The Harpoon Misses The Mark

So, my man Harry at the Liquor Pump had a new recommendation for me this week: Harpoon 100 Barrel Series – Session 32 Potts Landbier.  He admitted that he hadn’t tried it yet, but he had high hopes and I did as well.

Harpoon’s Potts Landbier is collaborative effort with Braueri in Oelde, Germany.  With high expectations I open and pour my beer.  My hopes fall as flat as the Midwest prairie.  The beer pours thin into the glass and the head dissipates quickly leaving minimal lacing, which also vanishes in short order.  The nose is very faint.  Whatever scent exists leaves a faint sour note.  It’s very similar to that not too pungent smell of a San Francisco bakery finishing its first round of sourdough bread that wafts to you on the sidewalk as you pass along the store front.  There are similarly light malt notes, but they are so ephemeral they are almost not worth noting.  The one highlight was the excellent clarity and I believe clarity in general is overrated.  There are a number cloudy beers or beers with sediment that are outstanding.

It had a low 4.8% ABV (OG 12) and complexity is rare – if not impossible – at that level.  Now, a low ABV doesn’t necessarily mean little hops or flavor, but unfortunately that is what Harpoon delivers here.  The beer is very thin in the mouth even by session beer standards.  The taste is very one note and flat with perhaps a touch of caramel.  There are negligible hops noticed in this beer, however the finish gets an A for the attempt but a D- in execution.  There is a very quick and slightly peppery bite that is so fleeting I wonder if it ever really happened.  It looks more carbonated than it is in actuality.  There are fine small bubbles that dance along the tongue, but sadly, that is the most action your taste buds will experience with this beer.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have been a little more judicious with my anticipation.  Landbier translates to ‘country beer’.  Landbiers are designed to be session beers, which this clearly intended to be.  I’m just not sure what Harpoon was trying to accomplish with this beer.  I get it.  Landbiers are not complex, but instead smooth beers that are easy to drink.  I also appreciate subtle, but this beer strikes me as more lazy than subtle.  Even at this relatively low price point for a bomber there are a number of beers that I could acquire around the same price that I would choose well before reaching for another Pott’s Landbier.  Hopefully, next week yields something a little tastier.


~ by its12oclocksomewhere on August 6, 2010.

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