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Harp Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harp LagerHarp Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,155 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,155
Reviews: 695
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 17.34%
Wants: 25
Gots: 166 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harp Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,155 | Reviews: 695 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ocelot2500
3.15/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow with a ragged white head. More lacing than I would expect on the glass.

Smells of some light maltiness.

Tastes of a little malt, a little grain, and a little spicy hops. Better than some Euro lagers, but still not enough taste. Only a little of everything and not a statement made from any of the flavors.

The mouthfeel is light and crisp. Not too watery because there is a good dose of carbonation.

This is very drinkable.

ocelot2500, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of ATPete
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Green label, not the blue packaging, this new bottle/ recipe will make its way into the market shortly. A new BA page should be created.

Pours a tansparent yellow color with a small fizzy white head, poured back to back with the "old" Harp you can barely tell the difference between the two. Macro malt in the nose and initial flavor, not much changed here in malt character either. The "new" Harp has lost that classic hop bite of the "old" Harp recipe, i also found it to be a bit more drinkable to the palate. Its really a hit or miss wheater i like it more or less than the "old" Harp. I would get frustrated over this but then i remember, wow its just Harp...

ATPete, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

20oz pint at O'Byrne's on Whyte Ave.

This beer appears a clear, medium pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of wispy, slightly foamy off-white head, which leaves some decent bands of hoar frost lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of grainy, moderately crackery pale malt, a certain hard water minerality, and some hard to pin down fruity, musty essences. The taste is more unheralded grainy pale malt, a touch of stale, indistinct drupe fruitiness, and kind of astringently floral, weedy noble hops.

The carbonation is generally quite palate-friendly, neither flat nor over-active, the body on the weak side of medium weight for the style, and rather timid in its bland smoothness. It finishes quite dry, the grain and hops both concurring on the matter.

While not a particularly off-putting Euro-lager, it also does little to make me want another. Kind of disappointing when sitting in a decent new-world Irish pub, looking somewhat desperately for an alternative to another of THAT stout, even if it's made by the same mega brewing concern.

biboergosum, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.78/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack at Albertson's in Laramie, WY, around $7.

A: Pale gold color with a stark white head about half an inch thick that reduced to a little more than a skimming on top. Excellent clumps of sticky lacing though.

S: Bready malts, a faint hint of earthy hops, slight mineral like smell, not a whole lot going on.

T: A lot of light malt characteristics, a bit doughy, spicy hop bitterness at the end though, pretty light on flavor all around, not quite as grainy as other Euro lagers, and the hop bitterness is a little more pronounced. Not too shabby.

M: Thin, pretty aggressive carbonation, quite dry. Spot on really.

D: Great sessionable lager, awesome alternative to any American macro. I can't believe I've ignored this beer so much.

pokesbeerdude, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.6/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served up on-tap at Hang Fire, a small, local dive bar in Savannah, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, faint yellow body with a fine, white head. Light sheeting of lace on the way down.

Smell: Faint, vaguely grainy maltiness with a thin whiff of Noble hops.

Taste: Light pale malts with an equally light cereal sweetness and touch of grain. Expect no more than a hint of floral, spicy hops and bitterness, which remains for the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. A tad watery.

Drinkability: Tolerable and fairly cheap. Which, I'm sure, has been even said about me at times!

ChainGangGuy, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This has an extremely clear, pale yellow body that is completely clear. Almost no color to the body actually. A few streams of carbonation bubbles that move furiously fast, releasing clumps of bubbles constantly and at the same time. lasts throughout the entire time. Has a pretty good sized white head with lots of tight little bubbles. Disappears pretty quickly, but leaves a ton of thick, sticky lacing in rings and sheets on the glass.

Not too impressive of an aroma. Some pale malts, some sweetness and a bit of noble hops.

Taste is really dry and rather bitter also. Some pale malt comes through and a decent amount of noble hops and bitterness. There is another flavor in there that is not quite mettalic and not quite corny, but not quite pleasant either. A little off-putting, but doesn't ruin the beer.

Pretty basic mouthfeel. Light bodied, high to medium carbonation. Dry.

Light and not bad tasting, this one is pretty drinkable. I definitely prefer this to any american macro lager, but it is overpriced considering what you can get for the same price.

Hojaminbag, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright, shiny, well polished gold - I'm sure there's an Irish leprechaun joke to be made. Its clarity is magnificently pristine. Its paper white top rose like bread baking in an oven and climbed roughly three fingers high before coming to rest at a thin but respectable level. A few heavily sedated bubbles dawdle along.

No different from its macro lager consorts, Harp is really of no appeal to the sense of smell. To its credit, this isn't due to the presence of any bad scents, but more so for the lack of good ones. The syrups, extracts, and adjuncts do well to stay out of sight (err, smell) which I suppose is all we could ask for the style.

I pity macro drinkers for not being exposed to the wonders of hops. Big breweries don't like to use much of them for matters of costs and taste. It's even more shameful, however, what passes as malt in beers like this. The use of cheap ingredients and adjuncts is, in my own opinion, terribly degrading.

The corn syrup and stale bread are much less coy in taste. Once again there is no need to bring up words like 'distasteful' or 'off-putting' but there's even less cause for a word like 'tasty'. The flavours are essentially those I just named: industrial corn syrup and stale, nutrient depleted white bread.

The fact that this shares a resemblance to a mass produced, industrialized food product like Wonderbread should comes as no surprise. This, too, is a mass produced industrialized product designed to be especially bland so as to appeal to the widest market possible. It's not made by artisans, it's made by the arch nemesis of artisans - big corporation.

Don't worry, I won't go off on any preachy, radical, left-wing tirade. In fact, there was a time before discovering craft beer when I greatly enjoyed Harp Lager. My tastes have matured since that time. The bottom line for me now is that I'm not interested in drinking a beer if its producers can't tell me if barley grows in the ground or on trees.

biegaman, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For a light lager this is actually rather good. Taste wise it is smooth, with just a small hint if bitterness that lingers on the middle of the tongue. It has a medium-gold color and the aroma is light and pleasant. I would have to say this is a well balanced pale lager, a good altenative to American macros if you had the option.

DesMoinesMike, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a light gold with a white foamy head

The smell is of malt and a little hops.

The taste is is malty, a little hint of wheat mixed in with taste of the hops.

Not a bad beer, has a nice flavor and good mouthfeel to it. A lighter beer than expected.

Duhast500, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of Amalak
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had out of the bottle and it was light gold in color. Good foamy, two finger head, slightly bubbly with decent lace. It had a bitter scent to it.

This had an interesting taste of bitter and vegetable to it. Somewhat dull in its taste, but that's probably what makes it so good when mixed with Guinness for a Half-and-Half.

Amalak, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Big, solid head on top of a transparent golden body. Decent lacing

S- Sweet, mellow grain with a hint of hops in the background

T- High quality lager flavor with alot of extra-pale malt flavor with a hint of hops ends up tasting a bit like garlic bread

M- Exciting carbonation and a light body

D- Easy to drink with no off-putting features

EnojysAnyBeer, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of Gmann
2.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear straw color with a pure white head that settled quickly into a cap. The aroma is grainy, corn-like, some spicy hop skunk aroma. The taste is grainy with hints of the spicy hop, doesn't really have too much of the Euro skunk flavor. No funky aftertaste so I give it props for that. The feel is light, yet not watery, very fizzy, finishes sweet from the malt. Easy drinker, best to do when cold. One of the better euro/macro lagers as it doesn't have a nasty aftertaste. Still, no real appealing flavors.

Gmann, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of adamhdv
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Pilsener glass.

I am a moderate fan of Guinness, thought I'd give this a shot.

Pours golden yellow with a so-so medium white head.

Smells of yeast and a little flowery.

Week hops, slightly sweet...

Mouthful is watery and typical, you can expect what to taste when seeing the brew.

Very drinkable, nothing to really taste.

In ways, this reminded me of Corona Light. haha.

adamhdv, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of fullsweep
3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of the better lagers out there, in my opinion. Harp has a nice balanced sweet-bitter conconction that drinks nicely. Not too light as some lagers can be, but not too heavy either. Just a good, well balanced lager. This isn't my first choice when hitting the beer aisle, but I'd definitely drink it if offered.

fullsweep, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of sliverX
2.73/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

was poored a clear amber yellow, had a filmy oil slick for a head with faint lacing, lots of carbonation streaking to the top
Smell was pretty much nonexistent a very very faint malt character was all I noticed
Taste was a general macro lager taste with a hop profile that bordered on skunky, the hoppiness seemed to me to be a bit fake as well just didn't taste natural, a friend said his pint tasted good to him so who knows...
mouth was light and crisp
drinkability was drinkable but the skunk thing going on was very distracting

sliverX, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a medium straw, clear with a huge head.

Smell is good, aromas of buttery toffee and floral hops, grain and an inviting sweetness.

Flavor is average at best. The only redeeming quality is the hop presence. Otherwise, this is a pretty bland beer.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, no body and no texture. Carbonation is soft and adequate.

All in all, I could have sworn I'd just had hop tea. Actually, with the carbonation...Hop Kim-Chee.

wheatyweiss, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I gotta say this one has exceeded my expectations, I'm quite impressed. Not generally a lager fan but I enjoyed this one. Moderate aroma not much present but still nice. Gracious pour, light gold with a real thick white head and generous lacing. Filling and thick for a lager, smooth satisfying finish. Flavor is nice and mild, bolder than American lagers and not as "skunky" as most Euro lagers. I am impressed.

kinger, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of ljbrisson
3.93/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden yellow into a goblet, with a billowy white head that slowly thins to a film. Aroma is pale malt, breadiness, fruit, grassy notes. Mouthfeel a little heavy, with medium carbonation. Taste is crackers, malt, tangy citrus, bready aftertaste with a slight tinge of bitterness in the finish. Drinkability is very high due to the earthy breadiness which I like in a beer, as well as the inoffensive flavor. Not very complex; not supposed to be. Overall a solid brew.

ljbrisson, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Always better on tap. Can sometimes be tangy, almost as if the tap lines are dirty. Pours clear gold with a bubble white head. Grass and hay in the nose, with a lot of grain and bread. Tart taste on the crisp side. Pale malt with grassy hops and apple. You won't have to twist my arm to drink it again.

magictrokini, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of bmwats
3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into pilsner glass.

A: Medium golden, medium-light head, medium-heavy carbonation hangs around for entire experience.

S: Dull malty, yeasty nose, you'd typically associate with a pale ale or pale lager. Nothing special here.

T: Subtle hoppy-ness, yeasty, slight citrus taste.

M: A little dry, and a light fleeting aftertaste.

D: Light and clean.

Overall good tasting, light, clean, and refreshing beer. Drinks like a European pale ale. Immediate aftertaste leaves you fairly quickly, but you're left with a secondary subtle malty goodness. This one goes down easy, and is a really solid quaff, especially for this style.

bmwats, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of colts9016
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a golden yellow with hints of amber. with a white head and carbonation. The nose is malty, yeasty, and citrus, There are other aromas that I could not quite distinguish. The taste is malty, yeasty, with an acidic mouth feel. It is an good beer but not my style.

colts9016, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
2.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For the price that this is (usually about 14-15 dollars a 12 pack) I always figured this was top notch stuff... not so much.

Just your typical bland, european tasting pale lager. Hard to pick it out from (insert mass produced european import here). Very drinkable but not much tastewise. Just way too thin of a body to make it even worth a little of the money. Not worth a try.

oriolesfan4, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of Mosstrooper
2.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner.

Appearance: Very nice looking- almost perfect. Pours a honey color with a large white head that stays for a while, leaving a nice lace.

Smell: Very very weak smell but smells sweet and flowery.

Taste: Very weak taste also, and that isn't good. Very slight sweetness, with a weak finish of hop spice.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and pretty watery, with not too much carbonation, either.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, but doesn't have much of a taste. Not worth it's price, either. I don't have a problem drinking it, but nothing that I would be going out of my way to buy. Could be good on a summer day, but at the price there are much better choices.

Mosstrooper, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of Rayek
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Brilliant gold color, with active carbonation. Soapy white head has decent retention and leaves bits of lace.

S: Mild and pleasant. Mostly semi-sweet grain with a hint of floral hops.

T: Sweet and raw malt starts the experience. Hops follow with a balanced and floral bitterness that doesn't add a ton of flavor. Finishes fairly clean.

M: Medium light body is grainy and has a bit too much fizz.

D: Pretty decent. Better than what I was expecting. A step above many beers of this style.

Rayek, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of popery
2.75/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A mediocre lager in a mediocre style. It's not bad and probably better than American macros, but that's no high compliment. I used to really like euro lagers. Now, they're just boring macros, not so much bad as mild, sour and lacking the depth of a good beer. My score is only so low because of the heights that beer has reached. If Harp was the only beer in the world, I would certainly love it. It is beer, through and through. Guinness is a great brewer, but they're huge and immensely staid. Harp pours a bright yellow with a surprisingly good head. The nose is average but not nearly as poor as other macros. The taste is a downside and would come in a half point lower in a more competitive style. It's all cheap but honest malt and thin sourness. The feel is mildly watery, but it prickles with carbonation. It's not an undrinkable beer. I'm just not sure that I would want it as my first bottle of the night.

popery, Nov 23, 2008
Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
74 out of 100 based on 2,155 ratings.