Harpoon Dark | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
368 Reviews
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 ThirstyBird
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with amber highlights. Fairly thick tan head falls to a blanket.

Smells of roasted dark malt, a hint of coffee, a bit of chocolate too.

The taste doesn't have that subtle nuance that a German Dunkel would have. This one is heavy on the roast and not much more. It has a quite dry and slightly bitter aftertaste which amplifies the Roasted malt taste.

The body is on the plus side of light, Carbonation is a bit prickly.

It's acceptable but I wouldn't seek it out by any means.

 499 characters

Photo of TitanTake
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks like a cola when poured into the glass. Even the head looks like it is heavily carbonated. Light refracts through it like it was a Coke

S - Smells very sweet and of caramel; a hint of licorice and a hint of cherry

T - Charcoal with hops;

M - very watery; surprisingly thin; distracting from the type

D - Not a beer to enjoy on it's own; This seems more like a beer to have with dinner

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass. (best by 04/15/11)

pours a mostly opaque dark brown with lighter brown highlights yielding an even finger of a foamy/creamy head, khaki in color. decent head retention; good lacing.

malty nose with some notes of hops, a touch of coffee. okay - maybe slightly above average - but nothing to write home about on this count.

flavor is dominated by roasted maltiness... some toastiness and a hint of the coffee, maybe caramel. shades of an american stout. finish is mostly clean, though there are subdued notes of hops.

medium bodied, medium carbed mouthfeel. goes down fairly easily; flavorful enough that it keeps you interested, but not so much that the palate becomes fatigued.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Harpoon winter pack

A - Dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. A small tan head forms at the top, with a bit of lacing.

T - Roasted malts with a hint of cappuccino. Some cocoa nibs in there as well. A bit of caramel also makes itself present.

S - Tons of roasted malt upfront with a chocolaty background. A slight bitterness at the end rounds it out very nice. Some hints of coffee and caramel in there too. Overall very nice.

M - Medium bodied with a clean finish. I expected something a little bit on the heavier side but it was still very good.

D - For a darker beer its pretty good. The two from the mix pack will suffice for me, but I wouldn't mind trying this on draft.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I'm diggin' the local Fresh Market for their mixed sixer collection, this bottle included. It pours a clear dark garnet-ruby topped by a finger of sandy ecru foam. The nose comprises light coffee, light-ish roasted malts, cocoa powder, and a touch of minor char. The taste paints a mountain of roasted malts (it's as though I'm chewing on some roasted barley, I'm tellin' ya), with a hint of coffee in the back and a strong metallic aftertaste. Yeesh, what happened here? The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slightly grainy feel. Overall, a pretty decent beer all around...except for the taste. So close, yet so very, very far away.

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Photo of Mahlik
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this beer in mix pack for christmas. Poured into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance - A dark brown, almost black, with a dark red tint when held up to a light source. About a 1/2 - 1 inch brown head that dissipated somewhat quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Roasty, malty with some hints of coffee.

Taste - Roasted malt; sweet but not overbearing; tasted caramel as well. A little bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfell - Medium body; pretty easy to drink.

Drinkability - Personally, this isn't my favorite style of beer so 1 or 2 would suffice for me. However, if someone is a fan of this style, well then this is a pretty good beer that you could enjoy a few of.

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Photo of nas5755
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid dark brown to black beer with a very solid head, nice retention and nice lacing. The nose has a touch of chocolate with some roasted flavors blended in. A mild nose. The taste is full of roasted and chocolate malts very clean with a touch of bitterness and sweetness. The carbonation is on the plus side of medium, very pleasant for this beer. A session beer, one of my favorites from the mix-pack

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 1/2 finger thin light tan head which dissapates quickly leaving a ring. Body is dark with an amber tint.

S: Sweet and roasty flavors most prominent although both mild. Kind of like a very subdued doppelbock.

T: Less sweetness in taste than smell. Light hop character presents itself initially although very subtle and well balanced with the rest of the elements in this beer. The dryness, although not extreme, still overpowers the other flavors. Only the hops and roasted malts are traceable.

M: Surprising fullness at first provided by mild hop presence but a larger than expected amount of carbonation. Leaves a dryness through the end and thereafter.

D: Enjoyable beer and I would drink a few in a sitting.

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

a - pours a dark mahogany; head is three fingers of brown foam with minimal lacing

s - immediate odor of malted hops, blended with hints of java

t - hops are well balanced by a mild, malty aftertaste

m - cool and silky, with medium carbonization

d - a decent session beer

Serving type: bottle poured into frosted mug

Serving type: bottle

 343 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in flared short glass

A: dark caramel color with rather placid carbonation; lacing on the glass is decent
S: subtle, slightly sweet smell
T: very nice coffee-chocolate lager; semisweet; roasts and toffees show up in the flavor profile

Overall, this is a very nice dark lager.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

The color is maroon in color when held to the light but comes off a dark brown or black otherwise. There is a finger or two foamy brownish head and some slight lacing.

The smell is roasty with some dark malt flavor. Some nice Toffee flavor and a touch of peanut brittle is resent in the nose.

The taste has dark chocolate flavor that was a slight surprise. Some coffee bean flavor mixed in a roasted malt blanket. Some slight bitterness towards the end folds the flavor in a bit and evens things slight after the malts have had their way with your tongue.

This beer has a nice lightness to it that is nice to have in a dark larger. It goes down with a nice silky yet smooth feel and is easy drinking.

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Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a finger thick, off-white head. Settles slightly leaving a nice thin and creamy lacing. Clear body, Ruby in color.
S) Mellow malt aroma mixed with a pungent earthiness. Subtle coffee scent.
T) Pleasant malty sweetness up front, mixed with a maybe some smoked peat? Finish with just a touch of hop bite and a lingering smoked chocolate taste.
M) Fizzy throughout. On the bolder side of medium body, not quite full. Light tannin feel in the finish.
D) A well crafted brew; true to the style.

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Photo of Zodijackyl
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed two pints on cask at Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford, CT - at their first homebrew night today, December 7, 2010.

Pours pitch black, allowing no light through but permitting a thin, white head. Aroma of vanilla, caramel/molasses, and some smooth malts. Taste is exceptionally smooth, sweetened with candy sugar that complements the malt very well, with some lighter caramel and barley malts that fit it well, but don't overpower. One of the easiest drinking dark I have had, I could drink it all night though I restrained myself. Raised my already high opinion of Harpoon beers.

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Photo of ztaylor1
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- deep brown color, similar to a coke. Nice foamy head with great lacing

Smell- chocolate up front with an espresso scent. Malty.

Taste-very chocolatey with roasted malts and coffee.

Mouthfeel- smooth as silk. Very good

Drinkability- got it in a sampler... wish I had more than two!

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany; a very 'cola' colour. Almost no head within seconds after pour, but the remaining foam has a yellow-tan tint. Moderate lacing where the pour-head had receded.

Smell: Caramel malt up front, a light touch of coffee and/or dark chocolate. Just a tinge of licorice flavour to the nose. Underneath all the sweetness lies a persistent bitterness, which is redeemed by a moderate buttery scent.

Taste: Very malty, with a noticeable flavor of espresso bean. Moderate bitterness with a heavy chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-thickness, medium carbonation. Rinses smoothly with just a touch of oiliness which doesn't detract from the carbonation.

Drinkability: An easy drinker for the winter months. Very tasty, I could drink one by the fireplace every evening.

Could almost be a stout...absolutely amazing flavor at a reasonable price.

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Photo of Wamesit
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brown. Slight tan head with good lacing.

S- Smells of roasted malts with a sweetness that compliments the darker hints of coffee and fruit.

T- Delicious. Deep roasted malts of coffee that give way to a caramel sweetness, all accompanying a nutty bread flavor (some yeast in there as well) with just a touch of hops to close it all out.

M- Medium. Rich.

D- I love beers of this type (e.g. Sam Adam's Black Lager) so I could drink this brew in quantity but I could see how someone not as much of a fan might find the flavor and mouthfeel to be a bit much for prolonged consumption.

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Photo of argock
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pint glass at The Hill Tavern (Boston, MA).

A: Very dark brown with short 1/2-1 finger off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Soft nutty malty aromas with herbal hops

T: Very satisfying malty nuttiness with full, dense flavor countered with herbal, tea-like hops.

M: Light but supple.

D: I enjoyed this brew -- it washed down my pulled pork sandwich excellently.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a light head and a touch of lace. Some carbonation around the edges throughout. Nose brings some chocolate, caramel, light roast, fruit, and a big dose of the Harpoon yeast, which--for whatever reason--I'm really into. Taste is malty with some light fruit and a bit of chocolate and nuttiness. Really nice feel brought on by the house yeast. Drinks really quite nice and is one of the better versions of this style that I've had.

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Photo of david18
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a sixteen ounce glass of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's upper west side. I love this time of year (fall) when the beer bars start brining out the beers that are strong on dark malt, color and roastyness but not so strong on alcohol.

Poured a very dark brown, almost black with a small but also dark head. The aroma had a malty character, a little bit subtle but it was there. Flavor was a little on the light side, particularly for a Dunkel but what it lacked in body it more than made up for in drinkability.

If you want something for a cold day or night but you don't want to get hammered, this is a very good one.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a cola colored joy. When held to the light there are amber highlights. One finger tan head shows light retention (seems to be a Harpoon thing) which falls to a head on the beer. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice roasted malts in the front of the beer. There was a light caramel malt to this. Light chocoalte runs throughout the entire beer with a hint of darker fruits. Overall a nice smelling beer.

T- Very nice roasted flavor from the get go with this beer. There is a light chocoalte malt in the ending front to middle of the beer. A light fruit comes through the middle with a caramel malt as well. In the ending there is a light hop bite with a toasted bread flavor as well.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and such left on the palate. Roasted malts and light chocolate are left in the aftertaste. Well balanced overall with flavor profile and mouthfeel. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- Another drinkable beer from Harpoon. The ABV is good for the beer and style. A sixer of this would be perfect on a winter day. Good job on another great beer guys!

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Photo of Sweasty
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a nice crystal clear dark mahogany color. Things are topped off by a fingers worth of light khaki head. Head settles to ¼ inch ring. A fair amount of lace is left down the glass.

The aroma is solid. A fair amount of dark maltiness comes through. The nose strikes more chocolaty than a typical dunkel. A fruitiness from the ale yeast comes through. A bit of a chocolate covered fruit quality is there. Some light sweet caramel underpinnings present as well. Just the lightest herbal/earthy hop note rounds things out.

Taste follows the nose well. A bit more pronounced chocolate hits the palate. Lighter dark fruit notes strike beneath the chocolate. A bit of sweet caramel present as well. Hops show up to add balance. A very light bit of an earthy/herbal hop flavor comes through. The finish lingers with a light toasted bread quality.

Mouthfeel strikes as kinda light bodied. It never goes watery, but gets too close for comfort. A bit more heft in the body would be nice. The carbonation is nice and helps to lift up the body.

The fact that Harpoon uses their house ale strain means this technically isn't a true dunkel. We can let that fact slide, as this drinks like a proper dunkel. This a great easy drinking dark brew. Strength aside, this makes for great dark session brew. Nothing earth shattering here, but this brew offers proof that earth shattering can be overrated sometimes.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Harpoon Munich Dark glass.

A- Pours a deep mahogany with red hues. Thin head that shows a little retention, but falls to a cap within a couple minutes. Awesome spiderweb lacing.

S- Roasted malts, a little dark fruit. A slight chocolate aroma as well. A little bubblegum aromas there, too.

T- Toasted malts with a little grainy flavor. A little chocolate again and an ever-so-slight alchohol bite in the finish. Little bit of a noble hop bite.

MF/D- A lightly bodied brew with ample amounts of carbonation. My favorite beer from Harpoon and could drink this all night.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Harpoon in Vermont.

A: Pours a nice dark brown color with a decent tan foam head with ample lacing.

S: There is some faint hints of dark fruit and nuts and a small twinge of bread. A little disappointing on the nose.

T: A nice roasted malt, some faint coffee, chocolate and nuts with a nice underlying hop bitterness.

M: Leaves a slightly creamy taste on the palate. Seems just a tad on thin side.

D: This is a nicely balanced Dunkel. Very easy to drink, a low ABV makes having mutliple in a sitting very feasible.

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Photo of Tundruth
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Is dark brownish in color with a thick tan head.

S- a nice yet fainter than expected nose to this beer. picking up mainly on scents of malted barley, coffee, nuts, and other roasted aromas.

T- Taste follows the nose, a strong nutty/ roasted flavor is first to come through. Kind of has a bitterness throughout and stronger hops profile than I was expecting. this beer has a sweet yet well balanced flavor profile to it.

M- Light and easy on the tongue, I really like the way this beer washes over the palate.

D- Not bad, but doesn't bring anything extra to the table. This beer is good and well made I would say, however it is lacking complexity and substance that other beer of this type better represent.

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Photo of soju6
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a tan head that has good retenion and lacing. Looks inviting.

S: Roasted malt & coffee aroma with a trace of chocolate. nice, not overpowering.

T: Nice roasted malt taste with a mild coffee & chocolate sweetness mixed in. Semi-dry finish witha light dark chocolate aftertaste.

F: Fairly medium body, a bit lighter that expected. Not a bad thing. Quite smooth and well balanced.

D: Good drinker. Good brew for the style. Well worth a try.

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