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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,589 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,589
Reviews: 1,194
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 57
Gots: 417 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,589 | Reviews: 1,194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cvstrickland
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip yields a golden body with trickles of active carbonation capped with a finger and a half of creamy white foam that retains at a creamy sheet

Smells sweet and piney with a little malt..

Taste is richly sweet with silky caramel malt; hops come in and dry up the sweetness, adding pine, citrus, and an oily tingle that seals the balance.

Crisp and clean with a slick medium-light body, this is a nicely balanced IPA. Thirst-quenching.

Photo of Will46andbrew
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The color is golden yellow. Very clear, nice appearance.

S - The smell is slightly bitter. Not florally like some IPA's. Somewhat faint.

T - The taste is crisp and good. Not too bitter, just right for a good refreshing IPA.

M - The mouthfeel is good.

D - The drinkability is good. It's not too heavy, but you can't sit down and have a 6 pack without feeling bloated... Has a refreshing taste, a really good beer. Not the best IPA I've ever had, but it's very good. This is one of my staples.

Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear pale amber with half an inch of froth. This one looks almost like a lager in appearance; it's incredibly clear and pale.

Smell: Mild floral hops, a bit grassy, not nearly as bold as the West Coast IPAs I'm used to.

Taste/mouthfeel: Initially quite malty with a bit of caramel and fruity sweetness. Body is light and fairly crisp. Hops come out toward the finish, but again are very mild and subdued. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean with very little residual bitterness.

Notes: Tasty stuff but it drinks more like a plain ol' pale ale in my opinion. Thanks to leftmindedrighty for the bottle!

Photo of FleeVT
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle with date poured into a pint glass.

A: A very faint amber, or dark yellow with slow but steady carbonation streams. The beer is capped by a white head that pours full and dwindles to an adequate height for the session.

S: Lots of delicious hops on the nose, specializing in the citric and pine varieties. A mild malty sweetness balances it out splendidly.

T/M: Lots of chewey hops on the palate, but they are bitter. They almost hit the back of your throat in unison with the sip. Lots of hop oils keep that flavor around for a while. A healthy dose of CO2 hits the tongue first and gives this beer a crispness. I love hops as much as the next guy (maybe more), but not when the aftertaste leaves that bad bitterness (earwax?).

D: A good beer; great at $6 a sixer. Sessionable, especially for hot summer days as a quencher.

Some IPAs leave that lingering aftertaste that I have difficulty describing other than extreme bitterness and this is one of them.

Photo of haz77
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear dark gold with a couple of fingers of firm white head. Almost no visible carbonation.

S - Grapefruit, pine, lychee, biscuity malt

T - The citrus and lychee fade in at the start before the malt takes over in the middle. End becomes piney/slightly herbal and refreshingly dry. Nice astringent aftertaste of more pine.

M - Light body initially, but fills out from the middle onwards. Soft carbonation is pleasant.

D - Much more restrained than I was expecting. However, very easy to drink and a solid offering.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 7/18/08 printed on the bottle.

A: A light orange-gold color with a thick slightly off-white head that retains very well and leaves lots of nice lace down the glass.

S: Very strong grapefruit hop aroma with (perhaps) some faint peachy notes. Some lightly sweet malts in the background, as well. Very pleasing, but only a 4 because I know the hop aromas could be stronger for an American IPA.

T&M: It's good, but not quite hoppy enough. It tastes more like an American Pale Ale than an IPA. The hop bite is very bitter, but I wish the hops gave more flavor. I'm a hop lover, but bitterness for it's own sake is not enjoyable--there has to be some flavor that goes along with it. Pale malts balance a little bit with the hops, too. Like most IPAs, it has an oily mouthfeel with good coating and a dry finish. Carbonation is also spot-on.

D: Decently drinkable, but if it had more flavor it would be much better. Still a solid American IPA, and something I'll probably pick up again because its lower ABV makes it somewhat of a sessionable IPA.

Photo of watkins
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours copper-orange into pint glass with tight one-finger head. Nice lacing.

S: Hoppy with grapefruit-citrus, slightly yeasty.

T: Hop from start with a some sweetness detected in the middle, finishing sort of metallic, with lightly bitter, lightly fruity hops.

M: Sort of wartery, lightly carbonated and not too thick for an IPA, slightly underwhelming.

D: Definitely a summer cookout or boat beer to throw back with grilled food. Better than Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale by far.

Photo of philbe311
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light copper hue... Thick creamy white finger and a half foam...

S - Potent... Malt and hops... Wheat... Slightly spiced and smoky...

T - Mild hops taste, but still very biting... Floral elements are present... Very very slight nut characteristics... Biting taste lingers and continues to sour...

M - Light Bodied but lush... Coats mouth well... Dry...

D - A little too harsh for a standard IPA... Promising appearance and smell give way to the when in doubt put more hops in it school of brewing

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fairly pedestrian and not really unique in any way. Sorry Harpoon, but it's just way too bland and one-dimensional. Amber with some bright orange highlights when I hold it up to the light.

I've had APA's with bigger hop profiles in the aroma...and not just Stone or other big beers, but just generic pale ales that seem to be more hoppy.

Does not really have an english ipa profile either, which can sometimes not be as hoppy. It's definitly an american ipa, with american hops. Just doesn't have much to offer.

Biscuity roasty malt and a good soft hop and alcohol presence. Overall a good drinker, and the mouthfeel seems full enough. This ones just not in my top IPA's, by far.

Photo of Leebo2007
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

COLOR: light to dark brown, great color

CONSISTENCY: Very bubbly, good constant color with copper color

HEAD: Good to medium head

SMELL: fresh/Fruity smell. Has some wild yeast smell too.

TASTE: fruity and floral at first but then loses some hoppiness. Still pretty crispy for an IPA.

Not the best IPA but has a good yeasty taste that many IPAs do not have.

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep golden color with a big, thick, and white head that makes nice lace on the glass. A floral bouquet of hops fills the nose. The hops are flavorful with pine and citrus notes over a light toasted and biscuity malt taste. The palate is medium bodied with good carbonation and a hopy bitterness that lingers on the tongue and begs you to take anther sip. Its not over the top hoppy but they are main show here which is how I like an IPA to be.

Photo of weiserr
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was first introduced to Harpoon IPA several years ago at a Fire + Ice improvisational grill in Providence, RI. I was growing bored with malt liquor during that time frame, coupled with the fact that "ghetto swill" wasn't readily available in most eating establishments, so I asked the waiter to "surprise me". I recall it tasting much better during my first encounter, but in fairness, my palate has probably been altered a bit since then.

Pours a clear amber with a quarter-inch cap that fades relatively quickly. A thin film of lacing is present initially, but much like the ivory froth, it too dissolves in rapid fashion. For the short duration the lacing is detectable, it is concentrated and doesn't form any consistent patterns. I tend not to get too worked up over appearances, but this one is characterless.

It picks up a bit with the fragrance. Some nutty spiciness blended with a doughy malt character. An interesting similarity to dried banana chips is also present.

The taste is fairly unimaginative. I mean, it's somewhat bitter, but I expect that. A citrus character is present, but it's barely discernable. The malt properties are somewhat weighed down; several flavors tried to emerge, but neither of them could get a foothold on the others. Medium-bodied with a pasty hop finish. Overall, very safe.

Would I drink this again? Given the alternatives - sure. While it doesn't push any creative boundaries for the style, it has become a staple for the basic IPA. I only wish it had some more pronounced qualities. Maybe Harpoon Brewery will consider modifying the recipe down the road.

One can only hope.

Photo of soundbarrier
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into pint. Good apricot color. Boring smell. Very clean tasting with a hint of banana.

Pour: Poured into pint glass with a nice off white head. Good lacing.

Smell: Good bouquet. But a bit boring.

Taste: Hoppy taste with banana tones.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean.

Drinkability: Good taste. OK to drink.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of beachbum1975
2.4/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for this one soundbarrier.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear orangey, apricot with a slightly off-white head w/ little to no sticking on the walls of my pint glass. Cool, nautical packaging.

Smell: bread, yeast and some indefinable sweetness like bananas or vanilla

Taste: Tastes watered down compared to the smell. Sweet with mild tartness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavily carbonated and mildly dry

Overall: Easy going IPA, a good crowd pleaser. Too mild for my taste. In my opinion, it should be a Pale Ale, not an IPA.

Photo of iuhophead87
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a very light orange almost yellow with a large white head. An abundance of bubbles with quite a bit of lacing.

S-Not a strong hop smell for an IPA. Did have a small citrus fruit smell , but had to search for it. Almost like walking through a garden in the spring.

T- This beer tastes exactly like it smells. A little hops, a little citrus but nothing over the top. An average IPA that is slightly sweeter than I prefer.

M- Very light, almost watery.

D- This would be an IPA that I could drink heavy quantities of during a warm summer day. Does not stand out as an excellent IPA, but well worth the price. I can see myself drinking this beer often when I want something slightly better than the "American Light" beer.

Photo of bonkers
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poure 12 ounce bottle into pint glass
a-pale yellow color, slight head with minimum lacing
S-light citrus smell
T-moderate amount of hops on tongue, fades into a pleasant aftertaste
M&D-This beer felt limp with a mild body, but it is drinkable and not filling
Overall- I was disapointed with this beer. In comparison to other IPA's this one came up a little small.

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful bubbly copper with an inch foamy off-white head. Hoppy and floral aroma; the taste follows suit. Crisp with a good amount of carbonation, but very easy to drink. A nice robust taste with a dry finish. Really enjoyed having this with a basket of fish & chips Definitely going to pick up a six pack in the near future.

Photo of praufs01
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Clear yellow with a frothy white head.

Aroma - Light floral hop.

Palate - Medium to high carbonation.

Flavor - Smooth light hop flavor up front that smoothes out in the finish.

Final thoughts - This is a great crossover IPA for those making the leap from Lager to American IPAs. Not too hoppy and very sessionable.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, coppery body with a full, white head. Splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Aroma of lightly toasted malt and fresh-cut flowers with a far-off note of sliced grapefruit.

Taste: Pale malts, a hint of toast, a touch of sweetness. Medium 'pop' of cleansing hop bitterness. Flavors of flowers and citric grapefruit. Crisp finish with a light, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A standard, basic India Pale Ale, but quite easily drinkable.

Photo of Quej
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Very light orange, some bubbly head and decent lacing.
S - Very fruity smelling, lots of citrus and grapefruit in the nose. Some hops and the sweet smell of caramel.
T - Very sweet tasting, bubblegummy even. Lots of hops, but not very bitter. Slightly watery taste and a little metallic.
M - Drying, but not rough.. Quite smooth and light bodied. Nice, but a little watery.
D - Very drinkable, sessionable beer.

Photo of Proteus93
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Quite a pale amber / blonde hue, which was actually pretty surprising. I expected it to be a little darker than this.

S: A VERY floral aroma, it literally smells like wild flowers to my nose. Maybe something of an orange citrus in there, and a little bit spicy with something I can't quite put a finger on. Nice, but a little unusual, perhaps.

T: Almost like eating the aroma... quite a pungent, bitter hoppiness that actually mellows a little as it warms, rounding out a little more into an orange peel / floral flavour. A little bit of a malty backbone offers a touch of balance.

M + D: A medium body, could maybe use a little more expressiveness, but alright. Fairly refreshing, and easy going... I would gladly have it as something of a bulk purchase when trying to avoid overspending, along with something like Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada, but it wouldn't really stand out too much from those, ultimately.

Photo of biggmike
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an attractive golden/amber color with a nice pillowy white head that lasted until the very last sip. Nice lacing also. Aroma was a mix of malt and light floral hops. Taste was a very nice balance of malt and hops. This is not the hop bomb that is characteristic of many American IPAs. This is nicely balanced and sessionable.

Photo of halfP1NT
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light golden yellow, clear with tiny bubbles. Bubbly white head, dissipates to a thin ring, leaves lotsa lacing.

Smell is light sweet malts, light hop aroma. Not too much in the aroma department. Hint of flowery, light fruit comes thru as it warms.

Taste is light malts, slightly sweet & tingly on the tongue, earthy hops.

Medium carbonation, light, crisp, clean and very drinkable. Nothing too exciting but light enough to have more than one.

Photo of alysmith4
2.48/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tried this once on-tap at a nice restaurant on the Cape.. I remember liking it so I thought I'd give it another try.

The smell is a bit off.. musty, with some definite straw/hay tones. But the taste is pretty good. Nice and well balanced.. a good amount of hops, but not too bitter. I would definitely recommend as it's a pretty decent example of an American IPA, and it's easy to find.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Merchant Fine Wine in Dearborn Heights, MI. for $1.59 in March 2008.

Pours a light copper with a pleasing white head and moderate coarbonation with nice lacing.

Aroma and flavors are kind of thin, bright and clean with a kiss of herbal hops. This reminds me more of an English IPA or even an American Pale Ale than an American IPA.

Decently made, clean and refreshing, and not to be negative, but this one focuses on the word "pale" part of it's name.

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,589 ratings.