Starr Hill Amber Ale | Starr Hill Brewery

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Starr Hill Amber AleStarr Hill Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

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.

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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 163
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a hazed copper body that is topped by a medium sized tan head. Good retention and lots of sticky patch lacing.

Aroma is malty toffee and caramel with a spicy/floral hoppiness that is more prominent than expected.

Medium body and carbonation.

Taste is nicely balanced, but on the malty side. Caramel has a slight toastiness. Floral hop bitterness balances well. Clean finish.

A very well executed Irish red ale. Pleasantly drinkable.

 449 characters

Photo of wahooman
4.11/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Local favorite at the University of Virginia since the brewery is 20 minutes away. Beer is always fresh and delicious.
A- Perfect color and tinted head. Lacing through out.
S- Slightly floral
T- Perfect balance of maltiness balanced by hoppiness
M- Very clean finish would go well with steak or burgers
D- Have had a whole 6 pack at a time and enjoyed everyone of them

 368 characters

Photo of pzrhsau
3.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Nice deep brown color with an offwhite colored head. But i wanted to see more of a deep red.
Smell: Subtle malt scent, also a slight roasted aroma.
Taste: Good malt flavor, toasty and flavorful. Not overpowering and very balanced.
Drinkability and mouthfeel: Very clean and refreshing. Not too heavy or carbonated so it goes down smooth.

 349 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.72/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hwwty4 for this!

Pours slightly hazed orangeish to copperish amber, with reddish hues and a thin tan head that diminishes to lasting wisps. Web-like lacing sticks.

The smell is of an "Irish red" caramel-candyish maltiness with light toast and a hint of citrus/pine and tea-like spiciness. Mild, but pleasant enough to give it the higher of two scores I had in mind for it.

The taste is malt-accented, sweet, again - in a "red" type. A touch of herbal/floral, tea-like hops and light roast give it a balanced finish.

It has a medium to medium-high carbonation level. Pretty smooth. It does have some watery spots.

An easy-drinking, malt-accented but with a balanced finish, ale.

 692 characters

Photo of whtguitarguy
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a light amber color. Has a nice malty aroma with a little bit of hops in the nose. The taste is a little hoppy, more so than the aroma but is smooth and pleasant. Smooth finish with a bit of a bitter aftertaste from the hops but it is not to overwhelming or unpleasant.

 278 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, light amber-brown body with a thin, wispy, bone white head.

Smell: Nose of toasted bread crusts lightly sprinkled with brown sugar. Minuscule notes of fruit and spice.

Taste: Lightly toasty, sweetish malts yield to a small hint of orchard fruit and a slight minerally tone. Pint-sized pinch of brown sugar. Modestly spicy hops with just a bit of complimentary bitterness. Somewhat crisp, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice, light ale that makes for smooth, easy drinking and one I could probably down a fair amount of in a sitting.

 620 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 Travlr
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: chestnut brown with a bit of red, creamy nitro head.
S: aroma of caramel and vanilla.
T: malts are dominant, but are fairly well balanced. Bitter middle with some dark fruit, with a mildly sour finish.
M: medium body.
D: not a bad beer, interesting enough, but could use a bit more complexity.

 296 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish red with decent carbonation and good head. A sweet malty smell that is subdued w/ minor hops. More spicey and grainy than hoppy or sweet, and while enjoyable it was rather mild and nothing sticks home. Medium body, smooth, flows down easy. Finishes dry but not overpowering and is an OK beer.

 310 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. Had a fairly small amount of foamy head and OK lacing.

S: A sweet, sugary, malty aroma.

T: Tasted of malt, grain and caramel - in other words, a typical amber. Not bad, but hardly mind-blowing.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a fairly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A decently drinkable beer, but not anything to write home about.

 433 characters

Photo of hwwty4
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 of 5 beers in a sample pack that my folks brought back for me.

I poured a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head over sized snifter. This beer pours a rather dark mahogany with ruby highlights when held up to the glass. A decent 2 inch tan head arouse from the pour but receded into just a thin patina over the beer. Very little lacing is noticed. The aroma is a bit like a brown ale. A bit of nuttiness with some toast and just a little biscuit quality. The flavor is just not very strong. The nose was weak, but the flavor seems weaker. Toast, biscuits and water. Very slight herbal hop presence on the finish. The mouthfeel is light with a pin point carbonation that prickles the tongue. It's unoffensive, and probably a good beer for people looking to get into craft beer.

 773 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: garnet, dark copperish color. not amber. not head lcaing or retention

smell: maybe some caramel if any aroam at all

taste: great malt flavor, some nuttiness and caramel notes, not bad

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: solid red ale.

 253 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Funny smell (not bad), very unique, not sure I've ever smelled this smell before. Actually when I was like 15, there was a fluoride flavor they used to put on my teeth and this smells like that. Maybe the smell is similar to caramel malts. Head is over and done with pretty quickly and some soapy lacing slides into the body of the beer. Malt sweetness apparent on the taste and this one is very smooth going down. Very pleasant beer overall.

 486 characters

Photo of redneckchugger
3.86/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, fizzy tan head.
nose of dark grains, some caramel and even a touch of mocha.
Taste is very brown ale-esque with a lot of toffee and chocolate , its thinner than a brownale, but the taste is close.
All in all this is a good beer, style confusion aside.

 272 characters

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