Nov 22, 2016

Harpoon UFO Winter Blonde

Harpoon UFO has been a staple from the brewery for as long as I can remember. Through the past several years, the company has released several variants of that beer with a variety of additional ingredients — even deviating from the Hefeweizen base and shifting slightly towards a blonde ale. UFO Winter Blonde is the latest release under the UFO name. The 4.7% ABV (11 IBU) beer is brewed with cold brewed coffee and vanilla.

Surprisingly, this isn’t my first blonde ale brewed with coffee. Schlafly Double Bean Blonde hit the shelves roughly eight months ago. That brew had a smooth and subtle coffee presence that went well with the blonde base and cocoa notes. Harpoon’s example also mixes well with the base recipe, but its coffee notes may be even more subtle. In fact, the ingredient was barley noticeable in the aroma, at least not until it warmed a bit in the glass. Thankfully, it’s more apparent once the medium-bodied brew hits the tongue, mixing lightly with vanilla, yeast and wheat.

UFO Winter Blonde is a pretty good little brew. I’d personally prefer just a touch more coffee in the mix, but as it stands it does present a nicely balanced array of flavors and easy drinking nature. I haven’t had any of the other UFO variants, but this one seems to be a nice addition to the range of beers.

This is a review of a promotional sample.