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 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 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 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 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 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 hreb
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber of Harpoon's 40th 100 barrel series (couldn't they bring themselves to do a malt liquor for this one?). Served in an oversized wine glass, just to mix things up. Beer pours very dark brown into a black abyss and is topped with a giant chestnut head which falls and leaves thick lacing. This IPA may be black but holy cow, the aroma is all green. According to the label, ample amounts of Ahtanum hops are responsible for that.

Flavor is all IPA, and only in the very end is there any hint of roasted malt. I do feel like the beer might be excessively dry, given the relatively high IBUs and ABVs. This beer really showcases just two things: loads of hops and a contrasting black body. But other than that it's just an average, if high alcohol, CDA.

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

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black, with a nice, 1-finger, foamy-bubbled tan head that retains well and then leaves thick rings of lace. Looks good.

S: Mild in the nose - roasted barley and a touch of earthy hops.

T: First impression: roasted barley malt character makes this seem more like a hoppy porter than an ABA. But after a couple sips I get a touch of cocoa powder underneath the roast. Hops finish earthy and leave a lingering bitter aftertaste that at times reminds me of charcoal or burnt coffee.

M: Medium in heft but feels a wee bit watery. Good feel to the carbonation though - modestly prickly makes it feel pretty creamy. Tempted to bump up the score here. . . .

O: OK. I prefer a bit more body and some chocolate malt character in my ABAs, but if you go into this thinking you're going to be drinking a hoppy porter, you would likely be less disappointed than I was.

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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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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 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 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 Brad007
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always nice to see Harpoon tackle this style. It could go anywhere at this point.

Pours a dark brownish-black with a burgundy hue and thick brown head into my glass.

Lightly hopped with a grassy feel. Otherwise, more about the malt than hops.

Sweet with grassy hops. Very chewy. Absolutely no roastiness whatsoever, which works.

Licorice and grassy hops linger at the back of the throat. Again, very basic.

A decent example that I feel is lacking in hoppiness. It's still balanced enough to where you can enjoy it.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep brown, almost black glass gives very thick ruby edges that shows good clarity, but gives a somewhat thin appearance. Gives up tide marks of lace.

Smell: Light vanilla sweet edge to a burnt grain bubblegum confusion. Hints of earthy hop leaves poke through, but don't say IPA. Mild soapy note.

Taste: Roasted grain is restrained, letting some malt sweetness and a pale ale strength hop flavor come through. A slight banana clove yeast flavor that's not expected. The complete package is interesting, but fairly mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium low carbonation, medium body, slick texture with a long fade.

Overall: A tasty beer, but a little modest for the category. Malt seems a bit weak, the hops don't punch, the roasted malt seems just for color. Almost sessionable where I expected a bit more of a celebration beer. Still, a pleasant flavorful beer that I'll enjoy.

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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 ShogoKawada
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

new 100 barrel, sweet. into short's large pint glass.

A- nice deep rootbeer brown on the pour. Much darker in the glass. A 1-finger brown sugar head settles to a film on the beer. Lacing looks nice but fades quick.

S- The chocolate and coffee come off strong with a bit of pine sap as well.

T- This one's more than sufficiently bitter. Nice hop wallop on the tongue. Lots of dark roasted malt. Chocolate is bitter, like baking chocolate. Peppery, piny hops.

M- Pretty full body, but all black IPAs seem a bit hefty to me. I like it, though, easy drinkin'.

O- Pretty good stuff. Personally, I'd like to see it ramped up a bit (a la hoppy shoes 1.5) and be rolled in to the Leviathan series. As it stands it's good but nothing special.

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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 Thads324
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, barely see through. A bit of ruby on the edges. A small tight tan head dissipates quickly, just a hint of lacing. A light citrus hop aroma with some zest. Only a bit of sweet malt. Starts watery, followed by a hit of hop juice. The hops are a bit piney, black pepper spice, some citrus and more resin like pine. Very little malt at all. Mouthfeel is medium-low body with a high carbonation.
A lot of hop in this bad boy with a malt profile simply to carry the hops. Tasty but could use a semblance of malt flavor. Still very nice

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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 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 andrewinski1
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. The head is huge and fluffy; about 2 inches maybe a little more. The color of the head is light tan. The body is very dark amber which looks black.

The aroma is full of chocolate malt and is full of piney, zesty hops. The hops also add a little bit of dank and dirt aroma.

The taste has some nice coffee notes to go with a bit of molasses bread. The hops are well emphasized as is appropriate for the style, lending to a nice zesty, piney hop finish.

This is light and well carbonated; not quite smooth, kind of bubbly.

Very delicious. Drink this one now.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is black, with ruby highlights when held up to light. A thick, frothy, foamy, one inch head that is off-white and big bubbled. The head clings all over the glass as you move the beer around a bit. Aromas are rich cedar and pine, with a slight roasting and a decent resiny presence. The beer's flavors are dry, with a hoppy blast of pine tree and earthy notes, as well as a steady tang of citrus throughout. The beer has a roasting character throughout it, and that transitions directly into the aftertaste, along with an earthy and grainy profile. The finish is quick, with only a slight linger to it. A bit astringent at the end from the hops, cleaning the palate. Good beer.

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Photo of jimmy82063
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to get this before it went on the shelves, thanks Dan!

Poured into a brandy snifter.

The appearance is a nice opaque black, the nose is a dominant pine and the taste follows up on that with some slight cocoa and coffe. Very easy drinking!

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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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