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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

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | 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
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of willabys
4.68/5  rDev +30%
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!

willabys, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of hyoung41
4.5/5  rDev +25%

hyoung41, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of GaryMarkle84
4.5/5  rDev +25%

GaryMarkle84, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of AgentMunky
4.47/5  rDev +24.2%
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.

AgentMunky, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
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!

AlCaponeJunior, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
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

engagechad, May 25, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%
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!

Chaney, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of TheRougeBastard
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

TheRougeBastard, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

Rhettroactive, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of jsh5771
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

jsh5771, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
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

Bierman9, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev +11.1%

stereosforgeeks, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of seavercm
4/5  rDev +11.1%

seavercm, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Lantern, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Mattyb79
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Mattyb79, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Hanzo, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +11.1%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev +11.1%

seanchai, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of bigbutter
4/5  rDev +11.1%

bigbutter, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of zdeck37
4/5  rDev +11.1%

zdeck37, May 29, 2013
Photo of ChopsMeister
4/5  rDev +11.1%

ChopsMeister, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of WMEugene
4/5  rDev +11.1%

WMEugene, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of jlivings757
4/5  rDev +11.1%

jlivings757, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.96/5  rDev +10%
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!

BEERchitect, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of SHerninko
3.96/5  rDev +10%

SHerninko, Aug 15, 2014
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Cryptical Imperial Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.