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Starr Hill Amber Ale - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Starr Hill Amber AleStarr Hill Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

162 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 07-04-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Risser09
2.61/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet - fridge - best by august 2009

Appearance: A transparent, garnet, very slightly carbonated beer yields a 2" tan head that shows decent retention. The head is cakey with deep, penetrating craters. Some spotty lace remains behind after drinking.

Smell: Malt nose of caramel and Munich malts combined with cereal grains. No hop aroma. Basic.

Taste: A cereal, oat flavor is bland and on the verge of recycled cardboard. A gritty aftertaste is kind of chalky. Slight hop bitterness. Not too good.

Mouthfeel: Easy drinking smoothness and well attenuated out, this beer has not much to offer. A lingering bitterness and some alcohol burn.

Drinkability: This beer lacks complexity and balance. There isn't much to it, and is underdeveloped for a craft beer. A mediocre amber ale.

Photo of dmamiano
3.64/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark, polished bronze color. Decent head and nice carbonation. Ample lacing left on the sides of the glass.
Really not a big nose IMO, lihght traces of roasted malts, earty and homey. Bread, maybe waterbreads come to mind.
Taste is nice and smooth, slightly bitter in the end but nicely balanced. A hint of roastyness and grainy.
Very smooth and semi-full mouthfeel.
Great session beer.

Photo of Shilt
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Funny smell (not bad), very unique, not sure I've ever smelled this smell before. Actually when I was like 15, there was a fluoride flavor they used to put on my teeth and this smells like that. Maybe the smell is similar to caramel malts. Head is over and done with pretty quickly and some soapy lacing slides into the body of the beer. Malt sweetness apparent on the taste and this one is very smooth going down. Very pleasant beer overall.

Photo of jp312
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured a slightly hazy amber red with about one finger high bubbly off white head which dissipates fast leaving little acing.
The smell is of malt and caramel, synergy grain.
The Tate is likewise, dominated by malty flavors and caramel.
This medium to light bodied beer is drinkable and has a lot of Lager characteristic.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 04/18/2010: Brought back from a trip to Virginia.

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a transluscent dark red color with a half finger of white head that dissipates quickly leaving behind small trails of lace.

S: Some skunkiness, cereal malts, caramel, and some nuttiness.

T: More nuttiness, toffee, apricot, and some slightly sour cereal grains.

M: It has a weak and watery body altogether with medium-low carbonation.

D: This is a run-of-the-mill Irish Red. Nothing special.

Photo of Lothore
3.76/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brentk56 for adding this one as an extra in one of our trades!

A- Pours an auburn hue with a nice little eggshell head which dissipates fairly quickly leaving some lacing. Very clear with few carbonation bubbles present.

S- Smell is sweet maltiness with hints of indistinct fruit and spices (maybe cinnamon).

T- Taste is slighty roasted maltiness with a hint of coffee at the back end. A bit of a metallic tinge also reveals itself.

M- Smooth with about medium viscosity and carbonation is just perfect, not too fizzy but also not undercarbonated.

D- This would be an easy session beer. Nothing really stands out about it but I enjoyed this brew for its simplicity which is something that seems to be getting rarer and rarer as people are in search of the most off the wall beers possible it seems.

Photo of cyclonece09
3.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice redish amber color with a one finger head that dissipates quickly. Smells of very dark, caramelized malt, which is very sweet and pleasing. Tastes of caramelized malt, very sweet, and has a bit of a taste similar to most Irish Reds. This medium bodied beer seems to be a little overcarbonated, but still goes down smooth. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

Photo of wahhmaster
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a bit of a reddish tint. The head is small and fizzy and dissipates quickly leaving little lacing.

Smell: Hoppy notes come through strong here. Some sweet malty smells also come through.

Taste: Nicely balanced between malts and hops. Leave a nice hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin and carbonated side, but not overwhelmingly so.

Drinkability: Meh. Not the worst amber ale I've had but nothing I would go out of my way to find.

Photo of PhageLab
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Clear brownish red coloration which produced a two tip head. Froth settled to a thin layer and rode the rest of the way down. Lacing was attractive as well.

S - Unpleasant. I don't know what it is, but something smells way off, like old coffee filters.

T - Luckily it tastes a hundred times better than it smells. Slightly bitter, nice malt backing, sort of watery and not too complex, goes down easily.

M - Body was thin, carbonation level was decent, light crisp finish, little to no aftertaste present.

D - Inoffensive, so I'd say it's quite drinkable. Could serve as a gateway to both American craft and English styles. Worth a try.

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

The most noticeable thing about this one is a rich and fairly tasty coffee-like roastiness that balances nicely with some of the other sweeter malt flavors and firmly leaves its mark in the finish. Some nice caramel and grain make their way through as well. Recommended.

Photo of tugdriver7
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Number 777 on my overall list, but would be ranked near the top. Gorgeous red/brown in the glass, nice foamy head that laced all the way down. Soft malt with subtle hint of hops in the nose, and initial taste was at first a touch sweet, caramel malt with a hint of bitterness and (at first) a bit of metallic overtones that softened as the beer warmed. Extremely drinkable, smooth and enjoyable. Would be a very easy session choice.

Photo of McBraniel
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of jjboesen
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I discovered this one during a recent visit to Capital Ale House in Richmond (See My Review). This expression pays homage to the classic British ale, possessing a deep caramel color - certainly not amber - through which no light can penetrate. The vanilla head is as thin as a razor and creates a glossy, but splotchy, lacing.

The nose detects a subtle hint of cocoa powder while the palate receives a crisp mouthfeel of buttered toast that finishes with a barely perceptible maltiness. An interesting micro brewed in Crozet, Virginia. No. I have no idea where it is, either.

Photo of EFR94
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of dugly2ugly
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of sweethome
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light brown - darker than most amber beers. Very big malty nose. A hint of smoke, sweet and nutty. The mouthfeel is a little less than what I expected from the nose. Starts out with a fruity character, followed by a nutty/husky flavor. The sweetness comes back with a dried apple flavor, but is finally balanced by a pleasant hop bittering. Fails to integrate well.

I like the beer and would certainly drink it again. It has plenty of flavor (rich malts, a hint of smoke, chocolate, and dried apples). It has potential to be a great beer, just didn't quite come together. A good beer from a brewer I had not heard of previously.

Thanks JG for the sample.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.21/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a mahogany color with red highlights and a tan head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: This beer has a very closed nose for me. What I can get is some floral notes, caramel and bready malts, but that's pushing it.

T: Not an amazing flavor. Taste like regular joe beer. I get some hops and malts, but nothing amazing.

M: Decent carbonation and medium to light body. Juicy texture.

D: I don't think I'll ever drink this again. Not very good IMO.

Photo of iceball585
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin head that faded quickly

S- Caramel malts, sugary, toasted grain, light hops, hint of fruit

T- Nutty, toasted malts, caramel, herbal hops, fairly sweet, slight buttery flavor

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, starts oily then turns to a dry finish

D- Not bad

Not really a favorite of mine but still worth giving it a try. It just seems very plain to me.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy, bold amber with frothy head. Malty aroma. Much more malt than hops in flavor with a touch of vanilla. Nice feel and balance. The aftertaste is what impressed me - kind of a burnt chocolate, maybe even smores. Head persisted and left lacing in empty glass. A teriffic ale.

Photo of WMEugene
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color with a nice tan looking head. I liked the lace that went with it. I passed up a chance to try this on tap, but opted for a six pack and I was glad I tried it after reading a review. Brewed close by to where I live and definitely works better than that other micro brewery in Northern VA.

By the second bottle, I was really enjoying the medium hoppy taste which I think is pretty smooth. I would definitely buy this one again.

Photo of bshiban
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.21/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer pours a slightly hazy, copper color with no head or lace. It's aroma has some hints of caramel and hop fruitiness, not much else. The flavor has notes of caramel with a medicinal, hoppy bitterness. Not much carbonation. It has a thin, watery mouthfeel. Starr Hill Amber Ale is not a good beer. Not recommended.

Starr Hill Amber Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.