Harpoon Black IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Black IPAHarpoon Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

312 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 8
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-09-2012

Harpoon brewer Matt DeLuca took over the brewhouse for our 40th 100 Barrel Series offering. A newly released specialty malt from Briess called Midnight Wheat gives this beer an almost stout-like appearance without the overly roasty attributes often associated with traditional dark malts. Flaked barley is also used in the malt bill for head retention. An intense yet diverse hop addition schedule is executed during the boil that results in a well balanced offering.

On top of the Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra hops is an ample addition of Ahtanum hops that provides a fruity aroma to complement the earthy, spicy bitterness of this dark ale.

67 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by troysoy2:
Photo of troysoy2
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, picked up at the brewery.

Two fingers of bubbly, tan head sit over a black body, with just the slightest bit of deep rust color shining through. Decent retention, but the lacing pretty much ended halfway through.

The smell is of very floral, almost fruity hops, with caramel.

Not bad, and reminds me a bit of the Leviathan Imperial IPA in its hop profile, although more balanced out by some dark, burnt malt. Citrusy and fruity, with an almost berry flavor hiding in there. Sweet, with some caramel. Mildly dry on the finish. A hint of alcohol heat peaks through. Pretty tasty, but I'd like to see some of the flavors brought out a bit more. The mouthfeel is a tad on the lighter side, but nicely carbonated. Not too prickly, but not quite creamy either.

Overall, I'm happy to have grabbed a bottle of this during my visit. A very drinkable, uniquely hopped take on the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass a deep dark chocolate brown color a nice tight one finger beige colored head atop that lasted in a pillow state for quite awhile.Piney hops stood nicely over top of roast and unsweetened chocolate malt notes,the flavors don't really pack any op punch honestly to me it's like a earthy porter with its light bitter chocolate and raw earthy finish,it lacks really any hop character.The beer started out promising but the lack of hop depth on the palate really brought the score down for me,it's not true to style flavor wise.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Harpoon 100 BS bomber bottle.

Pours pretty much black, larger then average and lasting darker tan head, leavesa thick collar, ample low sheeting and bits and bars of sticking lace.

Earthy, grassy hopped up nose

Pleasant black ale, with hops some what on the tame side for an IPA. Tastes more like a slightly hoppy stout, with minor roasty character.

Finish is where the hops start to come into their own, however in a subtle and reserved fashion.

$6.99 for the bomber makes this a decent value.

Photo of tigg924
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at New World Tavern, Plymouth

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: charred malt and citrus hops

Taste: big chocolate and light citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, light body, sweet with a slightly bitter end

Overall: This one is ok to good, but definitely finished behind Uinta in my Black Ale night. I would pick this up again as it is enjoyable, but there are others in the style I would choose first.

Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut colored with ruby highlights at the edges, a fluffy oatmeal colored head of many-sized bubbles lingers long and recedes slowly. Inviting aroma of citrusy hops, mild malt character.

Rich and roasty dark malt flavors intertwined with strong hoppy goodness, full of citrus and floral notes, morphing to pine in the finish. Roasty bitterness emerges, mixing well with the hops. Nice balance of very rich flavors that work well together.

Creamy and full mouthfeel, slight suggestion of tannins. Overall a tasty and enjoyable beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look I always do my best to track down new offerings from Harpoon, it's one of those larger regional microbreweries with multiple locations in New England. However, I find that they tend to nail a lot of styles pretty well.

Their jumpin' on one of the trends of 2013 the Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA in this case it pours almost pitch black in my glass with some ruby highlights when held toward the light. A nice thick khaki tan head forms thick and forms a great rocky texture with sporadic lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma contains a nice mix of citrus based hops, earthy/dank, mild pine hops multiple varieties listed in the description, dark roasts are mild, hints of dark chocolate not much perceived sweetness.

Flavors dark roasted malts actually blend nicely here with the dank hop components, hints of orange citrus, dark bitter chocolate, herbal/earthy/pine hop flavors at times loose the cohesion with the dark roasted malt bill.

Mouthfeel medium bodied slick mouthfeel, bitter dry finish, yet maintains that smooth crisp drinkability found in most of the Harpoon offerings. Overall nothing incredibly mind blowing but definitely a well made version of an often times poor style from most of the major brewers versions I've tried in the last year.

Photo of rdilauro
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked the total blackness of this brew. Almost like the darkest of nights. It could have been a porter or a stout, but instead a black IPA!
Instead of picking up the aromas of chocolate and coffee from most stouts, this Black IPA gave you an complete overload of HOPS... but not overdone. Instead it was really balanced. The fullness of the black beer combined with the hops and malt made this one very good interesting beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A head of mold spore look on a black body. Subdued aromas, both the roast and the hop. Lacey. Big roast flavour (some ash sediment) with a citrus hop finish, odd but interesting that they used a German hop.Thanks for bringing John. Average for the style.

Photo of tdm168
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - blackish brown with reddish edges; soft, brownish head that fades quickly

S - roasted malts, pine, citrus, chocolate

T - huge, intensely piny hops dominate that front end; smooth chocolate and roasted malts follow through to the end; intensely bitter; some faint citrus and sweetness throughout

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a really nice black IPA. It has an amazingly forward hop character that should please any hop head. It also has a nice, well rounded malt character that balances nicely. It's also a very easy to drink beer that refreshes. It's definitely worth a try.

Photo of Kale99
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have had this black ipa once but really enjoyed it

Photo of hreb
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber of Harpoon's 40th 100 barrel series (couldn't they bring themselves to do a malt liquor for this one?). Served in an oversized wine glass, just to mix things up. Beer pours very dark brown into a black abyss and is topped with a giant chestnut head which falls and leaves thick lacing. This IPA may be black but holy cow, the aroma is all green. According to the label, ample amounts of Ahtanum hops are responsible for that.

Flavor is all IPA, and only in the very end is there any hint of roasted malt. I do feel like the beer might be excessively dry, given the relatively high IBUs and ABVs. This beer really showcases just two things: loads of hops and a contrasting black body. But other than that it's just an average, if high alcohol, CDA.

Photo of jimmy82063
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to get this before it went on the shelves, thanks Dan!

Poured into a brandy snifter.

The appearance is a nice opaque black, the nose is a dominant pine and the taste follows up on that with some slight cocoa and coffe. Very easy drinking!

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a found 100 Barrel Series bottle from 2012. Sampled on February 16, 2014.

This was stashed away on a dusty shelf at a small town convenience store with a bunch of other outdated or damaged beers. So I picked it up.

The pour is dark brown with a tremendous, foamy, lacing clinging tan head. Reddish hues glisten all along the side of the glass.

The aroma has a dark roasted barley malt, black licorice, acetaldehydic character. Hops are muted but the ones I get are earthy in nature. The weak hop character could be due to the age of the bottle.

The body is medium with a smooth texture.

The taste is also malty, slightly sweet and more more modestly bitter with a lingering finish. I think this aged well considering it was probably not meant to be aged.

Photo of u2carew
4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a two finger, off-white head. Slowly settles leaving a sticky lacing all along the inside of the glass. Clear body that is a deep mahogany color.
S) Citrus notes with some smoked, woodsy tones.
T) Mellow hop bite from start to finish. Subtle coffee and chocolate tones.
M) Creamy. Medium body. Dry and slightly tannic in the finish.
O) A good "cascading pale ale". I'd definitely have another one.

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Thanks for the extra ToasterChef! Best by May 15th 2012 we are off!

Out of the bottle the head forms quite evenly. Strange color to the top, sort of a dirty light tan tobacco brown? Foamy in character. Body color is a classic dark walnut brown, to dark to see through, although a little light on the edges shows some ruby red. Pretty nice overall.

Nose has a mild mix of hop and milk chocolate. Pleasant, but very subtle, a little bit of dirt but not much.

Palate hits with a good punch, finishing with mild carbon char and porter like richness. A bit of spicy citrus grapefruit on the finish hits and melds nicely with the malts. Faint chocolate, almost arid and powdery, mixing in with hop bitter. Feel has some silky character to it slightly.

Overall quite enjoyable. Could have this again no problem.

Photo of coachdonovan
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip. Best by date of 5/15/12, this one was released in the last few weeks. Pours a near black, and the 1" head is not quite as creamy as a pint of Guinness but it's not far off.

Aroma is spot on for the style; fruit-forward but also a nice backbone of roastiness. Taste is similar, with a piney, almost sour bitterness mixed with some significant dark malts. I pick up some unsweetened chocolate, which only adds to the bitterness.

As I make my way through the bottle, there is a metallic astringency that becomes fairly unpleasant. It's not awful, but after a while it's all I can focus on. A disappointing end to a beer I'd been looking forward to trying.

Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice black color with a short and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts layered with a strong citrus and earthy hop aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, darker roasted malts with a hint of coffee flavors and then a big citrus and slightly earthy hop flavor. Clean finish too.
M: Crisp, fresh, perfect amount of carbonation, medium bodied.
D: Overall a really nice beer, nice mix of flavors, and it was quite drinkable.

Photo of david18
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a few of these when they were on draft at my local pub. There has been a lot of talk about this style and is one I have a little bit of a problem with. I liked this one ok but I think that the roast fights with the hops a little.

Color was dark with a very dark and prominent head. The carbonation stuck around for a while and even left a little bit of lacing.

Aroma was not hoppy enough for me. Some hops, some roast but in general not enough of anything.

Flavor, like the aroma, was not enough of anything. There is some roastiness but not enough bitterness.

A beer worth trying but not my favorite.

Photo of liamt07
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle shared by johnsense on RB, cheers! Into a tulip.

Black body with some reddish brown hues. Beige head, good lace and a film of retention. Nose has tropical fruits, orange, a bit soapy and some darker malt notes. Taste is really roasty, dark malts, burnt bread, bitter hopping in the form of pine and some mild citrus. Roast dominates. Medium feel, medium high carbonation. A really roasty American Black Ale, hops are lost in the mix.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown to black with oxblood highlights. Creamy beige head leaves a thick blanket or retention but only a small rash of lacing.

Beautiful floral, earthy, viney pine sap hop aroma but where's the roast malt?

Earthy, spicy, pine sap hops pop out first but are fairly balanced by a reserved chocolatey/roast malt character. From recollection the malt in Black IPA is pretty similar to a slightly bigger Harpoon Munich Dark. I never really liked Harpoon's house yeast in dark beers and again it comes through as watery and steely.

Not a favorite for the style or Harpoon. Despite the aforementioned flaws it does come together fairly nicely.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 2/17/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very deep dark brown color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains grassy hops, roasted malts, some chocolate and citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a bitter bite of dark chocolate and piney hops. Then a hearty roasted malt comes in. There are background flavors of chocolate and citrus creating a decent balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid beer but there are better options in the style.

Photo of ppoitras
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head dwindles slowly, with lasting sticky lacing. Aroma is minimal, balanced.

Taste is dark malts to start, moderate citrus in the middle, and comes on pine bitterness galore through to the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is okay as well. Seems somewhat scattered, like a Black IPA with ADD, almost no aroma, then hops everywhere in my mouth? Wish it was a bit more consistent.

Photo of PicoPapa
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle with a Best By Date of 5/15/12. Pours a black color with ruby hues. Small amount of head with some lacing. Aroma is of sweet citrus. Maybe some caramel and a bit of chocolate. Flavor is of grains, some citrus and somewhat earthy. Some floral flavor towards the end. Kind of a metallic aftertaste. Light mouthfeel. This isn't all that great. Pretty light and watery for the style and there is an odd metallic floral aftertaste. Overall, "meh".

Photo of greenengineer
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into Notch 0.5L glass. First beer of the Blizzard of '13

A- dark brown pour with a creamy CO2 charged head
S- Malt more than hops
T-toasted malt with a bitterness after, nice balance. Hints of burnt malt, but a lot of sweetness is retained. Hops are there, but not out front. Almost a porter. Tastes a bit like the East India Porter Pretty Things made in their historic series.
M- a little sticky and chewy, maybe a little flat
O- very drinkable for 7.0% ABV, I could have a few more. In fact I will.

Photo of jdaelhousen
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour produces an almost opaque colored body, with a small amount of tan head on top. Aroma contains notes of floral hops with a trailing roastyness of grain. Flavor contains a center of flowery and citrisy hop bitterness, caramel malt mingles well with the hop flavoring. Tobacco mixes in. Finish provides increased spice on the palate, increased carbonation bite, and black patent malt roast that lingers into the aftertaste. Aftertaste also leaves plenty an abundance of spicey hop flavor on the palate. Overall, quite a solid brew from Harpoon's 100 barrel series.

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Harpoon Black IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.