Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 93 Rating - Amber Ale by Starr Hill Brewery

March, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Starr Hill Amber Ale was judged as an Irish Red Ale, BJCP Style Category 15A. Light caramel notes with some floral and earthy hops as well as some toasty malt notes come through with a hint of toffee in the aroma. The fermentation character is clea, and the beer pours a copper color with bright clarity. A thin, wispy, light tan foam ring is present but expected for the style. The caramel and toffee malts are offset by some grainy notes and just enough bitterness come up at the end to keep it from presenting itself as too sweet. The earthy and floral hops reappear at the end but the toffee lingers into the aftertaste. There may be some roasted malts present, aiding in the drying effect, but I don’t taste them and I kind of wish I could – just a little. Clean fermentation and nothing off. Very approachable Irish Red that leans toward an American interpretation in its higher hop presence and lack of underlying roasted malt. Nevertheless, this is a solid example of the style and very quaffable, nicely balanced and overall very well made.