Dark Starr Stout | Starr Hill Brewery

Dark Starr StoutDark Starr Stout
Liked This Beer
3.53 w/ 462 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: 462 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of fsvan
3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
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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Photo of doughanson78
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to russwbeck for this one.

A: Very black. No light coming through. One finger, tight, fluffy mocha colored head, with great retention and beautiful lacing.

S: Big roasted dark malts, on the verge of burnt. Dark coffee and chocolate. The faintest hint of dark fruits.

T: Sweet dark chocolate upfront. Then the massive roasted/burnt coffee comes through with a touch of bitterness. A touch light in the aftertaste with a bit of smokiness coming through.

M: Medium bodied. Light carbonation. Medium creaminess. Thins out in the finish.

O: A pretty decent stout. Much better than the one iteration of Guinness that I had. I see that this style is supposed to be lighter in body. Personally I like a stout to be thick. Maybe the Irish style isn't for me. But this is decent.

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Photo of dtivp
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown nearly black, no head just a thin dull white ring with very little lacing.

Aroma of light roasted malt, coffee and a hint of sweet chocolate.

Taste begins a little sweet , milk chocolate, followed by grainy roasted malt, coffee and a sour finish.

Mouth Feel is light leaning medium body, low carbonation, thin, smooth with a sour after taste.

Overall an average stout, little thin and the sour after taste does not fit this beer.

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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 birchstick
2.82/5  rDev -20.1%
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 Merkur
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served in a pilsner glass on tap.

This beer pours very dark brown (almost black, but not quite) with very little head. The smell and taste are of coffee and chocolate. The beer is pours very thin and is not as thick as most stouts. With that said, this beer is pretty tasty and would definately try again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
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 alleykatking
2.98/5  rDev -15.6%
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 vandemonian
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Starr Hill Dark Starr Stout is a tasty, bitter dry stout. It's pretty good.

A: Black colour and a nice 1 cm head that fades to excellent lacing. 4.5

S: Bitter coffee smell with maltiness. 4

T: Bitter coffee flavour into a crisp dry finish. 3.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: Nice, but not enough going on. 3.5

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Photo of BeerMarshall
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%
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 gnemesis
1.86/5  rDev -47.3%
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 shaunb81
2.58/5  rDev -26.9%
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 JohnnyS17
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beige head. Raw umber -impenetrable, a little red at the edges when held up to the light.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee grounds, chocolate malts. So much chocolate, but good.

T: Bitter chocolate and malts. Kind of watery, good but not much going on.

M: Full, almost thick, slightly watery alas, but pleasant enough.

D: Pretty alright. But not very much happening here.

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Photo of KajII
2.54/5  rDev -28%
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 kevinv
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label is notched with a May best-by date, no year noted.

A - Pours a dark black with a minimal half finger tan head that dissipated before I could even toss the bottle. Minimal lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts with slight hints of dark chocolate and bold coffee. Smoky notes.

T - Rich and dominant smokiness. Everything else seems to be very muted. The chocolate and coffee notes from the smell seem to be hidden, or maybe just overpowered by the smokiness of the beer. Dryness on the finish.

M - Thin to medium body with a nice balanced carbonation.

D - It's drinkable, but I wouldn't grab for this one. The body seems to be lacking, though.

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Photo of Dan3279
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am huge fan of the Starr Hill Brewery and their beers. I wish they were available in Ohio.

I had the Dark Starr Stout poured into snifter glass. The appearance was black with a light brown head. There was a strong coffee smell, which I always love. It has a solid, clean, crisp taste that you would expect from the smell The beer was easy to drink and I would have no problem drinking more than one in a single sitting.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: A beige, thick, homogenious head rested on top of a solidly black beer. As the head dissipated the bubbles began to vary in size.

SMELL: Coffee, coffee, coffee. Intense, but very straight forward aroma. Did I mention it smelled like coffee?

TASTE: Very strong roasted malt and coffee flavor. Bitter and dry throughout, ending on a very smoky note that almost tastes like tobacco. This sounds like a horrible description of the flavor, but it actually tastes pretty good.

MOUTHFEEL: Much more sparkle to this one than the typical Stout. Also, much less oily and mouthcoating feel, it's actually pretty cleansing and refreshing.

OVERALL: The first word that comes to mind with this beer is bold. It is not particularly complex, but it doesn't need to be. It has an overpowering coffee-flavored nose and a full-on bitter taste. This beer is not the beer to use as an introduction to craft beer or to stouts, but for the seasoned veteran who is looking for a solid beer with a bite, this is it.

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Photo of beergod1
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought back from North Carolina from a friend. Pours very dark brown... nearly black with a soft tan head and a nice trail of spotty lacing. there is not much on the nose... roasted malt, faint chocolate and maybe some coffee. Faint flavor characteristics as well. Chocolate, light vanilla, caramel and some coffee-like nuttiness in the aftertaste. Light to Medium bodied with a creamy texture. Easy and satisfying to drink, But there is a "metallic" taste, not sure if it's the hops, or just the style of stout. Not a bad dry stout, but this won't be one I look for again.

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Photo of engagechad
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I purchased this bottle as a single from Total Wine in Richmond, VA off of Broad street - served into a Victory Tulip glass

SUMMARY - I probably wont buy it again - it was just okay

I've heard a lot about this beer from one of my friends at work who told me that I would love it so I gave it a shot, and it's a local brewery (sort of) so why not support the locals!

Poured wonderfully into the tulip glass. There was a LOT of head and the foam was dense. Lacing was okay, it was sticky at the top and the foam itself settled nicely with a rocky, lumpy residue in it's wake

The aromas from this beer were difficult to conjure. At first it was just stingy acidic, phenolic smells, but then as it warmed I got a little (very little) semi-sweet chocolate aromas

Upon drinking this beer I expected to taste lots of coffee from what I heard from my friend but it really just tasted kind of acidic. Hop balance just wasn't right for me so the mouthfeel suffered from it.

I wouldn't drink more than one but it wasn't a terrible beer by any means.

If you're going to try a Starr Hill brew, go with the Jomo - excellent session

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Photo of KidsDoc
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: weak. A couple shades from completely black. Opaque. No real head to speak of aside from a thin beige collar that did check up and leave some pleasant lace down the sides

S: hard to detect much here but what's there certainly smells nice Dark roast, faint coffee, ?tobacco?

T: light bready malt; roasted grains; bittering middle; a good clean stout

M: certainly thin as it should be, to its credit for a Irish dry, but the carbonation was way too much. The remainder was pretty smooth

D: a good beer overall and one I could certainly have a couple-few in a sitting because of the mellow ABV. However the carbonation and appearance make this one unappealing to me, and this will not make its way into any regular lineup for me.

**wanted to really like this beer as it is brewed in Crozet, VA where I used to run with rescue squad (Western Albemarle) back in the college days at UVA

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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 woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Nashville Flying Saucer into a shaker pint.

A: Black body with reddish highlights and a small layer of tan foam that has clearly receded on the trip from the bar to the table. Lacing is lovely, though. Nice looking beer.

S: Very clean aroma of roasted malts (plenty of coffee) and some light hops. Well-balanced.

T: Much like the aroma, with roasted malts and hops combining to make this a very crisp, clean stout. Just enough malt sweetness midway through to keep it from being too bitter, as can happen with some stouts of the style; a touch of sweetness is a good thing, if you ask me.

M: Just as there's enough sweetness to avoid astringency, there's just enough body here to avoid the wateriness that plagues Irish-style stouts. Good carbonation, as well. Excellent.

D: Solid here, as well. Perhaps not as easy to chug as some drier and waterier examples of the style, but much more pleasant to drink in general.

Notes: Highly enjoyable beer. I'm not often a big fan of an Irish Dry Stout, but this one really straddles the line between Irish and American interpretations, managing to be both crisp and substantial. Underrated, in my opinion.


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Photo of GeoJ
2.01/5  rDev -43.1%
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 djamieson
2.6/5  rDev -26.3%
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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Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 36.1% out of 100 with 462 ratings
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