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Harpoon Black IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Black IPAHarpoon Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

311 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 311
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 7
Gots: 33 | 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: 311 | Reviews: 74
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 t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

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 ChainGangGuy
2.61/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

16 ounce pint - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Nearly black, there's some ruby tints at the edges and capped by nearly an inch of ivory-hued foam.

Smell: Resiny pine notes with some generic roastiness but completely lacking any inviting, ingratiating hop or malt complexities.

Taste: Roasty gas station coffee with a fast flash of bitter chocolate enveloped into char. Nearly nil sweetness. Resinous pine sap with a modest underpinning of citrus. Moderate bitterness. Dry, bitter, resiny finish with a sliver of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I'm not too pleased with this one. It's fairly one-note and weak in the malt and hop department, making for a beer that's actually less than the some of its part.

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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 mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

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 Slatetank
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

i enjoyed this a few times so I figured I would take some notes on the last bottle, enjoyed chilled from the 12oz into a cervoise.

The color is the darkest brown approaching black and opaque in the middle of the vessel with thick medium tan cream with average sized bead and good retention/lace. The smell is a heavy dose of pine hop esters with an accent of grapefruity aroma with mild toffee note from the malt. The feel is good with a bit of bitter and acidic hop influence up front with mild astringency from dark grain and moderate carbonation with slight roast texture and mild warming of alcohol.

This hop taste is familiar but not quite sharp with some citrus and tropcical fruit with mostly pine taste in the first sips with some caramel in the malt coming through after the swallow and light tannic roasted almost char taste in the malt giving an acrid flavor in the finish with subtle alcohol influence. Overall a not bad example, a decent ale and has enough hop flavor to accept the bitter roasted taste, pretty drinkable in general.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taste at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston.

Dark brown, nearly black where no light shines through. Small, but lasting head. Ample lace.

Elements of darker porters start the aroma. Not burnt, more dark chocolate. Little hop.

Less bitter than most IPAs, but that may be from the stronger roasted malts. Full bodied with an above average carbonation level. Overall, less IPA and more deeply roasted Porter.

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

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by 5/15/2012. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange, pine, herbal, citrus rind, roasted malt, biscuit, toast, and earthy spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, orange, herbal, floral, grass, dark roasted malt, char, citrus rind, chocolate, and earthy spiciness. Fair amount of spicy bitterness on the the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, toast, grass, roasted malt, chocolate, char, and earthy spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of roasted malt with hop flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a really nice and quite robust Black IPA. Nice balance of citrus and piny hop flavors; with a very nice and prominent roasted malt backbone. Really well done, and very enjoyable.

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Slatetank for gifting me with a bottle of this. 12oz into a pint, the brew appears dark brown to black in color with clarity seen around the edges. A tan finger of big bubble composition fades leaving small patches of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma includes notes of fruity alcohol and hops at first. Then a bit of roast and maple-like sweetness. It is somewhat floral in the way the hops and alcohol blend together. Not bad, as stated, it blends together nicely unlike others in the style that seem strange and disjointed.

The flavor is bitter from a 1-2 punch of hops and roasted grain. Some bitter chocolate/coffee blends into an herbal to pine-like resiny bitterness that clings. Some earth and hints of maple/caramel along with floral notes towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A nice black ipa that I would drink again and im not the biggest fan of this style. Well done, worth trying. Thanks again Matt.

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 Stinkypuss
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon Black IPA (100 Barrel Series)

Pours a dark brown bordering black color, off white, khaki colored head and solid lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, citrusy, floral hops and pine. In the flavor, pine, grapefruit, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a small anise note. Mild alcohol flavor, strong bitterness. Medium bodied feel with a low carbonation, loose and creamy. Overall, a pretty decent brew, went down smooth and quickly, not too shabby.

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 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 rab53
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of jdhilt
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger tan head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Grapefruit and grass nose, flavor is grapefruit, some malt. You notice the 67 IBUs at the finish. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Concord Coop Concord, NH.

Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black IPA - or American Black Ale - is not the most creative name for the style but it is fairly accurate. A discriminating eye might point out the hazelnut highlights and transparency at the fringes, but a standard drinker would be content to call this black. As for head, the name says nothing about it, and this one has little of it anyhow.

Mocha, the front garden and the forest floor combine for a bouquet that has an almost mushroom-like complexity: earthy and nutty all at once. The roast, though mild, perspires coffee-like notes now and again, while the hops (which are generous) have a dry, pithy bitterness and smell of resinous pine and bark. It's a beer hard not to like immediately.

The label lists all the stats (alc/vol 7.0%, ibu 67, og 18) but Black IPA has a deliciousness that can't be encapsulated by numbers. Underlying notes of coffee are enlivened by brimming candied citrus and forest floor flavors. Each sip feels like it contains fragments of flower petals. It's very lively and effervescent, despite the roast of dark-ish malts.

As this beer showcases, Ahtanum is a fairly well rounded hop. It is largely citrusy, with the standard spotlight of grapefruit and lemon, but it is also notably earthy and floral. It also has a distinctive piney quality that is well suited to dark and crystal malts. The nuttiness combines with the earthiness to give it a complex, mushroom-like character.

Either I've come across a really good bottle or Harpoon just hasn't been given enough props for their Black IPA, because I wouldn't hesitate to call this a damn fine beer. Sure there are stronger examples that exist out there, but we could also say that about 99% of all beers. This is one of the 100 Barrel Series beers I'd suggest brewing again.

No Harpoon product I've had belonged in a higher class than the average beer drinker's table, but Black IPA is a very strong example of its style and certainly warrants as much respect as many of those higher rated than it. I would have been very upset if this bomber were only 12 ounces and even after 22 ounces I would have enjoyed a little more.

Photo of Dicers
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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Harpoon Black IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.