Chad9976 (1067) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 6, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2010 There are certain breweries that have a bad rapport with me (or is it I with them?). Chief among them is Harpoon, a Boston-based craft brewery. Iíve found most of their beers to be average at best, so for a beer from them to earn a high rating from me is quite an accomplishment. Or maybe itís just because chocolate stouts (the NON-imperial types) are a favorite of mine. Either way Harpoon Chocolate Stout is a winner since itís very tasty and easy to drink. The only caveat is itís a difficult beer to find.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
Considering its name, do I even have to go through the formality of describing the appearance and aroma of this beer? It is exactly what it claims to be: an opaque black body with just the slightest hint of dark ruby red around the edges. It forms an average-sized, dark tan, foamy head. I was a little surprised the head didnít lace the glass that much, though.
The aroma is identical to a high-end dark chocolate bar or candy piece. There is a slight hint of other malts present, but mostly itís screaming ďchocolate!Ē all the time. I donít think there could be a more inviting aroma from a beer.
Thereís something really impressive about a beer that is so chocolaty that youíre able to taste the palate when the foam hits your lips! Thatís exactly what happened with Harpoon Chocolate Stout. Once the liquid itself made it way to my palate it was even more pleasing.
Up front I get a very intense flavor of dark chocolate, reminiscent of a Godiva or Ghirardelli candy. Its quite rich, but not to the point of being gimmicky or overpowering. On the finish is a dry bitterness like semi-sweet bakerís chocolate. This could be from the hops since this is a fairly hoppy beer at 40 IBUs.
Whatís interesting about this beer is that as good as the palate is, thereís a noticeably thin, almost watery texture to the mouthfeel. Iíd probably prefer something more thick and velvety since the flavor does not linger in the aftertaste as much as Iíd prefer.
As much as I love beer, one of my small pleasures as a beer geek is drinking a beer that does not taste or drink like beer and Harpoon Chocolate Stout is a beer like that. Its chocolaty flavor is very satisfying and itís delivered via a surprisingly thin body. This is a demerit, in a way, because the beer lends itself to slugging rather than savoring.
At 5.9% ABV this is a pretty robust, full-bodied beer that works very well as an alternative to dessert or pairing with something light (i.e. a piece or two from a premiŤre chocolate brand or simply fresh strawberries). One bottle alone is enough to satisfy the average drinker as the weight is proportional to the flavor and potency.
A good chocolate stout after dinner, especially during the colder months, is a special treat. Harpoon Chocolate Stout is available in mixed packs of Harpoon beers (approximately $16) or alone in its own sixers (approximately $10). Iíd probably opt for the latter, mostly because it would be difficult to find another beer, especially from this brewery, whose quality can stand up to this beer.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 4, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Date: December 18, 2009
Appearance: black, wispy beige head
Aroma: huge chocolate and roasted coffee aroma, nice caramel sweetness to offset the dark chocolate
Flavor: rich chocolate flavor, lots of bitter dark chocolate, touch of roasted coffee, long bitter finish from the dark chocolate
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
Score: **+ /4
dykhuis7 (24) - New York, USA - JAN 4, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark with a waning caramel colored head. Aroma is abundantly of very fine chocolate. Flavor is to match, with coffee notes with medium bitterness. A very smooth, delicious beer which was a pleasant surprise. This reminded me of Peche Mortel, only with the flavor balance being on the chocolate side instead of the coffee in Peche.
NachlamSie (2616) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 19, 2011 bottle thanks to Suttree. Well, this is better than the Magic Hat American Sour ale for sure. The most noticeable thing about the aroma is the sheer amount of chocolate. Itís like a pure chocolate bar, but not as ridiculous as Southern Tier Choklat. Itís more like Youngís Chocolate stout. The mouthfeel is medium light with a more chocolate flavor. Throughout the bottle it doesnít become cloying, but there is little more present than pure chocolate, not the dark cacao type either. Itís a decent medium bodied stout in the end, but I usually like my stouts roastier and drier.
[November 19, 2011]
Bottle at McClarens. This is a very good chocolate stout. Itís about as rich and chocolatey as a stout can get without being overdone. There is a load of rich, sweet chocolate in the aroma and flavor but plenty of stout notes exist to remind the drinker this is still a beer. This is enjoyable particularly in the colder weather or as a dessert.
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - JAN 1, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled at Grapes of Mirth.A nice dark pour with a small tan head.Notes of chocolate and caramel with some sweetness.Flavor was of semi sweet chocolate with a slight chocolate bitterness on the finish
punkeedo (498) - Covington, Louisiana, USA - DEC 30, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2009 Bottle. Tastes like the younger brother of Youngís Double Chocolate Stout. Dark malts blend with a light bittersweet cocoa flavor to make an enjoyable brew for the winter. Aroma of malt, light chocolate, and a mild dustiness. Overall a good brew.
argo0 (11167) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 29, 2009
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle. Small tan head atop cola brown body. Aroma is moderately sweet, bittersweet chocolate. Taste is medium sweet, chocolate, some caramel, light roast, finishes solid bittersweet chocolate. Smooth medium body.
sarahmarie (265) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 25, 2009
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
a pretty disappointing stout. It starts somewhat promising with a rich milk chocolate aroma. Unfortunately the chocolate tastes artificial, kind of like a cheap candy bar. The body is watered down and there lacks any real appeal. It finishes flat and not very memorable.
kennydiaz (351) - staten island, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a nice dark black with mild carbonation. Has a nice roasted chocalate taste and smell. Excellent stoiy and mildly priced.
Suttree (4874) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 24, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Surprisingly good. Black, with a thin ring of foam. Aroma of dark chocolate and coffee. Taste rather dry, then a woodsy note. Big dark chocolate and coffee, as well. Some winey, some herbal notes. Not bad at all.