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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,295 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,295
Reviews: 1,167
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 42
Gots: 232 | FT: 0
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: 3,295 | Reviews: 1,167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ricochet


3.58/5  rDev -1.1%

This review will be just like the other good IPA reviews I've made. It's good but not outstanding.

Pours orange as advertised, slight head. Smell was like JWD's Pale ale, hops, malt, average for IPA. Mouth was good, with that bite from the hops and the alcohol making itself known. Taste was , well, a little grapefruit, a lot of hops bitterness, very little alcohol taste, buffered by the bitterness of the hops.

Yeah, I will get this again. It would be nice during football. However there are several other pale ales/ipas that I can also choose that have more notes that I would favor. Beer is good.

11-09-2005 04:29:48 | More by Ricochet
Photo of Gattopardo

New York

3.35/5  rDev -7.5%

Appearance: Prominent, frothy head, strong golden color with an orange tint, and lots of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and slightly fruity aroma.

Taste: Pronounced hoppy flavor not overly bitter at all, lingering nicely on palate with pleasant citrus highlights. Underlying sweet flavors that really come out with the right food pairing (in my case, a spicy curry).

Mouthfeel: A bit light.

Drinkability: Very light and drinkable, though not my favorite American IPA.

11-06-2005 03:09:30 | More by Gattopardo
Photo of jettjon


3.78/5  rDev +4.4%

I’m really beginning to get into the IPA’s, and Harpoon did not disappoint me.

Highs: Nose, good IPA taste
Lows: None

Pours amber/gold with a fluffy, thick head that slowly fades away. Nose is floral and honey sweet with evident hops—pretty much what you’d expect from an IPA. Flavor is both hopsy and sweet, a good blend that is refreshing and drinkable. This IPA is less bitter and more sweet than many others I have sampled, but it works for me. Individual tastes, of course, will vary. The mouth is watery and bubbly; refreshing, but nothing to write home about. There’s a nicely bitter finish. Drinkability is average to slightly above average.

Overall, this is a good IPA and is heartily recommended.

11-02-2005 00:57:27 | More by jettjon
Photo of hopsaplenty


4.33/5  rDev +19.6%

Appearance: A deep golden yellow with a solid white head of mixed bubble sizes. Dissipates quickly and left minimal lacing.

Smell: Floral hops with biscuity malt. Some tart fruit as well.

Taste: Wonderful hop bite that is supported with sweet malt underpinnings. The hops leave a nice tart finish, which begs for another taste.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: This gets two thumbs up. A fantastic beer that is a great representative of the style. These go down easy and are completely enjoyable.

10-29-2005 16:29:50 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of sopor


3.13/5  rDev -13.5%

Light amber to dark gold with a finger of sticky head leaving a thin creamy film and sticky pile of bubbles. NOt a lot of smell, but some slight floral and fruity notes.

Light malts, I think Vienna or Munich agai. Bitter but not overpowering herbal hops. Basic but adequate.

Lighter refreshing body, and pretty drinkable, but completely lackluster.

10-28-2005 13:25:55 | More by sopor
Photo of surfadelic23


3.88/5  rDev +7.2%

I first had this when it was a seasonal. It was also the first "smaller" brewery offering I ever tasted. The hop flavor though mild now in comparison to some of the IPA's was such an eye opener it just blew me away. Never thought I'd see it again living in FLA., but found it on tap about 15 minutes from my house. Still a pretty good lil ale, but in comparison to DFH 60min or Hazed and Infused (all on tap at the same place) it seems a lil mild. Still, I manage to have a pint or two! This may be a good offering for folks that normally drink macros as it has significantly more flavor but probably won't blow their heads off...

10-21-2005 16:10:44 | More by surfadelic23
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

3.83/5  rDev +5.8%

A little watery on the palate, a little soapy in the mouthfeel, but a good hops character and an overall enjoyable flavor for an IPA.
A little herbal, a bit of citrus rind.
At $6 for a six pack, this is a brilliant idea.
A good way to get your hops fix, even if you dont get the bargain price.
Good for the style and a good brew.

10-07-2005 08:22:19 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of rpgman456


3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

ahhh the Harpoon IPA... I distinctly remember this as the first Indian Pale Ale I have ever tried. This beer alone catapulted me into the world of IPAs and amber ales that I enjoy today. From the second I removed the cap of this Ale I was immediately filled with a sensation of a beautiful spring day. The floral scents of this ale are awe inspiring, but not overdone. As I poured the beer into the only available pint glass left in the kitchen (beer was stored refrigerated and had a shelf life of less than one week) I was pleasantly surprised with the golden amber color and a nice thick head that stays around for a couple minutes but doesn't leave a lace like most macro beers do and can only compare to craft beers. The aroma of hops complemented the wonderful color of this beer and the taste was nothing short of climatic. The mouthfeel for a beer of this nature was extraordinary... by far the first beer that I was really able to sit down and enjoy. Since then I have tried the IPA with a barrage of foods and find Italian and Cajun cuisine complement the taste of this beer very well. I highly recommend this beer to anyone interested in the field of American IPAs.

10-02-2005 05:03:33 | More by rpgman456
Photo of box299


4/5  rDev +10.5%

Very good local beer from Boston... Most fun when consumed at one of the great parties that are held outside at their brewery. This beer is also available on tap all over town.

I usually try and bring a twelve pack on the plane back to Chicago when I travel out east.

09-29-2005 18:18:46 | More by box299
Photo of JasonCoop


4.43/5  rDev +22.4%

appearance- nice. crystal clear orange/amber. nice little head that fades in a minute or 2. nothing too special, but not bad

smell- i love the smell of this beer. very flowery and nice strong hops aroma.

taste- very nice. a classic IPA taste. hoppy of course, but not too much. pretty nice balance. seems like carbonation is kind of high. nice flowery elements mixing with the hops taste

mouthfeel- nothing special in this aspect, kind of highly carbonated feeling, bubbly, somewhat light. the hops and slightly dry finish give the tongue kind of a cottony feel after a while.

drinkability- easily drinkable. a classic IPA. if you like IPA you could definitely have a nice session. they are light enough to put down a lot and smooth enough to keep your interest.

overall- Harpoon is the kind of beer that isn't anything truly special but will always be around as someone close to boston. i consider it the gateway to IPAs. when u start expanding your taste it is probably a good choice to figure out what IPAs are all about. The old stand-by.

09-27-2005 22:00:14 | More by JasonCoop
Photo of BEERchitect


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%

Much better on tap than in the bottle. Looks more creamy with more body, active carbonation, and clarity. Smells pine-ey, hoppy, mildly sweet, and very citrusy. Tastes much more citrusy than through the bottle. More crisp and refreshing. Just more alive. Mouthfeel is a good blend of bubbly and creamy. Crisp and mildly dry in the finish. Less metalic, tin-ey, and thin than the bottle. This suddenly became a good beer. I recommend this beer--but only on tap.

09-22-2005 13:34:17 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +7.7%

Golden amber, very clear, big white head, nice lacing. Smell is pine and citrus hops, crystal caramel malt, honey sweetness. Taste is piney, some light malt flavour, citrus near the end, clean bitter finish. Lighter bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and refreshing, tasty IPA.

09-14-2005 17:38:04 | More by Viggo
Photo of ithacabaron


4.33/5  rDev +19.6%

Pours somewhere between a deep gold and a light amber. Your pick.

Aroma is slightly grainy malt, soft floral hops, and a sprinkling of rock sugar. Very refined -- the soul has been sucked out of this baby a bit over the years, but there's still something here.

Taste is still delicioso, not nearly affected by the recipe changes as the aroma has been. There's something extremely distinct about the hop profile of this beer -- I could recognize it from a mile away. It takes me back to cases of the stuff back in Upstate NY, drinking it as the last of the leaves fall, and the first stiff breezes let you know that the snow isn't far behind. Gets a bump-up for nostalgia...so sue me.

Mouthfeel is just dandy. Even, slow, maybe a bit high at moments, but it's just passing by.

Drinkability is good -- in a pinch, this is a decent sessioner, after all these years. That being said, was my next pint another Harpoon IPA? No, it was not. Take that as you will.

Still a solid brew in this late summer of 2005. No, it's not challenging, no, there isn't a huge attack of hops, no, you're not checking to see if your gums have melted after a pint of this. It's barely holding on to it's identity as an IPA in this age of big juicy hop bombs.

That being said, it's still a good beer, I still got a little hop-burping in -- and I'll certainly never turn down a pint of Harpoon IPA.

09-12-2005 04:25:23 | More by ithacabaron
Photo of ahking


3.1/5  rDev -14.4%

Pours a very light colored amber with a bubbly white head. Slightly orange looking. Smells a little bubble-gummish. Tastes quite malty with little hop presence. Finish is cirtusy (grapefruit). Why is this an IPA? Malt character pretty much overpowers the hops. This is a decent tasting beer, but not what I expected. If you want a nice IPA, try a Founder's. If you want an entry level IPA, try this guy.

09-08-2005 01:51:43 | More by ahking
Photo of 99bottles


3.28/5  rDev -9.4%

One I've had and seen quite a bit, but never took the time to review. Sadly, this IPA is a product of the past before bigger meant better. It's not a bad beer, but it can't hold a candle to the new wave of American IPAs out there. Medium body of reddish brown, with syrupy scents of caramel and biscuit. Hopfeel is minimal for an IPA, but still adds a soft bitterness to the finish and some nondescript coniferous notes to the middle. I'd take it over a macro any day and when I see it on tap I typically buy it, but I can easily think of 2 dozen IPAs I'd have before this. The classy label adds to the bottle's appearance.

09-05-2005 02:17:45 | More by 99bottles
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

3.13/5  rDev -13.5%

Appearance-pours a diminishing red golden color, decent two fingers of head, somewhat cloudy but enough to see through.

Smell-floral hoppy aroma, two different types of hop that I can detect, some malt backs it up.

Taste-hoppy off the bat with a little bit of alcohol as well. The hoppy flavor is sort of awkward though and not well mixed. It goes down fine.

Mouthfeel-again, rather awkward, nothing bad or truly vulgar but just doesn't seem to mesh well, if perhaps more of one hop flavor had dominated it would have been better.

Drinkability-not that alcoholic, perhaps this would be a decent first try for someone with an I.P.A. but then again it's a little unbalanced for me to truly recommend it.

Overall-by no means bad, simply ok though, unbalanced and mediocre, and from a brewery this loved, dissapointing.

08-31-2005 19:42:23 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of Sephiroth


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%

I have poured this into a mug. It is slightly darker than a light golden. The nose is of spicy hops, with a sprinkling of malt.

This tastes pretty good. I would say that the flavor is leaning slightly toward the hop end of the scale, but not by much. This might be a good way to introduce someone to craft beer. The mouthfeel is smooth, despite the moderate carbonation. The drinkability is good, although I wouldn't have too many since I prefer beers that smack me upside my head with flavor.

08-26-2005 05:56:23 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of kingjames1

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +3%

pours a light amber, with a good head that maintains its integrity through the better portion of the 'sampling'.

smells are citrusy and floral - hoppy

taste is more of the same, with some malt balance there (to my surprise). well done. this is a very decent ipa - not too overpowering, and not underwhelming.

mouthfeel is good - normal carbonation for an ipa, in my experience.

very drinkable ipa, and great session beer (if slighly higher in ABV than a standard session beer).

08-18-2005 01:06:16 | More by kingjames1
Photo of hero27


3.45/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours a pale, copper color with a foamy white head. Floral hop aroma & taste...i guess I shouldn't be too surprised, considering the label is covered with pictures of flowers. I've heard this beer has gone downhill in the past few years, and that may be so. A bit one-dimensional, but it should do a good job of satisfying the appetite of most hopheads. All in all, it's a decent IPA, and definitely of "fallback" status, but nothing I'd go out of my way to purchase on a regular basis.
Beer courtesy of ski271. Thanks again!

08-17-2005 22:52:29 | More by hero27
Photo of Illinick


4.05/5  rDev +11.9%

Another Great offering from Harpoon.
Pours a golden/copper color with a sticky white head that remains nicely throughout.
S: Nice aromatic smell of citus hops and a little biscuit in the background.
T: Really well balance IPA. Typical citrus notes with biscuit backdrop and a malty middle that ends hoppy and dry with a nice bitterness.
MF: Medium body, but has a great mouthfeel.
Overall: A great IPA. The citrus hops really continue throughout the taste. Always feel confident with this IPA, an old stand-by (if I can find it).

08-16-2005 20:47:56 | More by Illinick
Photo of tgbljb


3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

Purchased as part of sampler pack. Poured a clear golden color with a nice white head. Smell is loaded with hops. Taste leaves a nice dry hop bitterness that is pleasantly enjoyable. Finishes dry and bitter with the feeling of wanting more. Another good beer from Harpoon.

08-12-2005 00:13:10 | More by tgbljb
Photo of Naes

New York

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

This one is copper colored with a large white head.

The aroma is of hops and a bit of citrus.

Its flavor is hopy with a citrus aftertaste. It’s also a bit grassy.

The mouth feel is surprisingly light for an IPA and is nice and refreshing. It’s nothing amazing, but much better than I was expecting. It’s worth a try.

08-08-2005 01:06:53 | More by Naes
Photo of cracgor


3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance: Golden Amber color. Thin creamy white head. Leaves good lace.

Smell: Ruby Grapefruit like hop. A little piney. Maltiness is almost nonexistent.

Taste: Well hopped. A dry fruity hop. NOt over the top. A little to sweet as far as maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Refreshing.

Drinkability: A very good IPA. Tasty and refreshing.

08-06-2005 19:43:26 | More by cracgor
Photo of Xadoor


4.1/5  rDev +13.3%

Finally got to try it during a recent trip to Boston and it was as good as expected. Colour was a dark yellow with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing on the glass. Very drinkable and refreshing. It would definitely be one of my regular IPA's if I could buy it down here.

08-04-2005 15:44:41 | More by Xadoor
Photo of HopHeadKen


3.55/5  rDev -1.9%

This beer has recently become locally available, so I had to try it.

It pours clear gold yellow with Ivory head of medium bubbles, and I immediately get a scent of both sweet malt and Hops. Served at 70 deg. F (cellar temp) both the malt and hop flavor are more pronounced than I would expect if chilled.

Taste is hoppy, but not complex. Perhaps I am drinking to much big hop beer recently, but this seemed thin; also thin in the mouthfeel. I will try the rest of the sixpack chilled, maybe something will change.

There are lots of IPA's on the market, and most of them are good, but not remarkable.
This is a good IPA.

07-19-2005 19:06:28 | More by HopHeadKen
Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,295 ratings.