Wednesday, December 30, 2009

183. Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA

Our second beer from Starr Hill Brewing; our last one was Jomo Lager. Northern Lights IPA begins with a skunky hop nose (Elli said she wanted to trademark that term), mostly, it would seem, from the large volume of hops in the beer. It has a soft copper color with a light haze, a light white head, and it leaves some lacing on the glass. Northern Lights IPA has a dry biscuit malt front that moves into a big bitterness and finishes with a clean, lingering bitterness, and has a decent carbonation bite. It is slightly astringent in the mouth; the bitterness in the beer curls the tongue and the back of the throat. Overall, it is a bit heavy handed with the bitterness; the focus on bitterness limits the balance and diminishes the malt presence, which is not evident across the flavor profile. While the beer is very drinkable, it is very one dimensional, with the bitterness cutting out other elements of the beer.

From the Starr Hill website: “Northern Lights is an extra-special India Pale Ale that is now available year-round. Characterized by its full-flavored bitterness and 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.”

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 52
Malts: 2-row, Caramel, Munich, & Wheat
Hops: Cascade


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