Sunday, August 7th 2011
Northern Lights India Pale Ale
(Starr Hill Brewing Company)
Another canned offering from the growing craft beer-land that is the American Southeast. Northern Lights IPA is joined by Festie as one of the first two canned brews from Starr Hill with more to come we'd imagine. Cheers!
From the Starr Hill site:
"A classic American-style India Pale Ale, Northern Lights weighs in at 52 IBUs and 6.5% ABV. Characterized by its full-flavored bitterness and poignant citrus-floral aroma, a perfect blend of barley and hops make this a very balanced IPA. For the craftbrew connoisseur, Northern Lights is a deliciously crafted piece of the heavens."
Here we go...
Pour - nice looking amber to dark golden in appearance with some nice rubyish highlights and an inch or so of foamy white head on top. Some lacing present in the glass before I can manage a sip. Not a bad looking pour.
Aroma - the first things I get from sniffing the glass are lemon juice and caramel malt. Some other sweet citrus aroma are present but not a whole lot of hops going on here. More on the sweet to malty side in the nose.
Taste - following suit with the aroma, the first taste on my tongue is that of sweet malt. Not overly cloying but definitely sweet. There is some decent bitterness hitting the back and sides of the tongue but not a defined hop flavor, just bitter. A couple sips in and I begin to enjoy this beer. The flavors begin to melt together and that sweetness begins to balance out with the hop/bitter flavors that are present.
Overall - Sure, this is more on the malty side when it comes to IPAs but you can't hold anything against it for that. Creative license is the name of the game when it comes to making beer. Style guidelines are just that. Guidelines. Drinkable and tasty at that.
Would I buy more of it? - if I find myself in Virginia again for work sometime in the foreseeable future I'd certainly pick some more of these up. Having visited the brewpub in Charlottesville a few years back I'd also be happy to check that place out again too.
Note - According the the Starr Hill site, "Northern Lights is a beer that used to be called Stinky; it has a lot of hops." I'm also thinking that the Northern Lights reference may not be a reference to the Aurora Borealis and perhaps a reference to a kind relative of the almighty hop. Hmmm....
Posted by Russ
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Labels: American IPAs