Dark Starr Stout
Starr Hill Brewery

Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Irish Dry Stout
Ranked #268
Ranked #44,660
3.54 | pDev: 13.84%
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States
Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout
Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 464 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of q33jeff
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Bottle to glass.
Aroma is toasted barley. Smoke.
Appearance; dark black,no head. Thinnish.
Taste; hops, ash, barley.
Feel is thin, Low carb.
Nothing special.

 178 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

My second bottle of this one from the Starr Hill Loadout variety pack. Bottling date is December 18th, 2014.

Pours very, very dark brown, and once in the glass it is BLACK. My LED flashlight cannot penetrate the beer at all when aimed at the thick part of the glass, and even at the thinner end only a few stray flecks of red light make it to the other side. The head is tan and hangs around for several minutes before finally receding to a thin coating on the surface. As I drink the beer, it leaves a good bit of a trail along the inside of the glass, leaving some interesting little patterns as the glass gets emptier and emptier. Even 10 minutes after pouring, there's still a faint layer of tan coating the top. Overall, looks really nice.

The smell is roasty and quite a bit coffee-like. I've always thought that coffee smelled good (well, some coffee, at least--I've smelled some that was pretty gross) even though I don't actually drink the stuff myself, so this is definitely not a bad thing. Not a complex smell--it's pretty much all roasty coffee-like smell, I can't pick up anything else--but certainly not a bad one, either. Interestingly, the smell seems to become less "coffee" and more of a roasted grain sort of smell as the beer warms a bit--I suppose this must be what roasted barley smells like? Or maybe my nose, which has smelled coffee a lot more often than it has roasted barley, just finally learned how to distinguish the difference mid-glass.

Taste is pretty similar to the smell. All coffee-like roastiness, all the time. Well, actually, I'm noticing toward the end of the glass that there's just the tiniest bit of a burnt/smoky taste going on--not in a bad way, though, it blends pretty well with the general roastiness. Pretty good, even for someone who doesn't drink coffee. It's not an exact match, but out of all the beers I've had it reminds me most of the Guinness I had on draft at this little pub-style restaurant back home over Thanksgaving, though interestingly the flavor seems stronger here when compared to that glass of Guinness. Again, not complex but not bad at all. There is sometimes this odd sort of... mineral-y, maybe watery? type aftertaste which is less pleasant than the coffee-ish roastiness, but I'm only sometimes picking up on that, and I'm honestly not sure if it's an actual flavor or some weird trick the carbonation is pulling on my tongue that *seems* like a flavor. Either way, the carbonation is a bit weird sometimes--I'm not getting that "almost more watery than it should be" feeling like I did toward the end of the glass when I had a Guinness, but at the same time, even at the start of the glass this one didn't have that nice almost creamy sort of feeling from the foam on top like the first half to two-thirds of my Guinness pint did. I guess the "ideal stout mouthfeel" would be somewhat of a balance between the two, creamy while avoiding being watery or too prickly.

Overall, this is definitely pretty good but also definitely has some room for improvement. Might be that I just prefer my dark beers to be on the sweeter side (like the Snowblind doppelbock from the same variety pack--holy crap, that one was good.) If you like your dark beers dry and roasty rather than sweet and sticky, I'd give it a try.

 3,306 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle
A - Very dark brown; tan head dissipates after a few minutes, rim only
S - Slight alcohol; coffee
T - Pretty mild stout, coffee, finishes with a mild bitter
F - Very light carbonation; smooth oily feel
O - I actually didn't think it was that bad; my wife said it tasted like a fire pit, but I didn't get a lot of smoke; pretty average,

 348 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful dark chocolate brown color that just doesn't want to let the light through. Ok head and lacing. Aroma is malty with roasted coffee flavors coming through. Taste is awesome, very clean and a crisp finish. Hints of coffee and chocolate blend and balance well together. Easily drinkable beer with a nice flavor and a very clean and crisp finish. gotta have some more ofthese!!!!

 385 characters

Photo of Heiorun
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A- nice dark stoutty color that looks like a nice stout color, rather subtle lacing, really gotta look hard to see it, kinda like my friend rick who was pretty damn good at hide and seek back in the day.
S- smells like a stout might smell, lots roasty barley just tickles the innards of my nose, quite arousing i might say
T- well, tastes kinda like what a stout would taste like, nice subtle hints of coffee and full flavor of roasted barley and malts, not as strong as i would like
M- feels a little lighter than i would prefer, but still has the somewhat heavy feel of a stout, just a little stout, lol
O- very nice beer, hold true to the stout, just not as developed and strong as i might like, i like my stout like arnold and this is kinda like Rich Froning, still got muscles and knows how to use them, but arnold is still bigger and sexier

 846 characters

Photo of TheLibertyFlamesTaster
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%

A-Dark. shines with red tint held to light. quarter inch of tan head.
S-I got a roasted or slight char.I mabey some pine notes.
T-Like a non-watery guinness .
M-Slight carbonation nothing that is upsetting. Super refreshing end.
O-It's a great beer.Nothing to call home about but it is well executed. After I try a few more I will form my final opinion.

 353 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - while I'm on the subject. What's with the use of twist on bottles, with twist on caps, that you can't twist off? Think of the home brewers! Think of the customer's hands!


A - Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head. Solid lacing and lasting power.

S - Deep notes of freshly ground coffee and cocoa.

T - Burnt to roasty character that is exacerbated by the mouthfeel, but luckily if you don't think to hard there's a solid enough chocolate kick to round it out.

M - Fairly dry, the first bottle I had of this I swore it was a mis-print calling it an Irish Dry. Now that I'm actually sitting down and giving it a thorough tasting, it's definitely more of and Irish Dry than American Stout.

O - A great converter for the Guiness drinker. Nothing worth getting too excited about. I wonder if there are nitro kegs out there...

 856 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown/near black with a 2 finger tan head that quickly recedes, while leaving some pretty decent sticky lacing;.

Aroma of coffee and dark chocolate with a whiff of vanilla.or caramel.

Very dry, the barest hint of sweetness. Flavor of burnt malt/coffee. The light sweetness and the bitter burnt malt give a hint of dark chocolate. Smoky.

Seemed rather thin at first, but the feel improved . Call it medium thick. Somewhat frothy in carbonation, pleasant. Lightly warming.

Aroma was strong upfront, but the taste and mouthfeel seemed a bit weak the first few swallows. Thankfully, the beer settled down and became quite pleasing to drink. I had to knock a couple of categories up a notch. Definitely worth trying again.

 734 characters

Photo of undeadozzy
4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured vigorously into a pub glass, massive pillowy beige head and deep ebony tone of the body. Head is firm and doesn't slosh about and stays steady and heavy. Scattered lacing around glass.

S - Huge tone of dark malt and some burnt coffee. Hints of caramel and more complex chocolate malt on the nose.

T - Rich chocolate malt wallop, tones of coffee and some smokiness. Lots of malted barley, some tones of coffee cake, a little chocolate brownie sweetness, some pretzel saltiness, and even a hint of chocolate butter smoothness.

M - Thick and rich, very heavy mouthfeel, but has a very light side to it.

O - Overall, a very drinkable stout. Great dark smells and flavors and wonderful full bodied appearance.

 719 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's Beer distributor

A- coffee black with light quarter finger head. poor lacing.

S- dark roast coffee smell. charred malts and hop presence.

F- flavor is same as the nose. The dark bold roast coffee flavor coats all the way down.

M- thick and creamy. Highly carbonated for a thick stout.

O- not a bad stout. an average and I wouldn't mind another.

 360 characters

Photo of delta490
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a nearly opaque black with a nice creamy tan head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing

S- mild malt with some strong earthy hops

T- some more robust malt flavors (slight coffee) with some nice hops blended in.

M- not as thick on the palate, but not too thin. Just slightly so

O- it's a decent stout with a moderately complex flavor. Not stunning, but not lacking, either.

 394 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer for Christmas, having never had it before. I thought this was the thinnest Stout that I ever had and even though it turned out to be an Irish Dry Stout, I still wished that it was just a bit thicker and fuller-flavored. It was easy to drink but almost too mindless and had there been more body, chocolate, or malt to this, this could have been a fabulous beer. Instead, this bordered on mass-market, in the sense that I could have downed a few of these in a sitting and not even noticed it.

Dark pour to this with not a lot of head and practically no lacing to be seen once I worked my way through this. The appearance was that of flat soda but there was just a hint of carbonation that could be detected here. Lots of roasted malt with some coffee and espresso tossed in for good measure, and just a hint of soda-like stickiness. All of the flavors faded quickly and just a hint of the bubbles stuck around in the aftertaste, making this feel more watery than it already was.

 992 characters

Photo of dwren89
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: jet black, dark tan head, opaque

Aroma: roasty, bold dark coffee, slight dark chocolate aroma

Taste: dark, roasty, coffee, a little dark chocolate, dry finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not as thick or mouth coating as you might imagine for a stout, medium finish

Overall: Not bad overall. Good roasty and coffee flavors, a slightly thinner mouthfeel that dries out in the finish to make the beer quite drinkable. Light in body than a Guinness, a beer of same style.


 490 characters

Photo of Oakenator
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black with no light opacity. Small head at pour disappates. Spotted lacing.

S: Roasted malt nose.

T: Coffee, chicory, dark/roasted malts.

M: Light for a stout.

O: Easily sessionable but still has a good body and flavor. Nice coffee tones and malting.

 270 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours pitch black with a large fluffy light brown head. Smells of dark roasted malt, but not strong. Tastes of dark roasted malt and slight coffee. Finish for this light bodied beer is very smooth, carbonation is proper. Overall a slightly above average beer.

 308 characters

Photo of malloyca
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle it is opaque black. A thick tan head forms and leaves heavy lacing around the edge of the glass. Even after the head dissipates with a few sips, a froth remains on the surface. There is little to distinguish the aroma of this beer; it's just faint toasted malt. It carries nice toasted malt onto the palate, backed up with some assertive hops and some serious effervescence for a stout, which adds a lively mouthfeel and nice drinkability. This is a refreshing and enjoyable beer that would be a very good session stout as an alternative to Guinness.

 568 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A cold bottle is poured aggressively into a pint glass. It produces a large head taking up nearly half the glass. Its so large that I can't fit the entire bottle into the glass in one pour.

The tan head is made up of small bubbles. As it settles, decent lacing remains. The body is an opaque black liquid.

Strong roasted and chocolate malts make up the aroma. Some aroma hops are apparent.

The beer has a very nice flavor. Bitterness from the hops combined with the roasted malts give off the essence of coffee.

The beer feels smooth and a touch creamy. Body is average and it feels slightly more carbonated than average.

This is a fine beer. It's nothing remarkable but it is satisfying and enjoyable. I'm grateful to my friend who brought it back from the DC area for me, but I don't see myself trying to trade for another bottle.

 839 characters

Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by roasted malts. A good bit of roasted malts in the taste as well, some coffee, a bit of smokiness. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 260 characters

Photo of tectactoe
2.91/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a nearly black, super-deep brown on the top, with a pretty thick, beige head that left a respectable amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma has some toasted malts and also includes a sharp sweetness that hints at some fruits such as white grapes and raisins. First sip, the roasted malt character is there, followed up by a slight tangy sweetness, brown sugar and toffee-like, even a little sweetness on the grape-raisin side. Aftertaste rushes on with a little hint of coffee beans and a burnt wood-chip taste that I'm not too sure if I absolutely enjoy. Very slight hop bitterness hits at the end, but it definitely isn't very relevant. Thin bodied for a stout, with heavy carbonation.

Middle of the road stout, here. Not bad, but nothing special. It is definitely okay for only being 4.2% ABV, but it's not the first thing I would reach for.

 849 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours almost opaque black with brownish edging and barely a whisp of tan foam on the surface. A placid surface with zero lacing for the duration of the glass.

Aromatics are a fairly standard blend of roasted malt, light char, coffee, and chocolate. All the components are there but fairly pedestrian in nature.

Light to medium bodied with a thin mouthfeel. A bit watery.

Light roast, mild bakers chocolate, hints of coffee and black malt on the palate. Zero hopping and low bitterness. Alcohol is non-present.

Finishes quick and watery with light roast and chocolate.

This is a very average-at-best stout. By todays standards I would say below average.

 671 characters

Photo of Theheroguy
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black as the void of space with a light body.

For such a low alcohol beer the smell is rather boozy

The taste is primarily malt with a tiny bit of coffee undertones. I'm not getting any chocolate from this one.

Overall all this beer is average, not bad but not the first thing I would reach for.

 298 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle in to pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown nearly black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades fast to give a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of roasted malt, coffee and some light toffee aromas.

Taste – The taste starts out roasty and malty with some caramel flavors. These flavors remain constant throughout the taste. Some toffee flavors combined with the roasted flavors of the start and sweeten the brew more in the middle. As the taste advances further some coffee flavors come to the tongue and add some bitterness to the tongue. In the end, while still sweet there is a slightly bitter flavor left lingering on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the lighter side with a carbonation level that is rather average. A thicker body would have been slightly better for the roasted flavors, but for a 4.2 % I guess you can’t expect anything too thick.

Overall – A decent light stout, but nothing that is really all that fantastic. It is sort of a sweet version of Guinness draught without the nitro. If looking for a low alcohol stout, would take a Guinness over this.

 1,162 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep, opaque cola brown, with a modest, fizzy but lasting tan head. The aroma is a fragrant combination of coffee with milk, some nutty roasted malt, and a small hint of chocolate. The flavor features more of the same prototypical stout characteristics with a really nice dry, roasty malt profile. The medium body is a bit syrupy, but it doesn't get in the way of the flavors. Overall, this beer surprised me by providing a decent depth of flavor without feeling heavy.

 486 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger tan head on a jet black body with no light passing through.

S: bready with roasted malts, toffee and a light pumpkin note.

T: roasted malts dominate with a nice coffeenote which is mild but enough. Dark chocolate flavors are subtle.

M: lighter body than expected for the style, a little thin. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: the beer is decent for the style. Highly drinkable but it appears this one sacrifices some flavoring for drinkability. typical of most irish stouts.

 493 characters

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pitch black; short, soft cap of brown head that fades to a thin lacing

S - roasty, faint coffee

T - roasted malts dominate this flavor with some underlying coffee, faint caramel, and faint burnt sugar notes; there's a nice, clean hop bitterness in the finish

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a very robust stout to be an Irish Dry Stout. It drinks more like an American Stout. It has big, roasty notes throughout. It's highly drinkable and very flavorful. It's worth a try but you'll be disappointed if you're looking for a Guinness-type stout.

 570 characters

Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 464 ratings