Harpoon Chocolate Stout | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Chocolate StoutHarpoon Chocolate Stout

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon Chocolate Stout is brewed with an abundance of chocolate malt and a touch of chocolate.

40 IBU

Added by Brad007 on 10-24-2008

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Reviews: 282 | Ratings: 821
Photo of morebeergood
2.19/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got a couple of bottles in the winter 12 pack a while ago, and stashed these in the beer cellar. Cracked them open last night. Poured into pint glasses. Dark black color. Large fluffy head, almost looked like root beer suds. Smelled a lot like stale baker's chocolate. Taste? What a disappointment. Did the brewer's even try this before releasing it? Have they ever tried another brewery's version of a chocolate stout? Apparently not. I am not saying they should mimic other brands, but at least they'd see how inferior it ended up and maybe tweek the recipe. Tasted like processed Hershey's syrup. No body at all, thin and watery. Only the second time ever I considered a drain pour. But the first time I told myself that I would never buy this particular Harpoon beer again.

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Photo of WesWes
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark, black color with a very thin tan head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has an over the top chocolate scent that boasts of cocoa and chocolate malts. The taste is average. It has a decent roasted feel with tons of chocolate flavoring added. This one is really horrible. It goes down with lots of prickly carbonation and finishes chalky with a hot cocoa taste. The mouthfeel is average as well. It is a medium/full bodied with too much CO2. This is a brew for the scrap heap. I was just starting to like Harpoon's beers again, but this one may have changed my mind.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The 12-ounce bottle poured into an imperial pint seidel yields a mysterious ebony body capped with quickly-fading oiled-tan foam. The head recedes into a thin, milk-bubbled ring that leaves thin wisps and scattered freckles of lacing on the glass.

The smell is chocolate malt-heavy with an edge of anise, fresh cacao, and mellow dark kilned grain. A distinct, liquory, chocolate candy sweetness separate from the maltiness piles on for maximum chocolate effect. Varied and rich, the sum of the aromas forms a broad chocolatey palette that has my mouth watering in advance of my first sip.

The taste is quite chocolatey, but the profile is laden with bitter, drying, mildly-sweet chocolate and dark roast that represents a dramatic divergence from the sugary nose. The bitter-crisp presence of dark-fired malt dipped in a swirl of melted baker's chocolate pervades the drink, and a lingering alkaline biterness closes the show.

The drink is light in body with just enough carbonation and is quite chocolatey without becoming obnoxiously so. At a surprising 6.3% abv, Harpoon's Chocolate Stout is a little potent for sessionability, but quite quaffable nonetheless. A fine offering from the "Wintry Mix" sample pack, and one I'd buy again under the right circumstances.

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Photo of Stimack
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this brew and is the primary reason why I picked up the mix pack, though I really do like all of the other brews in it. The brew poured to a almost pitch black color, had some brown like highlights, smallish head that is tan in color and fades quickly. Limited lacing. The aroma, wow, almost like semi-sweet chocolate syrup and some toasted malts. The flavor is all chocolate for me, some roasted malts but it really is just a dry chocolate flavor. For me it was to much, it actually was difficult for me to get through. I would imagine that for some folks this is great, but not a stout that I like.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
1.79/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I just bought a Harpoon variety pack, this was the first one I decided to try.

Color: Black with a milk chocolate head, low retention, slightly lacy.

Aroma: Holy Cow it smells just like chocolate!

Taste: thin at first, light mouthfeel leading into a moderate amount of carbonation. Chocolate flavor throughout with just a touch of smokeyness. Almost liquor like. Esters of alcohol toward the end with a wet finish.

Overall: To be honest I wouldn't go out of my way for this. The chocolate flavor seems like a processed liquid extract and not very pleasant. I feel like I'm taking a sip of some watered down liquor. Not my favorite.

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Photo of corey0212
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cola-colored brown, rapidly fading tan head leaves a handful of spots of lace on the glass. Smells like a chocolate glazed Dunkin Donut, or maybe a bowl full of Count Chocula....way wicked chocolatey smell! Taste doesn't really "bring it" as far as the fake chocolatey food flavors go, but there's enough choco-goodness to put a smile on my face. Seems a little thin for the style (yes, I know it's not an "Imperial", and I'm fine with it). This is interesting enough, and certainly worth a try, but nothing I'd really go out of my way for in the future.

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Photo of confer
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A Very dark chocolate brown.

S Very light chocolate and malt aroma.

T This is by far not my favorite style. The beer came in a variety pack and I had to give one a try. There is a slight chocolate and malt to the taste. The beer gets better as you go on.

M Very smooth and slightly creamy feel.

D I would not buy a case or even a six of this, but an occasional bottle would be ok. It's not that is bad it's just not the style of beer I would drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a deep black color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, some vinous aromas, then a nice dark chocolate sweetness in the aroma.
T: Chocolate with roasted malts, roasted chocolate malt, then more chocolate, a bittersweet dark chocolate flavor.
M: Very smooth, sweet, and warming.
D: Very drinkable beer. I wish this wasn't only available in the winter 12 pack with only 2 bottles per pack. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.24/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DrDogbeer for this one, poured from a 12oz bottle.

pours a rich coffee color building to an almost jet black in the glass with a fairly weak half-finger head of a nice light mocha color that faded relatively quickly, leaving behind only a bit of lacing.

whoah. this one literally smells like chocolate cake. Ganache, cocoa shavings and all. A definite sweet chocolate malt undertone accented by more chocolate. Milk chocolate with hints of bittersweet cocoa. Impressive aroma.

Taste, somewhat surprisingly, follows aroma pretty closely. A healthy dose of pure chocolate follows the light caramel malt, sticking around a bit before fading out to a light malt and finally a bitter finish seemingly comprised of bitter cocoa, bitter coffee and a touch of hops. The chocolate dominates and leaves the palette (and brain) slightly perplexed. Different flavors and more(?) chocolate than other chocolate stouts.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I was expecting for a 6.3% stout. A little on the thin side, with some ample carbonation that nears too much. A bit creamier and fuller and it would be unbelievably delicious... the thinness allows the bitter finish to rear its head a bit more.

All in all, an interesting and impressive brew. probably the most chocolaty brew I've tried, short of pouring chocolate syrup into a stout. Almost an overload on the chocolate, but this one pulls it off. Mouthfeel left a bit to be desired, but all in all I'm impressed. If you like chocolate, this is a must try. Not really sessionable, but if I ever have the opportunity to get a few more bottles, there'd be no hesitation.

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Photo of matt062286
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle came as part of a Harpoon Winter Sampler pack.

Appearance - Deep opaque brown/black. Minimal head on pour, and retains a minimal head at best. Almost no lacing to speak of.

Smell - Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Reminds me of an Ovaltine milkshake.

Taste - you guessed it. Tastes like cheap, waxy chocolate, the kind that Tootsie Rolls are made of. Nothing much else to it really, it's chocolate and beer. Aftertaste is better though; I can taste a dark chocolate/coffee flavor that is hidden while drinking.

Mouthfeel - pretty watery for a stout. I was hoping for a thicker, creamier beer than this.

Drinkability - the beer is not very heavy at all, but not yet a light beer. Really had trouble finishing the bottle. Have had other chocolate stouts that are way better, Rogue and Brooklyn for example.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle with a date marked 03/15/09B-312. The dark baked chocolate aroma penetrates the nose as soon as I pry the bottle cap off. It pours a very dark, almost black tone with a lingering tan head. The taste is very chocolately with a little hops in the background. It is a bit overwhelming but it really isn't too bad but it is not something I would buy regularly.

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Photo of albern
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One reviewer commented that this beer tastes like a milk chocolate Ovaltine. That is the dead ringer. The beer pours a very inky black with a dark slightly creamy and foamy head that retains pretty well and laces a bit. The nose on the beer is a wonderful cacao and mocha aroma. There is some nicely roasted malts in there, but the nose is just a delightful dark chocolate experience and very unique. Very enticing.

The taste is also quite unique and beguiling, although I don't think this is a session beer by a long shot. The beer is modestly carbonated, it has the milk chocolatey Ovaltine taste, some mocha blended in, with a bit of hop character that adds some acerbic qualities coming on somewhat stronger in the finish. There is a slightly roasted and bready quality to the beer around the edges, but the chocolate experience really defines this beer. It is a slightly unusual chocolatey flavor, almost fortified with protein, hence the Ovaltine comparison, and a somewhat cardboard like flatness also comes out. This is a most unique beer well worth seeking out and not like your typical chocolate stouts. This is flavorful with lots of individual character. Do try it.

Update 12-2009: I really like the cocoa powder chocolate character of this beer. It is a bit lighter bodied than the typical winter stout, less coffee tasting as well. The milk shake ovaltine description is fitting.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.19/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, "winter 08-09" printed on the label and BBD of 3/15/09 found on the bottle neck, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color, almost black but not quite. The head formed about 1 finger thick light tan and faded quickly.

Aroma: Sweet and dark chocolate, very inviting.

Taste: Not quite as good as the smell. Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate throughout. The finish is disappointing. The chocolate is there but it faded rather quickly.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, fairly smooth and almost creamy at times. The carbonation balanced well.

Overall: I'd have liked it to be more full bodied and perhaps higher alcohol, like an imperial stout. Still, though, this is pretty decent stuff. Just keep in mind it's only 6.3% ABV.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in their winter sample pack. The appearance is jet black with a brown-colored lacing on the sides. Really thin head though. Aromas are really rich in a smoked mocha chocolate flavor. Noticed a hint of toffee, but much more of a dark chocolate. Taste is really great, representative of the aromas. Bittersweet dark chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel helps with a light carbonation to an otherwise creamy drink that is also pretty light comparatively. Overall, a fantastic chocolate stout.

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Photo of MattCote
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured at refridgerator temperature into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. I'm not a huge fan of specifically flavored stouts-- chocolate, oatmeal, smoked-- so bear that in mind when regarding my review.

Appearance: Pours a deep impermeable black, like molasses or pitch. Cannot even see through the beer when held up to the light. Looks like we're in for a nice dark stout, nothing held back.

Smell: Aromatic and chocolatey, much as it should be, like a bitter high-cacao content chocolate bar. Barley scents barely manage to escape the chocolate fragrance.

Taste: Bitter on the tongue at first, migrating into a saccharine flood of cacao at the rear. Flavors are fleeting, so it's difficult to define them. Notes of biscuit and coffee beans dwell beneath the bitter chocolate flavors. Acidity somehow manages to emerge as a byproduct. Taste is comparable to an 88% cacao dark chocolate truffle filled with a weak-flavored milk chocolate center, transitioning as you penetrate the shell.

Mouthfeel: Immensely chewy at first, yielding far too quickly into a near watery resolve. It somehow cannot withstand being drank; much like a corn flour mixture, it seems to be both a solid and liquid. Incomprehensible and muddled at best.

Drinkability: Not a session beer. Despite it's watery resolve, (compared to its front-heavy flavors,) it should be enjoyed as a single. Most chocolate stouts seem to produce this effect for me. Who really wants another hersheys bar after you've eaten a whole one?

Overall, a highly confusing experience. This beer is decent, but ultimately sells the whole "chocolate" thing too eagerly. It should be the sideshow, not the main event. At the end of the day, Stout is the ringleader.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours dark brown with a small light tan head. Aroma of Hershey's chocolate syrup and hot fudge. Very chocolatey! Flavor is less chocolatey, a little bland and muddled, very artificially sweet. Overall it is not such a good beer but I really like the aroma!
Aroma: 9/10
Appearance: 3/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

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Photo of bjoyce12
3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

D'oh! Had such high hopes for this offering from Harpoon. Pours a dark brown as you'd expect in a chocolate, and the aroma is pure chocolate. Like smelling a vat of melted Hershey's. Unbelieveable aroma. Really hoped that the taste would match, but no. Falls very flat. Slight chocolate taste, very light cocoa notes, but if it weren't for the nose I wouldn't be sure this is a chocolate. Maybe Harpoon will refine the taste as it evolves if they keep it as an option, 'cause not there yet. Southern Tier Choklat and Rogue Choc Stout still the best two chocolates by far...

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Photo of Duhast500
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Held to the light this beer becomes opaque. Very black with a slight foamy brown head. Not very carbonated but the growler I had sitting in the fridge for a week so that may have been my fault.

The smell, as by the name, smells strong with a chocolate flavor. Somewhat coffee in nature the smell bursts out from the first pour. Has a slight almond smell as well.

The taste is smoky, somewhat with that same chocolate and coffee flavor to it. Almond and a soft hop taste rounds this brew out. If you are not used to a stout with this type of taste it may take you a sec to get used to it.

The mouth feel is a bit strong. Since I like a beer that is a bit strong I was quite happy with the results.

My first real experience with a beer that was chocolate flavored. I was quite happy to say that I enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of Hokies
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep black colour with some red hues and a thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is filled with sweet and roasted chocolate malt. Smells a lot like Bailey's and hershey syrup.

Taste is very light to begin with sweet malt and a roasted chocolate flavor but something is off. Their is a light hop flavor that adds a slight bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is quite carbonated and makes it tough to drink, although not a bad beer I won't search it out again.

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Photo of Pamola
3.02/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought the Harpoon Winter Variety to get my hands on this one. Dunno what I'll do with the Winter Warmer from this pack.

A: Poured a bit watery. Nothing silky smooth stoutish about this one at all. Gave a small tan head that dissipated very quickly, leaving no trails or legs.

S: Deep, rich chocolate and molasses. Slight bitterness/sharpness like that of dark chocolate. Might be the best part of this brew.

T: Chocolate is more than present. Omnipresent. There's a disjointed and sharp acid taste that makes this taste like a cold gas station mocha cappuccino. Very roasty, but bitter like birch, not smooth like oak.

M: Hard to describe. Not an even experience. Goes from full to light to empty.

D: Allthough there are redeeming qualities to this beer, I couldn't see myself drinking multiple and certainly couldn't see myself buying a 6pack should they choose to release this brew as such.

Keep the brain trust working on making the 100bbl series reputable again.

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Photo of mcox90
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Harpoon's Wintery seasonal 12 pack. Pours a dark brown with ruby edges. Small tan head and no lacing. Smell is all chocolate. Palate is a bit thin for a stout. However, after drinking it, you feel full. Taste is chocolate. Perhaps with a touch of cherry. Chocolate covered cherries anyone? Not a whole lot of complexity here. Although it,s far from perfect, it was enjoyable. To bad you only get 2 out of the 12 pack.

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Photo of Hawthorne
2.61/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The folks at Harpoon have left little to the imagination with this brew. Indeed, when the bottle says chocolate it really means chocolate. Indeed, I truly feel like I just drank watery chocolate milk with a dash of Ovaltine. If you like your beer like commercial hip hop - which is to say with little subtlety and less craft, then this is the beer for you.
The pour is great, the smell is striking and the taste is somewhere between a smore and zinc lozenge. Happy Holidays!

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark with mahogany hues shining through when held to the light. Great, frothy, light brown head that retains forever! Smells like Hersheys syrup. So far, so good...then tasting the beer, it goes downhill. There's a certain off-taste right up front that sticks to the palate. Sort of tinny, along with chocolate syrup, and a weird cherry-like flavor. Semi dry finish, light carbonation, pretty thin. It's okay at best. Great looking beer, smells pretty promising, then let down by the actual substance of the brew - the flavor. Close, but no cigar.

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Photo of bum732
1.84/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Looks good, smells like Hershey's syrup. Very heavy chocolate smell with just a faint malt smell in the background. Bitterness and chocolate taste right off the bat. Middle has a weird metallic off-chocolate taste. Not much finish. Not a whole lot of body.

The chocolate in this beer tastes very artificial and does not meld well with the malt. Bottle says there is "chocolate flavor" added, whatever the hell that means. I think the metallic taste is from the chocolate flavoring, not very sweet for a chocolate stout. Overall, i wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from a mixed 12pack from Market Basket. Pours an almost opaque black with few ruby-red highlights and a quarter inch of light tan head. Smells strongly of chocolate malt (not chocolate), reminiscent of espresso beans. Espressso beans dominate the flavor as well with a malty sweetness. Flavor actually reminds me a lot of a less alcoholic Kahlua. Very similar to Kahlua, which doesn't bother me since I really like Kahlua. Medium in body with ample carbonation. Not the most drinkable beer in the world, though it wasn't much work to finish the glass. A unique interesting beer unlike any I've had. Perhaps a more fitting name would be 'Coffee Stout' rather than a chocolate stout, though I understand the name. Glad I tried it, definitely worth a try. I may try cooking with this one too - I think it may add a unique pleasant character to a chocolate pudding or brownies (see Saunders' 'Best of American Beer and Food' to see what I mean). Not a bad beer overall.

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Harpoon Chocolate Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.6 out of 5 based on 821 ratings.
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