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Dark Starr Stout - Starr Hill Brewery

Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

356 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.16%

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: karst on 04-17-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 196 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of obywan59


3.74/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown/near black with a 2 finger tan head that quickly recedes, while leaving some pretty decent sticky lacing;.

Aroma of coffee and dark chocolate with a whiff of vanilla.or caramel.

Very dry, the barest hint of sweetness. Flavor of burnt malt/coffee. The light sweetness and the bitter burnt malt give a hint of dark chocolate. Smoky.

Seemed rather thin at first, but the feel improved . Call it medium thick. Somewhat frothy in carbonation, pleasant. Lightly warming.

Aroma was strong upfront, but the taste and mouthfeel seemed a bit weak the first few swallows. Thankfully, the beer settled down and became quite pleasing to drink. I had to knock a couple of categories up a notch. Definitely worth trying again.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 02:21:59 | More by obywan59
Photo of undeadozzy


4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured vigorously into a pub glass, massive pillowy beige head and deep ebony tone of the body. Head is firm and doesn't slosh about and stays steady and heavy. Scattered lacing around glass.

S - Huge tone of dark malt and some burnt coffee. Hints of caramel and more complex chocolate malt on the nose.

T - Rich chocolate malt wallop, tones of coffee and some smokiness. Lots of malted barley, some tones of coffee cake, a little chocolate brownie sweetness, some pretzel saltiness, and even a hint of chocolate butter smoothness.

M - Thick and rich, very heavy mouthfeel, but has a very light side to it.

O - Overall, a very drinkable stout. Great dark smells and flavors and wonderful full bodied appearance.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 18:36:42 | More by undeadozzy
Photo of Dodo2step


3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's Beer distributor

A- coffee black with light quarter finger head. poor lacing.

S- dark roast coffee smell. charred malts and hop presence.

F- flavor is same as the nose. The dark bold roast coffee flavor coats all the way down.

M- thick and creamy. Highly carbonated for a thick stout.

O- not a bad stout. an average and I wouldn't mind another.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 18:32:09 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of delta490


3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a nearly opaque black with a nice creamy tan head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing

S- mild malt with some strong earthy hops

T- some more robust malt flavors (slight coffee) with some nice hops blended in.

M- not as thick on the palate, but not too thin. Just slightly so

O- it's a decent stout with a moderately complex flavor. Not stunning, but not lacking, either.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 00:13:36 | More by delta490
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer for Christmas, having never had it before. I thought this was the thinnest Stout that I ever had and even though it turned out to be an Irish Dry Stout, I still wished that it was just a bit thicker and fuller-flavored. It was easy to drink but almost too mindless and had there been more body, chocolate, or malt to this, this could have been a fabulous beer. Instead, this bordered on mass-market, in the sense that I could have downed a few of these in a sitting and not even noticed it.

Dark pour to this with not a lot of head and practically no lacing to be seen once I worked my way through this. The appearance was that of flat soda but there was just a hint of carbonation that could be detected here. Lots of roasted malt with some coffee and espresso tossed in for good measure, and just a hint of soda-like stickiness. All of the flavors faded quickly and just a hint of the bubbles stuck around in the aftertaste, making this feel more watery than it already was.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 10:07:53 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of dwren89


3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: jet black, dark tan head, opaque

Aroma: roasty, bold dark coffee, slight dark chocolate aroma

Taste: dark, roasty, coffee, a little dark chocolate, dry finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not as thick or mouth coating as you might imagine for a stout, medium finish

Overall: Not bad overall. Good roasty and coffee flavors, a slightly thinner mouthfeel that dries out in the finish to make the beer quite drinkable. Light in body than a Guinness, a beer of same style.


Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 00:01:58 | More by dwren89
Photo of Oakenator


3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black with no light opacity. Small head at pour disappates. Spotted lacing.

S: Roasted malt nose.

T: Coffee, chicory, dark/roasted malts.

M: Light for a stout.

O: Easily sessionable but still has a good body and flavor. Nice coffee tones and malting.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 01:20:32 | More by Oakenator
Photo of cyclonece09


3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours pitch black with a large fluffy light brown head. Smells of dark roasted malt, but not strong. Tastes of dark roasted malt and slight coffee. Finish for this light bodied beer is very smooth, carbonation is proper. Overall a slightly above average beer.

Serving type: growler

04-17-2013 00:33:28 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of malloyca

District of Columbia

3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle it is opaque black. A thick tan head forms and leaves heavy lacing around the edge of the glass. Even after the head dissipates with a few sips, a froth remains on the surface. There is little to distinguish the aroma of this beer; it's just faint toasted malt. It carries nice toasted malt onto the palate, backed up with some assertive hops and some serious effervescence for a stout, which adds a lively mouthfeel and nice drinkability. This is a refreshing and enjoyable beer that would be a very good session stout as an alternative to Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 22:00:08 | More by malloyca
Photo of ToasterChef


3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A cold bottle is poured aggressively into a pint glass. It produces a large head taking up nearly half the glass. Its so large that I can't fit the entire bottle into the glass in one pour.

The tan head is made up of small bubbles. As it settles, decent lacing remains. The body is an opaque black liquid.

Strong roasted and chocolate malts make up the aroma. Some aroma hops are apparent.

The beer has a very nice flavor. Bitterness from the hops combined with the roasted malts give off the essence of coffee.

The beer feels smooth and a touch creamy. Body is average and it feels slightly more carbonated than average.

This is a fine beer. It's nothing remarkable but it is satisfying and enjoyable. I'm grateful to my friend who brought it back from the DC area for me, but I don't see myself trying to trade for another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 01:20:15 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of tone77


3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by roasted malts. A good bit of roasted malts in the taste as well, some coffee, a bit of smokiness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 23:08:55 | More by tone77
Photo of tectactoe


2.89/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a nearly black, super-deep brown on the top, with a pretty thick, beige head that left a respectable amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma has some toasted malts and also includes a sharp sweetness that hints at some fruits such as white grapes and raisins. First sip, the roasted malt character is there, followed up by a slight tangy sweetness, brown sugar and toffee-like, even a little sweetness on the grape-raisin side. Aftertaste rushes on with a little hint of coffee beans and a burnt wood-chip taste that I'm not too sure if I absolutely enjoy. Very slight hop bitterness hits at the end, but it definitely isn't very relevant. Thin bodied for a stout, with heavy carbonation.

Middle of the road stout, here. Not bad, but nothing special. It is definitely okay for only being 4.2% ABV, but it's not the first thing I would reach for.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 00:32:24 | More by tectactoe
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours almost opaque black with brownish edging and barely a whisp of tan foam on the surface. A placid surface with zero lacing for the duration of the glass.

Aromatics are a fairly standard blend of roasted malt, light char, coffee, and chocolate. All the components are there but fairly pedestrian in nature.

Light to medium bodied with a thin mouthfeel. A bit watery.

Light roast, mild bakers chocolate, hints of coffee and black malt on the palate. Zero hopping and low bitterness. Alcohol is non-present.

Finishes quick and watery with light roast and chocolate.

This is a very average-at-best stout. By todays standards I would say below average.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 00:26:08 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of Theheroguy


3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black as the void of space with a light body.

For such a low alcohol beer the smell is rather boozy

The taste is primarily malt with a tiny bit of coffee undertones. I'm not getting any chocolate from this one.

Overall all this beer is average, not bad but not the first thing I would reach for.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 02:55:32 | More by Theheroguy
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle in to pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown nearly black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades fast to give a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of roasted malt, coffee and some light toffee aromas.

Taste – The taste starts out roasty and malty with some caramel flavors. These flavors remain constant throughout the taste. Some toffee flavors combined with the roasted flavors of the start and sweeten the brew more in the middle. As the taste advances further some coffee flavors come to the tongue and add some bitterness to the tongue. In the end, while still sweet there is a slightly bitter flavor left lingering on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the lighter side with a carbonation level that is rather average. A thicker body would have been slightly better for the roasted flavors, but for a 4.2 % I guess you can’t expect anything too thick.

Overall – A decent light stout, but nothing that is really all that fantastic. It is sort of a sweet version of Guinness draught without the nitro. If looking for a low alcohol stout, would take a Guinness over this.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 23:18:46 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep, opaque cola brown, with a modest, fizzy but lasting tan head. The aroma is a fragrant combination of coffee with milk, some nutty roasted malt, and a small hint of chocolate. The flavor features more of the same prototypical stout characteristics with a really nice dry, roasty malt profile. The medium body is a bit syrupy, but it doesn't get in the way of the flavors. Overall, this beer surprised me by providing a decent depth of flavor without feeling heavy.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 13:53:27 | More by devilben02
Photo of kylehay2004


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

A: single finger tan head on a jet black body with no light passing through.

S: bready with roasted malts, toffee and a light pumpkin note.

T: roasted malts dominate with a nice coffeenote which is mild but enough. Dark chocolate flavors are subtle.

M: lighter body than expected for the style, a little thin. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: the beer is decent for the style. Highly drinkable but it appears this one sacrifices some flavoring for drinkability. typical of most irish stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2012 23:17:24 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pitch black; short, soft cap of brown head that fades to a thin lacing

S - roasty, faint coffee

T - roasted malts dominate this flavor with some underlying coffee, faint caramel, and faint burnt sugar notes; there's a nice, clean hop bitterness in the finish

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a very robust stout to be an Irish Dry Stout. It drinks more like an American Stout. It has big, roasty notes throughout. It's highly drinkable and very flavorful. It's worth a try but you'll be disappointed if you're looking for a Guinness-type stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 20:30:51 | More by tdm168
Photo of BryanCarey


3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black in color, this stout emits a nice, fresh aroma of light roasted malt and a touch of coffee and nuts. The body is very dark with no transparency and a small head of foam that disintegrates in due time.

This beer has an appearance that demands some respect, but the flavor is not as ferocious as the appearance would lead you to believe. The flavors present include roasted malt, some coffee, and a touch of chocolate. The beer has a bitter finish, but not too bitter, and it is lighter than expected.

I love stout and Starr Hill Dark Starr Stout is certainly not a bad stout, but it isn’t as rich and flavorful as I expected. It seems like a good session stout and a nice option for beginners, but I found it somewhat of a letdown based on initial appearance. It seems like it is going to be something much greater, but it is still not a bad beer at all and is certainly deserving of a taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 01:40:55 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those "bridge the gap between macro-muck and craft beer" to me, so I'm a bit emotional.

Served in a FFF shaped glass.

A: Poured pretty much black as night, but the liquid moved pretty fast when I jiggled it, which led me to believe that it was kinda thin in texture. The head was massive, mocha-colored, and retentative.

S: I got more porter-esque char than anything, which wasn't in the "Irish Dry Stout" realm to my mind. Still, the aroma was quite good and fresh.

T: I like the char on the back side of this one. Man, this would go great with BBQ and a dark sauce! The flavor profile is definitely there for an Irish Stout overall though: Fresh cake batter, a hint of coffee, and prunes.

M: Pretty thin.... this was in desperate need of maltodexrin for sure, along with a bit less carbonation. The lacing was substantial, but this wasn't sweet in any way.

O: I will say this this would make a great summer, "around the pool" stout. Not many I would say that about.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 03:13:17 | More by Chaney
Photo of Jadjunk


2.78/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at Dr. Ho's Humble Pie in Virginia. Poured from a 12oz bottle dated APR 13 to a pint glass.

(Appearance) Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head that doesn't last long. Appearance is average. 3

(Smell) Aroma consists of Sweet malts, dark caramel, earthy hop bitterness. Lacks in chocolate and coffee flavors. Aroma is slightly below average potency. A bit less aromatic than I had expected. 3

(Taste) Black bitter malts are plentiful and with a lesser brewed coffee essence, there's a lot of bitterness in this beer. A bit too much, It shadows the flavors of anything else in the beer. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Perky and crisp stout, far too much for its style. It needs to tone down significantly in carbonation. Body is a medium, alcohol is a light presence. 3

(Overall) Not the finest representation of an Irish Dry Stout I've ever had but it's a decent take on the style. 3

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 02:17:56 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of PhillyStyle


3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at RFD, Washington, D.C. - March 2012:

The beer appeared a nice black color with a nice, 1 finger oatmeal colored head that receded into a very thin cap. Some lacing, bit overall less impressive than some others that I have had of this style.

The aroma was toasted malt, as expected, but overall, the aroma was lighter than expected.

The taste of the beer follows the aroma, with an ever so slight hop presence noted. The beer finishes with a nice, as expected, dry finish.

The beer had a lighter feel to it, which is typical for the style. The beer was very easy to drink and had low carbonation. Overall, not a bad attempt at the style, but I would still prefer a Beamish or even a Murphy's.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2012 16:50:20 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of DefenCorps


2.55/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, $1.49 from the Village Pump. I've seen this brewers beers on tap in the DMV, but never intrigued enough to pay $6+/pint for it. This seemed like a much better deal. Best by August 2012.

In my Founders 10th anniversary tulip pint, this beer is black with a dense, brown head with pretty good retention and lacing. The nose is pretty good! A nice, dry, roasted barley character is present up front, with coffee and dark chocolate. There is, however, what is perceived as a mild lactose sweetness, making this rounder than most dry stouts. Some earthy hops are also present, lending a mild resiny hop character in the back end. Pretty solid IMO.

The palate is where this suffers IMO. The roasted barley bitterness is a little too high in the mix, making this grainy, acidic and almost burnt, with stale coffee. None of the sweetness of the nose is present here, exacerbating the one-dimensional nature of this beer. Some hop bitterness is perceived as well, especially on the finish. While I know that dry stouts are, by definition, dry, they needn't be watery, which this one is. Moderately carbonated, this beer is too watery for its own good. I can't recommend it, but if it were cold and it were a hot day out, I might pound a couple.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 03:28:31 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of marlinsfan4


3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mixed sampler pack:

Pours jet black with a nice, slightly tan frothy head. Roasty smell to it. Taste is medium bodied, some nice roasted malts come through with a decent hop presence as well. Taste finishes a bit dry, but overall this is a pretty good stout. Not my favorite of styles, but it's a notch above a Guinness that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 00:12:05 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of DCon


2.7/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Added a 12 FLUID OUNCE bottle of this to my Mix-A-Six Pack from Ingles in Asheville, NC for $8.88. Poured from the Black Labeled bottle w/ a Purple Start surrounded by Flames into a 12oz Snifter Glass.

Aroma- The aroma is very nutty and has a ton of malt present. Not much coffee or roast like I would normally want...

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, dark brown head that dies quickly. Has a semi-clear body that is a deep brown color as well. Leaves suds behind.

Flavor- Light roast and tons of malt starts this one out. Almost no hops and the lightest bitterness is present.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, tons of malt on the palate.

Overall Impression- A light black ale at most... Missed the mark for a Stout, even a dry version. Wish there was more body and character. However, I did go after this beer because of its label. I will most definitely be keeping it for a souvenir.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 20:49:27 | More by DCon
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Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.