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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

3,409 Ratings
THE BROS
89
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 bceaglejoe
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured an amber color from the tap, culminating in a rather large head that dissipated to about an inch. After a few sips, it was still sitting about a quarter inch atop the beer.

This beer has a slightly stronger scent than other beers, mainly due to the fact that it's an IPA and it's more "pungent." Definitely not bad at all though.

The bitterness of this beer really isn't overwhelming at all. It seems to me a well-balanced IPA, with the hop flavor offset by malts. It goes down really easily, and it doesn't feel overly harsh on the tongue at all. I suppose it has the smoothness of a lager combined with the flavor of an ale.

I definitely could drink more than one of these in one sitting. It's a very enjoyable beer, and it would probably go well as a "session beer." If you haven't had this yet, I definitely recommend it.

bceaglejoe, Jan 28, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For someone who is not the biggest fan of American IPAs, I absolutely loved this one. Persoanlly, Harpoon IPA or the Cottonwood Endo are the best of its style I've tried so far. Poured a nice amber colored hue that filled the glass with much carbonation and head rentention. Sparkled in the mouth and the hops was not overbearing. Will definitely try this again.

Backer2004, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of Kookiekwan
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy golden/orange has a two finger head with fair retention and some ok lacing. The aroma was of floral hops and caramel malt. The taste was of pale malt with a grassy hop finish. This beer is medium bodied with average carbonation and is very drinkable.

Reflection: Not as hoppy as I like my IPA's but as a pale ale this would be great. With the good flavor and nothing over the top this would make a great session beer.

Kookiekwan, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of travolta
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Light frothy head with minimal retention. Lacing was nice. Golden apricot in color.

Nose: Slightly herbal, leafy, and fruity.

Taste: Leafy, lightly bitter. I don't really get anything else. Maybe some hops.

Notes: Well balanced and not over the top. I like the fact that this beer is not west coast, over-hopped, craziness.

travolta, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of LarryV
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orangish amber color with a moderate head that fades quickly. I don't know what they use for a yeast in this beer, but it has a strong Ringwood flavor to me. Hints of butterscotch. For an IPA, it's rather lacking in hoppiness. The hops get lost in the maltiness of this beer. An okay beer that I could drink 1 or 2 of in an evening but that would be it. Tastes more like an English pale ale to me than an IPA.

LarryV, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one poured a light clear orangish-yellow in color with a short but retentive head that left some pretty good lacing.

Smell – The light, leafy hops were mixed with grapefruit and a super-light malty base. I couldn’t really pick up a whole lot from this nose.

Taste – The hop flavors here were very singular in nature. They are very leafy and herbal and sorely one-dimensional. There was a little faint grain mixed in with everything but no finish to this beer.

Mouthfeel – I enjoyed the nice, bitter mouthfeel of this light to medium-bodied IPA but thought it was lacking in complexity.

Drinkability – It would be hard to keep drinking this all night. Although I live out West I can still appreciate a good East Coast IPA, but this just isn’t it.

RoyalT, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of n8tron
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer from tap and from the bottle. In both this beer is fantastic. Very hopy with no other flavors to get in the way. A really perfect IPA. It has a nice color, slightly dark and reddish brown. It is very drinkable and you don't get tired of it. Its good till the end, like all good IPA's should be. Luckily this beer is very popular in boston, and i hope if i ever move it is popular where i live.

n8tron, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of granger10
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a flourescent orange color with a medium bright white head. Lots of bubbles rush to the top. The scent was restrained at first but I picked up more notes the further I went along. There seems to be a real strong floral pungency in here along with citrus notes from what appeared to be dry hopping, but im not sure about that. The taste was a bit restrained. There was no real dominating flavor but a big mix of estery hops, caramel malt, and a grainlike huskiness around the edges. The body was a bit thin and that hurt this beer a little. All in all a decent but underwhelming beer, not really an ipa but not subtle enough to be a good pale ale.

granger10, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of taez555
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a thick white head with a bright and clear yellowish/orange body.

The nose was a mix of biscuit malt, fresh caramel malt, and a sharp fruity hop with a touch of fine citrus.

Medium bodied with a quick, slightly sour, hop taste and bitterness. Definitely a BIG grainy earth and citrus dry hop taste. Rich malt, caramel, biscuit, Munich. A mix of hops abound in this beer. Some classic English touches as well as American IPA notes. From start to finish there’s an intense in your face bitterness.

This should be the official beer of Boston. A perfect combo of big American IPA’s and British pale ales. One of the best Boston session beers ever.

taez555, Nov 02, 2004
Photo of ken3c
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold color. Big creamy head. Leaves sheets of lace.

Bold malt aroma with pine smelling hops in the backround.

Sweet, very malty taste and a nice pine finish. It almost balances but not quite.

Mouthfeel was interestingly creamy, well carbonated and light body.

There is plenty of taste in this beer. It leans toward the malty side and I'm sure would be better with more hops taste and aroma. Still, I liked it and I'll buy more.

ken3c, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - bright orange color, slightly hazy. A rather large head with a pale yellow tint, creates a lacework down the glass as it melts down.

Aroma - a soft blend of citrus and pine, appropriately and pleasantly aromatic for the style.

Taste - malty beginning, solid, then some quite palatable, mild hops and citrus enter in. More an APA than an IPA, but a decent hop-dominated finish.

Mouthfeel - a little heavier than average, adequately coating, complements the flavor well.

Drinkability - a good quaffer, not in the upper echelon but an easy and satisfying choice.

brewdlyhooked13, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.35/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have tried this in bottle before but decided to give it a try on-tap.

Pours a very clear, lightly fizzy golden copper. Thin white head. Smell is grassy and lightly fruity.

Taste is a crisp light maltiness. Lightly fruity and a puny lightly hoppy finish. Sometimes I couldn't taste the hops at all. Really poor example of the style and not worth expounding upon.

I always try to get my wife to try IPA's because it's one style I can't seem to convert her to. Usually she makes a face and says it's too bitter. When I offered her te Harpoon her response was "Nothing great but I could actually drink this IPA." Enough said about the hop profile.

ViveLaChouffe, Oct 18, 2004
Photo of necoadam
2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one disappointed me.

Poured out a golden amber with a decent head that went to lacing after a while.

Smell consisted of hops, but not as strong as I would of liked them to be. Floral and citrus hops for the most part, with some earth tones and a slight whiff of yeast hangs around in the background.

Taste was..light. Hops? Only found a little bit of them. Malts kick in slightly with some citrus tones, but again, quite light.

Mouthfeel was too creamy and smooth for an IPA.

IPA? I know more APA's with more hops than this beer. Unless they want to appeal to the macro drinkers, I would consider this a light IPA. Goodness, go grab a HopDevil and see how it's done correctly.

necoadam, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of kennyo
2.73/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

gold color with nice, foamy head. Head has a bitter bite but has good legs. Their is a spicy, hop aroma. Their is a light malt taste with hop bitterness and a slight lemony aftertaste. The body is light/thin, could use more malt to balance this brew.

kennyo, Sep 26, 2004
Photo of jvajda
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Apearance: Good deep orange/copper hue and frothy head.
Smell: It smells of bitterness and grapefruit. Very piney as well.
Taste: It's a superbly balanced IPA. The perfect amount of hop bitterness and fruitiness, no more, no less. Very impressive.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and alive in the mouth.
Drinkability: When I want a good plain ol' IPA, this is the one I reach for. It's a fine session beer as well.

jvajda, Sep 23, 2004
Photo of finepaws
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a number of places on tap while visiting Boston. It was the only thing worth drinking at both hotels I stayed in. It was a cool amber color with a small frothy head that held througout the drink. Had a hoppy, floral smell. Tasted pretty much the same. Not too bitter, sweet malt flavor too. Crisp, fresh mouthfeel. Very drinkable. I would recommend this one on.

finepaws, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of twelvsies
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is an old staple. Pretty standard for an American IPA, but reliable and damn good. Appears a little bubbly actually, but there's a nice frothy head present that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Smells of citrus and piney hops, typical for an IPA of course. Tastes great to me, just what I would expect from Harpoon. Lots of hop flavor, less malt, and with a little bitter kick towards the end. Smooth mouthfeel, although a little fizzy, but generally impressive. This is a solid beer great for pretty much any occasion, such as watching the Sox game, which I am going to go do now.

twelvsies, Sep 17, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

White head capping a golden body with a constant stream of bubbles. Great fruity hop aroma with only a hint of malt. Flavor is a bit weak, but nice. Weak mouthfeel, boring but drinkable. As with the Harpoon beers I've tried its a nice, drinkable beer but a bit more bland than I prefer.

Sixpack595, Sep 15, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

your basic, run of the mill east coast ipa. it pours a nondescript crisp amber colour with a fairly thin head. the smell is much more sweet than i remember it, actually dominating the hop and bread notes at times. floral notes are scattered throghout as well. as for the flavour, the hop and malt balance is nicely combined with the floral and sweet notes picked up in the nose, however, everything is pretty bland overall here. i remember this brew being much hoppier years ago. now it seems as if it's produced more for the masses. it's easy drinking and it's nice to know that you're likely to find it at any bar in greater boston (even the dumpiest of dives, most likely). this is certainly still a good beer all around but, like most harpoon offerings, seems to have peaked a while ago. crank it up on all accounts, i say.

SixpointJMH, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of winomark
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful medium gold with a nice fluffy white head. Lovely hop aromas abound. Sweet malt lends a good depth to the nose. Hops lend great flavor to the palate and the malt is quite noticable. Not as hoppy as I was hoping for, but a nice "East Coast" IPA. Nice mouthfeel. Sweetness give some viscosity and a coating effect. A delightful IPA. Flavorful, balanced and well made. I like this and was glad to get to try it. Can't wait to try again. Look for this one.

winomark, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of soper2000
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was fairly excited to see that one of my favorite local watering holes had this on tap, so after a quick pint of Celebration I decided to go for a Harpoon IPA. I have no doubts that drinking this right after a Celebration made my expectations of this IPA unreasonably high. It pours an amber color with a 1 finger head that made itself present for about 8 ounces. Nose is rather muted when compared to the celbrations. Some floral hops are present as is some malty sweetness. Taste wasn't the hop attack that I was expecting. This was rather clean and balanced with a caramelish malt background keeping the hops in their place. Nice medium body to this one too. Definately a decent beer, but it'll be hard for me to choose this of an Alpha King or Celebration when all 3 are side by side.

soper2000, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of putnam
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly light in color for an "IPA", The aromas are of candied, caramelized citrus peel, roasted, nutty herbs and hash pipe.
On the palate it is straightforward, offering toffee-flavored malt impressions along with scorched stone fruits, dry honey flavors and herb oils. It's hard to understand the very pale, yellow color in light of the impact on the palate. The finish is medium in length and balanced. Solid effort.

putnam, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of rousee
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a true honey-apricot amber and forms a small cap of 2mm or less within 60 secs. Very little carbonation but it doesn't seem to bother me - I don't like flatness-- but in this case, there is still plenty of energy in it.

Smell is very mild malty sweet honey with hop/berry present too.

Taste is a peach/apricot berrymix with nice malt and hops resembling berries backing it up. Cranberry essences I am getting
too. Pretty well balanced with an emphasis on berrymix/hoppy flavor.

It finishes failry dry and chalky but chalky in a nice kind of "cleanse your palate way". Mouthfeel is slightly better than average but nothing special.

Drinkability is DANGEROUS !! Easy to get carried away and have too many of these.

rousee, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of oracle
1.93/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Trying as hard as I could, I could find very little in this beer that I approved of.

It poured a clear and very light copper, with a moderate medium density head that left heavy lacing.

The smell was best described as harsh and unforgiving. The characteristic hoppiness of an IPA was present, but in a very one sided and unforgiving way. No malt that I could detect, just harsh hops.

Taste was bad, just plain bad. Harshly bitter (which one would expect in an IPA), but also a little sour. It also had a foul long-lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was about average. Not too dry or too sweet.

I definately will not be buying this again.

oracle, Aug 31, 2004
Photo of Globetrotter
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand-delivered from Boston to Moscow by a colleague (thanks, Jenny - go Red Sox!), I couldn't wait to pop this old friend open. Lord, why can't we get stuff like this here? No ingredient or freshness information. U.S. needs to get with the program on that score.

Pours a nice cloudy amber-copper hue under a slightly off-white one finger head that settles pretty quickly but leaves a bit of lace. Marvellous flowery nose, balanced by some barley but clearly hops are the main attraction. The mouth is prickly, yet smooth, with a heaviness to the texture that coats the mouth and tongue almost like thin syrup. There's definitely a sweet malt backbone here which does a good job of supporting the hops, which are present from the beginning. Definitely not a super-hopped brew, the flowery sweet and crisp bitter nevertheless determine the flavor experience. A deeper bite emerges briefly in the aftertaste, but the flowers linger remarkably long. There's no impression of espresso here - it's more like perfume. Nice.

Globetrotter, Aug 25, 2004
Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,409 ratings.