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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #17 - English Style Old Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #17 - English Style Old AleHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #17 - English Style Old Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Harpoon Old Ale is inspired by the sustaining winter offerings of many English breweries. This complex & malty brew is marked by significant alcohol warmth, balanced bitterness, biscuit/roasted undertones, and sublime mouthfeel. Proper English yeast, traditional hop varietals, and generous malt bill create a wonderful companion for the fireside. Enjoyable for consumption now or for extended cellaring.

62 IBU

(Beer added by: Sycodrummer on 12-28-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +3.6%

BillRoth, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of Gerardes
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Gerardes, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of EvanWilliams
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

EvanWilliams, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, it looks like this hasn't been reviewed in over a year. Best by 24 March 2008, this 12oz bottle is from the 100 Barrel Encore series. From Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits, back in the day.

A surprisingly light pour, this is coppery orange with a thin, off-white head with average lacing and retention. I'm really surprised by the color - I've seen ESBs darker than this. The nose is nice, though. Sweet honey with some mild caramel, toffee, light brown sugar and a touch of oxidation, this seems to have aged surprisingly well. Moderately candy-like (cotton candy in particular) with a touch of burnt sugar. Moderately fruity with figs and a touch of ripe pears.

The palate isn't as good. Sugary sharpness up front and dull and lifeless right after, there's a little bit of orange blossom honey, a little caramel and some toffee. Mildly fruity as well. Ultimately, though, this beer is dull, and I have a feeling it isn't entirely oxidation, as there isn't much noticeable here. Medium in body, over-carbonated, this is thin on the finish with a spritzy carbonic acid bite. These aren't characteristics I look for in an old ale, and ultimately, I'm disappointed. Not bad by a long stretch, but not good either.

DefenCorps, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of LostHighway
4/5  rDev +3.6%

LostHighway, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy dark amber color with a thin white cover and fair lacing. The aroma is an intense root beer malt with earthy grain all over it and a touch of alcohol. The flavor has many of the same warm and tasty qualities. It's solidly medium-plus bodied with very modest but adequate carbonation. It has a slightly mealy feel, lots of grain with a touch of that medicinal / Romilar flavor. I'm pretty fond of this. Robust with a little alcohol warmth with medium drinkability. A fine brew.

Durge, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of BetterDarker
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce to a snifter glass.

Appearance- Beautiful clear golden amber with a white frothy head, some retention. Over all great color with small bubbles rising to the top

Smell- Immediate sweet malt then some earthy hops.

Taste- Very malty, not that bitter or acidic, slight earthy hoppiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- A bit chewy, well carbonated for the style

Drinkability- This is a one and done for me. A tasty and enjoyable beer, but heavy on the malt side for more than one at a time.

Over all truly enjoyed this beer very much and a great representation of the style.

*edit* note on the sweetness, I stepped away from the beer for a few minutes and there was a fruit fly already doing the backstroke in my beer. Damn you warm early fall New England nights.

BetterDarker, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of Boto
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber: This one poured a slightly hazy amber color. there was a good sized creamy head that dropped off rather quickly and left no lacing. Aroma has spices, raisins, caramel malt, and assorted other dark fruits hiding down there. The taste is quite good. There is a fair caramel sweetness up front, with a fair amount of hops balancing them out. Some fruits and bitterness in the finish. Just a touch of alcohol to the finish also. Nice.

Boto, May 03, 2009
Photo of SFLpunk
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown pry-top bottle from the "Encore Series." Best before date 3/24/08. I found this bottle shortly after starting at Beverage Warehouse in 3/2008 and put it aside in a cool place.

Appearance: Very little bone-white head, leaving spotting on the glass. Brownish amber, not quite clear. No visible sediment though.

Nose: Rich and caramel-like, raisins, dates, dried leaves, dusty buttermilk biscuits. Smells incredibly sweet.

Palate: Medium-light bodied with a little acidity up front. Not nearly as sweet as it smells. There's an edge to it, holding back the sugar. Light flavors of malt, white cake, something like the dusty top of a buttermilk biscuit. Feels a little hot on the finish.

Notes: Not sure how this beer was when it was fresh, but I don't really think it's holding up that well. The body is too light to hold the alcohol and the aromas all the way through. The smell is great, but the palate doesn't deliver all that's promised by nosing.

SFLpunk, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this sitting around Tully's a few months ago The 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass produced a finger worth of off white head that faded to a thick lace. the body of the brew was an clear reddish brown

The aroma of this brew has some dark fruits raisin in it as well as a nice sweetness from the malts. Wow this one is a malt bomb now flavor wise making a nice sipper with enough of an alcohol bite to keep it interesting

A good Old Ale glad I am came across it. If I found one more I buy it

joepais, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This limited edition brew pours an appealing copper color with an off-white head that thins to a cap that shows good retention. Some lacing. Sweet in a fruity way, some toffee/caramel flavors. Good bitter malts and moderate hops in the middle to balance the sweetness. Medium carbonation and a smooth feeling in the mouth. Not exactly what I think of when I think English Style Ale but a well balanced beer. Would like to try it on tap.

thekevlarkid, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Gatch
4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dated 12/2006

A - Amber in color, thick off-white head.
S - Sugary, sweet, malty.
T - Really sweet & malty, which is good. Dark fruits w/ slight alcohol and carbonation. Tons of flavor which gets better with every sip.
M & D - Medium-bodied, a pleasant sugary sweetness that fills the mouth. Awesome beer.

Gatch, May 21, 2008
Photo of ericj551
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon Old Ale pours a crystal clear copper with a nice head that fades to a thin layer. I smell dark fruits, fig, maybe some light raisin with a bready, toasty maltiness. The flavor is sweet and malty with some fruity esters. Loads of caramel and toffee flavors come through with some hoppiness and a crisp finish. This is a great balanced beer, not too strong or too sweet. I'm glad they brought this beer back for the encore series as I only had a chance to get it on draft.

ericj551, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to purplehops for sending this via BC2!
Crystal clear orange/amber colour with a short, off-white cap. Good head retention with chunky lacing. Grassy hop aroma, a bit herbal, spruce, mint, with fruity and doughy undertones, plus mild alcohol. Solid bitterness with caramelized sweetness. Hoppy middle, similar to the aroma, with some fruit and a bit of malt. Light alcohol in the finish, with lingering hop flavour and bitterness. Sweetness was emphasized as it warmed. Medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation that was creamy, and mellow warmth. Nice balance, definitely an American interpretation.

DrJay, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of erosier
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown color with a thick off-white / tan head that has nice lacing on the sides of the glass. It smells of sweet malts and alcohol. It tastes of sweet malts and a few hops. The taste is good for an old ale and the mouthfeel is good for a beer this big. The drinkability is OK, but mostlty because of the high gravity.

erosier, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of Gmann
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the encore series. Pours a clear golden amber color with a smallish cream colored head, left a slight ring around the glass. The smell is very faint, almost non-existant; some light caramel malt. The taste is of a dry cracker and caramel malt and aged hops. There is some slight dark fruit notes in the back end. The feel is moderate with soft carbonation, has some slick qualities but finishes pretty dry. Decent flavor but probably could use some aging, the hops are still a bit too present.

Gmann, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled the original batch on tap at the harpoon brewery. Beautiful golden brown, very nice head retention. Taste is dominated by honey, the finish is nicely bitter with an excellent balance. I had picked up a six pack of the encore series last week, and it was a very good beer; but the original batch on tap, especially after it's been aged for the past year, is really, really delicious. The honey taste comes through very aggressively giving it almost the character of a light mead, but it's followed by some very nice hop bitterness. A really fantastic beer. I tried to get a growler at the brewery but they only had a few kegs left and so they couldn't help me out, despite my pleadings. If you're in the Boston area in the next few weeks, make a trip to the brewery and check it out.

PlaywrightSam, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of emerge077
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed once, estimating that this bottle is a year old.

It poured with a nice orange jewel tone, pretty sharp in clarity. The initial foam died down to a thin ring over time. Sweet corn and malt in the nose, sharp whisky-ish alcohol. Cloying sweetness, barley & dried fruit, musty unpleasant grains. It has a far too boozy feel to it, greatly hindering drinkability. Couldn't finish my 6 oz. when so many better beers were available in front of me. Thanks to Jay23 for the sample.

emerge077, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this in 6 packs today.

Pours a brownish-red color with a one finger head. Aroma is thick and malty, somewhat fruity. Taste is very strong, malty and chewy. Yummy. Somewhat fruity towards the back of the throat. Very mild alcohol in the aftertaste. Nothing overpowering or weak either. Very drinkable but I might recommend you sip it.

Brad007, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with a foil wrapped cap poured into several Goblets

A – Poured a nice orange tinted amber with a good amount of haziness and cloudiness to it. A nice two finger head of off white foamy lace formed on the top and gradually settled down to leave behind some nice concentric rings of lace in its wake. Very nice look with some carbonation evident from beginning to end.

S – Aroma was very sweet with a good amount of caramel in the nose that really started to come out as it warmed. Some hints of earthy tones with some grains and other bits of nuts and a touch of some grapes or pears in there as well. Some notes of oak or wood of some kind nestled way in the back.

T – The flavor was very nice. Much more mellow then most old ales I have ever had. This was really well blended and offered no hint of alcohol at all. A very nice soothing caramel flavor just washed over you with hints of fruit and earthy grains. The follow through and finish were also very nice and tight with a very well rounded grassy flavor in the end. Very nice and again mellowed down old ale. Not the hot bourbon flavored I am used to.

M – Very smooth with a nice light to medium body that held up well with the carbonation throughout the session. A very nice and creamy like feel that did not get stale or come through too overbearing. Lighter then most of the style that I am used to.

D – Really very nice. This was actually a bit above a sipper as the ABV was fairly modest and the flavor lended itself to a bit of a bigger sip. I had no issues with the bottle.

Overall this was interesting, It was a good deal lighter then any of the style I have had before and really left a very good impression on me I would not hesitate to try this one again and would love to find some more.

mikesgroove, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack of the encore series.
Pours a deep amber with a fluffy head that dissappears as soon as you look away from the glass. Smell is of spicey floral hops and a bit of caramel and maybe a little diacetyl. Taste is lightly malty with a bit of an alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is thin carbonation is low. This is not a bad beer, but I was expecting it to be a little maltier maybe a little thicker and sweeter.

johnnnniee, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of frankbro
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with 3/4in of off white head. Lacing includes large bubbles(gaps), not surprising with the lack of hops in the taste. The smell is good, and the mouthfeel is like letting a pat of butter melt in your mouth. A nice substantial beer. I'll wait for the next one.

frankbro, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of sulldaddy
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Im sampling a 22 oz bottle of this brew at cellar temperature. Pouring the beer into a large snifter, I get a clear chestnut hued beer with some light ruby highlights. There is a large fluffy off white head that foams up 3 cm easily even with a gentle pour.
Aroma is mostly malt with some brown sugar and red grape, pear and a bit of floral hops mixing in.
First sip reveals an average body with smooth texture and very fine and spacious almost non-existent. The flavor is fairly sweet with a mixture of fruits, pears, red grape, and some toffee too. There is also some warming and peppery booze on the finish. Not a lot, jsut enough to remind you this is a fairly high octane brew.
Nice overall experience and fairly esay to drink another winner in the 100bbl series.

sulldaddy, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of jmz62565
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber with a large tan foamy head. The head lasts and leaves very good lacing. The smell is very average with sweet malt and floral scents and little else. The taste is sweet with a ton of sweet malt,Belgian candy sugar,alcohol,and floral flavors. The aftertaste has some bitter hops making the flavors mix only so/so. The m/f is light and the flavors don't mix as well as other old ale's. Not bad,but some of Harpoon's other 100 Barrel Series beers are better.

jmz62565, Jul 22, 2007
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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #17 - English Style Old Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
86 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.