I first had this beer last Summer as part of a Harpoon variety 12-pack and was definitely impressed. I didn’t realize until recently that I never reviewed the beer so I had to grab another one and give a proper review.
First difference you notice is the rye IPA is a bit darker than regular IPAs. Aroma is a very nice mix of citrus hops and spice from the rye. Overall this beer gets high marks even before I have tasted it. Taste follows the smell with some nice flavorful hops, a nice level of spice and plenty of sweet malts to balance things out. Finishes dry and refreshing, this beer is nice on a hot Summer afternoon or as with this one on a dark Winter evening.
I believe this beer started as part of their 100 Barrel Series but I am glad they kept it around and made it available in 6-packs. If you have not tried Harpoon Rich & Dan’s IPA yet pick one up, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Pros: Flavorful and inexpensive
Alcohol Content: 6.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 70
Brewers Website: Harpoon
Brewers Description: This beer is brewed with hops, a variety of malts, our proprietary yeast – the same yeast we’ve used since first brewing Harpoon Ale – and more hops. A lot more hops. Centennial and Chinook, and the dry hop addition of Falconer’s Flight add a multidimensional hop character, and the combination of Pale, Rye, Caramel 60, Flaked Rye, and Vienna yield a complex malt body that stands up to the spiciness of the rye and the pronounced hop flavor.
This is my fifth beer from Harpoon but the first from their 100 Barrel Series. This series is designed to give their brewers a bit more freedom with a little more freedom starting out on a pilot system and then moving it to a limited production. This is the 40th from the series but first for me. I do have #41 already and will review that in the coming weeks. Harpoon makes quality beer so I am sure I will continue to enjoy the 100 Barrel Series.
This one is the Black IPA which pours almost black, only slight hints of red in the color with a thick tan head. Aroma is minimal but there are some hops and roasted malts (as you would expect form a black IPA). Taste is good but nothing that makes it stand out from other run of the mill IPAs. Easy to drink with a fair amount of carbonation. Overall a good beer just not very exciting.
Cons: Average taste
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 67
Brewers Website: Harpoon
Brewers Description: We have enjoyed brewing and drinking beers brewed in the IPA style for a long time. Our flagship Harpoon IPA and our Leviathan Imperial IPA are two of our favorites. We thought it was about time to take a crack at the Black IPA style.
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.
Before starting this blog I had not had any beer by Harpoon Brewing. Each variety from Harpoon seems to be a quality offering and overall they are certainly a top notch brewer. This IPA is a quality beer but I prefer most other types of beer to IPAs. IBU rating is lower than many IPAs, color, aroma, etc are all about the same. Overall if you enjoy this style of beer you will like this offering from Harpoon but for me it is “just another IPA”.
Alcohol Content: 5.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 42
Brewers Description: The high hopping of Harpoon IPA is not only noticeable in the nose but especially in the finish. The lingering bitter finish of this beer is not harsh or astringent, but crisp and pronounced. This is created, in part, by dry hopping – a technique that involves adding fresh hops to the conditioning beer to provide a fresh hop aroma. This beer is floral, medium body with an aggressive, clean hop finish.
This is another solid beer from Harpoon. I was a bit skeptical as an IPA with a 120 IBU rating and 10% alcohol is not usually something I would enjoy but this one had a nice white head that stayed throughout the entire beer leaving a nice lace on the glass. The brewer does a nice job offsetting the bitter hops with some sweat malt flavoring. At 10% ABV you can taste it and it is a beer that should be enjoyed slowly.
Pros: Lots of hops but still not overpowering
Strong (that could be a pro or a con depending)
Brewers Website: Harpoon
Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA will challenge your senses and your palate. As the vibrant aroma rushes out of your glass you will notice the blend of piney and tropical fruit notes. At first sip, this big beer starts with a powerful hop bitterness up front and an aggressive hop flavor and character throughout.
Leviathan Imperial IPA is brewed with tons of pale malt and just enough caramel malt to provide a sweet malt body to balance the hop intensity. We used copious amounts of a variety of hops including Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo at various points during the boil to create a complex hop flavor and clean lingering bitter finish. We then fermented the beer with Harpoon’s own versatile proprietary yeast. Finally, we dry hopped at a rate of over 1 lb a barrel to produce this beer’s massive aroma.