Our friends at Starr Hill have released another variety pack. We love this format as it changes things up a bit and in this case, one of our go-to styles, the IPA, is center focus. While Starr Hill rarely disappoints, I can already see two in here that I’m not sure what to expect – the Kveik IPA and the East Coast IPA. We should also note that all of these beers clock in at 7.0% ABV. Let’s jump in.
Shade | Kveik IPA: Of the four in the pack, this one stood out to me the most. I haven’t had much experience with Kveik yeast, at least that I know of. The particular yeast in this beer is the Hornindal Norwegian yeast. Let’s check it out. This beer pours a great gold color, is clear and has a white, medium head that sticks around. On the nose I’m finding pineapple, mango and citrus that’s easy to credit to the hops but these aromas are unique in that I believe some yeast character is driving some of this aroma. I’m also finding some grassy/earthy aromas that I’m wondering if could be coming from the yeast but could also be coming from the hops. This beer coats the palate very well and is sweet at first, bitter at the back but not at all dry. A very unique beer that I’d have a hard time finding something to compare to. However, the more I drink the more I’m enjoying it…..until my wife took it.
AC | Amarillo Citra IPA: This beer pours a gold/light gold hue, clear, with a white medium-low head. On the nose I’m finding a sweet citrus note that slightly dominates over a bread-like malty sweetness. This beer hits the palate with a wonderful bouquet of citrus-hop goodness and some light malt sweetness. For a 7.0% IPA, this beer could be labeled “refreshing” thus, given the flavor profile, I understand the name “AC” for this particular beer. The body is medium and while it leaves an initial bitterness, it fades from the back of the mouth to the tip of the tongue making the next sip all the more rewarding.
Swim | New England Style IPA: This beer pours gold, slightly cloudy, white low to moderate head. On the nose this beer is more tropical than citrus, pineapple is also easy to pick out. On the palate the tropical flavors come forward very strong, sweet, slight bitterness at the back. The body of this beer isn’t as big as the previous beers – I’m finding it to be light on the palate. New England IPAs are all the rage right now and it’s nice to have one that isn’t a big haze bomb and easy to drink. Honestly, this is a very pleasant beer.
Mountain Air | East Coast IPA: While these beers are all pretty close in color, this one seems to be the darkest – a dark gold, almost amber hue. The head isn’t as a brilliant white as the others but it hangs around. Clarity is brilliant. On the nose I first fine earthy notes and pine and dare I say some malty sweetness? The hops give an immediate punch on the first sip, more bitter up front and a slight sweetness as the beer leaves the palate. The pine and earthy flavors certainly come through with, perhaps, a gentle citrus note. It’s not often you run across a beer labeled as “east coast” but this beer certainly shows some aggressive mountain-like qualities, thus the name.
Final snobs: Well done Starr Hill! While I enjoyed all of these, the two that I marked earlier are turning out to be my favorites – the Kveik and the Mountain Air. I would certainly have all of these again but if I found those two in sixers, I’d be down.
Keep and eye out for the Hopped as Hell IPA Variety Pack and try all of these out for yourself!
Several glasses from Pretentious Glass Company in this post – check ’em out, great people, great glasses. Prost!