100 Barrel Series #05 - Alt Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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100 Barrel Series #05 - Alt Ale100 Barrel Series #05 - Alt Ale
31 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #05 - Alt Ale100 Barrel Series #05 - Alt Ale

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: German Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 04-17-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a previously offered regular run beer, NOT the 100 Barrel Series brew.

It was a deep red ale with a good head that took some time to dissolve to lace.

The aroma was very hoppy, with traces of pine and citrus mingled in delicately.

The taste was of very sharp hops, but not overly bitter. The finish was smooth. It did feel a tad thin, though.

This was a highly pleasant beer, one I enjoyed quite a bit.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another terrific beer in Harpoon's 100 Barrel series. I bought this one straight from the source at the brewery in Boston.

The beer pours a dark brown color with some reddish hues around the edges. A big frothy off white head sits on top. The foam dissolves to a thin sheet and thick ring on the surface. Some lace is left behind as the foam fades away.

A malty aroma of caramel, vanilla and a hint of cherry's floats above the beer. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and delicious. The flavor is malty sweet with a nice combination of caramel and toasted malts and a hint of vanilla mixed in. It finishes with a mild hoppy bitterness leaving behind a malty taste in the mouth.

This would be a good beer to have in the fridge year round. It's full of flavor and very easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon Alt Session 05 Batch Date 3/31/04
16.9oz brown bottle. Session 05. Batch Date 3/31/04.
It pours a nice ruby-hued dark amber with a medium-sized, and lasting off-white head and a fair amount of sticky and trailing lace.
The aroma is fruity and malty, with a light cut hay smell.
This is a malt-driven brew. Plenty of dried and lightly toasted malt flavors provide ample sweetness and bready tastes.
A light taste of pears mingles with a lemon and lime citrus bitterness.
This Alt is a fine US representation of the German style!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100 Barrel Series, Session 5. 03/31/04. Two years later. Attractive gold foil over the H cap.

Pours a dark mahogany with a settled collar of khaki ring.

Aroma is stiffled initially. Light vanilla and a blend of steeped grain.

First swigs: Soft malt intitially with a backing of smooth caramel. A dry vanilla bean and grainy flavor. Some underlying residual sugar. A fairly solid alt style that is straight to the point. Honeyish with a dry plain pancake and syrup dryness. Flour dry.

Feel is tricky. This is an alt so this should have a dryness imparted and it does.

Last swigs: Managing to fall into the alt family. Sweetness from the hops is a bit too tea sweet, but considering that this is a 2 year old bottle, it's impressive.

Lsat swigs: Alts have been falling in my lap lately. This was a bottle from Andy at UJs Glenside.

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Photo of taez555
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark tan/reddish brown body with a thick off-white head.

The nose had a big rich malt smell. Touches of biscuit, sweet sugar some slight phenols and even a slight candy hint.

The taste was medium bodied with a big malt taste. It starts very clean, almost watery, and then you just get struck by this big malt and hoppy bitterness. It really takes it's time to progress into the bitterness, maybe a few seconds even. but a great mix of malt, caramel, biscuit, some slight phenols, a slight fruitiness and some earthy hops. It ends with a long lingering bitterness.

Maybe not a true alt, but man, harpoon continues to impress me with these 100 barrel series beers. Just like the barleywine they seem to make better beers when they stick closer to what they already make but just kick it up a notch. This one falls right in that category. Big and malty, a great session beer.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Citadel82
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love Alt beer. Maybe I just love the cylidrical glasses.

Batch date March 31/2004 Session 5


Pours a deep copper in my Dussel Alt "Stange"

Thick white head with creamy lace as it withdraws.

Smell of malt and floral hops.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin with effervesce.

Very drinkable at 37 IBU this is my kind of brew. Wish I could find more...Now.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap @ Redbones in a pint glass.

Perfect clarity with one finger of off white head, distinguished looking amber brandy hue. Solid malt aroma with some toasted notes, hints of alcohol are way in the back with a dash of fruitiness.

Just enough crispness to get by with its moderate body and a sturdy malt to hold up against the sizable hop bitterness. Hints of toasted bread and grain husk in the back end. Speck of fruitiness within the alcohol shows that trademark Harpoon yeast character off.

As usual an other satisfactory brew from Harpoon, perhaps not what a traditional Alt tastes like but this is certainly a hearty stab at the style, regardless I’ll be stocking up on some bombers so I can pair this with some brats and cabbage.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, with gold foil. Poured a nice clear, ruby brown. Malty nose. Off white head, with good retention. Malt, malt, malt is the deal here. Very nice, smooth malty flavors. Notes of almonds, caramel, bready. Clean tasting, very enjoyable Alt.

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Photo of SlowTwitch
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Color is a nice amber. Thick head dissipates quickly and doesn't lace well.

Smell - Subtle caramel.

Taste - A nice malt/hop balance. Nothing noticeably different with the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Pleasantly lingers.

Drinkability - Very quencing and satisfying beer.

Overall - A good beer that I would buy again.

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

Pours a dark red-mahogany, topped with a two finger ivory head, leaves thick puffy bands of lacing.
Robust caramel and malty aroma. A bit spicy and sweet.
Fresh and clean, but a "soapyness" to the taste. Pear, cream, sugar, just a touch of chocolate, perfume. Mainly caramel and fruit.
Medium bodied, and quite creamy, a dry aftertaste.

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Photo of UncleFrank
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great session beer that Im glad i picked up. I had been disapointed with other beers in the series, but this one makes up for it. A nice amber-copper color with a tan head. Malt sweet smell with hints of apple. A sweet caramel taste hits the mouth and is balanced with grassy hops. Finishes clean with a hint of hop bitterness just enough to dry the palate. I like this beers for a night of drinking.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon Alt pours a reddish-brown color with a thin, slightly off-white head. The nose is of caramel malt, hops, and some bready notes. Taste is hoppy up front, with a firm bready backbone and a balanced sweet/bitter finish. Some lingering toasted malt notes in the aftertaste. Light on the tongue with a moderate amount of carbonation. Quite drinkable - but the packaging (22oz bomber) and price (I paid $4.99) make it a bit unreasonable to have a lot of. I would like to see this in six packs.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Alt looked fantastic! Has a rich, deep, clear chestnut color, with a very fine light tan head topping off at about 1". The head dissipates at a very slow rate, and leaves top-shelf lacing. There are plentiful bubbles arising withing the bier as well. Nose suggests dryness, with some toasty malt and mild, floral hop aromas wafting about. This 'Poon was quite smooth on the tongue, but a touch under medium in the body area. Toasty malt hits the palate first, along with some light caramel. There is a nice level of sweetness here at the outset.... and it tends to linger well. What doesn't show up is much in the way of hoppiness. There's a light touch of a floral character, but you have to search for it. Tasty overall, but needs more hops at the end to balance things out and make this bier more Alt-like.


overall: 3.9
appearance: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of kennyo
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

100 barrel series of Alt Ale. It pours a clear mahogany wood color with a nice head that stays around for a while.Lots of carbonation on the pourbut mellow on the tongue. Malty/bready aroma, not much hops.Nice toasty malty taste. slightly chalky on the aftertaste.
This style was never one of my favorites and only drink it to try new beers. This beer is very drinkable if you enjoy the style.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, bright amber color, slim, tight, white rings caps it off.
Aroma: sweetness, from fruit and caramel tones, apples and berries, grapes, a hint of oak and vanilla, just a tease of spices. Nice.
This ale meets the tongue amiably, gently passing the lips and providing a pleasant hoppy breeze. It's a brief blitz, gritty, then dimmed. The palate is lightly touched with flavor, then it fades clean off, leaving only a faint echo. While it lingers, though, it's a fine fruity flavor, with nutty, cola-ish edges.
Medium bodied, and a supreme drinker, as quaffable as they come.
An okay alt, sure, but nothing to shout about.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Ox. bottle. "Harpoon Alt Ale" from their 100 Barrel Series. This is session 05. Batch date 3/31/04, ABV 5.25%, IBU 37

Pours a dull amber with a frothy white substantial head. Dry malty taste with some hops in the back. The dryness is a major factor in this brew. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but leaves an almost gritty feeling on the palate and a lingering boring aftertaste. Easily drinkable, but I wouldn't recommend it.

My least favorite of the 100 Barrel Series so far.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over a clear copper brew, and laced well. Aroma is sweetly of caramel malts. Taste is well-balanced, with a slight sweetness of malt that is countered by hops. Mouthfeel is quite thin, but drinkability stays up because there was nothing wrong with the brew, just more a case of I feel it wasn't all it could be. Similar to the draft product, which I guess is good thing for the brewery, consistency of output, regardless of presentation.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep brown copper with a hint of ruby in the light. has a light tan head that doesn't stick around long but leaves a good lacing. the smell consists of grainy toasted malts and a little metallic tinge a bit of caramel as well. a little weak.
toasted and caramel malts dominate the taste with a slight tangy dark fruit flavor. a little buttery too. some nuttiness shows up as it warms. some hop bitterness seals the deal. the taste deserves a bit more like a 3.75, but i think a 4 is a little generous so i'll stick with a 3.5. i think the smooth body and pretty strong carbonation work well with the beer. not bad but i was expecting a little more from the 100 barrel series, which have beenvery good.

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Photo of necoadam
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm starting to like Alt's the more I try them now. I think this and smoked beers would be ideal for the fall time. But it's the dead of summer and it's 70 degrees outside so it's time to break this one open. Poured out a rusty copper. Almost looks like blood red held up to a light. Pretty nice. Smell consists of malts mostly with some light hops and caramel in the backround. But everything seemed to be on the light side. Taste was a little better. This has a big malt profile. Some caramel mixes in the middle and finishes a tad buttery and nutty. Aftertaste is quite dry and quite nutty as well. But yet it's rich and creamy. All and all, this isn't bad. It is worth a shot to try.

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Photo of Hhawk06
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like the concept of the 100 Barrel Series, this was my second offering (Abbey the other). It poured with a good fizzy, slightly tan 1/4" head. The body could be described as dark bronze with a reddish hue. The smell is enticing, sweet and malty. The mouthfeel has a whiskeyish texture, but certainly not in taste. Has a very rustic sense to it, pale but mellow at the same time. This could best be described as a sedated brew, it just sits on your palate with not much fanfare. Finishes with almost a metallic/nutty taste. Its ok, I wouldn't go out of my way to get another.

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Photo of Eyedrinkale
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Poured a dark red color with a smallish head. All malt in the aroma and couldn’t get much else. Taste has a light sweetness to it, but a bit too light. I had high hopes for something with such a special name. Body was very smooth but I hate to be critical but there seems to be something missing here.

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Photo of shippos
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

courtesy of ppoitras

pours a clear brilliant amber copper with a thin whitish head at first straight out of the fridge but the remainder in the 22oz'er poured with a fairly decent head. mild and subtile fruity malty aroma with a caramelly stewed maltiness some raisins but very subtle to me and hardly any hops to pick up on. very balanced clean mild maltiness witha prickly carbonation following and decent hoppy aftertaste. drinkable for a one time thing nothing to get excited about. still a good beer though.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured a nice deep reddish/mahogany color with an off white head that dissipates quickly.

A nice sweet and malty nose hinted at a smooth, mellow flavor.

The taste was very sweet indeed, but fell rather flat/flavorless for an Alt with such a promising appearance and aroma. From the first sip the taste just drops off leaving its flavor rather expressionless. After a few more sips it is easy to tell that this is a rendition on the lighter side that is noticeably watered down. Besides the malty sweetness there are faint nutty characteristics in the aftertaste.

A very drinkable beer. Would I have another? Probably not.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours crystal clear with auburn red coloring. Moderate small bubbled head on the pour that fades away to nothing.
Aroma of burnt caramel with a buttery note attached to pale bready notes.
Flavor is strictly caramel and toffee with no real other taste profiles noted except for a hint of buttery diacetyl.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, probably a little heavier than norm for style, but well-rounded and full with just a hint of perfumy hops on the finish to cut the sweet malt.
Drinkability is good but lack of complexity make for a rather staid beer without much to bring me back for another.

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100 Barrel Series #05 - Alt Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 31 ratings