Harpoon El Triunfo Coffee Porter is release number 44 in Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series. The name of this coffee porter comes from the area in Chipas, Mexico where the coffee beans used in the beer were harvested.
El Triunfo pours a thick, dark brown that reminds me of cola. The two fingers of off-white head recedes relatively quickly and leaves behind little to no lacing on the glass.
Huge roasted coffee notes jump out immediately from the aroma. The coffee intertwines nicely with the chocolate and caramel malts to create a delightful nose for this beer.
The deep roasted coffee and chocolate from the aroma carries over to the flavor as well. The coffee is clearly the most prominent flavor, but I was surprised by the intensity of the chocolate malt flavor. There are plenty of nice undertones of caramel and vanilla to add some measure of complexity. The finish is mildly bitter with very little hops flavor.
My one knock on El Triunfo is that it is a lot lighter than I was hoping for. I would put it on the low end of medium-bodied, which is a bit of a disappointment. Having said that, this is an incredibly smooth and easy-to-drink beer.
Harpoon El Triunfo Coffee Porter is a great option if you’re looking for a beer with a huge coffee flavor. Although it fell short of expectations in terms of body, it’s still a delicious, if somewhat one-dimensional beer.
Harpoon Chocolate Stout was included in the Harpoon Holiday 12-pack that Jason previously mentioned in his post about Harpoon IPA. I’ve had a couple chocolate stouts previously (Sam Adams’ Chocolate Bock and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout) and this is certainly my favorite.
It pours intensely black with a good three fingers-worth creamy, light tan head. Retention and lacing are great. The aroma is unmistakably chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, with perhaps a hint of roasted malt. Absolutely awesome!
Like most other type of dark beers, I find that the various flavors present in a chocolate beer present themselves better as the temperature of the beer increases toward room temperature. I drank Harpoon Chocolate Stout straight from the refrigerator and it was amazing. This beer is all about chocolate. On the front end you get a rich, sweet, almost milk chocolate taste. On the finish there is bit of bitterness akin to bar of dark chocolate. I also detected a faint hint of coffee. Mouthfeel was very creamy with average carbonation.
I really hope this beer is available in a the 6-pack variety next holiday season because it is absolutely worth purchasing again. Other “chocolate” beers I’ve tried had tastes that were reminiscent of chocolate, but I found the flavor to be underwhelming. Harpoon Chocolate Stout is exactly what it says it is, and it is a pleasure to drink.
As Jason mentioned in his Harpoon IPA post, IPA’s have recently become one his favorite styles of beer. This past weekend he brought over a 6-pack of Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey, I must say, I fully support his new-found affinity for IPA’s.
400 Pound Monkey pours a rich, golden color with about a fingers-worth of a white head. The retention and lacing were not spectacular, but not lacking, either. When you take in the aroma, there is no mistaking that this is an IPA, but there is a uniqueness to it. The hops are certainly there, but I noticed that the citrus note that is generally present in an IPA was very faint with this beer.
There is certainly no lack of hops bitterness in the taste, however, much like the aroma, the citrus notes I usually expect in an IPA were lacking. There is a noticeably malty flavor that is a bit grainy, earthy perhaps. Finally, it finishes with a bit of dryness, leaving behind the grainy malt flavor. This beer has a medium-to-thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation.
I wasn’t totally blown away by this beer, but I definitely enjoyed it and I will certainly drink it again. Everything about it screams IPA, yet it’s able to deliver an element of uniqueness that held my attention and kept me intrigued. 400 Pound Monkey is definitely worth a try if you haven’t already.