Today I’m posting a guest review from my friend and classmate Shayne. He is a loyal follower of LostintheBeerAisle and can be found commenting here frequently. Shayne is similar to me in beer-experience; he loves trying out new beers but isn’t a complete beer nerd. I really enjoyed Shayne’s review because he didn’t like the beer…I believe this is the first guest review I’ve hosted where this was the case. Many thanks for the review Shayne! I hope it isn’t the last review we see from you.
I poured this one just before sitting down to watch Monsters vs. Aliens with the family tonight. Let’s just say the movie was way better than the beer…
I poured the black liquid into one of those Sam Adams glasses that helps promote the smell, keeps the carbonation going, etc. I like these glasses more than the standard pint glass- I really think it enhances the flavor. However, with this beer, the cool glass couldn’t do much to improve my drinking experience. It’s just a bitter beer. The aroma when poured is kind of nice- a mix of chocolate and coffee. (Full disclosure: I am one of those strange people who do not drink coffee.) I am however, one who loves chocolate. Like Josh, I really enjoy sweeter beers. Given my sweet tooth, I’ve been trying a variety of chocolate beers- Southern Tier’s Choklat Imperial Stout (first at the Publick House in Brookline, and then poured from a 22oz bottle), Brooklyn Brewing Company’s Black Chocolate Stout, and Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout. This one from Harpoon just doesn’t belong anywhere near these other chocolate beers.
As you would expect from a stout, there was very little carbonation. When I poured it, there was barely a finger’s worth of head on it. As mentioned before, it smelled pretty good. Once the beer hit my mouth, I got a little bit of the chocolate-ness, but it was a much more bitter chocolate than the smell led me to expect. It is a flavorful beer, but I didn’t like the flavor at all. I drank it slowly and I think the slightly increased temperature made it even more bitter in my mouth. With some of these stouts, they pour very thick, not the case with Harpoon’s version. It poured a little lighter than a Guiness, almost with the consistency you would expect from a regular ale.
I am normally a big fan of Harpoon beers (and in a past life, a BIG fan of Harpoon’s Brew Festivals in Boston), but this particular brew gets a big thumbs down from me.