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Harpoon Munich Dark

By Andy Murphy
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Harpoon holds a special place in my beer drinking heart, as I explained in my very first entry. So despite the atrocity inflicted upon my taste buds by the Harpoon Chocolate Stout, I believe Harpoon deserves a chance to redeem itself with me.

Its first chance at redemption came last weekend when I carried a bottle of the Chocolate Stout to a party, asking a few beer drinkers to tell me what they thought. We cracked it open and passed the glass around. I couldn’t drink it of course, but I took a big whiff. Every artificial, syrupy element seemed exactly the same. Still, the reviews were mixed. One person found the Chocolate Stout undesirable, another was on the fence, and a third really enjoyed it. But I’ll let her review speak for itself — it was, essentially, “Mmm — it tastes like artificial chocolate sweetener!”

Yeah, we’ll call that a wash.

Tonight’s attempt was far more successful. The Harpoon Munich Dark (or, as the label reads, the Munich Type Dark) is a fun brown ale, complex and extremely pleasant to drink.

According to the Harpoon website:

Harpoon Munich Dark is a blend of dark malts that creates a deeper hue than some other beers brewed in this style. The grains which create a malty chocolate-like flavor also add a warm malty nose that mingles with the subtle hop aroma. This medium bodied beer is balanced quite well with a moderately bitter hop finish.

The overall character is rich malt and chocolate balanced with a crisp hop bitterness.

When I poured the ale into my glass, there wasn’t much of a head, but it was bubbly, carbonated, and quite pretty to look at. Held up to the light, the dark ale glowed like a ruby.

A nice, toasted malt smell rose from the glass — so inviting I dove right in.

Sweet, lightly toasty malt is very present on the front, clean. I like beer that creates an experience in the mouth, and by that measure the Harpoon Munich Dark performs. The front of my tongue lit up with sweet malt, with a flavors progressing through a spectrum — sweet, chocolaty, bittersweet — as the beer struck the rest of my taste buds. The sip finished with a surprise: a protracted, pronounced smokey aftertaste.

Redemption never tasted so good.

Related posts:

  1. Harpoon Chocolate Stout
  2. Left Hand Milk Stout
  3. Harpoon IPA

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