Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 American Craft Beer Week, Day 2: Single-Hop ESB

Harpoon Brewery – Boston, MA and Windsor, VT
100 Barrel Series, Session 31: Single Hop ESB
Brewed by Harpoon brewer Charlie Cummings
5.8% ABV, 38 IBU, OG 14.80, 1pt 6oz

The Single Hop ESB is the latest round of Harpoon’s 100 Barrel Series. For those of you new to this series, every few months Harpoon gives one of their brewers the opportunity to chose a style, develop a recipe, and brew their beer in small, limited quantities – 100 barrels in all.

The Single Hop ESB has a rich, dark, amber color with a thick, foamy head. The flavor seems to be inspired by the color, as it has a malty, smoky, and even wood like flavor, with a delicate hop finish. It has a moderate mouth feel, with a slight aftertaste.

This beer is the first commercially brewed beer to be hopped with Delta hops, which are a new variety of American hop. Delta is a cross between Fuggle and Cascade hops, which produce a very earthy and floral aroma and taste. After tasting the beer, I can definitely agree that it has both.

While it’s not my personal favorite beer, it’s definitely worth trying. I have had four or five of the 100 Barrel Series brews in the past, with my favorite to date being the Island Creek Oyster Stout.

Sarah enjoys some Island Creek Oyster Stout at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston

As always, the 100 Barrel Series beers are only found on tap, or in 22 oz bottles.

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