100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest
40 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest

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

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Frankenfest is brewed in the tradition of classic German Oktoberfest lagers. In order to replicate the complex malt character of the original, a blend of 8 different malts was used. The combination yields a slightly darker color and a toastier malt flavor. Frankenfest is judiciously hopped with three different varieties of hops that lend just enough bitterness to balance out the rich malt flavors. It has a dry finish compliments of an authentic German lager yeast and a longer rest in our conditioning tanks. The lingering malt complexity and dry finish make Frankenfest a wonderful match with many types of food. Enjoy.

26 IBU

Added by Jason on 10-09-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by donkeyrunner:
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.6/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

We had a homebrew gathering/Octoberfest party during which 3 fledgling homebrewers compared Maerzens. Then Mike Smith showed up with this. Bastard.

Amber with a 1 finger off-white head. Skim retention leaves lacey gasps.

Aroma is sweet and nutty with cinnamon and rum raisin. Prickly hops poking through here and there.

Dark maple sugar and oatmeal raisin cookie malt with a candy-like rum alcoholic warming. Damn tasty.

Arguably the best October I've had and it's not even fresh.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A seriously good beer. A 22oz bottle, #16 in the 100 barrel series. It was a pretty copper color, with a thick white head and nice carbonation. An aroma that was both spicy and floral. It had a spicy, kind of peppery taste, as well as some decent hops. Maybe a little thin in the mouth, but a quite enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical Harpoon, 100 Barrel Series presentation, with the gold fold over the cap, no freshness indication. Pours crystal clear light amber, with a nice looking tiny bubble, near white head, that leaves plenty of fine scatered and nicely developed lacing. Nose is clean and of biscuity malts. Malt carries the weight on this lager. Bready malts then midway I did pick up sort of a rubbery dry note, and it reamins on the palate through the finish. As with many of these 100 barrrel offerings, something seems slightly off here.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AP: Deep amber color with slightly red hues popping through. Frothy , off-white head dissipated slowly to a thick ring around the edge and a scattered cap.

Nose: Herbal and hearty malt scent with a subtle leafy hop underneath.

Taste: A hearty, bready and yeastie caramalized malt with an earthy and spicey hop with a really decent balance.

MF: Mildly crisp and clean feeling with a medium body for the style.

DA: The 6.9% ABV is hardly detectable in the taste but you begin to feel it once the bottle is finished. This brew has a very distinct "home brew" quality about it.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange/red with a large white foamy head. The smell is a little light with sweet malt,floral, and a toasted hop scent. The taste has a sweet malt,buttery,creamy toffee, some hops, and a bread yeast flavor. The m/f is light and the alcohol is hidden well,but the metalic aftertaste really hurts this beer. Really, this is just an average beer.Cheers.

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Photo of hreb
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had nearly given up on the Harpoon 100 barrel series, but #15's Bohemian Pilsner really changed my mind. Don't know what to expect from #16. The name "Frankenfest" on the label is mysterious, but it's subtitled "Lager" in smaller print. Lager, ok, sure. Oh, and 6.9% abv.

Cold 22oz bottle poured into US pint glass. The beer is a nice red amber color with a fizzy tan-white head of medium to tall size.

Not much aroma. Smells like a lager, slightly skunky. The head is thin but smooth and pleasantly hoppy. First sip is like any high quality American style lager. What's good? The bitterness level is just right. It's gassy, but the carbonation level is appropriate. The malt character is dark and complex. Subtler flavors are floral and just a hint of smoke. Very clean. I guess it makes sense that they call this an oktoberfest, but it's not nearly as overly-malted as many American Oktoberfests, including Harpoon's own, which I don't care for. No, this is something a little more special. My only complaint is the body is a little bit thin and watery, but drinkability benefits.

Looking at the mere 6 reviews this beer has so far, I'm a little puzzled why its reviews are so low. I would definitely get this again after the Bohemian Pilsner runs out. Perhaps the bottles are better than the kegs? Hm.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice crisp looking amber colour with a frothy to creamy off-white head that leaves a fair amount of residue on the glass.

The aroma is malty, a bit earthy and rubbery. Perhaps a touch of floral sweetness. Overall, the aroma is fairly basic and subdued.

Flavour hits on all aspects of the aroma but packs a bit more of a punch. Sweetness is certainly more apparent although the rubbery malt flavouring still dominates. There is perhaps a hint of caramel in the mix as well. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and a touch oily.

This one was pretty good overall. Not great, but solid. A bit maltier than expected but still well balanced. Worth a try at the least...

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Photo of ridedammit
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Downtown in Davis Sq. I am trying to partake of as many of the 100 barrel series as possible, unfortunately i started late. I have had 5 and they are on 16. oh well. Anyway on to the review:

Pours a nice copper color with a strong head that disappears after a few minutes.
The smell is maltier than most lagers, and is quite nice. The taste is bolder and fuller than most lagers, not a crisp, but more ale-like. Mouthfeel is somewhat acidic, possibly due to high abv, overall is a good beer.

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definetly not your papas Oktoberfest, Frakenfest combines a bunch of different recipies from the Harpoon vaults and makes one of the tastiest harpoons in quite some time. Nice deep malt taste with wonderful hop characteristics. Wad extremely drinkable, could easily put away a few bombers, definetly worth a try, wish i had a growler of it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark amber color, with a good-sized foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: It has a very malty aroma with primarily consists of caramel along with some hops.

T: The taste is much of what the smell leads you to expect. It has a very malty caramel flavor with a decent hops bite for the style.

M: Smooth & crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean & dry.

D: Tasty but not your typical O-fest. It’s a little hoppier and has a little extra kick than other O-fests. However, it proves that Harpoon can make a real Oktoberfest rather than the “Octoberfest” that they produce regularly.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Gold foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a healthy 1 1/2" beige head over the clear copper brew. Hearty head fades quite slowly, with plenty of sticky lacing. Aroma is minimal and nondescript. Taste is nicely balanced with ample malt upfront coupled with moderate hopping, and leaves a pleasant grain husk flavor lingering after the swallow. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, and drinkability for this one is great as well. A easy session beer, at least until that warming quickly starts to take over.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bottle, no date. #16 in the Harpoon 100 Barrel series.

Rich toasted amber. Crackling parchment head of small bubbles that falls rapidly to a smattering of dust with clumps are the edges. Minimal carbonation streams issue slow risers. Bright, sharp grass and pepper hop aromas mingle with some biscuity, bready malt. Smooth and medium bodied, nice biscuity malt sweetness up front before the grass and pepper hops come into full view. Finishing spicy and relatively clean while still retaining a touch of malt sweetness. Modestly spritzy carbonation lends a lightness to the otherwise firm body. Another solid lager from Harpoon. Easily drinkable and sessionable even at 6.9%.

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Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, copper color. Starts with a two-finger head, but this dissipates. Moderate lace from each sip.

Mostly caramel malt aromas. Very light hop (almost imperceptible).

Slightly heavy body for the style (which I like). Good carbonation. The hop is more pronounced in the flavor profile. Still this is mostly a malty brew. Carbonation is on the high side. There's also a brandy like flavor which contributes to the complexity.

Not a traditional marzen, but I believe the departure from style contributes to the interest of the brew. I'd love to try this one in a flight of beers.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frankenfest pours a clear amber color with some small bubbles floating slowly up from the bottom of the glass. On top a fluffy white head grows quickly to a 2 finger width. The head slowly dissolves back to the beer leaving behind lots of nets and sheets of lace on the glass. The aroma is a bit faint and has pleasant notes of caramel malt, apple, peach and some grassy hops.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is somewhat chewy with a firm carbonated fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is mainly malt. Caramel, toast and a hint of chocolate are present. In the middle there's some fruity notes of peach. It finishes with a hoppy taste of lemon citrus. Once gone a caramel malt taste lingers in the palate.

This is an easy drinking, tasty beer. It would definitely make a great seasonal.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery-orange color with a nice and fluffy white head that leaves light lacing.

The aroma has some bready caramel malts mixing with a light, spicy, grassy hop note. Roasted malts are the main player in the aroma...but the smell could be stronger.

Nice biscuity roasted malt flavor with some sweet caramel throughout and a touch of citrus and grass hops near the finish. Smooth.

Medium body with average carbonation. Crisp and clean. I bought the last bottle of this when I was in Boston for the EBF. Wish they would have had some more.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle, pours a deep amber with light tan head, dissipates to nothing, leaves zero lacing. Pretty disappointing presentation.

Aroma is sweet malt, almost syrupy, and a little fruit.

Taste is fruity, malt sweet, minimal hops, though a little hop spice on the finish. Clean enough, but quite fruity in esters and malt sweetness.

Mouth is creamy and slightly thick.

A decent example of style, but pretty underwhelming overall. I probably wouldn't bother again.

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Photo of mcallister
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clean polished amber color with a thick slightly off white head that contains great retention. Some sticky lacing hangs around for the party.

Bready malts sweet with toffee and caramel. Cereal grain and a hint of floral hop.

Nice flavors with a wonderful rustic mouth entrentching feel. Malt is full of sweet cereal flavors and big on the caramel. Good carbonation spritzy in the middle with a creamy finish. An overall big mouthfeel. I though this may be past but it is drinking quite fine indeed. A hint of hop bitterness on the finish rounds out the sweetness of the malt. Very tasty.

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Photo of Viggo
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent my way via BC2 by purplehops! Thanks!

Pours a hazy orange/red, thick almost tan head forms, settles to a thin layer, nice lacing, good retention. Smell is sweet, very bready, caramel, some citrus, kind of apply, some toast, bit of fruity alcohol, not bad! Taste is very bready, caramel, nice maltiness, bit of toast again, sugary sweetness, dry fruity finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, low carbonation, alcohol is nicely hidden in the flavour. A bit weak, but lots of enjoyable flavour. Thanks Stan!

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Photo of bjohnson
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pretty damn clear copper color with a frothy one finger white head. Slight retention on the sides of the glass with a film on top.
S: Big toasted grain maltyness with nice grassy hop notes. Slight sweet caramel notes.
T/M: Maltyness is the big player here with a softness to it, however tihs softness is quite bold. Sweet caramel notes dance with the grassy hoppyness. Floral hop notes are also noticeable but are quickly overtaken by the supreme maltyness. Slick and smooth through the palate. Dry finish with toasted grain aftertaste. Medium bodied.
D: Quite a malty O'fest. Frankenfest attempts to bring the scaryness of a big time O'fest, but fails to scare. Not a bad brew, but not something that's going to knock your socks off. Worth a try though as it'll be a brew that you may not be able to get after the season has passed.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, 100 barrel series #16 100606 printed on the label.(not sure what that means) Pours a bright clear copper, light off-white head, no lacing, light carbonation. Honey sweet, German malts aroma, hints of citrus. Medium to full bodied. Very sweet and malty. Big German malt flavor with a honey bun sweetness, lightly roasted. Hop bitterness balanced nicely with a drying citrus tang. I heard mixed reviews of this beer, My sample was very good. I think that Harpoon should replace their current Octoberfest with the Frankenfest as a seasonal release..


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Photo of taez555
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an an amber/tan body with a small off-white head.

Nose is a subtle mix of vienna and biscuit malt. Very simple and clean but with lots of classic German marzen lager notes.

Taste is medium bodied but with a slightly bigger feel. Clean with a slight graininess. Rich malt with a licorice hop flavor and noticeable but always in the background bitterness. Mild notes of caramel as well. A nice sugary sweetness dominates with this nice honey stickiness.

Frankenfest indeed. Not quite your typical marzen at all, but still very good. I like the sweetness against the malt, it really gives this beer a lot of character.

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Photo of ShippinUpToBoston
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of NEhophead
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Clean, pale auburn in color. Foamy, dense off-white head that retains well. A small area of the glass is decorated by somewhat weak, thin lacing.

Burnt, toasted biscuit with a lingering musty-astringency. Notes of rustic, floral hops. Semi-sweet caramel and mild hints of diacetyl.

Clean caramel and light toffee sweetness. Fruity esters of fig, plum, and red apple. Airy, toasted malt base; clean grains and notes of diacetyl. Clean, smooth finish with a semi-sweet, malty aftertaste.

Medium bodied; smooth and rather clean on the palate.

A true-to-style Marzen that is somewhat reserved regarding intensity of flavors; however, a decent session lager for the Autumn season.

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Photo of shaebs99
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first of the 100 barrel series and I enjoyed it enough to buy others in the series or this one if I see it again. Bought a 22 oz. bottle and poured into a pint glass. The color was a little darker than I expected. Typically I haven't enjoyed many Oktoberfest style beers, but the taste of this exceeding some of the other oktoberfests I have tried that are currently on the market. The dry finish was especially nice and contributes to this beers drinkability. The fact that I enjoyed Frankenfest will make me not give up on oktoberfests

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Photo of DrJay
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as part of BC2. Thanks purplehops!
This one poured a deep amber with a bit of a reddish tint and a slight haze. It was capped by a thin white head that showed decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma was really bready, more bread crust really, with a kiss of hops and a bit of malty, cracked grain. Medium bitterness with a malty, bready sweetness and hint of caramel. It also had just a slight alcohol warmth and a hoppy bitterness that lasted throught the finish. A bit less than medium bodied with noticeably low attenuation and carbonation on the low side for the style. Carbonation was very fine and there was a light dryness towards the finish. An easy drinking beer for sure. My only complaint is that the bitterness at the end became a bit harsh and acrid after a while. Other than that, quite nice!

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100 Barrel Series #16 - Frankenfest from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 40 ratings