Dark Starr Stout | Starr Hill Brewery

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Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout
463 Ratings
Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Murph on 07-06-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 463 |  Reviews: 202
Reviews by philipt:
Photo of philipt
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer really strikes the senses. It is what I would call an extroverted beer.

Both the aroma and taste are controlled by a coffee and chocolate quality. In fact, when I was drinking this beer, I was looking around for the person drinking an incredible smelling coffee, no kidding. The aroma is that powerful. The taste follows very similarly to the aroma. It is dictated by coffee and chocolate. There is very little burnt, or typical dry flavors associated with many dry stouts (as the restaurant/brewery classifies it). Incredibly easy to drink. Very smooth and silky. This is the perfect after dinner beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Zach136
3.99/5  rDev +13%
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...

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Photo of keating603
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Best beer of the day.

22 characters

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Guinness pint glass a near opaque black but for a bit of ruby tint when held to the light a thinner light mocha colored head is gone quickly leaving no tace of lace.The roastiness is more subdued in the nose than the palate it shows thru with some vanilla,char, and cocoa.Highly roasted on the palate like dark French roast coffee and bitter unsweetened chocolate with a hint of molasses the only sweetness this brew shows.This is one style of beer I like on nitro it rounds the beer out better,Iam sure this would be very good on nitro as is pretty good.

 569 characters

Photo of tectactoe
2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
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 SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of merlin48
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours a dark mahogany body with a tall khaki head. Retention is good and lacing generously coats the side of the Duck-Rabbit pint glass. Weak aroma has hints of cocoa and dark fruits. Light medium body is moderately carbonated. The taste has some dark roasty bitterness that contains elements of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Powdered cocoa is the dominant flavor and is joined by faint notes of nuttiness and dark fruits. Dark roasty finish. Pleasantly drinkable if not very memorable.

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Photo of KolbMarley
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to travita for sharing this beer.

This is my first beer from the state of Virginia. Pours dark brown with a white head. The aroma is pretty faint with some dark malts and dark chocolate. The flavor is bitter malts with some chocolate. Light-medium, slightly watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 306 characters

Photo of asuburbanman
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Capital Ale House Innsbrook location.

Color is an inky blackness. Single-finger thick layer of dense tan-colored head. Thick lacing of the glass with distinct rings. Aromas are yummy, with all sorts of chocolate and espresso with a toasty malt base to it. Flavor is classic dry irish stout. Great mix of roasty, toasty malt base with a dash of bitter baking chocolate. Smoky middle, followed by a long-lasting and slightly bitter finish. On the thick side in terms of mouthfeel, with a decent creamy factor. Quite drinkable and one I'd not hesitate to ask for again.

 583 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a dark inky black with a very small light brown head nose is malty and smokey, nice.

Taste is a bit watery, but crisp and sharp. It's fairly smokey and sharp very creamy and nice. Mouthfeel is really light and smooth.

 264 characters

Photo of Bike2work
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of HoppySeb
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of dwren89
3.37/5  rDev -4.5%
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.


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Photo of chinchill
3.29/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated best by Jan. 2012 served in a pint glass.

A - (near) black and opaque with a 1 1/2 finger medium-dense tan head. The head reduces to large ring too soon, but leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

Aroma - Sweet medium and dark roasted malt, marred by hints of sour milk and way more alcohol esters than should emanate from a 4.8% beer.

T - A modest amount of dark roasted malt flavor with some chocolate notes. Balanced a bit towards sweet despite being slightly sour and bitter as well. There is a hint of coffee in the lightly dry finish.

M - smooth, with a rather light body (like Guinness) and a touch of dryness.

O - a decent Irish stout, despite the nose. Nearly on par with Guinness but certainly not up with the best versions of this style.

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Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mocktm
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of OCain
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%

Photo of alcohline_trip
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rivalrome
2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought a sixer of this at a random ABC because I was on the hunt for a good stout. Poured into a pint glass at 52ºF. The head seemed form a lot quicker than other stouts that I've poured for myself even before I started to raise the glass upright. Dark brown with hints of Amber make it difficult to see through; only small flecks of light will be visible at best. Mocha tan head makes the glass look extremely appetizing; lacing is very mouthwatering as well.

Smells pretty damn good, chocolate malts and has a refreshing roast scent to it.

A mouthful of this beer almost tastes like water, which is strange considering it's thick and delicious appearance. I'm almost immediately barraged by carbonation that kills most of the flavor that the beer has. Any chocolate flavors fade quickly and is overtaken quickly by bitterness. There was virtually no chew to this beer; I'm pretty disappointed.

These are somewhat drinkable, but the lack of prominent flavor makes you want to venture to other darker beers. After one of these I can't imagine wanting to stick with them; I'd leave it in pursuit of a thicker and tastier stout.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, we all know: stouts are pitch-black, stouts are impenetrable to light, stouts are completely obsidian, ebony and opaque, et al. Well, this one really is all that. Damn. A huge, fluffy light-tan head lasts a good few minutes in its initial state before halving...and leaving a nice bit of lace wallpaper in its wake.

Mild lactic sweetness dominates the aroma; not a whole lot else getting in, other than faint dark berry and even fainter espresso.

Despite ample carbonation, this hits the mouth with a softness that, while probably true to style, seems even a tad too watery. Predominant flavor is that of charred coffee grounds, with a nice milky sweetness for balance. Finish keeps an ashy, burnt flavor in the mouth.

I've had Starr Hill stuff on two other occasions, once at a festival (Microfestivus, Roanoke, VA) and once on tap (Depot, Charlottesville, VA). Neither were this Dark Star Stout, and neither were that impressive. If Irish dry stouts are your thing, this probably won't qualify as an all-time favorite but it'll probably be worth trying once or twice. It's really not to my tastes, and it's got some good traits, but amongst others in the style I've had better. It sure looks hot though.

 1,215 characters

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of Speedihd
2.58/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of dirtylou
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle of this hippie-brew shipped at me by a man of extreme darkness

appearance: poured into a guinness pint glass - very dark body, black in fact...foamy chocolate cap with light retention

smell: dry chocolate, a bit roasty, touch of toffee and espresso

taste: this stout doesnt boast anything very bold flavourwise...dry chocolate, no hop profile, very little flavor

mouthfeel: light bitterness

drinkability: ok

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Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 463 ratings