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Starr Saison - Starr Hill Brewery

Starr SaisonStarr Saison

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

83 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.9%


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

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Starr Saison is a traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale. It is crisp and complex with plenty of fruitiness, hints of earth, and refreshing hop aroma and bitterness.

Previously known as All Access Saison.

(Beer added by: TechTriumph on 07-01-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mevett89
mevett89

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: straw gold, with not much of a head.

Aroma: spicy yeast and some resin from the hops.

Taste: peppery spice from the yeast and bitter resin/pine from moderate hopping. Sweet crisp base malt with a delicious malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium-high carbonation. Smooth yet somewhat bubbly.

Overall: one of the better "traditional" Saisons I've had. And by traditional I mean in the style of Dupont. An excellent combination of yeast, hops and malt!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 19:44:47 | More by mevett89
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear deep golden color with a fizzy head of a pure white color. The head fades super quickly leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is a rather nice mix of sweet, funk, yeast and bread. The biggest aroma is that of a sweet candied sugar smell with lots of banana sweetness within. Along with these aromas are some yeasty smells bringing with them spice aromas of coriander and clove. A bit of a wheaty smell as well as some grass and hay are there as well, overall producing a very pleasant aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a wheaty and bready flavor with a moderately strong sweet taste of banana and candied sugar. The taste also starts with a somewhat bready, which overall create a smooth and pleasant taste on the tongue. As the taste advances however the smoothness soon fades as some yeasty flavors bring with them lots of spice of coriander and clove as well as some bitter grassy and hay like flavors. The newly arriving flavors all the while, bring with them some more astringent flavors, which in the end, with the mix of all the flavors leaves a somewhat off funky, overly spiced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. A slightly higher carbonation and slightly thinner body may have been a bit better at hiding/minimizing the off astringent flavors, all the while keeping the beer a bit more refreshing.

Overall –It was a little too off in flavor at the end of the taste with a bit too much astringent and spice, as well as a slightly weak mouthfeel. An alright saison overall, but nothing all that great.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 01:17:50 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost clear yellow to golden color with a pure white 1 1/2 finger head (3 fingers on the harder 2nd pour) that recedes slowly leaving copious amounts of attractive, sticky lacing.

Citric and grassy sweet, akin to fresh mown hay. A hint of Belgian yeast. Rather clean for a Saison. Fruity with light spice. I get some bubblegum as well

1st swallow of light toast, 2nd a whiff of cherry?? Then a bit of earthiness/woodiness. Nothing really unpleasant, only the barest hint of funk. Pleasantly dry, tartly citric, and moderately bitter, especially after the beer warms.

Crisp and fluffy (good word zaphodchak). The carbonation billows on the palate.and tongue. Drying. Decently warming.

I really liked this beer. It's a bit light in the normal saison funky and earthy qualities, but it's tasty, well balanced, and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 03:33:00 | More by obywan59
Photo of hokieguy95
hokieguy95

Virginia

2.51/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Belgian Duvel snifter.

A: light coppery gold, with very thin head and lacing. So clear that you could read through it. One very small little yeast clump floating in the head. lacing and head go almost completely away as it warms.

S: Good nose of spice and some clove and some Belgian yeast character, but not a lot of that Saison funkiness. Smells more like a Tripel. Very slight bubble gum as it warms

T: Some sweetness upfront that is nice, but is quickly replaced by astringent chalkiness and twang of unpleasant off flavors. Very little taste of Saison funkiness character. These flavors are pronounced as it warms. The astringency overpowers any chance the Belgian yeast has to linger in the finish. Disapointed that this does not taste like it smells.

M: Very light and crisp, but thin. Carbonation could be better.

O: My first experience with Starr Hill. Being a Belgian Ale Connoisseur I had hoped that a brewery in my region was going to take care to replicate the style. Sadly, they miss the mark. Would not try again. Presentation and smell was promising, but need to work on the off flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 23:38:10 | More by hokieguy95
Photo of slusk
slusk

Virginia

3.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: This brew pours a golden yellow with orange hues. It has a nice one finger white head that quickly dissipates. moderate amount of lacing.

S: There's almost no hop aroma in this brew. It has a grainy malt sweetness, orange spice dominates the show with a slight peppery overtone.

T: The taste follows the aroma with a nice citrusy smack of orange. I bit of acidic bite on the tongue followed by a nice light malty after taste. Bitterness is slight but present with a semi-dry finish.

M: A moderate to high carbonation complements the low to medium body. Nice and clean.

O: Belgians aren't my favorite style but this lawnmower beer is a pleasant surprise with a pleasant taste that leans more toward the orange side of the spectrum. A semi sweet, slightly acidic finish transforms into a nice bready finish in this easy drinking saison. I like that the Belgian character is upfront but not overdone. Bravo Starr Hill.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 19:22:42 | More by slusk
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber body with slight haze. Thin white head; heavy lacing.

Not much smell—perhaps faint spice.

Some Belgian bubblegum years character and a hoppy finish. A bit of saison spice in the middle, and a wheaty body. Pleasant and balanced.

A bit fluffy in terms of mouthfeel: neither super bright nor thick.

Decent saison-style, not very funky or anything, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 04:16:48 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of DaveBlack
DaveBlack

Virginia

3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: ever so slightly cloudy golden beer. Frothy, single-finger white head with very little retention. No lacing.

S: Earthy yeast, a bit of lemon pith, and a surprisingly punchy alcohol finish. Smells like a rather uninteresting saison.

T: Taste is surprising after the smell. Not nearly as fruity or sour as I was expecting. Earthy, grassy, and quite bitter, as if drinking the dregs of a bottle-conditioned beer. It's almost a saison-light: many of the qualities, but few of the complexities.

M: Moderate body, slightly chewy, with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: I have never expected much from a saison that wasn't bottle conditioned, and I have never expected much from Starr Hill. This beer delivers on both accounts. It's not a bad beer, there is just nothing great about it. It lacks the complexities and the crispness of a good saison. It's a fair beer, but not one that 'd be in a hurry to drink again.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 21:38:36 | More by DaveBlack
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 1/18/13:

Pours golden with a very thin head. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is sour - green apples - spicy yeast.

The taste is sour - green apple, some herbal spicing. A touch of honey sweetness mixes in. Turns dry in the finish.

It is well-carbonated and pretty smooth.

It's a decent attempt from a brewery that doesn't specialize in Belgian brews. "Interesting".

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 14:30:37 | More by jwc215
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09

Maryland

3.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours golden orange with a small head that dissipates very quickly. Smells of wheat and "Belgian Yeast" not much else. Tastes of wheat and slight fruit tastes. Beer is light bodied and goes down smooth. Overall a slightly above average beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 01:36:34 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.96/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a carrot orange with a good clarity factor. A one finger cream head is steady as well the slowly ascending carbonation within. Small encircling lace ring.

S: For aroma there was a bit of stale oranges, musky nature, wheat, and some dry vinery.

T: The flavor was a bit spicy upfront, oranges, with a strong yeasty character, along with some musky fruit. Dry grainy dusting, a bit of dry spicing and woodsy touch. Dry hoppy pine, flour and wheat come on the close.

M: ordinary, lacks the crispness i prefer by style, the body is average, no real aspiration, with a dry powdery and pollen like coating.

O: Overall average best describes this attempt. Not good enough to mention, just barley good enough to finish, but certain not good enough for repeat best describes my feelings about this.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 19:22:54 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Jenks
Jenks

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Banana esters are the first aroma to hit the nose. Pilsner malt is detected behind the banana. Some noble hop character is there once the beer warms up a bit.

A - Very nice, crystal clear golden color. Pours very little head which disappears soon after pouring.

F - Classic Pilsner malt flavor in this beer. A peppery yeast character follows which fills the mouth and mixes well with the banana. Not sure if I can detect any noble hop flavors. Balanced nicely; I wouldn't call it to be on the malty or bitter side. The finish is fairly dry.

M - Medium body. Leaves a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth that is reminiscent of the beer itself. Carbonation seems a little low. There is no astringency or other offensive characteristics. No creaminess. A slight alcohol warmth.

O - This is a good Saison but not great. I would have liked some more pronounced yeast character; more spicyness, more pepper, banana, etc. The balance is spot on for a Saison; dry but with a little malt and just a touch of noble hop.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2013 15:35:38 | More by Jenks
Photo of streetcommander
streetcommander

Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Saisons are fantastic, but not often produced by craft breweries. This one is one of the MOST fantastic examples I have had, period. ABV is alleged to be 6.5 which is out if character for this style, but superbly executed none the less. Very well done.

Try it, and I bet you will like it.

Crisp, clear, clean, flavorful, and very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 21:16:14 | More by streetcommander
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent golden colour with a big bright white head.

The smell is Belgian yeast, cloves,bananas and black pepper.

The taste is sweet, cloves and apples, finishes too watery.

The mouthfeel is pretty thin, with medium carbonation.

This beers not that bad, but to be honest I haven't been all that impressed by any of star hills beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 00:08:33 | More by Dave1999
Photo of orcsinspace
orcsinspace

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. It has a nice golden wheat color, and a foamy head. The smell is a little smokey.

The taste is earthy, with a little smokey flavor. It is very subtle, and compliments the hops. The flavor is balanced, and very drinkable.

Saison is a good beer. It is ashame that more craft beers can't be as creative as this beer, and still be drinkable. If you get the chance, try one, because you will not regret it.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 21:26:29 | More by orcsinspace
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

1.68/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

A- small head with a yellow body. Looks a touch darker than most macros.

S- as soon as I cracked the bottle I thought "this was a bad choice". Obvious DMS with just a touch of Belgian fruit character and some phenolic character that just seems off.

T- up front it has slight sweet fruit flavor that is quickly destroyed by aspirin bitterness and cooled corn character.

M- relatively thin though neither as dry or carbonated as I would like for the style.

O- another terrible beer from Starr Hill. I will never try a seasonal from them again, they are all awful. Picked this because I saw Saison and didn't realize the brewer, won't make that mistake again.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 22:56:41 | More by Guden
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.64/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured on and a half bottles into a large tulip glass with a slightly hazed rich golden color with a very nicely defined fluffy white head that stuck like glue to the glass.Aromas mainly consisted spicy phenols,clove,and white pepper mainly with just a hint of citrus fruit.Like the nose the flavors are yeasty and phenolic,alot of spice and mild funk,with a bit of toasted grain.Not bad but a little one dimensional with the phenols.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 20:02:28 | More by oberon
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
TappaKeggaBrew

Ohio

3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear, liquid gold, with a beautiful 2-finger head of white foam; decent lingering, but with scant lacing after it fades.

S: Lemon peel; cloves; pepper, wheat bread. Basically, like a Hefeweizen.

T: A little sweetness up front, but that quickly vanishes into a mixture of grain, citrus, and yeast. That doesn't last long either, before a bitter finish takes over and lasts a long time. And it's not your typical hops bitterness -- there's something sharp and harsh about it.

M: Fairly good carbonation, but the astringent finish is distracting, especially since subsequent sips don't squelch it.

O: It looked and smelled like a winner, but it was so disappointing in the mouth. I had to work to finish it, so I won't be getting another.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 22:13:37 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
Photo of NoLeafClover44
NoLeafClover44

Delaware

3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into an Allagash chalice. Bottled on 2/12/13.

A - Pours golden with perfect clarity. Not much more than a film of white head sits on top. A thick column of ascending bubbles pour from the laser etch in the bottom of the glass. Lacing haphazardly paints the sidewalls.

S - Cloves dominate the aroma. Sweet belgian sugars, milled white pepper, and enticing bready grain. There is very little in the barnyard/funk department, making this a bit of a one dimensionally sweet saison.

T - Notes of ginger and clove on the forefront. Bubblegum yeast and spices follow. The finish is slightly astringent at first, but cleans up after a few sips.

M - Spritzy carbonation and a light-medium body.

O - Whenever I see a new Starr Hill beer I grab it. They don't make anything mind blowing, but I always loved stopping by the Brewery/tasting room while I was in college. This beer is quaffable enough, but lacks the complexity I look for in a saison. A little bit sweet and bready for my taste. This is probably one I will not get again.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 22:19:09 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a glass tumbler. Bottled on 01/08/13 plainly printed on the bottle neck. Purchased at Maya (Charlottesville, VA) as an aperitif.

A: Very clear honey golden with 1-2 fingers of nearly white big-bubbled head with decent retention and thin single line of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Aroma is at first more in line with a hefeweizen with a lot of banana, pineapple, and bubble gum aromas, although it does come through with some more pepper and phenolic character with warming.

T: The flavor is way too sweet and not nearly dry enough for the style. I had an Ommegang Hennepin earlier this week in exactly the same situation, and the contrast was sorely obvious. The fruity aroma is far too prominent with a lot of banana, pear, and fruity apple and pineapple character. There is some pepper but it is in the backseat as is the dryness.

M: The mouthfeel reminds me more of a Belgian singel as it had a lot of thickness and minimal dryness. There is a slight tang in the finish, but this has a lot of body and too little carbonation for the style.

O: I wanted this to be a lot better -- I don't know if it's a yeast problem or a recipe problem, but the whole thing needs to be revisited as it seems to be missing in a lot of departments.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 02:24:06 | More by argock
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

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

A dark gold bodied beer with excellent clarity and a big white head that quickly settles down to a thin, bubbly band on top. Patchy, somewhat slippery lacing. Aroma of honey, yeast, pepper, grassy hops. Simple and noticeably sweet.

Flavor has a prominent fruity and honeyed sweetness, lots of yeastiness, pepper, clove and other spices, lightly hoppy, grassy bitterness. Biscuity malt character. Semi-dry finish, some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied and carbonated, slightly creamy feel, could be a bit crisper. Not bad but definitely overly sweet for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 16:42:37 | More by tobelerone
Photo of TechTriumph
TechTriumph

Virginia

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

From notes on 06/25/12:
Bottled: 05/07/12; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Two inches of off-white creamy head with good retention; Dark sunset gold color with an orange-ish hue; Very slight haze; Not too much lacing left behind

S - Quite a bit of bready/yeasty notes, as well as some lemon and orange-like citrus peel, herbs/spices, clove, banana, bubble gum, sugary syrup, and subtle apple and pear

T - Like the aroma, there's lots of bready flavor here that's fairly sweet, but also reminiscent of sourdough with some accompanying spicy and funky qualities; Clove, banana, bubble gum, and herbs are also present, though none of these flavors really stand out at first; As the beer warms, bubble gum flavors start to step in front of the pack

M - Just under moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Pretty smooth, creamy, and wet going down; Before the beer warms, a noticeable oily, syrupy coat forms on the tongue

O - I enjoyed finding and having the chance to try this new brew from Starr Hill. As far as Saisons go, this one doesn't really stand out for me and left me struggling to pick out signature flavors. Pleasant flavors were certainly present, but in proportions that differed from what I had expected. That said, this beer definitely quenched my thirst as I sat on the porch on a hot and humid Summer day.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 11:47:46 | More by TechTriumph
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery, reviewed from notes. The tap room bartender was great. Stayed open an extra 35 minutes to talk beer. I had a great time.

A: single finger head with excellent lacing on a hazy golden with copper hued body.

S: very spicey with an excellent mjusty yeast character counterpart to an aroma of nice earthy hops and clove.

T: maltier tasting than I like my saisons. may be due to yeast character fooling me a little. candied fruits, mild spice, clove and banana.

M: light body and high carbonation.

Overall: not terrible but with so many solid saisons out there, I wanted more from this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2012 22:30:46 | More by kylehay2004
Starr Saison from Starr Hill Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.