King Of Hop Habañero Imperial IPA | Starr Hill Brewery

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King Of Hop Habañero Imperial IPAKing Of Hop Habañero Imperial IPA
Very Good
King Of Hop Habañero Imperial IPAKing Of Hop Habañero 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:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 30
Photo of cjgiant
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap:
Maybe I'm benefitting from a fresh keg, but this was damn tasty.

Clear golden with maybe a nanaoliter of orange food coloring. Head was not grand, no lacing, but a decent ring.

Nose is grapefruit pithy, mildly dank, and a hint of cattiness.

Starts with a nice malt and mango/sweet grapefruit juice combination. Add some pithy notes by mid taste, and end with a fairly classic pith/pine bitterness. These are all nice but not overpowering. Little tingle of habenero in back, but it lingers, and lightly numbs in such a good way.

Really loved how this went together. Not surprising for Starr Hill, this was even a tad cleanly bitter for them. The habanero was well done, per my criteria, adding to a nice feel and overall enjoyment.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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: "Limited Release"; "Dry-hopped with glorious amounts of American hops and real habanero peppers for an invigoratingly fresh aroma and royally spicy finish."

I Pop!ped the cap and employed a gentle pour as this has some age on it. Once decanted, I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl to produce two fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, tawny head with decent retention. It left some great lacing on its departure, however. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9), which may be attributable to chill haze, given the temperature of my reefer. Nose was a mix of peppery heat and grapefruit & pine hops. Mmmm. I am coming to appreciate these pepper-spiced beers & as I grow older, I find that I am not as sensitive to spice. They should really move this beer to the "Herbed/Spiced Beer" category since it would be tough to think of this as DIPA. The time in the bottle really allowed the peppery heat to develop to the point that it was difficult to discern anything else. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very spicy and pleasantly warm, but I could not taste much else. It built slowly, first as a tingle on my tongue, then a buzz on the bald spot on the crown of my head and finally, rising to a crescendo as a sheen on my forehead! Finish was dry, hot & spicy. I have had hotter & spicier, sure, but aging really brought this one out in unexpected ways. Phew! I would relish the opportunity to do this again.

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Photo of MoMaMe
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is not a beer I will try again. The habanero made it interesting. It gave the beer a nice heat...not too spicy, but with just a little warmth and kick.
But, I'm not used to having an IPA with pepper "flavor" and I didn't care for it. It took away from the piney, citrusy, juicy flavor that I'm used to in an IPA.

Overall, the beer wasn't bad, but the habanero flavor overpowered the typical IPA citrus taste.

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Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, sample from the brewery.

Hazed out amber hue, decent lacing. Smells of Chile peppers, brash hops, & a hint of alcohol. Smooth with a medium body. Heat from the peppers, warmth from the alcohol. Hop bitterness and flavor is just enough to hold the Imperial IPA label. Peppery heat dissipates slowly as does the hoppiness and alcohol. Good drinking for anyone that likes Chile beers.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a "fancy" plastic cup. Dark orange color hue to this beer. Hint of spice on the nose, balanced IPA up front, with a controlled burn finish. I'm often cautious of habanero, or any pepper beers, but this one was balanced enough.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Starr Hill Brewery "King Of Hop Habanero Imperial IPA"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "PKG ON 03/11/16H" on 06/10/16

Appearance: Slightly hazy (possibly from dry hopping, and/or the habaneros which are 'dry hopped' as well) deep gold with a light orange cast beneath a short head of white that drops readily and thus leaves only limited lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy/piney (orange, grapefruit) with a distinct pepper edge that's not like the vegetal edge you get from a green pepper, but somehow raspy in the same way... shall we say it has a spicy edge?

Flavor: At first sip the hops and malt come through, but with each subsequent sip the pepper heat increases, blinding the palate and leaving it to become more and more one-sided as you progress. It never becomes just 'pepper heat' as Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer used to do, but there's enough damage that you're probably not going to have another one; and if you go on to have a different beer you're not going to be tasting that one as it's intended either. And all of that's OK to a certain extent, but it doesn't exactly deliver the Habanero pepper flavor as much as it does the acidic spice and bite. There are better examples that deliver more Habanero flavor with less burn, yet this one still remains OK. At 7.5% abv there's just not that much of a malt base to balance it, and the heat they've got going on overrides almost everything to a pretty good degree at some point.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation. The heat from the acids of the peppers of course give it some bite and mess with the mouthfeel - not at all a style of beer you'd expect to be refined or smooth across the palate, but hey, that's part of it's nature and charm as well, isn't it?

Overall: As previously stated there are beers that deliver more Habanero flavor. There are also beers that are better balanced, leaving them more drinkable. Is this overdone? Perhaps yes, but it's hard to say, that's kind of a personal interpretation thing.

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Photo of Riff
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle to a shaker glass. A yellow orange, almost gold but a little deeper orange color, actually similar to a habanero with a thin white head, less than a finger thick. Smell was primarily hops, deep pine with a hint of pepper to it. Taste is mildly hoppy at first, good citrus flavor that rolls into the pepper with the spice coming after swallowing. Nice, long low burn following, not too overpowering just pleasant. Quite tasty and went well with a taco dinner. Would certainly consider buying again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | 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 sweet grapefruit forward, with some sticky pine notes, and only a subtle pepper heat. Flavors are balanced citrus and subtle pine and grass hops forward, followed almost immediately by the prickly spice and warmth of the habanero peppers. Not overpowering at all, but the spice and heat does present strongly at the tail end of the palate, and the heat builds as you drink. The body is light, slightly effervesced, and dry. Pepper spice and heat in the aftertaste, with subtle notes of hops resin and citrus, if you can dig beneath the heat enough. Dry, crisp finish, with a solid, solid lingering heat. Tasty beer.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly clear, deep gold with a white head that left only a spot or two of lacing. Smells of grapefruit and pine and I swear it burns my nose a little. Taste is a straight grapefruit and pine IPA with a really nice spicy kick. Very well done pepper beer.

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King Of Hop Habañero Imperial IPA from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 30 ratings