King Of Hop Imperial IPA | Starr Hill Brewery

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King Of Hop Imperial IPAKing Of Hop Imperial IPA
Very Good
King Of Hop Imperial IPAKing Of Hop Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
King of Hop Imperial India Pale Ale is brewed with heaps of American hops from the Pacific Northwest. This medium-bodied beer is dry-hopped to achieve an invigoratingly fresh aroma, which highlights the powerful citrus characteristics of the hops. Flavor notes of orange peel, passion fruit, grapefruit, and gooseberry lend balance to the bracingly herbal bite.

50 IBUs

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 174
Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a slight hazy light amber color with a nice head head and lacing
A-Aroma has hop hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a hop flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent American IPA

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Photo of ramseye4
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Looks piss thin, but with nice little carbonation bubbles rising. Aroma is straight up citrus, with a mild floral undertone. Tastes of tropical fruit, not as bitter as the hop art on the label would have you believe. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Overall is a very drinkable IPA, well rounded, solid without standing out one way or the other from the bell curve.

I grew up a mile from where Starr Hill eventually staked it’s home (in an old ConAgra plant), but I have to admit Blue Mountain is the best brewery in the vicinity if Western Albemarle/ Nelson County.

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Photo of RAFH
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this 12 ounce bottle from the Harris Teater store in Virginia Beach, Virginia while setting up daughter's beautiful apartment. Initial impression of this Imperial IPA was solid, but the aftertaste faded fast. Still a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was just about to embark on my next major horizontal when I noticed a few of these famous star bottle caps in the Bottle Backlog & decided to bust them out before this undertaking.

From the bottle: "All Access"; "Dry-hopped with glorious amounts of American hops for an invigoratingly fresh aroma and majestic citrus characteristics."

Oooh, I could really go for some majestic citrus characteristics, but first, a Pop! of the cap. Once again, a gentle pour seemed to be in order, but once I had decanted a sufficient amount, I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl. This raised two-plus fingers of foamy, tawny head that lasted briefly before leaving dense, sticky lacing in its wake. Color was Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with alight haze that may be from the cool setting of my reefer. Nose smelled like a big bag o'dank! Pineapple, grapefruit, pine resin, mango, papaya & some caramel malt for good measure. My hophead mouth was watering uncontrollably. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, almost viscous on the tongue. The taste made it seem bigger than its 7.5% ABV with a light fusel alcohol heat to go with the fruitiness of its taste. The tropical fruits - pineapple, mango, papaya - were much more prevalent in terms of taste and the malt seemed to know to keep its head down on this one. Finish was semi-dry, making it all the more drinkable. Man, this could be dangerous.

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Photo of smcolw
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The head is small but leaves a decent number of spots on the glass. Dark gold to light amber color and very hazy.

Green, freshly cut and grounded hop cones give the initial aroma. There is a concentrated malt extract sweetness in the background giving the smell decent balance.

First impression is of the high carbonation level. This feel is extended when the thinness of the beer shows up in the swallow. The taste starts off mild and balanced. As I swallow the beer both the paler malt and the bittering hop show up in equal parts. The aftertaste, though, seems to be strictly bitter, lingering a long time.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the growler, it pours amber with a small head. Lots and lots of hops in the nose. Flavor is hoppy and well balanced, not too bitter, but flavorful. Yum!

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Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, sample from the brewery.

Stunning looking beer. Smells floral, boozy, rind-like, & juicy. Smooth and creamy, juicy with a growing citrus rind bitterness. Warming, estery, & bitter in the finish. A pretty good DIPA.

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Photo of stevoj
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle thanks to Steve. Hazy golden straw pour capped with tight white head. Aroma is funky hops, floral, earthy; taste follows with more hoppiness, pine resin, and some decent malty notes.

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Photo of obywan59
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden to orange in color with moderate haze, and a 2 finger white head with moderate lacing,

Very citric aroma with grapefruit, passion fruit, pine, and overripe orange with a sweet caramelly backbone.

Cold, the beer is mostly sweet malt with tart citrus and bitter grapefruit peel, but as it warms, more fruity citrus and tropical passion fruit flavors develop Caramel is prominent as well.

Medium full in body with a substantial bite. Becoming drying in the end with warming alcohol.

My new favorite beer from Starr Hill. Great hop presence with caramel malts to back it up, and a great body to boot.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep gold brew with a white head that left a little lacing. Smells sweet with grapefruit, onion and pine. Taste is sweet with a candy like flavor with fruit and a nice bitter bite. The lingering taste is pine and orange pith.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazed, golden coloring, with a slow roll of carbonation throughout the body, and a low profile, clingy, white head. Aromas of sticky pine, tart and sweet grapefruit, and a subtle cracker backbone. Very dank and sweet. Flavors are bitter and resinous pine pitch and moss forward, followed quickly by a citrus blend of grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon. Cracker backbone, with floral highlights throughout. The body is light, slightly effervesced, and dry. Piney and roasted aftertaste, with a solid bitter linger past the crisp, dry finish. Solid beer!

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Photo of rjs246
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tried this for the first time recently and it's tasty but pretty run of the mill. Not a ton of abv for a double and nothing really stands out about the aroma or taste. Having said that I enjoyed the one I had will happily finish the four pack and will probably buy again. A good, but not great, local beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

-Pkgd 03.19.15. consumed 07.15.15. spiegelau ipa glass.

A: Pumpkin orange coloring, generally good clarity revealing a fast paced dose of macro-effervesce bubbles. Spongy coating of ivory colored foam is moderately lasting. Speckled lacing is weak and spacious of low coverage.

S: Bright orange peel and grassiness upfront, wet, followed by a hint of onion-grassiness. Hint of herbal garlic, low to moderate awareness, rather short duration.

T: Bitter orange and onion grassy hops with some herbal garlic. Decent level of bitterness, dry citrus peel and malty grass notes move in on the finish. Nice dry hop finish of onion-grass that stays on the tongue with a touch of toasty sweetness of bread. Palate feels a bit thin at times.

M: Bittering, ok level of carbonation, medium body.

O: Overall decent level of hoppiness, only moderately complex, bittering but lacks a flavor aspect, and substance feels a bit thin at times. Malty grassiness with some lingering dry flowery pollen like coating on the tongue. Moderate drinker, four months past packaging could of contributed to some grassy onion aroma and dull hop flavor. Only average level of excitement.

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Photo of Spamtastic
2.81/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

10 Oz draft at Tomato Head. Pours a clear golden yellow. Normal head that dissipated quickly, light lacing after a drink, but that vanished quickly. Very little aroma, but what's there is mostly citrusy and floral. Tastes more like a session IPA than a double, and I was hoping for a more pronounced hops profile. Mouth feel is good, with a nice balance of carbonation. Overall a decent beer, but more hops would have been nice.

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Photo of gopens44
2.86/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Not too bad looking, but after that we have some issues. Anything descriptive of the hops in the nose is terribly muted, getting only a light touch of earthy hop but certainly getting some astringency that also comes into play in the taste. Speaking of which, not a ton of depth, we have a bit more of the earthiness opening up but we can't shake that rubbing alcohol that haunts the finish. My advice to Starr Hill - stick with Double Platinum. That DIPA works. This one doesn't.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.82/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clearish amber color. The head is a finger high, and white in shade. Retention is pretty good, leaving behind both a creamy collar and some lacing on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: At first, there isn't a whole lot of anything. Wha, a DIPA with a really mild nose? Luckily, the nose does open up somewhat, with some notes of lime, orange peel, pine, and sugar cookie. Still, this aroma is far too mild for a DIPA. (2.75)

Taste: The flavor, at least, reveals what the brewery intended better. It opens up with some mild tropical fruit notes, and ends with some minty/herbaceous bitterness. This remains pretty malty throughout. I don't know why, but this doesn't seem particularly balanced - it's neither too bitter nor too sweet, though. I don't know, maybe it isn't well integrated. This isn't flat out awful by any stretch (some of the notes are nice on their own), just the balance is way off. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Full, creamy, and heavy - perhaps even slightly syrupy. Certainly, it seems like it's 9% or so in terms of body and even booze presence. Drinkability is low, though not quite 'bad'. Moderate carbonation alleviates some (if not all) of the problem. (3)

Overall: I had some high hopes for this one, considering how damn good Revival Red was. This is nowhere near that quality. Okay, it's two months old, but no DIPA should degrade that much in that time. It's hard to say exactly how it's underwhelming, but it just is. Some tweaks will make it pretty damn good, though. (2.75)

2.82/5: Where's your crown, King Nothing?

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Photo of BigD1018
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this beer from Starr Hill. I thought their portfolio had been missing a big, hoppy IPA. King of Hop was very citrusy and I would never have guessed it to be 7.5% abv. I was also glad to see it available in 4 packs, as the year before it was only bombers. I much prefer this DIPA over Double Platinum. Good to see Starr Hill is making changes for the better.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber in a stemmed glass.

A- Pours a sturdy looking golden-orange color. Slight haze, 2F billowy white head, sticky lacing.

S-Tropical fruits and citrus, some sweets.

T- Orange, grapefruit, tropical. Some sweet malt backbone. As advertised, some earthy herbal notes.

M-Sticky medium body, nice carbonation. Smooth with a long dry hop finish. Lack of bite holds it back a tad.

O- Tasty and drinkable. Hoppy, not bitter. I want more "punch".

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Photo of lhammer610
5/5  rDev +28.9%

We have moved from Oregon to Virginia in the past year and have been yearning for a NW style IPA. Some come close, like Hop Devil. Some are too sweet like Dogfish 60 Minute. Others just are not hoppy enough, like Devils Backbone 8 Point. What we miss is something like Ninkasi Total Domination, or Goodlife Descender IPA. We found it. King of Hop by Starr Hill is in the style of a true NW IPA. Great stuff.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured a clear golden orange body with quick dying two finger head and left a minor lace ring.
Aroma is citrusy and floral with hints of grapefruit or tangerine sweetness from hops as well and not so much malts to speak of.
Light body for style and taste profile is comprised of mostly dry, bitter citric hops and there is some slight sweetness from both a grape hop perspective and caramel malt.
Finishes dry and crisp thanks to carbonation and is also well- balanced.
For a DIPA they went light on the hops b/c this is not a hop heavy/hop bomb type of beer.
Simple and pleasurable is what is it.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 3/19/2015 (full review 4/27):
Pours a wonderful golden yellow, clear and with a nice amount of head in this pour. Bubbles seen rising feed the white cloud stop the beer. The nose is a bit weak, a little tropical, a little grapefruit pith, a hint of pine, but all subdued. Also a little cereal note of grain.

Taste starts pretty clean, a hint of grapefruit rind and pine notes accompanied by a generic tropical flavor (maybe papaya). Carbonation is lighter and smoother than expected up front. Bitterness is really subtle, but does grow through the late taste, drying the palate, little more obvious with a little warmer beer, where grapefruit/pith tastes become stronger.

This beer grew on me a tad as I analyzed it. The beer is quite clean, if lacking just a tad on carbonation. The flavor aren't bold or strong, but I think work well as a profile. Not gonna impress many hop heads, but I think it works pretty well; if you look to this when looking for a hopped up APA, you probably won't be disappointed.

Edit: with some warmth, this asserted its IIPA nature a bit more. The alcohol comes out a tad, but so does the bitter grapefruit pith. Enjoying it a bit more than I did initially.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured at Cork & Cask, Cornelius NC...

Pours a clear golden with white head and superglue sticky lacing. Great nose, very floral and smells of orange zest. The taste follows suit and the mouthfeel is light, hops leave an oily residue on your tongue. This is a very nice IPA that I'll definitely have again. Talk about easy to drink. Nicely done Starr Hill.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Deep crystal clear yellow to brass orange body color, with nice fine and thin plentiful carbonation. Head easily makes a solid controlled four fingers, with a bit of swiss cheese and foamy to soapy appearance. Head falls in even levels like a descending circle.

Solid simple aroma. Good florals and hints of some juiced sweet fruit quality. Kind of interesting, with an indistinct fruit bent on it. Pretty solid and decent.

Palate comes with a solid mouthfeel that hints towards some light sugars and thickness. Candy like aromas seem to burst in the mouth with mild bitterness. Leafy to mint like finish, and somewhat chewy hop bent. Half decent amount of fruit hop juice getting towards tropical a bit in the palate, but with a somewhat cotton candy small sugar bent.

Overall it's just a pretty enjoyable one for an IPA not breaking new ground here, but I could easily have this again and be happy. Happy to be just having another Starr Hill beer that I enjoy for a change.

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Photo of jacewg
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fairly fresh bottle, packaged 6/17

Appearance: Deep orange/copper color with some haze. Thick white head, spotty lacing. Decent retention.

Aroma: Nose is nice. Very fruity with lots of citrus fruit and peel leading the way. Hints of tropical fruit with some caramel malt backbone pushing through.

Taste: Lots of nice qualities here as well. Opens with lots of juicy citrus, tropical fruit, and stone fruit: grapefruit, tangerine, apricot. Malt catches up quickly and brings some sweet caramel but drops off quickly as the beer finishes dry and fruity with a pleasant lingering floral bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body. A bit mouth coating, but with enough dryness to make it work. Bitterness is clean and somewhat subdued for the style, letting the flavor and aroma take center stage.

Overall: Unquestionably the best beer I've ever had from Starr Hill, who seems to be taking a turn for the better as of late.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Released July 1st, this particular one was bottled 6/19/14.

A - Pours dark copper gold color with a thick white head, light but steady carbonation, and sticky lacing.

S - Spicy orange, citrus, papaya, herbally, with a light caramel aroma being almost covered by the hops.

T - Light floral, lemon, grapefruit, oranges, mango, passionfruit, papaya, some apricot all come up front with a sudden burst of tang on the tip of the tongue. After the fruity tang the malt catches up bringing the intensity down just slightly but definitely tropical fruity all the way to the end and leaves a lingering orange tang in the back of the mouth with some slight grapefruit bitterness underneath and on the back end. Juicy.

M - Full medium body, slight thickness, coats the mouth with a tangy tropical fruit cotton-like sensation. Finishes wet, but yet very dry on the back of the tongue.

O - Enough balance to keep the beer sweet and fruity-like without cloying or edgy bitterness.

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King Of Hop Imperial IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 174 ratings