Friday, January 13, 2012
Harpoon Munich Type Dark
Alcohol Content: 5.5%
International Bitterness Units (IBU): 35
Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Chocolate?
Medium: 2 samples of 12oz bottles poured into a pint glass
Price: $13.50 for a 12-pack Harpoon Wintry Mix sampler
Aroma: First presents itself with a slightly earhty/ spicy noble hop character and deep, bittersweet chocolate undertones. The presence of Munich malt is only slightly noticeable in its toasted, bread-like quality - not as strong as I would have expected. Expect a "warm" malty nose as you take deep inhalations.
Appearance: Pours for a deep mahogany/ brown color with hints of red when held up to the light. Head pour was thick, creamy, and tan/ mocha in color. Lots of lacing and great head retention throughout the entire experience - suggests a dextrinous body.
Flavor: Starts out a mild sweet caramel with bittersweet chocolate notes and rich malty tones. The toasted, biscuity malt character is less defined than I would have expected from the Munich malts. Some nutty flavors present as well. Bitterness is assertive, somewhat spicy/ peppery and the hop-finish is slightly astringent (perhaps due to the malts). Aftertaste is accompanied by some drying. Balanced, although the style is typically more malt focused - Harpoon's version is a bit more hoppier in their interpretation.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied/ dextrinous. Carbonation is moderately strong. Some hints of alcohol warmth supports a "hot" mouthfeel, making it a little unpleasant (but not necessarily out of style). Unfortunately the first bottle sampled came with a metallic off-flavor that significantly hindered my perceptions.
Overall Impression: Second time around was a more pleasant experience, which offered a better interpretation of the style. Overall it offered a good malty sweetness followed by a distinguished presence of hops. Perhaps a good beer to pair with a protein rich meal, or desserts due to its slightly chocolate character. Drink in moderation due to its rather full-body.