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Harp Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harp LagerHarp Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,061 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,061
Reviews: 688
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 17.39%
Wants: 22
Gots: 137 | 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
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Ratings: 2,061 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of veech


3.23/5  rDev +0.3%

This is a decent lager that warrants no more than a brief second look from the first time sampler. It seemed to be a better beer several years ago prior to Guinness ownership. It is good but not great on just about all counts. This and Carlsberg are on tap in every pub in Ireland. If you need a break from stout during your Irish excursion opt for the Carlsberg it's much better on tap especially in Europe. Harp is average across the board, not bad, not great. It'll do in a pinch and that's about it.

08-30-2006 04:25:22 | More by veech
Photo of afinepilsner


3.13/5  rDev -2.8%

12oz brown bottle

Harp Lager is golden in color and very clear. It had a large white head with rather good retention and spotty lacing. There is not much in the nose, a little sweet malt and noble hop aroma. The taste was some noble hops with some light malt and a clean dry finish. This is a smooth, medium-light bodied lager with medium carbonation. It is easy drinking and refreshing; a step or two above the average American macro lager. It would work well for a session beer.

08-24-2006 21:55:00 | More by afinepilsner
Photo of kimcgolf


3.1/5  rDev -3.7%

I’ve always liked Harp lager, maybe in keeping with my Irish roots. On the overall beer rating scale, it is hard to give this real high scores in aroma, appearance or palate, but it’s a smooth drinking beer, has a good taste, and is a far cry above many of its American macro lager counterparts. Erin Go Braugh!!

08-11-2006 01:21:50 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of supercolter


4/5  rDev +24.2%

The beer is very good for its style. Probably my favorite other than Stella Artois and possibly Tyskie. Very mild malt flavor that is a bit sweet with just a touch and I do mean a touch of hops. Mouth feel is ok kinda soft with out much carbonation. I could have 10 and not feel full though so it is very drinkable.

08-06-2006 06:36:15 | More by supercolter
Photo of neenerzig


3.55/5  rDev +10.2%

This beer pours a nice clear light to medium golden color with an initially nice, tall white head. The head reduces in size to about 1/4 inch after a few minutes. Left some very nice lacing in my glass as well. Has sort of a malty smell with a touch of hops mixed in. The taste is pretty much as the smell and it could also certainly be a bit more powerful than it is. Has a nice crisp mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This beer goes down easy and is quite easy to drink. All in all a decent Eruo macro lager. Better than most American macro lagers I have had that's for sure.


07-26-2006 19:32:32 | More by neenerzig
Photo of Gagnonsux


3.18/5  rDev -1.2%

Harp is golden with a nice level of carbonation. Head is tall with thick foam. Aroma is somewhat weak and short-lived. Smell is typical lager with a bit of herbal hop. The flavor is decent, with just a bit of adjunct off-flavors. The overall flavor is bitterer than most of the style with a good herbal hop punch. A bit of malt sweetness pops through near the end of a sip. Still, there doesn't seem to be enough substance here to keep me very interested. Finish is somewhat metallic. Overall, just slightly better than average for the style.

07-01-2006 00:16:51 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of acrawf6


3.55/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours out a golden straw with a decent white head.

Smell. Very typical aroma. does have a small floral aroma that is unique, also sweet and slightly malty. Smells typical, but quite nice for what it is.

Taste. quite neutral. nothing really jumps out at all. Small sweetness with just a light maltiness. aftertaste is dryer and slightly toasty. Not bad, but nothing about it making it great.

Mouthfeel. Lighter on the body, good carbonation, balance is good enough.

Overall, a very drinkable beer, but taste-wise it is quite low. I'd say for it's style it is good, but i wouldnt buy a six pack of this, especially for the price.

06-14-2006 03:59:32 | More by acrawf6
Photo of utahbeerdude


3.78/5  rDev +17.4%

Visual: Clear, medium gold color, with a nice persistent creamy head that clings to the side of the glass, lots of visual carbonation.
Aroma: Some spicy hop aroma that slowly fades with time.
Flavor: A bit of bitterness and carbonation to start, then creaminess in middle; it then finishes quietly with some nice bitterness in aftertaste. Bitterness perhaps a tad rougher than some other light lagers.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation and body in good balance.
Overall: A nice drink due to its good overall balance.

06-13-2006 18:15:39 | More by utahbeerdude
Photo of IPhantom


3.58/5  rDev +11.2%

12 oz bottle poured into a nondescript pint glass ("nondescript" becomes a theme in this tasting).

This beer, frankly, looks lager-y. Golden in color, with a thin head and a lot of effervesence. Tilting your glass produces a wall of lacing. The aroma presents nothing distinct. It's clean and fresh, with a little bit of alcohol and maybe some esters, but nothing really jumps out. Taste is pleasant...crisp, malty-sweet, with maybe a little bit of that ester poking through. The overall effect is something like a sourdough pretzel or maybe a bowl of Cheerios. Dry finish. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, but the stuff feels heavy in your stomach. Probably very sessionable if you have the means, but not cheap.

06-07-2006 03:18:33 | More by IPhantom
Photo of Mitchster


4.1/5  rDev +27.3%

I am totally surprised and ashamed that about 900 beers later, I haven't reviewed this one. This is just a classic, so I assumed that I had already review it. At any rate, this one pours out to a sparkingly clear straw gold, forming a voluminous bone white rocky head with superior retention and some of the best lacing around. This is one of the prettiest beers ever. Moderately brisk carbonation forms streamers that make the beer glisten. The aroma is classic Europils...freshly mown hay, pale malt with a skunk-like character and fresh Saaz hops. The mouthfeel is very crisp and biting with a medium-light body and a wisp of dryness in the end. The floral bitterness balances expertly with the malts and hop flavor, leaving the tastebuds with a lingering touch of hay and astringency. Very cleanly fermented. Alcohol is imperceptable. Unfortunately, this is one of those Europils that tastes better ice-cold, because as it warms, the grassiness becomes a bit much and the alcohol becomes perceptable.

What can I say? This is a classic, although Steinlager is my favorite in this category.

06-04-2006 20:50:26 | More by Mitchster
Photo of HochFliegen


3.38/5  rDev +5%

Pours a clean and clear golden with a nice white head but quickly faded to a very thin layer of white.
The smell was very malty with a slight skunk scent to it. Slightly spicy as well. But it seemed hidden behind the grainy malty scents.
The taste is pretty balanced very crisp and biscuit like. The after taste is very smooth and enjoyable.
Its a bit light on the mouthfeel but that makes it that much eaiser to drink.

05-27-2006 02:12:48 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of jwc215


2.73/5  rDev -15.2%

Poured a light yellow with a thin white head.
The smell was not much of anything. Some slight hints of skunky hops in the background.
The taste was light and watery. Some hints of hops, but no flavors stand out. It tastes similar to a macro light beer.
The mouthfeel was fairly smooth and creamy, despite the lack of taste. Some leftover hops and a touch of sweetness lingered.
I can drink it - but why bother - not worth the price of imported beers.
Overall, while not terribly offensive, it was a below-average Euro lager - overly simple, boring and pretty tasteless.

05-26-2006 04:12:44 | More by jwc215
Photo of jasonpeckins32


3.13/5  rDev -2.8%

Not bad at all, but not the treat I remembered it to be. It had been a few years since I tried this last, and it was on sale at the local beer store, so I couldnt pass it up. A nearby bar used to have this on tap and I thought it was just magnificent. Now that my tastebuds have matured just a tad I realize its only a little better than most drunk's everyday beers.

It pours golden in color. Makes a nice attempt at becoming hazy, but doesnt quite succeed. Smell is indifferent. It tastes better than Mr. Bud McMiller's beer, but that shouldnt be considered too difficult. Anyways, not a bad beer if you can catch a sale or a good deal. I probably wouldnt pay good money for this one if there was better available, but I sure wouldnt turn one down.

05-26-2006 02:11:49 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of Drew966


2.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Harp Lager pours a macro looking yellow with a fluffy white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Has a nasty, skunk-like aroma. Taste is better than I expected given the appearance and aroma. Decent balance of hops and malt, if a bit skunky. The skunk being fairly typical for the Euro pale lager profile. Not offensive, perhaps a step up from the big three.

05-24-2006 18:53:51 | More by Drew966
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +12.7%

Not as bad as I once thought it was. Good straw-gold colour with snow white head. A bit malty on the smell, and this is accompanied by the typical skunky cereal smell of lagers.

Tastes of malt, hints of adjunct, cereal flavours, a bit of hops. Somewhat harsh and acidic on the tongue. Seems over carbonated. Drinkable nonetheless. Better with food. Not the best lager I've had, but not the worst.

05-23-2006 02:28:45 | More by BDTyre
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.65/5  rDev +13.4%

Poured a sparkling medium straw hue with a two finger foamy head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell was well balanced. A good amount of sweetness and a good amount of spiciness. A grainy aroma as well.

The flavor was balanced as well. A good body and a strong crispness. There was a nice biscuity aftertaste as well.

The mouthfeel was average. Very carbonated and very crisp.

Overall a very drinkable lager. I previously reviewed the canned version that I bought in Ireland. The bottled version that is available in the U.S. is an entirely different beer.

05-16-2006 20:50:25 | More by plaid75
Photo of beeroclock

United Arab Emirates

3.55/5  rDev +10.2%

A - Yellow gold in color, leaves little head that disappears fairly quickly.

S - Not a whole lot here, a slight old sock scent, but not awful, just like it was once an old sock, but some of it didn't come out in the wash.

T - I like it for this type of lager. It has a bit of a kick and a nice smooth aftertaste.

M - Mild carbonation.

D - Again, I like it, a nice change to the beer drawer.

05-15-2006 03:04:49 | More by beeroclock
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.33/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance: Fairly fizzy yellow, though the pour was good, so there's a bit of lacing at the top. Not a lot of bubbles.

Smell: A normal smelling brew? I get some hops, some faint sweetness from the malt, and that's about it. Not bad in any way, but there's really not too much there.

Taste: A fairly decent balance between the hops and malt, but at the same time I ask if there's anything beyond that. And really there isn't, but by the end, the finish lingers, and the balance comes again. Not beyond a 3.5, but a solid 3.5 I would say.

Mouthfeel: Not much carbonation and a bit watery by the end of the swallow.

Drinkability: Overall this isn't a bad brew, though of course by many it's overrated. Still, I'd drink it again, as it goes down smoothly enough and is better than many macros out there.

05-07-2006 23:16:33 | More by asabreed
Photo of JayTheFinn


2.63/5  rDev -18.3%

I don't like it when beer makes my tastebuds jump off my tongue in order to get away from the taste. Harp has such a sharp, biting sting that just doesn't set well with me. I stuck my nose in it and I thought all would be well, but I'm just not into it. Then again, I am a bit of a wimp. I know plenty of people that rave about Harp. I don't think I'll ever be one of those people.

04-15-2006 23:21:35 | More by JayTheFinn
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +28.3%

330ml bottle poured in a pilsner glass. Date on back label states 05-09-17. I believe these bottles actually come from Ireland as it states "brewed in Dundalk, Ireland" whereas some "imports" actually say they're brewed somewhere in N.A.

Clear, and a nice pure gold colour. Bright white head is 1/2 inch on the pour, but reduces to a 1/8 inch cap. Lots of carbonation streams. Sporadic globs of lacing.

Aroma has a solid malt backbone with a light sweetness and hints of herbal (maybe noble) hops.

Lightly sweet at the start with a good malt backbone. After the mild carbonation rush there are hints of herbal hops in the middle and this nice malt/hop balance flows smoothly into a mildly acidic light dry finish. Aftertaste is dry with a wisp of rememberance of malt sweetness.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. Smooth but crisp.

As far as a lager goes, this is one of the best I've had in some while. It didn't knock my socks off, but I'm pretty impressed as it's head and shoulders above any other lager I've had in the past couple of years. Well balanced, smooth, crisp, good malt spine yet with a bit of a hop presence and bite. I'll be buying more of this soon.

04-11-2006 02:33:57 | More by Noxious26
Photo of Orrshow

Alberta (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +10.2%

Appearance – Pours very yellow with a large amount of head due to an aggressive pour. The head disappears fast and leaves a small cap.

Smell – Smells of citrus, crisp grains, and a touch of skunk. There is s tiny bit of hoppy aroma as well. Not bad for a lager.

Taste – A touch sweet off the bat. Perhaps a bit of honey flavor with hints of graininess. Overall not very complex or amazing.

Mouthfeel – Very thin with medium carbonation. Quite average.

Drinkability – Easy to go down. This beer has little kick which makes if effortless to drink.

Not a bad lager. This is first Euro Pale and I see potential in the style.

04-10-2006 02:07:34 | More by Orrshow
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

2.38/5  rDev -26.1%

Got one from a friend, it was leftover from before Saint Patrick's Day. I hadn't drank a Harp in quite a while before today, and after tasting and letting this beer sink it, it's pretty obvious why. It may not come from the mainland continent or in a green bottle, but looks and smells like a Euro Pale Lager...

Decent pour - the head was by far the best aspect of it. It filled the remainder of my pint glass up and made up for the lack of lacing and lightness of the hue. Lots of wheat and malted barley in the taste, with a bit of soapiness thrown in for good measure (if that's possible). The aftertaste has the bitterness and carbonation kick in, nearly to the point of overkill. Quite a cleansing aspect to this beer, but it's not very solid and the range and depth of flavors is not to be found here. It lacks the "skunkiness" of it's continental counterparts in the lighter-colored bottles, but this beer shares the aspects that those brews have in common. Not enough backbone up front and the bitterness in the back is neither memorable nor distinctive.

I wish this beer had more depth to it. Between the color, mouthfeel, range of flavors, and aftertaste, it came across as being thin and watered-down. Not a bad session beer, but most common offerings in the Euro Pale Lager style can make that claim as well. This beer's only distinction is it's country of origin. Barely worth a try...

04-08-2006 06:28:47 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of steinlifter


3.75/5  rDev +16.5%

Poured a clear copper, well carbonated, left some broken lace along the sides of the glass.
smelled of hops, slight grainy aroma.
taste was a pleasant hop bite up front, that mellowed to a slightly sweet malt finish, a bit of grainy flavor as well, finished smooth and wet.
mouthfeel was slightly watery, but had enough chewiness, as to satisfy the palate.
drinkability, I would rate as fairly high, not a bad beer at all, and I could certainly see myself havin a session with these. worth a try....reminded me a bit of a euro-lager, but none of that "skunky" aftertaste.

04-04-2006 23:08:55 | More by steinlifter
Photo of maek228


3.33/5  rDev +3.4%

What a ho-hum beer at a not-so-ho-hum price. 34 bucks for a case of this? The only reason I bought it was to satisfy some guests at a St. Patty's Day party.

Appearance: A bright gold that poured with an above averaged sized head. Most noteable aspect of the beers appearance was the soda-like carbonation I got when I poured it.

Smell: Grains...this must be a grain-heavy beer

Taste: One taste of this and the suspicion that my nose hinted at was confirmed by my taste buds. This beer is grain-heavy! Not the crisp grain of say Budweiser...but instead a raw and almost pungent grain. At first I didn't like this....but now it is growing on me.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and quite carbonated

Drinkability: Could be a nice session beer, but the bitter grains could become a drawback

03-23-2006 23:59:37 | More by maek228
Photo of becktone


3.38/5  rDev +5%

What a nice golden color this beer has! It is clear just like the lakes I once visited in Minnesota during a fishing trip, the pike was excellent. It presents a one and a half finger head, more meringue in appearance as oppsed to a thick creme. The head has some retention, although it has become dramatically thinner. In regards to lacing, this beer has nice lacing. Carbonation makes this beer look alive, it looks as if the carbonation level is above average.

Overall the smell of this beer is poor. It isn't qutie strong enough to pick out the different aromas that are present in the brew. I'll take a stab a what I smell, though the aroma is weak and not quite stable enough to get a good drag. I'll say that first and foremost is a malt character reminiscent of a Belgian Pale Ale, kinda like butterscotch. I want to say that there is also a herbal or floral hop aroma but I'm not sure that I picked it up. I thought I did at first but now I can't find it again.

Sweet to the palate this is a good pale lager. I'll say that I honestly like it. The sweet flavor of this brew is reminescant of a Belgian Pale Ale, it's the candy/butterscotch flavor that reminds me of this other style. There isn't much of a pronounced hop flavor or even bitterness. The bitterness, infact, is quite low.

Really nice mouthfeel, much better than I expected. To be honest the body on this beer is possibly the most full body I've ever come across when it comes to pale lagers. Creamy is the word that best describes how it feels on my palate. It is easy to drink, and goes down smooth. This is something that I can see myself buying again, but not while there are selections on the shelves that I haven't yet tried. A good beer, definitely one that I'm sure to come back to in the future, but just not anytime soon. It's not something that is so good that you crave it every so often such as Arrogant Bastard, and Chimay Grand Reserve.

03-21-2006 22:28:31 | More by becktone
Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
74 out of 100 based on 2,061 ratings.