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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.2%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | 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:
Beer added by: johnnnniee on 12-02-2011

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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 43
Photo of UltimateLivewire
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Eastsideinside
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of Jammer42
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of AleWatcher
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My last blind beer from Shogo...

Beer #12.
Bomber served in an imperial nonic.

Phil left the cap uncovered on this one and it has a big Harpoon Brewing 'H' on it... So unless this is a homebrew that re-used a cap...

Anyway-- pours a reddish orange copper color with a head the color of that belonging to Coca-Cola. Pretty weak retention and virtually no lacing. Very clear.

Nose holds some caramel malt, some odd fruity ester notes, and something I associate with Xmas. Is this a spiced Xmas ale?

The beer starts off sweet with a decent dose of caramel malt before the Xmas tree vibe takes over and dries it out. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter with an odd lingering resiny vibe. Pretty noticeable boozy note in the finish too. It almost makes me think the was aged on wood or perhaps put in a barrel for some period of time.

Feels pretty decent, medium body with a bit of an oily feel. Lots of carbonation leaves me belching between intermittent sips.

I am thinking this must be some sort of spiced barleywine or strong ale, perhaps even a winter warmer? If it is spiced, it is done so sparingly...

REVEAL-- Harpoon 100 Barrel Series; Vermont Spruce Tip.

Wow-- this is called an herb/spice beer. And it's only 7%... I would have guessed more than that!
Well, after reading the description (and the name!) I totally see that 'Xmas trees' as a flavor descriptor wasn't too far from the mark.

Am interesting beer, as I don't know that I've had a beer made with spruce tips before, but this is not one I'll have again.
To be fair, the booziness I was getting now seems to be more of an abrasive resiny dryness on my tongue than a true boozy bite.

Now that I know what this is, here are my ratings;

Photo of brewandbbq
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle.

Pours clear amber with an inch-plus head of white. A partial skim coat and dotted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with biscuity, chaulky malt with a hint of spicy hops. No spruce to be found.

Medium bodied with a slightly tacky, crisp mouthfeel.

Malt and a kiss of bitterness starts the palate. A minerally, drying character runs underneath and the beer finishes quick.

A malt-forward English style pale ale with zero Spruce character. False advertising or an extreme failure?

Photo of de322
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of meiiska
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of zhumphrey
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of abgba121
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a light amber with about 1cm of off white head that recedes very quickly and leaves behind a light lace down the glass

S: very sweet up front and slight pine and very little citrus or hop notes

T: sweet then a little spruce/pine, could use more hops to balance the high maltiness

M: high carbonation, medium body

O: an ok beer but needs some work

Photo of Tschnab
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark orange pour with a half finger of head and some sticky lace.

S- aroma is sweet with maltiness, some hops, some of the spruce, some citrus.

T- taste starts out really bright with lemon then a nice malt character comes in. The finish is all spruce.

O- I think this needs more hops. It is a good beer, but with the big spruce flavor I wanted more citrus to balance, rather than more malt. Perhaps a personal preference. All in all, good spruce beer here, glad I tried it.

Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of WassailWilly
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Photo of verdict603
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JustinAniello
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of wagner617
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of ixodus
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours clear amber with red hues presenting a small white head that leaves small traces of lacing

S: Not strong smelling but I got hints of pine resin, maple syrup, caramelized raisins, and orange peel.

T: Piny hops, brown sugar, sweet caramel, maple syrup. Not strong tasting.

M: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Easy drinking.

O: Over all this is a easy drinking beer. Kind of reminds me of what DFH does when they make beers with interesting ingredients and it just comes out weak. It's not bold but it's still an interesting brew, although I wouldn't seek this one out.

Photo of bostonryan
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of tatums1984
1.5/5  rDev -57.4%

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber of this session #39 of Harpoon's 100 barrel series. Name & description sounded enticing, so I couldnt pass it up. Beautiful pour with a crystal clear light mahagony color and a creamy off white head. Nose is mostly roasted & sweet caramel malts with a touch of spice in there. The pine isnt as dominant as I would like it to be - it comes in the disguise of spicy floral hops, but just enough to compliment the malts. It works, and smells fantastic, just was expecting something different. Carbonation up front sets the pace for the flavors to follow; roasty bready sweet malts give way to spicy hops & an aftertaste of mild pine. It works, but just not up to par with the expectations set forth. Balanced & easy drinking for sure, I would recommend giving it a try.

Photo of Cord018
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- a deep amber color, copper like. A light frothy head.

S- malty and bread like. You also get a sweetness and the spruce.
A bit of caramel as well.

T- sweet biscuit followed by the spruce. Light malty flavor as well by the sweetness and spruce are the overpowering flavors. Mild hoppiness, even a hint of maple syrup. Finishes crisp and clean.

M- similar to a pale ale but a little more thin. Very little carbonation.

O- I thought this could have been more balanced. I found it hard to have more than one glass due to the sweetness. The spruce tips did balance it out a bit. Maybe some more hops would help counteract that sweetness. Overall I thought it was ok but certainly different and interesting.

Photo of neophilus
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear copper colored brew. Pale straw colored head.

Aroma is malty, dry bread like a cracker. A musty, semi-sweet scent mixes in with the malt, topped off with a faint fruity whiff from the ale yeast. Can't place the musty smell, it must be the spruce mixed with the hops.

Taste is almost sweet up front but dries out with very mild hop bitterness. This is a very clean ale with mild yeast presence. The hops are only here for balance as I'm picking up minimal bitterness.

A musty, pollen like flavor sweetens the beer up and plays off the hopped ale base. The spruce saves the beer from being technically proficient yet lacking soul. Good body and clean finish, very high drinkability.

This tastes like a well made yet plain ale with a little something mixed in to keep you off your toes. The spruce does not dominate or overpower. In fact I could have used a bit more to get a better sense for how this unique and local ingredient really tastes. The average beer drinker however will not be offended by this craft brew and I certainly enjoyed my session with it as well.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce Tip from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.