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Black Forest - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Black ForestBlack Forest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

135 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 135
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mikecap on 02-13-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

When the drivers of Harpoon Distributing Company are finished delivering brewery-fresh beer throughout the neighborhoods of Boston, they spend time moonlighting with Harpoon's brewers. In 2012, they developed a version of a chocolate cherry porter that was a favorite at our annual homebrew competition. It didn't take long for the brewing staff to work up a 10-barrel test batch and we knew we had to make more.

A hearty malt base is complemented by sweet cherry juice and cocoa nibs added during fermentation in this decadent take on a traditional porter. Notes of rich chocolate and a hint of cherry sweetness make this full-bodied porter the perfect treat to share now or to cellar until next Valentine's Day.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 135 | Reviews: 28
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up a while back from Whole Foods on Houston St, having never had this before. I thought that this would be a Stout or a Schwarzbier and I was a bit surprised to see that this was an American Porter. While not terribly roasted to the smell or taste, this had a strong alcoholic content to it and was full enough to resemble a Porter even thought he flavors made this feel a bit different. Strong and potent, this beer was an interesting take on a style that tended to be pretty monotonous in terms of the flavor profile.

Sure, this poured dark with a moderate tan head and a decent amount of soapy lacing left behind. Not a strong aroma here but the cherries and some bitter chocolate were present along with the strong scent of booze. This almost felt like a Fruit/Vegetable beer because of how prevalent the cherry flavor was, as opposed to the roasted nature of a Porter that wasn't terribly present here. There was some dark malt present but the chocolate was dominant here and was the base of this beer when all was said and done.

This was strong but a beer like this was able to hide it well since the alcohol fit in well with the chocolate in this case. This could have been a bit more full and had more dark bread malt in it but as a dessert beer, it fit in fine by itself. Just a bit too sweet, this would worth aging to see if it mellows out a bit and has the nibs from the cocoa emerge more. Decent beer that doesn't fit into one particular category.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pouring a cellar temp 22 oz bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with some garnet highlights on the edges that is apparent when held to the light. Fizzy tan head of 2 cm foams up and rests on the surface. The head fades to a sturdy edge layer fairly quickly after the first sip.
Aroma is chocolate malt and roasted notes with hints of brown sugar. Im not sure I get any cherry on the nose, but it is advertised as a fairly sweet and boozy beer.
First sip reveals very fine and fizzy carbonation that tingles across my palate with each sip. The body is medium thickness and has a bit of a syrupy texture, could also be described as chewy. Definitely coats my palate on each sip.
Flavor is sweet malt with chocolate, roasted malt, some brown sugar, and a little cherry candy note. THere is a hefty dose of warm peppery booze on each swallow, making this a bit of a sipping beer. Hops dont make much of a showing here and this is a fairly large beer. May be better to split with a friend, but I am enjoying it as I drain the bottle into my glass.
Worth buying if you like boozey malt brews. I like it and would buy it again.

Photo of JebBeerFish
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Cellared for 1+ years.

I got very little cherry in this, somewhat sweeter than average stout.

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of flr0605
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Oldejoe
4.49/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look. Nice dark, dark mahogany look with very little head.
Smell. Slightly fresh and crisp, but not a lot happening for me.
Taste. Strong cherry, some chocolate/coffee, pleasant balance malty up front, medium dry finish.
Mouthfeel. Nice robust medium heavy feel, with more sparkle than the looks would imply.
Overall. Boy, I do like this beer!

Photo of misternebbie
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kendo
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black Forest - Harpoon

A: Ommegang tulip glass. Body is black with thin wisp of a greyish head. 3.75.

S: chocolatey malt, chocolate-covered cherries, touch of alcohol. 4

T: chocolate, cherries - booze-soaked cherries. Touch of molasses. 4

M: slightly slick; carbonation is modest. Call it medium in heft. 3.75

Photo of kdivers
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tabhill
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of JamesBondGA
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color poured a black with reddish highlights. Very little head and no lacing. Smells of Cocoa and cherry. Tastes of chocolate and the cherry. Not sure why people call this a dessert beer. Chocolate and cherry flavors don't have to mean dessert beer. very little carbonation. also doesn't seem thick enough to be a real porter.

Photo of SawDog505
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jclarkn
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Patches826
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JMS1512
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Botulizard
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mick303
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber into snifter, colour is thick black with minimal lacing.

S- cherry, graham cracker, hot cocoa, moist Black Forest cake, chocolate malts, not much in the way of hops, this is sweet, somewhat boozy, dessert beer. Hints of liquor and creamy chocolate notes.

T- starts with milk chocolate, cherry, coffee malts, creamy body, lighter liquorice notes and kirsch, towards the end it gets a bit drier and has some warming alcohol. Altogether it is rather sweet and boozy, but. The cherries and chocolate come through for a pleasant dessert beer.

M- boozer and sweet upfront, moderate carbonation, dries out and couldn't be a bit fuller and dextrinous, which I think would help with a more porterish feel rather than a spirity bf cake.

A decent dessert beer that is what it claims to be, for better or worse. Quite a bit thinner than a typical porter, and the flavour doesn't stray too far from the black forests cake notes. However I don't believe this is a gimmick because together it works decently, but a beer you have to be in a mood for and know what to expect. More spiritous and less creamy and roasty.

Photo of kkmiller76
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerBeast
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of archero
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of dabarton
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Burt
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Gww1864
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of Libre
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of nitrous500
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

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Black Forest from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.