Harpoon Dark | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
696 Ratings
Harpoon DarkHarpoon Dark

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

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

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Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 696
Photo of jniagar1
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, muddy brown. Huge chocolate milk-like head coming out of the bottle, dissapated quickly.

Smell: Toasted malt, not overbearing though nothing special.

Taste: Delicious! Toasted malts with a slightly bitter finish. A very well-balanced beer. I'm going to have to find more in this style.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated, heavy, sticky, but very easy to drink. I thought it might be a little to warm out for this beer, but I was wrong.

Overall: Another intereting beer in a style I have only had once. Still,I greatly enjoyed this one from Harpoon. A well-balanced beer that was easy to drink. I'll be coming back to Harpoon Dark the next time I get a chance.

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Photo of Bung
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. pretty dark brown, nice 2 fingers of cream head.

Aroma, chocolate malt, tea, peat.

Taste, a nice chocolatey, earthy malt mix. Not subdued though in that German lager sort of way. Finish light toast, caramel, cocoa. More flavor than the norm for the style.

Nearly mid bodied, with solid carbonation. Nearly creamy. Drinks very well.
One of the more enjoyable dunkels I've had. Liked it more tha Old Mecklenburgs, and theirs is pretty good.

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Photo of sommersb
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 02-24-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Seidel
Purchased: Single from Whole Foods, Nashville

The color is a dark brown, with ruby highlights. The tan head sits 3 or 4 fingers high and leaves good lacing with a good amount of retention.

Smells are mainly based on the malts: caramel and chocolate. I also get some fruitiness from the yeast.

Taste follows the aroma - big chocolate flavor with some supporting caramel and roasted malts. Bitterness is light. The taste is very much like a porter or stout. After my tasting I saw that this beer uses an ale yeast, which would explain some of the ale qualities.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium body and carbonation as well. The finish is of toasted grains.

Overall this is a good beer; certainly different due to the mixing of the lager and ale characteristics. I would say I enjoyed it, but would not necessarily want to buy it again.

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Photo of bennway
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

a: Dark brown, deep red when held up to light. One finger of somewhat quickly diminishing head.

s: Roasty chocolate malts come though to the nose, light roasted coffee, hints of something like allspice or nutmeg.

t: Immediate chocolate and cocoa elements in the this brew. Modest toasted roasting balanced well with caramel and a mild but crisp bittering hop finish. The coffee flavor almost reminds me of an artificial coffee flavor, like malted coffee syrup in the middle of a chocolate.

m: light on the carbonation, slightly dry finish.

o: A very decent session beer, although a bit underwhelming compared to the actual German beers it is modeled after. Not a bad homage for the price point.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like cola with no head and only lightly carb'd.
Aroma is malty. A little toasted, a little nutty.
Taste is toasted malts some hints of chocolate hints of licorise.
Medium feel on the palette pehaps leaning towards thin.
Smooth slightly dry and clean.
An okay beer at best.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon Munich Type Dark Beer

Pours a dark brown, light khaki colored head with some staying power. Nutty, lightly toasted aroma, pretty malt forward. In the taste, Munich malts are there lending nutty, chocolatey, sugary notes. Caramel, brown sugar, and cocoa powder all figure into the taste. There is a very small bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Overall, not a bad session beer from Harpoon, pretty tasty.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a clear looking brown color. The head is fluffy looking and light tan in color. The smell of the beer is lightly roasted and a little nutty. The flavor had a dry earthy flavor with a light amount of the nuts and roast coming in on the finish. The mouthfeel was light and carbonated pretty well. Overall it's nothing too special to me, it's a decent brew, I wouldn't seek it out unless I had too.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, amber-brown color that is almost black in the depths, with a thin, small bubbled layer of off-white head that quickly dissipates into nothing. Aromas of roasted coffee and molasses, with a toasty quality, as well. The beer's flavors are darkly roasted, as well, with a strong coffee bitterness counteracted by a darkly sweet molasses and toffee profile. There is a toasty and smokey quality that enhances the sweetness, and makes this beer a great campfire brew. The aftertaste is slightly cloying, with a hint of the coffee bitterness and smoke to clean it all up. A slick, linger finish that recedes slowly from the palate. Good representation of the style, and a tasty beer overall.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep amber, one finger head that doesn't stay around long.

S-Roasted malt, chocolate and some coffee.

T-Roasted malt, a lot more coffee than I was expecting, there is some chocolate there as well.

M-Light and medium bodied however it is a little flat.

O-Surprised by this beer, the roasted malt is present and just a good mesh of flavors. One of the better Harpoon's.

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Photo of Kromes
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a finger's width tan colored head. Good lacing on glass.

S: Smells like a traditional lager with only with roasted honey malt.

T: A nice sweet roasted malt flavor with a bit of chocolate in the finish. Slight hop and bitterness flavor balances out the beer.

M: Light body and good carbonation.

O: Very drinkable and tasty. Good all around beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown / ruby at the corners, clear with a thin off white head, some lacing on the glass and low carbonation, looks like beer.

Aroma is sweet and malty but overall weak.

Beer is thin in body, very malty on the get go. It is mildly bitter, roasty at the back of the mouth. The overall beer is nice but very simple. Probably too thin, tastes like a sweet bock. I might have it again in the future.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 2.5" mocha colored head which lasted quite a long time. Clear burn umber brown color. Smell isn't strong but includes malt and rye. Taste is milder than smell and a fast swig was forgettable almost like a BMC but a slower more attentative sip yielded malt and rye and a maybe even a little cocoa. A step up from average American beers but I'd still rather have a Munich than a "Munich type".

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Photo of tapman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark plum/red-brown color, chestnut, dense head of 1 finger. Looks good, head could be bigger. Also, darker than others i have had, but that doesn't necessarily deter me.

Nice, soft Saaz-like aroma, making this a hoppy example, with elements of dutch milk chocolate. Does not smell overly sweet and has a little toast in the nose.

Round and toasty, a little sweet, though not cloyingly so. Some mineral-like notes and a moderate bitterness in the finish. Not as clean as other examples I have had.

Thicker than the Hofbrau and Spaten versions, though not sticky.

A fine example of the style from an American brewery. Prosit!

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Photo of ranger60
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ.

Was intrigued to try an American made Bavarian style dark, having had many in Germany.
Appearance: dark,not opaque.
Smell: Malty, sweet
Taste: Sweet and almost sugary.
Mouthfeel: Nice; decent carbonation
Drinkability: Easily drinkable

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Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

undated 12 oz bottle served in pint glass

a very dark mahogany, but clear and not opaque. An somewhat aggressive pour provided only about 1 finger of short-lived head.

Sweet floral aroma, with a little less 'regular' toasted malt dominance than expected. Plenty of sweet malt with a trace of hops. Not quite "rich" or complex. Hops and toasted malt are more balanced in the aftertaste.

M - medium/full body with enough carbonation to tingle the tongue.

A: Munich-style session beer, this beer did indeed bring back memories of drinking this style beer in a Munich biergarten.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently you can only get this in variety cases or singles but tried this at the Harpoon Tasting at my Local Beer Nutz.

A - Poured a nice dark amber. Still pretty see through but dark as the name implies. Light tan head too.

S - Smell is faint but not over the top with mild cocoa, coffee, and chocolate maybe a bit of toasted grain.

T - Very tasty stuff. Comes off kind of like a more roasted version of an Oktoberfest. Light chocolate and coffee roast plays with a bit of caramel malt sweetness and finishes rather sweet. Love this malty stuff.

M - It was pretty medium bodied that drank very smooth

Overall I really should have picked up a few bottles since I am sure next week they may not be there especially after the tasting but I will keep my eye out if I see it in another mix and match selection. Very drinkable Dunkel Lager.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish amber color with great tan head in my pilsner glass. Aromas are plentiful with notes of slight acidic coffee, chocolate, toffee, caramel, and roast-like goodness. Pure malt flavors, no real hop presence. Tastes like dark malts & breadlike. Flavors like cocoa, coffee, caramel, and chocolate. Slightly acidic in taste. Nice carbonation. Light to medium mouthfeel with slight sweetness that's pretty well evened out by the hops. This is a really nice beer. One of my favs from Harpoon. Great to have in chillier weather.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown color with a decnt sized light tan head. The aromas I get are sweet and roasty from the darker malts used to produce this beer. The taste is fairly similar to the smell slightly sweet and roasty. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and medium bodied. This beer has good drinkability and is definitely worth a try

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Photo of dragonclan15
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To begin with it's a nice dark beer...obviously, the label says so.

There is not much of a smell to it and the taste was not as I anticipated. There isn't as much flavor at all.

In trying to be objective I don't know what to really say about the beer, it didn't stand out much.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours red brown, clear, leaning towards the darker side of the spectrum, with a creamy, one-finger khaki cap on top that has excellent retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

Nose carries notes of bread crust, deeply toasty, with a light fruitiness that has just a hint of a metallic edge to it. This fades as the beer warms.

Taste is deeply bready, with that same crustiness promised in the nose. Toasted, a bit nutty, hinting at cocoa. Sustaining. Light notes of caramel, faint fruitiness, and a lingering, delicate earthy bitterness on the finish to balance beautifully.

Mouthfeel is light, fluffy carbonation, gentle, massaging bubbles.

Unbelievably drinkable. One of my all-time favorite styles, though this is certainly coming at it sideways, using an all yeast. Still, while I may like mine just a tiny hair cleaner and less fruity, this was a beautifully hearty and satisfying beer. Very pleased.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pulled from my fridge poured into a standard pint glass. best before 2/15/11, a few days past its prime, but not a huge deal for me.

pours out a clear deep reddish, ruby, brown color with a somewhat fizzy one finger of off white head that quickly faded to some light patchy foam and a foamy ring. tiny spots of lace from swirling the glass that very quickly fall back into the beer.

in the aroma you get some lightly roasted malt, a bit of toasted grain, hints of dark fruits and just light hints of herbal hops.

tastes of lightly roasted malt with bits of chocolate, toasted grains. a bit of sharp ripe fruits as well as some dark fruits. finishs with a light herbal hop kick and a bit of lingering bitterness.

light to medium bodied. an ample fizzy carbonation. almost a bit of sharp acidity. finishs dry.

its a very easy drinker, but a little bland, i wouldnt really go for another, nor would i see myself buying this again, but i wouldnt refuse if offered.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass; nice light tan head that dissipates to a good thin layer, bit of lacing; color is a dark brown with dark amber hues.

Smell is clean malt sweetness, hint of roasted, maybe chocalatey; also hints of hop bitterness but just enough.

Taste is great, nice and smooth roasted malt, bit of toffee and chocalate but just right.

Mouthfeel is great, nice balance with flavors on the tongue and cheeks.

Very drinkable, wish i saw more of this one in the philadelphia area.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and poured with a thin white head that faded away and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of caramel.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell having flavors of caramel, roasted malts and a light amount of malty sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly. It is quite sessionable.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Dark brown body only a thin barely tan lace around the edges. Carbonation was low.

Nose is of toasted dark malts. A little fruity but very faint.
It was served on the colder side.

Sweet roasted coffee and chocolate. Only a slight bitterness. More of a clean dryness but still thirst quenching.

Thin but dark body. Refreshing and goes down smooth. Had three throughout a meal.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brennan's. Served in a Newcastle Geordie Schooner.

A: Dark brown, two-inch creamy looking white head. Great retention.

S: Brown bread, toast, chocolate, vague fruity esters (bubblegum?), light phenols, spicy herbal hops.

T: Lots of toasted malts, dark breads, pleasant chocolatey taste. Caramel and toffee as the beer warms. Herbal and lightly citric hops balance nicely and provide sufficient bitterness. vague fruitiness is present. Finishes semi-dry with a lasting toasted malt impression.

M: Medium bodied, and very crisp and clean. Smooth, creamy, and somewhat silky.

D: A great beer to session.

Notes: A damn solid beer. Probably the best beer Harpoon makes outside of the Leviathon series. The vague fruitiness and mild roasted malt edge are a bit uncharacteristic for the style, but in this case I think the beer benefits from it. A very tasty, approachable, and easy to drink beer. This has been a new favorite of mine lately, and its availability on tap at the local bars means I have been drinking a lot of it.

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Harpoon Dark from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.79 out of 5 based on 696 ratings.
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