Later this evening we’ll be going to an Oktoberfest party. Picking up a 1/2 keg of Samuel Adams Octoberfest on the way there. Gonna be a GREAT time. Lazing about until then. This morning I received an awesome email from Silvio. It was like 10:15 and Silvio mentioned that due to a really busy week at work he was just starting his weekly review. The 10:00am beer review. LOVE IT! This is why I have Silvio on here once a week. A man after my own heart…
After this week at work, the only thing I could think about was relaxing with a nice cold IPA. I’m not going to complain, especially after the week Josh had, but my brain was overheated and the only remedy I know of is hops, and lots of them.
I picked up a six pack of Starr Hill’s Northern Lights IPA. This is a local brewery, based in Charlottesville, VA, and I’ve had their beers before at area restaurants, but never reviewed one. I like to give some love to Commonwealth breweries here on LIBA, and this turned out to be a great choice.
The pour was great, with an opaque dark copper color and thick foam crown at least a finger tall. The aroma was serious – I picked up lots of hops, with a ton of floral notes and interesting enough, a spicy malt on the end.
The flavor was incredible – if you like strong hops, you’ll love this beer. I’ve sparingly used the word “stanky” on LIBA before to describe super-serious hops flavors, and I have to dust it off for this review. Seriously, I felt like I was chewing on a handful of hops flowers (or at least what I assume that tastes like). As I drank the glass down, the beer left lots of lacing.
I was a little let down that the spicy malt aroma didn’t make an appearance in the flavor, but that’s a minor complaint. This beer is definitely full-bodied, and dominated by a floral and mellow bitter middle and end. The aftertaste is impressive too, as the long bitter end note sticks around well after you’ve taken your sip. If anyone made hops toothpaste, this is probably what brushing your teeth with it would be like.
After reviewing a month’s worth of Oktoberfests, I really needed a kick-ass IPA, and Starr Hill delivered. This is a well-balanced IPA in every sense, even down to the 6.5% ABV. I know LIBA has some dedicated Virginian readers, and I’d encourage you to try this brew – your taste buds will thank me!