Here at Stouts & Stilettos, we like to mix things up and make it interesting. So today, Sonora and I (Chelsie) wanted to do a little side by side taste testing. I’m in Pennsylvania and Sonora resides in Virginia. Even though we’re hours apart, we both seem to have access to the same brands and beers for the most part. It’s fun to share our thoughts with each other… and now with you! Our friends at Starr Hill Brewery located in Charlottesville, Virginia, sent us two brews to try for our long distance experiment.
Bonus: We threw in some cooking recipes in at the end so you can drink and EAT theses brew selections.
STARR HILL REVIVER RED IPA
I drank this less than a week after it was packaged (Jan 25), and the freshness was very noticeable! On the nose, I got pineapple and grapefruit. On the palate, it was very fresh and clean, with flavors of citrus, cedar, pine, and a touch of melon. It boasted a smooth mouthfeel without a lot of resin, yet it was still very rich in flavor.
I could see pairing it with piccata, pepperjack cheese, grapes, fresh cantaloupe, or fresh honeydew melon.
(Untappd: 4 out of 5 stars)
I’m all about IPAs and am intrigued by a lot of the variations being brewed as of late. So when I got my hands on this Red IPA from Starr Hill, I couldn’t help but to say, “Yes. I need to drink that.”
I noted flavors of caramel, hazelnut, milk chocolate, and raisin. There was quite a bit of sweetness up front with a mildly bitter hop finish. This is NOT a hop bomb like traditional IPAs. For me, I did not detect the citrus from the hops used. It was more of a red ale with a splash of grassy hops at the end. Very much the style of IPAs I see coming out of the Midwest – lots of malt character.
(Untappd: 3.75 out of 5 stars)
STARR HILL LITTLE RED ROOSTARR COFFEE CREAM STOUT
The coffee is strong with this one, tasting like a fresh cold brew for the evening hours. I get strong chicory and roasty notes; however, it is neither harsh nor bitter. It’s a sipper, but because of its pleasantness as opposed to strength or thickness.
(Untappd: 4 out of 5 stars)
Although not my first preference in beer styles, I’ve been exploring more and more Coffee Ales and appreciate the complexity and richness in taste. I was definitely up for giving Little Red Roostarr a try. Plus, the beer label design is quite stunning. #LabelLove
I detected bold coffee – all the coffee – THIS IS BIG COFFEE! Above all of that boldness was notes of dark chocolate, hazelnut, caramel and a subtle licorice snap at the end. Would have liked a little creamier mouthfeel because of the name: Cream Stout. Drinking this on tap, perhaps on nitro, would make this happen for me.
(Untappd: 3.5 out of 5 stars)
COOKING TIPS FROM CHELSIE
I can’t resist cooking with beer. One bottle to cook with. One bottle to drink while cooking and then eating my creation. I don’t get crazy with complicated recipes. Just simple pub food.
I used Reviver Red IPA to steam/boil some wild caught shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. I mixed in some Old Bay and sea salt for extra zip while cooking. Just a few minutes in the pot and they’re perfectly pink and ready to eat served with a side of tangy cocktail sauce.
The best part? The beer cooks down to a flavorful syrup that I spoon over the sausage giving it more color and taste. Beer Gravy!
Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and peas.
(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)