Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Front Row by Starr Hill Brewery

March, 2018

Front Row

Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Front Row Golden Ale was judged as a Blond Ale, BJCP Style Category 18A. Fresh lemons and floral hops are present up front. Some low-level honey malt combines with a little lightly-  toasted malt aspect for a nicely balanced aroma presentation. As it warms up I get a hint of very inviting pineapple. The beer has a clean fermentation character and pours a clear golden color with a big creamy off-white head that leaves a beautiful Belgian lace. The lemony hops are found in the flavor as well, joined by a hint of resin. Toasty malt is accompanied by some honey notes and balanced by a firm bitterness. A touch of candy-like sweetness entered toward the finish but is replaced by some citrus, which lingers into the aftertaste, and a medium-dry finish. A medium-light body with moderate carbonation adds a little bite but it manages to leave a creamy coating when all is said and done. It leans a little more toward hops than your standard blonde ale. What I appreciate the most is that while it is easy-drinking and approachable, it still holds some subtle complexities throughout.