Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #39 - Vermont Spruce Tip Ale



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RATINGS: 53   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.23/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 38   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
A robust flavored ale with notes of spicy sweet pine from locally gathered spruce tips, balanced by roasty caramel malt and a hint of Chinook hops. About Vermont Spruce Tip Ale This hearty ale is a showcase for a traditional yet seldom used brewing ingredient: spruce tips. Harvested at their tender, ripe, bright green peak in Downer State Forest, Vermont, these spruce tips impart citrus, pine, spice, herbal and earthy notes. A host of malts, a hint of roasted barley and generous use of Chinook hops complement the unique spruce flavor.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
AdamChandler (4864) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 31, 2012
"Acquired this at Harpoon Brewery where I stop by every 2 months to pick up whatever is new along with a Growler full of their Raspberry Wheat beer. Poured into a Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Glass at 39 degrees. A - Very bronze beer super clear but still very bronze. No sediment. Poured a 7 finger head but that was probably cause I was being careless. S - Nice piney smell with spruce and other syrups that we all have available in new England. Sweet and like morning due. I love these 100 barrel beers. T - Just as the label suggests. Spruce tips but Im getting some brown sugar and lovely caramel noted. Maybe some vanilla or lavender? Not sure M - Medium beer yet a light mouthfeel and finish. A lot of bite from bitterness at the finish. O - Its not a bad beer but the bar was set pretty high with this series. Ive had the last 15 of 39 barrels put out by Harpoon and each one is really special. This one just tastes bland and normal. Its not a down the drain beer but its certainly a hard beer to warm up to."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
johnnnniee (4115) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 1, 2011
Pours a medium copper color with a huge bubbly white head that sticks around forever as well as to the glass. Smells of caramel and bready malt with a fair amount of non descript fruitiness. Slightly earthy hop aroma mixed with a bit of herbal and medicinal aromas. Really not what I was expecting when I cracked this one open. Taste is caramel and toffee malt sweetness balanced with an earthy herbal almost licorice flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Decent brew, but not really what I expected. The spruce is there but its not overpowering and comes across as more of an herbal nuance in this brew. I enjoyed it enough that I would drink this again if I saw it on tap somewhere.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
smith4498 (3588) - Winter Springs, Florida, USA - MAY 7, 2012
Bottle from a trade with BlackIPA. Pours clear copper color with off white head. Aromas of caramel malts and pine. Sweet caramel flavor with mild pine. Medium body with moderate carbonation thanks Shawn.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
puboflyons (3328) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 29, 2011
From a bottle with an expiration date of 03/15/2012. The pour is a handsome medium to dark amber that reminds me of pine tree brown. Lots of carbonation and a small head. The aroma is earthy, piney, and slightly malty. The body is rotund but not bold. Whereas the aromas and balanced but not overpowering, the flavor is a bit more so with an obvious earthy, pine hoppiness and a sweet malty character. There is a slightly different earthiness to it that is notable. It finishes on the dry side.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2011
22oz Bottle, purchased at Wakefield Liquor - Wakefield, RI. Somehow, the aroma doesnt elicit the strongest reaction of spruce, instead a gentle minty waft and plenty of caramel malt. Flavors start of similarly, but then develop a really strong Christmas tree flavor. Strong resin, those little scented pillow filled with Balsam Fir needles, car fresheners, and a whole array of cleaning products. All of this incongruously paired with a malty near-Amber Ale. Man, can Harpoon make soap-flavored beers. Interesting that in playing it safe to not overwhelm the beer with conifer, the threshold has instead been brought down to gimicky Yankee Candle and Pinesol levels. Turn up the Spruce or go home.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
merc7186 (3096) - North Tonawanda, New York, USA - OCT 19, 2013
A: Amber/Golden Straw Hue, Passes Through Some Light, Mild White Ring of Head, No Lacing S: Spruce, Maple, Mild Cinnamon T: Spruce, Maple, Malty M: Medioce Carbonation, Medium Bodied, Spicey Overall, a very nice spruce beer from the single barrel. A good find...

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
jeremytoni (3040) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - MAR 4, 2012
From a bottle poured a brown color with a small amount of head. Light spicy malty flavor with a lingering off putting pine finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
rougeau13 (2871) - Richmond, Texas, USA - JAN 3, 2012
Tap at Sugar Land Saucer. Clear amber-copper with a medium white head. Aroma of spruce, herbs, some caramel malt and light fruit. The taste is very spruce centered, almost overpoweringly so, and that adds a spicy, herbal character to the malt flavors. Medium bodied. I get it, but the spruce is just a bit over done for my taste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
glennmastrange (2803) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - JUL 23, 2012
Bottle. Moderate malt aromas of roasted, nutty and caramel, light pine and citrus for the hops, with wood and a hint of brown sugar. Head is small, fizzy, off-white with some slippery lacing and is mostly diminishing. Color is sparkling clear copper. Flavor starts faintly sweet and moderately acidic, then the long finish is moderately acidic and bitter with a touch of saltiness. Palate is on the lighter side of medium,watery with a lively carbonation and a lightly astringent finish. This is a very good drinking beer with the added touch of spruce tips. Couldve used more Id say.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 28, 2011
Bomber: Pours a clear orange with a medium white head, aroma has pine and light fruits, starts and ends lightly bitter with a juicy ending, medium bodied with average carbonation and a lingering bitterness. It is hard to tell where the hops end and the spruce starts.

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