Tuesday, July 21, 2009

21. Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #24 Glacier Harvest ’08 Wet Hop Beer

Harpoon Brewing is located in Boston, MA. For all of you who were wondering, Boston is also home to the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial. And if you don't remember Glory, you should probably be beaten with a rubber hose. Beer and history--does it get any better than that?

Glacier Harvest ’08 Wet Hop has floral hops notes in the nose, but not much in the way of malt sweetness. The head is creamy and white, although somewhat limited. Glacier Harvest has a nice balance of malt & hops in the body: the light malt beginning blends well into the floral and citrus flavors, which then lead nicely into the smooth bitter finish, with the bitterness lingering nicely on the back of the tongue. Resin flavors increase with warmth in the middle of the beer, and the beer gets sweeter across the palate as it warms; malt characteristics also emerge in the nose as the beer warms. Carbonation is somewhat low to minimal, but it works well with the beer; while the initial mouthfeel is rather non-descript, the low carbonation allows the beer to roll over your tongue to develop flavors rather than just using the bite of the carbonation to build contrast within the beer. While warmth does help some of the characteristics of the beer, we do think it is better overall when first opened.

From Harpoon’s website: “Brew Date: 8/12/08
Packaging Date: 8/26/08

For the 24th session of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, we’re celebrating this year’s hop harvest with Glacier Harvest Wet Hop beer, a pale ale made with fresh Glacier hops.

Wet hop beers are brewed using fresh, ‘wet’ hops instead of traditional dried hops—hops contain about 60% moisture when they are first picked. Typically, when hops are picked they are quickly dried and refrigerated to increase shelf life and make them more consistent for brewing. Freshly picked wet hops, however, need to be used within hours of harvest or they will begin to degrade rapidly. Wet hops retain more of their natural aroma and volatile flavors that dissipate when dried. This gives wet hop beers a fresher hop flavor and aroma than that of beers hopped with processed hops. This yields an immersed, intense hop flavor in the beer.

Harpoon brewer Ray Dobens, creator of the beer, added a heroic dose of fresh hops the day of the harvest. The result is a copper-colored ale with a pleasing blend of fresh hop flavor and sweet malt.”

ABV: 6.7%
OG: 16
IBU: 38

And yes, for all of you wondering at home, our drinking this now means that we forgot we had a bottle of it buried in the basement. You're already so over yourselves...

(7/21/2009)

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