TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 25, 2006
The Starr Hill Brewing Company, is a really fantastic brewpub located in Charlottsville, VA, home of the University of Virginia, and of course Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate, The first time I tried Dark Starr Stout I was floored by this beer. This beer won the 1999 Gold Medal in the dry stout category at the GABF, it is easy to see why. This beer is a dead ringer for Guinness. This beer has to be the most stylistically accurate domestic dry stout I have ever tasted. A title that was previously held by Portsmouth Brewing Company’s Black Cat Stout, of Portsmouth, NH in my opinion. If there is one beer style I know, and know well, it is stout. I belive I have drank more stout in more places over the years than any other beer. I have visited St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland, and have drank Guinness literally all over the world. So I don’t easily compare a beer to the quality of Guinness, "beer for beer" probably my all time favorite brew. Dark Starr is just that, a star among stouts.
As this black nectar cascaded down my glass, it rose to a beautiful ebony color, with a dense, creamy, tan head, and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful. Aromas of roasted barley, coffee, and balancing hop aromas flood the nose. The palate delivers more of as they say in Ireland "the black". A firm dark malt palate of dark malt flavors, roast, coffee, and a touch of chocolate. The body on this beer is outstanding, it is rich and full. This beer finishes with an intense roasty, bitter, long, dry finish that lingers.
Truly a great example of dry stout, a tribute of Guinness. If your a stout drinker, you will love this beer. It is rich, complex, and flavorful. This beer is the perfect foil for shell fish. Match this with raw or fried oysters. This would also work well with a boiled dinner of ham, potatoes, and cabbage, and would make an outstanding desert beer. I would pair this with hot, buttered, Irish soda bread, or a nice thick piece of chocolate cake.
SanfordBrewer (1574) - Sanford, Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2009
(br-btl bk-lbl)Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 20, 2008
opq-bk, thin-tan-head, med-full-body, med-co2.
roasted-malt, chclt-malt, §hop-bitterness, §chrcl-astringency, well-balanced, ^drinkable, session beer.
Bottle courtesy of dkachur. Pours brown with a light brown head. Smells of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate. Tastes of bitter malt, tarte, some dark fruit, hints of coffee. BigJoe7231 (25) - Schererville, Indiana, USA - AUG 30, 2008
This is definitely one of the lighest stouts I’ve ever had. Slightly more carbonated than most stouts, it pours dark with a very light head...that pretty much disintegrated. Tastes of caramel and coffee...very very tasty. Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - AUG 7, 2008
THOUGHTS: I get a kick out of Guinness lovers who think there is nothing better, when there are so many American mad dry stouts with way more flavor, just like this one. The only negative I found in this one is too much carbonation.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a dark brown that looked black in the glass with red highlights and a small, light brown head that mostly diminished. The aroma was moderate to heavy roasted, burnt and strong coffee malts, lighter molasses, and light herbal hops. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet, lightly acidic and bitter; while the finish was moderately sweet, acidic and bitter, and sour with an average duration. There was caramel malt, coffee and roasted malt. The medium to full body was creamy with very fizzy carbonation and a light to moderate astringent finish.
Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - MAY 2, 2004
Sigh. Dry stouts just don’t get a lot of love as a style. This is another good one that people don’t like. Draft. Black with brown peaking at the edges, nice head. Aroma is lightly roasty with a hint of chocolate. The flavor is Guinness-like, with just an extra touch of coffee and chocolate, but still has the roasty tang. Nice. Wakie (612) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - MAR 16, 2005
A aromatic coffee stout. Fantastic appearance and aroma but a little watery in the taste. Easy drinking beer though and at 4.75% a perfect beer to have several pints of at any time. radagast83 (8019) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - JAN 19, 2008
After having quite a few Imperial Stouts, it was nice to finally have a stout that I could drink and not start feeling the effects almost immediately. The beverage pours an extremely dark brown-black. Aromas are roasted malts, chocolate, coffee. Flavor is coffee, roasted malts, and a slight hint of chocolate. It’s not extraordinary, but I sure did enjoy it. nuplastikk (6224) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 29, 2008
12oz bottle. Deep, black color. Foamy, tan, soapy head. Dry and roasty with a smooth watery mouhfeel. Delicious chocolate and roasted malt aftertaste. Delicate hopping adds balance. I agree with the previous rater in finding a burnt, smoky character to the beer as well. Quite enjoyable stuff, the most noteworthy beer I’ve had from Starr Hill. morrdt (715) - Jacksonville, Florida, USA - MAY 7, 2009
12 ounce single bottle from Total Wine in Huntersville, North Carolina. Beers pours a nice dark brown color with a thin tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, a touch of cocoa and a little caramel I think. Taste is clean and matches up to the aroma and is a dry finish. This was a great stout. I will drink this one again.