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 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 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.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
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 -28.2%
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 kevinv
3.15/5  rDev -11%
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%
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 -3.1%
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 -1.7%
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 -3.1%
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 -0.6%
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 -16.7%
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 woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
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 -43.2%
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 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 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 Invisoclam
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Overall just okay. Nothing terrible about this one, however nothing spectacular either. On the plus side it was in no way bitter. Drank this while eating some bacon, tasty Neuske's bacon that is salty, so perhaps the saltiness of the Bacon cut away any bitterness that may have been present - or perhaps not.
A solid good dark stout , but nothing that makes you ( or me) want to go out and get one.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Only bought this because the price was $2.99 for a 6-pack!!

A-black, with a nice thick tan head

S-really dark roasted malts and a lot of chocolate...smells tasty!

T- I once had a bar of Vogue Bacon Chocolate...for some reason this taste reminds me exactly of that...very interesting. There's a matching after-taste. It is quite watery however. There is no bitterness.

M- Medium to heavy carbonation with a watery finish

D-eh it goes down easily but its not something I'll be getting again. The taste stays fairly well. I think i'll be giving the 5 other bottles to other people.

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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.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Starr Hill's brewery is located a quarter of a mile from where I grew up. Finally getting around to reviewing a beer of theirs. I have had only a few, including their Lucy, which was absolutely terrible. I hope this is better. Pours...hah...wow. A perfectly opaque black color,2 finger head, phenomenal lacing. A great looking beer. Freshness date on the bottle, with a proudly brewed in Crozet (represent!) label. I'm going to be unbiased in this review, I swear. Aroma is of dark roasted malts, burned cocoa, and definitely some coffee. Tastes of smokey, roased malt, atypical but refreshing, unfortunately it is very simple and ends there. A bit of hop bitterness serves it well, saving it from mediocrity. A tad thin feeling in the mouth, but it somehow serves to compliment the taste, and the bitterness is wonderful. The low ABV, mellow, above average taste and medium body makes the drinkability out of this world for a stout.

Good, about what I was expecting. This is one of the best things to come out of Crozet since the 2003 Western Albemarle HS football season

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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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Photo of bgildea
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark black/brown color with a thick tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

S: Not much smell comes across. Slight roasted malts and maybe some caramel. There's also a slight coppery smell.

T: Very bitter taste. Roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate come across, but not much else.

M: Fairly thin beer, I was hoping for some more chew to it.

D: It's drinkable, but there are better stouts out there.

Overall: Overall the beer was OK. Not much in the flavor department. I was a little disapointed because I usually enjoy Starr Hill beers.

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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.

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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.

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

12 oz bottle served in a Duvel tulip

A - Dark, dark red - almost totally black. Small brown head, good lacing.

S - Milk, roasted malt, small amount of milk chocolate

T - Twice roasted malt - burnt & kinda smoky --> not sweet, which is refreshing --> citrus hops on the end - the finish is kind of bitter. Not overly complex, but pretty tasty.

M - Light for a stout, good carbonation

D - Lack of sweetness + decent hopping + low ABV = drinkable

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