Tipping ones hat to the tasty
A Review of Harpoon Munich Dark by Harpoon Brewery
Posted on 7/31/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
Darker beers are a passion of mine. There is just something about the flavors and aromas that are typically associated with these types of beers that my taste buds are drawn to. The chocolates. The caramels. The toffees. The coffees. The sugars. The fruits. All of them are nothing short of delicious to me. That being said, sometimes when a beer that is supposed to contain these flavors is created, things can become an unbalanced and muddled mess. So while there are countless offerings out there that try to master the art of balance in a glass, very few can truly be deemed as ''successful'' in their attempts. That is why I find great pleasure in introducing everyone to Harpoons Munich Type Dark.

When its poured, the beer lives up to it's ''dark'' billing. One's initial thought on the color might be to classify it as black, but if you hold it up to the light, you see that it is a deep mahogany brown. You can pick up on some ruby red hues around the edges, but even they fall into the range of dark. And even though it is quite dark in the color category, it is crystal clear with no sediment in it at all. With an aggressive pour it gave a decent head, but it didn't stick around long. The aromas that I was able to pick up on were toasted bread notes, dark fruits resembling plums, a faint hint of alcohol, and a bit of dark chocolate. I found myself thinking that there was an overall ''sweet'' feel in the nose of this beer.

There's a beauty in this beers subtlety that should not go unnoticed. The first thing you find yourself thinking is ''Wow, this beer really bubbles in my mouth''. The carbonation is indeed the first thing that grabs you. It's gives the beer a very lively feel. None of the flavors will overpower you. They aren't supposed to. Instead, they seem to slowly introduce themselves to you. There's a gradual climb from the malts that start off as just hints, but build into dark chocolate and caramel layers that reach a high level of richness in your mouth. The slight hint of hops is just enough to keep it from coming off as too sweet, while staying as far away from bitter as possible. What I'm basically saying is that Harpoon found a delicate, yet awesome balance here.

I really enjoyed this beer from start to finish. I openly admit that I don't have much experience in the Munich style, but I know a good beer when I taste one. This beer would fit well into both categories of beer drinkers, but for totally different reasons. The beginners could easily use this one as a bridge beer. It would make a great offering to get their foot in the door and start to see what other flavors and aromas can be found in the better beer world. For the veterans out there, this would make a great session beer. It goes down with ease, and yet it still has plenty of flavor and character to keep you entertained in the process. It's not easy creating a beer that can shine in both better beer drinker camps. So I raise my glass to Harpoon for doing the difficult. I advise everyone to go grab a few of these and do the same. Job well done guys!

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Harpoon Munich Dark by Harpoon Brewery
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