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 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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mixed sampler pack:

Pours jet black with a nice, slightly tan frothy head. Roasty smell to it. Taste is medium bodied, some nice roasted malts come through with a decent hop presence as well. Taste finishes a bit dry, but overall this is a pretty good stout. Not my favorite of styles, but it's a notch above a Guinness that's for sure.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color with a nice tan head that retains and laces well

Smell: Mild coffee aroma with a hint of mocha

Taste: Starts out with a mild coffee flavor that doesn't develop significantly; after the swallow, there is a touch of drying bitterness and then a nice coffee finish, but also an odd phenolic touch of plastic

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink but not particularly memorable

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Photo of nickfl
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of light brown foam tops an opaque, black body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice, thick lace.

S - Roast malt, a light, mocha aroma. Toffee, a hint of smoke, and some bittersweet chocolate.

T - Light roasted grain up front with some weak coffee. Some toffee and light caramel in the middle. Acidic malt bitterness with a darker roast finish; black coffee and dry caramel with light, citrus hops in the finish. Lingering coffee flavors with a little bit of smoke.

M - Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - A nice Dry Stout. The malt is suitably acidic and not too complex with perhaps a touch more caramel depth and less acidic roast character than more traditional examples of the style. While this is not my favorite style, it is a nice interpretation and I could drink a couple more.

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Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This would be my first Starr Hill beer thanks to tmoney2591.

A screw on top... The beer pours a nice almost 2 finger head that is darker in color but fades semi quickly with lots of big bubbles popping creating pot-marks all over. The beer is almost pitch black in color with basically no light getting through, but not thick. THe head leaves a little lacing as it fades.

My nose discovers some nice coffee and roast aromas, with caramel and dark malts, a little chocolate, seems to be somewhat dry. A little toffee finds its way in there.

The taste comes a little more subtle but has plenty more dark malts. More coffee and roasted malts, a little caramel malt and very light chocolate. It is actually somewhat juicy and a little Irish yeast fruit, but maintains mostly dry. A little toffee and hints of a spicy hop character. It has a slight bitterness.

The mouth is medium to lighter bodied with good carbonation.

It finishes pretty dry, but no drier than it started. It has a mouth smacking dry and sticky quality though. A little bit more of that fruit from the yeast coming out, with a slight lingering malty quality. Most of the dark malts are gone now, no roast or chocolate, but a little bitterness coming from a slight bit of the roasted malt and some more from some hidden spicy and grassy hops.

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Photo of chinchill
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
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 russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut with 3 fingers of fluffy mocha colored head. Rings of lacing cling to the glass, plus primo head retention

S: Molasess & roasty malt

T: Roasty malt, slight coffee grouns flavor, molasess, plus dryness up front. Chicory & dryness dominate as this warms. Finishes roasty, dry & with a touch of mocha sweetness

MF: Medium bodoed, low carbonation, nice balance, carbonation picks back & sadly thins out as it warms

Drinks easy, delivers plenty of flavor for the ABV, nice take on the style

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

Look the name alone would be enough to draw me in right? Just had to be and thats really what I had hoped. Served cold and I used this as a nightcap in a pint glass last night. Consumed on 01/29/2010.

The pour was near spot on for the style and really showed a tremendous amount of promise. Dark as night with a rich and creamy tan head that rose up from the bottom and settled down very nicely along the top of the glass. Bu that was about the best it would get. Too light of a n aroma, as roasted malts and chocolate notes seem to be horribly off balance. Hints of coffee maybe? But it all seemed to be a bit of a mess for me to be honest. Smooth, even carbonation on a somewhat mellow profile, needed a bit more of a punch to really be anything worthwhile to me. Roasted chocolate, hints of tobacco, a light sweetness, but again it really all seemed terribly off balance to me to be honest.

Overall it was ok, nothing really great. Maybe it was me but it just falls in line with a bunch of other average stouts.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Guinness 250th Anniversary tulip pint glass.

This was the first real local brew I had when I moved here to the Commonwealth. Now's as good a time as any to have it again. It pours an opaque black-brown topped by a finger of thick tan foam that, unfortunately, dies away pretty quickly. The nose is kinda faint, comprising some dark wheat and light coffee. It's not a bad smell, just a weak one. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, burnt wheat, coffee, and a hint of mild sulfuric sour. I know that may sound pretty damn bad, but it's like a more bad-milk-y version of the Guinness sour, as though SH tried to mimic the classic flavor and kinda failed. The body is kinda light, with a fairly high bite of carbonation and sonewhat watery feel. Overall, I assume this was meant as a nice, light, sessionable Irish stout, but it comes off as too light and can't quite nail the Irish qualities it aspires to. It's still not bad, per se, but definitely not all that good, either.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was down in DC between Christmas and New Year's to visit my aunt and uncle and to take in a pair of Andy Warhol exhibits as well as some movies plus buy and drink beer. It is a double-plus bonus when a theatre sells you beer to drink during the movies (as opposed to sneaking it in, ahem) and both times that I went, both theatres offered good beer. It was a toss-up between this one or The Gift and I went with the latter. This is my opportunity to catch up.

My pour resulted in two fingers of deep-brown head with great retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights and allowing light to penetrate only at the edges. Nose had a rich chocolatiness to accompany the roastiness of the malt. My mouth was watering by the time I took my first sip. Mouthfeel was medium with a unexpected smokiness initially, followed by a black coffee bitterness, ending with a wash of dark chocolate. Wow! Finish was dry, a little smoky and quite bitter. I really dig this sort of thing, but I may not be for everyone. Once more, worth a try.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is not especially dark. Brown hued with a thin cap that leaves faint traces of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists primarily of roast, and is subdued. The flavor is very roasty, with a subtle chocolate and smoke presence. The feel is thin and watery, with low carbonation. I wasn't particularly impressed, but I would be willing to try this again. Overall, an OK brew.

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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.

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

Served from a bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is black with a brown head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is coffee and roast with a mild bitterness and some ash.

Beer is medium in body and quite bitter on the end, leaving an aftertaste of ash and roasted coffee, some nuts, forward minimal sweetness and a light yeastiness / biscuit feeling. It was fine.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to cvstrickland for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of chocolate/toffee, with some vanilla notes. The taste is malty, sweet, with some chocolate/toffee, nice touch of vanilla. Medium body. Drinkable, this brew surprised me, pretty tasty.

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Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this a couple times now and it's nice to have another Irish stout around, but I'm turned off by it being thick for the style. Really, it comes off like an English stout to me, but styles aside, this is a tasty beer. There's a tall tan head over the pitch black body. The aroma was heavy with roasted grain and coffee bean notes while the flavored followed those same characteristics, but added a bitter bakers chocolate flavor. Definitiely check this out if you dig stouts of any kind.

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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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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

A splash of lacing is contrasted against a black and all but bare surface. Swirling results in tattered patches of webs that branch out from its defining outer trim. The colour is dark and impenetrable but underlined by flashes of raspberry.

The roast is a little rough around the edges. The aroma is dry, bitter, and charred. The smell of fresh kindling on the fire is nice, but overrun not by roasted, but flaming and burnt malts. Ashtray and soot seem to hit the sinuses right between the eyes.

A light blend of grinded spent coffee beans and dark cocoa crumbs make up the meat of this lean flavour profile. It is a roasty bitterness that soon fades. Hints of dark chocolate chip and smoky soot last for a slight time longer.

I'm not so sure Dark Starr Stout is "the gift of great beer" like its label promises. I would definitely say though it was a gift of good beer; there certainly was nothing wrong about this dry stout. I could certainly have a couple if I ever find myself in Charlottesville. Thanks Mary!

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Photo of John_M
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Judge's Bench the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showcasing considerable licorise, coffee, dark chocolate and cola. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though the licorise tended to dominate a bit more than I would normally like. The beer also has something of a roasty malt sweetness, but that quickly dries out on the finish. Mouthfeel is light and fairly smooth. Drinkabilty is not bad.... you can definitely tell the alcohol is dialed down in this one.

Nothing extraordinairy, but I thought this beer otherwise nice enough. Not sure it's something I'd ever want to order again though.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received a dark brown/leather brown body w/ one-finger head that died quickly. An alright malty smell with some light fruit notes. A medium-bodied beer that had an alright malt flavor, not really able to key on a specific malt as it was somewhat bland. A light-dry finish as it goes down a tad slick for a stout. Mild fruit flavor also. Not a bad stout, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts with so e coffee and bittersweet chocolate. 

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied.

D- Overall, a pretty decent stout that is worth a try.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark brown color. Poured almost a 3 finger beige head with good retention. Some lazy bubbles rise to the surface. Thin rings and sheets of lace.

S: Dark chocolate and bitter coffee. Toasted grains, molassas and honey. Very little hop character.

T: Consistent with smell but not as prominent; mostly muted. More earthy and mellow dryness in the finish.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and dry.

D: Easily drinkable. Could go for a little more flavor and heftier feel.

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

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Chip's in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

A: The stout is a dark black color with an off-white head. Both attributes are decent for the style.

S: The nose has some elements of an Irish dry stout, namely the roasted aroma that lacks boozy warmth. Surprisingly, the stout packs a rauchbier-style smokiness that is the mose memorable aspect.

T: The smokiness rules the stout, coating the tastebuds with curehouse flavors. The smoke is dominant but not overwhelming, this is no rauchbier. Stout flavors do emerge, roasted and dark but they never quite assert themselves like the smoke.

M: The stout is unlike any dry stout that I've had. The toasted chocolate is gone, replaced by a meaty profile.

D: The stout hits some notes and misses on others. The smoke profile is interesting but it needs to be supporting a bigger stout body.

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Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a good half inch of head and solid lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malt, coffee and some mild hops.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and hops. A fairly well done taste. Easy to drink.

M: A nicely carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer with good character. A good American answer to an Irish stout.

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