100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth
143 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth

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

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The story of Harpoon’s Steve Stewart’s Firth of Forth Ale began at Harpoon a decade ago. Back in 1998 a young Scottish brewer named Steve Stewart crossed the big pond and came to Harpoon in Boston as part of a brewery intern exchange program. Steve apprenticed at Harpoon for a couple months then took his new-found appreciation of American craft beer back to his full-time brewing job at a large Irish brewery. After some time, Steve decided to return to his birthplace -Scotland - and open his own microbrewery.
Over the years, Steve kept in touch with the brewers at Harpoon, filling them in on his brewing progress. In April 2007 when Harpoon staff took their annual employee anniversary trip, they paid a special visit to Steve's microbrewery in Edinburgh, Scotland. Between toasting pints of Steve's award-winning cask ales the Harpoon brewers invited Steve to guest brew a 100 Barrel Series beer. He accepted with delight. For several months Steve and our brewers collaborated on the recipe, an American twist on a traditional Scottish Ale.

28 IBU

Added by Todd on 02-25-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 131
Reviews by tonytuffnuts:
Photo of tonytuffnuts
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Atlantic Food Mart in Reading, MA. Props to them for their beer selection.
Pours into an amber brown with a moist 1.5 finger head. Intersting, the color reminds me of scotch.
Smells strongly of dewy hop flowers, caramel brittle, fresh peeled bark and... dare I say Challa? (And I'm not eve Jewish!)
It's sweet to the taste. A thin brew (not very heavy) with nutty characteristics. Yeast pokes through a bit, some honey/molasses. Hops fade eventually.
This bad boy mellows out and the hop scent is gone with the wind. The mouthfeel gets stickier as the beer oxidizes. Enjoyable beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark opaque brown with a creamy uneven light brown head of about 1/4" or so. Good head retention and lacing. Very attractive to look at.

S: Complex medium malts, something like peat, and a hint of smoke.

T&M: Calm but complex and rather mellow combination of malts with a very creamy and heavier weight in the mouth. This just has a bit of an air of sophistication to it. It isn't really sweet but you can definitely pull some sweetness out of the malts that are present. There are hops too but they are in the background and just serve to create some balance for the malts and seem to let the other characteristics come through unhindered, like the earthy, almost nutty tones. The finish is long on malts that fade slowly to a somewhat bitter and complete end.

D: Very smooth and easy to drink. Great for generally relaxing or when you are just in the mood for something good. I enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber served in a pint glass. Really attractive beer: red/amber color with a thick tan head and lots of lacing. Too bad the aroma and taste didn't live up to the appearance. It had a faint smoky malt aroma with a whiff of chocolate. The taste was similar, with maybe a little more noticeable chocolate taste at the end. Both aroma and taste were quite muted, and the beer was thin in the mouth. An OK beer.

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Photo of Hoptrollop
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a surprise for me. I haven't heard much about it but it sure is fancy with it's gold foil cap and all.

Crisp and lighter body then expected. Very nice balanced roasted malt flavor without being overly sweet. Hops in the nose and in the late finishing flavors.

I think I'll finish the bottle now.

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Photo of merlin48
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a clear chestnut body with a medium sized beige head. Some delicate sheet lacing hangs on the glass.

Aroma is malty caramel mostly, with hints of earthy hops and a faint metallic note.

Mouthfeel is light medium, even slightly watery, and is the lowpoint of the beer. Low medium carbonation.

Taste has a bready maltiness that is sweet with caramel and toffee. Earthy hops provide a balancing bitterness. There might be a faint wisp of smoky malt underneath but it could be my imagination.

Very enjoyable, even sessionable. Not the best Scotch ale made in America, but better than the ratings here.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical Harpoon 100 Barrel bottle presentation. Pours mahogany dark amber, medium dark tan head, long lasting down to a thick tiny bubble film and causing great looking sheeting and splattered lacing to be left behind on the glass. Nose is smoky, bready with a hint of vanilla. Nice tasting offering here. Smooth malts, dark honey, vanilla, smoke, more bread, dark sweet chocolate. Tasty, sessionable, complex. Chalky and drying in the finish. Just a wee bit thin, keeping this from being something really special. Nicely done however, one of the most impressive versions from this series.

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Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of far333
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored with a finely bubbled head of beige foam. Aromas of sweet malts and grassy hops with some mild citrus notes.

Initial flavor of tea, some metallic hints, sweet malt emerges, some caramel and some grassy hops. Not very complex. Grass and metallic flavors linger.

Average mouthfeel, somewhat thin, but finishes tingly. Average drinkability. Perhaps my least favorite of the 100 barrel series.

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Photo of glid02
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with dark amber highlights. Head is one finger of white foam that dissipates quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt with a hint of smokiness.

Tastes good. Very sweet caramel malt up front with a very mild smokiness and even more mild chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel is alright. It seems a bit thin, although the carbonation is at a good level and it still goes down pretty smoothly.

Drinkability is alright. I'm coming around on Scottish ales, but they still seem too sweet to me. I also prefer a bit more of a smoky character.

Overall this was a solid beer for the style but was nothing special. However, the beer was good enough to make me want to try more of the 100 series after being underwhelmed by most of Harpoon's other beers. Worth a shot.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a clear dense walnut brown body with a sticky meniscus of light oatmeal colored head and a gentle carbonation to support it. The head last for a good bit of the beer.

S- The smell of light toasted brown malt in an otherwise clean smell has notes of biscuit malt that increase as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a nice woody malt flavor that is a bit dry with some biscuit flavors to follow. There is a soft spice note to the hops and a soft pine quality that finishes the beer.

M- This beer has as medium mouthfeel with a dry texture and a tight little fizz at the finish. There is no alcohol note at all.

D- This is a nice smooth Scottish Ale but the malts seem a bit stale and not a really fresh crisp flavor.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber> 16 0z. SA glass X 2.

This is a beautiful color, very vibrant, deep dark amber with bright ruby hues. Big fast bubbles shows off aggressive carbonation witch lead to a tight, sea-foam head that is very sticky and has nice sticky lacing. good looker.

My nose caught aroma's of wood smoke...burning pine tree's right off, which I thought was very interesting. Then it was, caramalized, brown-sugar scented malt, spicey, slightly fruity hops and wheat 'n grains. A nice variety of aroma's here.

The flavor is roasty oak wood chips, sloppy buttered toast with brown sugar and caramel in the malt. The Malt flavor is a bit wet overall but nice. The balance of fresh, earthy herbal hops with slightly sour yeast is very nice. Later, a fruity...mandarin orange tang pops out in the hops with very subtle concord grape action at the end. Very unique flavor overall.

Medium to full feel, the head has amazing retention and it never really goes away fully, leaving a rather thick layer of foam to add smoothness. It's plenty crisp with good carbonation but the malt adds further creamy effects. I like it.

This is my favorite of the 100 Barrel series since the Keller Bier a couple years ago.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Something about the appearance of this beer does it for me. It's probably the deep burgundy color, its burnt reddish hues almost entrancing, but I also dig the creamy head. It may not be that thick, but it retains well and it's made of various-sized bubbles. Reminds of crackly puffed rice in appearance and the body continues to glow brightly.

Malty, toasty, lightly smoky nose, with a hint of sour or unripe berry and a dab of peat.

Flavor is no surprise, as it offers everything the nose hints at, but that's not to say it's not delicious. It's not a powerhouse of a Scottish Ale, flavor-wise, but it offers a variety of things to consider and the balance is excellent. Obviously a very malty thing, but its more delicate features, like crisp berry, Granny Smith apples and flowery hops, make it sing. A slightly sour finish adds to the depth.

Mouth seems a little too tingly at first, but with warming it smooths out considerably, with a slick buttery texture, full yet not at all thick.

A completely satisfying beer and worthy example of the style. Harpoon seems to brew best when they do these 100 Barrel things; after the Weizenbock and now this, I feel compelled to pick up each new 100 Barrel release before it's gone. Give this one a shot.

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Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown. A dry bit of barleywine and smoke and chocolate, suitably carbonated. Something different for a Scottish and nicely done. Sweet then Drying but then more sweetness, chocolate and barley taste re-refreshes the palate. Satisfying aftertaste.

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Photo of hreb
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cold 22oz bottle poured into UK pint glass. Pours deep, dark red amber, with a medium-sized tan head. Smells pretty hoppy, like pale ale, with slightly sweet smokey parts. Aroma is good, but too mild to be great.

Taste is decidedly mediocre. The beer is deceptively light-bodied. I really think it's a pale ale. The smokey notes in the aroma become earthy in the flavor, but still thin. Carbonation is pleasantly mild. It has none of the creamy or caramely bits that I like in scotch ale. It's just sort of....bland.

I had this recently on tap at Christopher's in Porter Square and thought it was somewhat better. This is my second (at least) bottle of Firth of Forth, and I think the bottle experience is consistently worse. On tap it was definitely in the top half of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series in my opinion. But this review is for the bottle, and it's really in the middle of the lot.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this 22oz at the Lowe's foods for $4.99. Always nice to try one of their series. Pours semi-cloudy dark ruby with a thin bit of head. Little carbonation. First smell of tobacco and then the Scottish malts settle in. Nice body and mouthfeel, much better than some of the lighter ones I've tried. A fine example of a Scottish beer and worth checking out.

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Photo of ewright
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Douglas Scotch Ale glass, a fluffy off-white head forms and leaves chunks of lace as it recedes. The beer is a dark reddish-brown that lets a little light through, but not much.

S: Raisin and peat moss show up first, with faint hints of caramel later on.

T: Caramel malts are most forward with a bit of smoky aftertaste late. The hop contribution is faint, but provides just enough balance late.

M: This is, by far, the weakest aspect of this beer. It's just too thin and watery for the style. Good carbonation helps save this from being a below average score.

D: Drinkability suffers a bit due to the weak mouthfeel, but overall, this is a nice ale with sufficiently low ABV that I don't have a buzz after the full 22 oz.

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Photo of Gmann
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby brown color with a nice 2 inch head that dissipated into a light cap. The smell is of grains and some light roasted malt. The taste starts off grainy sweet but that is quickly overtaken by a nice smokey roasted malt. It has notes of chocolate and a copper metallic twang. The feel is light, perhaps a tad watery and fizzy, finishes very balanced. An easy drinking brew, nothing spectacular but its definitely worth a try.

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Photo of mbenthall
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured redish brown with nice head that did not linger.

Smell: Sweet but not over powering.

Taste: Sweet and malty which is indicated in the smell, once again not overpowering. Tasted similar to beers with more alcohol.

Mouthfeel: smooth and moderate for and Scottish Ale.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, great taste. Got better as it warmed. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of edchicma
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent head and lacing..chocolate brown color. Smell is a great combination of malt, smoke and caramel essence. Taste is a smooth representation of the above..very nice. Mouthfeel is rich, smooth even on the palate. Easy on the drinkability scale.

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Photo of TheBCrew
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a pint of this at the Friends of Harpoon release event at The Blue Tusk in Syracuse, NY. A free pint glass and free first pint were given to card-carrying members so I'll be sure to hit up these events in the future!

20 oz. pint poured a rich deep caramel color with one finger of tan head which slowly dissipated leaving minimal to no lacing. Aroma was dominated by caramel and nuts. Flavor was again dominated by caramel and a nutty/roasted character. Finished dry and smooth - very nice compared to some other scottish ales which finish overly sweet and caramelly. Medium light body and an ABV around 5% make this a great session beer to enjoy throughout the evening.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 220z bottle:

The beer poured a clear brown with some reddish hints around the edges when held up to light. The beer had a tan-ish or light brown head that was fairly thick that was well retained. This was the best part of the beer.

The aroma was really nonexistent. A very light malt aroma to it. I expected a much bigger and robust malt aroma, but what I got was something that lacked any kind of quality what so ever.

The taste was pretty straight forward and simple, light malt. Again, I expected a heartier, robust flavor, as most Scottish Ales bring to the table. No hops to speak of and no sweetness or smokiness to it either.

The carbonation of seemed to be right, but the beer was lighter than expected. This is just an average beer and to sure, there are better Scottish Ales to be had.

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Photo of Sigurd
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler that was filled an hour prior.

A: A little head that hung around for a short time. A dark amber-red color.

S: Some smell of hops with a little smoke and malt mixed in.

T: Starts with malt which gets a little smokey. Hops reveal themselves in the finish.

M: Creamy and not much carbonation. Pleasantly heavy without being overbearing.

D: The 6.9% ABV doesn't show itself much and I could definitely drink a few of these. Never overwhelming but a solidly good beer.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured with a dark color mix of slight amber/copper look and light wrapped around black-brown textures. Practically no head when poured but a thin lacing around the side throughout drinking. A nice, roasty caramel aroma was noticed with rich malts. Some florals were also noted, but the roasted aspect was predominant. Taste had a slight dullness to it, but the sugar characteristics were notably sweet and enjoyable. Mainly sensed a dark, roasty chocolate with caramel as flavors. Mouthfeel was good, giving it a soft, milky texture. Overall, pretty darn good.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into nonic.

Deep mahogany, has brighter highlights when the glass is held up to the light. A one finger tan head slowly settles to a thin cap with a thick rim along the glass.

Very light and toasy grains. There is a bit of caramel in there. An odd fruity aroma sweeps over the other aromas.

Very very light brown sugar flavors along with a very faint grain flavor. Medium bodied with a slightly spritzy amount of carbonation. Very clean finish.

This is a very mild Scottish Ale. I was hoping for a bit more flavor. No bad flavors, just not much of anything.

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Photo of triplecoil
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler filled at Half-Time in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Poured a deep copper with some amber and red highlights and a thin off-white head that dissipates and leaves a film on top. Nose is crisp, with definite british hops and somewhat soapy. Taste is slightly smoky, lots of roasty malt, caramel, a little vanilla, and well-done biscuit. Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, really creamy, and lingering, but pleasant.

I could drink a ton o this stuff...fantastic beer.

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100 Barrel Series #22 - Steve Stewart's Firth Of Forth from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 143 ratings