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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

3,326 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,326
Reviews: 1,168
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 42
Gots: 247 | 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
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Ratings: 3,326 | Reviews: 1,168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with an ink jet printed bottled on date above the label.

Appearance: Vibrant deep golden hue with a fine clarity, densely frothed head sticks just about everywhere.

Smell: Earthy and citric hop in the nose with a mild maltiness in the back, hops are a mix of Cascade and Cluster.

Taste: Soft citric hop throughout, bitterness is just above the malt flavours. Some alcohol is there with a warming factor towards the end. Toasted and biscuity flavours from the grain show a stable base of malt. Hop flavour in its softness lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, lined crispness with a smooth backing.

Drinkability & Notes: A highly drinkable bottled ale, seems faintly withdrawn over the years but is still a reliable American IPA.

One of my favourites especially when I can get it with a month old or less "bottled on date". Nothing like fresh Harpoon IPA! Oddly I like this brew better in the bottle than on tap.

Jason, Jan 05, 2003
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/23/07 at The Celtic Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is faint, but has a good floral hops content, with a mild background of caramelized malt and citrus.

T: It starts out with a good hops burst as an IPA should. The thing with this beer though is that I find the hops taste has much more of that “cut grass” flavor than any other beer that I’ve had. There’s a decent caramelized malt backbone and a slight citrus sweetness. The after-taste is of course hoppy and pleasantly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, dry and clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, good kick, slightly filling, good representation of style. The first time that I had this beer I didn’t like it at all, but since then it has grown on me, which is fortunate for me as a hophead, because it’s the most common IPA in the area on-tap.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear amber with a nice crème head. Nose is hops with a strong leaning towards very live tree evergreen tree needles. Flavor is hops all in the mouth. But it certainly isn't obliterating my palate. It stays smooth and even, and after a long time, I get a rather earthy aftertaste that some might say was dirty. Feel has a lot of carbonation that goes over the tongue. This is drinkable yes. Seems like the tail end of it could use more balance or rounding out, but overall it is still a good IPA.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a golden copper tone with an off white mother of pearl tinted creamy full head while leaving some nice residual lacing. The aroma is slightly citric, but predominantly a nice floral hop aroma with a good bit of malt sweetness balancing out the over scent of this beer. Can't say the aroma is amazingly memorable, but I can say this is a nice pleasant go to at this point very solid brew. The taste flavor is a mellow creamy balance of malty goodness blended with a floral bitter hop profile, I can tell that this beer is a little dumbed down from the guidelines of a typical IPA not getting the hop satisfaction that any true hophead is yearning for. Like I said not a failure but not a favorite at the same time. Mouthfeel is lighter in body with a nice chewy texture to it, not thick and cloying chewy just some pleasant and welcoming body to this beer. Overall what can I say no off flavors maybe lack of some hop bitterness, but overall a dangerously drinkable well made beer in my book.

WVbeergeek, Jun 23, 2003
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden (Windsor, VT) on 2/20/11. Served in a Harpoon IPA branded pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of thick and foamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly a rich ½ finger that proceeds to coat the sides of the glass with heavy sticky lacing. The aroma is bright and zesty smelling in the nose with citrus flavors that are undercut by some additional leafy, earthy, and spicy notes. A firm backing of caramel and bread balance things out across the back, giving the overall nose a spicy tanginess at times.

The taste mirrors the nose, with fresh biting citrus flavor that is surrounded by a leafy spiciness. This is balanced by a silky mix of caramel and lightly toasted grains. The finish is dry and spicy with a touch of bitter earth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the sides, which then pulls together into more of a creamy and silky feel across the back of the throat as this goes down. That slightly sub 6% ABV helps keep this smooth and drinkable.

This was my first time with this beer on draft and I must say that I enjoyed it much more than the few times that I've had it out of the bottle. Lots of fresh bright citrus flavors and bitterness here, which were well balanced and the creamy body here kept this very drinkable. This has a bit of an Americanized British IPA hybrid thing going on and I really liked it.

Kegatron, Feb 28, 2011
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 MasterSki
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Abbey Pub; went with this when I heard that Daisy Cutter was out. Served in a pint glass.

A - White foam settles to partial cap, thick collar, and splotchy lace. Transparent dark golden body.

S - Even though Harpoon says this uses US-grown hops, I'm wondering if they're American variants of English strains like Willamette or Cluster. There's a very earthy, grassy, and tea-like vibe going on here, along with fruity ale yeast, and a touch of toffee malt. I get perhaps a touch of grapefruit or lemon in the periphery. (Upon consulting Harpoon's website, this is dry-hopped with Cascade, but there's no info about flavor hops).

T - The taste has a bit more citrus and lemon zest. There's a bready and lightly sweet toffee malt backbone, followed by moderate herbal bitterness and tea-like astringency; perhaps a bit of aspirin in there as well. More hoppy than I expected, but on the bittering side rather than the flavor side of things.

M - Fairly zesty carbonation, more grainy than your typical IPA, medium body, with a dry and slightly gritty finish. Some mild alcohol warmth comes as a surprise.

D - This was better than I was expecting, especially if you frame it as a transitional IPA between English and American traditions. Still, the bitterness and astringency gets a bit fatiguing and the flavor is a bit dull in general. I'd drink it again if I was really desperate (like I was last Wednesday) but there are much better options available virtually everywhere in Chicago.

MasterSki, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a nice apricoty hue, head is nice and white. Aroma is quite nice, fresh and fruity, abounding in sweet associations, with orange on top, followed by peach, apricot, melon, cherries. I keep searching, and I keep finding. Great aroma!
Hops are plentiful on the palate. An entire garrison is deployed upon the tongue, but it swiftly subsides. Taste is ultimately very smooth and mellow, but less complex than I'd prefer in a hoppy IPA. Smelled great, tasted blase. Oh, well.
I do thank Uglyradio for sending it.

feloniousmonk, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at the Colisseum in Camp Hill, thanks to tenderbranson69. Served cold in a tumbler.

A - A light amber w/ a half inch of white foam. The lace has good stickage.

S - Piney aroma hops w/ subtle malt notes. Very fragrant w/ slight toasted notes w/ a floral aroma and light yeast odor.

M - Malty w/ a nice balance of bitter hop acidity and sweetness. Gently carbonated w/ a slightly hop accented finish.

T - Maltier than I remember, this has been one of my favorite American IPA's for years, probably the first IPA I actually liked when first getting into craft brew. This ale has a pleasant balance and has a full sweet feel like some pale ales w/ a crisp taste that has nice English hop characteristics.

D - A solid American choice, very drinkable w/ pleasant flavor yet the bitterness isn't overdone. I could quaff several of these without much thought. I would recommend this to those who claim to dislike hoppier beers.

Slatetank, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of drabmuh
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bere is orange with a one finger head, completely clear, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly fruity with a mild pine backbone.

Beer is medium to thin in body and tastes like sulfur with some moderate bitterness on the backend. The overall feel of hte beer is OK, the drinkability is fine but this is clearly a bargain basement crappy IPA for the masses from Mass. I am unimpressed and will continue to overlook this particular IPA.

drabmuh, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a great ipa, enjoyed in a can for the first time today. pours crystal clear light brassy color, almost glowing in the sun, with a bigger than one inch off white head. smells like floral hops and english bready malts, balanced but hop forward. flavor matches. this is the classic summer ipa to me, its got just enough body to be an ipa, but its down easy with a drinkable but flavorful malt support cast. the hops are bitter but not challengingly so, just sort of crisp in the finish. also this is very well carbonated, lovely in the mouth. overall one of my go to summer ipas, so much flavor in a drinkable body, this is everywhere for a reason.

StonedTrippin, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Rex's Tavern, West Chester, PA

Pretty good IPA. Of note is the fact that when I first had this beer, I was served in a true glass pint, while my friend Dave received his in a plastic cup. Just sayin'.

Poured a slightly hazy amber, with some carbonation, and a humble white head. Faint aroma of citrus hops and caramel malts. Pretty smooth tasting at first with malts and nuts up front, and hops coming in soon afterward with some bitterness. Citrus and pine notes. Light-medium mouthfeel with some stale bitterness in the aftertaste. Fairly drinkable.

Rifugium, May 09, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a nice light maltiness to it along with a mild addition of citrousy aroma hops. It seems to be a bit dry and refreshing. The taste is good. It has a nice pale malt core along with a super bitter hop bite. It goes down smooth and finishes dry. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine IPA. It is a bitter tasting brew with a nice hop aroma.

WesWes, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of mdfb79
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 07/03/11 notes. Brought a 12 pack of this to a BBQ to try and get some friends to try something other than Corona, but I ended up drinking 6-7 of them myself as most people did not touch them.

a - Pours a clear amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and mdoerate carbonation evident. Light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hop, fruity malts, light pine hops, and some tropical fruits. Not overly hoppy, but a lot of fruit, which I enjoyed.

t - Tastes of citurs hops, fruity malts, tropical fruits, biscuit, and bready malts. Some ncie fruit again but also some smooth bready malts.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body, and very easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice IPA that got me through the day. The friends of mine who did try it all enjoyed it a lot; I would think this could be a very good low ABV IPA to bring to a summer BBQ or gathering to introduce some non-crafat beer drinkers to craft beers. Would certainly have it again.

mdfb79, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap and in a bottle at a local bar...I asked the bartender to just place the two next to each other without my looking. I tried each and prefered the bottle. I have tried both before - and tried it on tap at other places. I thought it was my imagination, but the bottle is better. The tap isn't BAD, but lacks the fresh crispness that the bottle has.

jwc215, May 16, 2006
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

DrunkinYogi, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To start, I must admit having a soft spot for this beer. When it was first introduced, it was the best IPA I had up to that point. Throughout New England, this is my favorite regularly available beer. That said, it is not my favorite IPA any longer, but it is worthy of this review.

A-color is honey to light amber. Has a two-finger head that leaves clumpy lace on the glass.

S-Floral hop bouquet, although this muted from some of the "big" IPA's now available. This bottle had a slight refridgerator smell.

T/M-Nice bitter flavors with a moderate body and an above average carbonation. Fairly smooth in terms of mouthfeel. The aftertaste is largely bittering hop.

D-I find this to be the quintessential drinking IPA. It's not too pronounced in any of the areas that some IPA's are prone to. A consistent performer.

smcolw, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -17.1%

beernads, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Gavage
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a one finger head that falls quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: citrus and hop bitterness are detectable.

Taste: grapefruit citrus, a biting bitterness, and a hint of overripe pears. Malt is a touch on the grainy side too.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is long on the bitterness and citrus.

Drinkability: pretty decent drinking beer. Several of these can be quaffed in a session. This is a beer that I revisit a few times over the year, but it is not a staple IPA in my house.

Gavage, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of kojevergas
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Acquired today as part of a trade with the gracious michaellscoates - thanks, man! 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and standard branded pry-off cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings. Reviewed as an English style IPA per current notes. No ABV listed. "Best by 08/19/12" (acquired in a trade and served the day of receipt..)

Served cold, straight from the freezer. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 4-5 finger wide head. Beige colour. Nice thickness. Decent frothiness. Slight creaminess; not enough. Pretty good (~4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks pretty standard for the style; not unique or special. I don't notice any overt flaws. Uneven inconsistent light lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Sm: Definitely English-style hopping; fuggles and noble if I had to guess. The malty end is dominant, with caramel and pale malts seizing prominence. A bit toasty and bready. A fairly strong aroma; certainly above moderate strength. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Appealing for the style; I haven't had an IPA with English character in awhile and this fits the bill.

T: Pale malts and caramalt; the malty backbone is strong here. Floral hops complement the simple body nicely. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Lightly bready with a hint of toasted character. Not much in the way of citrus. Not juicy, oily, nectary, or bitter. A balanced enjoyable IPA, but its simplicity does hold it back. No subtlety or complexity here. Just a barebones English style IPA with effective build. Limited depth and intensity of flavour. Average flavour duration.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nice thickness. Not oily or harsh. Average/adequate carbonation. Decent presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile generally well but doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. No complaints here.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable; very sessionable stuff. A no-frills English IPA that I could kill a 6er of. I doubt I'd get it again but I'm glad to have tried it. I wouldn't mind trying it on-draught at a good price. Hides its average ABV well. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it gets the job done and doesn't offend. Approachable pedestrian stuff. This would be a great beer to use to ease newcomers into the style.

C+

kojevergas, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be an excellent IPA from a brewery that doesn't seem to be talked about very much. It is well balanced for the style and very drinkable. It's definitely very hoppy and bitter (in a good way) and makes for a good beer drinking experience. I recommend this one for a cheap,delicious IPA.

oriolesfan4, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

InspectorBob, May 21, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.38/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The CANQuest (TM) moves forward with another summer CANned beer from Harpoon. CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "In the tradition of IPAs, our highly-hopped, copper-colored ale features a floral aroma and and a crisp, refreshing finish. Cheers! Love Beer. Love Life. Harpoon. Pack it in, pack it out. Please recycle."

I got two-plus fingers' of tawny head from my pour, demonstrating that the rain today is finally killing the oppressive head and humidity of the past week. As the head slowly reduced, a good bit of sticky lacing formed, which was a nice trade-off. The CAN read "copper-colored", but it was a light copper for which I will extend the benefit of the doubt, with NE-quality clarity. No qualms with their mention of "a floral aroma" on the nose, however. Citrusy and definitely hoppy - that's how I like my beer from a CAN! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a great hoppy spiciness on the tongue. What a welcome relief from some of my recent CANs! This both tasted like something and it tasted good, also. The finish was bitter, dry, and refreshing, just the way I like my AIPAs to be. I would definitely put this is my cooler, but it is sadly a limited test run in New England to see about the viability of CANning their beers. I was lucky to get some but I hope that they make it a routine endeavor.

woodychandler, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of corby112
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light amber color with a thick off-white foamy head. The aroma is very bland, containing only a slight bitter hop presence. This beer was very watered down with not enough of a strong bitter hop taste. Another dissapointing offering from an, in my opinion, overrrated brewery.

corby112, Dec 02, 2008
Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,326 ratings.