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Festie - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
FestieFestie

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BA SCORE
73
okay

144 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.13
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 0
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Proteus93 on 09-10-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 54
Reviews by IsabelleM:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Its getting to the end of the O-fest beer season so I figured I'd grab this one today.Poured a clear lighter shade of bronze with a nice one finger tight white head that was gone pretty quickly.Aromas of caramel/vanilla,and toasted grain mainly.A light sharp mouthfeel was kind of annoying,flaovrs were really mild with some residual caramel sweetness and that toasted grain again,the flavors were very light.A pretty average beer,not one to seek out.

Photo of Guden
1.74/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Very clear light copper with a one inch white head of small bubbles than fades slowly leaving nice lacing. Little light in color but good other than that.

S- Weird smell of sweet corn, caramel and Italian herb mix. Definitely something funky and off about this.

T- Whoa, that off smell is in the flavor too. Tannic and puckering with a flavor of bark and tomatoes.

M- Dry and astringent. Not very pleasant.

O- There is something wrong with this beer. I can't put my finger on it, maybe an infection, maybe just a combination of an old poorly made beer with some DMS, either way this is down there with some of the least enjoyable ones I've had. This was a dumper.

Photo of TheFunGuy
3.7/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours slightly cloudy golden tan. A thin off white head fades to a clumpy lace quickly.

The smell is grain, without hops. It isn't bad grain.

The taste is at first sweet grain, with a light hops showing up at the end of the sip as the beer heads down the throat.

The mouthfeel is just a little sour after the ending hop taste. I like the sweet grain, so your mileage may vary.

This would be a great step-up for a bud drinker who wanted to head towards a mild pale ale. I would call this halfway between the two.

Photo of glid02
2.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle purchased from 1 West in Washington DC.

Pours a hazy copper-brown color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of slightly sour fruit, herbal hops, and light caramel malts.

Tastes not so great. Light caramel malt flavors up front fight to stay relevant after the sour fruit flavors enter into things midway through the sip. Right before a muddled and slightly bitter ending a small amount of leafy hop flavors come out.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side but with solid carbonation.

Drinkability isn't so good. I didn't finish.

Overall this was not a very good beer and one I won't revisit again.

Photo of Metalmonk
2.24/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy orange-rust color with a head that was big and billowy for about 10 seconds but then withered away to almost nothing (it's a clean glass!). A few dabs of lace slide slowly down the sides with each tilt of the glass.

Where I was hoping for that big bread-and-caramel nose of the great Oktoberfests, I was treated to a rather flat aroma that offers faint cooked veggies and tangy fruit. Only a ghost of what my nose was nosin' around for appears. "Judge it for what it is," right? Okay: it's severely lacking.

Flavor-wise it's no better. There might be a good beer here, but what I mostly get is a fruit-candy sweetness and a tart-to-sour jab middle, back, and into the finish. Luckily there's no real finish here at all, so the bad impressions don't last.

Mouthfeel is just fine, with zippy carbonation and a good slick glide. If I try and turn off the taste buds, it feels like a good example of the real deal.

This is all over the place, way off-style, and not a good beer in any category. The exact opposite of "spot-on." There's always a chance it's been ruined somehow since leaving the brewery, but I can only take it at face value.

[Threw a couple of these into a couple different trade boxes as a "bonus" the other day...they're already on the way! Good thing I've already traded with the recipients a few other times--they'll forgive me I hope--but guys: I AM SORRY.]

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - clear amber with a soft, thin cap of white, fizzy heaed that fades quickly

S - grains, caramel, apple, faint toast

T - bread, caramel, apple, sweet, sticky, clean bitter finish

M - crisp, medium bodied, a bit overcarbonated

This is a nice, easy to drink beer. the flavor is a bit unbalanced between malty and hoppy, bitter and sweet. It's also a bit overcarbonated. It's not bad, but at this time of year I'm looking for a more balanced Marzen.

Photo of ebby82
3.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color into a pint glass. There is a two finger head which quickly dissipates. The smell is nothing special.

There is a slight hint of malt, but otherwise just the standard lager smell.

The taste is light, perhaps a note of caramel, but overall it tastes like a more malty version of Starr Hill's Jomo lager. Although the taste is nothing special, it is enjoyable, and very easy to drink. It bill's itself as an Oktoberfest, but I'm not sure how accurate that may be.

I'd drink it again, although I wouldn't go out of my way to do so.

Photo of PumaSaysRawrr
2.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Let me get this out of the way....I have a Starr Hill Tattoo. I also have 1/2 a case of Festie aging in a closet from 2011 but that didn't stop me from picking up this bottle a few weeks ago on clearance for $1. My therapist may call it compulsive buying and hoarding but I call it bargain shopping and aging! AND don't bother trying to tell me you can't age a 4.5% beer because there ain't enough time in her hour to discuss how you all are unsupportive of me....

I am drinking it out of A Samuel Smith pint glass. It has nice amber color. Very little carbonation and no lacing....Which I don't mind cause I hate scrubbing my glass. It has a bit of a skunked smell with just a hint of that fermented smell a Belgian would have. It tastes like almost nothing...I don't know how to describe this but it tastes almost like any old amber then nothing...not after taste at all. You know how if you drink diet coke the taste goes away so you drink more then no taste so more and then more until you know it the bottle is gone? I need another beer...

Photo of rebel1771
2.7/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a honey color with a bright white head that leaves no lacing.

S: Subtle sweet malt aroma with a bit of fruitiness. Metallic note in the end.

T: Not much flavor. Subtle sweet malt with a bit of cooked corn thrown in. Kind of a sour pucker in the end.

O: Not my favorite marzen. Just kind of misses the mark on this one. A little less sweetness and a stronger malt presence is what this brew needs.

Photo of tone77
3.75/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once again a thanks to woodychandler for another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. Taste is also malty, refreshing, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable brew.

Photo of goldbot
3.28/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchase before Aug. 2011 notched in the label. Pours a nice golden to amber in color with good carbonation. Thinnish white head that shrinks quickly but leaves some lacing on the surface. A pleasant caramel aroma with some warm, bready malt and a pretty good balance of citrus and floral hops. Grainy malt flavor with a bit of caramel sweetness. Some floral hops but this beer is more oriented towards the malt. Crisp mouthfeel and light body.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy trask in NC for this one.

A- orange yellow color with a 2 finger frothy head that sticks to the pint but nothing fantastic about it. In the middle between clear and opaque.

S- sour citrus tart smell. like a sweetened tea with malt vinegar.

T- honey and tart white grape flavor. grainy and biscuity as well.

M- a medium bodied lager that is sweeter than usual but i dont think it works with a lager.

O- fairly smooth and a drinkable beer. I might have another but i doubt i will purchase a sixer or more.

Photo of thekanna
3.31/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Hard Times Cafe in College Park, MD.

A: Clear, darker amber with a decent amount of effervescence and almost no head.

S: Mostly sweet malts, a bit of biscuitiness

T: Some sweet malts, hints of toffee and caramel to start off with, then devolves into an almost lager-like aftertaste. A toasted malt / cream biscuit taste which is present at the beginning is practically nonexistent at the end.

M: Somewhat thin but has good carbonation.

D: Can't quite call this an Oktoberfest, but it's refreshing nonetheless.

Photo of JamesB63
3.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Love the beer. The problem comes with the inconsistancy in the flavor.

Photo of obywan59
2.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Born on date 7/31/13

Pours a crystal clear amber with a 2 1/2 finger off white head that recedes leaving thick sticky lacing.

A nice fresh aroma of grassy, fruity hops and sweet grain.

Not much taste at all. Faintly sweet malt with light tart citrus and some faint, slightly harsh bitter hops.

Light bodied, with a light carbonation and a bit sticky with a little warmth on the way down.

An okay beer, I guess. The taste is the main downfall. I think it's past it's prime. The aroma is holding up pretty well, but the tasty is pretty nondescript. An easy drinker.

Photo of GbVDave
2.39/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to Metalmonk for this extra in our most recent trade!

FEB notched on the label.

A: Pours a hazy/cloudy gold with about 1 1/2 fingers of off white foam on top. Head retention is poor as it melts away in less than a minute. No lace is left behind.

S: Boiled vegetables, tangy fruit, and maybe (just maybe) a slight hint of sourdough bread. The smell is pretty off-puting.

T: More of the same as above. I too was hoping for bread and biscuits and instead got sweet tarts and fruit.

M: Decent enough. Restrained bitterness with a slightly dusty finish.

D: Hmmm. Seems like this beer wasn't totally thought through. Thanks Jeff :)

Photo of sweethome
2.41/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour is hazy golden - looks a little light for a fest - also has fizzy head that continues to ring the glass.

Vegetable/solvent nose. Off putting.

Flavors follow the nose - vegetable, sweet, rubber.

Not up to the competition I tasted this with. (Victory Fest; Dogtoberfest; Dominion Fest)

Photo of dball
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I expected this beer to be much better than it is. If packaging was a scoring category I would have given this beer at least one high mark. It is over priced for what you get. I think I would have rated it higher if it was priced like it tastes. I'd pick a can of Yuengling over this beer and would compare them fairly equally. It is not bad just made to make you think it's a craft micro brew and it's a boring lager.

Photo of Clydesdale
2.97/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a somewhat hazy burnt orange color. The medium-sized head has a light orange hue and a somewhat thick, foamy texture. Retention is average, and a few foamy rings of lace deposit onto the glass as the head fades.

S: A sweet toasted aroma - light caramel notes, with some nuttiness. Lightly fruity, perhaps with a vague tartness. Some herbal hops are also detectable but primarily take a back seat.

T: Toasty malts up front. Sweetness is medium, with some light caramel character. An astringent, lightly tart presence also makes itself known. Light fruity notes. Hop bitterness is low, with some vague herbal flavor. A nutty aftertaste.

M: Medium-thin body. Carbonation is fine and crisp. As above, mouthfeel is surprisingly astringent.

D: A lackluster fall seasonal from a normally above average brewery. This is lightly flavored and too thin/astringent to be very enjoyable. You won't miss much by avoiding this one, although it's far from bad.

Photo of klikger
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Sam Adams perfect pint

A - Beautiful shade of amber with visible carbonation, thick white foam (which shrinks quickly), and below-average lacing.

S - Sugary sweet malt

T - A watery start gives way to a bit of marzen-style maltiness, but without the yeast. The end is somewhat-lemony sugar water and not much else. This isn't the worst beer ever made, but it's not a good representation of the style by a long shot.

M - Light bodied; good carbonation

D - I could drink more, I just have other stuff I'd rather drink right now.

Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was so happy to find this beer in CANs during my recent visit to DC that it makes me want to break out in song! With apologies to Madonna, "You're a superStarr, yes, that's what you are, you know it"; to John Kander and Liza Minelli, "Life is a [CAN of] Carnival, old chum, Come to the CANival!" and to Arthur Miller's Willy Loman to his son, Biff, in I.vi, "You got all kinds of great beer!" Sure, the last is a play and not a musical, but when was the last time that a CANned beer was so inspiring?

From the CAN: "Starr Hill founded in Charlottesville, VA (but I founded it at Whole Foods in DC)"; "Life is a Carnival"; "The Gift of Great Beer"; and undersigned by "Mark A. Thompson Master Brewer".

The Crack & Glug was music to mine ears and produced two tawny fingers of dense, bubbling head with good retention. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very malty sweet, much more so than Yuengling Lager, to which a previous reviewer compared it. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy and with a pleasant melange of flavors on the tongue, ranging from an initial sugary sweetness to an herbal mintiness and back again. Finish was more sweet than anything else and I think that the constant onslaught of malt would be too much for me to CANsider inclusion in my cooler.

Photo of cyclonece09
3.38/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a light amber with a large white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of light grain, not much else. Tastes of roasted grain that has a great body for this beer and is sweet, but not overly so. Beer seems a tad overcarbonated, but this light bodied beer still goes down really smooth. Overall, a pretty good beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

This is the last sixer I bought before leaving the NoVa area. It pours a mostly clear pale apricot topped by about a half-finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises caramel, peanuts, buttercream, and a touch of orange. The taste seems to initially lean in the direction of an increased amount of orange, but this then dovetails into a heavy dose of buttery biscuit with a generous amount of sweetness tossed on top. What hurts this thing is that the orange doesn't really leave once the maltiness enters; what results is, in effect, a cupcake whose stump is an orange slice. Honestly, it would be fine if this were done in phases, but together it just doesn't seem right. The body is a heavy-ish light, with a moderate carbonation and a somewhat watery feel. Oddly enough, despite the slightly awkward flavors, this thing spitefully retains a decent amount of drinkability. It may not be the best O-Fest I've had, but it's certainly not the worst, either.

Photo of mralphabet
4.1/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz bottle into chilled pint glass.

A: Clear Orange Amber lager in appearance about 1 finger head that disapates quickly with nice lacing.

S: Smells of Grain and malt with a sweetness...

T: Mix of grain & sweet malt.... Very bread like... Taste is very well balanced, crisp with a little sweetness not over powering. Nice aftertaste.

M: : Medium bodied, very nice carbonation with a very clean finish. The alcohol is well hidden.

D: To me this is another very nice beer from Starr Hill.... a good Fall follow up to their Summer of LOVE... Will be buying more very soon...

Photo of JayQue
3.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice session beer, not necessarily a great Marzen. Pours a slightly cloudy orange/amber with a small off white head that fades fast. Leaves some lacing on the glass. Mild malty aroma, pleasant enough.

Taste is crisp and malty. Marzen bitterness in the finish is lacking. The only bitterness is in the balance - the beer is not overall too sweet.

Mouthfeel is rich enough for the style. Drinkability is pretty good if you are looking for a nice crisp, malty beer. I wouldn't turn down a pitcher of this stuff, but wouldn't go looking for it as an Oktoberfest beer either.

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Festie from Starr Hill Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.