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Harp Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harp LagerHarp Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

714 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 714
Hads: 2,430
Avg: 3.24
pDev: 31.48%
Wants: 47
Gots: 411 | 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 (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harp Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 714 | Hads: 2,430
Photo of 57md
3.02/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light yellowish straw color. The body is light, the flavor is crisp and this offering is quite sessionable. However, this lager is only one step above the average AAL.

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Photo of BakerMoore
3.95/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Upon pouring correctly, it leaves a one finger white fluffy head. The head dissipated within 30 seconds. It laces nicely and the lace remains. The body is a bronze orange color. The bubbles are everywhere with constant streams going up to the top.

The aroma is relatively strong but is present enough to be pleasant. The smell is of maybe noble hops, with malt and maybe grain. It has some water to it but not so much as the adjuncts do. The smell is real pleasant and invites the taste.

The taste is definitely of hops with some malts coming in as an aftertaste. The taste is kind of bitter but quite crisp. It is pleasing to the palate. An enjoyable beer to taste.

The mouthfeel is just as much carbonation as necessary. Its dry enough to be enjoyable and makes you want to take another drink.

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Photo of bnes09
3.23/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale color of white-grape juice and completely transparent. Weak head but some lacing.

Clean aroma of dry malts and rice. Hints of skunk.

Mild malty flavor with a white bread and honey character. Herbal grassy hop in descent balance. Clean in the end.

Light body. Over carbonated. Smooth in the middle with a crisp finish.

Just average. Not much else to say.

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Photo of MrGaughran
3.86/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my default Irish beer. I can order this without worrying about availability at pretty much any Irish/English pub.
Harp is right up my alley. I have accepted that I prefer lagers to all other beers, and Harp has the balance and taste that I enjoy. Not too heavy, and not too light. However, it has to come off tap if you're really going to enjoy it. I'm in Florida, so bottles don't exactly hold up here. Overall, very solid. Anybody that hates mass produced corn beer should enjoy a Harp.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very light amber color. Little white head dissipates quickly.

S: Light. Dryness comes through a bit. A little sweetness...

T: Pretty good here. A little yeasty but there are some good hints of malt and dryness. Also a little hops as well. There is something there even though it is pretty light.

M: sits alright. Bubbly.

Overall a pretty average beer. Certainly better than any macro lager but certainly nothing to go crazy over. Perfect for after a long day when you want to take it easy.

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Photo of TheBrewWhisperer
1.94/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: clear golden lager with some foam rising til the very end being a small amount nothing too surprising for a euro pale lager.

Smell: Predominant skunk which is odd for a brown bottle, but lingering hop and a hint of bitterness.

Taste: A Stella Artois type lager (not a green bottle taste surprising) very pale in hop and barley very watery at the same time mediocre in the most sense.

Mouth-feel: Terrible beer just terrible very very crisp but at the same time very dry mouth feel I thought this was an Irish pale lager!.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.47/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harp Premium Lager into a pint glass.

Pale straw color with a finger of off-white head. Lots of rising carbonation. 3.0

Musty smells of Euro hops, pale malts, and probably too much time travelling across seas and exchanging hands. Grassy with a tiny hint of green apple. 3.5

Grassy hops with stalwart bitterness and rough herbal notes. Lagered pretty clean with a crisp, cidery finish. Faint pear juice and spearmint. Husky grains that are very cereal. Not bad, at all. 3.5

Medium carbonation that starts off slow and peaks at the end. The body is light and flashing. A decent feel. 3.5

A nice lager that seems to fluctuate from bottle-to-bottle, keg-to-keg. This was a very pleasing experience. Definitely a harshly rough bittering hop character, but there are a few other nuances to pull out from the taste. Commendable. 3.5

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.73/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear, bold yellow with a thin head and lace to the end. It's aroma is of lemons and dough with a hint of hay. The flavor is bready with malt sweetness and a note of cake. It's very smooth and the sweetness is not cloying even without a hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is light. Harp Lager is a good beer, a perfect match for Irish Potato Soup and Bangers and Mash. Recommended!

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Photo of bubseymour
3.14/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - The pale yellow, clear beer looks decent. the problem I have is with the head. It was 1 finger thick but looked like soap suds and quickly disappears.

Smell - Some malt and perhaps a touch of noble hops.

Taste - If people are going to complain about BMC's lacking flavor they should be consistent and complain about this as well. With that said (avoidance of flavor) its an easy drinker with slight crispness in finish.

Mouthfeel - a little watery.

Overall - Definitely not worth paying import costs for. You can get similar beers in US for 33%-50% less cost.

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Photo of CMUbrew
2.8/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Imported...from Canada

A: Poured with less than half a finger of white dish soap foam. Pale straw color. Crazy amount of carbonation rising from the bottom.

S: Faint grains. Smells like a BMC but only slightly better.

T: Tastes like a slighlty better BMC too. Light grains, very faint hops. Not much flavor. Adjunct aftertaste.

M: Actually not bad. Light and crisp. That works for this beer.

O: A below average lager from a boring style. To be honest I'd take some Miller High Life over this any day.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a generic pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent straw golden color with a finger of thin white head and lively carbonation. Retention is bad. Standard fare.

S - Cereal grains, sweet malt and very light floral hops. Simple and clean. Mild strength and seemingly balanced.

T - Unrefined cereal grains comprise the majority of the body, with some light sweetness contributed by light pale malt. The hops are one note; floral and lightly bitter. It's definitely simple and well balanced.

M - Crisp, coarse and a little thick, probably thicker than it should be.

D - Highly drinkable, decently built and affordable. One of my standbys for session beers.

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Photo of jera1350
2.55/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Fizzy yellow beer best describes this.

Corn sweetness with some other light grain.

Clean and crisp up front with a light grainy sweetness, but the middle and back end drop off completely and leave little trace of any flavor.

The carbonation is actually decent. The body is lighter and the finish dry.

No need to have this one again personally.

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Photo of roblowther
3.29/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale gold with little evidence of carbonation. Smell has both hops and malt, very light, kind of pear-like. Taste is very, very light. Very drinkable. Very refreshing and as I've just finished a bike ride, just what I wanted. Very balanced, not as "macro light" tasting as I anticipated. I'm not sure what that taste is but then again I am. Mouthfeel is a touch watery, slightly carbonated and generally not noticeable unless I'm reviewing. Overall, not bad. Refreshing when its cold and you're hot, I feel it probably goes downhill from there.

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Photo of mikeg67
2/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle. Pours clear straw color with a white head and soda-like carbonation. Nose is of grassy hops and hey. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Taste is barely noticeable - of light hops and some grain. Finish is very short. This brew is on par with other macros.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.53/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had some of this left over from St. Patrick's Day, too. Thought I'd give it a review.

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge temperature.

L - Straw-to-pale gold color with a 1 finger white bubbly head. Tons of carbonation bubbles, OK retention, surprisingly great lacing. Looks nice.

S - Malty aroma, a grainy, cereal smell to it. Maybe some wisp of earthy, slightly citrusy hop aroma but this one's mostly bready, grainy malt.

T - Surprisingly citrusy sweet up front, followed by a malty cereal, bready taste, ending with a slightly bitter finish.

F - Light-to-medium bodied, lots of tongue-tickling carbonation, definitely a crisp and dry finish. A malty mouth-coating feel for sure and the bready and citrusy sweetness lingers on the tongue for a bit.

O - I was definitely surprised by this one. More sweetness than I expected, not really any of that adjunct flavor, and a crisp refreshing finish to it. Probably wouldn't seek it out, but if it's around, it's a nice light session lager.

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Photo of hdf561
3.62/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had two of these in a bottle on St Pattys

Notice a citrusy smell right off the bat...but not over powering

Can taste hints of citrus, but not overwhelming.

Very smooth drinkable beer not what I expected.

really liked this beer and will definetly get some again. Good gateway beer for stepping into imports if you have never tried any.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden yellow with lots of fast rising bubbles. Huge five fingers of white head that almost overflows. Good retention and leaves lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Sweet pale malts with cereal wheat grains. Pretty bready and cracker like. Light hints of some earthy, floral hops in the background. Decent smell for the style as it doesn't have a noticeable adjunct aroma.

Taste: Bready cracker like taste of pale malts and cereal wheat grains. Light hints of citrus and lemon zest. Some light hints of earthy hops towards the finish. Light but has a decent taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp and creamy. A pretty easy drinker.

Overall: A pretty decent beer for the style. A step above the other mass produced Euro lagers.

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Photo of philbe311
3.41/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers plus of airy pure white froth... The color is a pale golden yellow... Spry carbonation throughout... Loads of rich lacing clings to the glass...

S - Rather pedestrian... Some grains... Some sweet cread notes... Perhaps some cereal notes... A faint earthy hop presence...

T - Dominated by light pale malts... Some cereal and grain notes... Some light corn notes... Some floral notes as well... A slight earthy hop presence...

M - Clean and crisp... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Prickly carbonation... A tad bit on the thin side yet still fairly smooth... Semi dry finish...

D - A respectable lager... Fairly quaffable... Fairly sessionable... Not my first choice, but a tolerable alternative to the BMC set...

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

Pallid straw yellow in color, with fair foam and only a little lacing.

Nose is typical adjunct lager, with some toasty grains.

Tastes like a typical lager, too, both sweet and malty. Hints of caramel, and certainly better than the big boys' lagers, but nothing to write home about, either.

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Photo of TuffNut87
3.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harp looks like many other lagers- a pale golden yellow. To the nose it brings the familiar smell of liquid bread. It tastes clean and honest-mild hops and subtle sweetness from the malt. It is smooth on the tongue, and not too fizzy. Like many classics, it is simple and good. For me, it would go with most of the foods that I like because of its simplicity. Cheers!

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Photo of Merkur
3.01/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer pours a nice straw color, typical of lagers.

Beer smells sweet, slightly bready and a very slight hint of floral hops.

Beer tastes very sweet and malty, followed by a very slightly hop bitterness and dry.

Mouthfeel is not as thin as most lagers and has just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Bierwolf
3.33/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a pilsener glass. Also the product that I had was labeled "Premium" and came in a green bottle. I did not see this on the Guinness website, only the lager shown on this page.

Appearance: Somewhere between yellow and gold in color and clear. Two fingers of nice foam that left some decent lacing all the way down as the beer was consumed. Some carbonation rising up from the bottom.

Smell: My nose was smelling mostly hops with some malt aroma in the background.

Taste: To me it was mostly hops with maltiness in the background again. Hop bitterness was mild with a little aftertaste.

Mouth feel: It was smooth and easy. Semi-dry finish with flavor hanging around a little bit.

Overall. This is a good beer that I would have again. I believe it to be slightly above par for the style.

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Photo of soju6
3.13/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Served a nice golden color with a good head that faded to decent lacing.

S: Mild aroma of malt sweetness, some grain and a hint of hops.

T: taste of malt sweetness and grain with a mild bitterness and a fairly dry finish.

F: Light body, crisp and somewhat refreshing.

O: Pretty decent Euro Lager, best on tap. Better than BMC offerings.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.13/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at the Aulde Dubliner

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with a large size frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for 3 or 4 minutes.

Smell - bread, grains, corn, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation an I can taste bread/grains mixed with corn and malts. There is also some light hops and some floral notes. It ends with a malty slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall - What we have here is just a nice tasting well balanced lager. I'm not sure it's worth the 'import' price of 7.50$ a pint though. Not something I'd buy again at a bar based on the price that's for sure.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.36/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can from the LCBO; packaged in September 2011. I am honestly surprised that I have never tried Harp before, because I don't think I've ever been in a liquor/beer store that didn't stock it.

Pours a familiar clear, golden-yellow colour, topped with a little more than a finger of soapy white head. Decent retention for a pale lager, lasting a few minutes before it fizzles away. Leaves behind some stringy lacing on the sides of the glass, and a thin, bumpy cap on the surface. Clean, simple and relatively fresh aroma with no off-putting qualities. Just some grainy pale malts and a light, grassy hoppiness.

The taste follows the aroma - simple and satisfying enough. Bready, grainy barley malts provide a clean sweetness, with some accompanying floral, grassy hop bitterness to balance it. Dry finish. Thin-bodied for sure, but seems a bit more slippery in the mouth than others of this type. Carbonation is a bit light for the style, making for a smooth, crisp pint.

Final Grade: 3.36, a B-. This is one of the better lagers I've had recently, but there is nothing inherently interesting about it. You could do much worse than Harp, and I'd probably pick this before most other bland Euro imports.

[Updated Aug. 10 2014]

Another 500 mL can. I've had several different EPLs over the past few nights, and Harp is not really a standout amongst them. That being said, there's nothing wrong with this as a lager at all (other than maybe the price point). I'm going to leave the grade as-is... this is a respectable Euro lager that is worth a try if you're into the style.

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
75 out of 100 based on 714 ratings.