Harpoon 100 Barrel Series EHOP

I haven’t had a Harpoon Barrel Series in a long time. They used to put out some impressive stuff, so let’s see if this one is decent.

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ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In 2014 we became employee owned and our friends from Deschutes Brewery were among the first to welcome us to the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) club. They became an invaluable resource for us as we began to navigate our way into the new world of employee ownership. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for us to decide to brew a beer together. Two versions of the EHOP beer will be released: one brewed at our brewery in Boston and the other brewed at Deschutes in Bend, Oregon. Harpoon brewer Ethan Elston and Deschutes brewer Ryan Schmiege collaborated on both recipes. While each beer is unique, both recipes include employee-grown hops (EHOPs). The hops, along with locally sourced sage and thyme, create a full bodied amber ale that has a malty sweetness and a lingering spiciness. Both versions will be bottled and kegged for a release in Mid-Late October. Cheers to craft brewing independence!”

Random: “Criminal Minds” is really good this season.

The beer poured with a two finger, off white head that was very thick and fluffy. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany color with light carbonation. The nose had a lot of malt and sweetness. Toffee and caramel came through. There were herbal notes as well, but I didn’t pick up much bitterness. The taste had a huge amount of malt. Lots of caramel candy and toffee. Bread came through next. Again, I didn’t get a huge amount of hops from this. They manifested in a vegetal and herbal way. The booze was well hidden. It had a long and malty finish. This was $7.99 for the bomber ($.36 per ounce). This was a really robust amber and I’m not sure why this was classified as a double IPA. I would have this one again, although it didn’t blow my mind.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Harpoon Take 5 Session IPA

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a beer from Harpoon. Honestly, I’m just not drawn to them on the shelves. I don’t find many of their beers exciting and I only picked this one up because I needed to fill a mixed six-pack. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 4.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There are a lot things that we all have to do every day; Harpoon Take 5 Session IPA was brewed to celebrate the things we want to do. With a 4.3% ABV and 43 IBUs, this newest member of Harpoon’s year-round lineup is meant for those spontaneous moments, meeting up with friends and taking a break for fun. Harpoon Take 5 was first brewed on the Brewery’s 10-barrel system in early 2014. With each pilot batch the recipe was tweaked until the desired balance between hop aroma and malt character was achieved. This final version begins with a vibrant citrus and pine hop aroma from Simcoe and Amarillo hops and follows through with a sturdy malt profile from the combination of Pale, Vienna, Carapils, and English Amber malts. Hop forward but not too bitter, low ABV but with a significant malt body – a truly sessionable beer.”

Random: I wonder what session style will become the new popular beer.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy, straw yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose had huge amounts of pine, I assume from the Simcoe hops. I didn’t pick up the citrus because the pine was so prominent. The taste was slightly more mellow. It still had generous amounts of pine, but also had grapefruit rind. There was some slight sweetness at the end from the malt. The body was thicker than I expected with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with pine resin. A single of this was $1.50 ($.12 per ounce), which is pretty cheap for a craft beer. I enjoyed the fact that it drank as much bigger beer than it was and wouldn’t hesitate in having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Harpoon Chocolate Stout

Here’s another leftover from a Christmas mixed pack. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our head brewer at our Windsor brewery homebrewed a batch of chocolate stout for himself after trying the style at a beer dinner and loving it. After several Harpooners tried Scott’s batch, we knew that we needed to add this beer to our lineup. It was originally introduced as a limited edition extra in our winter mix pack back in 2008, but it was soon apparent that our drinkers wanted more of this beer (a beer made with chocolate…not too hard to understand!), so we brought it back in 6-packs in 2010. A chocolate stout is a beer with a noticeable dark chocolate flavor. This flavor is created from the use of darker, more aromatic malt that has been roasted or kilned until it acquires a chocolate color. Harpoon Chocolate Stout is brewed with an abundance of chocolate malt and a touch of chocolate.”

Random: We’re getting through the backlog rather rapidly. This makes me happy.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with heavy carbonation visible despite the color. The nose was filled with very strong, dark chocolate. Cocoa was present as well. The taste also had a lot of cocoa and dark chocolate. Light smoke was present with roasted malt. The body was too thin and the carbonation needed to be dialed up. The finish was long with cocoa powder. This beer was only alright to me. Although it was only $1.33 a bottle, which broke down to $.11 per ounce, which is quite affordable, this didn’t floor me. I guess it would be an alright introductory beer for someone just getting into stouts. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Harpoon UFO White

We spread out some birdseed on the balcony and the cat is intently watching the birds through the window. He has been known to run at them and then knock his head into the glass. Anyways, onto a beer that I know I’ve had before, but never reviewed. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 4.8%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Since we introduced UFO White in 2009, our brewers have hand-ground the spices used in this beer to make sure they were the proper consistency. That’s dedication! All that hard work seems to be worth it – UFO White is our fastest growing beer style. Light, crisp, refreshing UFO White follows in the tradition of spiced wheat beers that have been brewed in Belgium for well over 300 years. Brewed with orange peel and coriander, UFO White is the perfect choice for a summer’s barbecue, a night out with friends or any time you’re thirsting for something a little different. Like all UFO beers, we leave UFO White UnFiltered.”

Random: I wish I had the meow’s football sweater for him to wear during the game.

This beer poured with a three finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing. The body was a cloudy, dark lemon yellow color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had huge notes of orange slice and nothing else. The taste was very bright with lots of orange and wheat. There was very little spice to it. I didn’t get much in the flavor profile. The body was on the medium side of the style with high carbonation. It had a quick, yet bright orange finish. For $1.33 a bottle, this broke down to $.11 an ounce, which was very affordable for this easy drinking, introductory witbier. For what this was, it was really enjoyable and I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Harpoon Winter Warmer

This review marks number 1700 for the blog. I wish I had chosen a more exciting beer for it…

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ABV: 5.9%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Harpoon Winter Warmer was the first seasonal beer we brewed and, as a matter of fact, it was one of the first seasonal beers in the country. To this day, we still look forward to the first Winter Warmer bottling of the season as a sign of the approaching holidays. From the label to the aroma to the flavor, it all reminds us of family get-togethers, and the beers that help make the holidays so festive. Brewed since 1988, this beer has become a New England seasonal classic. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the aroma. The taste is a rich combination of the holiday spices and the hearty malt backbone. There is a mild sweetness to the finish along with the lingering flavor of the spices.”

Random: This was a leftover from a mixed twelve pack from Christmas.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. There was a half a finger of crown left on top of the clear, mahogany body with moderate carbonation. The nose had a lot of caramel malt and cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste was pretty bad. It was a total spice bomb that overpowered any other flavor that should have been in there. Couple that with the fact the beer was insanely thin and needed a touch more carbonation. The finish was long and filled with nutmeg. To me, this beer was a winter warmer done wrong. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Harpoon UFO Gingerland

This is the newest addition to the Harpoon UFO lineup. The other half picked this up at Canal’s because she thought she would enjoy it. I saved one to review. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 5.2%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It took a while for us to come up with a UFO beer that could withstand the darkest days of the year, but the warmth of ginger combined with the seasonal spice of cinnamon and clove form a perfect companion for a visit to Gingerland. Brewed, not Baked. Poured, not sliced. Inspired by a classic tale. Deliciously spiced. Welcome to Gingerland. Cinnamon, clove and ginger combine with an unfiltered wheat beer in this deliciously spiced, gingerbread-inspired beer.”

Random: I tried pickled okra today. It was fuzzy and unpleasant. I don’t think I’m a fan.

This beer poured with a half a finger of pure white head that dissipated almost instantly. No lacing was left on the glass. The body was hazy and dark orange in color with heavy carbonation visible. The nose was very fragrant with gingerbread and yeast and cinnamon. The taste had a marked yeast presence and had gingerbread, clove and cinnamon. After a few sips, vanilla came through on the palate. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a long finish with gingerbread and vanilla. This beer was $1.58 for the bottle, which breaks down to $.13 per ounce. Despite this being a very reasonably priced beer, the flavors got cloying after awhile. I couldn’t see having more than one of these.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin

Here’s the last post for the day. The other half and I have to start getting ready to head out. This is also one of the last pumpkin beers that I bought this season. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 10.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Last fall our brewers were improvising a new beer in our 10-barrel kettle. We had some fresh pumpkin puree leftover from a recent brew of our UFO Pumpkin, so the brewers threw that in the kettle with a bit of molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some roasted malts. It turned out to be delicious, so we thought we’d share it with everyone. Half imperial stout, half pumpkin ale, with aromas of dried fruit, chocolate, and freshly baked pumpkin pie, this black full-bodied stout is ready to be enjoyed now or saved for a chilly fall evening.”

Random: Despite the fact that the other half and I have no interest in ever getting a dog, we’re watching the National Dog Show.

This beer poured with a half a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with moderate carbonation. The nose had notes of smoke, pumpkin and roasted malts. The taste was really intense with a lot of smoke and pumpkin along with typical fall spices, specifically cinnamon and nutmeg along with some mineral water. Light notes of molasses came through as well and the ABV was well-hidden. There were roasted malts and chocolate, but the pumpkin and spice aspect were held back by the intensity of the smoke. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with smoke and ash and fall spice. This was $7.09 for the bomber, which breaks down to $.32 an ounce. For that price, it was an alright beer, but nothing to write home about. I think it needs some tweaking.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0