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Harpoon Dark - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon DarkHarpoon Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

656 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 656
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 31
Gots: 29 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 656 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Skidz
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out dark orange-brown and sits deep, dark chocolate brown with a large fluffy tan head and speckled lacings.

Smells of deep and roasty with notes of fresh apples and baker's chocolate. Mild coffee bean aroma and traces of caramel. Faint traces of herbal hops.

Tastes lightly malty up front, the majority of flavors reside the the realm of a well balanced roasted flavor. Light coffee mixed in with some faint fruity esters. Hop bitterness is smooth and comes out on the same level as the malts, finished with a nice, easy bitterness and a warming glow from the alcohol.

Smoothed out on all sides with a soft and delicate carbonation. Medium body with flavor on all sides.

Pleasing to drink, well asserted. Absolutely nothing over the top, but tasty nonetheless. Well balanced by every measure.

Photo of Hhawk06
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body is very deep brown with a faint transparency and a small tannish head. The smell was enticing; chocolate/cocoa that you could smell from a good foot or two away. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a nice full chocolate and coffee taste. Somewhere in the background, there is a pleasant slight toastedness that is very complimentary. The finish transfers to a nuttier flavor but still overall quenching. I found this an extremely pleasurable beer.

Photo of necoadam
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the better beers in the Harpoon line-up I think.

Pours out a brownish/amber color with a nice head that settles down eventually.

Smell consisted of roasted malts, along with some caramel, coffee and some distant hops to balance it out.

Taste was good. Quite malty to start out with. Good roasted flavors as well. Some hints of caramel and nuts, but at the end some sweetness lingers in. I thought that kinda killed the beer a little bit. I could of lived without the sweetness there.

Mouthfeel was mediumish. Good carbonation. Everything was in check, but the sweetness lingers in the aftertaste. Finished on the dry side as well.

A nice brown ale, but I wish they could fix the sweetness in this one. But do try this.

Photo of Citadel82
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a nice tan head. Head is fairly short lived with some lacing. Aroma is toasted malt and slightly floral hoppy. Taste is initially sweet drying to a toasted almost slightly burnt taste. Slight hop dryness in the finish. This is an excellent beer to enjoy in the crisp fall air.

Photo of kennyo
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
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

Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent beige head (one finger thick on initial pour), very little lace. The color is brown without the typical touch of ruby.

Buttery sweetness in the aroma. This blended nicely with a touch of fresh hop. Surprisingly, there is also a touch of yeast.

Very clean taste featuring the dark malts with a counter-hop for balance. I am reminded of almonds and hazelnuts. The body is relatively thin; it feels closer to a lager rather than an ale. Carbonation is good.

This is a flavorful beer for a hot day. Without the weight of typical darker ales, this is a refreshing beer that can be easily consumed repeatedly...not that I'd recommend that.

Photo of masterbruewer
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a thin off-white head with decent carbonation and good lacing.

Smelled a little like cherries and chocolate with a malty creaminess. Very interesting.

The taste is chocolate and coffee with a burnt woody flavor arriving late and lingering. There's a very faint off-flavor, kind off a chemical-like taste that fades as you empty the glass.

The mouthfeel is suprisingly light with a little carbonation/hop bite.

This is a pretty good example of a brown ale. Another reason I'm really starting to like this style.

Drinkability is a little off because of the better kick and off-flavor hints, but for the style, it's pretty good.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. amber bottle.

Poured a dark brown in color with a 1/2-inch layer of off-white head. Spotty lacing. Aromas are a mix of cocoa powder and dark fruits. Flavor is more of the same, starting off with chocolate sweetness, mixing with some balancing hops, and finishes with a kiss of alcohol-soaked fruit. Aftertaste sees a little bit of roasted grain in it. Very, very drikable.

Notes: Up to this point, I'd always associated Harpoon with "IPA"...no more. I'll seek it out.

Photo of Ahhdball
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I found this! I remember having it while stationed in New London Ct. I also remember calling the brewer to see if it was distributed in Ohio. Regardless, I found a sixer ($10!) at a local cigar shop - Humidor Plus. Then a mixed half rack at The Kenny Road Market ($14).
No head to sit atop the very dark brown ale. Virtually no smell that I could tell. The taste was nutty, but a slightly sweet. A bit of hop bitterness but the malt lasted a good while longer. Roasted nuts and a well balanced sweetness leads me to think this is one of the best offerings from Harpoon.

Photo of JMendyka
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a novice as a BA, but I fell in love with this beer from the first sip. The first thing that came to my mind when experiencing this beer was Coca-Cola.

The beer poured with hardly any head. The color was that of a standard cola.

The smell was sweet, but had a hint of hops to betray its place in the Beer Kingdom.

The taste was where the magic happened. The initial taste was undoubtedly of Classic Coke. Then the hops kicked in balancing that malt out perfectly.

This beer is heavy enough to make you feel good inside, but not so light as to make you think you could slam 'em all night.

Bottom line, if this was all I ever had to drink, I might be sad that I couldn't drink all those other wonderful beers, but would be satisfied with the one remainging.

Photo of Hibernator
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served this out of a 12oz brown bottle in a pint glass. Freshness date on the back of the bottle in print that reads that this beer was packaged on 6-15-04. This beer is about 5 weeks old.

Okay head with some pretty good lacings. Nice dark amber, only a few shades away from a black.

The smell is malty with toasted grain. Taste is very malty and some sweetness. Mild bitterness.

Overall, a very drinkable brew from Harpoon. This beer doesn't leave a note-worthy impression on me. Its good and one of my favorites from this local brewery.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a nice dark brown brew that poured well but had very little head.

I liked the smell... rich, strong, sweet malt with hop tones that didn't conflict with the sweetness.

The taste was richly roasted yet not overpowering, and the hoppiness was not too bitter. Very well balanced.

This was a good drinking beer, without a doubt.

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Served in a large mug at the Union Oyster House, this headless black beer offered a subtle roast aroma. The flavors of chocolate, coffee, and subtle fruit notes were enjoyable but a bit understated. The brew was a bit too watery, and a tad insubstantial. It was drinkable, but not worthy of pursuit.

Photo of mschofield
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of shippos
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

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.

Harpoon Dark from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
86 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.