Harpoon UFO Pumpkin

I finally found this beer! It’s been on my list of beers to try since it came out. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 5.9%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s a simple story; we brew this beer because we like pumpkin (pumpkin pie, really) and thought an unfiltered pumpkin ale would be great, especially during the New England fall. Turns out it is. Imagine a pumpkin vine wound its way in a field of barley, and a brewer harvested it all to make a beer. Add Northwestern hops and a blend of spices, and you’ve got UFO Pumpkin. The malt combination provides a smooth body and slightly sweet flavor, which balances perfectly with the earthy notes derived from the pure pumpkin. And like all of our UFO beers, UFO Pumpkin is UnFiltered.”

Random: I’m having a serious craving for wings.

This beer poured with a one and a half finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a very hazy, warm orange color with light carbonation. The nose was warm with wheat and pumpkin and a touch of cinnamon. The taste was equally warm with orange and very light pumpkin with no spice to it. It had some honey sweetness at the end of the sip. The body was on the lighter side with carbonation. It had a quick finish with orange and pumpkin. This was a good wheat beer with pumpkin, but definitely did not fulfill the expectation of a pumpkin ale. Despite this, I liked it and would have it again, especially because it’s such an easy drinker. I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Harpoon UFO Big Squeeze Shandy

Another day of work over and only two more to go for the week. The other half is working late again tonight, so I’m parked in front of the couch finishing up Season 4 of “The Wire.” The Phils are playing and just tied up the game, but as usual, we don’t get the game…yet another reason to hate FIOS. Anyways, this is another brew that the other half liked and let me have one for “review purposes.” Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 4.5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When we first started thinking of a UFO summer seasonal, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We loaded up the vans for the beach and spent days ‘researching’ every combination of fresh fruit juice and beer we could think of until we discovered a combination that made our decision easy. Sweet with a hint of tartness, UFO Big Squeeze Shandy is perfect for all of your summer adventures!”

Random: This is the newest UFO seasonal from Harpoon.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated almost instantly. There was no lacing left on the glass. The body was an insanely cloudy dark orange with very little carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of citrus with lots of grapefruit juice and grapefruit pith specifically. The taste had a lot of grapefruit, which was balanced by lemonade notes, so it did not get too bitter. The body was on the more bitter side with high carbonation. It had a long finish with grapefruit juice. I liked this beer for what it was. It wasn’t overly complex, but if you like grapefruit, it’s definitely worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Harpoon Rich & Dan’s Rye IPA

Yesterday, the other half and I went to Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick. I ordered a beer. It came without a glass. I asked for a glass. I got a glass for it about fifteen minutes later. The glass was not all that clean, as you can see below. Anyways, I hadn’t tried this beer yet, so let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 6.9%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “After 25 years of running a brewery, Harpoon founders Rich and Dan thought it was high time they brewed a beer together. Truth be told, they didn’t want their name on it. Truth really be told, they have a running joke as to whether it’s Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA or Dan and Rich’s Rye IPA. Regardless of the order, the point is the same: they’ve been friends for three decades and still love having a beer together. It’s a testament to great beer and friendship, and it made sense, in this case, to name names. Grab your pals and toast to friendship with this Rye IPA! This beer is brewed with hops, a variety of malts, our proprietary yeast – the same yeast we’ve used since first brewing Harpoon Ale – and more hops. A lot more hops. Centennial and Chinook, and the dry hop addition of Falconer’s Flight add a multidimensional hop character, and the combination of Pale, Rye, Caramel 60, Flaked Rye, and Vienna yield a complex malt body that stands up to the spiciness of the rye and the pronounced hop flavor.”

Random: If you’re going to advertise yourself as a beer bar, you should at least offer a glass when serving a beer, just saying.

This brew poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the wonderfully clean glass. The body was a clear, amber color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was light with some grassy hops and rye present. There was also some lemon rind as well. The taste was a bit stronger than the nose. There was definite rye notes with some spice and grass with lemon on the end. After a few sips, I got a touch of pine as well. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon. This beer was only alright and I wouldn’t rush back to have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen

It’s Sunday, which is my only day off this week. I woke up really early today for no reason other than the cat was hungry. I also managed to finish my Netflix disc that was sitting for a few days while the lawyer was asleep and I also ordered some Mother’s Day gifts and cat food, so I was rather productive. Here’s a backlogged beer review. Let’s see how I liked it.

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ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We started brewing UFO Hefeweizen in 1998 because it was a style that our brewers had enjoyed while visiting the Pacific Northwest, but there weren’t any great interpretations being brewed locally in Boston. UFO Hefeweizen, an American wheat beer, pours a cloudy, golden color with a dense, frothy head. Because it is unfiltered, the yeast accounts for the cloudiness of the pour as well as a faint but clear citrus-like character. We serve UFO Hefeweizen with a wedge of lemon to complement its fruity, tart fragrance.”

Random: I watched another episode of “Carnivale.” I’m still not a huge fan.

This beer poured with a huge, three finger, egg white head that dissipated very slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly hazy straw yellow color with very little carbonation visible. The nose had notes of wheat, lemon and a touch of clove. For the style, it was relatively subtle. The taste was even more bland. I got some wheat with banana and pale malt, and nothing else. The spice that was in the nose definitely did not make an appearance in the taste. There wasn’t even a big yeast characteristic to it. The body was on the thinner side and the carbonation was definitely too low for the style. It had a quick finish with banana and wheat. This beer was definitely drinkable, but  a bit boring. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale

It’s been forever since I’ve had a beer from Harpoon, and by forever, I mean slightly over a year. This beer came out a few years back and I’ve been trying to find it ever since. I love cranberries and always wondered why more breweries haven’t put out cranberry beers, especially as a fall seasonal brew. I picked up a sixer of this in the fall for the lawyer and she seemed to enjoy, so hopefully I like this one.

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ABV: 5.9%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We brew Grateful Harvest because we love Thanksgiving here in New England and thought a cranberry ale would be a perfect beer for the occasion. The cranberries are harvested from the local bogs of AD Makepeace, miles from where the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock! But this beer is about more than history. We donate $1 per six-pack to the local food bank in the area in which it was purchased. Through Grateful Harvest Ale and our Harpoon Helps program, we have supported food banks and numerous other charities. It is all part of our mission to be a good neighbor.”

Random: I have always found Harpoon labels to be incredibly boring. I think they need some updating.

This beer poured with a two finger, slightly off white head. It dissipated relatively slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, maple color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was one-dimensional with just tart cranberries and nothing else. The taste had a bit more going on. I got the tart cranberries that were in the nose, but also a little bit of nutty caramel malt. Despite the malt, this was definitely a fruit forward beer with cranberry taking center stage. The flavors lasted awhile and made for a long, fruity finish. The beer was thicker than I expected with moderate carbonation. I wanted to love this beer, but it was only alright. If it was going to be a fruit beer, the malt made for an odd nutty note that took away from the cranberry. I would buy this again, if only for the fact that it is a charitable beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Harpoon Celtic Ale

Another day closer to the weekend! It was an absolutely beautiful day out today. Unfortunately, I was stuck inside for most of the day. Katie came over and made me dinner, which was really nice. We’re sitting and watching that weird reality show, 19 and Counting. I seriously do not understand how anyone could have that many kids. It’s pretty scary. So, tonight I’m starting with my Irish themed beers in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s the first one of the mixed 6 pack.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Irish Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Harpoon Celtic Ale is an Irish red ale. In its first year of production, it was available only on tap in the Greater Boston area. This was Harpoon’s salute to and the celebration of St Patrick. The following year it became Harpoon’s official spring seasonal beer. Harpoon Celtic Ale features a deep amber color. The flavor is malty and complex. Celtic Ale has a moderate hop finish that, along with the generous amounts of malt, makes for a medium bodied, smooth, rich beer. Try serving Celtic Ale with a hearty stew… the beer’s robust character will complement the bold flavors.”

Random: I wonder if these people are going to end up with more than 19 kids. Because seriously, that had to hurt. A lot.

This brew poured with a half a finger of off white head on top of a reddish-brown body with a large amount of visible carbonation. The nose presented with a generous amount of nuttiness with a hint of maple. The taste starts with a bit of caramel, some floral hops and a bit of sweetness. There was also a hint of nuttiness to it. The flavors were okay, but the body was way too thin and the carbonation was overwhelming and detracted from the flavors. The finish was pretty quick with a bit of the floral quality from the flavor. I thought this brew was going to be much better than it was. Although I’m glad I tried it, I wouldn’t have this brew again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Catamount Maple Wheat

I totally had a case of the Mondays today. Somehow, I actually dragged my behind to the gym and got a workout in. I ran a few errands after the gym and then came home. I’m now watching the Indians game while I’m getting ready for dinner. Tonight’s selection is a brew that interested me, probably because it has maple in it. As I pulled the bomber out of the fridge, I noticed the best by date was 5/15/11…hopefully it’s still good.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the Harpoon website, “Catamount Maple Wheat is a full-bodied, smooth wheat ale made with genuine Vermont maple syrup. The original version of this beer was brewed in the winter of 2009 by Harpoon Vermont sales representative John Baker.  Harpoon brewer Brett Simmons based his 2011 version on John’s recipe, with some tweaks to make it his own.  It is brewed with a combination of wheat malt, pale malt, caramel malt, and mildly hopped with Willamette. The balance of malts and hops allows the distinct flavor and aroma of real Vermont maple syrup to take the lead. The pure Vermont maple syrup used in the beer came from Baker Farm in East Dummerston – the family farm of John Baker – and Scrag Mountain Sugar House in Waitsfield. The maple sweetness and body that blankets this velvety amber beer showcases one of New England’s most beloved traditions.”

Random: I’m definitely going to be sore from my workout tomorrow.

The brew poured with a nice and fluffy one finger white head. The body was a clear chestnut color with moderate active carbonation. It was almost the color of maple syrup, just a shade or two lighter. On the nose, there were definite notes of wheat and a bit of sweetness from what I can assume was from the addition of the maple syrup. On the taste, the first thing that hit me was all the malt up front. It was definitely a caramel sweetness, not as much maple as I expected. The wheat really came out at the end with a hint of banana, but no real spice. The finish was a bit of wheat. Although it was missing the maple flavor that I was really hoping for, this is a pretty light brew and an easy drinker that has a decent amount of flavor to it. I’m not going to have a problem finishing this brew. If you still see this beer around, as it’s part of the 100 barrel series and it’s still okay according to the best by date, grab it. It’s worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0