Here’s the latest beer from Virginia’s Starr Hill Brewery, or at least it is the latest I have come across. The beer is called King of Hop, and it’s an imperial IPA in the modern vein. That means lots of those new-fangled tropical fruity hops, which I enjoy but will confess not as much as classic citrusy-resiny hops or even more classic earthy herbal grassy hops.
Actually, I guess this isn’t the latest beer from Starr Hill, since it’s a spring seasonal brew available from April to June according to the brewery website. King of Hop was introduced in 2014 and I’m getting my first taste in July of 2015 here at my local Taco Mac. The keg was on its last leg, so I figured that I’d better try it before it was gone.
The brewery says of King of the Hop on their website:
King of Hop Imperial India Pale Ale is brewed with heaps of American hops from the Pacific Northwest. This medium-bodied beer is dry-hopped to achieve an invigoratingly fresh aroma, which highlights the powerful citrus characteristics of the hops. Flavor notes of orange peel, passion fruit, grapefruit, and gooseberry lend balance to the bracingly herbal bite.
Starr Hill King of Hop has an alcohol content of 7.5% by volume, not all that high for an imperial IPA really and almost into the standard IPA range. It has 50 IBUs (also not all that high for the style) and I paid a rather expensive $7 for a 20-ounce mug at Taco Mac.
My mug of Starr Hill King of Hop arrived a bright orange amber color with a medium sized head of bubbly foam and a strong nose of passion fruit and pineapple. I got some thin caramel malt up front, then lots of those namby pamby passion fruit and pineapple tropical hop flavors with a hint of grapefruit citrus rind and resin and a dry bitter finish.
As I sipped, I could not help but think that this was not really my idea of an imperial IPA. Still, it wasn’t a bad beer, but at the price, it’s not really a beer I would buy again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.