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Harp Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harp LagerHarp Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,975 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,975
Reviews: 686
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 17.03%
Wants: 18
Gots: 103 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,975 | Reviews: 686 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium-light yellow with a decent, fizzy head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves very little lacing. Smell is slight, with some hops and a faint metallic scent accompanying the malts. Taste is stronger, with a malt base that has some grains in it, and then a nice hop bite and some butter in the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and well carbonated, and more robust than the average lager, and drinkability is very good. This beer actually exceeded my expectations, even if it's not exactly stellar.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 02:33:54 | More by Mandrake
Photo of rhoadsrage


3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer has a crystal clear body with a slightly orangish-golden yellow. The head is a spongy pure white with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The smell of noble hops with an accent of sulfur is soft but still stronger than the faint note of fresh pale malt.

T- This beer has a smooth spicy bite of hops with a pale malt flavor aswell. The finish has a dry note of sulfur and a hint of carbonic bite. The pale malt has a soft note of cooked corn but when it is cold enough it is not noticed.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a fizz in the texture to make if feel more full.

D- It is a smooth drinking pale lager with not much excitement to it. This is my definition of an average beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 00:09:01 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of arguemaniac


3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours crystal clear golden amber with a thin, foamy white head that leaves an erratic lace. A subtle fruitiness in the aroma with some grain too. The mellow flavor includes grainy malt, a mildly sweet fruitiness, subtle caramel, with moderate hop bitterness and a slightly rough graininess in the finish which, though a bit weak, is pleasantly long. A fairly light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Not bad, the nice thing about this beer is that you can find it even in the most macro-infested bars, so it’s a good beer to fall back on. The problem with this beer, though, is that it has too much in common with those macros: it’s a wee bit bland, it’s kinda thin and, although I’m not sure that they use adjuncts in brewing it, Harp certainly has that type of taste and mouthfeel. Still, it’s not bad, especially if you’re just getting into craft beer. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 03:04:31 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of RoBotGod


2.63/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I think of this as a kind of a yellow fizzy little beer. The lace is thin and has a very light body. I get a little bit of sweetness on the tongue and then a bitter grain follow through. I think this beer gets picked up more because they see who brews it. If it wasn’t for the name, I think this beer would get lost on the shelf with all the other random lagers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2006 18:08:24 | More by RoBotGod
Photo of hopsaplenty


2.65/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The clear mellow gold pint is topped with a sparkling white head of small bubbles that left a moderate amount of lacing. A few carbonation streams were present, but not overly active. The smell is clean and only suggestive of some grain and hops, nothing stood out as overly distinctive. The taste was initially sweet winding down to a fairly tame/limp hop finish. Nothing crisp about it. A bit grainy deeper into the pint, but overall fairly mundane. Light body, and frothy carbonation led to a light mouthfeel. Something seemed chemical about this beer, but I could not put my finger on it. I did not find this to be overly enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2006 12:47:59 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of hylton44


2.68/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A recent guest to my house brought a sixer of these over; it's apparently one of his favorite beers. For me, it didn't quite live up to his pre-drink hype.

It had a ruddy golden appearance, though I don't think it was a particularly rich color. It had a very active head (over carbonation?) that rapidly receded. Then, the taste: There was that sort that macro-like brackishness. I tried to check out the Guiness website to get a little more information on the ingredients, but they don't even mention the beer. Ditto with the parent company, Diageo. Really frustrating, as I was trying to make some connection between the ingredients and the taste. I don't know if it has to do with how the bitterness from hops mixes with adjuncts, or did I just happen to get a bad bottle? I guess I may never know, and cannot give them the benefit of the doubt.

I liked the bitterness, and it had a decent zing on my tongue, but blast it but that slightly nasty taste undertaste was detracting from every step of the experience. My palette & knoweldge base aren't developed enough to know why that unfortunate aspect of the taste was there. But I know this much: if I want to seek it out (which I won't), I'll just buy a Budweiser. (not to pick on Bud in particular-it is what it is).

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 04:10:12 | More by hylton44
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been drinking this slightly above average golden lager for many years but never got around to reviewing it and my recent vacation seemed a good chance. Enjoyed an imperial pint at lunch with some Irish stew at Gus O'Connor's Pub in Doolin, County Clare last week. Review from written notes taken at the pub.
Color is clear and straw colored and completely headless. Few visible carbonation bubbles is a small plus. Nose is faint and grainy.
Taste has hops in the backround among some nice pale malts and a satisfying bitter tone. Mouthfeel is smooth and agreeable and nicely round. Uncomplicated in the mouth but not half bad.
This beer is pleasant without being great, definitely preferable to Smithwick's or it's other domestic lager rivals.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2006 23:07:28 | More by daliandragon
Photo of ski271


3.98/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium gold with a small, white, foamy, quickly diminishing head. Smells of lightly sweet cookie-like malts with some grainy aromas and a light herbal hop presence. The taste is crisp and grainy, yet it’s smooth…. surprisingly smooth for a euro pale, with a nicely bittered floral finish. It has a medium-thin body, dry texture, light astringency and moderate carbonation. Well, I’m impressed and I don’t even like this style of beer that much. It’s a delicious and enjoyable lager. I’ll definitely give this one a thumbs-up. Nicely done. I hear the “real” version is even better. Maybe some day…

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2006 14:29:23 | More by ski271
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.2/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Clear gold with lots of bubbling. Not much head retention, but some lacing on the glass.

S: Typical euro-lager smell - some skunkiness and metallicness.

T: Bitter hops stand out most. Not tasting much more of anything else.

M: Harsh carbonation. Medium body.

D: A bit disappointed by this one. For some reason I expected better. I wouldn't order 2 of these.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2006 05:23:50 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of JohnW

United Kingdom (England)

2.42/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This 'pretend' lager has been widely available in pubs and bars in UK for many years, and on the taps it still claims to be the "original Irish Lager!" Aroma is thin and acid, which is reflected in its taste, again, thin, watery, no character other than an acid metalic taste which puts it in the same category as AB 'Bud' in my opinion! Although it is seen on tap in many bars in UK, its not often you seen anyone drinking it, and with good reason. Far better to have Kronenberg or Stella if you really need a UK brewed lager (brewed under licence) on tap in a bar here. Sorry...but in my opinion (and having first had it nearly 20 years ago) avoid at all costs.

John W
Bham UK Jan 2006

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-08-2006 14:55:42 | More by JohnW
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear, very pale gold. Quarter-inch frothy ivory head, some light lacing on the glass. Some nice grassy malt, some herbal (lemon and basil???) hops behind.

Dry and fruity. Some bitterness in the tip of the tongue. Crisp mouth, dry snappy finish. Some light noble hops in the aftertaste. Easy drinker.

This was one of the beers that helped me bridge the gap between Coors light and better beer and I can see why. It's still good!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 03:48:07 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours light gold with a huge head. The nose has some hops and the taste also seems full and slightly hoppy. Not a bad lager that only has a slight corn finish. Not up to Grolsch level but drinkable. I am not sure what would make me buy this again as the price is import but the taste says domestic.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 01:15:13 | More by canucklehead
Photo of doctorjoeyboey


3.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The second I cracked open the bottle and caught the aroma I was pleased as it filled my craving for a hoppy and malty beer. I poured it into a glass and was surprised that it was a fairly light-medium amber color. I know that I shouldn't expect all beers that smell malty and hoppy to be dark in color, but by my stereotype I did. Taste is malty and hoppy as expected by the aroma. The beer has a fairly crisp, carbonated taste considering it's malty and hoppy aroma and taste. The mouthfeel is more like a light lager than a hoppy one. On a more interesting note, I can see the distinct lace bars from each swallow that I took, as I know should be attainable when drinking Guinness.

This beer intrigued me, as it combines light color and carbonation with an aroma and taste of maltiness and hoppiness. The taste and aroma lead one to believe it could be a brother of Guinness, although the color is deceptive. I would gladly drink this again, although it is not good enough to warrant the difference in price between it and American macro lagers in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 06:35:12 | More by doctorjoeyboey
Photo of CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harp has a very malty, bitter taste, which is good. Less strong then other Irish beers such as Guiness but still refreshing and smooth. Slightly carbonated. It's aroma is little but pleasent.

Another good point is that there is very little aftertaste. I highly recommend that it is tried on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 21:39:00 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of whynot44


3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light/Medium body, light amber color with a nice white head that hangs around for a while.

Aroma is grain and mild hops.

Smooth, well balanced with mild malt up front followed by a pleasant hops finish. Crisp and fresh tasting, not overly carbonated.

Great to accompany a Sunday football game or to go with burgers or steak.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 04:42:52 | More by whynot44
Photo of skillerified


1.93/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours yellowish-golden hues. Half-finger head that fades in minutes to a slight lace on top and on the glass. Some carbonation is visible.

Smell is a little fruity, a little citrusy, and something else I can't quite place. Hoppy maybe. It's an odd combination that's not particularly appealing to me.

Taste is a little on the weak side. Very little up front. There is an acidic (citrus) dryness in the middle and a touch of bitterness at the finish.

The mouthfeel is strange. There is like a slickness that sticks to the back of your tongue and throat. After a while, you can taste it on the roof of your mouth too. Again, it's not particularly appealing to me. It's a very light feeling beer too.

Not particularly drinkable for me. I could down another one if I had to, but I can't forsee any reason to buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 10:01:48 | More by skillerified
Photo of semihobo


3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big pockmarked head resulted from an aggressive pour, looked like spiderwebs as it fell and stayed kinda lumpy, but left good lace. Grainy, pretty clear yellow / orange with great bubbles.

Smell is strong, mostly grassy hops and some corn (not sure if adjuncts are in there, but it smells like it). Not too bad though, and there is some malt as well.

Taste is subtle and simple. Grainy malts and basic hops, bitter but not in the unpleasant way that the smell was. There's still a hint of grassiness and something yucky on the finish, but it's a perfectly decent euro pale lager.

Mouthfeel is deliciously crisp. Thin bodied and clear, but within the style, it's fine.

Decently drinkable, although not really a standout within the style. I didn't find it interesting enough to be sessionable, although there's nothing too objectionable about it. Not worth it for the price.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 01:19:03 | More by semihobo
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A decent Euro pale, strong golden color with a decent head, could've lasted a little longer though. More hops in this beer than I originally thought but a little malt balances at the end. Overall nothing spectacular but one of the better (though more expensive) macro lagers.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2005 21:52:31 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of far333


2.93/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Crystal clear straw color with a frothy white head. Light aroma of sweet malt and corn. Flavor is light also - grassy and bitter, but not a pleasant hop bitter, just bitter. Highlights of corn and florals, with an unpleasant burnt rubber finish. Watery mouthfeel, somewhat dry and crisp finish. Low drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 05:12:06 | More by far333
Photo of jaluria


2.73/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks very much like a pilsener, but appears more watered down in texture and golden color. Some head, but not very thick with poor retention. I detect aromas of malt and alcohol. A poorly balanced beer with fleeting bitterness and sticky sensation in my throat. This is not a very enjoyable beer because it lacks substance. The aftertaste is also very powerful and grows as you take more sips. Usually found on-tap in many average bars, but not worth paying for.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2005 17:09:26 | More by jaluria
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden hue, with a bubbly two finger head. Excellent retention, but only modest lacing. The smell is toasted pale malt, with little hop influence. A simple but balanced flavor of sweet pale malt and euro hops. The sweet flavor has some estery tones, but the dry aftertaste hides any impurities. A high level of carbonation and light body give it a crisp mouthfeel, and a very mild residual sweetness allows a good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 06:27:57 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured a nice golden color with a huge airy and long lasting head. The aroma is not quite skunky but it hints at it. Sorta nice though, not too strong. The taste is pretty basic. Mild hops but pleasantly fruity. This is very drinkable. Im not sure why i like this so much. The taste is different than regular lagers but not nasty like most euro lagers. Hmmm dark bottles rule. Stupid Grolsh, becks, heine.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2005 18:09:47 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of karst


3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light gold with a fist of white head that persists with substancial lace on the 0.5L Paulaner Weisbier rastal glass. Light floral aroma of Hersbrucker hops and light bready grain.

Its low hop bitterness and bland flavors are helped by an above average mouthfeel making it fairly drinkable, I remember when having a Harp from the tap was a big deal.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 20:32:43 | More by karst
Photo of clippersfanbob


2.93/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Upon pouring, a light, floral hop aroma tantalizes the olfactory senses while the relatively thin head quickly dissipates. A solid, though by no means overpowering, hop profile is nicely accompanied by just enough malt to balance the brew, creating a rich, full bodied beer. Distinguished by a buttery mouthfeel with a splash of citrus, I found Harp to be reminiscent of an oakey chardonnay. The finish is clean, crisp, and slightly hoppy with just a touch of bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 01:47:52 | More by clippersfanbob
Photo of tesguino


1.08/5  rDev -66.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

The worst irish beer; guinness only w´ll sell its stout´s; this irish lager, no comments about its label; appearance its closer to american lager´s, but dont; mouthfeel rich in malt and hops, smell, taste and drinkability is lower in average; try with cheese and snacks only; 45% recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 14:18:26 | More by tesguino
Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
74 out of 100 based on 1,975 ratings.