Harpoon Brown AleJuly 1, 2007
Available: MA, VT, ME, CT, NH, RI, NY, KY, VA, DE, NJ, GA, TN, NC, SC, MD, WV, DC, IN, MI, FL, OH
The subtitle of this beer is “Session Ale,” and at 4.3% alcohol, even Lew Bryson of the online “Session Beer Project” would approve. I like both its orangey-rust color and rich chocolate- and plum-filled nose, not to mention the robust and rounded body that belies its modest strength. On the palate, there’s a little raisin and chocolate up front, leading to a more mocha-ish body with a fair bit of fruity sweetness and a slightly brown sugary, toasty finish. A little too sweet for a proper session, perhaps, but I could probably fit one or two in between pints of bitter.
- Stephen Beaumont
Zesty apple-like aroma with hints of complex alcohols, though presumably a lower alcohol brew since it’s called a “session” beer. Chewy and medium-bodied brew, with mild malt and hop character. Easy drinking and doesn’t distract while engaging in a session of your choosing. Refreshing yet flavorful. Invite a friend and buy a six or 24. No regrets.
- Charlie Papazian
Not so much brown as deep amber, the beer stands a fine, firm rocky head. A nice malty nose shows warm caramel and biscuit notes. The palate is smooth, well balanced, round on the tongue, slightly sweet in the center and pulls together for a dry-ish finish. Not a brown ale in my book — it shows almost no roast — but quite sessionable and well brewed, very nice with a burger.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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