Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #12 - Imperial Stout | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
69 Ratings
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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #12 - Imperial StoutHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #12 - Imperial Stout

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout had its noble beginnings in the late 18th century to appease the Tsarist courts of Empress Catherine II. With an original gravity of 19° P, high percentages of roasted barley, brown and caramel malts, and the finest noble English hops, this beer will surely keep the winter chill off.

50 IBU

Added by Jason on 10-16-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 69
Photo of womencantsail
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is essentially black in color with a thin layer of khaki colored foam.

S: A little bit of soy sauce followed by roasted malt and coffee. Some sweet and dark chocolate notes with a hint of licorice. There is a definite burnt sugar aroma, perhaps some graham cracker.

T: This was sweeter than expected. Chocolate and roasted malt with molasses and soy sauce. A bit of coffee and maybe even a little vinous, sort of a port type oxidation to it.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, low carbonation.

O: Too much soy sauce to be anything good.

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4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Head is a short solid rocky inch of crackling carmel brown fuzz that fades in minutes to just a skim. Body is a chocolate syrup blackness setting beautiful in the glass. Nose has distinct sweet toffee malt wraped with attractive bourbon. There may be some soured darkfruit there also. Enters the mouth with a distinct candied sweetness with graham cracker, plum, anise and burnt malt. The flavor profile is kind of like when you cook down a sweet liquer in a frying pan. Turns to more of a black licorice hue on the back of the tongue as you drink more. Nicely drinkable but misses the bold richness of my favorite Barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a few of these stocked up in my beer cellar when it first came out, and decided to drink the last one this past weekend. Poured it into two pint glasses. Immense head was a pleasure to see. It was a very dark brown in color, not quite black though. The smell was of roasted barley, coffee, and hints of chocolate. The taste, was to be honest, one of the best imperial stouts that I have had the honor to drink. I had a bottle when this was first released, and I have to admit that this beer aged quite well over time. It was so smooth and drinkable, to the point that I wished that I had more of these in my stock. This is the only 100 Barrel beer that I bought multiple bottles of. Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of laintringulis
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a wide mouth goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost black with a slight ruby opaqueness. Moderate light beige head that thins quickly. Small tight carbonation bubbles throughout drinking.

Smells: Strong roasted/toasted malts, coffee, bourbon, spicy alcohol. Pleasant earthiness.

Taste: I wish it tasted as rich and full as it smelled. Very mild coffee and chocolate flavors present. Moderate caramel malt with sweet raisin flavor. Overall, a pleasant spicy alcohol dominated this brew. I would have liked a better balance of the coffee/chocolate flavors and the malts/alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, not watery. Not chewy at all. I would have preferred more of a mouthfeel and chewiness. Very light and brief slickness in the middle finishing with a pleasant dry, spicy alcohol bitterness.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, tasty, but not complex. Sessionable. I think this would be better paired with food. I had mine solo and I don't think it is a stand alone beer, unless you have more than one.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

been saving this bad boy for over a year (part of Stout Night blind taste test, 2/18/06)

A - impenetrably black with a half finger of dark caramel colored head welled up by unseen carbonation, slightly frothy/rocky head

S - i don't know if it is because i cellared this for a year, but it has a nice aroma, almost like and RIS/Old Ale amalgam, a huge buttery toffee acetyl scent added to the nose as well, the alcohol is highly noticeable but not to the point of being a detriment, and finally at the back of the nose is a blend of dark raisin and mocha aromas, a rather nice bouquet

T - very rich, thick flavor, full bodied, the alcohol is present but faded into the background, stepping up are deep coffee and mocha flavors with a nice backbone of vanilla and toffee, a bittersweet battle of flavors descended from their malt and hops ancestors, what a nice stout

M&D - smooth, thick and rich, with a nice mouthfeel, warming on the way down without being to terribly alcoholic, a nice easy down stout. makes me wish i could get more of it, maybe they'll encore this one.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dispensed from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Appearance is nearly perfect for an Impy Stout. Nice and black, opaque, thick as motor oil as it pours from the bottle. A decent sized, chocolate head covers the beer, leaving little lacing but having great retention.

Aromas were a little disappointing. Mostly chocolate as well as dark fruits like cherries and plums. Alcohol is noticeable in the aroma which seems odd as this is only 7.7abv. Sweet smelling, lots of toasty malt and nutty aromas.

Taste was sweet and full of coffee. The alcohol was definitely in the taste. Chocolate in the finish. Pretty fruity but the hops seem to be hidden in there somewhere and dont make a shining appearance. The bottle says 50 ibus, which seems about right I suppose.

This is not a bad imperial stout but I have had better. Certainly drinkable and worthy of a chance. Perhaps a little to tame for me. Mouthfeel is nice and thick but the noticability of the alcohol brings the overall drinkability down in my book.

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

A: Dark black. Held up to a light directly behind it, no light comes through at all. A big, fluffy, 2-finger chocolate milkshake-colored head settles slowly, leaving no lacing at all.

S: Mild at first -- hazelnut, coffee and chocolate. All become more pronounced as it warms.

T:Hazelnut coffee. Roasted malts. Chocolate/cocoa. Dark chocolate bitterness coats the back of the tongue. Alcohol warms the belly but is not noticeable in the taste at all, as the hazelnut sweetness and coffee flavors dominate early and the bitterness finishes it nicely.

M: I felt a slight chalkiness at first, but it seemed short-lived. It became very smooth and creamy and was lighter than expected for the style (not a bad thing, as some RIS-style stouts are just too chewy).

D: Excellent. An easy-drinking brew, nice and creamy but flavorful enough to keep you interested.

Notes: This has been in my cellar for about a year. Not sure what that may have done for the flavors overall, but I thought this was an enjoyable stout -- I didn't find it too sweet as some other reviewers have. If they brewed this regularly, I would certainly purchase it regularly.

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Photo of rsyberg01
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S - 22 oz. bomber with a gold foil wrapper on the cap. Thanks to Nouseforotacon for this bottle.

A - Pours a black with a deep red at the very edges, head isnt that big but it is somewhat sticky, Lacing is decent.

S - Maple syrup, sugary oatmeal, deep dark fruits, fig and berries, slightly roasty as well. Somewhat of an alcohol warming in the nostrils. Quite nice.

T - Oats, sugary sweet, little earthy tone, toasted caramel, fruit character is nice, bitter in the finish.

M - Coats the palate though it is a little light for me, overall it isnt what I had expected but not bad.

D - I would say a bomber would be the perfect serving. Not bad at all.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100 barrel series # 12 came in a 22 oz. brown bomber 101705 printed on the label. Pours a jet black opaque with tiny maroon highlights when held to the light. Nice layer of off white foam settles quickly and leaves great lacing. Great aroma of chocolate, roasted malts, hazelnut, and coffee beans. Rather light texture for an IS. Very smooth. Flavor is caramel sweet with a large amount of bitter chocolate, and roasted barley. Finish has a dry bitterness like espresso. Overall very tasty brew. I think that this is one of the better 100 Bbl series beers that I've tried.


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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the black, capped, and foil encrusted bomber into a snifter the beer was a very dark, near opaque, black with some slight ruby hues. Carbonation clung to the glass and a frothy one-finger off-white head crowned the beer.

The nose is filled with coffee aromas; expresso, mocha, chicory. Chocolate and sweet malt in the nose as well with a tinge of carmale and alcohol.

This is a highly robust, coffee, and sweet RIS. Coffee flavors are abound here with a sweet start and slightly bitter chicory-like finish. Expresso, coffee beans, cocoa, chocolate all compliment a robust malt backbone. A deep roasted character and suprisingly devilish ABV that sneaks up especially when slightly warmer. The finish is slightly bitter with soft hints of dark fruit.

A big robust mouthfeel with little carbonation.

This is quite possibly my favorite beer from Harpoon to date. True, I have an affinity for the style, but this was well done. Nice balance of dark flavors and a beer that dares you to drink more, but has a suprisingly potent ABV. I would love for this to make a return in 6-ers.

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Photo of mcowgill
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an almost black color with a tan head that quickly fades into a thin film

S - Dark malts with hints of coffee and chocolate

T - Very sweet malty flavor. A little too sweet for my liking. Not much hoppiness to balance things.

M - Thick and full bodied

D - This is a sipping beer. Overall this is not my favorite Imperial Stout but it certainly gets the job done.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

100 Barrel Series Session 12, Sampled April 2006
Pours with an opaque black color, yet does not pour with as much viscous heft as I would perhaps expect. The head is a lightish chocolate brown color that is initially one-finger thick, yet seems to disappear quite quickly. The aroma is a mix of rum, raisins, plums, and roasted espresso. Mostly the aroma is made up rich dark malt aromatic notes.

The taste is quite sweet, in fact disproportionately so considering that the body of this beer is not super thick for an Imperial Stout. Finishes with a bit of a sharp bitterness that tends to linger on in the tongue. Despite this bitterness it does not quite balance out the saccharine sweetness that is found up front. There is a bit of roast character here, actually quite a bit, but again just not enough to hold back the sweetness. As it warms up it begins to become slightly more balanced, but the saccharine sweetness in combination with the lightish body, just cannot be overcome.

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Photo of NolateM
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, this beer looks simply beautiful. As black as can be, with a light-brown head (though I poured mine with very little head this time). Definitely some good lacing going on.

The smell is pretty much what you'd expect from a stout, nice and roasty - just right. It had a good Italian-roast coffee kind of a flavor, with a slight fruity tanginess. The most fascinating flavor I noted was a honey-like sweetness that became VERY VERY apparent as it became closer to room temperature. The higher alcohol content really isn't all that present in the flavor at all. It's really shockingly drinkable... I shared it with my dad from a 22 oz. bottle, and I have a feeling I'm gonna want more by the time I'm done, even though it's all gone.

Recommended to anyone who might yearn for a more easy-drinkin' imperial stout that still has plenty of the complexities that we all love about the style.

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Photo of weeare138
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dickinsonbeer for this…
Appears black with brown edges and scattered lacing around the glass.
Smell is of black grapes, plums, Belgian chocolates, and rich cream
Taste is of butter infused cocoa and butterscotch with some dark fruits and nuts.
Mouthfeel is buttery and smooth. Slightly cloying sweetness.

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Photo of MattBrooks
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as midnight with minimal carbonation as is the case with a lot of Imperial Stouts. Tons of chocolate and rich dark espresso aromas waft up from the glass but only transfer into the taste a little bit. It has a bit of an effervescent (sp?) bite on the finish as well. It was rather easy to drink at only 7.7% as stated on the side of the bottle; and I think that it would probably improve with a year of cellaring.

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Photo of horshack7
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours very dark with a very frothy head nice looking beer.

Aromas: Chocolate malts coffee notes and slight caramel notes.

Taste: Slight hop notes lots of chocolate malts and great coffee notes with a relatively smooth mouthfeel.

Notes: A very drinkable beer to get one through a winter night a great nightcap as well. Cheers!

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Photo of ybnorml
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pitch black beer. No light pass thru, no highlights. Has a small brown head and a nice bit of lace. There is a big vanilla character up front in the aroma. With hints of roasted malts and chocolate. The taste starts with that distinctive vanilla character again. With a nice bittersweet chocolate note in the middle. Followed by some more vanilla blending together for a nice bitter and sweet finish. At 7.7% it gives a nice warming.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with a smallish tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is of burnt malts, slight hops, and big alcohol. Flavor is pretty nice... first there's a ton of sweet malts, then there's... a ton of sweet malts. Eventually a hint of roasted malt flavor comes through, and the finish dries out a bit. Mouthfeel is pretty silky and sugary, with the aforementined dry finish.

This is a nice Imperial Stout, but nothing hugely complex. Worth a try, worth ocassional buys, but not worth seeking out with gusto.

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Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear black in color with a brief lasting 1/2" tan colored head. Surface foam remains for most of the session. Some spots of lace develop.

Smell: roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and hints of alochol.

Taste: thick roasted malts, molasses, dark chocolates, coffee, a hint of ripe fruits, and some alcohol make up this meal in a glass. Alcohol becomes more noticeable as this warms.

Mouthfeel: smooth and lightly syrupy at the start and finish. The flavors last long on the tongue after swallowing.

Drinkability: beyond the noiceable alcohol, this is extremely easy drinking, as I could have ventured into opening a second bottle without any thought. Great beer.

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Photo of sweetwaterman
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on tap at The Burrin Pub in Somerville, MA. I have to say, this is one exceptional stout.

Appearance: Very dark, tall head (1.5 inches) that lingered for a good bit. Almost appeared "creamy" initally.

Smell: Rich aroma, toasted malt stands out. Almost chocolaty (for a bit).

Taste: Rich!! This beer had a great complex taste that contained both aforementioned chocolate hints and a great sense of "roasted" ingredients.

Mouthfeel: A bit creamy.

Drinkability: Very Drinkable. It went very well with my dinner of Beef Stew. Be advised, it is high-gravity and doesn't always seem as such.

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Photo of clvand0
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Redbone BBQ place in Boston. Pours a very dark color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is very nice. Dark malts, fruits, alcohol, and more malts. Yum. The flavor is so smooth. Comprised of the same goodness that the aroma has. Chocolate dominates over the coffee flavors with slight fruit hints and a touch of alcohol. Super tasty. The body is thick and the drinkability is great.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was , for me, the stand -out stout at the Real Ale Fest in CT.
Black in apperance...foamy tan head, with good retention.
Smelled wonderful...malt, toffee ... hint of dark roast coffee.
Taste was really complex...chocolate, malt, coffee... hint of hops...just right on that....nice amount of sugar. Damn that was good.
Mouthfeel was great..velvety..excellent medium carbonation.
Would've liked to have had another...but "kid in a candy store " effect of cask ale fest..had to move on...although..this was so good , it might have spoiled me for the rest of the fest..and there were some other great stouts.
I'll have to buy a bottle of this.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the pour - rich dark color, mild carbonation. Tan head that quickly dissipates. Nice toffee undertone in the smell with complimentary hints of chocolate as well. Very light hops aroma.

taste - toffee, chocolate complimented by a french roast coffee edge. Hops is light and nicely balanced to the maltyness of this brew.

light alcohol presence around mid bottle. Passing the midpoint of the glass, the malt takes the fore front of the taste experience. Wonderful matching of malts with I would guess a plentiful dose of chocolate malt in this brew.

Very smooth, very drinkable. Great choice for an enjoyable winter beer.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, coffee colored head that flattens to a whispy, less than intact sheet. Thin and spotted lacing with good strength. Almost opaque oil in color with deep brown shades.

Roasted dark chocolate malt aroma. Toffee and sweet vanilla. Light oak with sharp, bourbon accents.

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and rich toffee. Roasted, almost burnt, mocha flavored malt character. A pleasant bourbon flavored oak that lingers on the palate. Moderate sharp, hop bitterness; roasted coffee beans and light cherry fruit flavors. An aftertaste of sweet caramel and bittered, milk chocolate.

Full bodied; rich, creamy, and even slick on the palate due to the bourbon-flavored alcohol character.

A nice array of flavors especially how the alcohol plays with the roasted and creamy qualities of this stout. At 7.7% abv, this one is also pretty drinkable.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown/black pour with mahogany highlights and a big, thick tan head that retains and laces nicely.

Aroma is a bit milder than expected, showing sweet chocolate, ripe fruit, charred malts, marshmellows, and a hint of cedar wood.

Flavor is sweet, syruppy chocolate and dark malts, light coffee notes, ripe fruit, chocolate cake, and candied nuts. To sweet and not enough hops for balance.

Body is big, thick, and sugary on ther lips. Light carbonation and a full, creamy texture help it out. Simply too sweet to be thouroughly enjoyable.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #12 - Imperial Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.97 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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