Harness IPA
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Harness IPAHarness IPA
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Rye Beer
Ranked #14
Ranked #5,252
4.09 | pDev: 7.58%
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States
Harness IPAHarness IPA
Notes: Formerly Harness The Winter IPA

Harness IPA celebrates the tethered teamwork and balance that typifies the deployment of a harness. Brewed to be bold and flavorful, Harness IPA supports an enormous hop load with an anchored malt bill of oats, rye and malted barley. Climbing gear is not necessary to enjoy this beer!
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 178 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Kenai4:
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Kenai4 from Minnesota

4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 21, 2015
More User Reviews:
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Arrowhead_MN from Minnesota

4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just the best IPA I have ever had. Nice and malty with a complex hop profile that is heavy in flavor and with not as much bitterness as I was imagining at 87 IBU. Hop flavors are fruity, spicy, and a little earthy. Very much what I imagined in a winter IPA.

I was surprised by how the color was a much deeper amber than most IPAs. Presumably from the carafe III.

EDIT: Now I've had it out of a can and got a better impression of it. Much more of a dank, earthy hop flavor than I originally thought. The fruitiness comes though after the beer gets warmer. Kind of like a dry white wine flavor. I dunno, beer tasting is hard.

UPDATE 3/1/2015: HIGHLY recommend trying it on nitro at the taproom!

Feb 01, 2015
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish amber with lots of rising bubbles and a big three finger off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A juicy and earthy hop forward aroma with hints of citrus, grass, and caramel malt. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, and melon. Herbal and earthy weed like hints of grass and pine. Solid malt presence with hints of caramel sweetness, biscuit, oats, rye spice, and yeast. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a dank, juicy, and earthy hop forward taste with notes of citrus, grass, and caramel malt. Citrus fruit notes of orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, and melon. Piney hops along with some grassy hops. Big malt taste with notes of caramel, grains, biscuit, rye, oats, and yeast. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, creamy, and somewhat oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good IPA. Hoppy up front but has a nice sweet caramel malt balance.

Feb 10, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours bright copper brown forming a lacy 2” light tan foam crown that takes 4 minutes to reduce to ¼ its original size.

S: Spicy rye malt aromas with traces of spice and citrus.

T: Spicy rye leads the taste sensations with a touch of chocolate, a hint of fruit and a trace of pumpernickel. Starts lightly sweet with a mildly drying rye astringency on the finish. The malt is medium to medium high, hop flavors are medium low, hop bitterness is medium.

F: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: A tasty full flavored beer that is worth repeating.

Dec 07, 2015
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JamesMN from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date on the can. Come on Bent Paddle...

Appearance: Deep amber with some clarity. Poured a nice two-fingers of off-white, nearly tan, froth.

Aroma: Effective dry-hopping with warm citrus and Amarillo/Simcoe characteristics. Very similar to Furious.

Taste: This is a solid mid-west IPA. The hearty/toasty grain bill pairs amazingly with the fierce bitterness and citrus/pine resin hop character. Finish is a surge of hop bite that lingers in the aftertaste like sucking on a grapefruit. Manageable at 7.2% ABV but with a good flavor for that potency.

Mouthfeel: About medium in body and a touch over carbonated (I could have poured harder). Good drinkability but the bitterness does build overtime, which may intimidate non hopheads.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one and Bent Paddle is definitely proving to be worthy of my adoration. Although it may drink like a clone of Furious, I can't knock a brewery for making good beer. If this is an attempt at a clone they aren't the first brewery around here to do so (hem hem Summit and Indeed). All's fair in brewing and enjoying. Would I drink it again? Yes and hopefully making a trip up to their taproom this summer.

Feb 11, 2015
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MNBeerGeek from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Holy hell. Good on ya Bent Paddle. I could not think of a more perfect name or beer for this time of year. It has enough earthy, grassy hop with some pepper and citrus (both smell and flavor) to balance out the smooth malt base. I feel like they used rye in this? Some of that flavor with spice, and a bite from the hop and slight amount of the booze (in a great way) on the back end. The malts balance all the other flavors nicely to give a lingering finish where a piney hop flavor emerges. The finish lasts a long time allowing a person to savor if they want. This goes down far too easy and I am sad I waited this long to pick it up.

Feb 28, 2015
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maedhros09 from Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: Dark hazy amber-brown with big frothy head and some lacing
Smell: Fresh sweet citrus and pine hops
Taste: Big caramelly maltiness with a nice touch of rye. Lots of hops character for the level of bitterness
Feel: Full bodied, thick, almost syrupy with gentle carbonation.

Overall: I can see why this is a winter IPA - there is nothing light about it, from the color to the flavors to the mouthfeel. The malt has a big presence with just enough rye to add to the complexity without overwhelming the palate. Presumably the oats are responsible for the thickness in the mouthfeel. The hops are pretty standard, but very fresh and fruity without being too bitter. Really, it almost doubles as a winter warmer. The year-round Bent-hop IPA will make a better warm-weather beer, but this one is a bit more unique and complex.

Update: I decided after a few more that I didn't like the way the flavors blended and the alcohol flavor is too strong.

Apr 29, 2015
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garymuchow from Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A dark IPA with amber of brown and orange, rather clear. Depending upon how poured a big full beige head. Good looking.
Hop aroma with a bit of citrus and fruit, but not a fruity aroma, with a slowly appearing grassiness and earthiness. Some hints of sharpness moving toward excess but holding back in time. Hints of the malt richness which is to come in the taste.
Nice fullness in the feel, from the malt and carbonation (which is full but also very soft).
A very complex hop profile with much less fruitiness and more blending with the grassiness and then the bitterness prominent, but as this warms there are many changes. The malt come through in all it's complexity too and really gives the quality of a winter IPA, with a robustness and heft in flavor that is quite enjoyable. Bits of sweetness roam through the drink too.
This drink hovers near the DIPA line with bits of excess in hop oil (but tolerable) and the bigger feel and malt presence, but probably stays under the line.
A drink of great complexity and contrasts. Nicely done.

Mar 01, 2015
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Chaz from Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 06, 2015
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eawolff99 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nov 10, 2019
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bent Paddle Harness the Winter IPA, Winter India Pale Ale, 7.2% Alc./Vol. Brewed and packaged by Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Duluth, MN. Contains: water, hops, malted barley, rye, oats, yeast.

Appearance: slightly hazed, gleaming crimson coloration, creamy, off-white, long-lasting head.

Aroma: Big hoppiness pops right out of the glass and into the nose, a blend of citric, piney, tropical fruit notes, with spicy rye malt aromatics close behind. A particularly beautiful blend of hop flavors.

Taste: Bam! Bitter hop bite kicks it off, with smooth and semi-sweet malt flavors rounding it out. Terrific balance here, outstanding taste, and great drinkability. Tasty, tasty, tasty. Medium bodied, long, bittersweet finish. I can't stop saying good things about this beer. It hits me right where I live.

The can has something to say: "Our Winter IPA was brewed in honor of the boundless energy and tenacious character of the sled-dog. Brewed for heatiness with oats, rye and malted barley. The comfort of malt sweetness harnesses the cold crisp citrus notes from the hops. This winter IPA is the perfect way to celebrate bounding through the deep snow."

Mar 04, 2015
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Mdog from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark red-amber, big head.

Smell: Toasty rye bread, bit of citrus.

Taste: Spicy rye followed with moderate citrus. Rye spiciness sticks around in the body and finish.

Overall: 12oz cans from Bent Paddle. Very nice rye dominated IPA/pale ale. The rye was definitely more apparent than I was expecting. Nice full body and feel also. Another good one from Bent Paddle.

Feb 22, 2015
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KarlHungus from Minnesota

3.54/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(Re-review 4/14/18, original score 4.5)

Look: amber, mostly clear, small head, minimal lacing. Aroma: grapefruit, rye bread, lots of caraway, some pine. Taste: very forward with the spicy rye notes, some grapefruit, and a very sharp bitterness. Finish: long and bitter. Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Comments: it's somewhat of a mess. The extreme rye character, and the extreme bitterness clash too much.

Feb 07, 2015
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Evilyak from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

it's ok. nice color, decent head. nothing remarkable, but nothing strange.

smell is pine. taste is pine with a touch of fruit. again, nothing remarkable but nothing strange.

mouth is a bit oily with some lingering bite. good carbonation.

i don't think i'd buy this one again, but i liked it well enough for what it was.

Nov 29, 2015
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SortaAmbivalent from Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 14, 2015
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zenwatts from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 18, 2015
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Was on Beer Safari in Minneapolis St Paul area and (of course) had to stop by Heritage Liquors in Maplewood.
Patrick suggested I try Bent Paddle this trip, and offered Harness as a good start.
I love some of the Rye IPAs that have come out oer the last few years, and hoped this would be one of them.

12 oz Can

Appearance: First...pleasantly surprised with the big deep amber/ruby and rusty orange color. Definitely set a mood for a winter warmer. Poured into an imperial pint glass well with big off white head. Fairly good retention.

Aroma: Caught scents of rye and a mix of fruits, some citrus...but also resin. Seemed nicely balanced,

Taste: Wow...resin forward. Big pine notes that were complemented with the sharper rye malt. Other hop flavors added a balancing sweetness and additional sharpness from the citric side. I thought it was a full bitter/bitter sweet taste that really worked.

Body: Smooth, but not heavy or oiley. Very drinkable. Especially noteworthy considering it was coming out of a can...which for me usually means a bit more brightness in the carbonation. Brightness that can be biting and distracting, not complementary.

Overall: I really liked this beer. Sometimes it seems that brewers aim for the parts ( eg citrus, smokiness, etc.) and the" whole" is the result of achieving the targeted parts. In this case I felt like the brewers had a very good idea of the" whole" as a target, and the parts were carefully selected and married to accomplish the targeted whole.
If so the whole (goal) was a big winter beer with rich color and attractive head, an inviting nose, a big complex outdoors foresty taste and would drink smooth and easy.
If that's the case...spot on!
This beer really needs to be enjoyed outdoors...in the snow...in the cold. Or indoors after the above...or after a great run at skiing.

Apr 04, 2015
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear, copper color with a white head of foam. Nice lace.

S - It smelled very piney with some strong citrus notes. Caramel, too.

T - It tasted of pine and citrus with a sweet caramel maltiness.

M - It was crisp and clean.

O - Bent Paddle does canned IPAs very well.

Dec 31, 2015
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deebo from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time trying this beer.
A-Poured a can into a weizen glass, this is a heady beast. Big tight beige foam tops a dark amber clear brew when held up to the light. This head is lacy and not going away.
S-I can smell hops from a foot away. These smell like your classic west coast. Maybe the 3 Cs. Grassy, resiny and potent. I smell bitterness on the way. Some spicy rye pops as well.
T-Lots of hops and lots of that characteristic spicy pumpernickel rye flavor to go with it. The hops are definitely oily/resiny with lots of punch and stank.
M-Nice balance of moderately high carbonation and a heavy malt bill/body to carry this big ole hoppy beast. High alcohol but it doesn't show.
O-Definitely a hoppy rye forward ipa. Not my favorite style, but this is a well made beer.

Jan 20, 2017
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morimech from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Feb 06, 2015
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Buebie from Minnesota

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep red copper color, finally decided to pour one into a glass this year. Off white head, skim of lace.
Aroma is a good mixture of delicious malt and hops.
Flavors are of the same but amped up dramatically with loads of resin. Finishes dry with a good hop lingering.
This one will be sure to please during the cold months. Reminds me of Widmer Burrr, although more potent.

Nov 28, 2015
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ryancl from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 18, 2016
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tikk from Canada (YT)

3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Apr 02, 2015
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gatornation from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crimson color with a khaki head. Smell had herbal and pine hops some citrus. Taste was herbal with piney hops some dark fruits and toffee,some rye. A dry moth feel with w/c bitterness in the finish . A hybrid imperial red meet a w/c ipa.

Nov 16, 2018
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mothman from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Solid rye ipa. Very fruity with orange sticking out the most. Floral and bitter. Grapefruit and earthiness. Very tasty. A definite sleeper.

Mar 07, 2015
Harness IPA from Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 178 ratings