TAR (2708) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - SEP 5, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Clear pecan. Pearly, large-bubbled foam. Uninviting aroma of mushy plum, earth, and diacetyl. Slightly vinous with touches of caramel and musty black malts. Soft mouthfeel. Sacattered large-bubbled carbonation. Faintly acidic, initially. Lovely transition into dark malt territory with subtle notes of raisin and black currant. Tingly diacetyl surrounds the dark malts. Finishes somewhat dry and medicinal, with overly asserted diacetyl and a beautiful burnt sugar/black malt integration. Black coffee aspects emerge at room temperature. And much to my chagrin, the aroma was scantly hopped and the esters overshadowed the dark malts. The mouthfeel was also too bubbly. I love firm, toffeeish-dunkels, but this doesn’t possess any of those traits. But it certainly has the sugar and chocolate flavors, which is what makes it tolerable.
Racegoer (354) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - SEP 4, 2003
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
malty, seet and a little coffee,medium brown with decent lacing. Pub pack, very little presence of hops, typical of the style though with no flair, these Harpoon beers are just plain boring
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - AUG 25, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown with a light brown long lasting head. Malty and sweet, this goes fine with food, but tastes thinner than it looks. The sourness at the end got on my nerves...seriously.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - AUG 13, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
i'm like a kid with homework: i put off the rating till the last minute. i had a whole sixpack of this but i'm just getting around to rating it as i drain the last bottle. i enjoyed harpoon dark very much, but now, finally logging on to check everyone else's impressions, it appears others aren't quite as enthused as i am--i mean, as i THOUGHT i was. i thought it poured a rippling walnut brown with mars-red highlights, but i guess it's just plain brown. and the guitar-top spruce colored head was full, but you know, in a way that seems kinda mediocre on second thought. a rich aroma of lightly smoky wheat bread with zinfandel touches of fruitiness and coffee seemed very elegant BEFORE i read the other reviews, but i stand corrected. maybe it's more like just dirt and rusty bed springs. embarrisingly, i was under similar misapprehension about the flavor, i'm so glad i didn't gush about what seemed to be a fairly lithe vanilla-toasted arabica-bean and fudge character comfortably astride a reasonably hoppy lager. it seemed quite tasty and at least medium-bodied, but i'm probably wrong. i'll just go back and erase where my fond memory says "damn nice" and update it all with: "okay, pretty good, better than a glass shard in your eye." i do wanna fit in.
Darkover (1535) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 11, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown with a light tan head. Malt aroma with a little coffee and caramel. Caramel malt flavor. Also has some hop bitterness in the flavor and finish. Pretty good.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 7, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sweet malty aroma with a good lager profile flows from the dark brown body. Head is mostly tan and lightly lacey. Chocolate and caramel control the malty body yet exhibit a mellow hoppiness. Smooth throughout, including the finish. Great flavor and extreme drinkability make this one of the best dunkels I've had.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - AUG 7, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2004 At the brewery: Typical looking dark german beer with a wee small tan head of foam. Aroma of roasted malt with a slight sweetness. Something was different about this beer and I found out afterwards that they ferment this as an ale instead of the traditional lager. I think this really changes the character a bit. Not as sweet as the German Dunkels in my opinion. Medium bodied and malty. Pretty decent beer that I enjoyed.
fishonmyplane (505) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - AUG 1, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Very dark red color. The flavor is malty, but seems a little tame for such a dark, german beer (but then again, I did just drink some Spaten Optimator not too long ago). A hint of chocolate flavor. Not much hop presence. Not especially smooth either. Overall it's ok but just not a beer I can really get excited about.
MaBeer1972 (1894) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 11, 2003
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: NOV 8, 2003 Very dark ruby-brown, almost black in color. Flavor is nice and roasty, but slightly sweet. I think this bottle may be a little off, as there's a slight metallic taste, resulting in the deductions on flavor and palate. Would like to try a (fresher) bottle again soon.
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 9, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
This was overly plain as far as I am concerned. Something I would not seek out but something I would not pass up either.