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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.

784 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 784
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 13
Gots: 77 | 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: 784 | Reviews: 233 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lccrunchy
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of jzeilinger
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Cane4Beer
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of DrJaws
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of cyclonece09
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice orangish amber with a nice 1 finger white head. Has a nice flowery and citrusy aroma, well balanced and with a slight malt aroma. The taste of the hops, kind of an earthy tone, dominates this light-medium bodied beer. The malt adds some interesting notes. Carbonation is perfect and it is definitely a beer that you can throw down all night. Overall, a very good IPA and beer.

Photo of oriolesfan4
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.

Photo of skyturnedgrey
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Dave1999
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an opaque orange with a thin white head.

The smell is grapefruit and pine needles.

The taste is extremely hopy and bitter with a little honey sweetness.The bitterness on the tongue lasted a long time.

The mouth feel is medium in both body and carbonation.

Not a terrible ipa just a bit one dimensional.This beer is all about the hops nothing else.

Photo of Mappies
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of onetodave
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

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

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a hazy medium orange amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) off white frothy head that lasted throughout and had some excellent sheets of sticky lacing.

The aroma was of floral and pine hops, a straw malt and a soapy yeast with notes of caramel, honey, and citrus (grapefruit and orange).

The taste was a bit sweet and acidic with a decent note of caramel from the onset then progressed with a nice bitter hoppy flavor that possessed a hint of citrus and a drop of honey towards the end. The flavor lasted a ridiculously long time, which was great for it allowed one to enjoy the nice bold hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel was about half way between light and medium in body with a nice distinct dry texture and a good lively carbonation.

Overall a brew with a mild sweetness and a kickin' hoppiness that are blended extremely well making this a very enjoyable beer...

Photo of BlakeL
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of GTB
1.5/5  rDev -57.9%

Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Starr Hill pint.

A - Pours a hazy amber color with a one finger white head. Head dies quickly to a thin layer, which lingers for a while. Splotchy lacing down the glass.

S - Very fruity and floral. I would guess cascade hops. Not very bitter smelling, with a solid biscuity malt backbone.

T - Follows the nose from the start with a real flowery burst followed by a bit of citrus. Drying, slightly bitter hops on the finish. Very well balanced; it never gets overwhelmingly bitter or sweet.

M - Nice medium feel with good carbonation. Easy drinking and refreshing.

O - A solid IPA from a great brewery that I love to visit and support whenever I can. Northern Lights is one of the beers that opened my eyes to IPA's during my college years in the Shenandoah Valley. There are better IPAs out there, but this is a good one and comes at a very reasonable price. Also comes in cans now, which is pretty cool.

Photo of Navalartichoke
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Hanzo
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ONUMello
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Hazy orange with a solid lingering one-finger head
S: Nice hop/malt balance. Simple and straightforward, mostly orange peel.
T: Similar notes to the nose; the hops come through up front with the malt following through to the finish. Pine and orange peel up front then yeast/bread to finish.
M: Medium-bodied and crisp.
O: By all means a decent beer, just nothing in particular stands above and beyond a typical IPA.

Photo of eeggles
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

Photo of tdm168
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orangish amber with a mountain of soft, dense, foamy, white head that has great retention. The nose is lightly bready and has a nice citrusy hop aroma. There's a soap aroma as well which fades with the head. The flavor is malt forward with nice bready, doughy character. The hop character is faint for the style with notes of faint citrus and pine. The hops clash a little with the malt character which throws the flavor off a little. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth.

This isn't an awful beer, but the balance just isn't there. Ultimately, it's just a little too mediocre.

Photo of dugly2ugly
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Jeffani
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of tfsimpkins
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of RandyBoBandy
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of TechTriumph
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/26/11:
Best by: April 2012; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch off-white fluffy head; Slightly murky appearance with a light orange tinted copper color; Moderate lacing

S - Not an overly strong smell here; Citrusy orange and floral hop aroma with some caramel sweetness

T - Nice citrusy, piney, and floral hops in the beginning half of the taste; Burnt toffee comes afterwards and lingers in the finish; Nice dose of bitterness present that lasts from start to finish

M - Moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Somewhat dry finish

O - This is a solid IPA overall with a nice showing of hops in the flavor. The bitterness does overshadow the citrus and pine flavors a bit, but is still enjoyable. I've been told that this is the best selling Virginia brewed IPA, and while I'm not sure I'd call it the best in the state, I think it's closer to the top than the bottom for sure. I definitely need to try this beer again and look forward to having it in a can as well.

Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 784 ratings.