While the week before last was the perfect kind of bright and sunny weather for light ales, this week just gone has been grey and miserable. Naturally, this means it’s time for dark beer: deliciously malty, roasty, warming dark beer. The remaining Harpoons beckon.
Harpoon, Dark 5.2%
At first glance, Harpoon’s dunkelbier looks like a stout or a porter. Closer inspection gives the game away: the lively bubbles and loose, frothy head clues that this is a lighter beer in disguise.
Dark smells of chocolate and caramel with a hint of smoke. The taste is more powerful, especially as it warms in the mouth: chocolate, plum, and damson. There’s no hint of bitterness at all, just a spark of acidity from the carbonation followed by chocolatey sweetness to finish.
Drinking this reminds me of a misspent summer in Austria guzzling Gosser Dunkels and making myself fat. Both for nostalgia and quality, this gets a 4/5.
Harpoon, Dunkin’ Coffee Porter 6.0%
I have a confession to make. I have never stepped inside a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Still, I’ve got a pretty good idea of the kind of diner coffee this beer is aiming to emulate. Mild and roasted, it subtler than the rocket fuel I tend to order from my local hipster coffee shop, but it’s not bad.
Dunkin’ is reassuringly dark and porterly in appearance, looking a bit like the coffee it’s inspired by. There’s a rich, malty aroma, unsurprisingly laced with coffee notes. There’s a big coffee hit on the palate, but not a whole lot behind it. Fruity, coffee richness returns for the finish, but despite this beer weighing in at 6% it feels like it’s been watered down. Perhaps another nod to the coffee.
It’s made me want to try Dunkin’s coffee to check whether it’s at all similar, which may be the intention. Does it make me want to crack open another beer? Eh, yes, but not this one. 2/5