Dark Starr Stout | Starr Hill Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 462
Photo of Murph
4.77/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours blacker than night with a thick creamy off white nitro head on it. The aromas are all coffee, espresso, and chocolate with a surprising lack of burnt smells. The taste starts off with some great coffee flavors and smoothly slides into a nice mocha/chocolatefinish. Tons of roasted malts in this but no burnt bitterness is detectable. Super smooth and creamy, it could just use a little more body to it. Great drinkablity due to the incredible sily smoothness. One of the better stouts I have had. This rates right up there with the Mocha Java Stout from Z Street Brewing, absolutely awesome.

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Photo of BeerMarshall
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why everyone else has marked this one down so much. It may be because I sampled this beer at the Starr Hill brewery, maybe a beer that doesn't travel well.

A: dark brown to black with dark head, though not quite creamy.

S: Roasted barley really comes out in this one.

T: Again, roasted barley dominates. Not quite smoky, and with a touch of caramel.

M: Not so heavy as that I couldn't drink a fair bit of this, but definitely a good body.

O: Again, maybe it is just that this one needs to be on tap or fresh. I would encourage anyone who gave this beer poor marks to try one again if ever in the central VA area. Overall a good stout with one of the best roasted malt flavors I have ever experienced, without being overly heavy.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.45/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer being pured into a glass appears nice and dark. The foam builds nice and brown and the beer looks very inviting.

When you smell the top of the plume the rich aromas of sweet malt, maybe a hint of cinnamon under the cover of a little smokiness will make you take your first taste of this precious liquid.

As you let the beer warm in your mouth, those aromas become more dominant, and after swallowing the liquid and exhaling the hops will add a slight bitterness just enough for the want of more.

I love the feel in the mouth since the beer is not over carbonated.
It also does feel very smooth and this adds to the drinkability.

This will be my house-beer for a while, since I really felt in love with it, and I cannot wait to offer it to my guests.

great beer!

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Photo of WMEugene
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery.

A - Pours a thick brown/black with a billowy tan head and thick lacing.

S - Smell of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate...somewhat sweet.

T - Dark roasted malt flavors, a little creamy and sweet. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Pretty fresh tasting as well.

M - Full-bodied, smooth and creamy...slight roasted aftertaste.

O - I found the Dark Starr Stout to be a very well done take on an Irish Dry Stout. It's tastier than Guinness (at least the stuff you can get in the US, it's been a while since I had it in Ireland) and a great example of the style. By the way, I've had this in the bottle before and would highly recommend having it on draft/growler - it's a beer that is best fresh.

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

Opaque in color. As dark as Dark Lord, Darkness, ect.... Wonderful light tan head with excellent shape and retention.
Smells of a strong coffee. French Roast. Also some charcoal smell.
Man this is good!! Heavy roasted flavors, deep and lasting. Good coffee kick in the middle. A hint of bitterness with a nice dry finish.
Mouthfeel is medium and wonderfully dry with out beeing overkill.
Good beer. I was suprised and am looking for the oppertunity to pick up a sixer.

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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.

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Photo of philipt
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

 616 characters

Photo of Risser09
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a 1/4" light brown head. The retention isn't slow, but a little bit of lace remains. I don't notice any carbonation. Swirling does create some spotty lace.

Smell: Toasted chocolate malt, coffee, cocoa powder and almond oil. All aromas point to deep, roasty flavors.

Taste: Roasted barley is very chocolate-esque and full of espresso flavor. I'm surprised how roasted the flavors are, without being sweet at all. This is what a small stout should be. Tons of flavor without cloying sugar. There is also some deep, original, licorice flavor.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, cacao, roasty and coffee-like. Medium body and ample carbonation.

Drinkability: A great small stout, that I could enjoy many of. All flavor that doesn't linger around as an aftertaste. Nicely done.

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Photo of omnigrits
4.23/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Star is one of my favourite films so I thought I'd better have a crack at this stout, and I'm not disappointed. Quality stuff. Deep, rich dark colour with a medium tan head, and coffee all over the nose. Almost a burnt toast smell, but in a good way, and both the coffee and the toast come out in the taste. Coffee? Toast? Sounds like breakfast to me. I wouldn't mind a bottle of this first thing in the morning. Very strong, dry stout aftertaste. Nice carbonation and good body. Definitely not the last bottle of Dark Starr I'll ever be drinking.

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Photo of hops4me
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours black with a tiny bit of brown around the edges. Thin head quickly falls leaving a decent amount of lace.

S - mocha. Roasted notes and chocolate are all over it. Very pleasant.

T - bitterness from the coffee and chocolate. Slight sweetness in the middle. The aftertaste is dominated by the mocha flavor.

M - Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

D - very drinkable. Flavorful but goes down easy. Nice beer indeed. I would definitely buy again.

 449 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.17/5  rDev +17.8%
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 redneckchugger
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, slightly opaque, tall lingering tan head.
The nose is dark chocolate, with a slight coffee note.
The taste is slightly sweeter, with some sweeter notes in teh chocolate, but not a lot. I get a bit more of the coffee as well, This is the first Irish dry stout i have had that was actually dry. Very good beer. I liked it a lot. Its a little thin on the mouth feel, and i could use a little less of the coffee notes, but still excellent beer.

 460 characters

Photo of mpyle
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark amber in color, clear. Pours a nice creamy tan head with good retention.

Slightly roasty, almost metallic aroma initially. A bit of smoke character.

Big malt flavor at the start, fleeting sweetness before the roast and bitterness get going. Transitions to a gentle roasty bitterness. Very flavorful for an Irish Dry Stout, and for a 4.2% ABV beer.

Fairly light body, and moderate carbonation. A bit heavily carbonated for the style, but might just be the CO2 rather than the N2 gas. No astringency or warming.

Not my favorite style of beer, but really liked this flavorful interpretation.

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Photo of JohnnyS17
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a deep brown, basically black. It came topped with a little bit less than a finger thick of creamy/foamy tan head, which subsided after a few sips, but kept a nice lacing throughout the beer. The smell reminds me of dark chocolate. Not a commercial dark chocolate, but some of that authentic Belgium dark chocolate. The aroma is very sweet with slight hints of coffee.

Immediately upon taking the beer you can taste the chocolate, which is partly sweet and partly bitter. I can also taste roasted barley with a hint of caramel. The consistency is surprising for a stout, as the body is about medium thickness. It is super smooth and very refreshing.

I coupled this beer with my steak dinner and it went damn near perfect with it. I would definitely have another in the same situation and I would probably enjoy one as an unwind type of beer. My overall impression of the beer might be inflated by the fact that I had a great evening, but the beer might have also added to that great evening. Catch 22.

 1,015 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Starr arrives at the table a bit too cold in a pint glass, with a black body and a small, light brown head that reduces to a collar. It smells of sweet blue/blackberry jelly, coffee, chocolate and roasted malts, raisins, and maybe even strawberry. On the palate there are all these flavors along with leather, tobacco, apple?, lactose?, smoke, and green, almost piney/spicy hops that impart a mild bitterness. It has a light to medium body with equal carbonation, and leaves a medium finish. Overall it's a good stout, one I've had before and will have again, but I wish this particular pint weren't served so cold.

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Photo of karst
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winner of Gold Medal at the 1999 GABF, Dark Starr pours black with thick rich nitrogen head. Its velvety soft taste similar but superior to Guiness.

Roasted Barley flavor from a malt bill of 2-row Pale, Roasted Barley, Wheat, Chocolate, Crystal malts. It has a correct to style light body.
Balanced with Magnum (Bittering hops) and a clean tasting English Ale yeast OG 1.048 and a mild 4.75% abv make for a good session beer.

 430 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, medium tan finger of head, nice lacing.

Smell is great, with lots of roasted malts, and a sweet chocolate backing. Doesn't smell like your typical Irish Dry Stout...

There's the Irish Stout! Roasted malts, slight bitterness, and a hint of cocoa. It's good. Actual flavor compared to most.

Thin mouthfeel for a stout, but for a dry stout, it's adequate. Slightly creamy.

Overall, drinkability is good and this is a better than average irish dry stout. I'm somewhat impressed.

 492 characters

Photo of goatgoat
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, light along the edges turns it garnet. A Finger thick coffee head falls quickly. No lace.
Aroma is moderate, dark and roasted. A bare hint of dark fruits/chocolate. A overlay of bitterness.
Taste is gently sweet malts with a nice prominent roasted character. A nice moderate bitterness comes in, lingering with the roast into the finish. No specific hop character.
Medium body with nice subdued carbonation. Not as creamy as I'd like. Finish is dry and a bit astringent from the raost.

A nice, well done stout. I like roasty stouts and this serves it well. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
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 BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Pitch black with a one finger tan head that slowly settles to a razor thin cap with a thin rim along the glass.

Smooth roasty malt aromas with a touch of creaminess.

Roasty and slightly bitter stouts with not much bitterness from the malts. A little bit of dark chocolate is in there. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is somewhat clean for a stout, with maybe a bit of the malts hanging around.

If you're in VA and looking for a smooth, tasty, and sessionable stout, this one is for you. Plenty of roasted malt flavor in each sip. Recommended.

 587 characters

Photo of PhageLab
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Nice opaque black brew with a brown head of froth that stuck around for a while. Laced very well.

S - Nice unsweetened aroma of chocolate, with a roasted malt touch. Quite enticing.

T - Subtle coffee flavors and chocolate bitterness make the body of this roasty and malty brew. What's nice here is that nothing is overpowering the other, this displays an excellent level of balance.

M - Surprisingly light bodied, dry, smooth carbonation and feel, smoke in the aftertaste.

D - Outstanding, this is a tasty and extremely sessionable brew. A definite revisit for myself, as well as a reco for you.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another I-81 find. Poured a deep caramel brown tone with a slight head that remained whispy at the rim of my pint. Hints of chocolate, light hop and malt on the palate. Hints of chocolate and malt in the bouquet.

Mouthfeel on this one was nice, as it is a lighter bodied stout. Easy drinking in the heat of summer. Quite nice and highly recommended.

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

A: Pretty standard. Dark coffee color, with a light toffee head -- great lacing, pretty much lasts the whole beer.

S: Intense and concentrated -- coffee, dark chocolate, maybe a faint hint of maraschino cherries in the background -- very appetizing.

T&M: Really, really intense. Very complex. I get flavors that range from very acidic, roasted coffee, cocoa powder (really dark chocolate), to a hint of sweet toffee, rounded out by a fantastic smoked meat characteristic. A bit of carbonation, but overall very smooth and the finish lingers and lingers. Reminds me a little bit of jello chocolate pudding on the finish, minus the sugar. Very enjoyable.

I really like this beer -- fantastic complexity, but I think it has a little too much carbonation that prickles the tongue. A bit more creaminess (without being a cream stout) would go a long way. On a nice cold day -- this is definitely a go to beer!

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice lookin stout, full of off white head, pitch black, nice lacing, couldn't ask for more. Smells good too, chocolatey, coffee notes, grainy and slightly sweet. Has a real balanced taste, nutty at first, slight bitterness, classic roasted malty flavour, some chocolate and coffee notes make their way through just slightly. Has a bit of a chalky and dry mouthfeel, nice full body with good carbonation. Overall, a recommended, easy drinking stout that is fully balanced in my opinion.

 485 characters

Photo of iceball585
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, one finger thick fluffy dark brown color head that faded quickly

S- Roasted malts, cocoa powder, smokey, creamy, hint of caramel

T- Freshly ground coffee, dark malts, nutty, smokey, unsweetened chocolate

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, rich, flavorful, watery finish

D- Worth trying

This brew has a very interesting flavor. Not really your typical stout but I like tasting something different. It gets kind of boring when all the beers of a catagory start to taste the same.

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Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
3.54 out of 5 based on 462 ratings.
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