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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of ForthHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

143 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

The story of Harpoon’s Steve Stewart’s Firth of Forth Ale began at Harpoon a decade ago. Back in 1998 a young Scottish brewer named Steve Stewart crossed the big pond and came to Harpoon in Boston as part of a brewery intern exchange program. Steve apprenticed at Harpoon for a couple months then took his new-found appreciation of American craft beer back to his full-time brewing job at a large Irish brewery. After some time, Steve decided to return to his birthplace -Scotland - and open his own microbrewery.
Over the years, Steve kept in touch with the brewers at Harpoon, filling them in on his brewing progress. In April 2007 when Harpoon staff took their annual employee anniversary trip, they paid a special visit to Steve's microbrewery in Edinburgh, Scotland. Between toasting pints of Steve's award-winning cask ales the Harpoon brewers invited Steve to guest brew a 100 Barrel Series beer. He accepted with delight. For several months Steve and our brewers collaborated on the recipe, an American twist on a traditional Scottish Ale.

28 IBU

(Beer added by: Todd on 02-25-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 131 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +8.1%

05-26-2014 21:52:08 | More by Latarnik
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4/5  rDev +8.1%

12-15-2013 16:59:02 | More by BillRoth
Photo of tadmuchowski
tadmuchowski

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

06-18-2013 23:42:33 | More by tadmuchowski
Photo of EvanWilliams
EvanWilliams

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

12-23-2012 05:29:55 | More by EvanWilliams
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

11-19-2012 13:14:45 | More by t0rin0
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

04-23-2012 21:18:06 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

03-23-2012 18:42:41 | More by mdfb79
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

01-08-2012 22:39:43 | More by nmann08
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -18.9%

12-24-2011 07:48:28 | More by jophish17
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4/5  rDev +8.1%

12-01-2011 07:07:13 | More by rab53
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +35.1%

11-15-2011 19:41:09 | More by ElGallo
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

11-14-2011 21:24:00 | More by bpfrush
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is several years old at this point

A - pours a deep chestnut with not alot of foam whatsoever
S - aroma now is a bit oxidized with some hints of brown sugar and sweet malts
T - brown sugar dominates along with some sweet malts, the flavor at this point is very thin, a bit of soggy cardboard indicates that its past its prime
M - medium bodied with some sweet malts shining through along with some nice citrusy hops that haven't had the thought to leave yet
D - very drinkable. It has a nice blend of funkiness.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 06:25:35 | More by mikereaser
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at Greens liquor tonight. I thought that it was an older series, and this was the last bottle, so I guess I was lucky to get this one.

Appearance: Poured pretty dark with a little bit of haze. The beer had a reddish tint to it, and poured with a small 1/4" head that dissipated quickly. There was a consistent small ring of foam that stayed as the beer was consumed.

Aroma: I get a whole bunch of sweet caramel notes like I should, and there seems to be a subtle Peat thing going on in there. Otherwise, the hops are reserved, so they aren't throwing a bunch of citrusy American hops in there to screw up a Scottish style.

Taste: The beer is very malty with a little bit of hops to balance in the finish and that is about it. That is good. There is a boat load of caramel in here, and it comes across the palate a whole lot more formidable than a 5% beer does. The body is medium with ample carbonation for the style. The finish is owned by the malt.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty good beer and a good representation of the style. I was a bit concerned when seeing that they used American hops in a Scottish style, but they did it well so that you can't really tell if they hadn't told you. I like the flavor and balance and am glad that I got the opportunity to try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 04:39:16 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of ThaBobfather
ThaBobfather

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes on 07/21/08

Pours a very murky nearly brown color with mostly tan, thin head.
Smells of some caramel, maybe some sweet malt.
Tastes very smokey with some strong malt, sweet flavor.
The finish is murky and has a lot of coffee bitter in it.
Highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 22:04:30 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of mjd83goblue
mjd83goblue

Michigan

3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber.

Pours a little flat and generally looks like muddy water. Not a good start.

Not much jumping out on the nose. A bit of caramely sweetness. Taste isn't as rich as one might expect from the style, but otherwise decent. Roasted Scottish malt, a touch of
charcoal. A bit of hops at the end. Thin mouthfeel.

Nothing memorable about this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 02:32:27 | More by mjd83goblue
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

G: Poured into a dimpled stein.

A: Pours a thick, cola-brown with a very decent head and plenty of carbonation on top. The beer is almost opaque in the glass. Decent lacing.

S: Contrary to other reviewers, I'm getting a pretty good (and fairly strong) smell out of this one. Deep malts and a caramel character. Slight hops (wonder if there were more when this was first released?)

T: An initial hop bitterness (reminds me ever-so-slightly of Alpha King) and then fades into darker malts. Caramel flavors are present, as well as a little bit of nut.

M: A little thinner than what I would have expected. Also, not a ton of carbonation. Slightly creamy, though actually quite watery.

D: Overall, fairly decent drinkability, but nothing great. Mouthfeel isn't quite right, and the taste isn't as strong as I would like.

D:

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 02:45:18 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a clear chestnut body with a medium sized beige head. Some delicate sheet lacing hangs on the glass.

Aroma is malty caramel mostly, with hints of earthy hops and a faint metallic note.

Mouthfeel is light medium, even slightly watery, and is the lowpoint of the beer. Low medium carbonation.

Taste has a bready maltiness that is sweet with caramel and toffee. Earthy hops provide a balancing bitterness. There might be a faint wisp of smoky malt underneath but it could be my imagination.

Very enjoyable, even sessionable. Not the best Scotch ale made in America, but better than the ratings here.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 00:54:51 | More by merlin48
Photo of nick76
nick76

Florida

3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very sweet and fruity with toasted malt, ginger, fruit, chocolate, and spices. The appearance is brown with a medium head. The flavor is like the aroma with a light hoppy finish. The palate is thin. Overall it's a little strange but pretty easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 11:23:06 | More by nick76
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at Barley's Smokehouse. This brew is a clear copper color with a thin off-white head that diminishes steadily. Small patches of lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty with touches of caramel and nuts. Medium-bodied and smooth with flavors of bready malt, caramel and hops. The finish is short and sweet with a caramel aftertaste. Slightly above average overall.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2009 15:50:28 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of PhillyStyle
PhillyStyle

Georgia

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 220z bottle:

The beer poured a clear brown with some reddish hints around the edges when held up to light. The beer had a tan-ish or light brown head that was fairly thick that was well retained. This was the best part of the beer.

The aroma was really nonexistent. A very light malt aroma to it. I expected a much bigger and robust malt aroma, but what I got was something that lacked any kind of quality what so ever.

The taste was pretty straight forward and simple, light malt. Again, I expected a heartier, robust flavor, as most Scottish Ales bring to the table. No hops to speak of and no sweetness or smokiness to it either.

The carbonation of seemed to be right, but the beer was lighter than expected. This is just an average beer and to sure, there are better Scottish Ales to be had.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 18:19:41 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of damienblack
damienblack

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours kind of a stagnant amber, with a thin, kind of sickly looking head. Visually uninspiring, beer looks a little dead. Smells of tea leaves and something else, maybe caramel. Has a bit of a malt profile, but not so much as you would expect for the style. Hints of a tangy sweetness (but not the kind of sweetness you're looking for, but something tougher for me to quantify... like a tangy funk? but like a sweetened tea? it's in the background, so i digress...), and then in the aftertaste maybe some black tea. Not much of a hop presence. Someone else said it better, a bit of hop bitterness without any real hop flavor. Feels light and a bit watery on the palate, biscuity all around with a dry finish, and leaves a feeling kind of like the beer looks, flat and dead. Pretty mediocre all around, I haven't tried a lot of scotch ales but I doubt this does the genre well. Were this one to be re-released somewheres down the line, I wouldn't pursue it again. An OK session beer, but nothing to write home about.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 07:03:12 | More by damienblack
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark blood orange with brighter Sunkist edges. The beer is crowned with a rich, creamy, light brown sugar colored slice of foam that peaked at three fingers after an enthusiastic pour. Thick sheets of Swiss cheese-like lace look appealing as well.

The aroma is low on power and lacks both definition and distinctiveness. It's mid-range malty (steely caramel) and has essentially no hop presence, which is to be expected in beer of this style. Something has to change on the palate for FOFA to a worthwhile brew.

Steve Stewart's invitation to return to Harpoon to brew a Scottish ale must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, it didn't result in memorable beer. Two words that come to mind are 'bland' and 'boring'. Let's also add 'simple' to the list.

Brewing rule #6: beer of a malt-dominant style should always contain a sufficient amount of malt. Not in this case. Even with warming there's very little flavor. Just some watery caramel with a hint of earthiness and very little sweetness. A modest amount of hop bitterness (with no real hop flavor) ushers in the somewhat abbreviated finish.

Despite a healthy blast of CO2 on cap cracking, and the creation (and repeated recreation) of a decent head, the mouthfeel feels underbubbled. It's also on the thin side, even when style is taken into consideration.

Firth of Forth Ale isn't bad beer by any means, it's just depressingly average beer. Either bolder flavors faded with time or they were never there to begin with. Probably the latter. In any case, better Scottish ales shouldn't be too hard to come by.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 16:20:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber with a light floaty head. Slight lacing.
Woody smell, dusky and musky, not at all sweet like you would expect from a Scotch ale.
Somewhat weak flavor. A very dry finish with hints of wood, mild herbs, bread, slight hops. Very carbonated and somewhat difficult to drink. Not much like any Scotch ale I've ever had. The lack of sweetness puts me off being able to finish it.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 15:21:55 | More by kirok1999
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with dark amber highlights. Head is one finger of white foam that dissipates quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt with a hint of smokiness.

Tastes good. Very sweet caramel malt up front with a very mild smokiness and even more mild chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel is alright. It seems a bit thin, although the carbonation is at a good level and it still goes down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability is alright. I'm coming around on Scottish ales, but they still seem too sweet to me. I also prefer a bit more of a smoky character.

Overall this was a solid beer for the style but was nothing special. However, the beer was good enough to make me want to try more of the 100 series after being underwhelmed by most of Harpoon's other beers. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 03:17:27 | More by glid02
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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.