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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,409 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,409
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.57%
Wants: 49
Gots: 285 | 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: 3,409 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Envious
4.72/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another of the beers on my sampler tray. Although I had tried this before out of the bottle it had never been better then on-tap at the source. This style was my crossover beer. I've never looked back.
This IPA was an amber color, slightly cloudy, plenty of carbonation. The spicy hops aroma went pleasantly with the yeast and citrus undertones. As with Harpoons other light beer (UFO) this ale has very good mouthfeel. A clean drinking beer which went extremely well with my rare roastbeef sandwich (the New Englander).

Envious, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of GardnerAleBrewer
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A great American IPA. Has a great citrusy nose and taste (Cascade?). Malt flavor is slight, with a hint of biscuit. The bitterness seems about medium for an IPA. Very, very drinkable. Definitely an IPA for the masses. This is the IPA that I tend to compare other new American style IPAs to when I drink them, although I like a bit more color, malt character, and body for my ideal IPA. Cheers to Harpoon for putting out a great product year after year.

GardnerAleBrewer, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice, solid, and affordable IPA. I picked at a 12 pack at Wegmans for $13. Its a touch light in color and head, but has great lacing. Smells of citrus and grapefuit. Tastes of biscuit malts and citrus hops. A nice kick of bitterness, but nothing you cant handle. Easy to drink and tasty.

tempest, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours 14k gold with good clarity. Creamy white head of one and a half fingers shows good retention and decent spotty lacing. Slight apple ester in the nose with some mild chinook and cascade aromas. Flash of sweet toasted malt upfront, followed by a blast of grassy american hop flavor and mild grapefruit rind taste, which then dissipates to a solid bitterness. A pinch of high-Alpha acid hop flavor in the aftertaste, but mostly just a bland, dry bitterness. Medium-high carbonation and light-medium body- this seems too crisp and light for the style with an unbalanced bitterness and lack of hop flavor and aroma. Finishes bitter but clean. While this very drinkable and devoid of any significant flaw, it's also kind of boring.

PBRstreetgang, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle...nice golden apricot color with a flat, medium head of foam. Looks light in the carbonation department as well.
Smells grainy like cereal- lots of malt and yeast scents.
Tastes citrusy- the hops lightly run across the palate. Very little bitterness to speak of. Some caramel flavors linger as well.
I think I could drink a couple..but I only had one to work with.
Decent, medium bodied IPA...I'd like to try it on tap sometime.

MeLikeBeer, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pub glass.white creamy head,a very light coppery color towards golden.Light colored for an IPA.Very clear,a few bubbles rise to the top.Nice lacing on the the sides of the glass.
An earthy ,woody ,herbal,spicey,aroma.A slight burnt smell.A nice complex aroma.A light mouthfeel for an IPA,a clean spicey,woody,light caramely taste.A dry, citrusy,refreshing aftertaste.More like a pale ale than an IPA.This would be a good beginner IPA. A very tasty and very drinkable brew.
Not quite up to par with other IPA's I like,but neverless a very good beer overall. One of the best beers I've had from Harpoon.

jcdiflorio, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of n0rmann
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon IPA is the beer I most drink when I head out to the bars. It's a nice, tasty, simple American IPA that I can drink while enjoying good coversation with friends.

Living in Central, Mass., this is usually one of the best beers available wherever I go.

By no means is it the best American IPA I have ever had, but there's also nothing wrong with it, and fits the bill when you want a good beer to drink while out, or sitting at home watching some sports.

n0rmann, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - this IPA pours a nice transparent amber color with a great frothy white head, with plenty of swift carbonation

S - Harpoon's IPA has a great, but mild hop profile, with nice candy-like sweet smelling undertones

T - this is one of the better IPA that isnt a limited or small release, not a monster hop profile, but not subtle either, its present and quality, i tend to enjoy my IPA's a bit more bitter, but this is still damn good, this also has some sweet undertones like in its aroma, quite a nice balance

M&D - that balance and the smoothness make this a great IPA, and one of the best IPA's to session

sinstaineddemon, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of JohnnyM2002
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at 42 degrees.

Pours a dark straw color with a 1-inch head. Smelled hoppy and grassy...more herbal/flowery than anything. Hops take over in the first sip, but it goes down very smoothly and a citrus/floral aftertaste comes right back up. A very nice balance - good for the hop-heads, but not so bitter that it goes over the top.

JohnnyM2002, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of lpayette
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Details- 12 oz. bottle. Purchased at the Windsor, VT brewery. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Golden yellow-orange with a leaning towards yellow. Very big foamy, cloud-like head. Impressive, but lacing is minimal.

Smell- Flowery essence with hints of grape nuts.

Taste- Decent, but not impressive... just average. The flavor profile favors hops, yet not nearly enough... especially if this is supposed to be an American IPA. A bit of herbal/medicinal flavors come through. A bit of citrusy notes too.

Mouthfeel- A very traditional ale mouthfeel if that makes sense. Could use a bit more pizazz.

Drinkability and other notes- It certainly goes down smooth and easily, but overall this is a very average beer. It tastes like a "macro IPA" that would appeal to the masses, but that's good for quaffability.

lpayette, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of Osiris9588
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold with a copper tint from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date. The white head is frothy, slightly creamy, with pretty solid retention and lacing--some nice cloudy puffs remain on the surface before the first sip.

The smell is of floral hops, yeast, and a hint of spice. The flavor consists of mildly bitter hops, light lemon zest, and a burst of fruit. The mouth is very light and not all that complex.

The drinkability is high, but I would prefer more flavor and complexity. I certaintly wouldn't dump it out, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

I have had it on-top before and rember liking it better in that format.

Osiris9588, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
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 Rudgers73
1.83/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is the beer that made me realize that I don't enjoy IPA's.

I gave this a try while attempting to complete the 100 Beer Tour at the local college bar. This is the first one that I really didn't like.

The bottle looked nice, and it smelled just a little hoppy. Then I took my first sip and BANG--hops hops and more hops. To the point that it tasted like chlorophyl. I don't mind ESB's so I don't think it was the bitterness that got me. It was just pungent. I had to pass it around to get it finished.

Rudgers73, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I cannot believe I've never reviewed this beer before. QUITE honestly, it is probably my "most consumed" beer. Not overly charismatic in any of its forms, but it is one consumable beer.

A. Average. Depending on how it’s served, variances its appearance.

S. Slightly hoppy, kind of commercial.

TM. Average. At best.

D. Off the charts. Widely available in Massachusetts, and New England.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of JayQue
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had reviewed this on tap earlier. Not much difference with the bottle. Still a solid, but not spectacular American IPA. After six more months of reviewing since the last Harpoon review, I had to downgrade the appearance for a less than spectacular head. I thought the taste was better than I remembered from before, because the flavor comes out better without the frosted beer mug from the bar. I had this one with spicy Chinese food and the flavor stood up very well. Still wouldn't be my first IPA choice, but I would jump on it is a restaurant if faced with the usual boring choices.

JayQue, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of beerphan
2.68/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle -> pint glass
'bot on: 4.18.06' is printed on the bottle about an inch above the label

Pours a golden yellow with a bubbley inch head, which leaves this earth fast. Little to no lace. Light carbonation present. Nothing to right home about.

Slight floral aroma. Not much of a nose.

Taste: Boy this must be spoiled or something. Metallic taste, rice and yeast, no malt, no hops. Metallic bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery.

This beer was a disappointment. Wondering if 4 months is just too old for this brew. I bought 3 of these, and i think the other 2 or going to my mooch neighbor who swills the Millwaters best.

I'd say stay away if the bottled on date is more than a couple months.

beerphan, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tasted at the classic wines annual beer tasting earlier this year, i am reviewing this from my notes.
was served a straw colored sample with a slight white head.
the aroma was malty with a good whif of hopsack
the flavor was malty, citrus, spicy, ending with a mineralness and spiciness.

plaztikjezuz, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of wavz
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This IPA is one that should have been classified as a pale ale. Light amber honey hue as you pour. The head stands up well, then just sorta fizzez out. But the taste and the aroma are the lightest part of this beer. This has to be the lightest hopped IPA I have ever tasted. Has a light honey and flower finish to the taste, and is a easy drinking beer. I am a hop head so I was kinda disappointed in this one. But if your looking for a good light IPA to get someone into the style, this is the one for them.


wavz, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light for an APA, very filtered but with a nice, rocky white head that sticks around.

Smells of single, uncomplicated hop and a light, crisp malt. Very nicely balanced. This would make a good, refreshing APA smell, but for an IPA it's a little lacking.

Tastes starts with a strong, very fruity hop. Apricot hops, very sweet and very dry and bitter. Nice. Mix that with a fruity, crisp malt and you got yourself one tasty, well-balanced IPA.

mynie, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of sstackho
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours fairly pale, with medium carbonation. Head fades pretty quickly, but has decent lacing. Nice, floral hoppy aroma. Taste is enjoyable, but a bit lacking, and not as full, hoppy and fruity as I was hoping from the aroma. As this beer appears to be pretty readily available in the Boston area, I would definitely choose it again when offered alongside the big brews, if no interesting micros are available.

sstackho, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of kkipple
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon IPA fills my pint glass with a clear yellow beer crowned with a small, tenacious foam. Smells of sweet, apple-tinged malts, alcohol, and citrus hops.

Flavor is simple but good; a dry rush of sweet malts and a secondary mild tart bitterness from the hops. There’s a slight syrupy characteristic to the beer, but the bittering hops help keep it balanced. Mildly dry and crisp. The aftertaste is better than a lot of IPAs, it's richer and less harsh.

A very basic beer, Harpoon IPA doesn’t stray far from the style at all. I think it’s sweeter than many other IPAs I’ve had, and could use a bit less malt character and more hop flavor. There's a definate alcohol flavor in this one, not unwelcome but it comes on a bit strong. But all in all, not a bad beer and certainly an easy drinker.

kkipple, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap...

Pale, golden orange with a medium white head. Moderate retention with persistent lacings.

Lightly sweet, hoppy aroma with some malt presence.

This beer holds a special place for me. Apart from being a local icon, this was my first IPA. It's also readily available in suburban Boston restaurants with no craft beers. While my palate has evolved to strive for hop explosions, this recent taste was not the best homecoming. The sweet malt up front is complimented by a rather one-dimensional citrus, cascade hop profile. This is a fine starter IPA but somewhat inadequate for those who follow the way of the hop.

Decent mouthfeel, very drinkable due to a smooth and muted flavor. This is a good beginner IPA and a decent selection at a New England bar that doesn't feature many craft brews.

Estarrio, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of hermesch
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly golden yellow with active carbonation. Small head that doesn’t stick around with moderate lacing.

Smell: Hops are immediately evident, with a faint promise of citrus undertones.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Crisp and bitter start that is followed up by a moderate hop punch and finishes nicely. The citrus notes in the bouquet are not nearly as evident in the taste, but the hop component is just right for an American IPA, so that’s enough. Notes of pine and biscuit malt hang around just at the very end and make for a fine finish.

Drinkability: This is a damn good beer and you can drink a lot of them. Perfect for just about any gathering. Recommend popping a few open with some pungent cheeses for a lunchtime treat!

hermesch, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a clear and carbonated golden yellow. A finger of pithy white head slides slowly to foamy vellum. Runes of lacing sign the inside of the glass.

It's rather thin at the nose, with a very understated malt sweetness and a vague dry citrus hop bitterness.

Upon tasting, there's a mellow toasted malt berry fruit sweetness, with a rounded, creamy touch of vanilla. The hops are more assertive on the flavor, with upfront grapefruit crispness followed by a farther-back pine note. A residual biscuit malt trace ebbs to a medium finish of nicely refreshing bitterness. While not notable or signatory, it's bsically good and tasty.

Light bodied, it coats and flows enough to leave a fair impression.

It's better than average, and if not special, it does pack enough to make it enjoyable. The building-block combo of malt and hops and yeast yield a pleasant character that makes it crisp and drinkable. So it may not stand out in a crowd, but it does manage to hold its own well enough.

Foxman, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of ckbailey97
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very good IPA, especially for the price. When comparing to $30 and up for a case of IPA, should you buy it in that manner, it makes this IPA much more attractive. Locally it is accessible for around $13 a 12 pack. Not the best IPA I have tasted, but above others for me that are more pricey. Good lawn mowing IPA, little spill here or there doesn't make you cry. Not my favorite thing to do either, but spillin' a Titan makes me worrysome.

ckbailey97, Aug 08, 2006
Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,409 ratings.