Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,198 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,198
Hads: 3,803
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 74
Gots: 668 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

Harpoon IPA is an interpretation of the classic English style using hops and malt grown in the United States.

42 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,198 | Hads: 3,803
Photo of WanderingFool
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, so I'm a little bit biased with this review. I've been drinking Harpoon IPA for years and can't believe I never reviewed it until now. It's my favorite IPA, session beer and go to beer at most bars.

The beer pours a clear straw yellow with some orange hues mixed in. A frothy white head forms on top slowly dissolving to a thick ring around the surface leaving behind a nice netting pattern of lace. A citrus aroma of grapefruit and pine with a hint of toasted malt greets you before each sip.

The flavor of this medium bodied smooth beer is filled with hoppy goodness. It begins with some pine and citrus. It sweetens towards the middle with some malt and bubblegum flavors before finishing with a mild bitterness leaving behind a hoppy residue. The hops are not too bitter and are well balanced with the malt. This would be a good beer to introduce someone to the wonderful world of hop bitterness.

Harpoon IPA is the light in the darkness when at a new bar with a (mostly) poor beer selection. It can always be found in my fridge or cooler on a camping trip. It's so easy to drink and full of flavor I can't see why anyone would want another session beer. (1,171 characters)

Photo of erosier
4.62/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is always a pleasure to have. It has a very nice golden amber color with a thick white head that sticks to the glass. The smell is really nice. Very fresh, very hoppy and fruity and flowery that overpower the malt tones. The taste is phenomenal. One of the best IPAs, if not the best, I have ever had. It tastes fruity and hoppy and very light malt taste in the background. The good thing about this IPA is that this does not have a very acidy taste, very clean. It's aftertaste is clean and not too bitter which I really like. Very good mouthfeel and very good all around. This is excellent and I recommend it for anyone who wants a refreshing IPA. (659 characters)

Photo of ledemie
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: nicely carbonated, very clear copper color looks very nice

S: Hoppy but not over hopped

T: mild taste, a little bread / hop hint.

M: tasted good, crisp clean well rounded malty and hoppyness

D: very tasty will be good for hot summer work, very refreshing. (263 characters)

Photo of beernut7
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the local hopmeister. A deep rich amber color with a medium body and lasting thick head give this beer a good look, nice heavy hop aroma and powerful, yet mellow hop flavor profile. Nice balance of malts with this one create an easy drinking libation. (261 characters)

Photo of Bru-ster
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the first breweries to bring ale brewing back to New England. New England, particularly Boston, has always been known as home of ale cisumers, because of its large irish population.

A great IPA. Nice hop malt balance. Not so happy you can't taste the malt. Smooth and very drinkable. One of my favorite all time ales (Ballantine IPA was one and Sierra Nevada IPA another). (382 characters)

Photo of darylvelez
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite beer. I could drink it everyday, if it weren't for becoming an alcoholic. I love local beer, and this is the best in the Boston area. Deep malty color, medium body, great hoppy taste this is my IPA standard and furthermore standard beer. Long live Harpoon IPA! (280 characters)

Photo of Dirty_Curt
4.59/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Easy drinking. Being from Boston it is fairly cheap here and a great regular drinking option. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy at times but the taste is a decently hoppy and with a nice bready, biscuity finish. Hints of caramel for me with floral overtones as well. Not too simple, not too complex. A great sessionable beer that keeps you interested while again, remains drinkable. I may be a bit biased, but I have to say I feel this beer is better than reviewers are saying. Harpoon never fails to satisfy me. (503 characters)

Photo of dippy
4.59/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my go to beer. "What do you have on Tap?", "I will have an IPA".

In MA if you ask for an IPA you get a harpoon.

It pours a yellow/golden color with some amount of carbonation. Nice tight knit buble structure on top that is nice and sticky icky.

Smell is straight hops. Floral and citrus.

Taste is Citrus grapefruit rind that disapates to a more floral touch..

I love this brew. I drink it all the time. It is always in my fridge. If you want to see what HArpoon is about, check this one out. It is in everybar in Boston. Look for the Yellow harpoon tap and drink away. (581 characters)

Photo of dmk139
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Surprisingly light for an IPA. i like the drinkability of this beer. The nice crisp flavor and floral tones make this a very good beer on a hot summer night. A very impressive India Pale Ale. Doesnt have the high alcohol content and isnt AS hoppy as most IPA's but i enjoy this beer very much (292 characters)

Photo of warnecj
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of the better East Coast IPAs!!! Definitely very session able and easy to drink for hours. After drinking many IPAs, one of my favorites. Definantley very east coast in flavor and aroma, hoppy but does not have that citric flavor associated with PNW IPAs. A must try for any East Coast IPA fan and a important stop on the beer trail for anybody in New England!!!! (367 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: It pours brilliant gold under a 3” finely bubbled cream colored persistent foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: This is five months past is best by date but the floral hop aromas are still detectasble from several feet away. Closer up are traces of citrus and pepper.
T: Clean, crisp and dry with light malt on the front end and assertive floral hops on the finish. A trace of light caramel to toffee along with light citrus on the tongue.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: A strikingly beautiful beer that is hoppy yet refreshing and easy to drink. (570 characters)

Photo of Kezway
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When in Boston, I was waiting for the bartender to change the keg on the Sam Adams. A guy offered to buy me a Harpoon so I wouldn't have to wait. I'm not gay, but hey, I'll drink a free beer. He ended up buying me 9 beers. It was so much better than the Sam I was planning on ordering...

Turns out he was the Harpoon Brewmaster. I haven't had a Sam Adams since! (367 characters)

Photo of toti1972
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA, one of my favorites so far, great smell, fruity but not exaggerated, right carbonation and a very appealing clear orange color. Will have it again. (158 characters)

Photo of jvajda
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Apearance: Good deep orange/copper hue and frothy head.
Smell: It smells of bitterness and grapefruit. Very piney as well.
Taste: It's a superbly balanced IPA. The perfect amount of hop bitterness and fruitiness, no more, no less. Very impressive.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and alive in the mouth.
Drinkability: When I want a good plain ol' IPA, this is the one I reach for. It's a fine session beer as well. (404 characters)

Photo of Jaguar
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried a pint on tap at a local steakhouse,and was pleasantly surprised.I really like this in bottles, and to be honest it's one of my fridge staples, since it's local and fresh, so I expected the same beer on tap. wrong.
It was even better. The smell was like floral perfume, and the taste of the hops not much different. enough malt to balance it out and a crisp finish with a nice bitterness on the back of your tongue. I could drown myself in this on a Saturday night. (474 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very clear honey color with a frothy head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Nice grapefruit floral tone with some malt in the background

Taste: Starts with a nice caramel malt flavor that is joined, mid-palate, by some grapefruit hops; the finish is well-balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Walking the tightrope between and APA and an IPA, the Harpoon is an extremely well-balanced and drinkable beer (466 characters)

Photo of chicagoish
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a nice clear, pale copper color. White head fades quick but sticks to the side of the glass.

S - This has it all. The classic sweet floral hops smell you expect from an IPA.

T - The sweet hop bitteness that you want. How can it be sweet and bitter? That's a classic IPA

M - Thin, slick with oily hops.

D - I can drink several over the course of the night. Others who don't like such bitterness won't want as many. (428 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber body with a little under a half an inch of off-white head. Smells great - like citrus and bitter hops, strong but not overpowering, and no off scents or alcohol. Tastes hoppy - bitter, piney, and citrus, ballanced with a good malt backbone. Creamy mouth-feel on the higher side of medium bodied, but not sticky and syrupy as some IPAs can be. At the same time, it's very pleasant and drinkable. This beer is really good. A new favorite! (442 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice light golden color with a low off-white head and good carbonation. Nice, but not overpowering, citrusy hop aroma and flavor with a perfect hop-malt balance. Medium-light bodied and easy drinking.

A very nicely balanced American IPA. This was one of the better bottlings I have tasted but also haven't had this in a bottle in a very long time -- a nice revisit !

Per HB website:
OG: 15.5 P
Color: Copper 15 EBC
ABV 5.9%
IBU’S: 42

Bottled: 'PKG ON 07/24/06' lasered on neck ('6202' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 11/09/06

($7.99 / 6-pack) (560 characters)

Photo of rfabian
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler it produces a 2 inch head that clings to the glass in clumps. The appearance is light amber and clear. The aroma is mouthwatering with citrus and floral hops. The taste is similar to the aroma with mild to moderate bitterness and a little malt sweetness. Light, smooth feel with light carbonation a clean finish. I tried one of these and immediatly got more. Very drinkable and highly enjoyable, a really excellent example of the style. (458 characters)

Photo of JasonCoop
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance- nice. crystal clear orange/amber. nice little head that fades in a minute or 2. nothing too special, but not bad

smell- i love the smell of this beer. very flowery and nice strong hops aroma.

taste- very nice. a classic IPA taste. hoppy of course, but not too much. pretty nice balance. seems like carbonation is kind of high. nice flowery elements mixing with the hops taste

mouthfeel- nothing special in this aspect, kind of highly carbonated feeling, bubbly, somewhat light. the hops and slightly dry finish give the tongue kind of a cottony feel after a while.

drinkability- easily drinkable. a classic IPA. if you like IPA you could definitely have a nice session. they are light enough to put down a lot and smooth enough to keep your interest.

overall- Harpoon is the kind of beer that isn't anything truly special but will always be around as someone close to boston. i consider it the gateway to IPAs. when u start expanding your taste it is probably a good choice to figure out what IPAs are all about. The old stand-by. (1,057 characters)

Photo of car2052
4.39/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Pint glass.

A: Filtered, Deep Golden, with the slightest tinge of orange. 2 finger head that recedes to a 1/2 inch ring of foam.
S: Heavily of pine. Some grapefruit. Not as much floral or orange notes.
T: A hop-forward presence is matched by a bold, roasted malt backbone to create a larger flavor than expected. An assertive flavor that sits remarkably well on the palate. Doesn't leave too much of an aftertaste, and finishes dry.
M: Light to Medium bodied. Pretty crisp throughout.
O: A great staple from the East Coast that can appeal to many people. If a bar had this on tap, I would have it without a second thought. One of my favorite EIPA's. (683 characters)

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, bottling date of October 26 (hey, my brother's birthday) printed on the bottleneck, poured into a tall Harpoon IPA pint glass (kind of a cross between a pint glass and a stange).

Appearance: Poured a deep semi-transparent golden color. Head formed about 1 inch thick and faded very slowly into a film on top of the beer.

Aroma: Floral hops, very enticing.

Taste: Hoppy from the beginning to the end. A faint caramel malt flavor comes through in the middle, but it's definitely in the background. The finish is bitter and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with carbonation in good balance.

Overall: A great IPA, this is one of my favorites. Definitely worth a shot if you're a fan of the style. (727 characters)

Photo of ByTor2112
4.37/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The aroma on this was like sniffing a fat bag of Cascade hops-beautifully pungent. A nice head formed but then dissipated quickly with small dots of lace. A nice swirl of the glass brings it back nicely. Harpoon calls this a copper-colored ale but surpisingly I found it much lighter in color. Hops are strong and first on the palate. If you drink it slowly across the palate, sweet flavors are revealed. A vigorous froth in the mouth totally sweetens this IPA and releases all the wonderful malt flavors-Amazing! Hops are steady through to the finish. The belch from this IPA is heavenly as though I am generating essence of Cascade! This IPA has all that i love about them: killer aroma, generous hop flavor and the malt flavors to boot with a killer finish. very drinkable. Cheers! (784 characters)

Photo of shand
4.37/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.

One of the few widely available IPAs I've yet to have. Let's give this a shot. A very aggressive pour yields a whole hand's worth of very foamy head that leaves nice sheets of lacing on it's (very rapid) way down the glass. The brew itself is a golden color, very clear and with visibly high carbonation. The aroma is very good good, floral hops take center stage, along with some citrus. The taste is also quite good, it's a very refined IPA that comes on with nice citrus aspects paired with clean malts at first, then some of the floral aspects come through along with a bit more of a biscuit-y character from the malts. The finish leaves just a bit of nice oily hops.

The mouthfeel is delicate, just like the brew. That said, I'd like a bit more thickness. The drinkability is very good, this glass didn't last long in front of me at all. Overall, I think this is a great IPA. I like the fact where it was "hop-forward" without punching me in the face with hops. Just a very well made and drinkable beer with just enough of a hoppy bite to satisfy me. Not the extreme "punch you in the face with hops" that many people expect from IPAs, but it's just a delicious beer. (1,229 characters)

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,198 ratings.