Harp Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harp LagerHarp Lager

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2,248 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,248
Reviews: 702
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 17.34%
Wants: 27
Gots: 207 | 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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Ratings: 2,248 | Reviews: 702 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MS2k
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden yellow with near-constant streams of bubbles rising to the top. Head is frothy and gives way to thin lacing.

S: Light, hoppy, and sweet.

T: Rich and malty without being overbearing. Lingering hops bitterness that finishes dry.

M: Medium-bodied with nice carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

D: Very drinkable. Not outstanding, but easy to toss back a few while watching a hockey game. Makes for a nice session beer.

Photo of abriggs1
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer should be called "not Bass." It's just alright. I used to plain not like Harp, but after a few years I'll give it a passing grade. That being said, there's nothing worse than ordering a black and tan and getting half Harp. There's not much more to say about it. Pretty standard and not something to seek out.

Photo of beer2day
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw gold with a huge head, leaving faint-to-decent lacing.

Nose is slightly sweet with hints of strawgrass and lemon.

Tart citrus permeates the mouth. Finishes very dry with only a small hint of fruit.

Needs to be really hot outside to drink this one.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Yellow/ Golden straw with a huge pillowy head - quickly gone to very slight lacing.

S - Straw, slight Heineken like "skunk" and bitterness

T - Not much here. Its a crisp, dry, slightly hoppy lager. Obviously better than a standard beer, but not great by any standards.

M - Nice and crisp, light, refreshing mouthfeel.

D - Harp Lager isn't interesting in flavor at all but it sure would make for a good session beer. Paired with Guinness is the best way to enjoy this beer in my opinion.

Photo of Kylito87
3.83/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a six pack of these the day before St. Patty's day because I was amazed that Dominicks had them. I have always loved Harp but I hadn't had it in a while because it is sometimes hard to find here.

Appearance - Light golden hue with a thin white head that faded quite quickly. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell - Malty with a hint of skunkiness to it

Taste - Very crisp and malty. No offensive aftertaste.

Mouthfeel -For a full body beer this is not as heavy as I would of thought. It is very light and very nice feeling beer. It isn't over carbonated like some beers I have had.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. It is not hard to toss back a sixer of these in pretty reasonable succession. It has all the elements that make a great lager and is way better than some of the American alternatives that I end up drinking sometimes. I know I am very passionate about Irish beer being my heretige but I am in no way bias. I would never let a beer's country of origin effect my final review. If a beer taste like crap it tastes like crap there is no way around it. And that is definitely not the case with Harp. Harp is near the top of my favorite macro beer list.

Photo of jonziefle
2.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a very light yellow amber. 3 finger foamy head with very good retention. Reduces down unevenly and foamy. Decent visible carbonation.

Smell: Smells of sweet bready malts and some apple, not much else. Some sour and acidic nose.

Taste: Very bitter malts and sour, very grainy. Not much sweetness and no hop balance at all. Almost tastes stale. Seems to linger too long and in the wrong way.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but thin at the same time. Filling.

Drinkability: A very average lager. Not a bad beer, but there are so many better options. It is one step above the standard mass America lager, but not much else.

Photo of mjw06
3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

copper color with a nice cherry amber hue that moderately dissipates to a small rim and doesnt leave much lacing

barley and caramel malt

a consistent taste with a nice bitter hop finish

small, sharp carbonation with a little too much. but pleasant, medium body.

a nice, refreshing drinkable brew.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.88/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My final beer for St. Patrick's Day, served on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA.

Straw yellow in color with a thick finger or so of creamy white foam, receding slowly and sticking with ease to the sides of the vessel, leaving behind nice rings of lace.

Nothing outstanding showing up in the nose, with just some sweet, bread-and-corn malt notes and a hint of herbal hops.

A nice, medium body holds a mild level of carbonation and features an opening of mildly sweet malt with a middle that is lightly bitter and herbaceous, holding bready undertones and finishing slightly sweet with a touch of bitterness.

Highly drinkable, this is honestly one of the better lagers I've enjoyed in quite some time. A little more on the sweet side than crisp, but nicely balanced and very tasty.

Photo of 2KHokie
2.9/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a nice golden color with a small, fine white head. The head dissipates quickly leaving behind good lacing. Some malt, bittering hops, and a touch of skunkiness in the nose. Medium carbonation with a dry quality in the mouth. Bitterness on the palate is very forward with the malt sweetness playing second fiddle. A little corn and grain taste. Better put together than American mass produced lagers. Some lingering bitterness and sweetness. A decent session lager for the masses but lacking depth.

Photo of jjanega08
2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's St. Patties day what else would I drink...
A= Bright yellow with a little orange coming through as it gets near the wider part of my pint glass. A steady head on it though made of lots of small bubbles. Looks like cream. Lots of bubbles come up to replenish the head as well with some spotty lacing
S= Not a whole lot of anything here. Smells like adjuncts and a little but minimal hop presence in it.
T= Pretty good. Not too sweet not to bitter. Pretty average taste as far as lagers go. Maybe a little metallic taste to it though. :(
M= Heavier than most lagers. Good and heavy I feel like that actually enhances the beer quite a bit
D= High. Like I mentioned earlier its St. Patties day so I'll prolly be having a few of these

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz green label bottle (different from pictured) served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear golden yellow color with a foamy white head that left whispy lacing.

S - grainy, euro-hop aroma.

T - fairly tasty brew starts out a bit grainy but then sweet malt and a light touch of bitterness help balance out the overall taste quite well.

F - light, crisp and refreshing.

D - it's easy to drink a few of these.

Photo of mcsquint
3.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass
A - Golden in color with thin white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Spotty lacing
S - Grainy and malty
T - Gold malt, a bit of lemony citrus, followed by a slight hop bite. Not much aftertaste.
M - Light and fairly effervescent. Finishes clean.
D - This is intended to be a session beer. As such it is spot on. It's better than mass produced domestic fare. If you're looking to try lagers, this one is good.

Photo of LyonsHead
3.28/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice golden color, rather small head that dissipated quickly.

S: smells a little grainy, kind of like corn. There is a slight citrus smell from the hops

T: about how it smells, subtle malty sweetness with a touch of hops at the end. Nothing real complex

M: light body

D: This beer definitely doesn't blow me away. Its not a bad beer, but it is rather lacking in the taste department. If the Guinness becomes too overwhelming on St. Pattis you could move to one of these to lighten things up.

Photo of showell
3.58/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a light yellow with very little head. Has a very light citrus smell and citrus and malt flavor. Has a good but fairly heavy aftertaste. All in all it's not bad for a lager. It's certainly better than any of the American lagers I've tried. Get it, it's worth a try.

Photo of BierFan
3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

White fluffy head with decent retention. Clear body shows that there's little to no carbonation. Real nice tiered lacing. Not much of note is going on in the aroma and taste. Floral hops are present. Overall decent, but unspectacular.

Photo of Clydesdale
3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep gold color with some tiny carbonation bubbles visible. A dense, moderately tall frothy white head with very good retention and pretty nice lacing.

S: Some sweet, husky grain in the nose. Herbal/leafy hop aromas, along with some dry, vague champagne-esque notes.

T: Some mild grainy, husky malt sweetness up front. Hop flavor is primarily herbal and grassy, with some subdued yet focused bite. Again, a dry champagne note pops up here and there.

M: Medium in body, with some tingly, pleasant carbonation. A bit dry for the style, which I can appreciate.

D: A nice, above-average Euro lager. It's nothing great, but it's got a lot more character than many of its brethren. Pretty good, and a standby at many Irish pubs.

Photo of TheHammer
3.08/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Came in a Harp glass, with a finger of creamy, almost nitro looking head but it quickly dissipated. Laces fairly well and shows solid signs of carbonation. The beer itself is a somewhat darker gold color that is clear, but not crystal clear.

Smell - Some floral hops and I think some grains but that's it. It isn't a bad smell, but it's next to impossible to pick anything up, even after the beer has warmed up.

Taste - Distinctly average as not a whole lot is going on. Starts with a somewhat sweet malt/barley taste followed by a decent taste of milder hops and ends with an almost buttery/creamy finish. The whole experience is somewhat tame though, but at least it isn't watery.

Mouthfeel - Good body, that is for sure and is somewhat creamy. No aftertaste and the carbonation is decent. However is a little filmy, but that sensation quickly dissipates. Crisp, but strangely neither dry nor watery which is a little strange. Good, but there is room for improvement.

Drinkability - On one end, this beer goes down exceptionally smooth, on the other it is a little heavy on the gut, but I suppose that should be expected from an irish beer. It's moderately refreshing, but I wouldn't want one on a hot day.

Final Thoughts - One word describes this beer, and that is tame. This beer tastes like it was designed for new drinkers in mind who can't yet handle bitterness and want to feel like they are getting drunk by how much they feel in their gut. Not bad, a little bit above average but nothing special nor anything notable about this beer.

Photo of BigIrishman
2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass, pours a very light golden color with not to much head but a lot of carbonation. Smell is fairly weak but there is a bit of floral hops in there with that malty background. Taste is a bit grainy, not a whole lot going on but those hops are present. Mouthfeel is pretty light, something is a bit sticky about this one though. The only this stopping this from being a good sunday afternoon session brew is this weird bite that makes me stop after 1 or 2 of these.

A good macro lager from those nice people at guinness, better than the average pale lager but not by much.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
74 out of 100 based on 2,248 ratings.