Harpoon Maple Tap Imperial Porter

Harpoon Maple Tap Imperial PorterHarpoon Brewey started with three friends who shared a love of beer. College classmates Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary were passionate about craft beer, but couldn’t find what they were looking for at local pubs. While traveling in Europe, they drank many diverse, fresh, local beers and experienced firsthand the wonderful beer culture that existed just across the pond. When they returned to Boston they decided that if they couldn’t buy the beer they wanted, they’d create their own, and in 1986 the Harpoon Brewery was born! One of their most recent limited seasonal releases is their Maple Tap Imperial Porter.

The beer pours a dark amber color and appears as a deep dark brown in the glass. Reddish hues are noticeable when viewed against the light. The two finger cappuccino colored head shows some retention and leaves behind a hearty lacing.

Dark roasty aromas of chocolate malts and coffee are compounded by notes of burnt sugar. Toasted nut aromas are also quite discernible. Sweet caramel notes with a hint of creamy vanilla are notable through the dark roasty aromas.

On the palate you get big flavors of roasted malts, dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and roasted notes. Sweet brown sugar and maple sugar notes add a level of sweetness to the palate. A fruity note of dried dark fruits like raisins hang in the background. There is a boozy presence that is warming but not over powering. The beer is subtle and balanced. The maple adds sweetness but doesn’t scream “I’m a maple beer!” The body isn’t super thick or cloying, making the beer easier to enjoy.

Harpoon’s Maple Tap Imperial Porter is a great cooler weather beer to sip on in the company of fellow beer lovers. Try pairing this one with Asiago cheese, smoked sausages, braised sweet red cabbage, or cheesecake. 3 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Pints out of 5

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory

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Harpoon Winter Warmer

Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon was officially born on June 19, 1986 when the Mass Bay Brewing Co. was incorporated, though its origins precede the actual date. Rich Doyle wrote the business plan for the Harpoon Brewery during his second year at Harvard Business School. At that time, he was unable to find the variety of beers that were available in Europe, nor the rich beer culture he had enjoyed there. Harpoon Winter Warmer has been brewed since 1988. Since then, this beer has become a New England seasonal classic.

The beer pours a light brown color with red highlights. As the beer enters the glass is seems to be light bodied. The head is thin, sandy in color and dissipates rather quickly.

The initial whiff knocks you over with sweet spice notes. The spices are reminiscent of those used in mulling but sweeter, like mulling spices coated in sugar. There is a fruity note that blankets a more subtle malt note. When the two aromas combine together it resembles that of a fresh baked fruit cake.

On the palate the sweet dried fruit notes enter first. Think dried candied cranberries laced with a hint of candied orange peel. The fruit notes mingle on the midpalate with a spice bouquet, which is dominated by nutmeg. Amidst the nutmeg there is a hint of cinnamon which is all that is needed to accentuate but not over power the fruit. The finish echoes the midpalate with no particular component lingering. Although the beer is light bodied, the carbonation carries the flavors well and it still possesses a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel.

This is beer is not one that is over – the- top or super complex. It is simply everything a winter warmer should be. It tastes like a traditional New England Holiday in liquid form and conjures up all kinds of happy memories. 4.5 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.5 Pints out of 5

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory