Mar 27, 2017

Starr Hill Orange King of Hop Imperial IPA

Last year, Charlottesville’s Starr Hill Brewery released a four-beer variety pack based on their tasty imperial IPA, King of Hop. That endeavor included full-flavored variants using grapefruit zest, lemon/lime zest and habanero peppers. For 2017, the company has three new recipes in store for your tastebuds to enjoy. First, up is the King of Hop brewed with orange peel.

Just like the base imperial IPA, Orange King of Hop weighs in at 7.5% ABV and 50 IBU. Tossed into the dry-hopping blend, however, is a good bit of orange zest. The effect the addition has on the beer is noticeable immediately upon cracking open a bottle. Loads of fresh orange wafts gently from the surface along with pine, grapefruit and floral notes. On the tongue, the ingredient provides an earthiness and light bitterness that accompanies resinous pine and tropical fruit notes wonderfully. The moderate hop bite peaks smoothly with that orange zest before everything fades comfortably to a lasting and satisfying finish.

King of Hop imperial IPA is already a fruity and floral beer, but the addition of this orange peel simply amplifies those tropical notes, adding a bit of earthiness in the process. Thankfully, the addition does not create an overly fruit juicy like many of the beer’s peers. Earthy, refreshing and simply damn good, Orange King of Hop is a great addition to the variant family.

This is a review of a promotional sample.