Mar 24, 2016

Starr Hill King of Hop Imperial IPA

Starr Hill’s King of Hop has been around for a couple of years now — I’ve actually enjoyed it a handful of times prior to this official review — but the first weekend of April marks the availability of something special. Along with the 7.5% ABV (50 IBU) imperial IPA, the brewery is releasing an unprecedented mixed 12-pack that features three additional variants. One contains grapefruit zest, one has a blend of lemon/lime zest and the final features habanero peppers. I think this is a great idea: share an outstanding beer and then offer a few different tweaks to that beer, showing what a few adjuncts can do.

But first, let’s get a baseline for the rest of the reviews. King of Hop is a solid imperial IPA. Resinous pine and grapefruit dominate as tropical fruits and herbal hop traits fill in behind. The level of bitterness is light-to-moderate, but still enough there to tingle the palate and remind you of the beer style you’re drinking.

This is the type of beer that you just can’t really complain about. It’s got great flavor from start to finish and hits all the marks for the genre. King of Hop isn’t the most overwhelmingly “hoppy” imperial IPA, but it’s balanced overall nature makes for a heck of a beer. It also makes for a platform with which the brewery can have a little fun — namely dry-hopping the heck out of it with fruit zest or habanero peppers.

This is a review of a promotional sample.