Northern Lights IPA | Starr Hill Brewery

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BA SCORE
82
good
249 Reviews
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Northern Lights IPANorthern Lights IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 09-19-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
249
Ratings:
942
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
25.82%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
181
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 249 | Ratings: 942
Photo of godlessape
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA
The body has a light clear amber hue to it topped off with a thin but creamy white head.
The aroma is somewhat floral and grassy, with some sweet fruitiness, finishing off with just a little grapefruit.
As far as taste goes everything seems rather subtle. Nothing jumps out and slaps you on the kisser. The caramel malt is there, as is the expected hop bitterness on the tail end. The balance in this is great.
The Mouthfeel is high in carbonation, with a juicy aftertaste.
Overall this is a decent brew, a solid IPA.

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a rich copper color with a creamy tan head that starts out two-fingers in height after an aggressive pour. Dwindles pretty quickly, leaving an acceptable amount of lacing down the sides. A roughly 1/4" creamy cap retains like a champion.

S: Floral hops with some citrus fruit. Grapefruit dominates the citric aspect with some tangerines floating around. A little bit of grassiness and some bready malts lingering. Aroma is intense, but lacks in complexity. Nothing astounding, but nothing that can be scored too harshly.

T: Those bready malts up front. A little bit of caramel malt maybe? There's a lot of malt presence in the initial sip. Some weak hop bitterness cuts through, but doesn't really do a great job of taking the driver's seat on the flavor bus. A little bit of medicinal-like bitterness in the end that's still overshadowed by the lingering malt presence. None of these flavors are bad, by any means, but they're very disappointing for an IPA.

M: Medium body, maybe slightly above, I'd say. Crisp carbonation. A bit chewy in the mouth, likely due to the strong malt presence. This one feels great and definitely has some session potential. It's overall a bit too chewy and clean in the finish for me though, given the style.

O: I want to clear up that even though my score for this infers mediocrity, that's not particularly the case. Starr Hill's Northern Lights is a quite enjoyable brew. It's flavorful, it's smooth, it's a great grab for sessioning, BUT it's not a good example of what I look for in an IPA, and I scored accordingly. The malt presence is too dominant and the hops, for the most part, take the backseat. Like I said, this brew is enjoyable and sessionable, but not what I look for in an IPA. This would serve better as perhaps an American Amber Ale, perhaps?

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Photo of Edward-Nipplebrew
2.82/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice copper color not a bad IPA. Average in taste and quality. Good drinkability. A fine run-of-the-mill IPA nothing wrong but nothing to write home about. Strawberry fields forever. This would be a good choice for novice IPA drinkers as an introduction to get you into trying IPA's.

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Photo of delta490
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a nice clear deep amber with a creamy white head which provides nice lacing

S- Mild bread with some light citrus hops and a faint sweetness at the end

T- Very similar in profile to the aroma. Nothing really stands out with this one, but it's not bad, either

M- a little watery, given the nature of American IPA

O- it's a decent IPA, worthy trying once for the sake of it

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's Beer Distributor

A- a copper orange color that is in the middle between clear and opaque. The head is a frothy white that leaves a straight circular lacing on my pint.

S- citrus/grapefruit hops nose with faint malt hints.

F- a strong sharp and tart grapefruit/citrus flavor. not much else in the flavor.

M-light bodied but the tartness of the hops is overpowering and takes away from the other notes that should be in in IPA. It is not as dry or hoppy either.

O- an average IPA. the tartness is too over powering but a good brew all the same from Starr Hill.

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Photo of 57md
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is a copper color with a finger of fluffy white head. The head sticks around for quite awhile and leaves some nice sticky lace behind. The nose has notes of both hops and grapefruit. The flavor profile is somewhat balanced, but I’d say the malt slightly overwhelms the hops. There is also a trace of citrus taste. The finish is milder than most top shelf IPAs.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a very bright, slightly hazy, orange-gold coloring with a frothy, tall, foamy, dense, off-white head that clings all over the glass as you drink. Good looking beer. Aromas of tropical fruits, pepper and tobacco spice, and subtle grass and pine. Flavors are roast forward, with a more subdued fruit character and a solid tart grapefruit profile providing tart and bitterness. Subtle caramel backbone, and with some grass and cedar hops characteristics coming forward towards the tail-end of the palate. Smooth, light body with a tart and roasted sweet aftertaste, with hops bitterness to clean everything up at the end. The finish is dry, with a subtle resinous linger. Solid beer, and easy to drink. Tasty.

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Photo of Kendo
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is clear, golden-copper in color with a small ivory-colored head. Decent amount of lace.

S: Some citrusy and piney hops, though not big and in-your-face.

T: Surprisingly malt-centric for an IPA; first impression is the caramel malt & toffee of the malt. It loses flavor generally mid-sip, seeming almost watery, but then on the finish there's a mild amount of hop bitterness (think weak grapefruit), along with some green hops (grassy and piney). Decent lingering piney bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A bit slick in feel. Lighter than medium in heft. Carbonation is modest.

O: OK; reminds me more of an APA than an IPA, but it's not a bad beer.

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Photo of Steff_Wantz
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautifully copper colored, can clearly see carbonation, nice head of foam

S: smells a bit musty, definitely has a strong hop aroma to it, hints of floral

T: a bit bitter at the start but a crisp IPA finish at the end, some sweetness to it

M: this brew covers your whole palate and leaves a coating on your tongue after

O: Overall this is a very enjoyable IPA, I would like to try this on draft. I typically forget about Starr Hill but this beer made me remember that this brewery is nothing to forget about. I am going to make sure I put some emphasis on trying more from this brewery in the future.

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Photo of Altrurian
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this as a "premium" selection at the United Club near C-18 at IAD.

A right viscous pour, with noticeable churn as a one-finger, yellow-shaded head takes shape. The head disappears, but cling lingers. The aroma is alluring, with citrus and toffee on an unidentifiable floral base.

The beer's taste is hard and hoppy; no citrus--metallic instead, but with a clean finish. No nonsense, which, I guess, is a generous way of saying it's lacking in complexity and not much fun. But there's something there. Texture is just a touch too prickly. Sure beats the Miller Genuine Draft that preceded it.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy burnt yellow. Small white head.

Nose is grassy, mildly hoppy, tropical notes, C-hops predominate, herbal.

Mild herbal notes, grapefruit hoppiness, decent balance, bitterness is pretty strong.

Feel is a little thin, a bit seltzer-like, but good for a session.

My first beer from Starr hill and although it's not an outstanding IPA, I'm willing to try more of what the brewery offers.

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Photo of obywan59
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours crystal clear and golden orange to light amber in color with a 3 finger near white head that recedes slowly leaving some lasting sticky lacing.

Fresh, vibrant, and redolent in aroma with grassy, over ripe citrus, and caramel components. Yeasty dough at times.

Straight out of the fridge, the front forward bitter aspect was a bit much, but it quickly settled down as the beer warmed. Sweet light caramel from the malts and grassy and bitter hops. Occasional spice in the back of the mouth.

Medium to medium thick in body. Plenty of bite, especially early on. Bordering on creamy, however. Decent warmth from the alcohol.

From the initial smell of it, I thought this might approach the quality of a Stone brew, but the flavor didn't quite hold up. Nonetheless, as it warmed, the flavor was greatly improved and became more than passable. This ranks among the better of the Virginia brews.

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Photo of pacino77
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a lot of people say negative things about new jersey. there's traffic, they insist, and whitetrash, and it's just a suburb of new york. i rode this train for a while as a result of peer pressure--i overlooked a lot of the simple charms of this eastern seaboard state because of the reputation it had in my mind on account of everyone else. the real fact is that there's a lot to be charmed by here, simple undeniable charms like when cat stevens sings, "take your time, think a lot," and you sort of hum along and bob your head in agreement. new jersey is a great place. now, have you ever heard anyone speak negatively about charlottesville, virginia? likely not. because it, too, is a nice place, but one that happens to be slightly more removed from interstate ninety-five. and like new jersey, it has its annoyances, like record shops that still charge $5 for michael jackson thriller and too many dudes in seersucker suits with polo shirts on underneath. charlottesville also, however, hosts and is home to the starr hill brewery, whose men and women are responsible for the creation of this fine, reasonably priced india pale ale. it comes in a can and more than once i've been glad that i'm not forced to find a half dollar with which to pry the cap off. i'm also a little bit interested in the recyclability of aluminum over glass. but i digress. the simple fact is that a hot august night goes better with a bag of utz potato chips and a cold can of northern lights.

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Photo of ElderBeagle
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Obtained in the sampler pack

Really strange looking IPA. Clear dark amber color with very little head.

Smells very sweet for an IPA. Caramel maltiness, with the piny, citrus hops as well.

The taste is very sweet just like the nose, then the back of the tongue is the dry piny hops. Not much depth to the hops here which is disappointing, as I like complex hop flavor (citrus, tropical fruit, etc). Mostly just a dry piny, resinous flavor which is almost bulled over by the malt sweetness.

Its like an amber ale that was dry hopped or something. Overall, not the IPA for me. I actually think their pale ale is more complex and hoppy than this, and therefore more enjoyable.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.61/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Quick paced micro-effervesce passes through an orange body with a good clarity. Rigid foam works of 2 inches is sturdy, with a buff coloring showing a generous lace amount on the vessel.

S: Small dry citrus flower, none to complex, none to strong, none to appealing.

T: Coarse hopping, prickly flower bitterness, dry citrus. All bitterness hops, plus some dry hopping, but no flavor aspect. Dull tasting, dull hoping with some toasted sweetness upfront that gets overcome by the coarse, mono-tone hopping that finishes with some dry flour and chalkiness.

M: Light bodied, chalky, dry barley stalks, with a small moderate sweetness off the tongue.

O: Overall early hop bitterness additions leaves no room for flavor aspect. Blunt, dry and unfocused hop and flavor wise with a coarse finish that even zombie junkie hop heads will have a hard time likeing. Pass, hesitant finish.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says 02/06/13

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that bears good retention time before eventually becoming an 1/8 inch head. Resilient lacing trickles slowly down the glass.

S- Sweet malt combines with earthy hops to create an almost maple-like bouquet. Notes of brown sugar, caramel and some wet grass. Slightly musty.

T- Decent hop bite with more of the sugary malt coming through and a bit of booze. Not necessarily balanced as the hops create more of a standard bitterness and the malt provides most of the actual flavor. Easy to drink nonetheless.

M- A bit dry and plenty sharp from the booze and hops. Medium carbonation and a surprisingly hefty body.

O- Pretty decent IPA by an otherwise lackluster brewery.

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Photo of Oakenator
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper color with some head. Decent head retention and spotted lacing.

S: Fresh smelling but not much going on here for an IPA. Malts present.

T: Nice mixture of mild hopping with a sweetener from the decent dose of malts.

M: Solid - has a good bit of body but still refreshing.

O: Good brew.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap at hard times in Arlington VA. pours an amber color with a nice head. smell is malty and sweet. not bad but not what I was expecting from an IPA. taste is more of the same. hard to call this an IPA. medium body with light carbonation.

overall its decent but wouldn't call this an IPA.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: dirty orange/shiny body, finger khaki head, spotty lacing

S: sugary biscuit, citrus, mild grass

T: kiwi/grapefruit, big sweet biscuit malt middle, earthy grass
bitter finish

M: med body, creamy/oily balanced mouth

O: Sweet Malty IPA? Interesting, usually not
my style at all, but enjoyed it, none the less.

SOLID; DON'T GO OUT OF YOUR WAY!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single purchased at the Pennington Circle SuperSaver.

A striking amber, with a slight haze. Two fingers of level dense white foam.

Inviting, assertive aroma of pine and pineapple.

Low level malt foundation. A flash of juicy fruit. Nuclear blast of bitterness. It's good bitter, but there is a whole lot of it. Big time tooth scraper.

Medium mouthfeel flows along.

If you are looking for a hugely bitter IPA, this beer is for you.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Pour is fairly dark amber with a 1/2 inch of head that leaves a pretty sweet lace ring throughout.
S - Smell is subdued hop bitterness, old malt, and some cracker crust.
T - A very lackluster IPA with more malty base than standard hop bitterness. Slightly below average.
M - Malty medium bodied with a not very "crisp" finish.

Overall a very forgettable IPA that is worth passing for the single reason of no bottling date. Guaranteed to be old.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.19/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, dated about 2 months old

Clear copper color, minimal head. Earthy hop aroma. Fairly bitter taste, just kinda boring. thin to Medium bodied

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Photo of Omnium
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Nice orange tinted gold, one finger head, average lacing
S - Not a bad smell, some fresh fruits, citrus and a hint of peach, flowers, and a slight scent of dankness.
T - Some decent hop bitterness here, a little citrus taste, as well as a little sweet malty finish, some dried flowers, and a hair of pine.
M - Lighter on feel, medium carbonization, but the bittereness hangs on more than it should
O - Average IPA, but its drinkable and is a decent style of single IPA, there's much better picks out there for singles, but its not bad.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much an average brew. Didn't notice a bottle date but suspect it's old. I tend to believe that 75% of most beer sold in a bottle store is out of date anyway.

Not picking up really any hop notes either in aroma or taste in this orange amber brew.
Mostly malts here and a metalic aftertaste.
Drinks harsh not smooth at all.
I'll revisit these guys latter on.

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Photo of ALBuff
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid "gateway IPA" for those individuals who may not yet appreciate the finer things in life hops can offer. Not overpowering by any stretch, the subtle citrus and herbal hops sit quietly in the background without imposing themselves too harshly onto the palate. Light, crisp, & refreshing, but I think Star Hill just missed the mark of a true IPA.

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Northern Lights IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 942 ratings.
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