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Harp Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harp LagerHarp Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,263 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,263
Reviews: 704
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 17.03%
Wants: 32
Gots: 242 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,263 | Reviews: 704 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maek228
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of becktone
3.38/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of DogFood11
1.5/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a shiney golden to yellow, tons of active carbonation, Big frothy head fizzes out quickly never to be seen again.

Malts are on the sweet side, Hoppy zip is noticeable but barely a factor, Grain, adjunct tasting.

It is what it is....boring, somewhat thirst quenching although I can think of alternatives. Crispness is snappy but overall its the grainy wheaty earthy that wins over.

Not a fan, I honestly would rather have a cup of water.

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

So strange to drink a Euro Pale Lager from Ireland...

Pours somewhere between gold and honey with a big frothy white head that sticks around. Looks good, anyway.

Crisp, clean lagery aroma... almost nothing going on here.

Tastes a little hoppier than most euro pale lagers. Bitterness, malt, then bitterness again on the pallet. Finishes with a sharper bitter hops aftertaste than most.

Mouthfeel is dominated by carbonation - a good thing, because with less carbonation it'd be watery.

Overall, better than average in an unremarkable style. Go down good as a St. Paddy's Day leftover, but certainly not to be sought out.

Photo of rowew
3.15/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz long neck. No date information.

Appearance: Bright yellow with just a hint of orange, thin head and lots of bubbles.

Smell: Grain and just a hint of noble hops - very little aroma.

Taste: Fairly clean flavor - mostly just malt with a hint of sweetness.

Overall impression: This one was left over from a St. Pat's party. It isn't bad, but also not something I will be seeking out.

Photo of taez555
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a crystal clear light pale muted golden yellow body with a big frothy white head.

Nose was very very mellow. Very subtle malt and a crispness but beyond that I couldn't smell much of anything.

Taste was light to medium bodied. A nice chewy full grain malt taste. A decent body to this beer actually. Sort of like a 6 row malted barely or even natural wheat sort of flavor. Just enough hop bitterness to give it a little kick and there are actually some hints of hop flavor mixed in with the malt, but overall very mild.

As lager's go, this is actually a really nice one. Not much in the way of hops, but again... it's a lager. Other than that, not your typical lawnmower beer. A huge body as far as lager's go. I like it actually.

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

20 oz imperial pint glass at McNallys Pub in Elmhurst. Sampled as part of the Guinness 1759 society event.

Lovely bright gold with a decent had and wisps of lacing.

Much better nose than the bottled version. You can actually pick-up some fresh graininess and hops.

The taste is crisp and slightly sweet. The hops add a nice bit of balance and some spice notes. Not a world beater but it beats the pants off the big three. Easy to pair with non spicy food. Easy drinker with excellent carbonation. I like this much beter on tap, but still not enough to be a regular.

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

This lager is a pale golden colour, very clear with lots of carbonation racing up through it. The head is nearly three centimetres thick, and has a fair bit of staying power. As far as lagers go, it looks pretty good.

The smell I get off the bat is soapy with a bit of hay and perhaps a faint whif of salt. I swear I've smelled a shampoo with exactly the same aroma. A little bit odd, though not offensive.

The beer enters the mouth with a fairly sweet start, most like honey diluted in water, and spreads out with a fresh cut grass flavour filling out the mouth. The finish is relatively crisp, and aftertaste is faintly bitter, but not big in any way.

The mouthfeel is lager light with a lot of carbonation. Not one for sipping or savouring, it is more prone to being gulped.

The Euro Pale Lagers haven't really excited me much, but this isn't a bad beer. Today I bought it for the free glass deal, but I got a decent lager out of it.

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.13/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic. Pours out to a nice medium golden color with a big white head of foam. Great head retention. Lots of lacing. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of dry hops and some citrus notes over malt fills the nose. Taste is medium bodied; flavors of grass, malts, bitter hops, some cereal grain. Good taste for the style. Mouthfeel is good; solid carbonation keeps things moving and adds to the higher level of drinkability. Slighty slick as well, but not oily. Good drinkability. I should have this more often, I can't believe i've never reviewed it. Recommended.

Photo of funkengruven
3.95/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This marks #100, Decided to make it a timeless classic.

This poured a standard lager yellow with a puffy fizzy head, pretty average but extra marks given for pretty good head retention.

Smell is a little hoppy, but not much else is evident.

Taste is good, barley malt and a very slight bitterness with a slight aftertaste of barley malt. This is what lager should taste like.

It feels good going down, but the carbonation could be toned down a bit.

Easy to drink, overall a really good example of a clean lager.

Mix with equal parts of Cider for an interesting concoction.

Photo of shbobdb
4.03/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yummy. This beer is just about the only good beer on tap at my school's little bar. However, it wasn't a bad choice at all.
The beer pours a vibrant gold, with delicate carbonation keeping a fluffy white head afloat. The taste is light and sweet, with just a pinch of english hops thrown in at the fore. It is quite possibly the sweetest Euro-lager I've had, which isn't a bad thing, just different. I drink it, I like it. Yeah. Nice and simple, no complaints.

Photo of atigerlife
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle.

Poured an attractive golden/orange with little head and very little carbonation.

There was only a light aroma of grains/malts. Taste also was lacking with only a slight hop undertone. Not much else.

Mouthfeel was quite crisp and cleansing. Medium body. Overall, a beer that you could just sit around and have a casual chat [which is what I did]. Nothing special, but acceptable.

Photo of danielharper
2.65/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

A: Orange-yellow body, thin foamy head. Looks like champaigne (sorry, sparking wine) more than beer.

S: Skunky at first, almost overpowering. Then notes of corn and grain. No hops.

T: Sweet, slight skunky but not too bad. Astringent aftertaste like grain.

M: Moderate mouthfeel. Kind of foamy due to carbonation.

D: Not one I'll be buying again anytime soon. Stella Artois or Grolsch would be a better example to-style.

Photo of Mandrake
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

Photo of daliandragon
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.

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…

Photo of allergictomacros
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.

Photo of JohnW
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

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!

Photo of canucklehead
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.

Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
74 out of 100 based on 2,263 ratings.