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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

643 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 643
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 30
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
Ratings: 643 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mschofield
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with amber at the edges of the glass, topped with a two finger dark khaki head, leaves bits of lacing.
Aroma mainly consists of roasted malt, notes of chocolate, toffee and coffee.
Raisin, chocolate on top of a roasted malt taste. A bit acrid with black coffee like bitterness. Some earthy and herbal hop presence.
Medium bodied.

mschofield, May 19, 2004
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 WesWes
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light crystal malt/Munich malt aroma that is good, but nothing special. It is a bit fruity and malty sweet. The taste is good. It is smooth and full of sweet malty flavor. It goes down easy with a dry finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer drinks well. It's full of sweetness and has a smooth, semi-light feel.

WesWes, May 18, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at NERAX.

This ale poured a deep red, chestnut color with tan foam. The smell was modest with some malt sweetness and a bit of licorice. The taste was lightly sweet and malty with a touch of licorice. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and low carbonation and a tangy aftertaste. This was a nice ale on cask.

UncleJimbo, May 17, 2004
Photo of yeagerbm
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good tasting beer. Pours a brown or dark amber color with a light brown head. Smell is made up of caramel like malt and some sweetness also. Roasted malt and sweet caramel taste is offset by a crisp hop bitterness. Also has some dried fruit flavors in the background. This is flavorful, roasty and crisp, but not too heavy.

yeagerbm, May 08, 2004
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 ViveLaChouffe
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish-mahogany with a creamy, very light tan head. Lacy throughout. Smells of coffe and caramel. Maybe some toffee in there?

Tastes if coffee but the bitterness is offset by a light caramel sweetness. Burnt malt and a light fruitiness. Very creamy and pretty smooth considering the potential for bitter flavors in a dark ale. Damn drinkable. Not a fan of Harpoon but this one stands out.

ViveLaChouffe, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The best offering I've had yet from Harpoon.

Pours a dark brown colour with a light to medium head with some lacing. The aroma is of caramel and hops. The taste was really nice. Nutty with a caramel sweetness. It had a dry hoppy finish That I don't mind a bit.
This is the best beer I've had from Harpoon yet. It is god enough to be their flaggship beer, I wish it was. I could easily see myself drinking this one more often.

CBFanWish, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of Jacobob10
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out reddish-brown with a nice tan head. The smell and the taste are very similar. Lots of roasted malt with a slight coffee aroma and taste. Goes down pretty smooth. A nice, warm, full-bodied smooth beer. A little better than average, wouldn't mind getting it again.


Re-review 11.20.07

I increased the ratings for taste and drinkability by 0.5 each. I was veryy impressed with this brew after trying it again a few years after my initial review. Roasted malt flavor and aroma and very drinkable. A nice dark beer that's easy to drink.

Jacobob10, Apr 19, 2004
Photo of shippos
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured with a good thick tan head with a clear dark ruby reddish brown color.

faint hint of malt followed by a subtle sweet sugary aroma...very clean aroma.

slight roasted grain character in the taste followed by a rather thin watery dissapointing mouthfeel. If it tasted like it smells and had a heftier mouthfeel it would awesome..for my tastes anyway.

still a good beer though.

shippos, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown head sits atop this deep, dark brown beer.
Earthy aroma of roasty malt and cocoa.

Taste shows cocoa, roasty malt, and slight coffee notes. Earthy with a mild to medium roasty bitterness. Solid hop balance seems piney and earthy. Nice balance. Finishes well.

Mouthfeel just a bit thin.
Nothing overstated in this nicely crafted beer yielding session drinkability.
Overall, a solid dark beer.
Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the bottle!

PhantomVodoo, Apr 08, 2004
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 RoyalT
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Brown with a bit of light shining through the body. The head though was absolutely gorgeous. It came up big, showed good retention, and left some beautiful lacing.

Smell – Wonderful aroma of deep, rich malts. Can they be both roasty and toasty? I think so. There’s also a bit of cookie dough and some added sugar and molasses. This Dark Ale was an awesome nose.

Taste – The taste didn’t quite keep pace with the nose. The flavors are nice, but they didn’t deliver on the aromatic promise. The malts kind of stepped aside, leaving the sugars to pull the beer together.

Mouthfeel – There was a bit of zesty fizz to this mouth, which I didn’t particularly care for. Other than that, it was medium-bodied and sticky.

Drinkability – A nice attempt at an extremely difficult style. I haven’t had a US Dark Ale yet that’s gotten to 4.0 in my book. This one was better than most.

RoyalT, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown color, similar to Coke. Nice head.

Good roasted malt in nose, possibly slight fruit aroma and a touch of cloves.

Medium body with a firm and crisp mouthfeel. Nice maltiness with a strong roasted flavor but with a bit of sweetness. Slightly dry finish.

My favorite so far from Harpoon, I'll definitely buy some more of this.

Southernbrew, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of moulefrite
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with amber hues. A good deal of sticky head to be had with a bit of wrist action, otherwise it fades fairly quickly. Aromatics are fruity and a touch cheesy-in the blue cheese vein.some melted chocolate aromas come to mind as well. The beer is medium bodied, malt driven and nicely bitter as it finishes. Flavors are also in a fruity vein and blue cheesy as well. Gosh darned it, this would be nice with a hot dog, only a sausage in the bun, and make that sausage something gamey, like venison or duck, and top it with a blue cheese sauce. Make sure the sausage contains some type of fruit. Never review when hungry!

moulefrite, Feb 01, 2004
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 taez555
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a white/tan head with a dark, translucent body. Very clear for such a dark beer, almost ruby in the right light. Like a dark rootbeer.

The nose was mellow and simple. Very mellow dark malts. Some chocolate and espresso but VERY light. A slight touch of earth.

The taste starts very smooth and light. Some floral touches, citrus, earth, unsweetened chocolate, dark malts, roasted barley. Basically it start soft and drinkable, then moves on this dark smooth lager type flavor and then takes over the end with roasted barley bitterness.

Definitely an interesting beer. It’s not often you come across a munich style dunkel that’s an ale as opposed to lager, but none the less, tasty. It actually tastes more like a porter than munich style beer. Very drinkable though, good session beer.

taez555, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of beerguy101
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Large white foamy head. Aroma is coffee and toffee. A medium bodied Dunkel. Malts are nutty, chocolate and sweet. Hops are grapefruity. It’s a little hoppy for a dunkel, but it has a nice malt sweetness and balances out well. Smooth taste. Nice drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

beerguy101, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of ADR
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear but very dark brown with olive highlights. Good head on the beer, 1/4 inch of persistant quality foam. Dotty, dripping laces. Aroma is nice, smells of a light cocoa and lots of fleshy ripe peach-like fruit. The main taste impression starts with chocolate, but with a smoky and roasty quality. A bit of fade in the mouthfeel mid-mouth to close, but an interesting combination of roast and bitter to wrap things up. Nice brew here, big aroma helps the overall tone of things. Thanks to Liza P. and her dad for getting it, and Ken K. for bringing it back.

ADR, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of marc77
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tralucent deep garnet. Thick, stiff, dense and dogged beige head. Steadfast, intricate lace remains. Soft cocoa with herbal hop hints upfront in aroma, followed by notes of deeply toasted malt and black licorice. Stately and welcoming aromawise. Snap of burnt grain bitterness initially in flavor is quickly tapered by gentle dark toffee sweetness and subtle, nutty carob. Hop bitterness is appropriately mild, leaving the static dark chocolate and toasty Munich foundation unhindered. Becomes agreeably savory late, with hints of salted, grainy biscuit providing contrast to malt sweetness. Well attenuated and perhaps a notch shy in dextrins, with a lanky and lightly viscous mouthfeel. Finishes mostly clean and dry, with hints of spicy hop and burnt cookie. A well rounded and tasty brew, with refined malt and hop balance. Simple in overall character and superbly drinkable.

marc77, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of goz
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut, with a large tan head that mostly recedes, leaving sheets of lace. Aroma is of dark roasty malts, backed with a slight fruitiness and a mild hoppiness. Flavor is of roasted malts, middle has a bit of fruitiness, and ending has a slight spicy hop finish. Medium bodied, smooth with a low carbonation level.

goz, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of merlin48
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 2nd Harpoon out of a 12 bottle sampler box. Pours an almost clear dark brown with some ruby notes when held to the light. A little bit of sediment in this one. Caramel and chocolate on the nose. Mouthfeel not as rich and creamy as I expected, being somewhat light bodied. Taste is crisply balanced with a dry finish. Astringent aftertaste distracts from drinkability. Middle of the road, overall, for this style.

merlin48, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby-brown with a thin light tan head. Very thin and quick lacing. Aroma of coffee along with a bit of chocolate. Medium body as well. This beer is a little sharp on the front buy mellows a bit later on. There is a blend of sweet malt, caramel, coffee and some hops in the flavor, but none in abundance. The finish is mildly bitter. Overall this beer seems kind of lackluster.

Dogbrick, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a just a slightly above average dark ale from the fine folks over at Harpoon. This beer was a nice dark brown colour with a tan head. The aromas were very simplistic and one dimensional consisting only of malts. The taste was malty and well balanced, but boring. The mouthfeel was right and the drinkability was nice.

francisweizen, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of Brent
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just not a lot going on here with this beer. Poured nice and dark with lively carbonation. Some roasted malt and slight sweetness, but not much depth to the flavor profile, rather monotone. Some light acidity at the finish to dry it up a bit. Not at all an unpleasant beer, but it did not hold my interest.

Brent, Oct 09, 2003
Harpoon Dark from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
86 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.