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Harpoon IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,215 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,215
Hads: 3,896
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 23.97%
Wants: 80
Gots: 766 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States | website

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: 1,215 | Hads: 3,896
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,215 ratings.