Category Archives: Harpoon

Review of Harpoon Summer Beer.

Let’s try another Summer refresher for today’s craft beer review, what do ya say? 

How about a Harpoon Summer Beer from the Harpoon Brewery ( located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Let’s see what the commercial description has to say about this brew.

Harpoon Summer Beer is a Kolsch style ale.  Originating in the Rhineland city of Cologne (Koln), Kolsch ales have the characteristics that many people associate with lager beers.  Kolsch is brewed with an ale yeast, but like other northern German light ales, it is straw gold in color and light bodied.  The flavor is mild.  The hopping levels provide a crisp, dry finish that make this beer particularly refreshing.    

Let’s try it.

This beer has an ABV of 5.5% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The appearance on the Harpoon Summer Beer was a clear, golden/straw yellow color with a bright white, soapy, fluffy head.  It had very nice size, however the retention time was limited and the lacing was only average in my opinion.  I did find a few bubbles rising to the top to create a nice aesthetic appeal.

In the nose, I picked up on some mild lemon citrus hints, fresh green apples and a grainy/biscuity malt.  The background presented a light flowery hop profile.  After it warmed a bit, the sweetness from the citrus began to die down and the maltiness started to stand out a touch more.  The overall fragrances were balanced pretty well, however I thought them to be a little complacent.

The taste revealed a nice, light lemon grass flavor with a small hop bite and bitterness.  A minute amount of sourness was noticed and I did find that it lingered into the aftertaste a touch longer than I tend to like.  Some faint crackers and wafers added a little “smoothness” to the taste.  Also, I started to notice the most minuscule spice of pepper or coriander right at the very end.  Like the aroma, the flavor seemed to be a tad tranquil.

The mouthfeel was medium to thin, mostly dry, smooth, crisp and thirst quenching.  Like the description says, it is VERY refreshing.  What flavor was left on the palate dissipated rather quickly after the drink went down the throat however.

No doubt about it, this would be a great Summer beer.  The only thing is…. I’ve had better.  Kolsch’s are not my first choice when it comes to style.  I like them, but I have to be in the mood for them.  A hot, humid day may put me in the mood pretty quick though!!!  This particular beer didn’t quite have the “kick” or “oomph” that I was looking for.  Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely drink it and the drinkibility rating would be pretty high, but for me, it was just “ok.”  Everything seemed to be balanced well, although just subdued and meek.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I hope you guys are enjoying the reviews.

Don’t hesitate to comment.


Score:  3.4 out of 5
Grade:  B- 

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Country: USA, Harpoon


Review of Harpoon Chocolate Stout

Today’s craft beer review is going to be of the Harpoon Chocolate Stout from the Harpoon Brewery located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Another chocolate delight I’m hoping!!!

It’s a seasonal that’s only available from November through April.  

From the website,, I found this description.

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.

Well, I’m guessing it has chocolate in it?!?! 

This beer has an ABV of 5.9% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The Harpoon Chocolate Stout poured a very dark brown to black color with a tan head with only average size and retention.  It did leave some surprisingly good lacing though.  The cap ended up settling to an “ok” film on top.  A few ruby highlights grace the the bottom and sides when held directly toward the light.

The aroma was pretty straight forward I thought.  Some roasted chocolate and some roasted, slightly smokey, coffee notes were the prime factors.  The coffee aroma is a little more relaxed than the chocolate and the chocolate seemed to bring about a cocoa powder or cocoa nibs characteristic.  I also found that it had a touch of toasty nuttiness.  Overall, a pretty good aroma.  Nothing out of the ordinary or misinterpreted.

The taste had a dry, chocolate, chalky flavor with some added bitterness.  Coffee flavors were observed and seemed to be a bit more forthcoming in the taste.  No discernible profiles of dark fruit or nuttiness were encountered in the taste.  At least I didn’t find any.  In general, just a nicely roasted, decently well balanced flavor profile.

The mouthfeel was medium, but not quite as smooth or creamy as some of the other Stouts I’ve come across.  It was still alright though.  It covered the palate adequately and it was sufficiently dry to boot.

I thought this was a pretty good, solid, sturdy little Chocolate Stout.  It’s not the best I’ve had, but it was entirely enjoyable, drinkable and worth a try if it’s available in your area next Winter.  It wasn’t an overly heavy or filling beer, therefore I could, definitely, see myself quaffing a few of these during one setting on a cool evening.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  Sorry this post went out so late.  I’ll try to do better next time.


Score:  3.85 out of 5
Grade:  B+   

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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Country: USA, Harpoon


Review of Harpoon IPA

Today, I thought I would review another IPA.  It’s been a few posts since my last one and I was in the mood for a fresh, hoppy ale.

The beer of choice is the Harpoon IPA from the Harpoon Brewery located in Boston, Massachusetts.  This is the flagship brew from Harpoon and one that I have, actually, never had.  

From the website,, we find this description: 

Harpoon IPA is an interpretation of the classic English style using hops and malt grown in the United States.

The high hopping of Harpoon IPA is not only noticeable in the nose but especially in the finish.  The lingering bitter finish of this beer is not harsh or astringent, but crisp and pronounced.  This is created, in part, by dry hopping – a technique that involves adding fresh hops to the conditioning beer to provide a fresh hop aroma.

This beer is floral, medium body with an aggressive, clean hop finish. 

This brew sounds enjoyable, so let’s give it a try.

The Harpoon IPA has an ABV of 5.9% and comes standard in a 12 oz. bottle. 

After the pour, this brew appeared clear in the glass with a color range of orange to light amber.  A mostly white, slightly creamy head was produced from an easy pour that had ok size, but did not have an extremely long retention time.  The lacing was decent as it adhered to the sides of the glass pretty well.

The smell was nice with the expected hints of grapefruit citrus along with qualified notes of orange and even some lemon.  Nice and fruity.  A few floral notes came on strong as the brew settled followed by some perfume”y” redolence.  As it warmed, an earthy malt became evident, which, to me, seemed to calm the overall hop profile of the aroma.  Not bad.  It seemed to be balanced very well, however it’s not overly boisterous or vigorous.

The taste brought forth a nice, little hop “bite.”  More of the grapefruit citrus and fruit was found along with further hoppy bitterness from a resiny and piny distinction.  Again, as the brew developed, a malty backbone gave it some stability to round out the resume.  Nice and easy in the flavor department.  Not flourishing or extremely potent.

The mouthfeel was medium, smooth, crisp, dry, somewhat refreshing and punchy.  The palate is saturated well enough to leave a significant amount of flavor behind.

Overall, the Harpoon IPA is pretty good.  It’s not quite as complex or daunting as some others I’ve had, but I still found it to be enjoyable and easy to drink with plenty of proper IPA “goodness.”  I would be more than happy to drink it again if it was available.  It’s worth a try if you see it, but don’t expect an over-the-top hop “bomb.”  Instead, expect a beer that is solid, even and proper with enough character for a good representation of style.  This could be a decent introductory IPA in my opinion.  Pick it up, try it and let me know what you think of it. Please leave a comment if you so desire.

Thanks for reading guys.  Hope everything is going well in your “craft beer” world.

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Country: USA, Harpoon

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