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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,911 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2911
Reviews: 1154
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American 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
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Ratings: 2,911 | Reviews: 1,154 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JordanEllwanger


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Completely transparent and tiny bubbly golden yellow with a thick white head sticking to the sides of the glass. Smells like a generic IPA. Subtle hints of hops and malts. Taste is as simple as the smell. I'll let it warm up and see what comes of it. The hop bite is there but the bitter taste is not. Just your average IPA. Not too big, yet not so weak. Would make a great introductory beer into the craft world.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 04:57:49 | More by JordanEllwanger
Photo of UnDeadly

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A very even gold color. Good foam! I poured with moderate aggression and easily produced 1 finger, which lowered in a thin but maintained head. Moderate lacing that sticks quite evenly.

Smell - I found the smell quite boring, to be honest. Mild notes of malt, and on the floral side of hops. I detected a light note of green apple.

Taste - Simple, pleasant, but nothing special. Crisp front, interestingly the malt notes seem to come through in the middle, and then progressing in bitterness off the back and into the aftertaste. Bitterness is slightly crisp, tart, and floral.

Mouth Feel - Carbonation is well done, and foam produces a pleasant creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Relatively low ABV and pleasant mouth feel make this a very drinkable and sessionable beer.

OK, so this beer was not bad. At all. But I do not think it is an IPA! Judging according to style, it was very weak and boring by IPA standards. Both the malt and hop notes were muted. But the beer was very balanced in this regard, and if it was classified as a Pale ale, I would have probably given it at least a grade higher.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 01:56:12 | More by UnDeadly
Photo of THECPJ


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: some hop aroma, malts,

taste: very light hop flavor, malt backbone,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: they need more hops or I had an old bottle.


Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 18:10:52 | More by THECPJ
Photo of chrisrhoppe

Puerto Rico

3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Depressing head formation with a clear light amber hue of a body. Lightly piney, citrus nose carried by more of a grain scent. The taste is balanced but weak, the light hop bitterness coats the tongue as the malt washes over hardly leaving a trace or influence. Maybe I’ve been spoiled but I expect a bit more out of my IPAs, at least the leviathan is incredible.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 03:05:53 | More by chrisrhoppe
Photo of happy4hoppybeer


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Having had their rather excellent Leviathan Imperial IPA, I thought I'd try this when I saw it was available on-tap at my local bar.

From notes:

Light golden orange, with moderate fluffy white head. Average retention. Very little lacing.

Some sweet smells of fruits, some very sweet malt, and some citrus. Hops are present, but under-served.

Sweet fruits, and overly sweet malt, a little citrus here, and then some hops somewhere in between. Some grains, and breadiness is apparent. Medium body, maybe a little on the thin side, high carbonation.

Rather disappointing as an IPA. The hops are not very well-served, overemphasized sweetness and grains, thus not as hoppy as it should be. And at only 5.9% ABV, it's a rather weak one.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 17:20:08 | More by happy4hoppybeer
Photo of phpfunk


3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just an overall average IPA, nothing special IMO. It needs more kick personally but I am a fan of really hoppy IPAs. Their Rye IPA is better than this standard run-of-the-mill IPA.

If you want a good starter IPA to get used to a bit of bitterness I think this would be a good one to go with. Unfortunately for me, I probably would never buy this again. There are plenty of better IPAs out there for the price.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 00:38:35 | More by phpfunk
Photo of Dafixa


2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a giant fan of this beer. It looks ok, it smells just ok, it tastes in my book less than ok.

On the surface it's golden look and white foam head just don't start or finish right in my mouth.

Overall I've had other Harpoon beers and feel they could do better.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2013 22:02:59 | More by Dafixa
Photo of boelker62


2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pale, almost yellow shade with a 1" head. Smell is faint, at best with nothing in particular to pull from it. Really, overall, this was rather disappointing to me considering the quality of their UFO product line. The taste was a bit empty, but had a decent mouthfeel, and was just a bit too dry of a finish. The drinkability is likely the best facet of this beer. The dryness is not overpowering, luckily.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 18:01:54 | More by boelker62
Photo of afksports

New York

2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I am drinking this Harpoon IPA on tap at Amity Hall celebrating my passing of a beer server exam that - thanks to beer nerds everywhere - proved relatively easy.

It's pale gold to copper in appearance, with a little lacing clingy to the top of the body. The tiny head dissipates quickly which is a little odd given that it's well-carbonated. The aroma is pale malt and pine / grapefruit hops, but the water and malt are more pronounced. Honestly, west coast Pale Ales are hoppier than this in smell and taste. It begins a little bitter on the tongue, and the alcohol is covered well by the malt and water. It's crisp, easy-drinking, but indistinct from other options. And it's got a thinne body than most IPA's in it's market.

Plainly put, I would love this bee if I were looking to get sleepy more quickly, slur my speech, and have a heightened emotional state.

(That's on the exam.)

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 22:10:47 | More by afksports
Photo of jackorain


2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Tacomac in Alpharetta, GA

A-1 finger head of fine dicernable bubbles quickly fell to thin coat that provided a decent lace

S-Light floral and citruc hop and some biscuity malts

T-Floral and citrus hops with an odd taste I could not place, I had charlie taste who was sitting next to me and he placed it. Soap! Some malts carmel and biscuit come through as well. Soap taste is pervasive, once it was defined.

M-Creamy medium body

D- the odd taste in the middle (soap) ruins the drinkability of this one for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2006 17:27:29 | More by jackorain
Photo of Dalem


2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark gold in color and a one finger quickly fading head is how it looks. Laces a big more sticky than expected judging from how soon the head vanished. Grassy scent with hints or caramel. Neither of which are very strong if one but it sure got more aroma than a Bud or Labatt Blue. Taste is along the same lines. Slight metallic hop bitterness up front but muted by the malt. Pretty much the same thing going down the throat but with a little bit of a citrus tang sticking to the back of the throat.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 05:10:42 | More by Dalem
Photo of gregshead


2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Copper in color. Average amount of head, nothing special to note.

S: Pine and floral hit the strongest

T: Pine up front with floral and grass in the bitterness. Also caramel color comes through in the taste. Just like I wrote it, the taste doesn't seem to flow together.

M: Good amount of carbonation runs off the middle of my tongue. Medium thickness feel.

D: Its just ok. Can't put my finger on it completely. I feel like the flavor combinations don't blend together for for my enjoyability/drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 05:25:55 | More by gregshead
Photo of HerrBob


2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a pleasant brew. Would fit on a hot day or with light food. For an IPA it is too meek & mild on the hops. I like an IPA to be a stand alone and this brew is not bold enough for that. I kept looking for the hops to come through but to no avail. Most describe an IPA with different comparison to pine, citrus etc. Not this one. Also much paler than most. If you want an IPA it is best to look elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 17:34:07 | More by HerrBob
Photo of mattsdenney


2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle. Best by date 12/15/11.

A: Clear, bubbly, light gold in color. Massive frothy head with good sticky lacing. I prefer my IPA's to be cloudier and slightly darker in color than this appears.

S: Floral, citrus, and grassy pine. Smells crisp.

T: Mild citrus hop flavor. Grassy flowery after taste. The taste isn't bad but it is very underwhelming. Tastes weak and watered down. No bite, hop presence more at a level of an average pale ale or golden ale. The lightness in color is always a dead giveaway!

M: Somewhat sticky and frothy. Smooth and slick. Nice consistency.

O: Well I thought for sure that this would better represent as it seems to have been around forever. I am however disappointed overall. The weakest IPA I've ever had in terms of hop presence. Can think of countless other IPA's that are <6% abv that provide a better experience related to this style. Shouldn't have bought a sixer. Oh well.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 23:02:38 | More by mattsdenney
Photo of shirfan

New York

2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearances can be deceiving; this looks and smells like an IPA, but certainly doesn't taste like one.

Bottled on 02/06/03.

Pours dark and clear golden with a frothy white head and a piney hops aroma.

Taste is poor for the style: starts smooth and a little malty, moves to a lemony, crisp middle, and finishes with a very weak and watery pine-resin hops note. Who dry-hopped the Genny Cream Ale?

This isn't a serious IPA, more like something a macro drinker would try when they want to be adventurous. It could be rescued by a chunkier mouthfeel and more hops; in its current incarnation I won't be revisiting this.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2003 13:12:19 | More by shirfan
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From tap to 22oz glass at Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal City on 2/26/11
*From notes

A: Clean light gold with one finger head and dissapointing lacing.

S: Not much. I was expecting something, anything. I mean I really had to jam my nose into the oversized glass to pick up even the faintest of mild hop oil.

T: This one definitely caters to the masses, as there really isn't a whole lot to get excited about. I dectect a dallop of hops, which is immediately followed by heavy grain and malt. The finish is soft and fairly weak.

M: Better then I had expected, given the lack of character.

O: This isn't one I'll be returning to often if at all. Not a bad beer, just a bland beer, especially for an AIPA.

I will say this one served it's purpose though, as I and the rest of the wifey's Birthday bunch left (well, got asked to leave) rather toasty.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2011 21:07:03 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of LordBeardman


2.89/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Bertucci's Italian Restaurant in Marlborough, MA.

A: Kind of a dark orange color with a finger of white head.

S: Hoppy with a citrus smell as well. Kind of sweet.

T: Not very bitter. Very mild hop flavor. A lot of citrus in there.

M: Has a good crisp feel. Not the usual bite I get from an IPA.

O: Definitely not my favorite IPA but not bad. Seems like this is the only IPA on tap around this area of MA. I would say that this beer is very average.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2013 01:59:37 | More by LordBeardman
Photo of Duff27


2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Thin white head on a clear amber beer. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Smells of grapefruit and...hoppy.

T- I don't really taste anything until I get a strange fruity aftertaste, kind of off putting to be frank.

M- Medium to medium thin feel. Good carbonation.

D/O- With all the other good to great IPAs out there, don't waste your time with this one. "Must be eight dollar beer night."

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2011 16:17:14 | More by Duff27
Photo of AgentMunky


2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Best before 15 October 2011.

A: Light head, good lace, little effervescence. Copper and very clear.

M: Malty, sweet, and beery. Not particularly impressive. Some fruit.

T: Not nearly as good as I remember from my pre-BA days. A passable beer, but a disappointing IPA. Sweet and semi-dry with virtually no hops until the aftertaste...and even that could be an illusion from the biscuity-dry malt. The sweetness is reminiscent of American adjunct lagers, lending an unpleasantly 'beery' taste to the whole production.

M: Largely mundane, but with a carbonated dryness.

O: It doesn't resemble an IPA at all. Potentially a Pale Ale...Not my favourite Harpoon offering. I would not recommend, but I might grab one more to see if it's better than this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 02:18:45 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of thinkbreakfast

New York

2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

App: Very clear amber. Good, thick head.

Smell: The hops smell citrusy, but more like the skin of a grapefruit than the actual fruit. There is also a sweet smelling malt present.

Taste: It seems to me that the battle of malt and hops that exists in an IPA should be won by the hops. In this particular beer, it is a close call. The hops flash at the very end and prevail in the aftertaste, but in the taste itself...

Mouthfeel: Somewhat clean for an IPA. The aftertaste is a bit weak for the style as I see it.

Drinkability: Well, as far as IPAs go, the lamb of drinkability must be sacrificed to the Gods of hops. I can't beleive I just wrote that. In Harpoon's take, this is not so. The clean-ness is a plus in this category.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 01:44:50 | More by thinkbreakfast
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear gold with a decent head, and good lacing

S - Aromas of pine, grapefruit and peach

T - Solid hop bitterness in this one. Malt is husky and a touch astringent. I'm tasting some muted fruitiness, but the dominant flavour is a big hop bitterness. Lacks flavour though.

M - Light bodied and a little too fizzy.

D - A disappointing brew. One dimensional in its hoppy bitterness and too light in other regards. The nose is promising, but ultimately fails to deliver.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 21:21:25 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


2.84/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a little deeper and darker than expected. Smells like very little. Taste = disappointing. "Where's the hops?" a la "Where's the Beef?" I get it this is an east coast interpretation, but dang.

Mouthfeel just tastes like a shiftless amber or brown ale. Doesn't inspire me to ever try any of their hoppy beers. I think they have a limited Imperial or double IPA, but I would have to speculate that based on this beer, it would take a double/imperial to raise it to its appropriate hop and alcohol strength to be a more worthy version of an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 00:05:42 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of BMMillsy


2.84/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a hazy yellow with small white head. Aroma of grass and hay, some sweet malt, with not a lot of aromatics for the style. This one had some weird flavors going on. A little bready malt mixed with some unwelcome spice. The hops were not up front and the sweetness was not balanced with bitter. Not impressed, despite Leviathan being a great IPA. I am hoping I just grabbed an older bottle, but when I originally had this I didn't pay much attention to those sorts of things.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 22:24:30 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of becktone


2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Clear lively straw gold in appearance. Forms a nice fluffy white head which leaves nice lacing as it recedes. So far head retention looks good, but if it keeps receding it will not be so.(Started off at about three fingers, now at about one.)

Nose: First aromas I pick up whilst sniffing are grainy and malt aromas... what no hops? I take a deeper sniff without exhaling...still nothing. Once I stop inhaling alas there are the hops, floral and citrus balancing out the aroma. The hops in this brew don't hit you in the face, at first you notice the grain with just a bit of hop in there then the rest of it sluggishly comes.

Tongue: Equal parts of sweetness and bitterness right off the bat. They hit the tongue right at the same time, pretty balanced in my opinion for an American IPA. Again a sense of grainy flavor, like cheerios. Bitterness and hop flavor are pretty toned down, low key, on the DL. Little bits of floral and citrus flavors, but not what I'd expect from an American IPA.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Light body with medium levels of carbonation. Typical bodied beer, nothing to write home about. The beer goes down easily, not a bad beer, but nothing that really "wows" one. In a pinch I'd buy it again, but there is nothing about it that would make me seek it out. Not off the mark, just average, nothing spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2007 17:23:07 | More by becktone
Photo of moz9

North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer on two different occasions recently. I decided to wait until the second time to review it, because I thought something was wrong on my first serving.

It's quite honestly an average beer. Looks like an IPA, but the smell and taste are lacking. It's not a bad beer by any means, it's just not as hoppy as I would like. I would much rather drink a SNPA any day of the week.

People talk about this as a session beer, and I think that it could certainly be that. I would almost go as far as to compare it to a hoppy pils or even a lager. It's just average. I guess I'm a bit disappointed and I will certainly hold out hope for a draft serving to see if somehow I got two separate bad batches, but I can't imagine that was the case. An underwhelming beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 04:11:57 | More by moz9
Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 2,911 ratings.