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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,204 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,204
Hads: 3,842
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 23.97%
Wants: 78
Gots: 726 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,204 | Hads: 3,842
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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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

Poured a medium gold color with a small white head and decent carbonation. Nose is floral, lightly hopped. Taste is grainy, light bodied with floral hints and not much malt. Mouthfeel is light, astringent at times and floral. Do not recommend at all.

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: some hop aroma, malts,

taste: very light hop flavor, malt backbone,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: they need more hops or I had an old bottle.


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Photo of Dafixa
2.99/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a giant fan of this beer. It looks ok, it smells just ok, it tastes in my book less than ok.

On the surface it's golden look and white foam head just don't start or finish right in my mouth.

Overall I've had other Harpoon beers and feel they could do better.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Iguana Cantina

A: A nice golden amber color with about one finger worth of foam. Dissipates slowly and leaves decent lacing on the glass.

S: Light hops, with a citrus focus.

T: A nice hops bite that isn't too overpowering. Enough malt to balance it decently, but nothing too visible. Hops are present through and through, making it a tasty IPA. Definitely a good starting point for someone who is just trying to get into hoppy beers.

M: Clean, smooth, almost refreshing. Good for a standard American IPA.

D: This has long been one of my standard IPAs to drink as it's easily available anywhere in the Boston area. It was also one of the first IPAs I really started drinking regularly which led into my love of the style overall. Very drinkable and enjoyable, a good example of the style, and one of Harpoon's best regular offerings.

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Photo of afksports
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I am drinking this Harpoon IPA on tap at Amity Hall celebrating my passing of a beer server exam that - thanks to beer nerds everywhere - proved relatively easy.

It's pale gold to copper in appearance, with a little lacing clingy to the top of the body. The tiny head dissipates quickly which is a little odd given that it's well-carbonated. The aroma is pale malt and pine / grapefruit hops, but the water and malt are more pronounced. Honestly, west coast Pale Ales are hoppier than this in smell and taste. It begins a little bitter on the tongue, and the alcohol is covered well by the malt and water. It's crisp, easy-drinking, but indistinct from other options. And it's got a thinne body than most IPA's in it's market.

Plainly put, I would love this bee if I were looking to get sleepy more quickly, slur my speech, and have a heightened emotional state.

(That's on the exam.)

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Photo of ism
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the tap into a bright and rich amber color, with a thin head resulting in a decent lacing. Subtle smells of hops, almost imaginary. Full body for the style, tastes fairly standard. Seems to have just enough hops to qualify and impart the proper bitterness, but there just isn't enough mouth action for what I expect from an IPA. Could stand to use more hops or something to cause that nice tingly sensation. Not too much character here, but surprisingly clean in the end. Mostly par for the course, but good drinkability because of it.

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Photo of mattsdenney
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle. Best by date 12/15/11.

A: Clear, bubbly, light gold in color. Massive frothy head with good sticky lacing. I prefer my IPA's to be cloudier and slightly darker in color than this appears.

S: Floral, citrus, and grassy pine. Smells crisp.

T: Mild citrus hop flavor. Grassy flowery after taste. The taste isn't bad but it is very underwhelming. Tastes weak and watered down. No bite, hop presence more at a level of an average pale ale or golden ale. The lightness in color is always a dead giveaway!

M: Somewhat sticky and frothy. Smooth and slick. Nice consistency.

O: Well I thought for sure that this would better represent as it seems to have been around forever. I am however disappointed overall. The weakest IPA I've ever had in terms of hop presence. Can think of countless other IPA's that are <6% abv that provide a better experience related to this style. Shouldn't have bought a sixer. Oh well.

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Photo of HerrBob
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a pleasant brew. Would fit on a hot day or with light food. For an IPA it is too meek & mild on the hops. I like an IPA to be a stand alone and this brew is not bold enough for that. I kept looking for the hops to come through but to no avail. Most describe an IPA with different comparison to pine, citrus etc. Not this one. Also much paler than most. If you want an IPA it is best to look elsewhere.

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Photo of CAcreeks
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure why Bostonians say this IPA is hoppy. At 42 IBU it qualifies as an IPA but only barely. Not much citrus or floral smell but enough. Aftertaste lingers but thirst quenching bitterness is lacking. Better than any British IPA I have tried, so kudos for improving the style.

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Photo of Dalem
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark gold in color and a one finger quickly fading head is how it looks. Laces a big more sticky than expected judging from how soon the head vanished. Grassy scent with hints or caramel. Neither of which are very strong if one but it sure got more aroma than a Bud or Labatt Blue. Taste is along the same lines. Slight metallic hop bitterness up front but muted by the malt. Pretty much the same thing going down the throat but with a little bit of a citrus tang sticking to the back of the throat.

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Photo of shirfan
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearances can be deceiving; this looks and smells like an IPA, but certainly doesn't taste like one.

Bottled on 02/06/03.

Pours dark and clear golden with a frothy white head and a piney hops aroma.

Taste is poor for the style: starts smooth and a little malty, moves to a lemony, crisp middle, and finishes with a very weak and watery pine-resin hops note. Who dry-hopped the Genny Cream Ale?

This isn't a serious IPA, more like something a macro drinker would try when they want to be adventurous. It could be rescued by a chunkier mouthfeel and more hops; in its current incarnation I won't be revisiting this.

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Photo of Duff27
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Thin white head on a clear amber beer. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Smells of grapefruit and...hoppy.

T- I don't really taste anything until I get a strange fruity aftertaste, kind of off putting to be frank.

M- Medium to medium thin feel. Good carbonation.

D/O- With all the other good to great IPAs out there, don't waste your time with this one. "Must be eight dollar beer night."

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Photo of jackorain
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Tacomac in Alpharetta, GA

A-1 finger head of fine dicernable bubbles quickly fell to thin coat that provided a decent lace

S-Light floral and citruc hop and some biscuity malts

T-Floral and citrus hops with an odd taste I could not place, I had charlie taste who was sitting next to me and he placed it. Soap! Some malts carmel and biscuit come through as well. Soap taste is pervasive, once it was defined.

M-Creamy medium body

D- the odd taste in the middle (soap) ruins the drinkability of this one for me.

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Photo of LordBeardman
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Bertucci's Italian Restaurant in Marlborough, MA.

A: Kind of a dark orange color with a finger of white head.

S: Hoppy with a citrus smell as well. Kind of sweet.

T: Not very bitter. Very mild hop flavor. A lot of citrus in there.

M: Has a good crisp feel. Not the usual bite I get from an IPA.

O: Definitely not my favorite IPA but not bad. Seems like this is the only IPA on tap around this area of MA. I would say that this beer is very average.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear gold with a decent head, and good lacing

S - Aromas of pine, grapefruit and peach

T - Solid hop bitterness in this one. Malt is husky and a touch astringent. I'm tasting some muted fruitiness, but the dominant flavour is a big hop bitterness. Lacks flavour though.

M - Light bodied and a little too fizzy.

D - A disappointing brew. One dimensional in its hoppy bitterness and too light in other regards. The nose is promising, but ultimately fails to deliver.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From tap to 22oz glass at Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal City on 2/26/11
*From notes

A: Clean light gold with one finger head and dissapointing lacing.

S: Not much. I was expecting something, anything. I mean I really had to jam my nose into the oversized glass to pick up even the faintest of mild hop oil.

T: This one definitely caters to the masses, as there really isn't a whole lot to get excited about. I dectect a dallop of hops, which is immediately followed by heavy grain and malt. The finish is soft and fairly weak.

M: Better then I had expected, given the lack of character.

O: This isn't one I'll be returning to often if at all. Not a bad beer, just a bland beer, especially for an AIPA.

I will say this one served it's purpose though, as I and the rest of the wifey's Birthday bunch left (well, got asked to leave) rather toasty.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.87/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Best before 15 October 2011.

A: Light head, good lace, little effervescence. Copper and very clear.

M: Malty, sweet, and beery. Not particularly impressive. Some fruit.

T: Not nearly as good as I remember from my pre-BA days. A passable beer, but a disappointing IPA. Sweet and semi-dry with virtually no hops until the aftertaste...and even that could be an illusion from the biscuity-dry malt. The sweetness is reminiscent of American adjunct lagers, lending an unpleasantly 'beery' taste to the whole production.

M: Largely mundane, but with a carbonated dryness.

O: It doesn't resemble an IPA at all. Potentially a Pale Ale...Not my favourite Harpoon offering. I would not recommend, but I might grab one more to see if it's better than this one.

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Photo of MaxBrews
2.87/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orangish Amber with a thin large head, becomes rocky until it dissipates into a spotty soapy that clings all over the glass. Looks like a proper IPA if it only it were a tad bit more colorful.

Smell: Floral and citrus fruit in the hops. For an IPA though the hop smell is really lacking. I've had APAs smell hoppier. The smell is the start to the problem.

Taste: This where it all goes wrong! Taste is really subdued and relaxed. A bit of citrus and a tid bit floral, but a grainy malt/yeast taste. If you look for a Not a complex nor exciting IPA.

Mouthfeel: Standard amount of carbonation, no real hopbite, only the slightest bit dry in the finish.

Drinkability: Yea this is drinkable. This is more of a pale ale of then an IPA. I've heard it used to be more on IPA but this has obviously been dumbed down for the masses. It barely meets the IPA requirements. If you're looking for a refreshing beer this obviously will wet your whistle if you're looking for a in your face hopslam, you'll be very disappointed. This would be an alright beer if they didn't through the IPA tag on it.

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Photo of moz9
2.86/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer on two different occasions recently. I decided to wait until the second time to review it, because I thought something was wrong on my first serving.

It's quite honestly an average beer. Looks like an IPA, but the smell and taste are lacking. It's not a bad beer by any means, it's just not as hoppy as I would like. I would much rather drink a SNPA any day of the week.

People talk about this as a session beer, and I think that it could certainly be that. I would almost go as far as to compare it to a hoppy pils or even a lager. It's just average. I guess I'm a bit disappointed and I will certainly hold out hope for a draft serving to see if somehow I got two separate bad batches, but I can't imagine that was the case. An underwhelming beer.

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Photo of becktone
2.86/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Clear lively straw gold in appearance. Forms a nice fluffy white head which leaves nice lacing as it recedes. So far head retention looks good, but if it keeps receding it will not be so.(Started off at about three fingers, now at about one.)

Nose: First aromas I pick up whilst sniffing are grainy and malt aromas... what no hops? I take a deeper sniff without exhaling...still nothing. Once I stop inhaling alas there are the hops, floral and citrus balancing out the aroma. The hops in this brew don't hit you in the face, at first you notice the grain with just a bit of hop in there then the rest of it sluggishly comes.

Tongue: Equal parts of sweetness and bitterness right off the bat. They hit the tongue right at the same time, pretty balanced in my opinion for an American IPA. Again a sense of grainy flavor, like cheerios. Bitterness and hop flavor are pretty toned down, low key, on the DL. Little bits of floral and citrus flavors, but not what I'd expect from an American IPA.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Light body with medium levels of carbonation. Typical bodied beer, nothing to write home about. The beer goes down easily, not a bad beer, but nothing that really "wows" one. In a pinch I'd buy it again, but there is nothing about it that would make me seek it out. Not off the mark, just average, nothing spectacular.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.