100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB
140 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB

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

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The 31st offering from the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series is the Single Hop ESB, brewed by Harpoon brewer Charlie Cummings. Already excited about crafting an Extra Special Bitter, Charlie jumped at the rare opportunity to brew this beer using one hop varietal, Delta, exclusively throughout the process.

The Delta hop is a brand new American-grown hop developed by Hopsteiner. In fact, the Harpoon Single Hop ESB is the first beer in the world to be commercially brewed using the Delta hop. A cross between Fuggle and Cascade hops, Delta hops yield an unrestrained earthy/floral aroma and taste that compliment the rich flavors of traditional British malts and yeast.

The recipe for this beer is a nod to the beloved Harpoon ESB, which was last brewed in 2002. However this version uses imported ingredients, except for the domestically grown Delta hops. Only a portion of the batch was filtered, leaving the full spectrum of flavor and aroma of this special new hop to enjoy.

38 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 |  Reviews: 122
Reviews by nicnut45:
Photo of nicnut45
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown reddish color. A medium head on the pour which settles to a nice dense off white foam.

S-Upon popping the cap and taking a whiff, I was really impressed with this new delta hop. But the character of it changed after the pour and the malt character balanced it out. Hops are earthy and rustic, fresh picked mushrooms comes to mind. Malts smell a bit burnt and I catch whiffs of brownies as I drink. Unusual but a much needed break from the norm.

T-This beer has a very earthy tone to it. Hops are very herbal/floral and have an almost oregano taste to them. Malts have a burnt syrupy taste and I get a very slight alcohol burn in the background but not offensive in the least.

M.F.-A full beer. Carbonation is right on for the style.

D-I would like to say I would drink this again. It is a well crafted beer. But I would take a Fullers over this one. A very good E.S.B. from us yanks.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial nonic a clear brass color with a thinner but well sustained slight off white head.Aromas of caramle malt and slightly earthy hops,not earth sahttering but both stood out well.Malt driven with sweetish caramel malt with a bit of fruit on the palate,the hops lend a tinge of earthiness in the finish.Its not complex, but its flavors are pleasant enough.

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Photo of daveshawley
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was copper colored with a thick tan head that reduced quickly.
Nice aroma of citrus and caramel malt. There was also an earthy quality, like being outdoors, to the aroma.
Caramel, citrus taste. Moderately hoppy.
The mouthfeel was on the sharp, metallic side.
Not a bad beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange-brown color with a white head. The aroma is grass, bread and toffee. The flavor is bready malts, grassy and earthy hop and toffee. I also get a little bit of citrus in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A pretty good ESB with a hop variety I was not familiar with.

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Photo of far333
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored with a firm inch-high head of frothy beige foam. Aroma of nutty malt and low hops. Flavor is initially similar to the aroma, but with some roastiness added. Good balance, subtle but flavorful hops. Not too bitter, but bright with citrus and floral notes.

Even mouthfeel, tending toward thin, perhaps a bit slick. Tasty beer, pretty drinkable.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with good amounts of leafy and earthy hops. It's a tight and crisp aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy and mildly dry caramel malt flavors kick things off. Hints of deeper toasted malt flavors come into play shortly thereafter before earthy hop flavors make an appearance midway through the sip. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was a really nice and crisp ESB - it would be more impressive if the ABV were a percentage or two lower without any loss of flavor, but even as it is it's worth a shot.

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Photo of OBIrish24
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in tulip glass)
A- This beer has a deep reddish-brown crystal clear body with strands of microbubbles supporting a creamy light tan head.
S- This beer has a biscuity toasted notes with caramel dry hints. The green hops have a dry cinnamon quality that grows as it warms.
T- This beer has a big green bitter hops with a slight grassy soft lemon quality. The biscuit and toasted malt notes supporting the hops. There are hints of dark roasted notes in the background. The finish is a soft pungent hops finish and bitterness that lingers a bit.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel and no alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a pretty non-descript hops flavor and as it warms the malts start to really take over the hop flavor. The malt flavors are a bit big and dark for an ESB especially if the hops are the showcase.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rustic amber, mostly clear with a substantial 2" dark-sea foam head, moderate diss with a nice layer of foam at all times. minor lacing.

wild strawberries...very hoppy aroma with caramel malt sweetness and more tangy fruits. dry earth notes way down.

This one has wild strawberry rhubard pie with hops, pretty complex after it mutates into dry earthy flavor's, grassy pine and mild tangy heat balance. Some hoppy bitterness is mild but plays well with the crisp, medium body. The malt provides a laid-back brown sugar sweetness and slightly smokey-scottish edge. The malt seems to become gritty and more smokey as time passes, the feel becomes softer. The 38 ibu's go a long way and it seems much higher on the palate.

This is a colorful ESB with a unique hop flavor.

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Photo of Stigs
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz pour at Fatheads, served in an English style pint glass

A - very dark copper/amber color, crystal clear. short lived quarter inch of white bubbly foam, quickly retreats to a thin film and ring. leaves very spotty lacing behind.

S - heavy on the toasty and biscuity malts, with some earthy grassy hops. a little mild.

T - reverse of the nose, very assertive grassy and slightly piney hops. same flavor profile throughout, evident of the Fuggle/Cascade hybrid. solid amount of bready and toasted malts underneath, nice balance.

M - carbonation is a bit high, feel like this would have come across more pleasant with less. thin bodied, slightly slick going down.

D - solid beer, went quite well with some steamed mussels. bitter enough for some character yet not dominating at all. overall drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber that is an easy drink. Yes it's boring, it's nothing special for the style. But I could drink two bombers and maybe not be sessionalability, but walked out with having had decent beer all night. A little reddish tinge, a moderate head. A drinkable, accepable head, aroma. Average mouthfeel.

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Photo of hreb
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cold 22oz bottle poured into pint glass. Beer pours caramelly brown/red but rests in the glass like a standard red ale, crystal clear, with an orange tinge. Thin head which quickly falls. Smell is pleasantly spicy on top of a rich aroma of 2-row barley malt.

Carbonation is fine, mouthfeel is full and slightly creamy, complementing the mild flavor nicely. Besides being an ESB, the feature of this beer is use of a new variety of hops, "Delta". The hop profile is mild, just serving to balance out the malt flavor at first, then coming around to deliver an appropriately bitter aftertaste. The flavor of the hops is also very middle-of-the-road: slightly citrusy, slightly chalky, not too floral, not too astringent.

A solid beer, if not the most remarkable.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at @ The Corner in Litchfield, CT. I like a good ESB, but this didn't taste much different from an amber ale. Yeah, the hops are more subtle and spicy. But the malts are the usual combination of caramel and toffee flavors. I mean, the beer tastes good, it just wasn't a great ESB or terribly interesting.

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Photo of mikey711
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A: Deep amber color with a moderate white head that doesnt hold all that well, but there is some lace.

S: It smells alot like dish soap but there are a few floral hop notes.

T: Caramel and some floral hoppiness. Some bitterness fromt eh hops balance by the caramel

M: Very nice body on this one, with good creaminess and really nothing about that i could find a flaw in

D: The bomber was enough and i dont think i need to go back

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with a nice beige head, and leaves cool lacing. The aroma has a lot of caramel and toffee in it initially, followed by earthy, minty hops, fruity esters, classically British. The flavor is similar to the aroma with a juicy malt character upfront that is reminiscent of caramel, toffee and toasted bread, along with a nice but restrained hoppiness with notes of mint, mineral, pine and a little ctirus along with some fruity esters, and a moderate alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation and drinkability is pretty good but not great. A very solid ESB overall, and I liked that it didn't try to be an Americanized and thus over hopped rendition.

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Photo of beerhan
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Never has harpoon impressed me with a beer until I tasted this one. A very nice ESB with a tart apple taste and a nice thick brown color similar to that of iced tea. I was quite blown away by the black tea after taste for I have never seen such a thing. Nonetheless I do say that this is quite the beer to try. But try it fresh because I do not think it will keep long

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Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color, crystal clear, with a small tight egg-shell colored head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is bready, spicy (pepper), and a touch sour almost smells that they used some rye. Some caramel and light brown sugar sweetness as well. The taste is that of a solid malt. The flavor is of caramel, mineral water, pepper, with a spicy and grassy hop flavor. Noticable hop bitterness runs throughout but the malt is the showcase in this brew. Again almost tastes like they used some rye. Light feel with fizzy carbonation, very airy, crisp, finishes with a light hoppy bitterness. This is a pretty tastey brew. Glad to see they didn't try to hop it up too much. Drinks incredibly well and is refreshing.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Windsor, VT brewery.

Single Hop ESB is a rather unique idea, with single hop beers typically being brewed as Pale Ales or IPA's. Add in the fact that the hop used is an entirely new variety, it makes the beer something pretty special. That being said, I think it is a fantastic idea, with so few breweries producing solid ESB's.

Pours a deep red/ruby color with an ecru/off-white head. Does not foam up all that much but does show ample retention.

Aroma is noticeable malty, with suggestions of pale malts and maybe a bit of caramel malt. The delta hop doesn't appear to give off a strong aroma, maybe a bit floral but not much.

First taste suggest a well balanced beer, something I really enjoy about good ESB's. A distinct malt character provides a bit of a bready and sweet body followed by a pleasant bitterness. Hop flavors seem to be a bit herbal or floral but not overly pronounced.

Light mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation contribute well to the flavors. Overall and enjoyable ESB, and something I'll look forward to getting a bottle of.

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Photo of bum732
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-red, decent head that dissipates, decent lacing. Smells mostly of pineapple, mango, some citrus, touch of caramel malt. Tastes of fruity English malt, some caramel there as well. Nice earthy backbone and dryness. Some citrus along with the bitterness leaving some hop resin on the dry palate. That said, fairly muted neutral finish.

An interesting beer, i feel like it was designed to show off this new hop which is some hybrid of an English and American hop. I think it accomplishes that for the most part, although i would've liked a little more english malt to shine through, the hops kind of masked all of this. That said, a solid drinking beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at The Little Pub, in Ridgefield CT. Standard shaker pint glass.

Pours a medium dark amber - bit of resdiual white foam at the top but mostly gone. No lacing observed.

Taste and smell are sweet malty. Very little trace of the single hop in the name. Barely carbonated, if at all - perhaps a feature of the draft version. Caramel notes.

A good draft beer, hardly remarkable. I'd like a touch more carbonation, but what can you do?

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Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a darker amber with fine clarity and a quick burst of light tan head that bubbles up about a half inch and then fades. The aroma is incredibly subtle with a cleanliness, light malts, and a note of thin hops. The taste is boldly bitter and sweet with a pleasant hoppiness that sneaks up on me at the end. This is a very enjoyable beer that is well-balanced, mellow, and totally drinkable.

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Photo of DrewKid4
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22 oz bomber bottle:

A: Pours copper with moderate off white head.

S: Earthy and roasted malt.

T: A bit overwhelming malt taste before a disappointing low amount of bitter hop finish

M: Crisp

D: Its a drinkable brew but based off of the style I would say there are numerously better ESBs available.

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Photo of ThoughtPolice
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Harpoon because they make good, interesting beers that are stocked at my local chain grocery stores, so I don't have to pay the nonsense "beverage store premium" price.

Poured into a goblet from a deuce-deuce.

Aroma: Something in the nose is new to me, but I'm getting leathery, fruity and sweet notes. I can't tell if the fruitiness is from the hops (bottle says Delta is a fruity/earthy variety) or malts. The aroma has a woodiness/nuttiness to it, too. It's a pleasant and unique aroma to me, especially for my experience with the ESB style.

Taste: Moderate bitterness from beginning to end, but it lingers pretty lightly, more tart than bitter. Not as sweet as the aroma suggests... Earthy/woody notes in the taste. There seem to be some crystal malts in this one from the minor caramel flavors. It's nice, but not quite for me.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, tingly carbonation. Body is medium->medium heavy.

Drinkability: Maybe it's just the current state of my stomach, but this beer seems a little too heavy after swallowing for more than one or two.

Appearance: I like it, copper + ruby highlights. Never had much head, but a little ring lingers throughout the experience.

Maybe the malt backbone could let the Delta hops show a little more, because it seemed like this beer was billed as being a showcase of sorts for this rarely seen hop variety.

Overall, I like it, and will probably grab another bottle to share this interesting brew with some friends.

Take care, folks.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured in to Duvel snifter

A - Poured a very dark amber, almost brown colour with a half finger of cream coloured head.

S - Bitterness up front with a faint hint of citrus and some floral notes. A good bready malt backbone.

T - Slight bitterness at first with some floral undertones. A generous malt backbone that is bready and somewhat sweet. A slight bitter finish.

M - Light to medium body; lightly carbonated.

D - A decent beer but not memorable at all. There was something about it that made it somewhat undesirable that I cannot quite pinpoint. Won't seek this one out again.

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100 Barrel Series #31 - Single Hop ESB from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 140 ratings