rhoderickj (49) - Maryland, USA - FEB 8, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is of dark chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Of these, the chocolate is very strong. The color is a deep opaque brown, nearly black with a thin beige head that dissipates quickly. This beerís sweetness is very prominent, so much so that not much else is notable; there is a slight, mildly bitter finish, but the finish is much cleaner than other chocolate stouts I have tried. Medium to full body with a creamy texture and flat carbonation. In its category, this is a damn fine beer. As with all chocolate stouts, I wouldnít make this a session beer, but it is an amazing achievement of flavor that deserves attention.
Goodgrief (1791) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - FEB 7, 2010
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Um, not good. This isnít worth my effort to review. It tasted like chocolate flavored cough medicine. Really sweet, really artificial and medicine-like, really bad and gooey. Not good.
lithy (2996) - Capital of Appalachia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 1, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark, dark brown, light tan head. Bakers chocolate, roast aroma, sweet. Taste is more sweet chocolate, cocoa, lightly roasty.
zach8270 (3472) - Henrietta, New York, USA - JAN 31, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(bottle - 12 oz) Dark brown pour with a quickly fading tan head. Chocolate and biscuit malts at the beginning of the aroma with a followup of cream and some light coffee. Roasted coffee and chocolate beginning with a lightly bitter yet creamy tasting middle. Lots of biscuit malts throughout with a dry and lightly bitter finish. Chocolate taste lingers for a bit. Very nicely done.
Tejas (872) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JAN 30, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
huge chocolatey nose and pretty a lot of chocolatey flavor and plenty of roastiness to boot. maybe a bit too roasty towards the ashy side. palate was good and fairly creamy. ok easy drinker but probably not more than one or two at a time. just not a great session beer. would be a good one to round off the night.
PhatB420 (626) - Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 24, 2010
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz limited edtion bottle from winter mix 12 pack, this is a great stout. Pours as it should, solid blackness with a surrounding swirl of brown backbone the brings beautiful benefits brillantly. By the way, this stout pairs nicely with some godiva, before or after.... Goes down quite smoothy which amplifeis the enjoyment that much more. Love it.
adavis234 (286) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - JAN 9, 2010
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle. Pours a dark black color with a medium tan head. Aroma is entirely chocolate. Amazingly so. Like smelling a bowl of melted chocolate. Flavor is a bit of a disappointment after the aroma. Certainly a heavy, roasted chocolate flavor with a lingering chocolate aftertaste (one of the best parts of the flavor), but seems a bit thin after the heavy aroma. Quite good, especially for harpoon, but there are better chocolate stouts out there.
Chad9976 (1181) - 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.