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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce Tip - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce TipHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce Tip

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

103 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.2%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This hearty ale is a showcase for a traditional yet seldom used brewing ingredient: spruce tips. Harvested at their tender, ripe, bright green peak in Downer State Forest, Vermont, these spruce tips impart citrus, pine, spice, herbal and earthy notes. A host of malts, a hint of roasted barley and generous use of Chinook hops complement the unique spruce flavor.

We’d like to thank the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and all of the many great volunteers that helped us with this unusual harvest.

38 IBU

(Beer added by: johnnnniee on 12-02-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce Tip Alström Bros
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Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AJD1201
AJD1201

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +27.8%

12-26-2011 01:16:43 | More by AJD1201
Photo of Eastsideinside
Eastsideinside

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

03-10-2012 18:04:32 | More by Eastsideinside
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vermont Spruce Tip Ale doesn't smell like it's been brewed with "locally gathered spruce tips," which in my opinion is a good thing, as beers that smell like Christmas trees have, in my experience, also tasted like them. Instead, this one comes across with a heavily malty body, thick with brown sugars, toasted wheat bread crusts, caramels, vanilla, and biscuit. Noticeably light is the hop aroma, which largely lingers around the periphery, adding only subtle hints of citrus and pine. From the nose alone, I would assume this to be a well-made brown ale.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a sweet, sugary, malty note full of brown sugars, vanilla, bread crusts, and caramels. Soon after the presence of hops washes over the tongue, bringing bitter grapefruit and pine, as well as some peppery eucalyptus. The spruce tips arrive soon afterward, sneaking their way in with a sweet sap-like overtone, much like what a tea brewed with spruce tips would taste like. The effect is very light and subtle, adding just a touch more pine to the hop profile than would be normally expected, and lending the beer a slight spicy Christmas feel. There is just enough sugar in the beer to nicely balance this sweet sap addition, and indeed, had I not know spruce tips were used in the beer, I would have assumed the flavors came entirely from the hops. The aftertaste is a continuation of the spicy, sappy hop-and-spruce flavors, with just enough sugars remaining to balance them out (though the sap does slightly overpower them after awhile), and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is one of the more successful of Harpoon's 100 Barrel Series I've tried, and one of the few that I would consider purchasing on a regular basis. Again, the spruce tip addition shouldn't scare off potential buyers, as the flavors are not overwhelming, but rather catalytic, bringing out more of the hops' natural pines and oils. Well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 22:15:43 | More by jondeelee
Photo of JustinAniello
JustinAniello

Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear reddish-brown with a foamy two finger head. Dissipates to a light sticky lacing and cap.

S - Heavy breadiness with a very light pine, almost too light to even smell.

T - Sweet caramel at first turning to a medley of pine, brown sugar, malts, and a hint of fruit. Mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

B - Medium body and carbonation, goes well with the flavors.

O - Quite happy with this beer. Nice flavors that jump out without overpowering each other. A better blend of aromas would have improved it. The pine and maltiness really makes this a nice beer for the winter months. Too bad it's a limited edition, because I would be willing to grab this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 00:13:49 | More by JustinAniello
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Green's on Piney Grove, I wanted something different and got it. 32 ounce growler into a big TripKarm goblet.

Vermont Spruce Tip is a ruddy, hearty looking chestnut colored ale with a short, light and light tan head. Lace though. Clear and attentive. Nose is something like a generously malty pale ale or Scotch ale maybe, with a good dose of cool piney hops and what I imagine must be the spruce - a herbal, spicy and vegetal quality. Not bad.

The flavor is malt forward, slick and medium bodied. Rather expansive mouthfeel really, and gently spruce-y, this is quite appealing. It's different and restrained, both qualities I enjoy. The 7% is possibly evident. The malt is somewhat English and the whole thing is well-rounded and enjoyable; mildly sweet. There is a strange slickness to this one, which is a bit of a shame, otherwise, I dig it. It drinks very easily.

Give Vermont Spruce Tip a shot, it's a fun and drinkable Winter-ish brew that deserves a chance. I hope Harpoon makes this again, as I can easily see myself settling in on a cold night with a book and a fire or girlfriend or other heat-producing object, and having a grand time of it.

Serving type: growler

12-30-2011 01:54:55 | More by kkipple
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle with an expiration date of 03/15/2012. Sampled on December 29, 2012. It begins with an attractive darker-amber pour with a short-lived hea that disappears quickly. The aromas are finely balanced between sweet malts and earthy, piney hops, which makes sense considering how it was brewed. The body is medium to bold. The taste comes off stronger than the aroma with the same characteristics of pine tree, earth, and sweet malts with a vaguely dry finish. At the same time the piney flavor is something a little different and difficult to describe. Overall likeable.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 23:31:36 | More by puboflyons
Photo of civicm87
civicm87

New York

4/5  rDev +13.6%

05-19-2013 19:42:58 | More by civicm87
Photo of amp138
amp138

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-22-2011 04:03:46 | More by amp138
Photo of codon2004
codon2004

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-05-2011 19:49:10 | More by codon2004
Photo of UlyssesGastro
UlyssesGastro

Delaware

4/5  rDev +13.6%

01-04-2012 16:07:12 | More by UlyssesGastro
Photo of frank12
frank12

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +13.6%

04-27-2012 07:57:57 | More by frank12
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of hops, malt, and a lot of pine.

T: Tasted predominantly of pine, with a lot of malt, caramel, and some hops in the finish. An interesting flavor that's pretty tasty, but definitely hard to pin down.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a somewhat bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of those beers that's kind of familiar, but also kind of an oddball. Still, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 23:24:08 | More by avalon07
Photo of jgknittel
jgknittel

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +13.6%

01-01-2012 02:01:13 | More by jgknittel
Photo of Vermonthiker
Vermonthiker

Vermont

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-10-2011 13:26:44 | More by Vermonthiker
Photo of bornridiculous
bornridiculous

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-17-2011 01:02:23 | More by bornridiculous
Photo of verdict603
verdict603

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +13.6%

01-30-2012 02:41:23 | More by verdict603
Photo of Gregwa
Gregwa

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-24-2011 05:47:33 | More by Gregwa
Photo of zhumphrey
zhumphrey

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +13.6%

02-17-2012 02:04:25 | More by zhumphrey
Photo of dunix
dunix

Vermont

4/5  rDev +13.6%

02-11-2012 22:14:05 | More by dunix
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev +13.6%

01-29-2012 10:39:49 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jasonheyd
jasonheyd

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-18-2011 22:04:31 | More by jasonheyd
Photo of VTEno17
VTEno17

Florida

4/5  rDev +13.6%

05-22-2014 01:27:20 | More by VTEno17
Photo of mbs11
mbs11

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +13.6%

01-14-2012 00:53:35 | More by mbs11
Photo of Hophead101
Hophead101

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12-13-2011 01:27:14 | More by Hophead101
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. As all #39 - brewed on 11/3/11. Drank on 1/13/12.
Pours an amber clear, almost like a maple syrup. Nicely carbonated pour, but head disappears quick. Leaves behind some ok lacing.
Aroma is of sweet malts; almost quad like? but you smell a bit of hops, alcohol, and yes, pine.
Taste is very similar to the smell...sweet malts, again almost quad-like, but a bit more hops than I thought. The spruce is present, along with alcohol, in the aftertaste.
This is a really great brew...drinkable, unique, and just awesome that the spruce was harvested in Vermont, by volunteers. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 00:39:34 | More by DrinkSlurm
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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce Tip from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.