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Harpoon Black IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Black IPAHarpoon Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

72 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 72
Hads: 312
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 5.39%
Wants: 8
Gots: 41 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 312
Photo of hosehead83
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a smart-looking "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet.
Pitch black in appearance, with a nice thick head of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint coffee and chocolate, spicy, grassy hop note
Taste-Medium roast coffee, chocolate, some citrussy hops thrash about. Nothing super-complex here, but a pretty tasty offering that would pair well with some grilled fajitas or a thick cheesburger. (381 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Black IPA is a very dim reddish brown, almost black beer with a lumpy beige foam on top. The retention and lacing are outstanding. It has a bold, fresh aroma of pine and grapefruit with a hint of sweetness. It has a very smooth medium body with a slightly astringent finish. It's well balanced with nice grapefruit peel and pine resin bitterness along with roasted astringency and smooth, mellow, caramelly malt. It's tasty and very easy to drink. (455 characters)

Photo of threeviews
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle (Best By May 15, 2012) into a 13.5oz Libbey tulip glass.

A- An aggressive pour yields an almost-black exilir (light can make its way through if tilted in the light) with a full 3 finger creamy, beige/light brown head

S- Constantly changing...at times bitter and sweet citrus, hints of flowers, spice and chocolate all come and go. As the brew warms and head dissipates, the aroma seems to get more intense with orange citrus and chocolate blending together to create a delicious aroma.

T- As the label suggests a spicy, bittersweet chocolate at the front of the tongue and finishes with a pleasant (white grapefruit) citrus bitterness on the back of the palate. As it warms a piney resin flavor makes its entrance. Much of the 70 IBU's are contributing to the brews hop flavor rather than the finish (i.e. bittering hops).

O- Based on previous reviews, I am pleasantly suprised and think this brew is deserving of higher scores. However, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Black IPA is complex and not as immediate and some others in the style and takes a bit of time to get acquainted. Regardless, this remains a really good example of the style both in profile and drinkability...I only wish I could have sampled this sooner.

Harpoon...please brew this one again! (1,287 characters)

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. (762 characters)

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. (558 characters)

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. (613 characters)

Photo of mttaylor1066
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a lightly hopped IPA with a dark coffee look and taste.

This seemed a little flat-tasting for an IPA, even for a black IPA. Perhaps it is the hops the brewer chose. I drank this 6 weeks before the expiration date stamped on the neck.

Overall, it is a pleasant ale and worth drinking. But it is no "knock your socks off" representative of a new style. (360 characters)

Photo of DavidST
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, best before 5/15/12. This pours a light black color with a little red hues around the edges, along with a nice tan colored head which quickly dissipates. The smells are full of pine hops along with dark roasted malts. The feel is medium and full of bitter hop resin. The taste is pretty good, it follows the more stout ipa hybrid of this style, the hop presence is there full of that bitterness along with a nice roasted malt bitterness for extra goodness. Love it. (510 characters)

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. (895 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz serving on-tap at Harpoon's St. Patrick's day festival

A- Dark black, very slightly translucent. A little over a finger of off-white head that had a very slight yellowish hinge. About average carbonation for a beer. Looked sort of similar to your average Guinness (in terms of head and color) except slightly lighter. Left nice layered lacing around glass while drinking.

S- Not too aromatic. A little bit of hops, slightly sweet, a little bit of malts, etc..

T- Typical IPA taste, but not too hoppy or sweet. Not overly flavorful. A little bit of hops, a little bit of caramel, a little bit of a bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied. Alcohol well hidden and definitely easily drinkable. Very smooth, about average carbonation.

O- I've only had a few black IPAs and this probably ranks around the middle of them. It wasn't overly flavorful, but had a typical Black IPA taste- sort of a not overly hoppy IPA with the sweet characteristic taste similar to other darker beers such as stouts. Definitely could have used a little bit more flavor (preferred if it was a little bit sweeter + maybe a little bit more hops). Not a bad beer (goes down easy), but definitely room for improvement. Would drink again, but probably wouldn't spend the money to buy a bottle. (1,268 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap with lunch today at First Street Draught House. They poured it into curved-pint glass. Dark black with a rich, creamy, tan head on top. Very thick. Leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass. Nose is sharp and hoppy. Lots of pine needles and trail-like scent.

The mouth is creamy as well, but with a crisp carbonation bite at each sip. Wonderful citrus in this one. Bitterness is moderate, but man does it keep me sipping. Mild roasted characteristics, but this is mostly bitter and citrusy-sweet. The "black" in this one, is relegated mainly to the color, rather than the flavor profile. Still, this is one I would have time and again. Good beer. (666 characters)

Photo of thedoubler55
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A Dark brown in color, almost black, a nice tan head at the top that goes away very quickly, a slight lacing present.

S: Up front nothing but chocolate and coffee, slight notes of pine.

T: A bitter taste up front, nice notes of chocolate and coffee. Slight hints of honey on the tail end.

M: Full bodied, slight carbonation, goes down smooth, a nice black IPA.

O: A nice pleasant brew, I enjoyed this brew right next to the fire at the stirling hotel in NJ. (467 characters)

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. (450 characters)

Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer
3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

C- Dark brown almost the color of molasses. It has a minimal head, but what is there is a dirty white.

A- The nose has a nice grapfruity aroma

MF- Good carbonation

Taste- The front end of the beer starts with a fair amount of hop flavors. It finishes with a bit of malty sweetness.

Overall- This is a fine black ipa. It lacks some of the roasted notes that make an excellent black ipa. In that way, it falls into the category of black ipa’s that are black because of their color and not as much based on flavor. If you gave me this on a blind taste test, I would not necessary think it was a black ipa. That said, I would still consider it to be a perfectly acceptable ipa. In our little mini-tour of black ipa’s over the last 3 weeks, I would consider this one a solid second, which is a fine place to be when one of the other beers is Otter Creek’s black ipa. (871 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Had this as the 100 Barrel Series #40 in a large format bottle. An underrated black ale. Love the Harpoon Barrel Series labels. Pours opaque black with small lightly tan head. Aroma of both strong bitter pine and some light earthy roasted coffee. Flavor follows complexity in the aroma with hints of roasty malts between the pine hop bite throughout. Full bodied brew with medium carbonation. Relatively easy drinking. Pretty solid. (432 characters)

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. (856 characters)

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. (770 characters)

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. (486 characters)

Photo of depechemode1983
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours out very dark brown with red hues when held to the light. Head is khaki colored and has excellent retention.

S - Lots of sweet grapefruit in the nose as well as pineapple, orange, and other tropical fruits.

T - Mostly bitter grapefruit. Toasted grains are present along with a molasses sweetness Bitter and toasty.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O - Just on ok beer. Slightly above average, gotta give it that. Nothing too special though. Worth the try but I doubt I would drop 8 dollars on the bomber again. (535 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with clear, ruby highlights and a fluffy light brown cap. Fair head retention with sticky lacing. Powdery citrus, caramel, grassy hops and roast in the aroma. Bitterness was dominated by sweet malts up front (chocolate, toffee, and roast) and never really took charge once they started to fade towards the finish. Citrus and grassy hops mid-palate with a bit of alcohol following. Creamy carbonation with medium plus body, nice texture, slight warmth. Overall, I liked it, but didn't think it was a great example of the style. Hop bitterness was overshadowed by sweetness, which made it more balanced but neutered the beer. It kind of made me think of a slightly hopped up American Brown Ale rather than an IPA of any stripe. (736 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a desently tall tan head that lingers quite awhile over a deep chestnut body.
Aroma has a nice hop bouquet of citrus and floral hops. Malts have a robust smell that balances quite well with the hops. The first thing I noticed in the taste was a heavy ash or charcoal taste. The second thing I noticed was the 67 IBU's at the finish. And in between you have the malts and hops. For as well as it smelled, the hops don't come through in the taste. The hops are lacking in flavor and what hops you do taste are muddled. Malts are present and accounted for with a hint of roastedness.
On one had the beer drinks smooth on the other there is a good amount of chalkiness, I assume is from the black patent malts. There is a quite bitter finish.
Not a bad beer, two things though: the heavy ash taste and lack of hop flavor, could use work there. (850 characters)

Photo of diamondc
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, with a ruby tint held up the light. Good head retention and lacing. Looks great.

S: Mainly citrus with a roasted, slightly chocolatey note in there.

T: Chocolate, lite coffee malt flavors, then a wallop of earthy, citrus peel hops afterwards.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, almost feels like its from nitro tap. Those roasted malts really dry out my palate. Could use a bit more body since it does feel 'light'.

O: Another good black IPA, nothing earth shattering, but well-worth the money. Might buy again. (512 characters)

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. (505 characters)

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. (297 characters)

Photo of heelsn02
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jamvt for hooking this up.

1 pint, 6 fl. oz bomber bottle poured into snifter. Limited edition small batch; session 40 in Harpoon's 100 barrel series

Pours a very very dark, blackish/red rich color. Tan, foamy 1-finger head. Nice head retention, and pretty decent lacing.

Nose is a bit underwhelming. Mild floral notes going on. Some very soft hints of citrus fruit and chocolate malts.

Taste - actually a pretty nice balance of sweet roastyness and piney hop flavoring. Probably some simcoe and cascade in there.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Mellow finish. Adequate carbonation for the style.

Overall, pretty average/slightly above average offering from Harpoon Brewery. (688 characters)

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Harpoon Black IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.