Jun 4, 2018

3 Stars Star Dust

Not only have the hop flavors and overall presentation of IPAs shifted over time, so too have the hops in use themselves. It feels like beers like this can of Star Dust are using hop varieties that are much more delicate than IPAs of years gone by — the hop flavor is quick to fade and break down. This particular can was packaged in late February, just a scant three months and a couple of days ago, and yet, the hop profile isn’t as potent as it was when the can was sealed.

And this isn’t just a problem with Star Dust. I’ve encountered this issue quite frequently over the past couple of years — to the point that I don’t typically purchase any IPA older than a couple of months. If there’s no indication of bottling or canning date, it stays on the shelf. Had I known the flavors of this can were going to taste old and past its prime, it probably wouldn’t have made it into my purchase.

Now, I’m not saying that Star Dust is a bad beer — it’s not. I just wish I had encountered it much sooner as I can tell that it would have been packed with pungent hop flavors that I surely would have enjoyed. As it stands, the DIPA still presents notes of pine, a touch of cattiness and an echo of fruit, but it’s not as vibrant or as lively as it may have once been.

Maybe I’m being too particular or demanding when it comes to modern (D)IPAs. It’s just hard to believe that a style once brewed for longevity is no so fragile it only has a shelf life of a couple months. 3 Stars is not unique in this case as many breweries fall victim to the short life-span of the modern hop varieties and blends.