20 August 2016
Back in June we brought you a peek at a new collaboration beer coming to the 100 Barrel Series from Harpoon. While it struck me right out of the gate that a 100 Barrel Series beer would be a simple pale ale, what really struck me was who the collaboration was with---Zildjian!
As a former drummer, I’m intimately familiar with the magic that happens when you strike a Zildjian cymbal…and as a beer lover, I’m also intimately familiar with the magic that happens when you open a Harpoon 100 Barrel beer.
This beer is called Secret Alloy Ale and the name came from a recent Harpoon team tour of the Zildjian factory; referring to the 80% copper, 20% tin and a little bit of silver that are mixed with a secret ingredient to make Zildjian cymbals. As a nod to that mix, Harpoon also used an 80/20 split of caramel malts to give the beer a cymbal-like golden-copper color. As if that’s not enough fun, Harpoon also had a drummer drumming on the brew-deck when they brewed this beer.
Before we sample the beer I should mention just how great the 22oz bottle looks, and if that wasn’t cool enough, Harpoon was also kind enough to include some actual hand-matched Zildjian select hickory drum sticks (below). All in all a very cool package….but on to the tasting.
As I mentioned Secret Alloy Ale pours an almost cymbal-colored gold and up front the Mango aroma was prominent with perhaps some tropical fruits as well. That same wonderful mango followed into the flavor at my first sip and became even more prominent with the 2nd. The sweet/hoppy balance was really well done, the body of the beer was perfect for a pale ale and the finish had some really great fruity and hoppy undertones. Secret Alloy Ale uses Centennial and Equinox hops and both really contributed to the overall balance of the beer in a pleasant fruity sort of way.
Secret Allow Ale hits 7.2%-AbV and 41 IBU and I found it to be a very drinkable pale ale; so much so that I almost wish Harpoon would consider 12oz bottles or cans for this one. This isn’t the only pale ale to hit the Harpoon 100 Barrel series, but their 58th release has to be my favorite….and I’ll admit, the Zildjian sticks make me want to get behind a drum kit again.
Harpoon Secret Alloy Ale is available now in 22oz bottles (and on draft) and I suspect it won’t last very long…
so get out there and taste it for yourself….and as always…when you do….be sure to let us know what YOU think.