Sunday, July 5, 2009

5. Harpoon IPA

My favorite offering from Harpoon Brewery, located in Boston, MA. Elli first had this beer on Martha’s Vineyard back in the day, and has carried this beer fondly in her heart ever since. But that’s only because she’s into whaling and maritime culture. Go figure. Later, when she reads this trite prose, I will be getting smacked, so have no fear about justice being served.

Harpoon IPA is a pale, tan color, with a slightly bready but also sweet nose that is accompanied by some slightly resinous hoppy notes. It has a dry start with a little sweetness in the middle and a smooth finish. The hop presence is well balanced with the malt body, and has pleasant bitterness in the middle and at the end combined with floral and resinous hop notes on the palate. Very drinkable—Harpoon IPA is an excellent session beer. Now, all I need to do is to find someone who regularly carries this beer in Dayton to make my wish a reality.

From Harpoon’s website:
“Hops: The pronounced hop aroma and the deep copper color make an immediate sensory impression. Northwest Cascade hops are used generously in Harpoon IPA. The aroma is floral, distinctly different from the herbal, spicy, or “cut grass” aromas of other hop varieties.

Malts: Harpoon IPA has three malts. One adds a toasted flavor and another a malty flavor. Along with the third malt, a 2-row pale, there is an abundance of fermentable sugar to be converted into alcohol, which accounts for the relatively high original gravity. These sugars ferment fully creating 5.9% alcohol by volume and leaving no residual sweetness.

Beer Character: The high hopping of Harpoon IPA is not only noticeable in the nose but especially in the finish. The lingering bitter finish of this beer is not harsh or astringent, but crisp and pronounced. This is created, in part, by dry hopping – a technique that involves adding fresh hops to the conditioning beer to provide a fresh hop aroma.

This beer is floral, medium body with an aggressive, clean hop finish.”

ABV: 5.9%
IBU: 42
OG: 15.5° P


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