Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #18 - Refsvinginge Private Stock | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #18 - Refsvinginge Private StockHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #18 - Refsvinginge Private Stock
Very Good
52 Ratings
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #18 - Refsvinginge Private StockHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #18 - Refsvinginge Private Stock

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
For this 100 Barrel Series beer, Harpoon’s brewmaster, Al Marzi, worked with John from the Refsvindinge Brewery to recreate a style they enjoyed while on the trip years ago. They worked together via email and, again, John’s daughter Lene was asked to do all the email translation. The result, which was brewed by Brett Simmons at our Windsor, VT brewery, is the Refsvindinge Private Stock – a Danish Farmhouse Ale.

25 IBU

Added by Jason on 03-03-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of weeare138
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a hazy light orange toned gold with a small white cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of super malty grain with caramel, toffee, floral, and hops.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a citrusy flavor that cuts through the malty base.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, sugary, citrusy, and well balanced.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a little late to the party with this beer. I forgot I had it down in my basement since last year, so this review is for a cellared version.

The beer pours an opaque copper color with a one finger, creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with notes of toast and caramel. Honey and hints of flowers (rose?) are also present.

Each sip of this medium boded beer is smooth with a soft effervescent fizz on the tongue. Somewhat dry in the finish. The flavor is mainly sweet malt with toasted and caramel malt as the base and a bit of bread and grainy malt mixed in. In addition, hints of pine, apricot, and honey. It finishes mildly bitter with a floral hop flavor. Once gone the sweet honey flavor lingers on the palate.

This is the first Danish farmhouse beer I think I've ever had. It's very easy to drink with a nice balanced flavor. Even after a year in storage it's still holding it's own, although some of the spicyness and hops have faded a bit.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this gold foil topped 22ounce bomber is a trade a good while ago, and had really just never gotten around to trying it. So over the weekend, I decided to bust this one out to see how it held up and what it was going to be like. The name was intriguing and I poured it into a nice pint glass.

Appearance - The pour was nice, producing a dark murky amber color that at first kind of shocked me given the style of it, but never the less looked very good. Good amount of cloudiness gave it a bit of a rustic look without much carbonation bubbling up toward the surface. A nice layer of off white foam formed on the top, perhaps reaching a height of an inch and a half before finally settling down into a thin layer across the top that lasted throughout the session. Very nice overall side glass presentation really pushed through in the end and gave it a rather nice look.

Smell - The aroma was much different then what I was expecting, and really caught me by surprise. Tons of sweet caramel infused malts were all over this one. Hints of toffee and sugar interspersed with hints of grass and some light sour tones. Very interesting blend of aromas here. I was not expecting this to be as sweet as it was, but it was a rather nice change. Very earthy and raw in the profile for sure.

Taste - The flavor followed along with the smell quite well. What started out as a nice caramel like toffee flavor at the first sip, soon evolved into a quasi Belgian like ale. Weird blend of almost like an American brown with a Saison, really threw me for a loop here. Lots of sweetness in this one for sure with tons of caramel, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel - This was a nice medium bodied ale, with good carbonation and a nice profile. It was never really anything overpowering in any direction and definitely did not have the flavor of being watered down in any way. Very solid offering with a smooth creamy finish.

Drinkability - This was an outstanding session ale, being that there was no way it was as strong as it is billed at. No hint of any alcohol what so ever in here, in fact I could have drank this one all day long with no issue. Smooth as could be with a great mixture of styles.

Overall I am quite unsure as to what to nail this one down exactly as, but whatever it is, it is quite good. I would recommend giving this one a shot if you see it, really not the typical Saison but more of a hybrid style, still very good overall though.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber. Orange light amber, kinda looks like my favorite honey. Fruity, malty, little to no hops make it to my nose. Weird, but tasty. Kinda has a funny aftertaste. Not funny bad, just funny different. Maybe it's their version on the farmhouse, tastes closer to a little pony blanket than a full on horse blanket.

Very easy to drink. Not heavy or thick, feels less than it's almost 8%.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up at Capone's, Decanted cool from the 22oz brown bottle into a goblet.
A - Deep amber/copper w/ brilliant clarity and full inch of off white foam w/ a rocky top, barely any lace is observed.

S - Mineral, woody and spiced notes come alive in the nose of this unique ale. Mostly twiggy and herbal notes w/ a floral aspect that makest the aroma appealing w/ a hoppy fragrance all its own.

M - A fully carbonated and light ale on the tongue, but subtle creamy and dry textures along w/ lots of spice and herbal qualities give it an almost fisherman's friend cough drop astringent feel.

T - A lightly sweet malt w/ creamy flavor becomes engulfed by the intriguing hoppy/herbal blend w/ a crisp dry malt flavor. A very earthy/twiggy spice element that is the focus of the taste yet allows the ale to do its job by supporting it completely. Very full of flavor w/ the closest taste to Sahti I have had. A little alcoholic ester comes out as it warms w/ a more pronounced spice that is a slightly ginger note The ale has a very unique taste w/ obvious european taste inffluence. A creative offering from Harpoon.

D - Very high drinkability for me, a unique flavor w/ lots of herbal influence. Not shy w/ hops either, just a very drinkable, well balanced farmhouse. This went great w/ my orange roughy, I am interested in trying the other 100 barrel series ales, now.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts and spice along with some dark fruit and hops, very different for the style.

T: The taste is quite different from anything that I’ve had before. It starts out sweet and smoky with flavors of caramel, apricots, dark fruits and brown sugar. Then there are some woodsy, flavors in it, but not the piney flavor of hops. It’s more like a smoked wood chip taste. There seems to be very little Belgian qualities to it. The label reads “Danish Style Farmhouse Ale” so it could be argued that this beer might be more like the obscure Sahti style.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, nice kick, I can’t really say how good the representation of style this beer is because it’s not entirely clear to me which style(s) it’s trying to represent. Overall, this is pretty good beer, partially because of its uniqueness, but it’s not a beer that I could drink more than one bomber of.

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Photo of dragonglen
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz poured into a pint glass.

A - A nice golden color with virtually no head, minimal lacing and only a few rising bubbles.

S - Hoppy with a straw-like aroma that was much more pronounced as I drank. Not very appealing, but not a turn-off.

T - This wasn't my first bottle but was the last of my case (most given away at a beer party). This one had more of an alcoholic taste than the first couple I had months ago. It was also a little heavier than before, and a little heavier than most ales generally. There was a straw-like flavor more pronounced than before, but I think I enjoyed it more than when I had it in the spring, probably due to the changing season and temperature. This is definitely a beer that tastes better when aged, and better in the fall. Also, the last sip was much better than the first, which is usually opposite for most beers for me.

M - Some carbonation but overall relatively smooth. Even with a sore throat it went down nicely and my throat ended up feeling better afterwards (probably due to some slight numbness).

D - The drinkability in the spring would've been about average, maybe slightly below due to other nice seasonal beers I had. This beer is perfect for the fall though. I'd have a very tough time deciding between a Pumpkin Ale and this Farmhouse Ale (I'd probably choose this over my Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale if I had more). I just wish I was able to save another bottle or two for this time.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into tulip glass. A: Copper/gold color, lots of fluffy white head that retains fairly well. S: Lighter malts, yeasty-grain aroma. The hops are a bit muted, but present. T: Nice and crisp, on the sweeter side up front, spice, some distant fruit and caramel, a nice floral character in the finish. M: Chewy, crisp, lingering. Moderate carbonation. D: I really like this beer. I didn't really know what I was in for, I found this at Superior Market in Sunnyside, Queens, stuffed in the back of the shelf. I found it great for the Fall, really refreshing with a great malt profile, but it's revealing a lot of layers as I continue through the bottle.

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Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber fruit colour. This won't be a high rater because it is not big in ABV or bold in taste. But it was excellent for supper. A crisply carbopnated unique beverage, with understated farmhouse flavour. Leads to a spot of fruitiness.Harpoon deserves an achievement award for their series of special beers.

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Photo of Viggo
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to purplehops for sending this my way for BC2!

Pours a brilliantly clear orange/amber, thick off white head, tons of lace, leaves a thick ring around the glass, looks real nice. Smell is sweet, bit funky, biscuits, caramel, touch of butter, berries, neat. Taste is malty, caramel, acidic bite through the middle, sugary sweetness, bit of fruit and some alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, warming going down. Very interesting beer, not too complex but I would definately have again. Thanks Stan!

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz bottle (production code of 72207) in a Duvel tulip

Poured smooth, lively, a subtle crackle to it. Nice, welcoming nose, pleasant, sweet with mild tart apple & over ripened pear. Belgian yeast are up front, adding faint spice with a slightly sour, musty quality as well as some phenols. As it warms some traces of citrus (orange peel) and old wood are detectable.

The head was a finger's worth of loose, dull, antique white hued foam that is smooth, & creamy. It slowly settles to a 1/4" of the same with some subtle lacing. The body is just radiant - a brilliant copper hue, warm, crystal clear, a steady parade of lazy bubbles snaking thru it. Certainly a piece of eye candy.

Its very even & subtle on the tongue, on the wet side of semi-dry with barely any crunch to it. There is an uplifting spice quality that I can't quite put my tongue on, maybe some faint allspice and a peep of pepper. The malts are sweet with a delicate orange caramel quality. The overall effect/taste is light, smooth, subtly flavorful with background spice.

It is very delicate and slow to reveal. I admit I was under whelmed initially, but with a lot of Saisons that is not uncommon. Its the next sip, then the next, then the next that one's mouth begins to discern subtle nuisances and flavor aspects that just a few minutes ago were just not detectable. Perhaps these farmhouse ales prime one's palate initially for later discovery & enjoyment of food? At the least the leisurely pace of reveal & discovery is most welcome. Its so nice when a beer slows everything down and earns the respect of being sipped & savored.

As it warms it grows slightly mustier, a little dusty/dirty, mild wood, pieces of old bread, some orange rind from the mild hop bitterness, yet still has some caramelized malt sweetness. Its certainly more complex as it blooms. I only wish I had some cheese to try this with!

The mouth-feel, while still smooth & mostly wet, has become a wee bit sticky, mildly syrupy. The alcohol is slowly starting to warm my teeth & palate with a delicate glow that lightly tickles the roof of my mouth. It grows lighter, more bittersweet, with the hops taking on more of a classic pine/grapefruit quality, finally finishes clean, smooth, drier than its been, warm with mild echoes of sticky citrus (grapefruit) and just a bit musty.

Well, what started as rather ho-hum evolved into quite a complex brew. I am really enjoying the simplistic complexity that these Saisons seem to embody. I thoroughly enjoyed the discovery this beer led me to, and lament I didn't have some good cheese, a crust of artisan bread, a slice of cured meat, and a piece of fruit to really let this sing. Still, a most enjoyable beer experience. I can only hope that we will one day see this again in the Encore series (hint hint if anyone at Harpoon is reading this!). Definitely worthy of one's time if you are so inclined to beers like this.

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Photo of dfillius
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip glass
A: Crystal clear with amber red glow, beautiful
S: Grape nuts! smell of mash. Like I just walked into a house that had the bread machine on all day.
T: Bourbon barrel, light delicate flavor especially for 7.8% alcohol. Vanilla, bready, sesame seeds. If a beer like Pliny the Elder fucks you, this one makes love to your mouth.
M: So smooth, so nice
D: Very drinkable, though I feel it more in my head than in my mouth

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a lovely, clear amber body with a decent off-white head.

Smell: Soft, sweet-smelling caramel aroma with a light fruitiness and spicing.

Taste: Light sweet caramel maltiness with a touch of breadiness and honey. Some raisins. Dry, boozey finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's OK, but really didn't leave much an impression.

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Photo of wcudwight
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to swedejay 53 for the bomber.
Bright amber in color. 1/2" light khaki colored head. Lot's of carbonation bubbles. The carbonation bubbles are more active than a group of kids the day after Halloween. Wet lace falls with each sip.
Aroma is fruity. Maybe it's the season but it reminds me of cantalope.
Huge malty flavor. Lot's of biscuit with a touch of sweetness to make it interesting. Pancakes.
Medium to full bodied. Lot's of lively carbonation makes the mouth feel excited. The carbonation kind of stratles the line of being to much; though just bending the rules not breaking them.
An easy drinking beer that is not what I expected. This is dang near sessionable.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Gary's in Portsmouth. Will have to go back to see if there's any more there. A wonderful beer. Dark orange color, small head that persisted. Nice carbonation. Fresh, grassy aroma, with some sweetness. Sweet malt taste, as well as a pleasant bitter orange taste. The alcohol is well-hidden. Try this one. I've liked pretty much all of the 100 barrel series I've tried, but this is a standout.

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Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A stained cedar like colour with strong amber tint. Polished body with perfect clarity. A soft stream of bubbles. Fine handsome tapioca coloured head, initially layered an inch or two thick. Near half way through it would give out and collapse in the middle. This cedar/cream colour scheme was so handsome, I might ask the people at Harpoon to dress me if I had a nice date.

If the aroma is but one thing it is malty; Vienna and amber malts foremost. 'Bock'-esque with a lager type buttery character. While I'm not familiar with it enough to be confident, I swear I could also smell juniper. It resembled a 'sahti' in one way or another, and I believe that may be attributed to the use of juniper. A faint note of alcohol.

The body is very thin with the malts (while imparting enough flavour) doing very little to hold up a mouthfeel. Airy and light bodied. A little biscuity and grainy at times. The taste being very soft on the palate, the alcohol becomes very obvious, coating the mouth and at times being the feature that sticks out the most. Although, at only 7.2% the drinkability really isn't all that hindered by it.

The flavour, like aroma, is above all else malty. I'd think a variety of malts were used too. A diverse bill of flavours ranging from crystal, to amber, to biscuit can all be tasted. The biscuit especially came out more as it warmed. A deep malt bill, albeit, a simple (a little dull) flavour makeup. I found (oddly enough) the alcohol seemed to mellow out with warming, allowing the malts to stick around the mouth a little less interrupted. Indeed, with warming, the malt flavour grew louder and the beer finally gained a bit of a backbone.

Overall I'm still not sure what I was to expect. Granted it's a unique and unfamiliar style. Personally I took this to be more of a 'sipper', or at least something you take your time drinking, something to savor a little. Which I did.
Thanks Viggo!

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Photo of grub
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle topped with gold foil.

pours crystal clear golden copper colour with a big dense tan head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of lace.

aroma is nice. touch of light funk. nice fruity character. bit of lager and bock character. slightly buttery.

taste is nice. multi-grain bread. just a hint of roast. light bitterness level. bit of alcohol. as it warmed more biscuit malt came through too. fairly straightforward, but nice.

mouthfeel is good. light bodied. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. fairly balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a duvel tulip the beer was a translucent copper color with one finger of white fluffy head. Lots of carbonation streamed up the glass to feed the head, and retention was fairly decent. Some spotty lacing throughout the sample.

The nose has lots of rich caramel sweetness and a firm maltiness. Some faint yeasty character with hints of phenoloic alcohol.

The taste has a nice richness to it with a semi-sweet malt character with caramel and almost light candi sugar coming through nicely. An almost maibock like character with a rich malty sweetness. A Belgian yeasty character makes a slight appearance and the beer finishes a little dry.

Medium body with a good degree of carbonation.

All in all this one was a solid offering. More rich and sweet than I expected, but that said very enjoyable. Not overly hot or phenolic, but well balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber: This one pours a clear, amber color. There was a small off white head on it. The aroma has some caramel and fruitiness to it. Maybe some honey and spices also. My first sip elicited a "whoo". It is a fairly tasty beer, but it really doesn't have a standout flavor. Some spice and dryness to the finish. This is a nice beer. I hope they brew it again.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a tight 3/8" off-white head over the clear copper brew. Head falls at a reasonable pace down to a full layer of small bubbles, with lots of sticky lace. Aroma is lightly sweet and fruity. Taste is sweet upfront, somewhat stronly spiced in the middle, with fruit tinge and alcohol coming on at the end. Mouthfeel is somewhat rough over the tongue, and drinkability is not as high good as it could be either. This one doesn't seem to flow together as well as some of the other Harpoon offerings that I've had. Note that this all could be representative of the Danish Style Farmhouse Ale, with which I am not familiar.

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Photo of horshack7
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This bottle of Harpoon goodness pours very nice amber red a little on the clear side but nice color. The head retention on this one is a little short lived and is lacey. Bubbles continuosly ascend up from the bottom a nice touch.

Aromas: A hoppy aroma with slight hints of spices. Slight apple aromas and cinnamon.

Taste: Nicely hoppy slight cherry flavor and apple very lightly spiced and nicely crisp.

Mouthfeel: This one is bubbly and nicely crisp on the palate. Flavors jump all over.

Notes: On the bottle the beer is listed as a Danish farmhouse ale and here on Beer Advocate it's listed as a Belgian strong pale ale. It tastes a bit like both styles which is a little odd. To sum up this brew it's very drinkable nicely crisp very much a year round brew. Cheers to Harpoon for this one.

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Photo of ericj551
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Refsvinginge Private Stock pours a clear golden amber with a nice head. Aroma is pale malts and some yeast with a hint of almost citrusy hops underneath. Taste is a nice sharp mix of bready yeast, esters and sweet malts. The flavor is almost toasty and spicy with a nice hop bitterness balancing it out. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, almost chocolatey if that makes sense. I had no idea what to expect from a Danish Farmhouse Ale, but this one does not disappoint. Kudos to Harpoon for throwing something comepletely different at us.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at bauer Wines in Boston for $5 a bomber. Drank at our annual Memorial Day BBQ. Pours a deep amber color with nice head and lacing. Smells of citrus fruit. Tastes like an Old Ale, though it did not seemed to be aged that long. Complex malts and nice mouthfeel, enjoyable but not fresh.

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Photo of aluskungs
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Danish Farm house ale, sure I'll try it. I wish I had sooner!

The beer's color is chestnut with a good thin head that stays and clings to the glass. Visible carbonation bubbles rise to the top.

Not much of a smell. Wet hay, barn like smell (it is a Farm House Ale after all) but in a pleasant way.

The taste is great. Full flavor like an English Pale Ale but without the hops. There are hops present, it keeps the malt in it's place. A chewy but crisp beer and not heavy despite it's 7.8 % alc. Earth and straw flavor with a bit of orange peel sourness as an aftertaste.

A really nice beer. I wish I bought more but alas, this beer is limited and I hear the next series is out! All of these (except one) I truly liked. Pick these up if you see them.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very attractive ruddy amber color with a big-bubbled cream-colored head that fades to only a collar. Aromas are defiantly non-yeasty for a farmhouse ale, and instead display some Munich maltiness, some grain, and the Harpoon house character. It's certainly not as evocative as I'd expect for a farmhouse ale, but it's no disaster either. On the palate, there's a metallic note throughout, but it's not as tensile (if that makes sense) as in most American ales. The palate starts off with some rich, grainy German maltiness before turning a tad doughy in the center. The finish is vanishingly dry, leaving behind a nutty toastiness. Overall, I was impressed by this beer. I'm not usually a fan of Harpoon, but this is a nice beer. It would have been better without that Harpoon house character, but it's still pretty good.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #18 - Refsvinginge Private Stock from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 52 ratings
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