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 gnemesis
1.86/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into snifter on 04/18/2011. Bottle says best by: October... no day or year so who knows what that means.
Pours black topped with a thin but creamy, tan head. Dissipates quickly leaving very little lace. The nose on this one is not good. Faint roasted malts, faint chocolate but pretty bland and something is off here. The taste confirms my suspicions. Faded chocolate turning sour. Off flavors for sure. Medium body with very little carbonation. Not good... could be bad bottle but a drain-pour none the less.

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Photo of GeoJ
2.01/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Hmmmm ... upon pouring, looked like a decent stout. Aroma was promising, for the most part.

Hard to review the taste because I found the carbonation was so totally overwhelming, it just eradicated any kind of flavors. The fizz simply battered my taste buds into submission.

Did not enjoy this, at all. With so many truly great stouts out there, I would not even think about drinking another one of these.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.3/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

True to it's name, this stuff is dark. Black even when held to light. Large, thick brown head with lots of lace and good retention. Freshness dated bottle.

Smells like roast malt, mild espresso and Byres sugar free chocolate ice cream.

Unfortunately none of the aromas come through in the taste. Just a sour, ashy taste with a thin mouthfeel. I thought this could be past due but according to the bottle it's still good. Bummer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.41/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This poured black with some ruby red highlights that were lost once the beer was in the glass. The frothy tan head rose 3 fingers and looked tremendous. Good retention and lace too. This really does look like a great stout...

Smells of bitter coffee and caramel and toffee malts. There is a definate sweetness here, but I'm not sure I can place it. The flavor follows nose, but towards the finish it gets bitter and unpleasant like stale/scalded coffee. There feels like a fight going on between the carbonation and the rest of the beer... Like it is overcarbed and not thick enough, and neither of those facts bode well for this brew.

Towards the finish I am finally (after 6 or 7 sips) getting some of the dryness... The bitter note and sweetness have cast their shackles long enough to allow something else to pop up-- almost like a rye and toasted barley bite hiding in the finish... Not enough to save this beer, in my opinion.

Certainly not the worst thing I've ever had, but I won't be needing this again.

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Photo of KajII
2.54/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Best served in an English Pint glass]

Poured a deep dark murky black with a small (less than 1 finger) creamy light brown foamy head that was fully diminishing and had fair lacing.

The aroma was very, very mild of dark roasted malts, a mild resin hop and a sweet leathery yeast with a tinge of coffee, toffee and dark chocolate.

It tasted bitter-sweet initially with a note of dark chocolate and finished with a mild hoppy flavor and had a mild coffee note at the end that left the flavor lasting only a short while.

Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and definitely had a watery feel to it yet was slightly dry in texture with a flat carbonation.

Overall an OK brew, but not much to offer for a Stout. A little light in body and flavor for my liking.

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Photo of shaunb81
2.58/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Poured black as night. Nice 1" beige head and decent lacing around the glass. Head dissipates quite quickly.

Smell - Toasted malts, coffee, and caramel. Hops are faint, but smell a bit dry.

Appearance - Earthiness is abundant. Hops are still not very apparent here. Pretty balanced, though. Not a very strong flavor profile at all.

Mouthfeel - A little too watered down for my taste. I feel that it should be thicker. Carbonation is mild.

Overall - Not very impressed with this one. I was expecting something different and it just wasn't here. As far as being drinkable, it was. That's about it, though....

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Photo of djamieson
2.6/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I liked the label being a DeadHead and all. And that its Virginia brewery...wanted to try this during our summer tour of the Virginia/North Carolina region. So my wife and I gave it a shot. Poured out nice with a dense tan head. Not bad considering it should have a low ABV (as consitent with the style). Aroma was roasty with some dark chocolate overtones. Taste was frankly disappointing, very tart upfront and not much else going on in the finish to smooth that out. Mouthfeel was rather thin and the sourness made me not want to continue drinking multiple rounds. I would try this again on tap at the brewery...but I won't be actively seeking this one out in any other parts of the States.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, $1.49 from the Village Pump. I've seen this brewers beers on tap in the DMV, but never intrigued enough to pay $6+/pint for it. This seemed like a much better deal. Best by August 2012.

In my Founders 10th anniversary tulip pint, this beer is black with a dense, brown head with pretty good retention and lacing. The nose is pretty good! A nice, dry, roasted barley character is present up front, with coffee and dark chocolate. There is, however, what is perceived as a mild lactose sweetness, making this rounder than most dry stouts. Some earthy hops are also present, lending a mild resiny hop character in the back end. Pretty solid IMO.

The palate is where this suffers IMO. The roasted barley bitterness is a little too high in the mix, making this grainy, acidic and almost burnt, with stale coffee. None of the sweetness of the nose is present here, exacerbating the one-dimensional nature of this beer. Some hop bitterness is perceived as well, especially on the finish. While I know that dry stouts are, by definition, dry, they needn't be watery, which this one is. Moderately carbonated, this beer is too watery for its own good. I can't recommend it, but if it were cold and it were a hot day out, I might pound a couple.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

C. Who knows, cause this is blackkk.
H. Black, with the head being really brown.
N. Coffee, pretty plain coffee though, a little smokey

Well I expected a bigger beer with lots of coffee and maybe a hint of chocolate. In fact this was something I was looking forward to since it was the closing of out tasting session today and we save the darker beers for last. Keep in mind I don't like big stouts, but since Ten Fidy I have kept an open mind. Aroma was coffee, this sorta got my lips wet, as for taste....wow SMOKEY. I feel like a chain smoker just exhaled a pack of 305's in my mouth. Though it calms down it was a bit too smoky for my taste. Good beer if you like stouts but I don't.

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Photo of DCon
2.73/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Added a 12 FLUID OUNCE bottle of this to my Mix-A-Six Pack from Ingles in Asheville, NC for $8.88. Poured from the Black Labeled bottle w/ a Purple Start surrounded by Flames into a 12oz Snifter Glass.

Aroma- The aroma is very nutty and has a ton of malt present. Not much coffee or roast like I would normally want...

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, dark brown head that dies quickly. Has a semi-clear body that is a deep brown color as well. Leaves suds behind.

Flavor- Light roast and tons of malt starts this one out. Almost no hops and the lightest bitterness is present.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, tons of malt on the palate.

Overall Impression- A light black ale at most... Missed the mark for a Stout, even a dry version. Wish there was more body and character. However, I did go after this beer because of its label. I will most definitely be keeping it for a souvenir.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from a six-pack poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a two-finger khaki head that settles quickly. Dark, impenetrable brown.

Smell: Something's not quite right. I'm getting the standard malt scents, but it's battling with some vaguely "off" smell. It's not hops or anything, just kinda . . . off. The malt is mostly sweet, with a little bit of burn to it.

Taste: Very thin and watery for a stout. There's some roasted barley up front, a drop of hops in the background, but not much else: no coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and only traces of caramel. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Creamyish, medium-bodied. Little dryness and carbonation. I personally would enjoy this style in a beer with more flavor.

Overall: You'll get more flavor from a day-old Guinness. I recommend trying others.

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at Dr. Ho's Humble Pie in Virginia. Poured from a 12oz bottle dated APR 13 to a pint glass.

(Appearance) Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head that doesn't last long. Appearance is average. 3

(Smell) Aroma consists of Sweet malts, dark caramel, earthy hop bitterness. Lacks in chocolate and coffee flavors. Aroma is slightly below average potency. A bit less aromatic than I had expected. 3

(Taste) Black bitter malts are plentiful and with a lesser brewed coffee essence, there's a lot of bitterness in this beer. A bit too much, It shadows the flavors of anything else in the beer. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Perky and crisp stout, far too much for its style. It needs to tone down significantly in carbonation. Body is a medium, alcohol is a light presence. 3

(Overall) Not the finest representation of an Irish Dry Stout I've ever had but it's a decent take on the style. 3

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Photo of birchstick
2.82/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one came from JebediahScooter via the Feelin' Phishy BIF.

Shall we go,
you and I
While we can?
the transitive nightfall
of diamonds

A - "dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes" is a good description of how this one comes out the bottle - black without much of a head, albeit the one residing atop is a fainted cocoa chocolate color

S - smells of sweet grains and some chocolaty roasted malts

T - starts off with some sweet chocolate tones that are somewhat muted. This is followed up by a little it of burt malt and coffee flavor, however this is even more subtle than the chocolate notes. Not very flavorful overall.

M - creamy and full body makes for a great mouthfeel

D - the name on this beer made me really want to love this, just like a '69 Dark Star. However I was left a little disappointed with the taste as everything seemed very subtle and somewhat watery. Either way, enjoyable - just not something I would go out of my way to get in the future.

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Photo of aepb1
2.83/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark brown/black with a brown airy head that levels down but still lingers a bit

S- Caramel and coffee malts

T- Same as nose, caramel and coffee malts carry through the end with a bit of bitter hops at the finish. Not much depth at all

M- Lacking for a stout --- no creaminess and it's pretty thin overall

D- Won't seek this out again and I hope the rest of the breweries selections are better --- really loses you in the mouthfeel

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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.

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Photo of goldbot
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, notched on the label as best by November. Of what year? Who knows.

Pours black with a thin tan to brown head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice haze. A bit of lacing.

Some sweet chocolate and a bit of coffee in the nose. Some raisin and licorice as well, with a touch of cinnamon. A surprisingly complex aroma but a bit oddly put together I thought.

A bit of some burnt/roasted malt at first, with a touch of coffee. A small bit of oxidation as well. Lightly sweet at the end with a chocolate aftertaste.

Thin and watery mouthfeel, a bit off-putting. This beer looks and smells pretty good, but otherwise is average at best.

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Photo of rivalrome
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
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 PorterLambic
2.96/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours exceedingly dark brown with a good head developing in the pint glass. Tan in color (the head) it dissipates relatively quickly, leaving a film behind and the promise of quite good lacing which does not turn out to be the case.
Smell is malt, hops, smoke, wood, wet cardboard and a hint of molasses.
Taste is malt, coffee, cigarette ashes (burnt malt I suspect), smoke, hops, slight alcohol.
Lighter in body, like a canned Guinness,relatively smooth, some dryness in the finish. The cigarette ash note fortunately fades pretty quickly. I suspect it is a combo of over-roasted/burnt malt and smoke combining less than favorably. The molasses note might also be at play here. Otherwise, quite good flavor-wise but weak in the body aspect. Effervescence is very light and all the aftertaste is in the back of the palate. A very slight warming is present as well.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.98/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a black color overall. One and a half finger beige head shows light retention. Nice light clumps of lace that mostly fall back into the glass.

S- Toasted malts linger on the border of being roasted in flavor but never get there. Caramel malts in the aroma act as a underbody to everything. Hints of coffee toward the middle of the beer. Light earthy hops seem to be a little muted.

T- Light roasted malts in the front along with a hint of toffee undertone. Light darker fruits although they never really come into the forefront and tend to have a watered down taste toward the middle. Hints of caramel malt and light roasted malt with faded bitter hops that actually balance out the flavor quite well. Alcohol is light and a little watered down overall.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light roasted malts and hints of bitter hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is watered down alcohol and piney hops that blend with some toasted malts. Overall the flavors were well balanced. No off flavors were present in the beer while drinking. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer for a stout is watered down and light. A more porter style than anything else. Alcohol is light meaning more than one is very do-able. A nice stab at the style but I would label this as a porter and I think the overall reviews would be better.

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Photo of BringusKilkenney
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This stout poured very dark looked nice with just a little bit of head.

Had this at a restaurant and couldnt really pull much of a smell out of it. Maybe toasted malt but not much to be had here.

This was also kinda dull dont know if i got a bad batch or what but just didnt have much of a flavor past the usually malts and toasty flavors.

The mouthfeel was good it was very smooth and drinkable. The drinkability was good but couldnt handle more than two just fills you up without the buzz but it is ok.

I wouldnt recommend trying this if you are looking for anything new just kind of an ok beer.

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Photo of tchenery
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Nice thin tan head on the beer, very very dark. Pretty much opaque.

It smells of roasted malts, bittersweet dark chocolate, and nuts.

It is definitely dry which helps lift the flavor and keep it from 'sticking'. Bitter chocolate is the main flavor I'm picking up. It does taste kind of thin and I'm very very surprised to see the low ABV on this one after tasting it. It tastes much thicker than that.

Very big mouthfeel, very full flavored but very thick and almost chewy except for the dry flavor and carbonation on it.

For the ABV, not overly drinkable. Those numbers you would think it was a session beer, but I don't think I could have more than a few of these in one night.

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3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance- very dark like the name says it is

smell- dark stout aroma

taste- a little soury compared to other stouts, not so much stout like

mouthfeel- a little fuzzy in the mouth

drinkability- couldnt put down many if i tried. good for one maybe two in a sitting

overall- would like to try on draft

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Photo of ryanonline
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is OK. Dark as balls with a tan head but it dissipates quickly. Leaves moderate lacing.

Coffee, and that's more or less it. Maybe some cocoa.

Very sweet and lightly frosted flavor with a dry finish.

Thin and bland.

Men drinkability.

I don't really understand his stout. Sweet and effervescent but not creamy...wtf?

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Photo of darthpeepee
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown / black with a tan head.

S - Smell was of a burnt/chalky smell that comes with stouts. Piney hop aroma

T - This beer was average in flavor. Roasty, coffee type tones from the grain.

M - Light to Medium body

D - This was a decent beer. It wasnt the best stout i've ever tasted however it did the job. I think it could use a little more flavor.

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Photo of fsvan
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into NB Globe.

A- Black. Jet black. Tons of tan head. Took a few minutes to get whole bottle in globe. Some sediment.

S- Dry roasted malts. Dark chocolate. A pretty big nose on this guy.

T- Follow the smell with the roasted malts, and dark chocolate, but an off-putting metallic flavor on the finish.

M- Lighter bodied than I'd like for a stout.

O- The bottle is a month and a half past it's date, but I usually assume a stout will hold out longer than advertised, so I decided to review it. Is that the cause of the metallic taste? I don't know. This beer has enough reviews that mine won't shift the grade, and I feel others may feel the same way about dates on stouts, so I think this could be useful information. I will revisit a fresher bottle and change accordingly (if needed.)

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