Review Date 2/25/2015
Not too long ago I popped open my bottle of Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 50 and was remarking on how the availability of the series is somewhat sporadic here in Georgia. In the final analysis, I tend to think that we get them all, it’s just that they fly off store shelves rather quickly because of their limited nature and their bargain basement price. My local Taco Mac, in fact, tapped a Keg of Long Thaw White IPA recently. They called it “100 Barrel White IPA (which it once was), and that was enough to make it sell out the same day it was put on. Anyway, as far as 100 Barrel beers go, sometimes I find them in the bottle, sometimes on tap at Taco Mac, sometimes not at all.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 52: Beer Trip 2014 Tuscan Pool Party, though, was a first for me: I brought home 32 ounces of the beer fresh from the tap at Stout’s Growlers here in Canton. Tuscan Pool Party is an interesting beer indeed, because it’s a fusion of grape and grain and it actually works, and works very well.
Harpoon is not the first, of course, to cross the grape with the grain. Lots of other breweries have done the same. A few beers in this vein that come to mind are O’Hanlon’s Original Ruby Port Stout and Dogfish Head Sixty One. Anyway, here’s what Harpoon says about Tuscan Pool Party:
The culmination of our week of visiting Italian breweries, sipping beers poolside, and toasting sunsets over the rolling hills of Tuscany was a stop at Birricio L’Olmaia in Montepulciano, Italy. There we met renowned Italian brewer and music fanatic Moreno Ercolani. Beers were savored, hard rock echoed off the mountains, and the idea for this collaboration between brewers and vintners ignited. Salute!
Aged on oak spirals, this ale is a delicate balance of juicy hops and the sweetness of Sangiovese and Merlot grape juice
Harpoon 100 Barrel Tuscan Pool Party has an alcohol content of 7.6% by volume and 23 IBUs. I paid a very reasonable $8 for a 32-ounce growler, you can get 22 ounce bottles for $5.99.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 52: Beer Trip 2014 Tuscan Pool Party pours to a slightly pinkish red wine colored hue with a medium head of creamy foam and a big fruity nose of luscious grapes. Taking a sip, there’s a bit of toasty malt underneath but the grapes quickly emerge and steal the show. They offer up their big fruity goodness and the beer just bursts with that flavor, at least until the tart finish where a bit of woody oak comes through and a slightly herbal hop character helps to dry, if just a little.
This is a very nicely done brew, and I love the way the grape and the grain sing together in perfect harmony here. It may be hard to track down, but if you do, it’s well worth your time, and won’t cost you a lot of money to try it.
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.