Harpoon Brewery’s Black IPA from their 100 Barrel Series is a big dark beer. It’s not truly black, but it’s a deep dark brown that’s indicative of the strong earthy flavor you’re in store for from the apparently huge dose of Ahtanum hops. The head is long lasting and nice and creamy. They call the scent “fruity” but I find it’s more roasty, with a bit of chocolate, than it is fruity. The flavor is heavily tilted towards earthy, but there’s a little bit of coffee and lemon in there as well, and a slightly oaky finish. It’s a medium-bodied beer, and has a reasonably moderate alcohol content of 7.0% ABV. This beer is a bit overpowering and bitter if it’s served too cold, but mellows nicely as it warms up. It definitely prefers being closer to 60F than to 40F. It’s not knocking my socks off, but it’s a very nice, very interesting beer that will definitely appeal to those with palates that appreciate different takes on bitterness.
I give it a 4.0 out of 5.