Northern Lights IPA - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

232 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 232
Hads: 843
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 13
Gots: 117 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 232 | Hads: 843
Photo of Oakenator
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (312 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (292 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
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! (348 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single purchased at the Pennington Circle SuperSaver.

A striking amber, with a slight haze. Two fingers of level dense white foam.

Inviting, assertive aroma of pine and pineapple.

Low level malt foundation. A flash of juicy fruit. Nuclear blast of bitterness. It's good bitter, but there is a whole lot of it. Big time tooth scraper.

Medium mouthfeel flows along.

If you are looking for a hugely bitter IPA, this beer is for you. (435 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pour is fairly dark amber with a 1/2 inch of head that leaves a pretty sweet lace ring throughout.
S - Smell is subdued hop bitterness, old malt, and some cracker crust.
T - A very lackluster IPA with more malty base than standard hop bitterness. Slightly below average.
M - Malty medium bodied with a not very "crisp" finish.

Overall a very forgettable IPA that is worth passing for the single reason of no bottling date. Guaranteed to be old. (449 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Nice orange tinted gold, one finger head, average lacing
S - Not a bad smell, some fresh fruits, citrus and a hint of peach, flowers, and a slight scent of dankness.
T - Some decent hop bitterness here, a little citrus taste, as well as a little sweet malty finish, some dried flowers, and a hair of pine.
M - Lighter on feel, medium carbonization, but the bittereness hangs on more than it should
O - Average IPA, but its drinkable and is a decent style of single IPA, there's much better picks out there for singles, but its not bad. (562 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much an average brew. Didn't notice a bottle date but suspect it's old. I tend to believe that 75% of most beer sold in a bottle store is out of date anyway.

Not picking up really any hop notes either in aroma or taste in this orange amber brew.
Mostly malts here and a metalic aftertaste.
Drinks harsh not smooth at all.
I'll revisit these guys latter on. (364 characters)

Photo of ALBuff
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (359 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Twist off bottle dated 11/30/12. Let's hope it's a brewed on date.

A - Nice, clear, orangey body with a finger of white foam. It leaves a decent lace.

S - Caramel malts, earthy aromas, a touch of vanilla, oddly. It smells like an old ipa.

T - bitter grapefruit rind, light malty roasted flavors. Citrus begins to come to the front. It tastes much better than it smells.

M - dry, medium body. Foams up pretty well.

O - this is pretty bitter, a little bit old, and not very remarkable. If this were local to me, I'd probably grab a six pack every now and again if it was in the $8 range as it's fairly easy drinking, but not a go-to IPA. (640 characters)

Photo of Ryanm1
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Run of the mill IPA. Sucked this one down straight from the bottle. Hoppy taste nothign really to comment about this beer. I got this out of the mixed packed that Star Hill makes and this was a marginal IPA which was on par with the Red Ale, and Imperial Stout in the case. (273 characters)

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (332 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
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 (372 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Lots of froth on this clear, golden brew. the large bubbles were quite sticky and clung to the glass quite a bit.

S: Are my senses dead? I honestly didn't get much here. Maybe a bit of yeast and grainy citrus.

T: The taste was pleasant and with no pine cone whatsoever. Very East Coast and subdued. Sure, the orange was in there, but this was played right down the middle.

M: Prickly and with lots of lacing.

O: I found this to be very drinkable, but ultimately not very memorable. (488 characters)

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle was given to me by Mark, the GM at the Keswick Tavern in Glenside, PA. Thanks for the sample, Mark!

Poured and sampled from a DFH Pint Glass

A - The beer pours an opaque, slightly hazy, golden orange color. A foamy, one-finger head on the initial pour. Lots of sticky lacing left after drinking.

S - An average smelling IPA with a mix of pine, grapefruit and hops.

T - A sweet, malty taste yet it still has a nice hoppy bitterness to it. A mixture of the standard IPA tastes of pine and citrus (grapefruit ). A earthy, grassy taste as well. There is a tangy, caramel-like aftertaste. The ABV is well hidden. A very sessionable beer, in my opinion.

M - medium consistency. Good amount of carbonation.

O - A good IPA and a beer that I would definitely have again. That being said, nothing really sets it apart from the multitude of IPA's out there so I can't say it was the best I ever had by any means. It is what it is...an easy drinking, middle of the road IPA that is worth a try if you see it.

Cheers! (1,022 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this hoppy beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a amber sort of dirty blonde color. The head was gone really fast but lacing hung on for a little while. The smell and taste was certainly IPA, but too much for me. The beer was very dry with a bitter finish. Not for me and I will not buy again. (317 characters)

Photo of mckenziac
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Starr Hill "Road Show" mixed pack.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, golden brown color. Has a large, frothy head that dissipates quickly and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell: Has a nice floral hop aroma with a hint of citrus. I would guess it's Cascade hops but I'm not sure.

Taste: Starts bitter but with a nice balancing maltiness. Finishes strongly bitter with a grassy, piney Cascade hop flavor. All in all, a well-balanced, but typical, American IPA.

Mouthfeel: Well-carbonated and full-bodied.

Overall: Again, a well-balanced, slightly better than average IPA. Starr Hill is one of my sentimental favorites because it's fairly local and this is one of their better brews. (765 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a brew I've been meaning to try for a while so this seems like a good time. Pours a bright orange brown with an opaque body and a solid cream colored head. Nose has varied citrus and floral notes and a general spicy hoppiness.

The flavor is rounded throughout the sip and features an impressive balance and some late hops in the aftertaste. Citrus, grimy floral and a hit of pine. Carbonation is maybe a little high but seems to fit this beer. Somewhat creamy in texture.

Not a beer to go across state lines for but well worth trying. Nice balance, medium bitterness, and fairly easy to quaff several. (613 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.62/5  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. (453 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a light copper color with a large white head. The head fades over a moderate amount of time to give a light amount of lacing.

Smell – A nice bready aroma with good hints of citrus; mainly orange and grapefruit in nature. Mixed with this are light floral notes as well as a slightly earthy note.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice malty base mixed with a citrus hop. The hop taste starts out with a nice sweeter citrus flavor of tangerine and some light bitterness of grapefruit. The flavors bitter more as the taste goes on with some other floral and light pine flavors coming to the tongue. Overall the hop is on the more lower side of hop spice, but actually quite smooth overall.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is slightly on the thicker side with the carbonation level being very average. Both suit the beer quite well and make for an easy drinking brew.

Overall – A very easy drinking IPA with good flavor. A little low in hoppiness, but it does have nice flavors. (1,043 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1375th Review on BA
Bottle to Small Tulip
12oz

No bottle dating

Thanks to my co-worker for bringing this state tick back to CA for me.

App- A mixture of copper and orange with some yellow highlights. A small one finger off white head with a touch of cling and lace. Like a deep sunset.

Smell- Really had that Euro/East Coast IPA aroma with grass, dirt and more malts behind it. Small amounts of hops came up but not much. Also small amounts of over ripe fruit.

Taste- The taste was very similar to the nose with the malts dominating this profile. Seemed like being in a dirt field after a tractor just made some dirt dust come up. Small citrus backing flavors.

Mouth- A fuller medium with a certain dryness behind it. A fuller carbonation level as well. Residual earthiness and over-ripe fruit.

Drink- It was a nice IPA. Wasnt earth shattering or anything crazy. If someone likes a bit more malts and less citrus balance. Check this one out. (948 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (1,180 characters)

Photo of BryanCarey
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange/tan in color, this American IPA starts off with a frothy, creamy head of foam and a caramel/citrus aroma. The head of foam gradually breaks down to a thin layer, but it does leave some lacing.

This beer has a good flavor profile that includes tastes of caramelized malt, toasted malt, and pale malt, along with some citrus flavor; namely light mandarin oranges. There are some biscuit notes as well but only a small amount of hop bitterness in the finish. The beer has an interesting floral aftertaste.

Northern Lights IPA is a decent beer, but I’m not so sure it is deserving of an IPA designation. I love IPA, but I expect a more powerful jolt of hops than this. I like the malt backbone of this beer, too, but I still can’t help but wonder what happened to the hops. I expect an explosion, but the hops offered here ae more like a small firecracker.

This is a good effort overall from Starr Hill, but it seems like it is lacking in a few ways. I don’t rank it highly on my IPA list, but I certainly wouldn’t turn one down if offered my way. (1,064 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bit of a gusher out of the bottle...

A - A bit more than a fingers worth of airy off-white colored foaminess comprised of loads of big chunky bubbles... Decent retention gives way to a full whipped slightly creamy lacing... Loaded with rapid carbonation within and loads of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass... An interesting color that is lively copper with a distinctive energizing red hue... A very nice looking brew all the way around... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Sweet citrus... Mandarin oranges... A bit of fruit cocktail... A strong malt base lies beneath the surface... Bread dough... Biscuit... Caramel...

T - The flavor is rather plain Jane... The hop presence is very subdued, especially considering the IPA designation... The malt base is solid, but uninspired... There's nothing off or wrong, but there also isn't anything distinctive or worth getting excited by...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... A bit on the lush side... A touch creamy... Lightly carbonated... Crisp... Even and consistent...

D - A pretty decent beer... Excellent appearance, solid aroma, and average in all other facets... I hold have not issue drinking again in the future, but not something that I would necessarily seek out or recommend... A great alternative for the BMC crowd, but very pedestrian for the experienced BA... (1,358 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A frothy three fingered head sits on top of a dark copper colored body with moderate carbonation.

S - Bready caramel malt along with much weaker grapefruit and pine aroma. The nose is very subdued, mellow, and smells balanced.

T - Bready and watery caramel malt up front that lays a solid foundation for the hops that join the party midway through. After the mid point, and out of nowhere, comes a crisp snap of grapefruit and pine bitterness that rides it through for a dry finish. The mouth is left with a coating of toasted caramel malt and predominantly pine bitterness with a little grapefruit struggling to get through.

M - Thin medium body, almost watery at times, too thin for my liking.

O - The only thing I really dig about this beer is the bitter bite but at the same time, the malt is dialed up to balance things out. Somewhat balanced but too much toasted caramel for my liking. This beer reminds me of a British style IPA I brewed. (955 characters)

Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.