The Harpoon 100 Barrel series has been one of the bright lights on the local beer horizon here, with new experimental offerings every few months—a pretty bold step for a local micro-becoming-mini-brewer whose offerings used to be as predictable as the seasons (IPA and the UFO hefeweizen, mostly, with Munich Dark and Ale generally only available in multipacks, plus the Winter Warmer, Hibernian, Summer, and Oktoberfest available seasonally). In the past I’ve only reviewed the Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy) and the Alt, so it’s high time I added to the list. Fortunately Harpoon is helping out by reissuing their very first 100 Barrel offering, the Oatmeal Stout.
If Harpoon doesn’t add this to their standard line-up, they’re dumb. Not only is it a good beer, it’s a good oatmeal stout, a style that’s pretty damned hard to pull off. It’s malty with a touch of sweetness in the nose (even through my cold-stuffed sinuses). The mouthfeel is appropriately weighty without being overwhelming, and the overall impression is very very pleasing. Even Lisa, who feels about stout the same way that society matrons feel about someone passing gas in public, feels it’s an astoundingly good beer. If you are in the distribution area, snap it up before it goes away again.