I was in the midst of posting this over at STAG when I realized it would be better to put it here. So here we are.
The good folks at Harpoon recently asked me if there was anything in their line-up that I hadn't tasted, anything I'd like to get a sample of (believe me, folks: this does not happen every day! I have a long relationship with this particular brewery). Yeah! Send me some of that Brown Session Ale, if you could. Harpoon's head brewer Al Marzi had told me that he was going to add a session beer when I interviewed him back in 2007, and this was it, but I hadn't had a chance to taste it. So they very nicely sent me some (along with some UFO White, which was real nice, but at 4.8%, it's a STAG review).
I chilled some, and broke one out yesterday afternoon. It does pour brown, and it's aromatic, too: a chocolate touch wrapped around a malt sweetness in the nose. Don't expect cloying, though. It's nicely attenuated (that means it's fermented long enough to eat up most of the sugars), and has enough hop to tidy things up. My only reservation is that it may be a little too dry; I'd almost like to see more malt left in there to bulk up the body just a touch. Good beer, though, and I opened another bottle when this one was done; it held up fine on the 'volume test'!