Star ale has quite a dark colour, but it’s a deep garnet dark, rather than impenetrable, stout-dark. The tan head really doesn’t last that long at all and quickly collapses to a very sparse covering.
From the other side of the room Star ale looks almost like a glass of Coke, which could be useful if you were an under-age drinker or something. (Not that I condone underage drinking, right kids?)
The aroma is incredibly complex and inviting; being almost vinous, with subtle, faintly acetic notes, the dark malts are definitely to the fore, with coffee, dark bitter chocolate featuring heavily in the mix…all partnered by a substantial alcoholic wallop.
Taste-wise, we’re talking balanced alcohol, chocolate and biscuit maltiness with a deep caramel sweetness in the background. It’s a really nice balance of flavours. There’s virtually no hop bitterness up front, but the after-taste is good, long-lasting and full of a hop and malt bitterness.
All in all it’s tasty, fulfilling and has a good mouth feel which is helped in part by quite a delicate effervescence.
This is another beer that suggests Christmas to me. As I was drinking it I thought how well it’d go with Christmas pudding or even Christmas cake. Maybe it’d make a good dessert beer? Either way it’s a cracking ale. Put it on your “to drink” list.
I’ve no idea where it came from as I shared the bottle with my father-in-law, so you’ve got away with it this time, supermarkets…