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Harpoon Dark - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon DarkHarpoon Dark

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

646 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 646
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 30
Gots: 24 | 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
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Ratings: 646 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate dark brown, malty and a bit of chocolate aroma. Lace in glass. Mid mouth feel, an easy drink as well malted with toffee, a drop of coffee.An OK dunkel, a very good American brown, the later because of root beer like secondary tastes.Well carbonated.

Sammy, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

djrn2, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +5.3%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a light head and a touch of lace. Some carbonation around the edges throughout. Nose brings some chocolate, caramel, light roast, fruit, and a big dose of the Harpoon yeast, which--for whatever reason--I'm really into. Taste is malty with some light fruit and a bit of chocolate and nuttiness. Really nice feel brought on by the house yeast. Drinks really quite nice and is one of the better versions of this style that I've had.

Thorpe429, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.3%

nmann08, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Texasfan549, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and poured with a thin white head that faded away and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of caramel.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell having flavors of caramel, roasted malts and a light amount of malty sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly. It is quite sessionable.

metter98, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.3%

kjkinsey, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with the translucent dark brown liquid capped by an inch of foam; some strands of lacing squiggle down the pint glass

Smell: Toasted brown bread and caramel

Taste: Toasted brown bread and caramel, up front, with chocolate tones developing in the middle; chocolate builds, after the swallow, though the finish has the grainy character I often taste in lagers

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: A really fine example of the style - one that is rarely brewed by domestic breweries

brentk56, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks solid brown with red or amber highlights. Pours a nice viscocity with a solid tan head that held firm.

Smells malty sweet with some toastedness, light coffee, and chocolates. notice a mild bitter tone.

Tastes as malty as it smells. Lightly roasted barley, syrup, nuts, and a touch of chocolate. Firm body remains full and follows up with some balancing bitter. Finishes sweet, nutty, toasty, and a little bitter and alcoholic.

Aftertaste: sweet, lightly bitter and alcoholic. The longer it lingers, the more the bitter holds on in the back of the throat.

Impression: Could be mistaken for a light porter. A well balanced, bold beer. Can't complain.

BEERchitect, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark walnut brown with extensive coppery orange accents... that becomes burnt orange with bright sunshine behind the pint glass. A thick slice of golden beige foam looks good in all respects, including as scattered sheets of sudsy lace.

The aroma delivers pleasant fruity esters, which makes the decision to use an ale yeast rather than a lager yeast a good choice. There isn't much 'darkness' and a hint of hops helps.

Munich Type Dark Beer is an offering that any Englishman should enjoy. It's on the mild side compared to most American fare these days, but there's enough flavor for multiple pints in a pub to be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Harpoon got the dunkel part just right. It's darker than a brown ale and not as dark as a porter. Sweet-bitter balance is spot-on as well and might lean ever so slightly toward the latter. A gentle hop nip keeps things focused throughout. Tea leaves and medium-dark fruit round out the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is fine for a 4.6%'er. Too bad the ABV is actually 5.6%. Okay, so I have a big beer bias. It never descends into wateriness, however, and is buoyed by a perfect amount of bubbles.

Munich Type Dark Beer is a wonderful effort that just about anyone should enjoy... from BMC drinkers (if they'd give it a chance) to the biggest beer geeks on the planet (if they'd give it a chance). I hope Harpoon sells a lot of this stuff.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

kylehay2004, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new one from Harpoon, cannot wait! My father in law always sends these regulars that I won't pick up and I love it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/08/2010.

The pour was nice and dark a burnt caramel color with a nice ruby tone to it as you held it up to the light. Huge off white head that just seemed to come up out of no where and dominate the profile completely. Really nice looking and surprised me from the start. Aroma is light, caramel, earthy and grainy. Hints of light roasted notes come through as it warms and a decent stab at a smoked note as well. Clean taste. Lighter then I would have thought, but it worked for me. Great mix of smoked notes, herbal hops, touches of bready grain and just a well rounded profile overall. Smooth, classic finish with a light touch on the tongue that hit me just right. Great, easy drinking session ale.

Overall surprised by this one, Harpoon really did a great job and they should be commended. Would go for this one again any day.

mikesgroove, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a clear looking brown color. The head is fluffy looking and light tan in color. The smell of the beer is lightly roasted and a little nutty. The flavor had a dry earthy flavor with a light amount of the nuts and roast coming in on the finish. The mouthfeel was light and carbonated pretty well. Overall it's nothing too special to me, it's a decent brew, I wouldn't seek it out unless I had too.

Knapp85, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a nice brown color with some slight red highlights in there,nice malty aroma of chocolate and some slight fruity tones as well.A very appetizing brew malty sweet with some lingering fruitiness.I think the best offering from Harpoon,very nice.

oberon, Jun 30, 2003
Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I'm diggin' the local Fresh Market for their mixed sixer collection, this bottle included. It pours a clear dark garnet-ruby topped by a finger of sandy ecru foam. The nose comprises light coffee, light-ish roasted malts, cocoa powder, and a touch of minor char. The taste paints a mountain of roasted malts (it's as though I'm chewing on some roasted barley, I'm tellin' ya), with a hint of coffee in the back and a strong metallic aftertaste. Yeesh, what happened here? The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slightly grainy feel. Overall, a pretty decent beer all around...except for the taste. So close, yet so very, very far away.

TMoney2591, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A poured out a dark brown color with a foamy, tan, two-finger head. Left good rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and nut.

T - It tasted of burnt toast and had a nice nutty flavor.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good beer. It like the burnt toast flavor.

zeff80, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a good fall beer. this is a munich style dark ale, meaning a bigger sweeter malt profile and a yeast strain with a bit of spice to it. the nose is quite roasty, with some cocoa and caramel notes, a little dusty on the malt end, but not in a stale way. i taste some lighter german pilsner malts, which makes sense. some chocolate flavors and a little residual sugar despite a dry finish. overall a rich yet drinkable brew, a good addition to the winter mix 12er, and a beer im happy to have quite a few of. full body, a little filling, but good carbonation lightens things up. overall a satisfying beer from harpoon.

StonedTrippin, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although a touch chocolatey in both the aroma and flavor, Harpoon's Munich style Dark is still a fairly good representation of the style. It pours a clear deep-mahogany robe beneath its frothy, short-lived tan head. The nose is chocolatey, doughy, and hung with notes of floral hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and sublimely creamy with a medium body and delicate, fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation. The flavor focuses on malt character, and it's well balanced with just enough bitterness and grassy and floral hops to balance its dark malty edge. Soft chocolate, fudge, cocoa, brown sugar, tootsie-rolls, unsweetened chocolate cookie dough, and deeply caramelized, almost-burnt sugar all appear at some point, and there's even a bit of toastiness to it as well... yet for all of that, it's mostly restrained and focused on one chocolate-tinged malty center. Grassy and floral hops step in at late-mid palate and help the bitterness pull it away from achieving any real "chocolate" or "sweetness"; and it finishes just as clean, short, and dry as it's supposed to - leaving you ready for another sip. Drinkable! There's just enough flavor and complexity here to keep you coming back again and again without overwhelming you. Very nicely done!

NeroFiddled, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle with a printed packaging date on the bottle.

Appearance: Nice lacing and good clarity off of a dark toned brown colour. Retention shows some stickiness.

Smell: Mild toasted and dark malts, faint fruitiness and alcohol. Clean aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Firm and crisp mouth feel from a medium body and level carbonation. Long lasting maltiness that ranges from a plain sweetness to rolling toasted and vague roasted flavours. Balancing hop shows a little spicy flavour while at the same time the alcohol becomes slightly noticeable. Some sweetness left in the end with more toasted grain.

Drinkability & Notes: The darkest of the Harpoon brand and my favourite as well, a concrete brew in my book. A great beer to have around to drink, pair and even cook with.

Jason, Feb 16, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Caramel amber brown coca cola like in appearance creamy tan head leaves collar of lacing down my glass. Aroma: Chocolate and toffee hints nice fruity undertones, good stuff. Taste: Very balanced blend of darker roasted malts and mild herbal German hops. Malts bring out a slightly fruit caramel tone with a nutty edge not bad. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied beer even carbnonation. Drinkability: Dead on for a dunkel crisp flavors easy drinking dark brew nice.

WVbeergeek, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a thin tan head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very malty with touches of chocolate, coffee, caramel and a little bit of fruit & hops.

T: The taste is malty, creamy and a little smoky and starts out with flavors of caramel, chocolate and coffee. Then a mild hops presence comes in to provide a little balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and a little bitter.

M: Smooth with a little crispness, medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style even if it’s not the best in the style. I could drink a few, but there are definitely others that I would pick first.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear brown with a very strong red highlight. Muted nose with little to it. Taste is thick with what I can only describe as an oil edge to it on the start. Changes into a very long lasting flavor adventure. Over time I get hints of roasted coffee. Worth trying as much for the complexity of flavors as anything else. Definitely worth going back to again, though I’d say best in the company of fellow beer snob friends so as to go over it’s finer points of style.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Slatetank, May 21, 2013
Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tjis was the highligt of variety 12 pack I bought back in NC

Poured dark ruby red with a 3 fingers deep tan head. Average lacing & some head retention

S: Fruittyness followed by a hint of cinamon

T: Biscuitty with choclate notes. A slight hint of cinamon & molasess. Finishes fruitty with a slight licorice twang

MF: Medium bodied, good carbonation & balance

Drank too easy. A pretty damn good example of some of the dunkles I had in D'land

russpowell, Aug 29, 2006
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Harpoon Dark from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
86 out of 100 based on 646 ratings.