Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,227 Reviews
For Trade:
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,227 | Ratings: 3,966
Photo of tewaris
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

42 IBU's

12 oz. bottle with a best by of 6/15/11 poured into a Bell's tulip. Courtesy drdogbeer, thanks!

Copper golden and very clear with a creamy off white head. Good retention and lacing. Looks the part! Aroma is more bready than hoppy, and this is a very "mild" IPA it seems. Some floral notes were present initially but unimpressive overall. There's a gutter like smell too that's off putting.

Tastes equally mild, with some fruitiness and some pils like hop notes. Quite European actually; not highly hopped as it claims. Bitterness never really kicks in but lingers briefly on the palate. The finish is clean and dry, carbonation medium and the body light, but not thin. Low alcohol is a saving grace, although Masala Mama & Furious are in that ABV range and far far superior. Very very average tasting IPA. Overall an average beer that I could drink on my dime faced with limited options. I really think that if this was marketed as an APA, it'd have a better chance at ratings.

Scores: Appearance 4.5/5; Aroma 2/5; Taste 3/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 3.5/5

 1,069 characters

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.04/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

crystal clear, pale golden amber, some head which soon fades to a thin layer. low-to-moderate lacing.

some mild hop aroma and earthiness, but not much else. maybe even metallic whiff.

hops are gentle but bitter, not much malt. again, something metallic.

watery, a bit fizzy.

what the hell? i guess it's drinkable if you consider this an english pale or bitter. but even for an english IPA, this is tame. don't even try to consider this an american IPA.

22oz bomber purchased from cooler and dated "best by" several months from now, so i really don't think i got a bad bottle.

 580 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

 782 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very light amber color with very little head at all, even when poured very aggresively.

Smell has hints of floral hops and a metalic copper odor.

Taste retains the same metallic copper flavors with some light floral hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is light with a touch of slickness.

Overall a drinkable IPA, but fairly average.

 340 characters

Photo of mralphabet
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a Pilsner Glass.

A: Has a hazy orange/yellow color, 2 finger head with nice retention very nice lacing throughout.

S: Floral notes with hints of citrus.

T: Has a nice sweetness up front with a touch of citus, but finishes with a good amount of bitter hoppiness.

M: I'd say this is a medium bodied brew with good carbonation.

D: I'm not a big IPA guy but this one went down well... Nothing really stands out on this one....

 445 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear walnut brown with a 3/4" head which dissipates to a thin froth. Smell and taste are classic IPA but of the large production variety, not at all like a microbrew to me. Decent hops and a little lasting bitterness but overall kind of weak compared to other IPA's. I did note if you chug it instead of sip you can get a little burst of zing.

Hey for the cheap price it's a nice IPA. It's simply not the kind you slowly savor, it's more for the bulk IPA drinker.

By the way, took a while to find it among all the Harpoons listed in the Beer Advocate reviews. Does this brewery really make a bazillion kinds of beer? Guess so. Drives home the fact this really isn't a microbrew brand even though it's relatively young.

 729 characters

Photo of WrathsU
3.02/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Super clear/clean gold liquid with milky white head. The lace stays around after drinking and the head retention is nice.

S - Not too much here, mediocre hint of citrus with a small note of spicy.

T - Pretty average run of the mill IPA. Not too bold or daring, yet is pronounced enough to not be boring.

M - Not light or heavy, closer to lighter than heavier though.

D - Unoffensive IPA that could be plowed through.

 427 characters

Photo of gregshead
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Copper in color. Average amount of head, nothing special to note.

S: Pine and floral hit the strongest

T: Pine up front with floral and grass in the bitterness. Also caramel color comes through in the taste. Just like I wrote it, the taste doesn't seem to flow together.

M: Good amount of carbonation runs off the middle of my tongue. Medium thickness feel.

D: Its just ok. Can't put my finger on it completely. I feel like the flavor combinations don't blend together for for my enjoyability/drinkability.

 513 characters

Photo of UnDeadly
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A very even gold color. Good foam! I poured with moderate aggression and easily produced 1 finger, which lowered in a thin but maintained head. Moderate lacing that sticks quite evenly.

Smell - I found the smell quite boring, to be honest. Mild notes of malt, and on the floral side of hops. I detected a light note of green apple.

Taste - Simple, pleasant, but nothing special. Crisp front, interestingly the malt notes seem to come through in the middle, and then progressing in bitterness off the back and into the aftertaste. Bitterness is slightly crisp, tart, and floral.

Mouth Feel - Carbonation is well done, and foam produces a pleasant creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Relatively low ABV and pleasant mouth feel make this a very drinkable and sessionable beer.

OK, so this beer was not bad. At all. But I do not think it is an IPA! Judging according to style, it was very weak and boring by IPA standards. Both the malt and hop notes were muted. But the beer was very balanced in this regard, and if it was classified as a Pale ale, I would have probably given it at least a grade higher.

 1,117 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This draft ipa was served in a Harpoon glass with little head, and no room for one. What was there added a bit of lace to the glass, as I consumed the rose-tinted gold ale. The pungent casacade hop aroma is a fair advertisement for the initial grapefruit/sour flavors. As the beer warms, or it kills whatever taste buds were repulsed by the unbalanced and rather predictable hop assault some more interesting tea-like flavors emerge to compliment an understated malt body. It’s a passable IPA, but nothing that I’d pursue.

 524 characters

Photo of Tilley4
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Was hoping for more from this one.

It looked really good. Much lighter than others of its style. Nice lacing and head as well.

Smelled pretty hoppy with a nice malty base.

Doesn't taste nearly as hoppy as the aroma would indicate. This is a bit bland and watery with a bitter aftertaste. Strange finish to this one.

 318 characters

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: copper in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: piney hops

Taste: piney hops with a toasted malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation and body, slightly bitter

Drinkability: This one is a slightly above average IPA which did not jump out to me. I could have two max.

 313 characters

Photo of boelker62
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pale, almost yellow shade with a 1" head. Smell is faint, at best with nothing in particular to pull from it. Really, overall, this was rather disappointing to me considering the quality of their UFO product line. The taste was a bit empty, but had a decent mouthfeel, and was just a bit too dry of a finish. The drinkability is likely the best facet of this beer. The dryness is not overpowering, luckily.

 408 characters

Photo of chrisrhoppe
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Depressing head formation with a clear light amber hue of a body. Lightly piney, citrus nose carried by more of a grain scent. The taste is balanced but weak, the light hop bitterness coats the tongue as the malt washes over hardly leaving a trace or influence. Maybe I’ve been spoiled but I expect a bit more out of my IPAs, at least the leviathan is incredible.

 365 characters

Photo of cameraman
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 20 oz. pint glass, a lite golden color with hints of orange on the sides. A soft white heaed forms, which slowly goes down the glass, slight visibility of carbonation. The strong scent of flowers and citrus, mostly of grapefruit, are the dominating aromas. The taste comes in quickly with a hit of malt, then the hops take over with a citrusy bitterness. The mouhtfeel starts very lite, but it gains weight as it crosses the palate. The hops leave a dry finish on the palate at the end. Overall, this is an average IPA, it is not a hop monster, but it does give that good hop flavor that IPA's are known for. This is a solid beer for this style.

 659 characters

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Having had their rather excellent Leviathan Imperial IPA, I thought I'd try this when I saw it was available on-tap at my local bar.

From notes:

Light golden orange, with moderate fluffy white head. Average retention. Very little lacing.

Some sweet smells of fruits, some very sweet malt, and some citrus. Hops are present, but under-served.

Sweet fruits, and overly sweet malt, a little citrus here, and then some hops somewhere in between. Some grains, and breadiness is apparent. Medium body, maybe a little on the thin side, high carbonation.

Rather disappointing as an IPA. The hops are not very well-served, overemphasized sweetness and grains, thus not as hoppy as it should be. And at only 5.9% ABV, it's a rather weak one.

 737 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

golden color. only a suggestion of amber. head is gone quickly. minimal lacing.
to the nose, alcohol is surprisingly assertive, then lightly toasted grain and vague orange nougat.
the taste is better than the appearance and smell suggested. fresh grainy sweetness is accompanied by citrus rind and a mild bitterness. not nearly enough hop presence for an ipa imo.
coarse carbonation, too prickly--swishing helps.
overall, tolerable but forgettable.

 448 characters

Photo of apants007
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Note: this is a review of the can.

Poured from the can into a pint glass. Nice amber color with a thick dense head that lasts and lasts. But then it goes down from there... Smell is faintly of coastal hotel must... And the initial taste is like a good beer poured through dirty lines... Or like if you poured a shot of tap water into a lagunitas ipa... Not bad... But not great. If I had to pick between this harpoon and a dale's I'd pick this ... Good for a cookout or tubing or walking down the street with a paper bag or somewhere else you absolutely need a can... But not a beer to seek out.

 597 characters

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was my second pull at Camaradas to polish off the Harpoon suite on tap. Harpoon was one of the first breweries I started to drink when I moved over from the mass produced macro beers and was interested to see what my matured pallet thought of his old standard.

A: Poured into a pint glass to detail a clear golden accented by brown tints. The head was barely a finger from the initial pour and reduced quickly to a paper thin ring. Little to no lacing, with rings appearing with swirl but settling back to rim immediately afterward A few rising bubbles for the retention section.

S: The nose gave off a weak but balanced citrus and tangy hop profile and dashes of sweet malts but that was with my nose almost inside the beeer.

T: Unless the bar had an old keg or was not keeping in good condition, this was one of the blandest IPA's in my beer pedigree. I would presume noble hops are used which would explain the far off citrus and bitter taste I would expect frmo this style. The malts are more in charge and take away from any balance or complexity.

M: Thin and watery and rather boring.

D: An excellent session or beach beer if you not looking for much punch or flavor. Easily drinkable but then quickly forgettable. After having a Harpoon Brown prior and throughly enjoying, I was confused with what Harpoon was doing for this beer. As other reviewers have stated, the tap vs. bottle difference is quite wide and I shall look for the latter rather than the former in the future.

 1,497 characters

Photo of JordanEllwanger
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Completely transparent and tiny bubbly golden yellow with a thick white head sticking to the sides of the glass. Smells like a generic IPA. Subtle hints of hops and malts. Taste is as simple as the smell. I'll let it warm up and see what comes of it. The hop bite is there but the bitter taste is not. Just your average IPA. Not too big, yet not so weak. Would make a great introductory beer into the craft world.

 420 characters

Photo of John
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was really something at the onset of the craft brew movement and it's likely converted many a yellow beer drinker. It's still very good beer. However, with the evolution of American IPAs, this one comes up a little short. Maybe that's an unfair comparison since this probably is closer to an English style IPA. Even so, it's a little weak.

 349 characters

Photo of corby112
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light amber color with a thick off-white foamy head. The aroma is very bland, containing only a slight bitter hop presence. This beer was very watered down with not enough of a strong bitter hop taste. Another dissapointing offering from an, in my opinion, overrrated brewery.

 291 characters

Photo of oldhippie247
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very, very light golden with active carbonation. Head is white and fluffy with good retention.

Nose is not overwhelmingly hoppy, but a blind whiff would definitely put you on the pale ale/IPA track.

Palate is a bit hoppier than the nose, which isn't saying a whole lot. What the beer does have in hop bitterness is overshadowed by a distracting watered-down mouthfeel--probably engineered to make the most non-offensive IPA for the masses.

I don't mean to hate on this beer, but think of it as a baby step for those looking to explore pale ales (which I think is what this actually is, not IPA).

 599 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was the first beer I had in America after returning from Belgium. As great as the Belgian beers were, they were very light on the hops (at least for my American palate). I thought the hoppiness of an IPA would knock my socks off, but this one is pretty weak on the bitterness. You ever have a cigarette after not having smoked for months or years, and having to sit down due to the effect? I was expecting the rough equivalent of that in terms of hoppiness, and I was disappointed.

It poured a tan color with quite a bit of head. Aroma was pretty weak, but moderately sweetly hoppy. Flavor was some floral hoppiness bolted on a fairly thin malt backbone. Mouthfeel was a bit watery. Not a very good beer...why did I have three?

I would not recommend this beer. I had this on-tap at the Indigo restaurant in Alexandria, formerly known as Potowmack Landing.

 862 characters

Photo of phpfunk
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just an overall average IPA, nothing special IMO. It needs more kick personally but I am a fan of really hoppy IPAs. Their Rye IPA is better than this standard run-of-the-mill IPA.

If you want a good starter IPA to get used to a bit of bitterness I think this would be a good one to go with. Unfortunately for me, I probably would never buy this again. There are plenty of better IPAs out there for the price.

 410 characters

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,227 ratings.