My experiences with Harpoon’s brews amount to nothing more than bad luck.
The first time I sipped one of the company’s beers, its delicious Chocolate Stout, I learned hours later that it had been retired and the last batch that was in the wild was truly the last batch in the wild. I was incredibly disappointed.
So, imagine my surprise when I learned that my second Harpoon beer, Arctic Ale, a delightful drink that blessed my tongues in ways I didn’t know it could be blessed, was also retired. That’s not misfortune; it’s a hop-infused curse.
They say it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, a sentiment that rings true in this scenario. Harpoon’s Arctic Ale is one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. To the eye, Arctic Ale’s dark body may recall a chocolate or oatmeal stout, and it certainly possesses those flavors, but when the liquid hits the tongue, the beer shines with cherry and raisin notes. Each sip brings multiple flavor layers and, due to its fruity elements, lots of sugar. Arctic Ale is a quite a sweet drink.
Yet, Arctic Ale isn’t particularly heavy. It doesn’t have a Pumking-like mouth feel; it’s thinner, but certainly not light. Bud, Arctic Ale is not.
However, the beer is heavy in one area: alcohol content. Arctic Ale weighs in at a very respectable 13 percent ABV, which means that this isn’t a session beer. In fact, I sipped it. Between the alcohol volume and sweetness, Arctic Ale is a beer that you proudly nurse.
So, if you can find Harpoon Arctic Ale in the wild, grab it and down it. The brew is remarkably smooth and potent, which is what I consider the twin winning elements of an alcoholic beverage. And enjoy it while it lasts.