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Harp Lager | Guinness Ltd.

727 Reviews
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Harp LagerHarp Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001

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Reviews: 727 | Ratings: 2,496
Photo of Beginner2
3.35/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Curiously brewed in far eastern Canada, this is not one of the few lagers I'd buy. It was given to me and sat in my cellar beyond its normal life.
The opportunity finally arose when I caught a cold and had some Muligatawanny soup (which helps break a cold.)
I find no need to turn my nose up at Harp: it is an acceptable, sessionable lager. Its abundant hops went well with the peppery soup (that also had a heavy dose of ginger.)
Will I buy it? No.
But don't look a gift horse in the mouth. It served its purpose as a beverage with spicy food.

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Photo of Squire123
3.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A happy child with unaffected good humor. Nothing complicated here, straightforward as Irish stew. A light-medium lager on the Euro model. Enough malt and hops to be interestingly above average but nothing aspires to great heights either.

Recommended as a change of pace that doesn't really step too far away from the box.

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Photo of Rumpole
3/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I usually only get this around St. Patrick's Day because that's about the only time this lager is not selling at its normal unsightly retail price of $15-$16 per 12-pack. On sale in March, it usually goes $12-$13, which is enough. I have no idea when we stopped getting our Harp from Canada, but it might be at the same time it stopped being the 5% abv listed here; the Harp I have is indeed from Ireland (although not the original Dundalk brewery) and the label says it's 4.5%. Pale gold lager, white head, good malt flavor but with little top-note or tang, clean finish with a characteristic European touch of astringency. Perfectly fine, but not $16 fine, especially since it's in those dratted Euro 11.2-oz. bottles. Try it when it's on sale.

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Photo of WriterSean33
4.82/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the first beer that I truly loved. It has a great taste that's simply wonderful. I still drink it regularly and it's the beer that I give to people when they want to start varying what they normally drink. To me, it's a great introduction into Irish beer.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
2.75/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bought 6-pack $5.99 Times Supermarket
Light golden color
Light mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Very light malt taste, mostly watery
Overall it lacks taste and character. Would not buy again.

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.02/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L -Golden with little head
S - Sweet, malty, fruity
T - honey, toast, mild hop bitterness.
F -medium body with low carbonation.
O - Maybe b/c of low expectations but I was really impressed, great flavor for a light session beer.

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Photo of leaddog
3.54/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a gold with three fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - sweet malt, toasted grains, hint of straw, light floral hops.

Taste - sweet malts upfront which are not too overpowering. The toasted grains and hint of straw follow suit. The light floral hops come in at the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry and smooth with a pleasant malt sweetness lingering.

Overall - For a Euro Pale Lager (Munich Helles Lager) it certainly delivers on the malt front. This won't blow you away but is quite refreshing nonetheless.

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Photo of bwood06
3.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle into a Helles Lager glass

A - Har pour produces a head that is 3 fingers in height and is bright white. Head is thick and foamy in appearance and dissipates rather slowly. The beer itself is clear with moderate carbonation visible rising moderately paced towards the surface. Color of the beer is a dark golden hue. 3.75/5

S - Caramel and lightly toasted light malt comprise the majority of the aroma along with a backing of herbal hops. Fairly sweet aroma but also a bit earthy as well. The aroma also features a bit of butter and corn. 3.5/5

T - Quite watery at first but then the malt starts to come in. Very light maltiness with just a hint of buttered white bread. Sweetness is much less caramel and much more a cereal grain sweetness. Noble hop bitterness on the back end lingers for quite a bit but this bitterness is not overwhelming. Flavor reminds me a bit of Cheerios, overall prior to the hop bitterness. 3/5

M - Very light but smooth and a bit creamy as well. Light carbonation burn up front but this dissipates within a few seconds. Leaves the mouth feeling a bit dry but not overly so. 3.25/5

O - Based on the aroma I was expecting quite a bit of flavor from this beer but sadly that ending up not being the case. Quite different from some of the other Euro Pale Lagers I have had, with this one being much lighter. Easily sessionable. 3.25/5

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.7/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

As far as the Euro Pale Lager style goes, Harp isn't a bad beer. My main critique of it?: it sits rather heavy in terms of body. But there's a nice herbal hop "pop" and a solid malty base that makes it a nice, balanced lager. It's not setting the world on fire, but it has the right to exist.

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Photo of MikeRa
3.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Raglan's Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs.

L: Has a nice pale/straw color
S: I couldn't smell anything with the beer
T: Has a nice taste of the toasted malt and caramel
M: Beer goes down smooth
O: This is a good beer to drink on special occasions

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Photo of AdrianRP
1.23/5  rDev -62%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Reader beware! The picture of this beer on this page is NOT what it is now! This beer has been disgustingly raped and violated in the most disturbing manner. Without going into much detail, I rated this beer very poorly not so much by the way it is now, but more so by the way IT USED TO BE!!!

Currently this beer tastes allot like any other, common U.S. beer, most notably Budweiser, and even provides one with the same headache from the fake, watered down ingredients as you would expect from a few other A/B products.

Harp Lager, when it use to be bottled in the picture as you see here, was an excellent, UNIQUE, readily available Irish Lager. But with great shame they've destroyed it.

If you like common American lagers then by all means, pay more money for this and you'll be happy. However, if you are a fan of Harp Lager from the last century, or have a more developed, educated palette with respect to beer, don't buy this! It's garbage, and no where near what they want for it.

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Photo of stevoj
2.18/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Really, I can’t imagine anything more bland. Look up bland in the dictionary and see a picture of this. When in an Irish bar stick with the Guiness, at least it has taste,

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Photo of pontiuspalette
3.94/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Though I dislike the modern look and thats its now brewed in Canada, I still find Harp to be a nice drinkable beer. Its fairly balanced in my opinion with a VERY nice mouthfeel. The carbonation is spot on...could be because it doesnt travel so far to the states now that the beer taste crispier versus previous offerings. Overall Harp is a crowd pleaser not to bitter and not too sweet.

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Photo of JetFeather22
3.88/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty decent pale lager, it's almost a clear a budweiser but it have a much deeper and satecfying taste, plus they don't use adjunct so all you get i a nice grassy malt taste and just enought hps to balance the taste

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.39/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Smells a little skunky when I opened the bottle. Pours a light golden color with a rather small head. Lacing is there but barely, has good carbonation. The initial taste is surprisingly good with a sweet, fruity, lightly hopped flavor. Mellows out to a sweet finish. This is a perfect brew for summer, sweet, light feeling, will definitely look for it at the beginning of next summer

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Photo of Ptelea
4.24/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice golden color.. have consumed these for years and still a nice steady lager..... balance between hops and malt.... A great session beer and works with all types of food. clean and tasty

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Photo of CoryJones
1/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

There is really nothing redeemable about this beer. Way to bitter, initial taste is horrible, then it goes down your throat, and the moment you finish it, you want to spit it out, overall, not very good.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.15/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

i first tried this beer a year or two ago and it was pretty good but nothing special. i decided to get another one and was very disappointed this time. apparently they've changed the beer, but not for the better. it tasted watered down with very minimal flavor.

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Photo of rjd722
2.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a pint at Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda. Poured with a nice two finger head that slowly dissipated. Golden in color, essentially clear. Taste and smell are nothing special, but it's a solid lager with a smooth finish.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
2.62/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright straw color with average activity. White 1.5 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with average legs.

Smell of sweet grains and faint floral spices. Flavors of grains, slight corn, noble type hops. Sweet roasted grains/corn with a slight syrupy feel but still ending with a nice sharpness.

Slick light body with prickly carbonation. Light and short finish, ending with smoky roasted malt feel and a bit hoppy.

Overall a mediocre craft having faint flavors and almost no personality but good freshness. Very basic and overly sugary.

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Photo of IrishCubsHawks
3.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Harp Lager

Drank from 16oz. pint glass

I personally despise the new look on the label and packaging. Guinness just needs to go back to the old style.

In terms of how the beer itself looks...golden straw color with little too no head retention on the poor.

Smells light and somewhat sour upon first sniff, but that quickly shifts towards a neutral odor.

Has a bit of a heavy taste at first that fades to a light and crisp finish on the palate. Not much carbonation in sips, which is good.

Overall, I wish Harp still used their old logos. I won't go out of my way to buy it unless I find it on sale. However, I do enjoy a black and tan using Harp.

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Photo of JLaw55
2/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This thing was just plain unpleasant. It was like many other mass produced lagers of its kind (AAL), with an extreme lack of flavor. The big difference though, is where other mainstream lagers like Coors, Bud, and Miller have a lack of flavor, but nothing really offensive; this one was offensive. It tasted stale and putrid. Not only that, but one of the hallmarks of AAL's and similar beers, is the great execution of hiding the alcohol content behind a very limited flavor profile. This one surprisingly had the alcohol flavors and presence shining right through. It may be the lowest ABV beer I have ever had that seemed almost boozy and couldn't even hide the small burn of alcohol that should never show up at this sort of level.

*For the record, I know this is not an AAL, but it is the closest thing you can get to that style. It's like Guinness's version of that style, a mass produced, cheap lager.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh. It doesn't have a robust flavor, and in all honesty isn't too terribly different than your average Budweiser or Coors or whatever else you buy a case of at a convenience store.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.05/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This straw-colored, light-bodied lager sports an average white head and a malty nose, full of lagery grains with hints of spice and alcohol. On the palate, the flavor is typical of the style: slightly hoppy over a light grain backbone. The finish is somewhat bitter, and lingers a good bit for a lager. The texture is thin and peppery, thanks to the lively carbonation. This is a decent Euro lager, nothing ground-breaking or even really attention-getting.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.48/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a golden, straw color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department at all. I get some really faint notes of toasted malt, some slight caramel and a touch of hops, but those are really faint and almost non-existent.

Taste: About the same as the aroma, meaning, not much there at all. Some fain flavors of toasted malt, some slight caramel-like sweetness and a touch of some slightly bitter hops. Not good at all. Pretty poor and tasteless actually.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery, and very crisp and effervescent, as there is quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: As stated, this is a very poor, very pedestrian beer, short on aroma, short on flavor and short on body. It seems that this beer is one that is brewed for BMC drinkers, as a European-BMC alternative. Not recommended at all.

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
75 out of 100 based on 727 ratings.