Starting From the Top
A Review of UFO White by Harpoon Brewery
Posted on 9/19/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
My initial experience with the Harpoon Brewery out of Boston, MA came through their delicious Leviathan series of brews, described as ''an exploration in brewing big beers for adventurous palates''. But, I know that breweries don't jump to imperials right out of the gate. The Harpoon story dates all the way back to 1986 and the Leviathan Series didn't debut until 2008. So as a craft beer geek, I knew that I had an unwritten obligation to explore their standard line of brews before formulating any lasting opinion. Up first is the Harpoon UFO White, which is part of their ''UnFiltered Offerings'' series.

In the glass, this beer has a hazy sunny orange coloration and is obviously unfiltered. It comes with a frothy white that has really good retention. I found the aroma to be pretty complex for such a lighter offering. It has a bready base character, which is common for the witbier style due to those savory Belgian yeasts. Resting on top is an array of grassy notes, lemony citrus and a dusting of nondescript spices. It was very interesting and had me curiously anticipating that first sip.

The flavor profile was a bit confusing at first. It closely matches the aroma, but it wasn't until the beer hit my taste buds that I realized it drank like a witbier-lager hybrid. It's not a bad thing mind you, just threw me for a loop. But once I reoriented myself, the lager-like grassy notes made more sense and I found that they complimented the lemon and spices quite well. The beer is easy drinking with a thin body and a mild hop profile. The exit is somewhat dry and leaves behind a faint lemongrass aftertaste.

Overall, the the Harpoon UFO White is a tasty brew with an interesting character. I found it to be a bit odd for the style, but that by no means discounts its appeal. It's a great summertime brew that I can recommend to all levels of beer fans. Novices will find it to be a flavorful alternative to mass-produced garbage beer, while seasoned drinkers can enjoy it as a rewarding session wit. At this point I can confidently view Harpoon as more than just ''the Leviathan brewery''. They deserve to be recognized and I look forward to trying the rest of their product line.

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UFO White by Harpoon Brewery
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