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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,634 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,634
Reviews: 1,201
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 62
Gots: 483 | 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: 3,634 | Reviews: 1,201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cktison
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pint glass.
A: Pale amber, not as dark orange as some. Nice 1" head, medium bubbles and moderate retention. Some lacing.
S: Light, hoppy, grapefruit and citrus. Peaches, melons, really interesting aroma - I really like how this one smells!
T: After the aroma, taste lets me down. Not as hoppy as many IPA's, but a good floral aroma and decent malt backbone. Not very bitter at all - which surprises me, but makes for an easy drinking IPA.
M: Nicely carbonated, smooth, not too bitter and a slight metallic tinge at the end.
D: Really easy drinking, smooth IPA.

Photo of cichief
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Harpoon's Brewery in Windsor, VT.

A- Pours a very pale golden color with a thin, white head.

S- Smells of flowery hops and some faint malt.

T- Citrusy and piney, very fresh. Well balanced, too sweet, with a dry finish.

M- Thin to medium on the tongue, dry finish, well carbonated.

D- Very good, fresh tasting.

Photo of Smixam
4.27/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, a nice medium copper; medium (two-finger), foamy head. Splotchy but persistent lacing and an overall nice appearance. The scent of this beer is great if you're an IPA fan; very floral and full of hoppy aroma, it's one of the best for a medium to large scale IPA like this.

First taste is all about the hops, nice for this style, so many offerings are too weak in this regard. After the initial onslaught of hops, the taste is very smooth and crisp; this will be an excellent summer-night brew. Aftertaste is minimal and pleasant, floral feel left on the pallet that just begs you to have more. Instantly became one of my favorites.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Best by: 6/7/07 Consumed on: 4/30/07

AP: Pours out a totally clear Pale amber color with good carbonation that creates an impressive two-finger all-white frothy and foamy head that is very tight and displays really good retention. Sticky lacing does remain.

nose: Fruity sweet and floral hop with dark and red berries, herbal and zesty way down and a bit of cotton candy. Just a whiff of herbal and zesty green hop at the end.

flavor & feel: This IPA has a really nice complex hop flavor, slightly mild hop impact for the style but still ejoyable level of hops. fruity-sweet hop is very bold, featuring light red fruit berries, mild zesty herbalized edge and not at all bitter.There's A mildly sweet-bread and very buttery malt presence that does a great job balancing this out. This is a light bodied brew that is crispy, but goes down smooth. Highly enjoyable flavor and feel.

DA: This one goes down s00oo easy it's scary.

Photo of Brad007
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light copper color. Aroma has a decent hop bouquet and the taste follows. Not too hoppy and not not too much of anything else. Solid flavor. A pretty good representation of its style. To some, Harpoon is a benchmark for IPAs. I would say that it's a good starting point.

Photo of meadhead
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nothing too weak
nothing too strong
floral hops + semi-sweet nut malt
with a touch
of tart yeast-ish ness;
hint of pine
and bitter finish

pours a clear lemon gold
with massive head if not tilted

smells floral and

taste is good for
an American IPA
not as strong as some others

but its well balanced and
sessions like
an unassuming brother

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Absurdly large head - tons of lacing all which sits above a golden brew.

S - Fragrant floral hops (lillies). A tiny bit of malt underneath - but nothing else. The floral aroma is pleasant and strong.

T - Floral hops with a bit of light malt and very faint licorice. Aftertaste is a dry hay flavor with a touch of lingering lillies.

M - Drying, medium bodied, carbonation is a bit harsh.

D - Okay. I actually prefer the APA. This is a bit too dry for my liking. I like thirst quenching to be a property of my IPAs.

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

Pours a golden yellow color with a large and fluffy white head. Pleasant aromas of citrus, hops, and some pine. Flavors of fresh bitter hops, mild citrus and pine, earthy grain notes, and a nice subdued malt presence. Very drinkable and just a solid all-around IPA.

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

Serving from a bottle with "best by" date of 05/04/07 (review done on 04/14/07 - well within date).

Poured into a pint glass, the brew is clear golden in color, and has a good sized white, foamy head. This head dissipates a little too rapidly, and leaves minimal lacing on the side of the glass.

The nose is decidedly hoppy in character, with floral and piney hops prominent. This is no "hop bomb" (42 IBU), so don't expect to be overwhelmed. It's just a nice level for an American IPA.

The taste on this sample was a bit of a mixed bag. As expected, the hops come through first and foremost, with a bit of acidic bite. Malt is definitely grainy, but in the background. Still, it's enough to balance the moderate hoppiness. What I found objectionable at the top of the glass was a definite 'metallic' taste. It was small, but definitely there. By the middle of the glass, my palate had either become accustomed to it, or the hops buried that flavor. Nevertheless, that was a disappointment for me. Mouth feel is light, crisp and medium to light. Very refreshing, making this a good session beer. It will be interesting to see if that metallic taste is only present in the one bottle of the sixer I tried. If the others come up clean, I'll make an addition to this review.


Edited 4-15-07:

Well, I've had two additional bottles of Harpoon IPA from the same six pack with which I made my original review above. In each case, the first sip or two, I still detected a bit of a metallic taste, but after that, it was *not* noticeable. I'm not sure if it has something to do with this particular batch, or if it's the variety of hops, or what at this point. Past the first few sips, the brew settles down to a very fine, highly drinkable good tasting IPA. The head is substantial, and it leaves some lacing. No noticeable after tastes, as it finishes clean and crisp. Not the greatest IPA I've ever had (that might be a toss-up between Stone and Great Lakes Commodore Perry), but a good solid IPA.

I recommend giving it a try, and deciding yourself how well you like it.


Photo of Bamabrew22
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! Nice find for Sweet Home Alabama.

Appearance: Nice coppery hue with decent head retention. Good looking beer.

Smell: Floral hops, distinguishable, with a light malty hint

Taste: Great hop bite, spicy, with notes of coriander and citrus. Just an overall great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Suttle, yet significant. Lays across the palate, as though it doesn't want to leave. Full.

Drinkability: Smooth, tasty, easy-drinking beer. One of the best IPAs I have ever tasted, although I will admit, I haven't tasted that many IPAs. A great experience, and definitely worth a try.

Photo of cardinal25
4.29/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz long neck Best By: 6/14/07

Appearance: golden with exceptional clarity, dense frothey head average cling

Smell: Citric

Taste: Citric and hop, bitter, small

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, crisp, smooth

Drinkability & Notes: First time in the bottle, second time overall, love the crisp hoppiness

Photo of psinderson
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark golden to light amber color. Decent white head with some lacing. Very clear.

Smell: Rather light for an IPA. Citrus hops are there along with some mild caramel in the nose.

Taste: Citrus hops up front, but somewhat weak. Light caramel throughout and only mildly hoppy in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, OK.

Drinkability: Drinkable, probably more so due to its mildness.

Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the Secret Bunny 2007 BIF and sinstaineddemon.

A freakishly clear and lightly colored IPA, this has the clarity of Macro lager and is barely tinted Orange. Fair white forms but does not last.

The smell is sweet and malty and hoppy without covering up a nice floral aroma. Grapefruit and roses are the main scents here.

The taste begins sweet and floral, that suggestion of rose petal makes its way to the taste. Outstanding taste in an IPA, lots of flavor instead of a simple tongue numbing hops overload. Lots of floral taste here and just the merest trace of the normal citrus and pine tastes. Mostly the taste here is herbal and floral and doesn't really settle in to a 'taste' it keeps changing. A cut above the rest for an AIPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

VERY easy to drink and flavorful AIPA. As a rule the beers that interest Beer Advocates are too much for most of the beer drinkers of the USA this is one that is both outstanding and accessible to more casual beer drinkers.

Photo of RedChrome
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear appearance was light golden yellow. Inch and a half pure white head faded slowly over a few minutes. A very limited amount of carbonation rising. Thick lacking rings.

Pleasing hops aromas abound in the first nose full. Citrus qualities blend without having the presence of any one fruit. Very light buttery caramel malt scent in the finish.

Taste starts with a bittered quality. Hops are clearly a focus, but the malt is also there. Buttery yeast blends with floral hops for an overall super balance.

Thickness and carbonation effects on the mouth are just average. Taste barely clings on the tongue.

Above average. A great summer picnic beer. Makes for a good baseline to find greatness in others in the style. Very much a session beer. Nothing to disappoint.

Photo of dmamiano
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice pale yellow with a thick,white, two finger head.the aroma is very pleasant, with citrus notes and a nice maltiness.
Taste and mouthfeel are adove average, with big hoppy notes and a perfect malt balance.
Nice lacing as the beer dissapeared.
I very strong beer. Good stuff.

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

I've had this a few times and now feel capable of a review...

For the price ($6.99 a sixer) this can't be beat.

It pours a nice golden color with a foamy white head that lingers through the glass and leaves a bit of lacing.

The Harpoon website says it's supposed to smell flowery, but all I smell is citrus hops.

I taste citrus hops too and there's a good malty backbone for a good balance of flavor.

It has a nice mouthfeel, right amount of carbonation and a slight bitterness that I find sweet.

With less than 6% abv and the little over a buck a beer price tag I'd have to say this is very drinkable and would make a good session beer until the hops make you sleepy.

I had a few left over Guinness Extra Stout's from St. Patty's Day and made myself a "Black & Blonde" with this beer... very tasty mix!

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear yellow pour with a nice thick persistent head. No lacing. The smell is of fresh hops and is quite inviting. The taste is hoppy and a slight bit citrus like. The mouthfeel is fairly thin, but fits the brew quite well. Overall, this is a tasty beverage that is a delight – very drinkable.

Photo of Jwaks
2.63/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Serving 22oz bottle

Plenty of fine bubbles rise through a translucent light yellow body toward a finger thick frothy white head. Impressive amounts of thin sticky lacing are left about the glass, the only remnants left as the once billowing white head slowly fades into a thick frothy cap.

Somewhat muted on the nose with aromas of floral hops, grainy malts and bitter hop oils meld with hints of sweet, bready biscuits and a bit of minerals on the nose.

What happened to this beer? I remember it being darker in color - near translucent amber - with a much stronger bitter flavor paired with a nice dry hop finish. Now it features restrainted metallic hop bitters upfront with a bit of sweet malts peaking on the mid palate followed by some bready biscuts and dry grass on the finish. Flavors are very light and muted, overall it's quite restrained.

Mouthfeel is light for the style with ample fizzy carbonation. Flavor and hop bitters are dumbed down with a very short but not unpleasant finish.

This goes down easy, with a small refreshing hop bite and good off-dry bready finish - very quaffable for an ipa.

What happened to this brew harpoon? It used to be a true hophead's ipa with great malts to match. I hate to say it but now it tastes like a BMC level ipa for the masses - not for the die hard craft brew fan but it's a good as a session, party or backup beer.


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

Pours a pale golden color, good foamy head with a minute amount of swirliness and lacing. Hops dominate the smell, slightly floral, a fair amount of bitter in the nose. Taste follows with a good dose of hops. Nothing skunky but rather bitter, a little floral, and tiny hints of sweetness. Mouthfeel is thin, but that's an IPA for ya. Not a bad one, I'd definitely have again if I want an IPA (which is not too often).

Photo of 2wheeledpirate
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This IPA pours a medium amber with a medium head and decent head retention. The aroma is not as hoppy as I would expect from an American IPA. I really struggled to descibed the smell of this beer. I keep going back to the smell of sourdough bread. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Flavor is nice, but still light on that hop bitterness. This beer is pleasant and easy to drink but not the best IPA I've ever had.

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

On-tap 2/23/07 at The Celtic Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is faint, but has a good floral hops content, with a mild background of caramelized malt and citrus.

T: It starts out with a good hops burst as an IPA should. The thing with this beer though is that I find the hops taste has much more of that “cut grass” flavor than any other beer that I’ve had. There’s a decent caramelized malt backbone and a slight citrus sweetness. The after-taste is of course hoppy and pleasantly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, dry and clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, good kick, slightly filling, good representation of style. The first time that I had this beer I didn’t like it at all, but since then it has grown on me, which is fortunate for me as a hophead, because it’s the most common IPA in the area on-tap.

Photo of tanarm
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle directly into a pint glass. Pours quite pale in color. The thick head has a fresh floral, spicy hop aroma.

Carbonation is not too overpowering, and the head is staying strong at about ¼ inch.

The taste is a nice balance between fresh hops and malt, with the hops finishing out a bit stronger in the end. There is no harsh bitterness here at all, just a very spicy hoppiness as the aroma would suggest. The taste lingers on the back of the palate for some time, giving you a little extra for your dollar.

Overall, a great beer for hop heads who aren’t ready to destroy their palate but would still like a dose of tasty hop. Recommended.

Photo of soupyman10
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into a mug

A - Crystal clear copper color, little head, no real lacing; looks okay

S - A nice smell; fairly solid mix of malt and hops; some citrus scent; nothing necessarily particularly unique, but a nice smell

T - Mostly hoppy flavor comes through a lot stronger than the scent might suggest; grapefruit and some floral esters; a hint of sweet malt as well, but the flavors a solid one for a good IPA

M - Medium body, good carbonation, solid aftertaste

D - A solid beer; it's just basically a good IPA with a nice all-around solid flavor but nothing particularly unique; it's almost a archetype for that IPA taste

Photo of Roderick
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured a nice amber with a moderate white head that rapidly dissipated.
Smelled strongly of hops with just a little hint of fruit.
The taste is solid with the hops being the main flavor & a little citrus taste.
Has a normal feel for a IPA with a nice crisp finish.
This was another ok IPA and I see myself purchasing it on occasion.

Paid $1.25 for a bottle

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

This ale was served with only a little head. It was light golden, very clear. The smell was limited to a biscuity aroma with very limited hop presence.

The taste was weak for an IPA. The hop flavor was spicy and floral-to-piney. The malts were light and, like the nose, biscuity. Mouthfeel was a little watery.

Drinkability was fine but Harpoon has never been an IPA that excited me. The hops of Sam Adams Boston Lager are more interesting. To me, the Harpoon IPA is a serious underachiever.

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 3,634 ratings.