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: 326
Photo of PDXHops
2.14/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a Maudite snifter. A smallish tan head tops the deep brown body, but it's fairly tenacious and isn't shy with the lace.

Pretty tame nose for a CDA, chocolate roast with earthy undertones. A punch of earthy hop flavor somewhat ups the 'oomph' factor, but the limp finish and bland malt profile fall flat. On the positive side, there's a hefty dose of bitterness. A blast of bitterness without any other flavors really being fleshed out any other fully developed flavors doesn't have much appeal, though. I love the CDA style, but this particular example misses the mark.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.61/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

16 ounce pint - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Nearly black, there's some ruby tints at the edges and capped by nearly an inch of ivory-hued foam.

Smell: Resiny pine notes with some generic roastiness but completely lacking any inviting, ingratiating hop or malt complexities.

Taste: Roasty gas station coffee with a fast flash of bitter chocolate enveloped into char. Nearly nil sweetness. Resinous pine sap with a modest underpinning of citrus. Moderate bitterness. Dry, bitter, resiny finish with a sliver of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I'm not too pleased with this one. It's fairly one-note and weak in the malt and hop department, making for a beer that's actually less than the some of its part.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.77/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark brown brew (close to porter shade) with a big head and a fair bit of lacing.

S - A bit of lemon pith, pepper and a medicinal smell.

T - Very little malt presence, almost watery tasting. There is a bit of faint citrus pith and very faint molasses. Very quickly a medicinal bitterness enters that lingers into the aftertaste. It isn't horribly unpleasant, but it isn't great.

M - Smooth, thin, a little refreshing.

D - It isn't bad. It isn't terribly good though.

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Photo of avalon07
2.89/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a huge, off white, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A severely muted aroma of hops, coffee and malt.

T: Tasted of some hops (not enough in my opinion), a bit of malt, and some coffee. Flavor is extremely unbalanced and fairly bland, with an acrid quality to it.

M: A good amount of carbonation, but the acrid quality is especially noticeable in the finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is not one of the better examples of an ABA. It does not have nearly the power or complexity of other beers of the style.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle with a Best By Date of 5/15/12. Pours a black color with ruby hues. Small amount of head with some lacing. Aroma is of sweet citrus. Maybe some caramel and a bit of chocolate. Flavor is of grains, some citrus and somewhat earthy. Some floral flavor towards the end. Kind of a metallic aftertaste. Light mouthfeel. This isn't all that great. Pretty light and watery for the style and there is an odd metallic floral aftertaste. Overall, "meh".

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

Dark brown with clear, ruby highlights and a fluffy light brown cap. Fair head retention with sticky lacing. Powdery citrus, caramel, grassy hops and roast in the aroma. Bitterness was dominated by sweet malts up front (chocolate, toffee, and roast) and never really took charge once they started to fade towards the finish. Citrus and grassy hops mid-palate with a bit of alcohol following. Creamy carbonation with medium plus body, nice texture, slight warmth. Overall, I liked it, but didn't think it was a great example of the style. Hop bitterness was overshadowed by sweetness, which made it more balanced but neutered the beer. It kind of made me think of a slightly hopped up American Brown Ale rather than an IPA of any stripe.

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Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

C- Dark brown almost the color of molasses. It has a minimal head, but what is there is a dirty white.

A- The nose has a nice grapfruity aroma

MF- Good carbonation

Taste- The front end of the beer starts with a fair amount of hop flavors. It finishes with a bit of malty sweetness.

Overall- This is a fine black ipa. It lacks some of the roasted notes that make an excellent black ipa. In that way, it falls into the category of black ipa’s that are black because of their color and not as much based on flavor. If you gave me this on a blind taste test, I would not necessary think it was a black ipa. That said, I would still consider it to be a perfectly acceptable ipa. In our little mini-tour of black ipa’s over the last 3 weeks, I would consider this one a solid second, which is a fine place to be when one of the other beers is Otter Creek’s black ipa.

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Photo of david18
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a few of these when they were on draft at my local pub. There has been a lot of talk about this style and is one I have a little bit of a problem with. I liked this one ok but I think that the roast fights with the hops a little.

Color was dark with a very dark and prominent head. The carbonation stuck around for a while and even left a little bit of lacing.

Aroma was not hoppy enough for me. Some hops, some roast but in general not enough of anything.

Flavor, like the aroma, was not enough of anything. There is some roastiness but not enough bitterness.

A beer worth trying but not my favorite.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice dark cola body. Bone-white head has nice retention and great lace.

S - Strange nose of brown sugar, damp herbal twang, mineral, and a touch of toffee.

T - Dry herbal char, thyme, bitter earthy hop.

M - Light to style. Sub-par carbonation.

O - Nice roast character and an interesting bitterness. The profile isn't common, but not necessarily complex.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown to black with oxblood highlights. Creamy beige head leaves a thick blanket or retention but only a small rash of lacing.

Beautiful floral, earthy, viney pine sap hop aroma but where's the roast malt?

Earthy, spicy, pine sap hops pop out first but are fairly balanced by a reserved chocolatey/roast malt character. From recollection the malt in Black IPA is pretty similar to a slightly bigger Harpoon Munich Dark. I never really liked Harpoon's house yeast in dark beers and again it comes through as watery and steely.

Not a favorite for the style or Harpoon. Despite the aforementioned flaws it does come together fairly nicely.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Harpoon Black IPA has a thick, spongy, beige head, a semi-clear, dark, red-brown, bubbly appearance, and heavy lacing left behind. The aroma and flavor are a bit difficult to pin down, but I smelled fairly dark-roasted malt, wheat bread, some citrus, and some very subdued hop oil. Taste is of medium-to-heavy roasted malt char, citrus, mellow hop bitterness (67 IBU?), and bread crust. Mouthfeel is medium, and Harpoon Black IPA finishes dry and mellow.


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Photo of tigg924
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at New World Tavern, Plymouth

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: charred malt and citrus hops

Taste: big chocolate and light citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, light body, sweet with a slightly bitter end

Overall: This one is ok to good, but definitely finished behind Uinta in my Black Ale night. I would pick this up again as it is enjoyable, but there are others in the style I would choose first.

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip. Best by date of 5/15/12, this one was released in the last few weeks. Pours a near black, and the 1" head is not quite as creamy as a pint of Guinness but it's not far off.

Aroma is spot on for the style; fruit-forward but also a nice backbone of roastiness. Taste is similar, with a piney, almost sour bitterness mixed with some significant dark malts. I pick up some unsweetened chocolate, which only adds to the bitterness.

As I make my way through the bottle, there is a metallic astringency that becomes fairly unpleasant. It's not awful, but after a while it's all I can focus on. A disappointing end to a beer I'd been looking forward to trying.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head dwindles slowly, with lasting sticky lacing. Aroma is minimal, balanced.

Taste is dark malts to start, moderate citrus in the middle, and comes on pine bitterness galore through to the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is okay as well. Seems somewhat scattered, like a Black IPA with ADD, almost no aroma, then hops everywhere in my mouth? Wish it was a bit more consistent.

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Photo of heelsn02
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jamvt for hooking this up.

1 pint, 6 fl. oz bomber bottle poured into snifter. Limited edition small batch; session 40 in Harpoon's 100 barrel series

Pours a very very dark, blackish/red rich color. Tan, foamy 1-finger head. Nice head retention, and pretty decent lacing.

Nose is a bit underwhelming. Mild floral notes going on. Some very soft hints of citrus fruit and chocolate malts.

Taste - actually a pretty nice balance of sweet roastyness and piney hop flavoring. Probably some simcoe and cascade in there.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Mellow finish. Adequate carbonation for the style.

Overall, pretty average/slightly above average offering from Harpoon Brewery.

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Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass a deep dark chocolate brown color a nice tight one finger beige colored head atop that lasted in a pillow state for quite awhile.Piney hops stood nicely over top of roast and unsweetened chocolate malt notes,the flavors don't really pack any op punch honestly to me it's like a earthy porter with its light bitter chocolate and raw earthy finish,it lacks really any hop character.The beer started out promising but the lack of hop depth on the palate really brought the score down for me,it's not true to style flavor wise.

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Photo of ajilllau
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice, light. Does not pack a powerful punch and you can taste that it is not high in abv. Would definitely drink again and it's a beer that you can have more than one.

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Photo of Regulator
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a careful pour, the beer lies in the mug with less head than that dude in Skyrim that says, "My ancestors are smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same?" Like most Black IPAs, Harpoon looked like a flat cola with a hint of creamer.

The smell in and of itself was the only distinctly off-putting feature of this Black IPA. When I closed my eyes and took a whiff of this dank brew I had flashbacks of my fraternity bathroom on a Sunday morning.

Despite the odor, Harpoon Black IPA delivers on taste. It opens with a creamy espresso flare and follows with a pungent pine bite. The resulting balance brings enough hop for a harsh IPA aficionado while not intimidating a casual newcomer.

Smooth, a bit too thin for a Black IPA.

Harpoon delivers an average to above-average showing for Black IPA fans. My personal preference would be more powerful roasty notes.

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

Harpoon Black IPA (100 Barrel Series)

Pours a dark brown bordering black color, off white, khaki colored head and solid lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, citrusy, floral hops and pine. In the flavor, pine, grapefruit, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a small anise note. Mild alcohol flavor, strong bitterness. Medium bodied feel with a low carbonation, loose and creamy. Overall, a pretty decent brew, went down smooth and quickly, not too shabby.

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Photo of liamt07
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle shared by johnsense on RB, cheers! Into a tulip.

Black body with some reddish brown hues. Beige head, good lace and a film of retention. Nose has tropical fruits, orange, a bit soapy and some darker malt notes. Taste is really roasty, dark malts, burnt bread, bitter hopping in the form of pine and some mild citrus. Roast dominates. Medium feel, medium high carbonation. A really roasty American Black Ale, hops are lost in the mix.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a best buy date of 05/15/12
A - a watery black with a good four fingers of head leaving behind some sheets of lace.
S - lightly floral hops with a slight trace of chocolate malts.
T - bitter hops with a very light malt sweetness.
M - moderately light with good carbonation but a definitely some soapy feel to it.
D - becomes more astringent with warming which dampens the enjoyability.
It's pretty much an acceptable IPA with a touch of the black. This is often what black IPA's turn out to be for me.

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Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stuff is dark brown-black in color with a hefty tan head and big bubbled lacing. The aroma brings herbal swamp hops and skunky wheat. Not bad. The flavor brings much the same with weak herbal hops over somewhat watery malt. Medium-light bodied with a somewhat aqueous feel, medium carbonation. Good but underwhelming. Not the best of the 100 barrel series but definitely a good value.

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Photo of dtivp
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a few sample glasses at the brewery. Poured a dark brown-near black with ruby highlights, a nice one finger tan head with moderate lacing.

Aroma hops and dark roasted barley.

Taste of dark roasted malt then the a strong citrus hops hits you with a nice bitterness.

Mouth Feel is medium body, nice carbonation, creamy smooth with a dry bitter ending.

Overall a nice black IPA, would like a little more dark malt up front, the strong bitterness at the end dominates.

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

Pours a three finger tan head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Grapefruit and grass nose, flavor is grapefruit, some malt. You notice the 67 IBUs at the finish. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Concord Coop Concord, NH.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz serving on-tap at Harpoon's St. Patrick's day festival

A- Dark black, very slightly translucent. A little over a finger of off-white head that had a very slight yellowish hinge. About average carbonation for a beer. Looked sort of similar to your average Guinness (in terms of head and color) except slightly lighter. Left nice layered lacing around glass while drinking.

S- Not too aromatic. A little bit of hops, slightly sweet, a little bit of malts, etc..

T- Typical IPA taste, but not too hoppy or sweet. Not overly flavorful. A little bit of hops, a little bit of caramel, a little bit of a bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied. Alcohol well hidden and definitely easily drinkable. Very smooth, about average carbonation.

O- I've only had a few black IPAs and this probably ranks around the middle of them. It wasn't overly flavorful, but had a typical Black IPA taste- sort of a not overly hoppy IPA with the sweet characteristic taste similar to other darker beers such as stouts. Definitely could have used a little bit more flavor (preferred if it was a little bit sweeter + maybe a little bit more hops). Not a bad beer (goes down easy), but definitely room for improvement. Would drink again, but probably wouldn't spend the money to buy a bottle.

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Harpoon Black IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.7 out of 5 based on 326 ratings.
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