Starr Hill Amber Ale | Starr Hill Brewery

BA SCORE
79
okay
163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Starr Hill Amber AleStarr Hill Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States
starrhill.com

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 07-04-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
163
Reviews:
99
Avg:
3.38
pDev:
13.31%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 163 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of blackie
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: poured into a standard pint, gives a 2 finger khaki head with quality retention and lacing, the beer is a stained-wood brown in color

s: notes of fall leaves, toasted butternut squash, and nutty Munich grain, papery English hops give dried lemon, lightly sweet, a little oktoberfest-ish, on the malty side but pretty well balanced

m: carbonation just under medium, medium body

t: notes of butternut squash and soggy nuts supposedly from the Munich malt, dried leaves, toasted grain sweetness, English hops give a moderate flavoring of dry herbs and a light bitterness, only big detractor is a little butter lingering after the swallow

d: whatever the style is, it's not a bad beer, but I won't likely purchase another

my first Starr Hill, single bottle from Fresh Farm in Hampton, VA while in town working for the week...notched as best by November (2008?)

 864 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Giant. Pours amber with a thick, long lived white head and a good amount of lacing. Aroma is of grassy, piney hops, bready malt and hints of cherry. Body is medium and tangy. Earthy hops and caramel malt nicely balanced on the palate, hints of cherry. Long finish becomes bitter. Good session brew.

 316 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

One of the last vestiges of my time in NoVa. It pours a clear straight amber (shocker) topped by nearly a finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises light caramel, buttery biscuits, and a light vein of orange-y citrus hops. The taste waters down these elements and meekly tries to up the hop ante near the finish. What started out as a nice bit o' malty goodness falls into unbalanced disarray. Shame, really. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, an okay amber, nothing all that special, but easy enough (and readily available enough back in its homeland) to allow it to be thrown back pretty easily.

 707 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin head on a hazy amber with a golden hue body. Some lacing. Sweet caramel malts and orange peel citrus aroma. Flavor is very sour distracting from the other notes which are mostly citrus, wood and caramel late in the finish. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Too sour. May have been a bad bottle but I bought it from the cooler at the brewery so I really home not.

 371 characters

Photo of klikger
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass

A - Dark amber with some red streaks, no head, & not much lacing

S - Caramel and bready malts

T - Sweet malts and a grainy earthiness rule here. The back half tastes slightly fruity - peaches or tangerines, perhaps. The ending has a little yeast detectable and more sugar.

M - Light to medium in body, with adequate carbonation

D - Quite drinkable. Yes.

 404 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed copper color with little to no head. Scent is rather bland and only hints a malt with more of a dry grainy nose. Taste brings touches of caramel but lacking in aggression and mild for the style, quite a bit of nuttiness and dry graininess, grassy hops on the back end. Medium bodied, slightly creamy and a touch dry for the style. More Vienna lager in taste, scent and feel than Irish Red.

 411 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear amber color with a one finger head that breaks apart quickly. Some spots of lace paints the glass duirng the session.

Smell: caramel sweetness is all that could be detected and was hard to pull from the glass.

Taste: slightly bready profile with some caramel, red apples, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start and smooth at the finish. Medium bodied beer. Very brief aftertaste.

Drinkability: decent but not an overly exciting beer. Stick with Starr Hill's Pale Ale instead.

 516 characters

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color with a nice tan looking head. I liked the lace that went with it. I passed up a chance to try this on tap, but opted for a six pack and I was glad I tried it after reading a review. Brewed close by to where I live and definitely works better than that other micro brewery in Northern VA.

By the second bottle, I was really enjoying the medium hoppy taste which I think is pretty smooth. I would definitely buy this one again.

 446 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at DCA Reagan on 5/30
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a nice hazy caramel color with w one finer of frothy white head. Sheets of sticky lacing really hold on to the glass.

S: Nose is slightly underwhelming - grain and caramel malt.

T: Taste is slight caramel in the forefront, before a hearty grain presence with some piney hops come through in the middle. A toffee sweetness comes in and holds through the end.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat slick feel to the body.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, not too filling, mild kick, ok representation of style. This isn't a great beer, and this isn't a bad beer. This is a nice craft alternative when there are macros on tap in the destitude that is airport bars.

 742 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice head that retains and laces well

Smell: Modest caramel elements but not much else

Taste: Starts with a bit of bread and caramel that adds some bitter complexity by mid-palate; after the swallow, there are some earthy bitter tones but the flavors fade somewhat

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A refreshing session beer

 410 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange mixed with dark bronze. The good looking head, that's more light brown than beige, is beginning to decorate the glass with an eye pleasing amount of lace. It's hard to tell without smelling or tasting it, but by the looks of things, this amber ale is really a brown. And an attractive brown at that.

The nose is darker than an amber and lighter than a brown. As far as I'm concerned, those styles belong on the same continuum anyway. By using caramel malt and chocolate malt (in addition to pale and Munich), SHB has pushed the beer into the latter style. I smell toasted bread and a hint of Munich earthiness. No nuts and no cocoa.

I'm not immediately bowled over, but... not bad... not bad. Neither of the two mentioned styles impresses me in most cases, so a beer that is, essentially, a hybrid of them isn't about to. At least the brown ale character that was virtually absent in the nose has been found on the taste buds.

The use of Munich malt gives 'Amber Ale' a sort of Oktoberfest vibe if we want to confuse things even further. Never mind that this is an ale. An earthy, brown bready maltiness is well balanced by a fruity, spicy hoppiness that is more prominent than expected. Perle were used for bittering (a success) and Fuggles for aroma (not a success).

While far from a standout, the mouthfeel does what it needs to do. It's light-medium with an amount of carbonation that doesn't call attention to itself.

Why Starr Hill Brewery chooses to call this brown ale an amber ale is a mystery. I guess if someone buys it once and likes it, they'll buy it again, no matter what it says on the label. I like their Jomo Lager better, but this one is a decent little drinker if you aren't expecting the moon and the stars.

 1,746 characters

Photo of iceball585
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin head that faded quickly

S- Caramel malts, sugary, toasted grain, light hops, hint of fruit

T- Nutty, toasted malts, caramel, herbal hops, fairly sweet, slight buttery flavor

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, starts oily then turns to a dry finish

D- Not bad

Not really a favorite of mine but still worth giving it a try. It just seems very plain to me.

 411 characters

Photo of Tone
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, brown color with a cloudy, copper color along the bottom third of the glass. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of slight hop, slight pine, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an Irish Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight hop, slight roasted malt, yeast, slight citrus, and some grain.

 406 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brownish red liquid with a decent light tan head. Drops to islands of foam.
Smell is malt, hops, woody with a light citrus note.
Taste is malt and hops well-balanced with citrus and wood notes.
Slightly warming in throat. Reasonably smooth. A decent brew but nothing great.

 287 characters

Photo of oelergud
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Standard tall brown 12oz glass bottle with a twist-off cap. Red five point star on a purple background.
Beautiful ruby maple translucent body with a large off-white pillowy head with great retention and clumpy lace.
Mildly sweet malts with a touch of nuts and hay. Faint grassy hops and a bit of syrup.
Sweet up front malty flavor. Vegetable, hops and caramel mixed in a modest flavor combo. Good hoppy aftertaste almost with a resin character.
Medium body with a somewhat dry finish.
Good drinkability, not all that interesting though.

-Oelergud

 547 characters

Photo of hyoung41
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of tanner1980
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of EBeckett3
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of gilbert
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of BeastLU
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of K_Fresh
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Falcon2008
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Starr Hill Amber Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
3.38 out of 5 based on 163 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.