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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESBHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.

139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 10.87%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The 31st offering from the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series is the Single Hop ESB, brewed by Harpoon brewer Charlie Cummings. Already excited about crafting an Extra Special Bitter, Charlie jumped at the rare opportunity to brew this beer using one hop varietal, Delta, exclusively throughout the process.

The Delta hop is a brand new American-grown hop developed by Hopsteiner. In fact, the Harpoon Single Hop ESB is the first beer in the world to be commercially brewed using the Delta hop. A cross between Fuggle and Cascade hops, Delta hops yield an unrestrained earthy/floral aroma and taste that compliment the rich flavors of traditional British malts and yeast.

The recipe for this beer is a nod to the beloved Harpoon ESB, which was last brewed in 2002. However this version uses imported ingredients, except for the domestically grown Delta hops. Only a portion of the batch was filtered, leaving the full spectrum of flavor and aroma of this special new hop to enjoy.

38 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 122
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4/5  rDev +8.7%

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3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

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4/5  rDev +8.7%

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4/5  rDev +8.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

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3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of MikeyRx
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my notes on 8/20/11:

A- Pours a dark, hazy amber/orange and forms a strong off white head that recedes minimally leaving substantial lacing. Looks excellent!

S- Aromas of sweet, light malt, hints of raisin and biscuit, and citrus and pine hop notes.

T- Sweet, lightly roasted malt with a hint of nuttiness and raisin. The orange/citrus and pine hop flavor shows off the delicious flavor of the Delta hops without overpowering. Awesome malt and hop balance.

M- Moderate body and carbonation, finishes with lasting bitterness and tacky feel.

This beer was the best of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series I've had so far! Loved it!

Photo of mynie
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased, expiry dateless, from Parti-Pak in Indianapolis, where they will literally repackage and sell beer that had been spilled on the floor. The earliest reviews are from April, though, so at worst this is just mildly stale.

N E How, the hops aren't very aggressive, but they don't taste really aged or muted. They take a nice center stage, actually, one variety only minimally complicated by a hint of malt tastiness. Only I was having a dilly of a time figuring out which hop this was. It's got a more or less European spiciness to it, but that's backed by a wonderful dry, spicy citrusiness that's like dried orange zest. It's not all that bitter or juicy, but still fruity. Neat.

Turns out this is a whole new variety of hop, one remarkably well suited to an ESB, and it gets backed up fantastically by the creamy, yeast-heavy back end of the beer.

This is what a single hop beer should be, and especial kudos goes to Harpoon for finding the exact right style for this hop variety. It's not Xtreme enough to garner too many glowing BA reviews, but this is an excellently brewed beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, dark amber in color with a huge, towering head of white foam that had incredible reach and retention. Literally just tons of sticky white lacing down the sides of the glass and all over the inside of it throughout. I could not have asked it to look better. Dark, rich, citrus hops now dominate everything around it. Huge notes of orange and rich pine are just elegant. Warming brings a subtle balance of biscuit, light tea leaves, hints of grain. Smooth, creamy rich body just lets the flavor explore. Smooth, biscuit flavors and rich citrus hops are near perfect in unison and the sessionability is simply out of this world.

Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes

22oz bottle into a snifter glass

A- Dark reddish orange with a thin 1 finger white head

S- Sweet malts with a piny/earthy hop presence and a nice citrus and fruitiness.

T- Damn that's smooth. Sweet candy caramel malts with a surprisingly not so bitter hop presence but the earthy qualities and fruitiness comes through right behind it.

M- Creamy head like medium body with moderate carbonation and the finish is only slightly bitter surprisingly.


Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I don't really feel that I have been properly "schooled" on British beers, though I am a National BJCP judge...so I keep trying different examples so that I can gain appreciation for these styles. I am getting there, but still have a few hundred more to go before I think that I am completely prepared. All this aside, let's see what Harpoon thinks an ESB tastes like:

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy burnt orange color with a small 1/8" head of off white bubbles that was fizzy and didn't stick around much at all. There is already some lace left on the glass just from swirling the beer.

Aroma: The aroma is very hops centered with very little of the typical British toasty notes to go along with it. The hops seem like they are British styled, but there is something in there that is making me think of American Pale Ales, too. There is some caramel notes in here that are getting more noticeable as the beer warms.

Taste: The flavor is a little more mild than the aroma suggested. The malt is a pretty big player in the middle and later parts of the flavor profile. The hops are playing a big role in the flavoring and aroma, but they aren't so strong in the finish, which is good, but a bit out of style. There is bittering there in the finish, and I would even say that the hops are the dominant player in the finish, but they don't have the typical interplay with the minerals in the water to further accentuate the dryness on the back of the palate. The beer is medium to light bodied with ample carbonation.

Opinion: Please note that my score is in relation to the style, not the beer itself. This is a pretty good beer, but I don't know how much it would apply to the ESB category. When I prefaced my review by saying that I am still learning ESB's, that meant that I am still learning the finer nuances...not how to tell an ESB from a Pale Ale. This is more of a Pale Ale. It is a little more toward the British Pale than the American side, but it is a bit of a mutt nonetheless. I would venture to guess that if they had just supplemented some more Gypsum in the water, that would have pushed this beer back into style. As it is, the water doesn't really compliment this style, it is too clean. All this said, I will be drinking my whole glass as this really is a pretty good beer for a clean British Pale.

Photo of albertjr21
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass on 3.7.11.

A: This yields a deep brownish amber color that's clouded fairly heavy with floating sediments.

S: Nose carries a relatively moderate but brisk sweet malt aroma of candied caramel, toasted nut, and earthy hop.

M/T: Nice to know that the specific hop flavor I'm getting is from the Delta hops that nicely complement the sweet toasted malt.

D: This has "delicious session" written all over.

Photo of Aiptasia
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really solid beer all the way around, and one to be proud of. Harpoon's first single hop'd bitter uses Delta hops throughout. It's a fine beer for people looking for an introduction into craft beers or darks.

A: Pours a lovely crystal clear rich red. A great 3" tan head forms instantly and the lacing clings tenaciously throughout. Really nice, I wish more beers poured this nicely.

S: Hints of biscuity scotch and caramel on the nose.

T: Smooth and wet. Well balanced with the subtle hops flavor. Alcohol is well hidden and isn't overly fruity. Not sweet at all.

M: Rich up front with a dry finish. Carbonation is assertive although not overpowering. Dry finish with only a residual amount of hopsy-ness on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable and would pair nicely with just about any meat-based meal, or richer seafoods. A great first "dark" beer or for enjoying when you need a pallete cleanse from a dry beer that doesn't overpower a meal.

Photo of NotACommunist
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium globe glass from a 22 oz bomber

A: Half a finger of head which quickly dissipated but left some for the rest of the glass. Amber and clear.

S: Slight alcohol, clean roasted malt.

T: Clean, simple flavor. Not very complex and has no lingering hop flavor.

M: Thin to medium bodied mouthfeel. Might have served too cold.

D: Quite drinkable, but not very complex.


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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.