Saturday, January 4, 2014

Beer: Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale


Harpoon Brewery was founded in Boston way back in 1986 -- well ahead of the craft beer boom. Having been responsible for the excellent UFO Hefeweizen, and the huge "Leviathan" collection of imperial beers, they are an American craft brew legend. 

With an eye on charity (some of the proceeds from this brew go to the local food bank), Harpoon added some local cranberries to this limited seasonal batch, created in time for the holidays.

Pours a deep ruby amber, with a fair head and only slight (but attractive lace).

Nose is tart and subtle, but discernibly cranberry in character. Fair.

Taste is malty and sweet up front, with a hint of tart cranberry. But whereas many fruit-infused ales are over-sweet and overbearing, this one settles back and avoids that particular affliction. The cranberries are tart and sour, not sugary. 

The aftertaste/finish is where this one loses me -- it's sour and leaves a somewhat unpleasant lingering flavor. So, although this seems to capture the essence of natural (unsweetened) cranberries, it's not completely there yet.

Thanx to Liz@Harpoon for the opportunity to sample this unique ale!

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