1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harpoon Dark - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon DarkHarpoon Dark

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

634 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 634
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 29
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A blend of specialty malts gives this beer a velvety mouthfeel with roasted notes and a hint of chocolate, balanced by a subtle hop aroma. Hard to describe but easy to drink, Harpoon Dark is rich in character and light on the palate.

35 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Dark Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 634 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pretzellogic
2.13/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Labeling this as a Munich dark is an insult to the great city of Munich. I'm not sure how this is one of Harpoon's award winning beers....who judged- the CEO? Harpoon brews some solid offerings, paricullary the IPA and Weizen which I quite enjoy. Totally disapointed with this beer; being October I was in the mood for a Germanic offering. This was one of the days I wish I lived in a state that sold by six-packs;should have paid more and selected that case of Ayinger instead. Head was non-apparent, flavor was not bold as a dark should represent, particually weak on malt. Taste and moutheel can best be summed up as weak and watery. As you may have detected I'm upset that I bought a case of this beer. I've been pleased with Harpoon in the past, but am very dissapointed with this beer. Even tested a second to give the brewery another chance. Anyone interested in 22 free Munich dark bottles, they'll be at my curb tomorrow morning.

pretzellogic, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of JMScowcroft
2.38/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Look - Sleek bottle and label artwork, German down to the bone. Pours dark brown, settles "coca-cola" in the glass. Moderately fizzy, overall decent but not impressive.

Smell - Smoky smell, hoppy and malty overtones. Again not that impressive here either.

Taste - Goes with the smell, malty and hoppy with a dark smoky aftertaste. About average for its class.

Mouthfeel - Very smoky and remnants of burnt caramel, sticks in your mouth in a bad way here.

Drinkability - Minimal, if there at all. Too thick and hearty when it comes to the added flavoring, this beer was a chore to finish.

Not one of Harpoon's finer moments.

JMScowcroft, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of Mudawg
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Mudawg, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of rx-beer
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

rx-beer, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of TheCzig
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

TheCzig, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of karengarys
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours brown. Little head. No lacing.

unimpressive malt/hop smell.

Flavor is somewhat like a lot of hop dumped into some water with some spice and malt and alcohol and stirred. Okay, it isn't all that bad, but it isn't really impressive either.

Mouthfeel is somewhat flat. Watery. un-American.

Finish is wet, and there is a bit of a bad aftertaste.

Perhaps this is a bad batch, but per this bottle I'm not yearning for another.

karengarys, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of chet4
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

chet4, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of jsboates
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

jsboates, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Mitchster
2.83/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out to a clear dark-brown with rich ruby highlights, forming a modest dark beige head with poor retention and minimal lacing. The head settles down quickly, but leaves a thin layer of clumpy bubbles which linger. The carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is predominatly malty, with some roasted malt, vanilla, esters akin to a common brown, tobacco, and caramelized sugar. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body. Taste begins with initial zing of carbonation, a brief wave of alcohol, a herbal hoppiness, nuts, amber malts, grain husk, brief metal, and finishes with more toast and a light roasted grain astringency, in that order.

Probably my least favorite of styles, this brew is simple, straighforward, and dull. This style has always seemed like a crossover between domestic swill and real craft beer...kinda like the stuff your friends drank in college to be sophisticated. (e.g-Heiny Dark, Leiny, or St.Pauli Girl Dark). Not bad, but something I'm thoroughly not interested in ever drinking again.

Mitchster, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of kennyo
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

part of a mixed 12 pack, along with the ale, ipa, ufo.

clean, brown color with small beige head, good carbonation. Sweet malt//chocolate malt aroma. Taste is a little roasty, some malt, dry.some hop bitterness. Not a bad beer from this brewery, which is not one of my favorites

kennyo, Sep 26, 2004
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber color, with a small off white head. Aromas of caramel malt. In the taste, chocolate and a bit malty, a tad sweet too. Aftertastes of a chocolate malt and a sweetness that lingers. A big chocolate presence and sweet, but nice for a brown ale.

OWSLEY069, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of changeup45
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

10/7/2004. Looking for something to warm me up. Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a thin tan head. Mild malts and coffee in the aroma. Some coffee, nuts and caramel flavors but wasn't really all that flavorful. Relatively smooth but a bit thin and watery. I probably won't re-visit.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of ElGordo
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one showed up in the December Beer of the Month Club shipment. Haven't really seen it in many stores here in NC, so it was a bit of a pleasant surprise. Pours a deep reddish brown hue (also translucent) with a thick, off-white foamy head. Deep malty nose, with hints of chocolate, molasses, and toffee. Rich, roasted malt flavor with a touch of sweetness. Light hop bitterness emerges mid-palate that builds into a fairly bitter finish. Unlike other dunkels I've had, perhaps because it's a top-fermented ale. Interesting, but I'm not sure I like it.

ElGordo, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of steeltown71
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Bottle poured into Harpoon pint glass. Pours a dark brown-red, decent creaminess at the top.

S: Maybe I've just had too many big beers lately but I'm just not picking up much intensity here. I do like the malty-roasted aromas that are clearly in there, but I just wish there were a stronger presence.

T: Definitely one of the better regular Harpoon offerings. Solid malt taste, well-balanced, and satisfying dry finish.

D: Obviously sessionable.

For a long time I had become aggravated by Harpoon for being a brewery with resources suggesting they had significant capability to experiment and yet most of their offerings tasted both similar and unremarkable to me. Strangely, revisiting this beer after really liking some of their bigger recent offerings makes me think I had unfairly written it off. It's not outrageously complex but the flavor profile is enjoyable and clearly a solid example of the style.

steeltown71, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: deep brown with garnet hues that produce a dark amber rim when held up to the light. 1 finger head that leaves thick rings of lace.

S: a light aroma of roasted and caramel malts. Not much else going on here.

T: rich caramel and toffee are overwhelming. Some dark fruity esters are also evident. There is an astringent burned flavor in the finish that just ruins it for me.

M/D: light to medium carbonation in a heavy bock-like lager texture. Not a ton of character, and the burned flavor makes this one I nearly had to choke down.

NittanyBeerFan, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -21.1%

AWS2111, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of bryc9194
3/5  rDev -21.1%

bryc9194, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of still_thedragon
3/5  rDev -21.1%

still_thedragon, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of dante23x
3/5  rDev -21.1%

dante23x, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -21.1%

ejimhof, May 05, 2013
Photo of travolta
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Apperance: Tan frothy head, dark ruby and amber, lacing is good.

Nose: Buttered toast.

Taste: Toasted grain, frothy, a little creamy, lightly bitter. The beggining of this beer is lightly toasted almonds, and the end tastes of hops.

Notes; Not as good as some other harpoon brews. I think they let us down with this.

travolta, May 19, 2004
Photo of jlordi12
3/5  rDev -21.1%

jlordi12, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of jbertsch
3/5  rDev -21.1%

jbertsch, May 17, 2013
Photo of harrynuggs
3/5  rDev -21.1%

harrynuggs, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Fettpopps
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Harpoon Dark from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
86 out of 100 based on 634 ratings.