Apr 1, 2016

Starr Hill Habanero King of Hop

When the complimentary array of Starr Hill King of Hop Imperial IPA samples arrived a couple of weeks ago, there was one that I was hottly anticipating more so than the rest — ’cause, you know, it’s been dry-hopped with habanero peppers… get it?… hottly anticpating… habanero?…

Anyways, the brewery’s Habanero King of Hop isn’t the first beer of this style that I’ve ever had made with chili peppers. Hell, it’s not even the first I’ve had this year, but it is the one, so far, that has packed the most well balanced habanero flavor and heat in that 12 ounce bottle.

I’ve stated on this site before that I’m a fan of spicy food, sauces, you name it, but I also like balance in my beer. And while the peppery character within Habanero King of Hop is more apparent than many of the IPA’s peers, the pepper doesn’t overwhelm the palate. I’m sure that the heat may be, perhaps, too much for some folks, but for those looking for a little spice in their life, the moderate amount of heat within this golden brew may be what they were looking for.

The habanero pepper also has a bit of a fruity character that goes wonderfully with King of Hop’s grapefruit presence. Of the many chili-infused beers I’ve enjoyed there have been some much hotter than this (hey there, Ghost Face Killah), but none more balanced with heat and flavor. This is not a beer for everyone, but as part of the brewery’s Four Kings variety pack, it serves as a nice diversion from the norm.

This is a review of a promotional sample.