Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,199 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,199
Hads: 3,806
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 74
Gots: 673 | 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: 1,199 | Hads: 3,806
Photo of bigbodybussey
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a pint glass at The Fermentation Lounge in Tallahassee, FL.

Appearance - a clear, deep, golden yellow with an inch of fluffy white head.

Smell - Loads of hoppiness paired with some citrus (probably orange) and lightly fragrant spices.

Taste - Very subtle with initial hoppy bitterness that progresses throught the sip. Citrus and mild spice pair with the bitterness quite well and blend. Finally, the bitterness becomes more apparent and leaves a nice bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Light with moderate carbonation and a slight creaminess. Very smooth in comparison to other IPA's.

Drinkability - Exceptional. The bitterness blends quite well and is not overpowering. This beer goes great with anything. Just an all around winner. (773 characters)

Photo of Symmes
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am an IPA whore. The more hops that drop kick my tonsils on the way down, the better. In my honest opinion, this should be an "all day" IPA. It goes down great, but may leave you wanting more. By no means is it tasteless, yellow, boiled wheat by-product, but drinks more like a pilsner than an IPA. Harpoon makes great products, and this beer is no exception. Just know, it is not going be like a lot if the IPA's on the shelf nowadays. It's damn good on any occasion, great with any meal, best when shared with friends....or.....well, don't be a dick! If your hosting, the least you can do is serve beer. This would be a great beer to serve. (644 characters)

Photo of yit4311
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Love it. Can't beat a case of harpoon when you're trying to have a good time. I enjoy a good IPA and harpoon is very easy way to get my fix. It is carried at most bars in my area as well as pretty much any liquor store. The crisp hoppiness defines this beer for me. It's definitely worth a taste. (296 characters)

Photo of Schoney62
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a six-pack of this in Boston. I asked the liquor store owner for something local, and his reccomendations were this and Whale's Tale. I picked this. Overall, I was pleased.

Appearance: I drank it out of the bottle, so I didn't really get a good look at it. 3.0 by default.

Smell: The first one I drank was warm, and it had a strong hoppy smell as soon as I opened it. It was very pleasant. Cold, the beer had less of a smell.

Taste: Rich hops, but a very smooth flavor as well. It's not sweet, but it is mellow.

Mouthfeel: Not very heavy. Not light, of course, but a generally pleasant heaviness. A little aftertaste is all that's bringing this down.

Drinkability: All in all, very pleasant. Not exceptional - I would pick Summit over Harpoon any day (if I were ever able to make the choice, that is), but I'm glad I asked the liquor store employee for a local with which I wasn't familiar. Even given the option between this and Sam Adams, if we're comparing local beers, I'd pick this. (1,004 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Best by: 6/7/07 Consumed on: 4/30/07

AP: Pours out a totally clear Pale amber color with good carbonation that creates an impressive two-finger all-white frothy and foamy head that is very tight and displays really good retention. Sticky lacing does remain.

nose: Fruity sweet and floral hop with dark and red berries, herbal and zesty way down and a bit of cotton candy. Just a whiff of herbal and zesty green hop at the end.

flavor & feel: This IPA has a really nice complex hop flavor, slightly mild hop impact for the style but still ejoyable level of hops. fruity-sweet hop is very bold, featuring light red fruit berries, mild zesty herbalized edge and not at all bitter.There's A mildly sweet-bread and very buttery malt presence that does a great job balancing this out. This is a light bodied brew that is crispy, but goes down smooth. Highly enjoyable flavor and feel.

DA: This one goes down s00oo easy it's scary. (928 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Harpoon IPA is sorta the Mustang of craft beer. It rarely (if ever) wins the 'best of' conversation, but somewhere along the line, someone inevitably brings it up and I can see why.
It pours a nice amber, with a nice bit of white head that soon fades into obscurity. It smells likes it's on the ESB end of IPAs, with a nice balance of malt and hops. None of this is truly impressive.

The taste and mouthfeel on the other hand -- Wowie-zowie! What a great beer. It marries hops with malt in a beautiful way and the mouthfeel is pleasantly grainy. It's mouthfeel is flat-out perfect and it's taste is wonderful. Clean, yet voluminous . . . it works on so many levels. Awesome, awesome awesome.

Truly, 100% recommended. Great stuff. I usually only buy singles but this time I sprung for the six-pack and I don't regret it. Not one bit. (841 characters)

Photo of goz
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark golden/light amber, with a large cloudy white head, lacing is superb in it's sheeting and strength. Aroma is mostly strong floral hops, with a bit of caramel malt holding it together. Flavor is slightly malty up front, with a big juicy hop finish that dominates the palate and lasts for a while. Medium bodied, extremely drinkable. (344 characters)

Photo of Ahhdball
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber and smelling of hops when poured, it's been quite some time since I last had ANY Harpoon. I'm glad to have this opportunity once again. Hops dominated the aroma but subtle undertones of lemon came through. Nice tangy bite when drank. Smoothed out to a nice small molasses finish. This is a really good IPA, above average. The hops and malt play very well together in this. (383 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Doyle's 9/04

A pretty little thing. Nice amber with creamy, glossy head that is alas not long for this world, leaving but memories on the glass. No scent. Simple malt with a generic citrusy finish, more lemon than grapefruit. Moderate carbonation gives a lovely mouthfeel. However, there's also something vaguely unpleasant I'm having trouble pinning down, just a touch of the vegetal corn I fear. And I've got a headache after a mere half-pint despite a tall glass of water and two huge slices of pizza. I blame the lines. Pity.

on tap at the Quarterdeck in Maynard - 6/04

A lovely toasty amber with a tall, thick head--white with lemony tones. It smells wonderful: grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. It takes a while for the head to die down, so I'm sipping the biting foam trying to get at the beer. When I get there I find more of the same, lots of hoppity-hop grapefruit.

At first I'm loving it, but it has no balance or other dimension and gets boring after a while. By the time I get to the end, I'm ready to move on to something else. (1,066 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a pub glass.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with a white 2-finger head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Nice hoppy aroma that is crisp and clean.

T: Crisp hoppy flavor that is slightly bitter and tart. Finishes in the dry side of sweet.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid ale – very balanced and well hopped! (370 characters)

Photo of BigPapaLager
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My number one beer. Of all the beers I try and drink this is the one that is always in my fridge. Pours are dark gold with decent head retention, Not over hoppy for an IPA but the hops are present enough to be my go to beer. I'm glad its local and ready for me. (261 characters)

Photo of Baileyuk
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After writing this review I thought I should clarify. If you are rating according to high hop presence this would be lower. Truly I love Pale Ales and I would rate this as an American Pale Ale and not an IPA. If rating to IPA I would likely lower the taste and smell down a fraction but chose not to in this case.

Well when in Boston this beer seems to be a mainstay. Upon inspection It appeared to be fairly light in color. Head was nice and lacing was average.

Smelled good, more like an American Pale than an IPA but the smell was very pleasant. Not overpowering in the Hop department but a good balance of malt and hops.

Taste was surprising, definitely like an IPA from Michigan standards but I have been told that East Coast IPAs are more subtle. Assuming that it was very pleasant. I think my preference has been switching lately to pale ales over IPAs so this was very welcomed.

I had multiple beers on multiple nights, hence the drinkability. It was one that was easy to drink. Carbonation was perfect, went down easily. Was a little light in body but not greatly so. Would definitely have again although I am not sure I would buy it if something new was available. (1,178 characters)

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a chilled pint glass. I've had this beer many times and was surprised to see that I hadn't reviewed it.

Moderate pour gives a full 2 fingers of foam that threatens to overflow the glass. Settles to 1 finger and leaves much chunky lacing on the glass. Deep straw yellow brew, perfectly clear.

Big piney hops apparent on the nose. Also lemon, fresh cut grass, dish soap, a hint of PEZ candy, and a robust malty presence. It smells viscous, like complex sugars, but not sweet per se.

Taste is a well-rounded and harmonious blend of everything in the nose. No surprises. Dry pine/lemon/grassy hop finish. It has appropriate hoppiness for an IPA, but hopheads used to guzzling DIPAs and Imperial IPAs might not find what they're looking for here.

Drinkability is huge. It feels good in the mouth and feels good going down, begs to be swallowed. Hard to stop, pick it apart, and analyze it. Great beer, something I can drink regularly and not grow tired of. Dependable and solid all around, a staple for summertime. (1,037 characters)

Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - straw golden yellow, fine head which dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma - floral and citrus layered over a pleasant honey sweet maltiness.

Taste - grassy and citrusy to start followed by a light malty sweetness and a nice hop finish with just an edge of bitterness.

Mouthfeel - smooth and round with a sweet soft finish.

Overall - very nice IPA with a great balance of malt and hops neither of which is over stated. Very drinkable. (447 characters)

Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, burnished golden. Begins with a 2 1/2 finger white foamy head that reduces to about 3/4 finger width.

S - Pine and mildly floral - like that slightly planty scent you get initially when smelling a flower. Very faint malt in the background. Grapefruit and a hint of green apple. Not a strong aroma, really have to dip my nose into the glass to gather the aroma.

T & M - This is weird - Very smooth on the front end but a crisp bitter white grapefruit like finish framing the overall experience. I'm gathering brief malty middle. I like this balance. The bitter finish lingers and that's cool. The more I drink beer the more I distinguish between a bitter finish and a sour aftertaste. The body seems light yet the flavor is solid and full. Medium carbonation.

D - I'm digging the drinkability on this. I'm alright with this. (838 characters)

Photo of BillyBrew
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite beer for everyday enjoyment! And especially beautiful and tastey on tap. This is everything that Harpoon IPA is with a deep golden colour with a super-creamy, off-white head with tremendous retention. Big rings and full coverage across the top. Nice dry and balanced, slightly biting medium body with covert, but full, malts and complex and striking hops. Drinks great for any occasion or situation. Cheers! (425 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the Secret Bunny 2007 BIF and sinstaineddemon.

A freakishly clear and lightly colored IPA, this has the clarity of Macro lager and is barely tinted Orange. Fair white forms but does not last.

The smell is sweet and malty and hoppy without covering up a nice floral aroma. Grapefruit and roses are the main scents here.

The taste begins sweet and floral, that suggestion of rose petal makes its way to the taste. Outstanding taste in an IPA, lots of flavor instead of a simple tongue numbing hops overload. Lots of floral taste here and just the merest trace of the normal citrus and pine tastes. Mostly the taste here is herbal and floral and doesn't really settle in to a 'taste' it keeps changing. A cut above the rest for an AIPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

VERY easy to drink and flavorful AIPA. As a rule the beers that interest Beer Advocates are too much for most of the beer drinkers of the USA this is one that is both outstanding and accessible to more casual beer drinkers. (1,007 characters)

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first whiff was awesome. It had a real funky grassy hop aroma that was unfortunately difficult to detect after the first few sips. Bright off-white head poured fairly thick, and faded slowly leaving some thick strings of lace as it faded to a quarter inch thick film. Transparent pale copper colored beer with clouds of fine bubbles shooting up from one corner. Mild floral hop flavor up front over top of a light malt base. There's a candied hop bitterness that lingers in towards the end, and balances everything out. Finish is pretty clean, and burps taste of hops (yum!). Moderately light body and solid hoppiness help this one down. A solid fresh hoppy beer. (667 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i was a little disappointed seeing the review averages/scores for this beer after buying it, but after having this beer i was pleasantly suprised. this is a highly drinkable, very sessionable ipa. appearance is an inviting hazy full gold in color with a creamy white head. nose is of honeyed, doughy malts along with flowery, fruity, and citric notes. taste is eminently drinkable, a nice balance of soft, lightly sweet malts and a very smooth hop bitterness. frothy and relatively light-bodied for an ipa. this shit goes down easy and at this abv you can have a few. this would be a great ipa for the summer or to introduce newcomers to the style. (648 characters)

Photo of rabsten
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to a pint glass, three finger head with good retention and lacing over a light orange-amber body.

Solid, hop bite in the nose. Evergreen notes. Any malt is hidden deep below the hops.

Taste is a crisp hoppiness followed by another hop bite. Not exactly a "hop explosion" but our floral friends dominate this brew. Reminds me of the more hoppy APAs I've had, like SNPA or Ned's Pale Ale (West Virginia Brewing Co.).

Solid, crisp mouthfeel that tends to concentrate on the top of my palate. Feels good going down.

As for the drinkablility, I can & have drank this beer all day.

I was looking at my reviewed list and realized I hadn't reviewed this yet. Crazy, since this is one of my "go-tos." I choose this often when I want a bunch of hops but don't want "a lot" of hops. Weird, I know, but that's me. Anyway, Bottom Line: Worth picking up a six.

P.S. It's not as pretty on tap (not as good a head or lacing, I find) but it may taste even hoppier. (976 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update...frsh bottle bottled about a month ago....similar thoughts...very fresh hop flavors...leafy...juicy...not real bitter...great tobacco/canibus like nose...very balanced and drinkable....I could drink this all day every day....almost has some celebration Ale hop flavors and feel to it....thanks a bunch to Johnny P for the freshie....
I decided to pour this along side a Tyranenna IPA...it pales in comparison in regards to hops on the nose and the buds...the Tyranena rocks...huge citrus invade at first pour...this one is different but good in it's own way...the hops and malt are very balanced...almost even...it is highly drinkable..I see the hopping as more of a sweter, floral style than a tight citrus flavor...I like it...Good in a lot of ways and I like the sweeter mouthfeel as a changeup IPA...Almost more of an APA like Summit Extra Pale Ale rather than a full fledged IPA.... (910 characters)

Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear golden yellow beer with a nice head of pure white foam that leaves a good bit of lace. Aroma is full of hops with floral and grapfruity citrus notes dominating. Flavor was light hop bitterness, with a big dose of citrus hoppiness being right up front. Flavor fades through some sweet malt before a very fast dry finish.OK beer for the style, and at least it isn't one of those all hops all the time super beers. (425 characters)

Photo of akajimmyd
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Poured into the brewer’s glassware. Rich copper/gold color. Great action in the glass. Fluffy but full head which lingered.

Smell – Very floral on the pour. Great hoppy smell. Whiff of pine.

Taste/Mouthfeel – Nice smooth hops. Not too bitter. Little citrus and herbal flavors. Malts stay way in the background. Dry finish, feels great.

Drinkability/Notes – I have a soft spot for my first (and a hometown) IPA, I’m a big fan. Great for a first timer or a more developed palate. Very drinkable, tough to have just one. (546 characters)

Photo of ski271
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden amber with a small, off-white, creamy, mostly-diminishing head and some streaky lacing.

Smell: Floral and citrus hops aromas are moderate to big, a little piney and slightly buttery

Taste: Nice strong citrusy hops with just enough of a presence to balance it out a bit while still staying out of the spotlight. Finish is medium-length, crisp and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, watery texture, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a very refreshing and easy-drinking beer. It’s not as bold as I would expect an Am. IPA to be, but it good enough to make me really wish I had more than one bottle. (636 characters)

Photo of Andreji
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this in Boston.

This beer was a brilliant change from a series of extreme beers I tasted in NY. Soft looks with an orangey hue to it with very little head and almost no lacing. Very translucid

Smell is fairly modest with a citrusy finish to it. Taste is a soft but balanced blend between half-roasted malt and some finishing hops that remind you this is still an ipa. Mouthfeel is however very soft and east going.

Overall this is a return to the basics but quite a pleasant one. Highly recommended. (509 characters)

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,199 ratings.