Last Updated on September 28, 2020 by Novotaste
I assume most readers of this column like beer, and I would bet that most also like donuts.
But that doesn’t mean we want donut flavors in our beer.
However, I am always willing to give things a chance, and the recent news that Dunkin’ has once again teamed up with Harpoon Brewing to make donut-flavored beers caught my attention. Overall, I’m not a fan of beers with a lot of extra ingredients or flavors added in, but I never say never.
After the success of their Harpoon Dunkin’ Coffee Porter beer last year, the two companies decided that folks needed some donuts to go with that coffee. So this year, they collaborated on a mix pack, which features the new Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale, Boston Kreme Stout, and Jelly Donut IPA.
The coffee porter is decent and pretty much standard issue for the style. Nothing much new to report here, but it’s good if you enjoy that style, which I am fairly ambivalent about.
So, let’s look at the three new donut beers:
- We’ll start with the Pumpkin Spiced Latte Ale, since there seems to be a cabal of folks who dread pumpkin spice anything in autumn. I don’t belong to that group of people, but I will say I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin beers in general. I don’t hate them or anything, but they are not among my favorites. This iteration of a pumpkin ale is actually a bit better than most. It doesn’t hide the fact that it has a spiciness to it and the pumpkin flavor is innocuous enough. My take is that if you like these sorts of flavors in general, you’ll probably like this beer. There is also a hint of dark-roast coffee in there, it seems.
- The Boston Kreme Stout is very tasty for an in-between stout, which is described as a dry Irish Stout, but which has a somewhat sweet ending note due to the chocolate. But again, I’m not overly enthusiastic about chocolate stouts in general. I will say, however, this one is done well, and not cloying the way some chocolate stouts can be. If I were into rating beers, which I’m not, I’d give it a solid 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
- Last but not least (at all) is the Jelly Donut IPA. To be honest, I expected to absolutely hate this beer. IPAs should not have fruit flavors in them, and if they do, they should be citrus flavors to augment whatever citrus notes are created by the hops. But raspberry purée? I braced myself for a bad reaction.
So kudos to Harpoon for making a nice, if weird, batch or autumnal brews that clearly aren’t for everyone, but then again, what is?