Review Date 10/13/2013
A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a truly memorable beer at my local Taco Mac: Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 46: Kettle Cup Belgian Blonde Ale. This was a truly delightful little blonde ale brewed in the Belgian style, yeasty and spicy, yet eminently drinkable and well-suited to a warm summer afternoon. I’m not here to tell you about that beer today (although I’m on the hunt for a bottle, and if I find one, you will hear about it). Instead, we need to jump back a few bottles in the series to Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 44: El Triunfo Coffee Porter.
I know, you’re probably asking yourself, “Self, why is he talking about Session 46 in a review of Session 44?” And you know, that’s a fair question. Really, it has to do with the fact that I’ve been only able to find the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series beers sporadically here in Georgia, since they tend to sell out pretty quickly. For the first time, though, I’ve actually managed to put together three consecutive brews in the series, a record (I have a bottle of Session 45 stashed away, dontcha know).
As much as I raved on the Kettle Cup, I’m now going to rave on the El Triunfo Coffee Porter. This is a very drinkable coffee porter of moderate strength, and I think that allows the coffee notes to fully blossom. The beer has 6% alcohol by volume and a mellow 28 IBUs. It was released in early 2013 (my bottle was stamped in at Total Wine on January 26th).
Harpoon says of Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 44: El Triunfo Coffee Porter on their website:
It goes without saying that we love beer here. But there is also a group of Harpooners who are pretty passionate about their coffee as well – they even call themselves “The Coffee Club”. So when Harpoon brewer (and Coffee Club member) Jesse Brenneman teamed up with Mike and LJ from Equal Exchange to brew a coffee porter, cheers rang out through the brewery. The adventure that began on a whim – over coffee and beer, of course – ended up bringing two local companies together in a way that delighted us all. The name of this coffee porter is derived from the El Triunfo biosphere in Chiapas, Mexico, where the beans used to brew this beer were harvested.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 44: El Triunfo Coffee Porter pours to a dark brownish to light black color with medium sized head of creamy tan foam and an inviting nose of dark roasted coffee. Taking a sip, the beer seems a bit thin at first in body, but to be fair this isn’t meant to be an over the top porter, just a drinkable brown porter with coffee added. I have to say that I love the real fresh coffee character laced with allsorts licorice that proves to be the defining character of the brew. The finish is nicely done with a hint of grassy hops, too.
Well done Harpoon! You’ve crafted another winner in the 100 Barrel Series, a coffee porter that brings out the essence of the featured ingredient. Like all of the 100 Barrel Series releases that I have come across, it’s reasonably priced, too, at just $5.49 a bottle. Not a beer to pass up on if you are a fan of coffee or dark beer.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.