Dunkin's new doughnut-flavored beer collab with Harpoon Brewery is the weirdest thing I've tasted in 2020

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderThe Dunkin’ and Harpoon 2020 beer collab.
  • As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, Dunkin’ has released a collection of doughnut-themed beers in collaboration with Boston-based Harpoon Brewery.
  • The collection includes last year’s coffee porter, as well as a new pumpkin spice latte ale, Boston kreme stout, and jelly doughnut IPA.
  • On Monday afternoon, I tried all four beers and found there was a clear hierarchy within the collection.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, Dunkin’ has set out to prove you wrong by launching a collection of doughnut-infused beers.

At the end of August, the doughnut chain announced it would renew its collaboration with Boston-based Harpoon Brewery, which helped Dunkin’ launch a coffee porter last year. After the success of the coffee porter, Dunkin’ and Harpoon jumped the shark hand-in-hand and launched a full-on fall collection of doughnut-themed beer.

The collection includes last year’s coffee porter as well as the new pumpkin spiced latte ale, Boston kreme stout, and jelly doughnut IPA.

Who’s afraid of doughnut-infused beer? I am, but 2020 is all about conquering your fears and taking a leap — even if that leap is on waterskis over a live shark into a case of really strange beer. But I embrace the unknown. The darkness does not scare me — I am the darkness. Plus, Harpoon sent me a case to try.

So on Monday, when the clock struck five, I grabbed my camera and a couple of tiny mason jars and headed to my deck to drown my sorrows in doughnut beer.


The beer comes in a twelve-pack, much like Dunkin’s doughnuts (so meta!). The pack contains three cans of each flavour.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

The four flavours from left to right are: pumpkin spice latte ale, coffee porter, jelly doughnut IPA, and Boston kreme stout.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

First, I tried the orangest of the bunch: the Harpoon Dunkin’ Pumpkin, which is brewed with pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and coffee. Dunkin’ describes it as “easy drinking.”

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

I didn’t disagree. It tastes exactly how you’d expect, kind of festive, a bit pumpkiny, and actually not bad at all. It’s pretty sweet for an ale. But when you drink it, try not to think of potpourri.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Next, I tried the classic coffee porter, which supposedly “combines malty notes of chocolate, caramel, and toffee,” according to Dunkin’.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

It’s a dry, rich porter that has a cheesy, pecorino-like nose — that would be the malt. But it doesn’t really taste like coffee.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

The first of the doughnut beers is the Boston kreme stout, which is brewed with cacao nibs and actual Dunkin’ doughnuts.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

I liked my first sip, then immediately changed my mind. The “doughy” notes made the beer taste waxy, and the chocolate came across as plasticky for a Tootsie-Roll-like flavour. I suppose I’d like this more if I liked Dunkin’s doughnuts.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Finally, it was onto the jelly doughnut IPA’s, which is brewed with doughnuts and raspberry purée.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Immediately, the fragrance and flavour made me think of lychee. But once I tasted the cough syrup, I couldn’t un-taste it. The smell made me nauseous and I couldn’t get through more than a few sips.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

How much I drank of each beer accurately reflects how I felt about it. Sorry, jelly doughnut stans.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

The pumpkin spice latte ale was by far the best beer, with a nice, balanced flavour that only slightly veered into potpourri.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

The coffee porter was rich and interesting without being overpowering. However, it wasn’t especially compelling considering how little coffee flavour came through.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

The Boston kreme was drinkable. If I were stuck on a desert island with nothing but a case of Boston kreme stout, it would be better than just seawater.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

But some ingredients should never mix. If you’re craving both a jelly doughnut and an IPA, just get a jelly doughnut and an IPA. Don’t put the two together.

Irene Jiang/Business Insider

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