1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Dark Starr Stout - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

381 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 381
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.16%
Wants: 6
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 196 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bgildea


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

A: Pours a nice dark black/brown color with a thick tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

S: Not much smell comes across. Slight roasted malts and maybe some caramel. There's also a slight coppery smell.

T: Very bitter taste. Roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate come across, but not much else.

M: Fairly thin beer, I was hoping for some more chew to it.

D: It's drinkable, but there are better stouts out there.

Overall: Overall the beer was OK. Not much in the flavor department. I was a little disapointed because I usually enjoy Starr Hill beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 01:50:41 | More by bgildea
Photo of EgadBananas


4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, medium tan finger of head, nice lacing.

Smell is great, with lots of roasted malts, and a sweet chocolate backing. Doesn't smell like your typical Irish Dry Stout...

There's the Irish Stout! Roasted malts, slight bitterness, and a hint of cocoa. It's good. Actual flavor compared to most.

Thin mouthfeel for a stout, but for a dry stout, it's adequate. Slightly creamy.

Overall, drinkability is good and this is a better than average irish dry stout. I'm somewhat impressed.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 02:02:22 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of kingcrowing


4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a dark inky black with a very small light brown head nose is malty and smokey, nice.

Taste is a bit watery, but crisp and sharp. It's fairly smokey and sharp very creamy and nice. Mouthfeel is really light and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 01:33:36 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of klikger


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

12 oz bottle served in a Duvel tulip

A - Dark, dark red - almost totally black. Small brown head, good lacing.

S - Milk, roasted malt, small amount of milk chocolate

T - Twice roasted malt - burnt & kinda smoky --> not sweet, which is refreshing --> citrus hops on the end - the finish is kind of bitter. Not overly complex, but pretty tasty.

M - Light for a stout, good carbonation

D - Lack of sweetness + decent hopping + low ABV = drinkable

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2010 22:25:23 | More by klikger
Photo of DanThomas


3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good beer, excellent representation of the style.

A- opaque, black, nice thick head that stays on throughout, considerable lacing on glass.

S- Rich aromas of roasted barley/malt, dark roasted coffee, and chocolate.

T- The roasted flavor is the most noticeable, though it's dialed back considerably from the nose. Also a lot of coffee, and very little sweetness. Nice finish.

M- This is where this beer could use some work. Carbonation is okay, but the beer quickly moves to watery in the mouth, and I was expecting a little more there.

D- Excellent. Flavor is pleasing but it doesn't overwhelm or overstay its welcome. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 23:08:14 | More by DanThomas
Photo of John_M


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

On tap at the Judge's Bench the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showcasing considerable licorise, coffee, dark chocolate and cola. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though the licorise tended to dominate a bit more than I would normally like. The beer also has something of a roasty malt sweetness, but that quickly dries out on the finish. Mouthfeel is light and fairly smooth. Drinkabilty is not bad.... you can definitely tell the alcohol is dialed down in this one.

Nothing extraordinairy, but I thought this beer otherwise nice enough. Not sure it's something I'd ever want to order again though.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 15:39:40 | More by John_M
Photo of droomyster


3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with a creamy brown head with excellent retention. Aromas are predominantly roasty but also has a good amount of dark chocolate and a faint whiff of scorched earth. I like it, just as I like the flavors, which follow the nose and then some, adding espresso flavors. This is perhaps the driest dry stout I've had. Better than most of the popular mass-produced Irish stouts out there. Body is a bit more watery than I'd like, but overall this is a delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 05:55:33 | More by droomyster
Photo of Haybeerman


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

A: Deep, dark brown color. Poured almost a 3 finger beige head with good retention. Some lazy bubbles rise to the surface. Thin rings and sheets of lace.

S: Dark chocolate and bitter coffee. Toasted grains, molassas and honey. Very little hop character.

T: Consistent with smell but not as prominent; mostly muted. More earthy and mellow dryness in the finish.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and dry.

D: Easily drinkable. Could go for a little more flavor and heftier feel.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 22:24:03 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of Hopfenpeter


4.45/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer being pured into a glass appears nice and dark. The foam builds nice and brown and the beer looks very inviting.

When you smell the top of the plume the rich aromas of sweet malt, maybe a hint of cinnamon under the cover of a little smokiness will make you take your first taste of this precious liquid.

As you let the beer warm in your mouth, those aromas become more dominant, and after swallowing the liquid and exhaling the hops will add a slight bitterness just enough for the want of more.

I love the feel in the mouth since the beer is not over carbonated.
It also does feel very smooth and this adds to the drinkability.

This will be my house-beer for a while, since I really felt in love with it, and I cannot wait to offer it to my guests.

great beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 02:29:43 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of Mosstrooper


3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a large, yet thin and fizzy, brown head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving behind small spots of lace.

Smell: Sweet molasses and roasted malt dominate, with a slight grassy note.

Taste: Begins with a sweet molasses flavor, which intensifies in the finish. The finish also has a roasted coffee flavor and just enough hop bitterness to keep the balance.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light-bodied with balanced carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: This is a good, easily drinkable and sessionable stout. Not the best out there, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 17:36:11 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of jlindros


3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This would be my first Starr Hill beer thanks to tmoney2591.

A screw on top... The beer pours a nice almost 2 finger head that is darker in color but fades semi quickly with lots of big bubbles popping creating pot-marks all over. The beer is almost pitch black in color with basically no light getting through, but not thick. THe head leaves a little lacing as it fades.

My nose discovers some nice coffee and roast aromas, with caramel and dark malts, a little chocolate, seems to be somewhat dry. A little toffee finds its way in there.

The taste comes a little more subtle but has plenty more dark malts. More coffee and roasted malts, a little caramel malt and very light chocolate. It is actually somewhat juicy and a little Irish yeast fruit, but maintains mostly dry. A little toffee and hints of a spicy hop character. It has a slight bitterness.

The mouth is medium to lighter bodied with good carbonation.

It finishes pretty dry, but no drier than it started. It has a mouth smacking dry and sticky quality though. A little bit more of that fruit from the yeast coming out, with a slight lingering malty quality. Most of the dark malts are gone now, no roast or chocolate, but a little bitterness coming from a slight bit of the roasted malt and some more from some hidden spicy and grassy hops.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 00:13:57 | More by jlindros
Photo of kbutler1


3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Received as an extra. Pours a deep brown black color into my Kentucky Breakfast stout glass. Nice 1 finger tan head the color of mocha. The nose is rather subtle for me. Hints of coffee and chocolate. Very smooth taste with a bitterness in the end. Notes of coffee abound. Dry finish. Lighter mouthfeel than I would have expected.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 19:37:45 | More by kbutler1
Photo of ryanonline


3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is OK. Dark as balls with a tan head but it dissipates quickly. Leaves moderate lacing.

Coffee, and that's more or less it. Maybe some cocoa.

Very sweet and lightly frosted flavor with a dry finish.

Thin and bland.

Men drinkability.

I don't really understand his stout. Sweet and effervescent but not creamy...wtf?

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2010 05:19:41 | More by ryanonline
Photo of mdwalsh


3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wife brought this home from WV.

A: Poured a little brownish, but in the glass it's deep black with a pretty 2.5 finger head of deep beige. Lots of texture and a variety of bubble sizes. Can't see into the beer much but it looks like there's some active carbonation and it's pretty clear. The head might be a little too big.

S: The pour produced some immediate stoutly aromas like dark chocolate and coffee in a pleasant blend. There is some nice roasted grain and no hops. Maybe an underlying molasses or dark honey sweetness. It could be richer though, that's for sure.

T: Hmm, the taste I'm not feeling so much. It's dry and thin, like Guinness, but with no roast or anything to back it up. Noticing it's classified as a Dry Irish Stout saves some face, but still. There's an upfront metallic taste that really kills me, and absolutely nothing to finish on. Really nothing well rounded about this beer at all.

M: Thin and watery, which is what it's supposed to be, but I'd like a little bit more of a lingering finish feel.

D: Drinkable, yes, as in you could consume large quantities of it without being too full or drunk. But I wouldn't really want to to be honest.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2010 18:21:03 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of russpowell


3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut with 3 fingers of fluffy mocha colored head. Rings of lacing cling to the glass, plus primo head retention

S: Molasess & roasty malt

T: Roasty malt, slight coffee grouns flavor, molasess, plus dryness up front. Chicory & dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes roasty, dry & with a touch of mocha sweetness

MF: Medium bodoed, low carbonation, nice balance, carbonation picks back & sadly thins out as it warms

Drinks easy, delivers plenty of flavor for the ABV, nice take on the style

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 02:36:25 | More by russpowell
Photo of GbVDave


3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

JUL notched on label.

A: Pours black with some cherry highlights at the edges. One finger of pillowy khaki foam with excellent retention an lots of lace left behind.

S: Not much more than heavily roasted malt. When it warmed, I picked up a bit of citrus and stale coffee grounds.

T: Pretty much just as the smell with the addition of a little caramel and dusty hops.

M: Pretty spot on for the style. Heavy on the roasted dryness with supporting help from the peppery hops.

D: Not a go to style for me. I was done with this before my glass was empty.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 22:50:24 | More by GbVDave
Photo of TMoney2591


3.13/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Guinness 250th Anniversary tulip pint glass.

This was the first real local brew I had when I moved here to the Commonwealth. Now's as good a time as any to have it again. It pours an opaque black-brown topped by a finger of thick tan foam that, unfortunately, dies away pretty quickly. The nose is kinda faint, comprising some dark wheat and light coffee. It's not a bad smell, just a weak one. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, burnt wheat, coffee, and a hint of mild sulfuric sour. I know that may sound pretty damn bad, but it's like a more bad-milk-y version of the Guinness sour, as though SH tried to mimic the classic flavor and kinda failed. The body is kinda light, with a fairly high bite of carbonation and sonewhat watery feel. Overall, I assume this was meant as a nice, light, sessionable Irish stout, but it comes off as too light and can't quite nail the Irish qualities it aspires to. It's still not bad, per se, but definitely not all that good, either.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 14:59:28 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of tempest


3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this a couple times now and it's nice to have another Irish stout around, but I'm turned off by it being thick for the style. Really, it comes off like an English stout to me, but styles aside, this is a tasty beer. There's a tall tan head over the pitch black body. The aroma was heavy with roasted grain and coffee bean notes while the flavored followed those same characteristics, but added a bitter bakers chocolate flavor. Definitiely check this out if you dig stouts of any kind.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 22:18:44 | More by tempest
Photo of SFLpunk


3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A friend poured this for me and didn't tell me what it was at first so most of my review is blind.

Pours a thin black with some cola-like quick tan head that recedes quickly. Aromas are super roasty, but dry and somewhat hoppy. Smells like a black ale right off the bat! Coffee notes and some leafy hop, and that's it. Not going to be rich or viscous. Palate is crisp and clean, just as I expected, finishing dry with some light astringency. Roasted and black malts, espresso grounds, and that's it.

I was disappointed to find out it's a stout. Would make a killer Black Ale. "Mouthfeel" suffers point loss for not being a good stout. Good beer, wrong labeling, that's all I'm saying.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 04:33:26 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of aepb1


2.83/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark brown/black with a brown airy head that levels down but still lingers a bit

S- Caramel and coffee malts

T- Same as nose, caramel and coffee malts carry through the end with a bit of bitter hops at the finish. Not much depth at all

M- Lacking for a stout --- no creaminess and it's pretty thin overall

D- Won't seek this out again and I hope the rest of the breweries selections are better --- really loses you in the mouthfeel

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 21:15:03 | More by aepb1
Photo of LtCracker20


3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Portsmouth tulip. Consumed on 5/23/10. Taken from notes.

A- Black body with about an inch of tan head with some good retention.

S- Heavy on the burnt aroma. Roasted chocolate as well as espresso in the smell.

T- More of the burnt and espresso flavors.

M/F- Moderately bodied, but a little thinner than I would have liked.

D- A pretty good beer. I wish that I could get these in CT.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 03:03:29 | More by LtCracker20
Photo of jaredvanderview


3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew from Starr Hill was mediocre all around. On the pour the color was typical of a stout, completely opaque - dark black. Retained head well but the nose was a bit drab - coffee and bitter hops mostly, maybe some caramel in there. The taste was almost exactly the nose, not much but coffee and bitterness associated with the stout style ales, and towards the end it seemed almost like the coffee had staled or been burnt. Mouthfeel was a bit light for a stout, at least for me. Too carbonated and too light seem to go badly for this stout. All around, a typical stout without much character, and perhaps could stand some more aroma and a little thicker brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 23:22:05 | More by jaredvanderview
Photo of AleWatcher


2.35/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This poured black with some ruby red highlights that were lost once the beer was in the glass. The frothy tan head rose 3 fingers and looked tremendous. Good retention and lace too. This really does look like a great stout...

Smells of bitter coffee and caramel and toffee malts. There is a definate sweetness here, but I'm not sure I can place it. The flavor follows nose, but towards the finish it gets bitter and unpleasant like stale/scalded coffee. There feels like a fight going on between the carbonation and the rest of the beer... Like it is overcarbed and not thick enough, and neither of those facts bode well for this brew.

Towards the finish I am finally (after 6 or 7 sips) getting some of the dryness... The bitter note and sweetness have cast their shackles long enough to allow something else to pop up-- almost like a rye and toasted barley bite hiding in the finish... Not enough to save this beer, in my opinion.

Certainly not the worst thing I've ever had, but I won't be needing this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 04:51:26 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of hawks10


3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass...

Pours a nice dark black, even when held to light the edges remain black...3 fingers of light tan head forms and sticks around for a while, leaving a good amount of lacing...sadly, the appearance is the only good part of the beer...

Smells of stale, watered down bitter cold coffee...burnt grains and maybe a tiny hint of chocolate adds a bit of a sweet aroma to the beer...

Burnt grains, roasted and bitter...a touch of smokiness, no real sweetness finds its way out, this beer is pretty one sided and uninspired...

This is where the beer really loses me...the feel is just way too thin with a bit too much carbonation. Just makes the whole beer feel off and really makes it not enjoyable...lacks any substance or bit of creaminess...

Not a big fan, no need to revisit this one, just a run of the mill, albeit below average, boring stout...

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 05:27:25 | More by hawks10
Photo of OneDropSoup


3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this on a trip to Maryland. Never heard of Starr Hill before, but thought it was worth trying a new local.

Poured into a shaker: Black body with barely perceptible, dark ruby highlights. Khaki, creamy head that leaves mega-lacing.

Aroma is moderate cocoa, roasty, with a very subtle fruitiness like peach. Fruitiness is almost a little hoppy & floral, but very restrained.

Chocolate is just there in the tip of the taste, but gets bowled over quickly by an assertive roast character, almost burnt or scorched. Chocolate shows up again toward the back, but is very light & accompanied by a slight sour-milk taste. Aftertaste is pure roasty bitterness with mildly spicy hoppiness.

Moderately full & creamy but dries out quickly & leaves a burnt taste/feel in finish.

Honestly, before reading the profile I thought this was an American stout -- I thought the hop profile was very assertive & the beer ended more bitter than I expect a stout to. The sour milk character brought me around, but the roastiness is still a little more than I need. I'm happy to finish the 6er I bought, but not in one sitting, & I probably wouldn't seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 01:24:58 | More by OneDropSoup
Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.