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Peter LaFrance

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A taste of… Harpoon Celtic Ale

Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company
Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 574-9551

Preface: This 12 oz. bottle of Harpoon Celtic Ale was purchased for $1.75(USD) at Peas & Pickles Grocery in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY. There is a “Best by 05/15/10020” on the bottle neck.

The following notes are made after a mouth wash with room temperature sparkling water. These notes have not been influenced by reading promotional material or any other review of this brew.

I am including this preface to inform the reader of any and all circumstances that might be conceived of a creating a biased review or a conflict of interest regarding the choice of words used in the following review. I could go on and on with semi-legal jargon but I guess you will just have to trust me eh?

The following are my tasting notes:

Appearance: A crystal clear brilliant copper colored brew with sparkling small bubbles that form a dense, smooth sandy brown with a hint of orange head of tiny bubbles. The Belgian lace slides easily down the sided of the glass this morning.

Aroma: The first aromas are of roasted grains with a hint of herbal greenery. A second visit brought a slight trace of Seville orange citric tang. The final nose-dive revealed more of the roasted grain.

Flavor: The first flavors are slightly metallic citric flavors that are joined, for a short while, by a dark sugar candy flavor. The second sip reveals a hint of banana and then a spike of hop flavors with the citric orange whispers. The third visit recognizes the earlier flavors and has started to fit them together.

Mouth feel: The body of this brew is lean with no extra weight.

Finish: This is a remarkably dry finish with the tang of the hops remaining to keep the last traces of toasty grain happy.

Comments: I have yet to discover the USP (Unique Selling Point) of the various lagers and ales with the “Irish Red” moniker. This one has a “red” color but the body and flavors would fine an equally warm welcome from the Anglophiles should it be called Pale Ale.

Food & Beer: This brew would be my choice to go with a sliced Brooklyn bagel topped with just a “shmear” of cream cheese and a thin slice of smoked salmon… not lox!

The Brewery: http://www.harpoonbrewery.com/

What others say:

BeerAdvocate: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/10097/47298

RateBeer: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/harpoon-celtic-ale/11987/

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