Tuesday, July 20, 2010

385. Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #31 Single Hop ESB

It’s been a while since we hit up Harpoon—which means it could be about time to revive the over-used references to Elli’s love of all things whaling and maritime/nautically-related. Because nothing says love like salt water, blubber, and Moby Dick. Ahem. This is beer features the latest addition to Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series. It also marks our eighth beer from Harpoon, including 100 Barrel Series #30 Island Creek Oyster Stout, 100 Barrel Series #28 Glacier ’09 Wet Hop, 100 Barrel Series #27 Helles Blond Bock, Octoberfest, Leviathan Saison Royale, 100 Barrel Series #24 Glacier ’08 Wet Hop and their IPA. So pass the bottle and twist the cap...

Single Hop ESB pours a deep burnished copper with a thin ivory head that hangs around like that little brother who would never leave you the fuck alone. The nose is a mix of biscuit and grainy malt aromas with a touch of fruitiness to accompany the malt. There is also something of a molasses and/or treacle and/or dark caramel toffee creaminess that lurks underneath all of this, but is hard to specifically isolate—hence the equivocation. Flavors start with a dry grainy biscuit flavor; the middle has low levels of earthiness coupled with more of the graininess and some mild cola flavor (the same as you’d find in a mild brown) followed by some light spiciness. The finish is lightly bitter—just a touch—with some light fruitiness and creaminess, closing out with some graininess reminiscent of rye beers, but without the rye flavor. I’d call the final touch just a bit of dirt, but that seems not to capture what we see as something positive in the finish. Single Hop ESB has a medium body with a flat, clean, British mouthfeel that still carries a bit of creaminess. The carbonation is low to medium, and plays more of a rounding role on the palate than anything else. The lingering grainy browness does help push this into the realm of British beers, even though the label informs us that the beer uses Delta, a new American hop (well, and the ESB style is decidedly British). Good, drinkable, and certainly quaffable; Elli said she’d wouldn’t necessarily chose this beer, but then again, she wouldn’t complain if this was what she got served. I’ll give it about the same—it is good across the board, but it does need a little something more to push it into the exciting category.

From the bottle: “Hopped entirely with Delta—a new American hop varietal—this Extra Special Bitter has a unique earthy/fruity hop taste and a rich malt body.”

From the Harpoon website: “The 31st offering from the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series is the Single Hop ESB, brewed by Harpoon brewer Charlie Cummings. Already excited about crafting an Extra Special Bitter, Charlie jumped at the rare opportunity to brew this beer using one hop varietal, Delta, exclusively throughout the process. The Delta hop is a brand new American-grown hop developed by Hopsteiner. In fact, the Harpoon Single Hop ESB is the first beer in the world to be commercially brewed using the Delta hop. A cross between Fuggle and Cascade hops, Delta hops yield an unrestrained earthy/floral aroma and taste that compliment the rich flavors of traditional British malts and yeast. The recipe for this beer is a nod to the beloved Harpoon ESB, which was last brewed in 2002. However this version uses imported ingredients, except for the domestically grown Delta hops. Only a portion of the batch was filtered, leaving the full spectrum of flavor and aroma of this special new hop to enjoy.”

ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 38
OG: 14.8 °P
Brewed: 3/26/10
Bottled: 4/9/10


No comments:

Post a Comment