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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,204 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,204
Hads: 3,842
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 23.97%
Wants: 78
Gots: 722 | FT: 1
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: 1,204 | Hads: 3,842
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon IPA

Appearance- dark yellow/orange with a billowy white head.
Smell- floral hops and citrus. Orange peels.
Taste- very good. Crisp with a tinge of dry bitterness. Smooth with a hint of wateriness.

Went well with my teriaki seseme chicken noodles.

Overall- a delicious IPA comparable to a SN pale Ale. Harpoon IPA is a definite purchase!

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Photo of ism
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the tap into a bright and rich amber color, with a thin head resulting in a decent lacing. Subtle smells of hops, almost imaginary. Full body for the style, tastes fairly standard. Seems to have just enough hops to qualify and impart the proper bitterness, but there just isn't enough mouth action for what I expect from an IPA. Could stand to use more hops or something to cause that nice tingly sensation. Not too much character here, but surprisingly clean in the end. Mostly par for the course, but good drinkability because of it.

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Photo of Stingray5
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured amber/gold with a white head. Sharp bitter hops in the aroma, a bit of fruitiness. Decent mouthful, taste is a nice hop/malt balance. Good bitterness in the finish. Not sure I'd call this an IPA, but it was certainly a tasty beer. Went down quite nicely. Would make a nice session brew. Nice and fresh from the tap, I'm interested in seeing if the bottle version holds up.

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Photo of oelergud
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden brew, very little carbonation, great lace but weak retention.
Nose is mostly malty, not much hop presence but has a full quality to it.
Sweet grain up front flavors that quickly dissipate to make room for the healthy hoppish citrus spin that grows to it's peak in the lingering aftertaste.
Decent mouthfeel, not too thin or too thick. good drinkability.


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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What says Boston better than a Harpoon? I had to send my first pint back because the bartender put a lemon in it.Never understood that. It is a light amber in color with a quick receding head and ever-so-slight lace. Not as bitter as most IPA's, the hop flavor is slightly stronger than most IPA's instead. This beer helped me get through college, so I may be a bit one-sided.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, MA.

Orangish color with an average head and a fair amount of carbonation. It smells very good, a little bit fruity. The taste is sharp and the hops are very present in this one. Can still detect some fruity tastes in there. Leaves your mouth a little bit dry, making it a little difficult to keep drinking. Not a bad beer overall.

Edit>>Since trying this beer for the first time about 4 months ago, I have grown a fondness for this beer and consider it - if not the best - one of my favorite IPA's. Available almost anywhere on-tap in the Boston area, I usually find myself drinking one of these at some point throughout the night. Excellent beer that I have most certainly grown to love.

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Photo of proc
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-reviewed: 3/14/04: Pours out to a bright yellowish, copper color in the glass with an decent sized head. Aroma is that of grapefruit and biscuits. The taste is very good, with a nice, hop assault on the palate. Not as well-rounded, malt-wise, as some other IPA's, but still a nice offering.

Original review: 11/01/02: A fine IPA and one of the most balanced IPA's I've tried. While hoppy, it doesn't have that one-sided hoppiness of most IPA's. It has a nice balance to it that lets the malt shine through as well. I swear I detected the taste of cloves, similar to a hefeweizen, which only added to my enjoyment. A fine beer. I wish it were distributed here in the Midwest.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of rdrummer
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A classic American IPA that pours a deep golden or copper color with a large white head. Lacing is minimal, however. The aroma is predominantly citrusy hops with a malty undertone. The taste is classic hops with citrusy tinge, a nice hoppy bitterness, smooth carbonation, and a slight alcohol hit at the end. It has a crisp, moderate body. This is a real drinkable beer from the beginning to the end and through several more. There are hoppier ales that I like more but this is one is above average.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Typical color for an IPA. Nothing real 'wow'-ing. The nose...I expected it to be clean, but not this clean. Almost odorless.

The flavor of this beer was very smooth flavored IPA - strangely smooth. The bitters were there -but there was no bite!!! IPAs should bite you... especially when the waitress recommends it to you when they are out of Dogfish Head 90 min IPAs!

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Photo of fdrich29
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been a staple of mine for a few years now. Bottle has the distictive Harpoon logo that looks like it a tatoo youre great uncle had from his navy days.

Amber in appearance with a sweet, hoppy taste and smooth and pleasant mouthfeel makes for its high drinkability.

Easily accessable in the New England area and beyond and reasonalbly priced for such a well crafted beer. Tastes best out of a growler fresh from the brewery in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper color, very nice head that lasts a while.

Nice citrusy hops smell, very full aroma, smells just like an IPA should. Some floral notes as well.

Medium mouthfeel, very hoppy, slight bitterness. Strong citrus notes and a slight bitter-sweetness in the finish, as well as a bit of dryness.

Definitely a nice brew and a quality IPA.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale clear golden color with off white head that crowned to about two inches tall. Floral hop aroma is gentle yet strong. Delicate pine resin hoppyness with an assertive spicy bitterness. Hints of butterscotch and grapefruit on the palette back the hops up nicely. Medium to thin creamy body. Very drinkable. Don’t worry about what you might have read about this beer on some other site, this is a pretty good IPA.

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Photo of Gasp100
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very solid and enjoyable IPA. Poured a cloudy orange with a wispy off white head -- Nice lacing sticking to the side of the glass. The smell was of Hops and citrus fruit. The taste was lighter than I expected and not too bitter but the fruit taste was very well balanced and not as obtrusive as some other IPA's I've had. There was not much of a malt backbone, but overall I welcomed the lighter side of this IPA. Very enjoyable, spring time drink with a decent ABV and very drinkable. I believe I can find this brew in most stores on the East Coast so this will be added to the list as a nice, quick "on the road" brew.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice IPA that looks good and tastes good as well. The body is a very clear dark golden color and the head is just one shade or so off-white. The head comes up about 3 fingers and dissipates, but slowly; lace deposits are fairly nice.

The aroma initially impressed me of malt but then the hops kicked and it was clear where we were heading. The hops flavor was notable because of the nice bittering sense thta seemed very well balanced against the malt. This manifested itself as a lightly fruity flavor and was nicely contained by the malting. The finish is more than a little bitter.

The feel was very good with nice clean crispness in the ending. Overall this is a nicely drinkable American-style IPA.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Cheers the Bar of all places. (I was a tourist, I know.) This beer had a minimal head, but it had a nice color and a good aroma.

The big plus of the beer is its really good malt profile. This made this an exceptional beer. I've purposely not read the other reviews, and I assume most will say not enough hops. This is hoppy. But definitely could use more hops as an IPA. Very good though. You can find this all around town, which is a nice thing to say about Boston.

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Photo of mac56
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: honey color, a good sized head that took a long time to fall, tight bubbles and very little lace.

Smell: slightly floral, slightly spicy. My wife said "marigolds".

Taste: very nice balance of hop and malt. Aftertaste can only be described as crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel: the hop bitterness hit me in the back of the mouth, then faded away ever so slowly to be replaced with a malty smoothness.

Drinkability: quite so. Finished one and immediately wanted another.

Overall: a very good beer of the style. I think this is what I expected the Sweetwater IPA to be like when I reviewed it last week. I will definitely drink this again.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured crystal clear golden. The head was large and lasting. It took forever to fall.

The aroma when first opened was earthy and floral. After a few minutes and the head dying down, the aroma is slightly malty and citrusy but not overpoweringly so.

The flavor is crisp and not very bitter. The malt and hops are very well balanced, but only a slight hint of bitterness shines through. The flavors are not overpowering.

The finish is dry and finally goes to some subtle bitterness. The body is medium and quite drinkable.

Haven't had a Harpoon in quite some time. This one was a 12 ounce bottle with markings on the neck that said XX/17/03. The XX was unreadable.

The beer could be more bitter and have a more pronounced hop character.

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Photo of ADR
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark gold color, a little lighter than many IPAs. Head is steamed milk frothy, over 1/4 of an inch with lasting properties. Laces in big dripping blobs. Nice grapefruit pith aroma, not overdone but solid for style. Body is slightly thinnish, malt has a hard time generating a presence before a slightly oily bittering kicks in. Hops start well, but not as big as many, and are helped by the aroma qualities. The finishing aspects are slightly metallic and the mouthfeel turns a little watery at the same time. Not bad, at least its not one of those hop cartoons IPA that are flooding the market. Malt and finish could be better. Thanks to Liza P. and her dad for getting it, and Ken K. for bringing it back.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from Beers of the World.
Straw color with medium head. The basic standard, really.
The smell was of floral hops. Definate IPA. Caramel also in there
The taste was hoppy, yet well balanced with caramel malt. Not bad, but not great. There are much better IPA's out there. It was smooth and I will drink it again. I just liked it better on tap.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brownish golden in color with an off-white head that left lace.
Big citrusy, floral hop aroma. Malt buried under the hops.

Taste shows a solid spicy, citrusy, floral hop flavor. Toasty malt falls a bit short of balancing this one. Solid hop bitterness lingers just a bit at finish.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall, this is a good IPA with plenty of hop flavor.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at Lazy Chameleon. Pours a clear amber-orange color with a thinwhite head. Decent lacing as well. The aroma is a really pleasant concoction of hops and fruit. Medium-bodied, and the flavor is surprisingly subdued given the strong aroma. There is a fair amount of malt in the flavor as well. The finish is fairly clean and bitter. Maybe it is the hop-heavy IPAs like Ruination, Buckeye '76 et al that are to blame but I like a higher level of hops than this beer offers, both in the flavor and in the finish. A decent beer nonetheless.

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Photo of merlin48
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This was from a 12 bottle sampler box that arrived at Lexington, Kentucky's Liquor Barn stores a couple of weeks ago, so it should be reasonably fresh. Pours out a medium gold, with an average head and moderate lacing. Floral hop aroma is pleasant, but doesn't knock you back like many American IPAs. Mouthfeel is just about right, medium carbonation and dry hops balanced perfectly with the malt. Taste is basically the same, impressive balance with notes of pink grapefruit and lemon. This is not an exciting or "big" IPA, but it is definitely a very well crafted, if toned down, American style pale ale. I'm impressed with its overall likeabilty.

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Photo of goz
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of mschofield
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber with a thin white head. Laces passably with thin rings.
Floral and citrus aroma - not very strong.
Citrus flavor, a little lemon, and when it warms just a tiny bit of pine.
Nicely balanced slightly hoppy pale ale. It's a small one, but good - doesn't compare to the big boys like Stone or DogFishhead, but then it really isn't meant to.

Seems to have gotten a little weaker over the past couple of years. More of a pale ale than an IPA now. It also hasn't ever been as good on tap as in the bottle. I used to buy the bottles quite often, I'd go more with Stone or HopDevil now.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.