1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,333 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,333
Reviews: 1,169
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 42
Gots: 250 | 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:
Harpoon IPA is an interpretation of the classic English style using hops and malt grown in the United States.

42 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,333 | Reviews: 1,169 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexIndy
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 5/15/11 lasered on the neck. It was a clear, medium golden yellow color with good carb streams. It had a large, foamy head that slowly settled into a thick collar and thin foam cap. Good sheeting with some sticking.

The aroma was good with floral hops and a little citric hops along with a good malt base. Would have liked a little more hop aroma. The taste was good with a solid, lightly bitter hop flavor balanced with the malt. Medium mouthfeel with good carb and a good hop finish.

Overall, a good IPA that is balanced but lacking in the hop aroma and flavor for me. Not bad by any stretch but also not that exciting. I won't remember this one tomorrow. Avail here in TX. Rotation - good but too many other better ones out there to buy again unless once on tap. [N;O]

TexIndy, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of Proteus93
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Quite a pale amber / blonde hue, which was actually pretty surprising. I expected it to be a little darker than this.

S: A VERY floral aroma, it literally smells like wild flowers to my nose. Maybe something of an orange citrus in there, and a little bit spicy with something I can't quite put a finger on. Nice, but a little unusual, perhaps.

T: Almost like eating the aroma... quite a pungent, bitter hoppiness that actually mellows a little as it warms, rounding out a little more into an orange peel / floral flavour. A little bit of a malty backbone offers a touch of balance.

M + D: A medium body, could maybe use a little more expressiveness, but alright. Fairly refreshing, and easy going... I would gladly have it as something of a bulk purchase when trying to avoid overspending, along with something like Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada, but it wouldn't really stand out too much from those, ultimately.

Proteus93, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of mastodonj
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Exceptional clarity although very little head. Very little lacing.

Some real pleasant citrus hoppiness in the nose.

Sharp crisp immediate taste. Nothing subtle. Nicely bitter and just the right bitterness.

Very drinkable although boredom might set in.

mastodonj, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of Hokies
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a one inch white head that leaves a nice lace. Perfect clarity with a golden yellow color.

Their is more of a malt aroma in this one as their is only a slight mineral citrus hop aroma. Their is a toffee and caramel smell that overpowers the hop aroma.

Ah I found the hops, a nice blend of citrus and grapefruit with the grapefruit dominating the overall taste. Their is nice sweet malt taste that makes this one smooth drinking IPA. The taste is finished with a nice grapefruit bitterness that only slightly lingers.

As mentioned the slight bitterness and the overall balance makes this a nice session IPA.

Hokies, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of praufs01
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Clear yellow with a frothy white head.

Aroma - Light floral hop.

Palate - Medium to high carbonation.

Flavor - Smooth light hop flavor up front that smoothes out in the finish.

Final thoughts - This is a great crossover IPA for those making the leap from Lager to American IPAs. Not too hoppy and very sessionable.

praufs01, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Recently had on tap at Pizzeria Uno's served in their 22oz. glass. A dark deep yellow with about a one finger head that lasted most of the sample but yeilded little to no lacing.

Smell was very flowery and citrusy up front. A strong hop presence as well.

Taste was similair to what would be expected from the smell. Citrus up front backed up by midly bitter hop flavor. Well balanced so the hop bitterness didn't over power the other flavors.

Moderate on the palate with only slight carbonation. Very smooth and an easy finish to the beer.

Very easy to drink and a nice alternative to the other stagnant beers this establishment tends to throw your way. I can easily have a few of these at one sitting and not get tired of them. A solid, all around, fairly average but enjoyable IPA, IMO.

Sycodrummer, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass and a bit too chilled in my opinion, it pours a nice crystal clear amber color with a nice frothy tan head. Some slight haze maybe, but solid overall.

Not quite as hoppy on the nose as I would have expected. A bit of caramel malts pop through but some citrus also comes along with it.

Bitter floral hops protrude from the body of this, along with a sweet, but tart grapefruit flavor (maybe a mix of grapefruit and orange peel). As bitter as the hops are, it quickly gives way to the floral and fruit flavors. Some flavor dies toward the end of this one which is a bit disappointing.

Very smooth IPA with a crisp body but smooth delivery. carbonation is managed well, as is the alcohol. NOt the biggest IPA I've ever had either...again, nice but a bit disappointing.

Overall, a nice session brew. This would go nice in a variety case and nice to share or drink a 6-er yourself.

Fish113d, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of Mit
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Nice golden colour. Seemed a little lighter coloured than other IPAs...but that doesn't mean anything. Head was gone very fast after pouring.

S-Hoppy bitters coming through with a nice sweet finish.

T-Much like the smell this had a hoppy character with the sweet flavours appearing near the end. A great starter for people looking to get into IPAs. Great taste and hops balanced out with sweetness for a nice finish.

M-Definitely in line with abv. Spot on mouthfeel IMO.

D-Very drinkable. One you can recommend to neophyte BAs and not have to worry that the hops will drive them back to the macros. I would buy this again for sure.

Mit, May 19, 2009
Photo of mendonjoebeer
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good looking,good smelling, great tasting beer that is reasonable in price and very available in our area. It is nothing super special, but I never seem to pass one up. I have had many folks who claim to not like IPA enjoy this beer. I think that is because of the balance hops,malt & alcohol

mendonjoebeer, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of Dools9
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to pint.

A: Very nice copper orange. Two fingers of slightly off white, laundry soap head hold steady and leave moderate lacing.

S: Not very aromatic for the style but theres a nice floral, earthy fragrance, a bit of citrus as well. Nice sweet, toasty caramel malt lingers in the back.

T: Floral hops, some light citrus tang, not overly bitter but nice and easy to drink. Good bready, toasty malt balances things nicely.

M: Very crisp and refreshing, relatively low abv makes for a very refreshing beer. Light to medium bodied, nice and easy drinking.

O: Great intro for the style. Not overwhelming, decently sessionable, and very refreshing and balanced. However, those looking for a hop bomb will be left dissapointed. Still, a solid beer and a great alternative at a bar when options aren't very good.

Dools9, May 25, 2012
Photo of BetterDarker
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear deep yellow color with a medium creamy off white head. Good lace.

S-Bright, light citrus hops. Subtle malt in the back.

T-Very well balanced, solid hop taste and not overpowering.

M- Medium body and very clean.

D-I could drink these all night, as I have many times.

BetterDarker, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured golden with a 1" white head. Some lacing & minmal head retention

S: Floral hops

T: Floral hops combines with fruittyness up front. Slight cirtus/lemon hops. Finishes fruitty dry & zesty

MF: Medium bodied with good carbonation & balance

Drank too easy, a good ipa with a bit of English influnce IMO

russpowell, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of maleman
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Freshness date was stamped on bottle.

A - poured a clear amber. less than one finger creamy white head which quickly settled into a tight cap. even lacing all the way down.

S - nice hoppy smell with some floral notes. some biscuit-type aroma in there, too.

T - a caramel...almost like dark chocolate is the first thing that grabbed me. some citrus, but more toward the sweet versus sour. a bit of bread in the finish.

M - about average carbonation. about average mouthfeel, not too watery, or the other direction, either. taste resides in the back and sides of the mouth.

D - decent, session-type beer. nothing exciting. i had expected more.

maleman, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of n8tron
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer from tap and from the bottle. In both this beer is fantastic. Very hopy with no other flavors to get in the way. A really perfect IPA. It has a nice color, slightly dark and reddish brown. It is very drinkable and you don't get tired of it. Its good till the end, like all good IPA's should be. Luckily this beer is very popular in boston, and i hope if i ever move it is popular where i live.

n8tron, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of BeanBone
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: An orange-amber body with two fingers of sudsy, off-white head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy Cascade hops over sweet pale malt. Good stuff, but perhaps more in line with a straight-up Pale Ale, rather than an IPA.

Taste: Up front, a mild wave of citrusy Cascades sets the tone. Underneath, the malt backbone is more than able to meet the hop challenge, making for a very balanced proposition. Once again, this smacks more of a great Pale Ale rather than a full-fledged IPA. The aftertaste is mildly bitter and a little grainy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Dries in the finish.

Drinkability: Certainly above average for the IPA style, this makes for a wonderfully sessionable beer.

Verdict: Certainly not the most hopped IPA out there, I really would have pegged this one as an Pale Ale if I had to guess. I guess over the years the craft beer world has just moved on from this definition of an IPA. But, putting style aside, this is still a tasty and highly sessionable beer--just don't go in expecting an excess of hops.

BeanBone, May 12, 2009
Photo of Phatz
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was not a mind-blowing IPA but it is very approachable, pleasant and drinkable. A worthy transition beer. Not all beers need to have fireworks; this one is certainly worth tasting.

Appearance: Pours completely clear light golden color with a slight amber hue. It had a decedent fizzy white head that fades quickly and moderate lacing. There is fairly active carbonation, rising through the center, throughout the duration of the beer.

Smell: There is a sweet yeasty buttery aroma in the nose. It is a bit muted and hard to find but underneath the grain and fruit there is a bit of floral hops.

Taste: Sweet malt and smooth grainy character up front. It seems to have a bit of a fruit juice attribute; then the gentle English hop character really steps up to bat. The flavor definitely grows on me with each sip building in bitterness left by the last sip. I think one of my favorite things about this beer is the splendid aftertaste that is ever so gently bitter hoppy with a raw sweetness as well. MMM.

Mouthfeel: This is a very tasty beer but as the medium body passes through the middle of my mouth it seems to fall apart into a light body beer. It seems as if there is a hole in the center of the body. It is nice and crisp around the edges and a bit smooth and buttery in the middle.

Drinkability: This is an extremely easy drinking, sessionable beer. What it lacks in glamour it makes up for in drinkability. This is a beer I will take (a case of) to a cookout, this summer.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of Clydesdale
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold color, with orange hints. Pours a big, off-white head with great retention and lacing.

S: Nice citric and earthy hops, with some mild sweet maltiness.

T: Balanced citric hops, with moderate bitterness throughout. The malt has a solid presence in tandem with the hops. The hops never get aggressively bitter, but are definitely the most prominent aspect of this beer's flavor. Subdued biscuit taste adds a bit of depth, and hints of alcohol show up as well.

M: Soft, with moderate crispness. The carbonation adds a nice, slightly tingly nature.

D: A nice overall offering. Definitely more drinkable than a lot of IPAs these days, but certainly still true to the style.

Clydesdale, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of JMad
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle to a pint glass...
It pours a light copper color, had a bright white head.
Smells of floral hops, and has a light sweetness.
Tastes mostly of lemon and pine resin.
The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and leaves the mouth with a welcome dryness.
Good all around, but really nothing special, for me at least.

JMad, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a nice copper color with a white head and some good lacing on the way down. The taste is malty with some pine and floral hops seeking to balance. The flavor is mostly malt with a bit of bread and some light floral hops. A bit of bitterness and a good body. Drinks well enough, but not too fantastic.

Thorpe429, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of Estarrio
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap...

Pale, golden orange with a medium white head. Moderate retention with persistent lacings.

Lightly sweet, hoppy aroma with some malt presence.

This beer holds a special place for me. Apart from being a local icon, this was my first IPA. It's also readily available in suburban Boston restaurants with no craft beers. While my palate has evolved to strive for hop explosions, this recent taste was not the best homecoming. The sweet malt up front is complimented by a rather one-dimensional citrus, cascade hop profile. This is a fine starter IPA but somewhat inadequate for those who follow the way of the hop.

Decent mouthfeel, very drinkable due to a smooth and muted flavor. This is a good beginner IPA and a decent selection at a New England bar that doesn't feature many craft brews.

Estarrio, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of Getinthevan
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this last night for the first time in a while and it was pretty awesome. It definitely was a good bar brew, in lieu of the cover band playing some pretty good tunes.

Appearance was a copper-ish amber with a small amount of head and barely any lacing. Not a bad looking beer, decent at best.

Smell was pretty toasty and crispy with fresh hops and bitterness. This was definitely a beer waiting to be consumed with pride.

Taste was very good. With a nice balance of bitter hops and smooth ale, this stuff certainly had a nice palette of flavors to choose from. Certainly a great styled brew.

Mouthfeel was pretty average. While it has a strong main taste, it somewhat died before the big finish.

Drinkability is good. A few of these will certainly get you dancing on the dancefloor, but it will definitely give you a great buzz. Not a bad brew.

Getinthevan, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of jhtipton
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in my bierkraft order of a mixed case. I had tried before but not reviewed. It pours a nice coppery colour into my chalice. Smell immediately hits me from the opening and probably the most appealing attribute. Steady flow of carbonation and some gentle lacing upon dissapation of most of the head. Smell is citrusy, maybe apricot and grapefruit pineconish. Taste ranges in the same area of smell with some mild maltiness. Only drawback is that it overall seems subdued. Like a hopaliscious beer trapped in the body of a light beer. Other than the watered down appearance/taste, overall it is a satisfying beer. I could certainly recommend this for a springtime session on the beach. Cheers.

jhtipton, May 17, 2011
Photo of jvdineen
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Legal Seafood's Flagship in Park Square. A beer with a beautiful yellow-orange hue and a thin head that dissipates quite quickly. The 5.9 % abv is completely hidden behind flowery hops. Not a hop monster by any means actually at the bitterness of some breweries pales. The hops don't disappear and the last taste is of hops. Very drinkable and a very good old reliable. This is definetly a beer that Boston should be proud of to be brewed here and served in even some of the least reputable of establisments.

jvdineen, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of Slynger
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright, clear, golden-orange color with a thick fuzzy lid that leaves slippery lacing.

The aroma is hoppy. Floral and grassy earth with some citrus. The hops really flow together in a very balanced effort. Pale malt sweetness sits subtly in the background.

Light-medium body with a fairly crisp, smoth, and clean finish. The taste is lightly lemony sweet upfront with a crackery malt backbone. A touch of spicy and earthy hop bitterness finishes clean and smooth, without much linger.

Pretty good. Enjoyable and well balanced with a pleasant mouthfeel. I would definitely drink it again if it comes around.

Slynger, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of JamesS
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange to straw color, very light for an ipa, but had nice head and good lacing. Nice crisp scent, a very light floralness with a nice bitter aroma. Nice taste, the initial taste is not very hoppy, but more citrus, while the aftertaste has the hoppy bitterness. Goes down fine, quite a bit of carbonation. Good IPA, not my favorite, but it's quite good.

JamesS, Mar 20, 2008
Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,333 ratings.