Harpoon Dark
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Harpoon DarkHarpoon Dark
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Lager - Munich Dunkel
Ranked #34
Ranked #25,770
3.81 | pDev: 10.24%
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Harpoon DarkHarpoon Dark
Notes: A blend of specialty malts gives this beer a velvety mouthfeel with roasted notes and a hint of chocolate, balanced by a subtle hop aroma. Hard to describe but easy to drink, Harpoon Dark is rich in character and light on the palate.

35 IBU
Reviews: 372 | Ratings: 716 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by OldFrothingSlosh:
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. amber bottle.

Poured a dark brown in color with a 1/2-inch layer of off-white head. Spotty lacing. Aromas are a mix of cocoa powder and dark fruits. Flavor is more of the same, starting off with chocolate sweetness, mixing with some balancing hops, and finishes with a kiss of alcohol-soaked fruit. Aftertaste sees a little bit of roasted grain in it. Very, very drikable.

Notes: Up to this point, I'd always associated Harpoon with "IPA"...no more. I'll seek it out.

Aug 01, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of Brad007
Brad007 from Vermont

3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color here. Aroma is very malty and sweet. Taste is somewhat strong with a decent malt backbone, some sweetness and alcohol flavor to top it all off. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry and reminiscent of coffee at the back of the throat. Not too bad and actually, tastes better than the brown session ale I've had.

May 13, 2007
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark cola color. The head isn't particularly impressive; it's a one finger light mocha shade that fades away to a gimpy-looking film quickly.

S: Mild roasted grains, some faint chocolate, nuts, butterscotch, and slight fruity esters. A decent aroma that only suffers only from its mild strength.

T: There's an initial hit of roasted coffee, before it finishes with some nutty malts and some stone fruit esters. Not complex or particularly interesting, but it's easy drinking and pleasant.

M: Superbly clean and crisp. Apart from a slight lingering fruity note from the lager yeast, this is as bone dry as it gets. I really like the feel here.

O: I had this one last year and hated it. Having it now, it's less awful and more ho-hum. Still, it does a solid job of hitting the qualities a dark lager should.

Feb 04, 2013
Photo of gory4d
gory4d from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Jan 07, 2014
Photo of Rekrule
Rekrule from Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -16%

Oct 05, 2014
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with some freaky ass scary lions, harpoons, double edged battle axes, shields and Harpoon flags. Bottle states "Munch Type Dark Beer" for legal reasons.

Appearance: Burnt amber with a bubbly, chunky, semi-clingy and frothy tan head.

Smell: Fresh smelling with a toasted grain and earth aroma in the nose. Pick up some faint fruity esters too, and hidden caramel.

Taste: Upfront, this beer dries the palate a bit, semi-puckering with a salty citrus rind-like hop bite. Mouthfeel is very smooth and full, with grain, earth and dark malt flavours abound. As the beer warms, a lightly toasted, caramelly, earthy, grain sweetness emerges to quell the driness. The hops become more subtle as well. Finishes slick with some residual sweetness and driness.

Notes: This is a fantastic beer. As enjoyable as it is complex. "Dark & Delicious" as the label states. Tip: Let the beer warm a bit before drinking, for the best flavour.

Sep 24, 2000
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
NittanyBeerFan from Pennsylvania

3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: deep brown with garnet hues that produce a dark amber rim when held up to the light. 1 finger head that leaves thick rings of lace.

S: a light aroma of roasted and caramel malts. Not much else going on here.

T: rich caramel and toffee are overwhelming. Some dark fruity esters are also evident. There is an astringent burned flavor in the finish that just ruins it for me.

M/D: light to medium carbonation in a heavy bock-like lager texture. Not a ton of character, and the burned flavor makes this one I nearly had to choke down.

Dec 13, 2009
Photo of RyanGoodman
RyanGoodman from Bolivia

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle with a printed packaging date on the bottle.

Appearance: Nice lacing and good clarity off of a dark toned brown colour. Retention shows some stickiness.

Smell: Mild toasted and dark malts, faint fruitiness and alcohol. Clean aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Firm and crisp mouth feel from a medium body and level carbonation. Long lasting maltiness that ranges from a plain sweetness to rolling toasted and vague roasted flavours. Balancing hop shows a little spicy flavour while at the same time the alcohol becomes slightly noticeable. Some sweetness left in the end with more toasted grain.

Drinkability & Notes: The darkest of the Harpoon brand and my favourite as well, a concrete brew in my book. A great beer to have around to drink, pair and even cook with.

Feb 16, 2003
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep amber color, with a small off white head. Aromas of caramel malt. In the taste, chocolate and a bit malty, a tad sweet too. Aftertastes of a chocolate malt and a sweetness that lingers. A big chocolate presence and sweet, but nice for a brown ale.

Aug 12, 2007
Photo of CB2maltygoodness
CB2maltygoodness from District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Brent
Brent from Kentucky

3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just not a lot going on here with this beer. Poured nice and dark with lively carbonation. Some roasted malt and slight sweetness, but not much depth to the flavor profile, rather monotone. Some light acidity at the finish to dry it up a bit. Not at all an unpleasant beer, but it did not hold my interest.

Oct 09, 2003
Photo of BWMKappaSig
BWMKappaSig from Connecticut

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

Appearance - Deep cherry red almost bordering in magenta with a nice finger-thick off-white head that looks like Coca-Cola head when poured.

Smell - Roasted and malty with little to no note of hops.

Taste - Nice roasted flavor that finishes very smooth. The bitterness is small but noticable, and it balances nicely. Overall relatively mild.

Mouthfeel - Relatively high carbonation and a medium mouthfeel that is enjoyable.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, but like most of Harpoon's selections, somewhat underpowered.

Jul 22, 2007
Photo of vegasmac99
vegasmac99 from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Jan 13, 2013
Photo of marc77
marc77 from California

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tralucent deep garnet. Thick, stiff, dense and dogged beige head. Steadfast, intricate lace remains. Soft cocoa with herbal hop hints upfront in aroma, followed by notes of deeply toasted malt and black licorice. Stately and welcoming aromawise. Snap of burnt grain bitterness initially in flavor is quickly tapered by gentle dark toffee sweetness and subtle, nutty carob. Hop bitterness is appropriately mild, leaving the static dark chocolate and toasty Munich foundation unhindered. Becomes agreeably savory late, with hints of salted, grainy biscuit providing contrast to malt sweetness. Well attenuated and perhaps a notch shy in dextrins, with a lanky and lightly viscous mouthfeel. Finishes mostly clean and dry, with hints of spicy hop and burnt cookie. A well rounded and tasty brew, with refined malt and hop balance. Simple in overall character and superbly drinkable.

Dec 16, 2003
Photo of Rainintheface
Rainintheface from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of the mixed twelve. Poured into an SA glass.

A: brown with red highlights, one finger+ slightly off-white head.

S: chocolate, some caramel and a fruity aroma

T: chocolate and roasted malts, mostly

M: medium body, smooth and nicely carbonated

D: Quite drinkabe and tasty.

Mar 07, 2008
Photo of antsmarching713
antsmarching713 from Maryland

4/5  rDev +5%

Dec 03, 2011
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a one-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Color is a very deep amber. Medium bodied. Nose is sweet malt. Medium carbonation. Starts with a sweet roasted/burnt coffee/chocolate flavor, finish has just a hint of bitterness. The Sam Adams Black is better. $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Apr 29, 2005
Photo of Ragingbull
Ragingbull from California

3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown but is clear enough and still enough that you can almost see through it. Not much of a head and not much on the nose either. The taste is nice with a nice roasted malt character. I believe I can detect a little bit of a caramel malt type of flavor in the undertones. Elegantly simple and extremely drinkable.

Apr 14, 2009
Photo of rhabdovirus
rhabdovirus from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Mar 23, 2012
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101 from California

3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Large white foamy head. Aroma is coffee and toffee. A medium bodied Dunkel. Malts are nutty, chocolate and sweet. Hops are grapefruity. ItÂ’s a little hoppy for a dunkel, but it has a nice malt sweetness and balances out well. Smooth taste. Nice drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

Jan 03, 2004
Photo of kaelingirl
kaelingirl from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle poured into a standard pint glass
Reddish brown color with a thin off white head that lingers and leaves a patchwork lace.
Caramel toasty malt aroma
Burnt caramel flavor that finishes on the sweet side, Its an interesting beer but a bit too sweet for me.

Aug 30, 2007
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Purchased in a mix pack in Wakefield, RI

A- Pours a beautifully clear, dark russet colored body with a 2" white head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves little lacing.

S- Big toffee and caramel aromas. Roasted malt and bread.

T- Follows the nose big time with toffee, vanilla, caramel and a slightly smokey aftertaste.

M- Medium to medium-light body, medium low carbonation. Super quenching and drinkable.

Overall a solid beer! I was pleasantly surprised the first time I had it, so I had to review the second one to spread the word. I'm picturing it as a perfect pair for a savory chicken or turkey dish.

Feb 19, 2013
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasing brown-mahogany color. Hard pour left a fine creamy head, dissipating to decent layer of foam, with nice lace. The nose had lots of dark, roasted malts, with some whiffs of coffee. Very acceptable mouthfeel: good body and nice over the tongue. Dark roasted malt flavors abound, with some coffee and bitterness. Hops poke their heads out a bit at the end, and in the aftertaste. Some caramel is evident as it warms. Pretty good. Why haven't I tried this before? Prosit!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


Jun 08, 2002
Photo of bilyboy65
bilyboy65 from Colorado

4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: The color is very dark brown. On the darker side for a brown ale. Pours a with an off-white head that quickly dissipates, but is clingy. When swirled not much film is left behind on the beer, hinting to a very smooth oil free feel. There does not seem to be any impurities in the beer.

Don't be scared by the dark color it drinks like an ale and not a heavier style beer.

S: Seems the most flavorful scents come from the beer being swirled 4 times before sniffing. Scents of dark roasted malts to give an almost coffee scent. The yeasts are also prevalent in the scent. Something not uncommon to Harpoon's beers. There is a faint grain and hops smell that finishes off the sniff.

T: The flavor seems to take hold of your tastebuds. It produces a dry bitter hoppiness flavor upfront. It gives way slightly to the dark roasted malts, that almost seem spicy. The alcohol starts to appear here to give an added bite. The beer finishes off with a sweet grain taste.

M: There is only a mild carbonation to the beer giving the mouth a mild liquid to deal with. Doesn't leave an oily coating after leaving the mouth.

D: The grains, hops and roasted malts are balanced very well to give a great experience drinking this beer. By far my favorite beer Harpoon makes. This is a beer that I take my time drinking and seems to become more flavorful as it warms.

Apr 09, 2008
Harpoon Dark from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 716 ratings