Harpoon Black IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Black IPAHarpoon Black IPA

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon brewer Matt DeLuca took over the brewhouse for our 40th 100 Barrel Series offering. A newly released specialty malt from Briess called Midnight Wheat gives this beer an almost stout-like appearance without the overly roasty attributes often associated with traditional dark malts. Flaked barley is also used in the malt bill for head retention. An intense yet diverse hop addition schedule is executed during the boil that results in a well balanced offering.

On top of the Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra hops is an ample addition of Ahtanum hops that provides a fruity aroma to complement the earthy, spicy bitterness of this dark ale.

67 IBU

Added by Jason on 01-09-2012

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 324
Photo of yesyouam
4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Black IPA is a very dim reddish brown, almost black beer with a lumpy beige foam on top. The retention and lacing are outstanding. It has a bold, fresh aroma of pine and grapefruit with a hint of sweetness. It has a very smooth medium body with a slightly astringent finish. It's well balanced with nice grapefruit peel and pine resin bitterness along with roasted astringency and smooth, mellow, caramelly malt. It's tasty and very easy to drink.

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Photo of RyanPollock
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent black IPA, one of the first i have ever tried. The taste is slightly spicy with smokey undertones and a hint of sweetness. Has a strong aftertaste with excellent hoppiness. The balance between spicy, sweet, and smokey adds a nice quality and makes this a unique beer experience. Surprisingly smooth with a nice drinkable taste. Would totally drink again.

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Photo of Eeroomnhoj
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Homemade pizza and beer. I don't have a fancy beer glass (yet) so I poured it into a juice glass.

Read the reviews and agree with tdm168 about the color and smell. Dark dark brown, almost black. We enjoyed the smell and definetely smelled citrus (can't detect chocolate yet, maybe I need to drink more beer). Overall I enjoy this beer and was surprised I found this at a Costco.

I would enjoy this in the summer or winter.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a slick black, with a fluffy 3 inch cream colored head, with lots of lace, and nice retention. Smell is piny hops, citrus, hints of chocolate, and some bread. Taste is all of that with citrus and chocolate the dominant flavors, with a burst of pine in the finish. Body is medium, very easy drinking, plenty of life, and really lush for the style. I was really excited to find this today and be the first to review. A very nice version of a style I love.

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Photo of alexgash
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle. Best by May 15, 2013.

Pours a dark cola brown. Clear, with amber maple highlights. Small finger of gauzy, light khaki-beige head. Some retention. Nice mix of roasted malts and hops on the nose, as I've come to expect from this style. Roasted barley, some coffee, licorice, and carob on the malt end. Pitchy, piney, citrusy hops break through and hold up pretty well.

Bitter roasted coffee up front. Smoother dark chocolate and roasted barley follow through. Hints of dark fruitiness. A little smoke and peat as well. Hop bitterness comes out in the latter half of the palate. Nice blend of leafy, piny, and citrus. Earthy tobacco shows up in the finish, along with some cocoa. Dries out a little. Medium-full body with a slightly syrupy feel. Nicely done!

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, best before 5/15/12. This pours a light black color with a little red hues around the edges, along with a nice tan colored head which quickly dissipates. The smells are full of pine hops along with dark roasted malts. The feel is medium and full of bitter hop resin. The taste is pretty good, it follows the more stout ipa hybrid of this style, the hop presence is there full of that bitterness along with a nice roasted malt bitterness for extra goodness. Love it.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, near black, with a good off-white foam head. Some lace.

Some nice charred notes and a pine/hop aroma.

Charred malt is not overbearing and does not kick in bitterness that knocks this beer out of balance. A little smoky and French roast coffee. Hops come forward - with restraint - and provide another wrinkle to the flavor profile. Hops are oily and tacky and fit right with the roastiness of the malt. Nice hoppy and light coffee finish.

Medium bodied, good carbonation, a bit mouth-coating.

I am not a lover of this brewery, mainly because of too many disappointments vs. successes. So, coming from a real skeptic -- they nailed this one. Hops are perfectly balanced with the malt, and even a hop-head would feel satisfied. Malt isn't overdone with raw bitterness. Instead, the stuff you want in this style shines. Good job fellas.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle (Best By May 15, 2012) into a 13.5oz Libbey tulip glass.

A- An aggressive pour yields an almost-black exilir (light can make its way through if tilted in the light) with a full 3 finger creamy, beige/light brown head

S- Constantly changing...at times bitter and sweet citrus, hints of flowers, spice and chocolate all come and go. As the brew warms and head dissipates, the aroma seems to get more intense with orange citrus and chocolate blending together to create a delicious aroma.

T- As the label suggests a spicy, bittersweet chocolate at the front of the tongue and finishes with a pleasant (white grapefruit) citrus bitterness on the back of the palate. As it warms a piney resin flavor makes its entrance. Much of the 70 IBU's are contributing to the brews hop flavor rather than the finish (i.e. bittering hops).

O- Based on previous reviews, I am pleasantly suprised and think this brew is deserving of higher scores. However, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Black IPA is complex and not as immediate and some others in the style and takes a bit of time to get acquainted. Regardless, this remains a really good example of the style both in profile and drinkability...I only wish I could have sampled this sooner.

Harpoon...please brew this one again!

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Photo of tdm168
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - blackish brown with reddish edges; soft, brownish head that fades quickly

S - roasted malts, pine, citrus, chocolate

T - huge, intensely piny hops dominate that front end; smooth chocolate and roasted malts follow through to the end; intensely bitter; some faint citrus and sweetness throughout

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a really nice black IPA. It has an amazingly forward hop character that should please any hop head. It also has a nice, well rounded malt character that balances nicely. It's also a very easy to drink beer that refreshes. It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of mfigueroa713
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Used a standard pint glass.

A- Black in color and pours with two fingers worth of off white head. Bubbles are medium sized and glass lacing was observed.

S - Very nice hop aromas. Floral and caramel smells emanated from head.

T- Bittering hops prevalent. Beer was more bitter than sweet which was a delightful surprise. Malty sweetness balances the beer well. Detected some roasted notes. Carbonation is good and allows for better alcohol absorption.

M- Medium body with slight tingling from carbonation.

O- Great black IPA, should try this one. The strong hop presence is what makes it stand out above other overly sweet black IPAs.

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Photo of u2carew
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a two finger, off-white head. Slowly settles leaving a sticky lacing all along the inside of the glass. Clear body that is a deep mahogany color.
S) Citrus notes with some smoked, woodsy tones.
T) Mellow hop bite from start to finish. Subtle coffee and chocolate tones.
M) Creamy. Medium body. Dry and slightly tannic in the finish.
O) A good "cascading pale ale". I'd definitely have another one.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Part of the Adventure IPA mixed 12-pack
Enjoy By 04/15/13

A: Pours a dark ruby/mahogany color with a fingers worth of tan head

S: Has a dark malt/coffee overtone, with plenty of citrusy goodness underneath. The malt has its way over the hops, though

T: Mor balanced than the nose, the hops shine a little more here. Starts off with dark malts again, but the hops come in and provide a nice earthy and spicy character. Some fruitiness also come through. Finishes with a slightly ashy maltiness with a light coffee character. Bitter throughout

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Again, slightly ashy

O: A nice black IPA without too much roast character but enough of a dark malt presence to make it into a good ABA. After the nose, this definitely leans more towards the IPA side which is a good thing. Solid brew, glad they brought it back

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Photo of greenengineer
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into Notch 0.5L glass. First beer of the Blizzard of '13

A- dark brown pour with a creamy CO2 charged head
S- Malt more than hops
T-toasted malt with a bitterness after, nice balance. Hints of burnt malt, but a lot of sweetness is retained. Hops are there, but not out front. Almost a porter. Tastes a bit like the East India Porter Pretty Things made in their historic series.
M- a little sticky and chewy, maybe a little flat
O- very drinkable for 7.0% ABV, I could have a few more. In fact I will.

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

I liked the total blackness of this brew. Almost like the darkest of nights. It could have been a porter or a stout, but instead a black IPA!
Instead of picking up the aromas of chocolate and coffee from most stouts, this Black IPA gave you an complete overload of HOPS... but not overdone. Instead it was really balanced. The fullness of the black beer combined with the hops and malt made this one very good interesting beer.

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Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice black color with a short and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts layered with a strong citrus and earthy hop aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, darker roasted malts with a hint of coffee flavors and then a big citrus and slightly earthy hop flavor. Clean finish too.
M: Crisp, fresh, perfect amount of carbonation, medium bodied.
D: Overall a really nice beer, nice mix of flavors, and it was quite drinkable.

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Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap with lunch today at First Street Draught House. They poured it into curved-pint glass. Dark black with a rich, creamy, tan head on top. Very thick. Leaves lots of spotty lace on the glass. Nose is sharp and hoppy. Lots of pine needles and trail-like scent.

The mouth is creamy as well, but with a crisp carbonation bite at each sip. Wonderful citrus in this one. Bitterness is moderate, but man does it keep me sipping. Mild roasted characteristics, but this is mostly bitter and citrusy-sweet. The "black" in this one, is relegated mainly to the color, rather than the flavor profile. Still, this is one I would have time and again. Good beer.

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

A: Dark, with a ruby tint held up the light. Good head retention and lacing. Looks great.

S: Mainly citrus with a roasted, slightly chocolatey note in there.

T: Chocolate, lite coffee malt flavors, then a wallop of earthy, citrus peel hops afterwards.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, almost feels like its from nitro tap. Those roasted malts really dry out my palate. Could use a bit more body since it does feel 'light'.

O: Another good black IPA, nothing earth shattering, but well-worth the money. Might buy again.

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Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut colored with ruby highlights at the edges, a fluffy oatmeal colored head of many-sized bubbles lingers long and recedes slowly. Inviting aroma of citrusy hops, mild malt character.

Rich and roasty dark malt flavors intertwined with strong hoppy goodness, full of citrus and floral notes, morphing to pine in the finish. Roasty bitterness emerges, mixing well with the hops. Nice balance of very rich flavors that work well together.

Creamy and full mouthfeel, slight suggestion of tannins. Overall a tasty and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour produces an almost opaque colored body, with a small amount of tan head on top. Aroma contains notes of floral hops with a trailing roastyness of grain. Flavor contains a center of flowery and citrisy hop bitterness, caramel malt mingles well with the hop flavoring. Tobacco mixes in. Finish provides increased spice on the palate, increased carbonation bite, and black patent malt roast that lingers into the aftertaste. Aftertaste also leaves plenty an abundance of spicey hop flavor on the palate. Overall, quite a solid brew from Harpoon's 100 barrel series.

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Photo of jaffers
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. After being disappointed by other black IPAs, I almost gave up on the style. Seems like not many brewers can nail the balance just right and Harpoon did that, pushing it out of the category of a porter without blasting you with hops. Great beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Slatetank for gifting me with a bottle of this. 12oz into a pint, the brew appears dark brown to black in color with clarity seen around the edges. A tan finger of big bubble composition fades leaving small patches of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma includes notes of fruity alcohol and hops at first. Then a bit of roast and maple-like sweetness. It is somewhat floral in the way the hops and alcohol blend together. Not bad, as stated, it blends together nicely unlike others in the style that seem strange and disjointed.

The flavor is bitter from a 1-2 punch of hops and roasted grain. Some bitter chocolate/coffee blends into an herbal to pine-like resiny bitterness that clings. Some earth and hints of maple/caramel along with floral notes towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A nice black ipa that I would drink again and im not the biggest fan of this style. Well done, worth trying. Thanks again Matt.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Had this as the 100 Barrel Series #40 in a large format bottle. An underrated black ale. Love the Harpoon Barrel Series labels. Pours opaque black with small lightly tan head. Aroma of both strong bitter pine and some light earthy roasted coffee. Flavor follows complexity in the aroma with hints of roasty malts between the pine hop bite throughout. Full bodied brew with medium carbonation. Relatively easy drinking. Pretty solid.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a found 100 Barrel Series bottle from 2012. Sampled on February 16, 2014.

This was stashed away on a dusty shelf at a small town convenience store with a bunch of other outdated or damaged beers. So I picked it up.

The pour is dark brown with a tremendous, foamy, lacing clinging tan head. Reddish hues glisten all along the side of the glass.

The aroma has a dark roasted barley malt, black licorice, acetaldehydic character. Hops are muted but the ones I get are earthy in nature. The weak hop character could be due to the age of the bottle.

The body is medium with a smooth texture.

The taste is also malty, slightly sweet and more more modestly bitter with a lingering finish. I think this aged well considering it was probably not meant to be aged.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by 5/15/2012. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange, pine, herbal, citrus rind, roasted malt, biscuit, toast, and earthy spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, orange, herbal, floral, grass, dark roasted malt, char, citrus rind, chocolate, and earthy spiciness. Fair amount of spicy bitterness on the the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, toast, grass, roasted malt, chocolate, char, and earthy spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of roasted malt with hop flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a really nice and quite robust Black IPA. Nice balance of citrus and piny hop flavors; with a very nice and prominent roasted malt backbone. Really well done, and very enjoyable.

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

Typical Harpoon 100 BS bomber bottle.

Pours pretty much black, larger then average and lasting darker tan head, leavesa thick collar, ample low sheeting and bits and bars of sticking lace.

Earthy, grassy hopped up nose

Pleasant black ale, with hops some what on the tame side for an IPA. Tastes more like a slightly hoppy stout, with minor roasty character.

Finish is where the hops start to come into their own, however in a subtle and reserved fashion.

$6.99 for the bomber makes this a decent value.

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Harpoon Black IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.7 out of 5 based on 324 ratings.
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