Thusly: Harpoon’s new Hoppy Adventure double IPA. Brewers Ken Hermann and Tom Knight first brewed this 7.8% beer on a pilot system for the brewery’s Boston beer hall only, but it soon became such a favorite of guests and staff that they’ve amped up production. Look for it to debut on draft at bars this month, with a possibility of packaging next year. (The bottle you see above was sent to us for sampling. Ignore the ‘double pale ale’ label; the brewery says it’s definitely a double IPA.)
Why do we love it? Its six hop varieties work in perfect tandem in both aroma and flavor. On the nose, sweet orange, grapefruit and juicy pineapple share the spotlight with green onion and light garlic notes. As the fruit recedes, the garlic emerges, and then the two reverse on the next sniff. Despite all those hops packed into one glass—Centennial, Simcoe, Cascade, Mosaic, Falconer’s Flight and Apollo, if you’re counting— bitterness is quite reserved on the tongue. The first flavor wave is melon and sweet orange juice, with an equally strong garlic note emerging just a beat later. Then the pendulum swings back toward the juicy fruit again, ending the sip with a fresh, tropical rush. Honey malt is there underneath to support the well-constructed sip, but never gets in the way of the hops’ prominence.
The restrained bitterness and nearly sessionable body (decide whether you like that in a double IPA) make this a beer to return to again and again, noticing how the individual hops’ flavors pinball off of each other. We’re happy to see this receive wider distribution, and cross our fingers for packaging next year.