Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

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1,194 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,194
Hads: 3,779
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 70
Gots: 644 | 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
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Reviews: 1,194 | Hads: 3,779
Photo of rangerred
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear straw yellow with a smallish white head.

Strong pine in the aroma along with a little bit of light citrus. Some pale malt sneaking in there as well.

More pine and citrus in the flavor along with light bread. Some lighter caramel notes and biscuit along with a moderate bitterness. A nice balance between malt and hops. Mouthfeel is quite clean finishing a little sticky.

Overall, an extremely average but tasty IPA. Really I think this should be classified as an APA as it really doesn't quite make it to the IPA threshold. (572 characters)

Photo of BottleOfPills
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My serving type was a bottle poured into a Pilsner Flute.

My appearance was a quick forming one half inch head that quickly diminished. (I can relate to that). But a constant flow of carbonation was can be seen in the darkened amber fluid. I would say the color reminds me of a cherry stain or something lighter. (3.5)

Smell - if you've followed my other reviews, well you know that the smell of burnt hops is not something I write home to mom about, but this beer isn't over powering and in my opinion is quite light in hoppiness odor. (3.5)

However that "quite light in hoppiness" would not describe the taste as the hops come through in spades! Not over powering to me. I don't taste many of the florals that others have described, but that's typically not the way I describe things anyway. The taste is strong, but not over powering by any stretch. I could enjoy this with a steak. (3.5)

Now this beer is crisp in the mouth, and you know that makes a high score for me. 4.. I like. It tingles and cracks, and goes down easy.

Overall I got to go with 3.5 - it's better than I expected, and will buy again, maybe I'll aquire a more filling taste for it, maybe I haven't paired it with a great food. Not sure, but it is a good beer and I will definitly have again. (1,271 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very clean golden color, bordering on amber, and displaying light pinkish tints. The beers body is very translucent and particle free, but the head is tiny and nearly nonexistent, which is too bad. What bubbles do appear, appear to from a small scrim-ring around the glass and are an eggshell white. The lacing on the sides of the glass is spotty and quite slick, only staying briefly before they return to the beer. On the nose, the beer smells of grassy and hay-like hops with a good sweet and slightly stale bread malt base and a light citrus touch. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter with a great malty sweet playing alongside of it, but never fully meshing with the bitters. The beer begins with light caramel sweets and a faint bitter bite before the bitters open into a nice little punch with very slight citrus, grass, and hay notes. As the beer rounds out the bready malts build in the mouth to play alongside the bitters, and in the finish there is still a great bitter tingle with a fading sense of the bready sweet malts. Just as the beer drops down the throat there is very quick emanation of cereal malts, which quickly returns to the bready sweet aftertaste. On the mouth, the beer feels thin to medium in body, with a little tingle of fierceness from the carbonation, and a big bitter bite on the tongue. The mouth is left clean but for some slight saliva on the edges of the mouth and a bitter tingle in the tongue. Overall, this is a solid middle of the road IPA. It has a little more of a bitter bite than a true English IPA, but not nearly enough pine or citrus to be considered an American IPA. I think this is a terrific introduction to the world of hops and IPA’s, and definitely a recommendation for anyone trying to slowly convert someone else to the hops. The malts and bitters work beautifully side-by-side, but never quite mesh, which isn’t entirely bad. A great intro IPA, and a good beer that can be found outside of craft beer bars. (1,987 characters)

Photo of Skeeter206
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A ~ A dark golden color with noticeable carbonation and about a half finger head, has a pretty decent lacing. 3.5/5

S ~ Nothing overpowering in the smell of this, sweet fruit maybe oranges, a barely noticeable hop presence in the smell. It might be that I'm a little congested right now but there isn't a whole lot going on in the smell. 3/5

T ~ Well you can definitely taste the hops if you couldn't smell them, nothing over powering but definitely a presence... about average for an IPA in regards to bitterness and taste coming from the hops. Definitely a little bit of caramel in there, pretty good balance. 4/5

M ~ The beer is definitely carbonated, but not in a bad way. Solid feel to it, its goes down easy, an easy beer to drink multiple of. 4.5/5

O ~ This is my go to beer, it isn't an overpowering IPA, with flavor or ABV. It is a good IPA that is available almost anywhere in MA, and on tap at almost every bar. If i feel like having an IPA I can always grab this, it is also generally cheap at bars around Boston if you are on a budget. B- (1,055 characters)

Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure how fresh this is, but pours a dark yellow without any real orange accents. Smells sweet malt and grain and some floral notes, but not strongly hop-forward for an IPA. Tastes sweet and bready and malty and a bit bitter, but again, not really positioned strongly for an IPA...more ale-like here. Fouthfeel is strongly fussy effervescent and really good. Overall, a just good IPA. Would like to try one fresh out of production for comparison. (453 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle with a drink by date of 11/15/12. Bummer. Bought on 12/5/12. Guess this one is not fresh

A - A clear copper, with 1/2 a finger of head, and a little bit of lace left on the glass. Standard for an IPA, but not over the top. Looks filtered. I like them unfiltered

S - Citrus, fruit hop aromas. Not a hop I really recognize though?

T - Interesting. Citrus hops. Needs more balance, a little bitterness.

M - Light bodied, medium carbonation.

O - An average to below average IPA. Was hoping for more, since it is in about every store these days. (563 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (1,503 characters)

Photo of nUgZ
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a 1 finger head and nice lacing.

S: Some hops and malts, but mostly I just smell some dank weed.

T: Grassy and somewhat hoppy flavor with a nice malt balance.

M: Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: Not a hop bomb by any means, but easy to drink and enjoyable. I'm not usually big on less hoppy IPA's, but this is a pretty good beer. (427 characters)

Photo of AmitC
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the worst IPAs i have had. I was expecting something decent.

Poured into a snifter. Thin layered off white head. Golden amber, extremely clear appearance. Large number of bubbles. Just adequate lacing.

Smell : I do not even want to comment. You have to literally search for hops. Very mild for an IPA. So much so that it difficult to decipher what type of hops are used. Slight malt presence.

Taste: Bland. Very little bitterness. Slightly sweet. Some herbal presence. Mild hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Light to somewhat medium feel. Body is very toned down. High on carbonation and appears and feels fizzy.

Bad evening. Disappointing.

Style Rate: 3
Personal Rate: 3

Hop lovers avoid this brew. (709 characters)

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Signature Pint Glass.

Appearance: Small, off-white head, dissipates in about a minute. Shame, because it is rather pleasant. Leaves a lacing on the glass. Nice clear amber color.

Smell: Barely there, slightly grassy.

Taste: Evident hop flavor, but not particularly strong. Kind of grassy flavor overall. Slight sweetness in the aftertaste. Crisp flavor, with ideal carbonation. An enjoyable beer.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light for the style. Carbonation is ideal.

Overall: Not a particularly strong IPA. This would be an ideal session IPA given that it doesn't have a particularly high ABV and is pretty easy to knock back. Given that context, I like it a lot. (703 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice red yellow, a little cloudy with a small white head that leaves a little lacing in the glass. Nice aroma of floral and citrus hops, very nice combination. Tastes of malt with piney and earthy hops, nice bite. Beer seems a tad bit fizzy but still finishes nice. Overall a very good beer. (353 characters)

Photo of nukem5
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden color with nice foamy cap. When head is gone the lacing clings to the wall of glass.

S: Aroma is of earthy hops and malts.

T: Taste is of malts and then hops, almost a touch of honey inside.

M: Mouthfeel is of medium body and a good amount of carbonation. .

O: Overall a great solid beer with a nice drinkability. (341 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep golden color with copper hues and a solid one inch ivory head that is fluffy and dense. The head dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Aroma is grassy and slightly dank, with a bit of skunky hops and an underlying bready malt. There's a subtle citrus finish.

Flavor reveals more citrus underpinnings, heavily grapefruit, ending pithy and a touch bitter. Toasted breadcrust forms the backbone, and herbal and floral hops add hints of complexity. Notes if pine surface as it warms

Body is pretty moderate, with carbonation on the high side. There's a bit of an astringent bite at the finish, and a touch of alcohol warmth.

Fairly subtle for an ipa and lacking depth and hop complexity. Might be a good intro to ipas, but I would consider this to be closer to a pale ale. (802 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best By 12/19/12

A: Pours a golden color with a fingers worth of head that dissipates quickly

S: Floral hops jump out along with pale malts and some breadiness in the back

T: Again, very floral hops jump out along with a nice bready malt backbone to help balance things out. Alcohol unnoticeable, which isn't actually all that surprising given the 5.9%

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Soft and inviting

O: A good middle-of-the-road IPA that has a distinct floral hoppiness and a good malt backing. Nothing too special, but certainly a good sessionable IPA given the abv. A good intro to the style (617 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one on draft at a festival. Poured a clear medium orange gold, with a white, one finger high bubbly head. Dissipates fast, medium lacing.
Smell is of flowery hops and some caramel.
The taste was very nice! Fruity hop flavors up front. Bread and malt flavors in the middle, with a nice balanced finish. Nothing special, but truly above average.
A nice drinkable, medium bodied IPA. (389 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This AIPA poured a light copper color, very clear, produced a very nice white head, great retention and excellent lacing. The aroma of this ale contained malted grain and an explosion of citric hops. Very Nice! Medium in body, this AIPA had a foundation of malted grain, bitter citric hops. Crisp refreshing beer. Excellent session beer, first beer that I have tried from Harpoon, impressed! (437 characters)

Photo of phpfunk
3/5  rDev -17.6%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of patpbr
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- light color with about an inch of head
S- not a lot there, grapefruit.
T- grapefruit, a bit sweet and hops, floral.
M- carbonation and hops that leave a full body that was a little soapy.
O- good middle of the road ipa not to much of anything. hops (251 characters)

Photo of chickenflea
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale golden color with a small head that fades quickly to a film. Good lacing. The aroma is good, but not outstanding. Hops are have a floral aroma. Not sure what kind of hops are used, but the aroma does not seem to match the taste. The beer has a fruity sweetness. Bitter, yes, but not overly bitter and certainly not raspy like some of the continental hops. The combination is unique. Flavor is soft and pillowy compared to a lot of American IPAs. I like it, but it is certainly not typical. This makes the second IPA this week I have tried with unconventional taste/aroma. The other was Great Divide . The beer is immensely drinkable. Accessible for those just getting to know IPAs; but different enough to be interesting to the initiated. The texture is medium. Lower carbonation keeps it soft in the mouth as well. (837 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice offering. It pours a beautiful crystal clear gold with a 3 finger head leaving elaborate lacing. The smell is bread and grass. Mouthfeel is pretty good, not thick, not thin, but pretty average. Taste is some grapefruit and malts with a nice understated hoppy finish. This is a very drinkable IPA that with would be ideal as a session beer. (354 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 8/25/12

Appearance: Mostly copper, with some light orange - very clear - little, white head, keeps a little ring and leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Mild - more or less smells like a tame APA - pale malts with some caramel - earthy and floral with some light citrus

Taste: A bit more bitter than the aroma would imply, which is a good thing - some light citrus, mostly orange and grapefruit peel, with herbal and floral notes - pale and caramel malts, earthy

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, nicely carbonated, smooth, definitely drinkable

Overall: A gateway IPA

I understand that using "modern" (2012) standards to judge this beer (apparently introduced in 1992) isn't entirely fair. The hoppiness of IPAs has increased quite substantially. As a result, this is basically an APA. I'm trying to adjust my score accordingly. Regardless, it's certainly not bad in any way, and is very drinkable. If it deserves any bonus points, it should get some for being a gateway beer to IPAs in general. It's mild enough that it may inspire some to further explore the style. A few years ago, this beer actually helped me on my path... to finding better IPAs. (1,178 characters)

Photo of Chuggs
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good session beer. Bold taste; just make sure it is dated within the month of purchase. Poor out of the bottle with a little force to release aroma and carbonation. I would not consider it a IPA because I don't get the bite I would expect-- but not disappointing. (278 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a beautiful golden orange color with a two finger white head. The head has very good retention and eventually fades to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell – Even with a rather aggressive pour the aroma is very light. There are only moderate smells of grapefruit citrus hop some lemon and a very light pine smell.

Taste – Begins dry and malty with a bready flavor. The hops are present right up front with flavors of a bitter nature. The hop is rather nondescript, but seems to be a mix of lemon citrus and some pine flavors. The beer remains in this state to the very end where the taste slightly sweetness with some tangerine and a light caramel flavor. While the initial taste was rather dry and unbalanced in the end the flavors balance out rather well.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the drier and thinner side, with a carbonation level that is rather medium; the beer drinks rather crisp. While it isn’t bad a bit more body may have given it a nicer, less harsh, flavor on the tongue in the initial taste.

Overall – While not really all that appealing from the smell or the initial tastes, the beer does finish well. It’s OK - but not all that great. (1,244 characters)

Photo of acevenom
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours golden with a large white head. Plenty of bubbles can be seen streaming from the bottom of the glass. The head dissipates slowly, leaving some lacing on the side of the glass. The hop aroma is more of the citrus variety with some sweet and biscuit malt coming through in the nose as well. The taste follows the nose. The hops bring the citrus flavors ahead of the biscuit malt backbone. There is some hop bitterness on the back end. The body is light with abundant carbonation. The finish is dry. The drinkability is high. This is a very good and refreshing IPA. (594 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark gold in color with great clarity and a thick layer of white head. 3.5

Biscuity malts and orange blossom hops. Simple. Snap of pithy citrus in the mix. 3.5

More orange like the nose, but there's a floral bouquet also evident. Rich in bitterness with a healthy malt base. Biscuity with some sourdough flavors amidst. Husky finish with a dry bitter astringent nature. Not a bad IPA. 3.5

The carbonation is pretty rigorous. The body is below medium, but besides a whisper of alcohol, it's pretty damn drinkable. 3.5

The whole is better than the parts. Decent cheaper option. 4.0 (583 characters)

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,194 ratings.