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Harp Lager | Guinness Ltd.

727 Reviews
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Harp LagerHarp Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001

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Reviews: 727 | Ratings: 2,496
Photo of TerryW
3.5/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was kind of surprised by this beer. It was better than I figured it might be.

Pours a clear golden colour with a moderate white head that settles to a film and leaves good lace.

Hoppy aroma, some grains. Crisp taste, malt sweetness, mild dose of hops to finish up. Tasty, easy beer to drink. Simple but pleasureable.

A nice lager and something I'd drink again.

 371 characters

Photo of theozag
4.21/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definately one of the better imported lagers I have ever sampled. Pours a gentle yellow-gold that produces a thin, white head over a clear, golden beer. Smell is attractively sweet without much of a definable character. Taste is quite above average for a lager, with a clear and medium body, a malty smooth start, and a pleasantly hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is overall good, but nothing to scream about. Drinkability is quite high as this beer leaves a limited aftertaste, sits light in the stomach, and packs only a meager alcoholic punch.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.1/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at an Irish bar in Moscow. I asked for just a half pint, and got a mini Guinness glass full. That was enough for reviewing purposes.

Came out a clear true gold hue under a small white head that lingered a bit and left some lace. The nose is mild and sweet, mainly of grainy malt. The mouth was medium carbonated and fairly light. The taste starts very sweet, with lots of malt and what seems like a touch of sugar water. There's a respectable hop bite in the finish, leaving an enjoyably bitter aftertaste. There are far, far better beers in the world, but if I had to drink this and only this for the rest of my life, I'd still drink beer.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.83/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Office in Urbana, IL. 3.25/pint.

Exceptionally smooth and thick -- a bohemeth among lagers. Light, controlled, all-malt sweetness with faint and appropriate hop bittering. Just barely grainy with no astringency or bite whatsoever.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of PiratePete
3.43/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Most of the time when I get close enough to have a Harp I'm actually having a Half and Half so I never really get to drink it on its own - until now. Boy, ya gotta love Harp. Pours out a lovely deep gold colour with a nice white head that shrinks to a ring for the rest of the glass leaving some interesting lace patterns. There is a nose of malt with some taste of hops but the aftertaste is . . . refreshing - maybe its the barley. Lots of carbonation as well. For a big time operation this is a pretty darn good lager. Tastes good straight!

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Photo of granger10
2.96/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a little below what I had hoped for. It looks darker than American macro lagers and has a full body. It's nice and crisp in body but that's where it ends. No real taste goes with this beer. Flavors are toned down to the point where I can't recognize them at all! Maybe some grassy grain in there and a tad bit of hops came through at times but the flavor was definitely missing for the most part. Not worth the price.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
4.14/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this often enough before, but not since I started rating. This is definitely not an American type lager, its color is noticeably darker than that, and will already mark you as someone who knows the difference between horse-p--- and beer. Good taste is there, pleasing beery aroma and even some hop flavor. Above average. I had this served at a bar in the Midway Airport terminal; pleased to find some decent beers at such a place, even better that it seemed to be proprtly served in a pint glass.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.65/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an imperial pint glass at my local Irish pub.

Appearance: Crystal clear golden yellow with a modest 1/4" head of white foam. After a few sips, only a layer of bubbles at the surface remains. Little to no lacing.

Smell: Light pale malt with just a hint of floral hops.

Taste: Lightly sweet taste of pale malts with a faint trace of bitter hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied, just a bit more substantial than water.

Drinkability: Harp is pretty much bred to be a session beer. No real strong flavors to offend the masses. No real character, either, of if there is one, it's a shrinking violet. I'd rather have it's big brother Guinness when visiting the average Irish joint.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears golden crystal clar with a thin white head leaves decent rings of lace. Aroma: Good amount of malt sweetness some mild European hops in there as well not bad at all. Taste: Simple refreshing mildly flavorful with a bready malt tone and decent dose of bittering hops here, finishes clean and smooth not a bad beer. Mouthfeel: Lighter body good carbonation level not much else to note though, simple. Drinkability: Refreshing and able to drink quite a few definitely better than any American mass produced lager just the price inflation will never be worth it, too much for a decent beer.

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.58/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ordered up a bottle of this at a pizza joint I hit all the time for lunch. Not the strongest lager I've ever had, but one that's undenyably somewhat tasty, nice and smoothly light malt up front, with a nice hoppy finish. Much more interesting than the usual Bud/Coors fare the place serves otherwise, but still not much more than a "pretty good," beer.

Pairs shockingly well with pizza. Not classy enough to avoid drinking out of the bottle, yet hoppy enough to bring out the flavor of all the peppers I sprinkle on my slices. I look forward to swilling this in bulk over lunch.

 582 characters

Photo of hotstuff
3.23/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle.This was a better beer than what I had anticipated that it would be as this was a very drinkable beer.Although there is nothing very special that stood out about this one, it was an enjoyable beer.This beer poured a medium sized white creamy, rocky head with fine-large bubbles that was mostly lasting.The body was clear with very little carbonation and the hue was golden.The nose was mild, fruity and malty.The flavor was citrus and very lightly hopped.The mouthfeel was smooth with a light body texture.This beer left excellent lacing on the sides of my glass.

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Photo of beerguy101
1.83/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light gold color, medium head. Slightly skunky aroma. Light malts and hops. Tastes like a Euro-Lager, but there is a touch of soapiness and green bottle skunkyness. HOLY FALSTAFF BATMAN!! IT'S A HEINKEIN!! How does a beer in a brown bottle taste green bottle skunky? Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is bitter and soapy. This bottle is UNDRINKABLE!! I doubt I will re-rate

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Photo of Running4beer
3.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out golden straw color with a thick frothy head that slowly diminishes to a thin spotty lace. Smell hops and some wheat hardly any malt is noticeable. Has a good amount of carbonation giving this a thin crisp mouthfeel but not a tingley feeling on the pallate. Taste some hops and a bit of malts pretty much all I can detect out of this one. Not a bad beer IMO, not a bad session beer at a party or something to drink while mowing the lawn.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.46/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

this was a decent brew. It had a nice golden color with a decent head. This was a nice beer to drink. This chased a Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. This has a nice hoppiness at the end which is very pleasant. I don't like a really intense hop flavor but this was just perfect. A good beer. I would drink this again.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.42/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

medium gold color with a thick white head. smells a little floral a little citrusy sometimes something almost nutty too... the citrus really comes through in the taste, pleasant hoppiness at the tail end, along with a relatively strong citrusy tang. pretty light mouthfeel, but it suits the beer. overall, not a bad beer, not a great beer either. it's a good standby when available at the bar.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Average lager color of lightish yellow gold, thin, somewhat loose white head and lacing. Smell is faint of light sweet malts and a touch of floral hops and very whispy citrus noted. Taste is more of the same with light sweet malts and grains in the start, quick, and easy approach, with small balance of hops that are a bit floral and very light citrus. Finishes dry with a small amount of bitterness.Thinnish body feel and low carbonation which makes for easy drinkin - if you must, indulgde, cuz this stuff is found nearly everywhere and is a better option then most marcos and micros that may be served at smaller bars and restaurants.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.16/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A great number of non BA beer drinkers already know that nearly every time you reach for a Guinness product in the U.S. of A, that you are really reaching for a Canadian "import" and not something that sailed in from the Emerald Isle. Harp Lager is of course no exception to this rule. Whereas the North American versions of Guinness brews are supposed to suffer some "dumbing down" for domestic palettes, Harp Lager is already a beer that is brewed for the majority of macro drinkers on the North American continent while giving the allure of being a European import. No matter what the lineage of this brew may be, this is a decent American-style lager that isn't really flawed in any particular way.

Harp pours a nice light-to-medium golden color with a VERY nice foamy white head that lasts for quite some time. By the time I finished the glass, there was still some foam leftover, which is impressive for a "fizzy yellow beer." Nice lacing as well. The nose is of clean malt and is slightly fruity. The mouthfeel is in summary: crisp. Slightly watery, but a snappy carbonation gives it a very crisp feeling. Very simple flavor. Some clean malt and some citric type hop flavor. Flavor strikes the palette in a somewhat dry fashion, and the finish is sufficiently bitter, but altogether these elements seem to work well for a beer of this style. The aftertaste is slightly grassy and this finishes out with a little bit of alcoholic warmth (not much though).

This may not be an exciting beer (how often is one excited by a fizzy yellow beer?) but it is a good thirst quencher and the simplicity seems to work for this. No obvious off-flavors, and seemingly adjunct free. A good beer for its style.

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Photo of yosh
3.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap: the Hibernian, Raleigh, NC

This beer was a nice golden color and left a trail of lace all the way down the glass. It had a malty smell to it and and a small malty taste. The mouthfeel was a bit light. The drinkability was great and this beer goes well with pub food.

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Photo of Indybeer
2.85/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.Poured a straw yellow, with a fairly good head that lasted, and losts of sticky lacing on theglass that lasted. Aroma is of hops and malt. The taste is slightly sweet, with no hop flavor. Mouthfeel is weak and watery, lacking any real body. I can hardly believe something this bland is made by Guinness.

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Photo of WesWes
3.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a light golden color with a thin white lace. The aroma was not very impressive. I couldn't detect any malts or hops anywhere. The taste was much the same; very plain, filtered, and boring. The body was low and it was highly drinkable, although I don't think I'll be having another in the near future. I have had this beer before and remember enjoying it, but like a lot of beers, I find while reviewing them I just don't feel the same way. This is a good outdoors beer if you are in need of something light and watery. Me, I think I'll just stick with the water.

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Photo of LarryKemp
3.43/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a beautiful, clear golden with a fine head. The lace clung to the glass to the very last sip. By far the presentation was the BEST aspect of this beer. The aroma was malty and nice. With each sip the malt filled my nose and made the lack of malt flavor more bearable. The flavor was mild in all aspects. I was not able to detect much malt and no hops. The mouthfeel was light. This was a good beer to pass an afternoon of eating etuffe with my family. It was a good session beer.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok bought as a 12 oz single in the brown bottle..this beer is brewed in Canada not Ireland.
OK the look of the beer in my glass is just above average lager look..slightly more deep golden than some others and the head retention is better..but pretty run of the mill.
again the smell is just above average lager smell..can smell the strong hopping in this..smells fresh at least.
Taste is odd starts of sweet then the sweetness is overwhelmed by the massive carbonation..then i get a zingy slightly acidic taste..the slighly acidid taste stays during the after tatse..but over all the taste is ok.
Not too good on the tongue rather to spritzy for my liking.
Its drinkable enough ..I suppose.
Harps never been a favourite of mine even home in Scotland I prefered Tennents lager to this.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.1/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

harp nowadays is basically an irish budweiser (though still a bit better, mind you) to me. it's lost any and all character i remember it having. both the body and flavour are lighter and less distinct. a bit more carbonated than i remember it, too. it goes down smooth and works well as a session beer, but why waste your time and money here when there are far better session brews that are just as readily available (is there a bar these days that doesn't have harp? it seems not.)? though not a bad brew, there is nothing at all special about this beer.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually, not bad. A beer I chose because there wasn't much else to choose from.

A rich golden yellow, with a bit of head, but nicely left lace through the whole glass. Definitely had the grainy taste that some lagers present, more malt character than hops.

Not a bad beer, but don't know when I'd choose it again.


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Photo of lampkins
3.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent lager that poured a decent head. Smell was typical of lagers. Taste was a little bitter that I would have expected, reminded me of Pabst for some reason. The sting hit at the first sip and lasted until the beer was done. Kind of flavorless, with the exception of the aforementioned sting.

Consider this the "red headed" step child of all the beers Guinness distributes. Based on experience this beer appeals to the beer drinker who usually drinks the monster beers ala "Miller" or "Bud."

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
75 out of 100 based on 727 ratings.