to the starr hill brewery, whose men and women are responsible for the creation of this fine, reasonably priced india pale ale. it comes in a can and more than once i've been glad that i'm not forced to find a half dollar with which to pry the cap off. i'm also a little bit interested in the recyclability of aluminum over glass. but i digress. the simple fact is that a hot august night goes better with a bag of utz potato chips and a cold can of northern lights.

Serving type: can

08-21-2013 12:41:50 | More by pacino77
Photo of ElderBeagle
ElderBeagle

Maryland

3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Obtained in the sampler pack

Really strange looking IPA. Clear dark amber color with very little head.

Smells very sweet for an IPA. Caramel maltiness, with the piny, citrus hops as well.

The taste is very sweet just like the nose, then the back of the tongue is the dry piny hops. Not much depth to the hops here which is disappointing, as I like complex hop flavor (citrus, tropical fruit, etc). Mostly just a dry piny, resinous flavor which is almost bulled over by the malt sweetness.

Its like an amber ale that was dry hopped or something. Overall, not the IPA for me. I actually think their pale ale is more complex and hoppy than this, and therefore more enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 17:58:42 | More by ElderBeagle
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.59/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Quick paced micro-effervesce passes through an orange body with a good clarity. Rigid foam works of 2 inches is sturdy, with a buff coloring showing a generous lace amount on the vessel.

S: Small dry citrus flower, none to complex, none to strong, none to appealing.

T: Coarse hopping, prickly flower bitterness, dry citrus. All bitterness hops, plus some dry hopping, but no flavor aspect. Dull tasting, dull hoping with some toasted sweetness upfront that gets overcome by the coarse, mono-tone hopping that finishes with some dry flour and chalkiness.

M: Light bodied, chalky, dry barley stalks, with a small moderate sweetness off the tongue.

O: Overall early hop bitterness additions leaves no room for flavor aspect. Blunt, dry and unfocused hop and flavor wise with a coarse finish that even zombie junkie hop heads will have a hard time likeing. Pass, hesitant finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 19:20:21 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says 02/06/13

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that bears good retention time before eventually becoming an 1/8 inch head. Resilient lacing trickles slowly down the glass.

S- Sweet malt combines with earthy hops to create an almost maple-like bouquet. Notes of brown sugar, caramel and some wet grass. Slightly musty.

T- Decent hop bite with more of the sugary malt coming through and a bit of booze. Not necessarily balanced as the hops create more of a standard bitterness and the malt provides most of the actual flavor. Easy to drink nonetheless.

M- A bit dry and plenty sharp from the booze and hops. Medium carbonation and a surprisingly hefty body.

O- Pretty decent IPA by an otherwise lackluster brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 00:37:18 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper color with some head. Decent head retention and spotted lacing.

S: Fresh smelling but not much going on here for an IPA. Malts present.

T: Nice mixture of mild hopping with a sweetener from the decent dose of malts.

M: Solid - has a good bit of body but still refreshing.

O: Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 01:01:28 | More by Oakenator
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
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 BeerLover99
BeerLover99

Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: dirty orange/shiny body, finger khaki head, spotty lacing

S: sugary biscuit, citrus, mild grass

T: kiwi/grapefruit, big sweet biscuit malt middle, earthy grass
bitter finish

M: med body, creamy/oily balanced mouth

O: Sweet Malty IPA? Interesting, usually not
my style at all, but enjoyed it, none the less.

SOLID; DON'T GO OUT OF YOUR WAY!

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 17:58:55 | More by BeerLover99
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Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 599 ratings.