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 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 wedgie9
2.94/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes. Tasted in August 2010 from a bottle given to me as a trade extra. Pours clear, dark amber with a very thick off white head that recedes quickly, but leaves heavy lace. Nose is toasted bread malt with some earthiness, hops, and something unmistakably metallic smelling. The taste is a nice blend of the toasty bread malts and a nice hoppiness along with a bit of nuttiness and that metallic thing. The body is light with a somewhat oily texture, average carbonation, and a medium bitter and nutty finish.

 515 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 B967ierhunter177
1.21/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer pours a slightly hazy, copper color with no head or lace. It's aroma has some hints of caramel and hop fruitiness, not much else. The flavor has notes of caramel with a medicinal, hoppy bitterness. Not much carbonation. It has a thin, watery mouthfeel. Starr Hill Amber Ale is not a good beer. Not recommended.

 320 characters

Photo of Jimmys
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at westwood tennis club in richmond va

a: deep copper with a one finger creamy head. Leaves some solid lacing behind. Tiny carbonation bubbles stream up

S: some caramel malt sweetness and not a whole lot else. Not an impressive nose.

T: much better than the nose. Caramel sweetness with a fairly dry finish. Just a touch of an earthy hop varietal.

M: craving some more fizz in this one. Soft carbonation on a light body is not working well.

D: worth a try, but there are much better offerings from this brewery.

 531 characters

Photo of smakawhat
2.38/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Big soap four finger light brown head that falls normally. Body contains a clear Indian Red color. Retention on head is pretty solid and provides some lacing and stickyness. Some carbonation from the bottom but also the body is slightly cloudy.

Smell. Not good. It smells like rotting grain and stomach bile (sorry it smells like vomit). Hey I am trying not to be graphic just honest, that is exactly what it smells like. Seriously it's not good, I hate sticking my nose in this trying to find something else, it just gets worse.

Taste is strangely better. In fact it's almost actually feels like a gargantuan improvement compared to what is on the nose. Small malt/bread chew in front. There is some average body to this and a very faint sweet almost caramel. Bizzare bitterness on this too though. Still it's marginal in taste overall

Nope not having this anymore, it makes me crave Casco Bay RipTide like crazy now...

 966 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.75/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 04/18/2010: Brought back from a trip to Virginia.

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a transluscent dark red color with a half finger of white head that dissipates quickly leaving behind small trails of lace.

S: Some skunkiness, cereal malts, caramel, and some nuttiness.

T: More nuttiness, toffee, apricot, and some slightly sour cereal grains.

M: It has a weak and watery body altogether with medium-low carbonation.

D: This is a run-of-the-mill Irish Red. Nothing special.

 516 characters

Photo of gopens44
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Coppery with a nice head. Probably two fingers. Head recedes to a thin bubbly layer.

S - Sweet, malty and not much else

T - Sweet, malty and not much else

M - Medium carbonation with no real aftertaste.

D - Somehow, I was more excited about this on during the first bottle. Had a second one and lost my enthusiasm. Had to be fair, so I had a third bottle, which was much like the second. The beer didn't taste bad, but lacked character.

 445 characters

Photo of vandemonian
3.54/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starr Hill Amber Ale has a red amber colour and there wasn't much carbonation when it was poured for me by the waitress into a pint glass. There was a 1 cm head that almost completely disappeared in about 20 seconds. It has an interesting smell of maple syrup and a hint of pine. The taste is of piney hops with the aftertaste being slightly bitter. It has a little foam in the mouth that gives it some body.

 408 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 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 oldirtycaffrey
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really solid irish red ale. Pours a rich amber with a foamy, off-white head; slight lacing on the glass. Smell is not much, but it is hoppy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. Not a bad session beer, and not bad for someone who's looking to be conservative but wants something beyond Bud and Coors.

 316 characters

Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.21/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a mahogany color with red highlights and a tan head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: This beer has a very closed nose for me. What I can get is some floral notes, caramel and bready malts, but that's pushing it.

T: Not an amazing flavor. Taste like regular joe beer. I get some hops and malts, but nothing amazing.

M: Decent carbonation and medium to light body. Juicy texture.

D: I don't think I'll ever drink this again. Not very good IMO.

 456 characters

Photo of jjboesen
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I discovered this one during a recent visit to Capital Ale House in Richmond (See My Review). This expression pays homage to the classic British ale, possessing a deep caramel color - certainly not amber - through which no light can penetrate. The vanilla head is as thin as a razor and creates a glossy, but splotchy, lacing.

The nose detects a subtle hint of cocoa powder while the palate receives a crisp mouthfeel of buttered toast that finishes with a barely perceptible maltiness. An interesting micro brewed in Crozet, Virginia. No. I have no idea where it is, either.

 576 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 anneseg
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with good head retention. Lacing was consistent throughout drinking. Low amounts of bitterness with an upfront malt character. Thin mouthfeel with a light body that doesn't leave much of an aftertaste. There is a definite sweet caramel taste that dominates the taste. The taste is pleasant but is mostly one note that doesn't develop much over the course of drinking the beer.

 402 characters

Photo of MickeySmarte
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So the guy at the tasting room tells me this is their second most popular beer, an Irish Red Ale which is smooth, nicely balanced between caramel maltiness and hoppiness.

Again it is easy drinking, something you could drink plenty off during a session without really needing to think about it.

 294 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear deep mahogany with just a little bit of foam

S - not alot of aroma, just hints of malts and toffee

T - caramel malts dominate with a bit of a burnt nutty flavor

M/D - nice carbonation, the burnt flavor takes away from the smoothness, decent carbonation and mouthfeel otherwise.

 298 characters

Photo of tempest
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After drinking the Starr Hill Pale, I was disappointed when I tried this beer. As flavorful as the APA was, this was plain. I just found a smooth, dark bread malt taste without much hops or other character. There was a slight caramel note, but this was a very plain beer. Still with the stout and pale ale from these guys.

 322 characters

Photo of pablot71
2.82/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Floral and spicy hops in the aroma. A little woody or earthy aroma as well as I go back. Brown color with reddish hues. Clear with a head that quickly settles into a thin film. Some lacing that quickly disappears. Medium body. Subtle malty taste with some bitterness. Over all drinkable beer with some flavor.

 349 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with brown notes, head is thumb sized tan colored head that falls with some light lace.

Aroma is soft bready malt with some caramel hints, some light floral notes.

Taste is malty bready with hints of toffee, caramel and metallic notes. Nice Irish Red, the flavor reminds me of my favorite some what.

Mouthfeel is almost medium nice lightly peppy carbonation, goes well with the style.

Drinkability is pretty good a decent Irish Red.

 461 characters

Photo of ryolz
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle to beer mug
Dark amber color
light brown, good amount of head but did not stay,
not much lacing afterwards
medium bodied
very good drink-ability
tastes and flavors are very subtle and very little length afterwards
sweet flavored finish with dull malty aftertaste

 272 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.27/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average brewski into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a fair head but nothing to get excited about. The amber colored beer had sweet-bready smell to it. Taste had a hint of caramel but the brew was so watery it really did not stand out. Slight nutty finish. I was not impressed and will not buy this beer again.

 334 characters

Photo of ByTor2112
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amazing, I was going to comment that the color of this brew looks like a true Red Ale or Irish red, and low and behold....on to the review:

Pours up a beautiful red color, barely amber in color and looks great. Aroma, very mild hops with some sweeter, malty notes.

Mouthfeel-Lively carbonation delivers mild hops and a grainy cereal malt texture. Tasty, but would have liked to feel a little more malty backbone. A few tannin-like flavors from the roasted malt. Label says Amber and before I even looked this one up, my palate was like this is an Irish ale or Irish Red Ale. Finishes clean, very tasty and very drinkable. I bet fresh on tap this would really satisfy. I am liking Sarr Hill's offerings. More basic styles in the bottles and they are consistently good. They are doing major justice with their Lager!
Cheers to them!

 832 characters

Photo of jhtipton
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a convenience store near Farmville. Surprisingly good taste for an Amber Ale. I think its better than the one that has a bicycle on it. Poured it into a pilsner glass. Nice dark coppery color. It gave me some great head, about 2 inches that disipated to about 3/4 inch in 45 seconds while leaving some lacing. Smooth, not too full bodied, and suitable for session beer.
Slightly metallic smell but did not affect the taste. I'd hunt these down again.

 469 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe