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Northern Lights IPA - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA

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

667 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 667
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 8
Gots: 39 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 09-19-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 667 | Reviews: 229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

08-11-2013 04:45:45 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

02-20-2013 03:22:46 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

10-26-2013 17:12:22 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color. Off white head and some lacing. The nose is grassy and floral with some light malt in the background. Bready malt and light hop bitterness ride underneath some light floral and grass characteristics in the flavor. Good body and carbonation. This is an easy-drinking IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 10:59:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a rocky head that leaves plenty of lace behind

Smell: Pithy bitter aroma with an undertone of cracker malt

Taste: Bready, up front, with a big blast of pithy aspirin-like bitterness arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt adds a sweeter balancing dimension but the flavors don't come together particulary well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Lacks the fruity element I find in my favorite IPAs but it is certainly on style and will suit those who like their pith to be dominant

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 20:59:16 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +12.4%

11-24-2011 19:50:57 | More by nmann08
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

08-23-2013 22:19:52 | More by acurtis
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

01-31-2012 09:09:39 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

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
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spycow

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

05-02-2013 05:07:44 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 22:57:00 | More by oberon
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

12-07-2013 19:08:01 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with a deeper amber color at the top of the glass. It had a one-finger, tan head with small bubbles. It left minimal lacing.

S - Good aroma of orange and some grapefruit. Also, some grasses present.

T - This one has a sweet bready malt backbone with some orange and other citrus fruits. Good bittersweet mix of malt and hops.

M - It was crisp, sharp and had a dry finish. A medium bodied beer that goes down easy.

D - This is my first brew from the state of Virginia and I really enjoyed it. It is a good IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 21:49:51 | More by zeff80
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pungent and resinous hops greet you in the nose as your pour this slightly hazy amber ale. It's almost like opening a bag of fresh hops! It brings up a full-sized head, and then maintains an inch thick cap for quite some time. (Lacing is good as well).

The flavor is just as hoppy, but balanced by a bit of yeasty fruitiness and lots of crusty, toasty bread... the kind that's just on the edge of burning at a few small points. It's floral, grassy, gently citrusy, leafy, and a touch piney - very much like East Kent Goldings, but with something else going on in there as well. Kind of a hybrid... It's interesting though, that they've stuck with mainly English hops though, as everyone seems to be making really hoppy beers with all American hops these days. I really like the blend. And I'd say, although it's not massive, that this is a really hoppy beer! And it's got the bitterness to prove it too! It's backed by a bold bitterness that clocks in at probably more than 80-85 IBU's, but at the same time, the rich, kind of luxurious bready-sweet and grainy malt keeps it from getting out of hand.

I've had a few Starr Hill beers before and enjoyed them greatly, but I've never really been impressed until this one. It's really a unique IPA in a sea of IPA's. And superbly balanced, but still with a lot of girth. You don't even know you're getting a hop slam at first - it takes a few sips for the massive oily hop resins and bitterness to set in. Really nicely done. Superb! Worth seeking out for fans of IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 10:18:09 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with several fingers of foamy off-white head. This settle down into a rich dollop of froth in the middle of the glass, coating the sides with a sticky latticework of lacing. The aroma smells of floral tones, spice, earth, and some light metallic notes, with an underlying mix of citrus and a rather prominent grainy sweetness that pushes upward.

The taste has a fairly assertive citric bite to it that is undercut by some earthy and herbal character but stills leaves some rather stiff bitter pith and spice lingering on the tongue. Like the nose, the malts here have a strong toasted grainy presence to them that is nearly as forceful here as the hops are. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft crispness in the mouth that intertwines with those more mellow herbal textures to keep this relatively smooth feeling despite the presence of some alcohol here.

Just based on the malt presence here, I could tell that this can must be getting up there in age yet those citric hops still had a bit of fresh life left to them in spots as well. I think that there was enough here for me to want to investigate this one again.

Serving type: can

06-19-2012 14:35:30 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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
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SocalKicks

California

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

08-17-2012 06:46:49 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a hazy dark golden color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex malt scent that boasts of pale, Munich, and biscuit malts. It's light with a touch of sweetness and a bit of bread-like character. The hop aroma is mild at best with just enough to sneak out of it's malt forward character. The taste is decent. It has a crisp hop bitterness up front along with a solid malt taste. It goes down easy with a refreshing hop character that runs through to the finish. The malts that were so pronounced in the aroma are merely a balancing agent in the taste. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pretty solid IPA. It's complex, yet easy drinking with good hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2012 16:17:00 | More by WesWes
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

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

Had tonight at Dave's Downtown Taverna in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice amber color with two inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, floral hops, and fruity malts.

t - Tastes of light citrus hops and light floral hops. Good but light in the taste.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent IPA. I wish the taste was a little stronger. Wouldn't seek out but would give another shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 03:17:58 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

07-22-2014 18:15:25 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Gavage
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 yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic

Pours a translucent honey golden amber with a fluffy off white head that has great retention and some specks of lacing. Always impressed by the aroma of this on tap, not quite as strong from this bottle, but still surprisingly rich. Nice mix of pungent and sweet pine and citrus hops. Body has nice medium, chewy feel with sharp carbonation. Bottled version is missing a little sweetness I remember from the draft version, very resiny, pungent taste, like citrus rind and a lingering grain flavor. Nothing exceptional, but a very nice affordable local IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 21:29:46 | More by yourefragile
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the mixed sampler 12 pack. Pours a copper color, smallish head to it. Smell is of grapefruit and hops.. fantastic aroma. Mouthfeel is good, beer is a light to medium bodied. Nice hoppiness, but very little to no maltiness. A very one-sided beer, not bad but just not balanced enough to be a good IPA. Solid, but in terms of IPA's just an average one... still manages a great aroma throughout though, kind of weird.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 03:15:13 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow, I found this one less musically inspiring than its CANival counterpart. I suppose, like JenRay, I take my IPAs too seriously to be frivolous and capricious. Still, I found it in a CAN and that counts for a whole lot in my book. Let The CANQuest (TM) CANtinue!

From the CAN: "Starr Hill founded in Charlottesville, VA (but I founded it at Whole Foods in DC)"; "The Gift of Great Beer"; and undersigned by "Mark A. Thompson Master Brewer".

The Crack & Glug was another success! I had two tawny fingers of thick, dense head (besides my own) and the smell ... The color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was so grassy and minty that I thought perhaps someone had seen fit to mow my lawn! I had the back door open on this very pleasant afternoon on the eve of my return to school so it was not out of the realm of possibility. Whoops! It is only Friday and the weather report generally only goes in a New Beer Sunday review. I have never been known as much of a CANformist, so I should be okay. Mouthfeel was medium and the mintiness of the hops was just understated enough that I had downed over half of it without even thinking. Easy drinking? Too f'in' easy! Finish had a clean, minty aftertaste like I had just finished with mouthwash (although the cops would probably disagree). Heavy lacing throughout and I began to despair that I might have to fire up the jackhammer to get it all off. I would definitely want some in the cooler at any given time, but especially on Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually)! Yum.

Serving type: can

08-12-2011 20:38:20 | More by woodychandler
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Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 667 ratings.