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!

Cryptical Imperial Stout - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Cryptical Imperial StoutCryptical Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.6%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  7.52% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: on 11-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of willabys
willabys

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought at the brewery in a 750 ml bottle.

Pours Black, no light passing through the glass, Smells of a Heavy roast but not char, chocolate and nice hoppy aroma.

Taste is very rich and robust. Deep dark roast with out the carbonization of some over-roasted stouts. Nice hoppy flavors erupting, I am liking this one!

Lacing is very heavy running the full length of the glass.

Starr Hill knocks it out of the park with this one. Do check it out!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 16:55:46 | More by willabys
Photo of hyoung41
hyoung41

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

11-29-2011 01:30:09 | More by hyoung41
Photo of GaryMarkle84
GaryMarkle84

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

04-05-2013 21:47:08 | More by GaryMarkle84
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a ten ounce snifter at Brixx in Charlotteville. From notes. Reviewed 20 June 2011.

A: Dark black with a big head. Completely opaque.

S: Roasted malts. Sweet; vanilla beans or bourbon-soaked oak? Ensorcelling.

T: Mmm...Sweet-bitter coffee beans soaked in bourbon. The maintaste is full of dry hops, huge malts, and fantastic stout flavours. Though the main body is sadly short, the bitterer endtaste lingers.

M:A lightly drying beer, bitter so, and rather substantial.

O: I was sufficiently impressed by this beer that my (sober) review is full of modifying expletives, eliminated here for propriety's sake. It has all the flavours a double stout should and is obscenely drinkable. I will definitely have it again; highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2011 19:49:45 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking stout, good and black with a nice light brown head that left a bit of a foamy cap and left sticky lace.

The smell and taste are of really pronounced burnt and deeply roasted malts, lots of espresso and french roast coffee, some smokiness, and a bit of bitterness that can only come from hops. GREAT combinations of flavors, this is one excellent beer!

Great mouthfeel too, wonderfully thick and rich with a roasty, lightly coffee/chocolate bitter aftertaste and just a bit of sweetness to finish.

Great job, I want more from this brewer and more of this beer.

Oddly, this particular American double/imperial stout isn't of the precise variety that I most prefer, but I still find myself extremely drawn to this beer. I usually like the more vanilla/sweet stouts and milk stouts better, but again, this one is the exception. The rather pronounced bitterness really accents the coffee and chocolate to an extent I hadn't quite anticipated and much enjoyed. Someone obviously put a lot of time and effort into this one, and I do appreciate it.

I would like more of this brewery and definitely want the barrel aged stuff. Great job!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 23:57:56 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of engagechad
engagechad

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchases fresh at the Starr Hill Brewery in a 2 liter growler.

Pours extremely dark with a fat tan head, easy to manipulate depending on how aggressively you pour. Leaves the stickiest lacing I've ever seen. Smells largely of hops, cascade? Very nice on the nose with some roasty aromas mixed in. The taste is extremely bitter while still maintaining a smooth mouthfeel with chocolate undertones.

This is an incredible beer, which is why I got 2 liters of it. Starr Hill gets beef because they get AB distribution, but damn this beer is good. Give it a shot if you're in the Crozet/Charlottesville, VA area

Serving type: growler

05-25-2011 20:00:34 | More by engagechad
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm actually impressed they brewed this one.

Served in a snifter.

A: Black as night, with a slightly off-white head that clung to the glass and then some.

S: I got slight coffee notes, but overall this was pretty subdued on the nose. Also, there was a good bit of roast in there, much like a nice porter.

T: Lots of CO2-like qualities which I personally dig. Not chocolatey, not sweet, but very tasty. There was a bit of a "vegetable" quality in this beer. Very unique.

M: Like I stated, not sweet in the least bit. The lacing was absolutely ridiculous.

O: I was very surprised by how good this was. Kudos, Starr Hill!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 00:52:44 | More by Chaney
Photo of TheRougeBastard
TheRougeBastard

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

12-24-2012 22:41:03 | More by TheRougeBastard
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

09-27-2012 22:52:31 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of jsh5771
jsh5771

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

10-28-2012 01:49:50 | More by jsh5771
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Birthday gift from "bro" Artied2... 750ml bottle, with no freshness dating visible...

Using a small DT tulip, this bier has an opaque, dark brown color. Head is frothy and rocky, nicely beige colored, and lasts well at about 1/2"... Lacing? Quite nice and lasting well... Aroma has some bitter, burnt notes, plus some licorice and a little florality. The bier passes rather smoothly down the hatch, and the body is medium at best. With this style, I'd like to see more "oomph" and heft bodywise.

Flavor is malty and roasty, with dark choco, cocoa and some espresso notes. A little bitter coffee is also present, plus licorice and floral, flowery hopping in the dry finish. Verry similar, imo, to Smutty RIS.... Thnx Bro!! Prosit!

4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1550

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2012 23:07:39 | More by Bierman9
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

12-18-2012 01:29:37 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of seavercm
seavercm

Georgia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

03-03-2014 15:04:10 | More by seavercm
Photo of Lantern
Lantern


4/5  rDev +11.4%

12-28-2011 12:37:12 | More by Lantern
Photo of Mattyb79
Mattyb79

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

03-17-2013 12:34:00 | More by Mattyb79
Photo of Hanzo
Hanzo

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

09-28-2012 02:23:51 | More by Hanzo
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

11-24-2011 19:50:20 | More by nmann08
Photo of bigbutter
bigbutter

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

03-13-2013 22:57:44 | More by bigbutter
Photo of zdeck37
zdeck37

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

05-29-2013 21:59:39 | More by zdeck37
Photo of ChopsMeister
ChopsMeister

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +11.4%

04-13-2013 03:35:20 | More by ChopsMeister
Photo of WMEugene
WMEugene

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

11-14-2011 12:51:49 | More by WMEugene
Photo of jlivings757
jlivings757

Virginia

4/5  rDev +11.4%

12-13-2013 01:03:12 | More by jlivings757
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In true "Russian Impaerial" style, the common roast flavor of stout is met with subtle fruit and spice elements. Starr Hill doesn't mess with the recipe too much as its these finesse elements that provide its own complexity and charm.

Cryptical pours with the darkest of dark brown hues and even black though its center. Its certain tar-like appearance allows for a slow and frothy lather to build upon the beer, lasting half the session. Its broken lace is somewhat sparse but only halts when does its delicate creme.

Bold roast aromas leap out immediately, bringing with it the scent of molasses and burnt toffee to balance the char. Dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and an earthy walnut note keeps the charred scent relegated to campfire; and so do the fruity aromas of plumb, grape and licorice spice.

Its taste is lead by the burnt sugar and charred toast flavor as molasses and toffee offer the counterpart to burnt embers, dark-roast coffee and cocoa powder. As the beer crosses middle palate, a fruit-filled center of plumbs, grapes, cherries and blackberries weave into a fennel-type spice for the culmination of licorice and then trailing with a spiced rum alcoholic finish.

Its full and creamy body is assisted by ample malt sweetness and stern carbonation. But once the carbonation lifts and the bulk of sweetness subsides, the beer lightens considerably late. As the beer closes with spicy rum-like alcohol, fruit acidity and mild; it lingers long and indefinite.

Its becoming rare to find truly "roasty" Imperial Stout with those subtle nuances of fruit, spice, earth and rounded sweetness. But with Starr Hill's dedication, the style is in good hands!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 17:09:40 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, dark brown-black pour, with a small, tan head; moderate retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee, hints of anise. Roasty dark malts, pretty typical stout material, ntoes of coffee and anise detected in the aroma, with a slight earthy hop presence. On the heavier side of medium-bodied, soft carbonation, fairly smooth, but not quite as rich as many of its peers. Pretty solid basic stout overall.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2012 04:59:54 | More by Rifugium
Photo of cliff1066
cliff1066

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

12-16-2012 23:30:23 | More by cliff1066
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Cryptical Imperial Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.