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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,223 Reviews
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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
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Reviews: 1,223 | Ratings: 3,953
Photo of sogrady
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Short of Dogfish 60, this is one of the better mass market IPAs you'll find. It's clean drinking, medium body and has a bit more octane than some of the other beers in this class at almost 6%. The taste is basic but pleasant, mild to moderate hop present up front balanced by a hint of bitterness after.

Overall it's a good, solid IPA, particularly now that it's available in cans.

It loses points for drinkability, however, because it has a deserved reputation for being much harder on you the next morning than comparable offerings. Whether it's the presence of the sugars or some other factor, I know more than a few people who steer clear for fear of the aftermath.

For a beer or two, it won't kill you.

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Photo of SouthFLBeerLover
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light golden color, with nice white head and good decent amount of lacing.

S: Floral hops and a hint of malt. Unassertive and light.

T: Some hops coupled with barly and malt. Good choice on hot summer days, but nevertheless, unassertive and not that memorable.

M: Almost too little action there. Mild carbonation and light-bodied.

O: For an IPA this one is suprisingly light-bodied and not very memorable. Goes down easy, but then again so do the less expensive budlights of this world.

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Photo of 2wheeledpirate
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of Will46andbrew
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The color is golden yellow. Very clear, nice appearance.

S - The smell is slightly bitter. Not florally like some IPA's. Somewhat faint.

T - The taste is crisp and good. Not too bitter, just right for a good refreshing IPA.

M - The mouthfeel is good.

D - The drinkability is good. It's not too heavy, but you can't sit down and have a 6 pack without feeling bloated... Has a refreshing taste, a really good beer. Not the best IPA I've ever had, but it's very good. This is one of my staples.

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Photo of Leebo2007
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

COLOR: light to dark brown, great color

CONSISTENCY: Very bubbly, good constant color with copper color

HEAD: Good to medium head

SMELL: fresh/Fruity smell. Has some wild yeast smell too.

TASTE: fruity and floral at first but then loses some hoppiness. Still pretty crispy for an IPA.

Not the best IPA but has a good yeasty taste that many IPAs do not have.

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Photo of theh3rbalist
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Had 1 on tap.

Somewhere between an American IPA and an English IPA, leaning toward the American side but still more balanced than the usual hop bombs.


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Photo of KenGage
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank from a Sam Adams lager glass; poured from a bottle.

a - pours clear and golden with a touch of copper

s - a hint of malt, spicy notes

t - it starts out with hop spice that is clean and balanced out by malt; finish and aftertaste? like a fart in the fog...was it every really there?

m - clean-crisp finish; again, there's no real aftertaste and its leaving me wanting another beer

d - its OK - nice, all-around solid and non-offensive ale

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Photo of markb33
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a sixer poured into a stein.

A--A clear copper color with a thin foamy white head. Dies out quickly leaving patchy traces of lacing.

S--Dull citrusy sent at the start with some medicinal resiny hop notes.

T--Citrus notes to start with faint orange and lemon peel. A peppery bite rounds out to grassy notes at the finish.

M--Medium bodied with nice pucker and balanced by the carbonation.

D--Overall a solid citrusy, grassy IPA. A tasty brew without a ton of complexity.

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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 Skeeter206
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A ~ A dark golden color with noticeable carbonation and about a half finger head, has a pretty decent lacing. 3.5/5

S ~ Nothing overpowering in the smell of this, sweet fruit maybe oranges, a barely noticeable hop presence in the smell. It might be that I'm a little congested right now but there isn't a whole lot going on in the smell. 3/5

T ~ Well you can definitely taste the hops if you couldn't smell them, nothing over powering but definitely a presence... about average for an IPA in regards to bitterness and taste coming from the hops. Definitely a little bit of caramel in there, pretty good balance. 4/5

M ~ The beer is definitely carbonated, but not in a bad way. Solid feel to it, its goes down easy, an easy beer to drink multiple of. 4.5/5

O ~ This is my go to beer, it isn't an overpowering IPA, with flavor or ABV. It is a good IPA that is available almost anywhere in MA, and on tap at almost every bar. If i feel like having an IPA I can always grab this, it is also generally cheap at bars around Boston if you are on a budget. B-

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Photo of Monkey962
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to try something of Harpoon's even after having seen the red H bottlecaps in certain secluded areas around town.

Appearance: Two to three finger white, bubbly head. The ale itself is transparent, and a summery dark gold. The head recedes to a foamy layer that sticks itself to the side of the glass, all the way down.

Smell: Smells of a more balanced American IPA. Hopefully it'll taste the same way. However, it's difficult to pick up much of anything, apart from the stronger American IPA scents - grapefruit, resins, pine, astringency.

Taste: Definitely not as bitter an interpretation of the style that's so popular, but instead pretty well balanced. Bitterness comes through first, accompanied by a slightly unsettling 'soapy' flavor, that resolves itself as very mild malt sweetness. The sweetness carries through to the bready aftertaste. I'm sure many others will malign the taste for not being bitter enough, or having enough hop character, but I happen to find its lack of complexity very mellowing.

Feel: The once bubbly head resolves to a layer of foam that smooths out the feel, and makes it feel silky. Carbonation is just enough to feel refreshing.

Overall: I was always aware of Harpoon from a young age, and after reading reviews about this beer, I wasn't expecting much. What I got however, was a very nice middle of the road IPA that makes a perfect go-to beer.

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Photo of n0rmann
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon IPA is the beer I most drink when I head out to the bars. It's a nice, tasty, simple American IPA that I can drink while enjoying good coversation with friends.

Living in Central, Mass., this is usually one of the best beers available wherever I go.

By no means is it the best American IPA I have ever had, but there's also nothing wrong with it, and fits the bill when you want a good beer to drink while out, or sitting at home watching some sports.

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Photo of Jermbrew
2.6/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pale amber color. This beer is very crisp. Too crisp for an IPA in my opinion. I didn't appreciate the wateriness. The aftertaste was also not as pleasant as I had hoped. It's very dry and leaves a bitter bite on the back of the tongue.The package store I work at sells a lot of this, so I thought it would be better. The hops are there (piney), but I prefer a better malt backbone. I'll wait till I see this on draft to try it again.

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Photo of belgiumbud
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at the Bell In Hand Pub in historic Boston

Poured nicely in a large Hefe style glass with very little head retention...Great autumn auburn color with the aroma of extremely mild hoppiness and chestnut

More similar to an English IPA than its American counterpart...Very smooth, well balanced flavor with decent amount of nutty maltiness that is cut short from the mild hop back...Would view this beer as a good example of a session beer...Not my favorite beer by any means

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Photo of Jaguar
4.47/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried a pint on tap at a local steakhouse,and was pleasantly surprised.I really like this in bottles, and to be honest it's one of my fridge staples, since it's local and fresh, so I expected the same beer on tap. wrong.
It was even better. The smell was like floral perfume, and the taste of the hops not much different. enough malt to balance it out and a crisp finish with a nice bitterness on the back of your tongue. I could drown myself in this on a Saturday night.

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Photo of UFGUY2122
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Clear golden amber with 1/2 inch head that faded quickly. Lacing left webbing on the side glass.

S-The smell was floral and hoppy but less pronounced than other beers of the style.

T-Malty up front and finishes with a hop bite. However, the bitterness of the hops is less intense than other beers of the style.

M-Mouthfeel is less than full-bodied and slightly watery.

D-Very drinkable beer. It's not exaclty what I expected from an IPA but it definetely has decent flavor. This would be a solid session beer.

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Photo of FACSman
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden Amber with good head and great laceing

S - Predominant malt aroma, a rather small hop nose for an IPA.

T - Great balance between hops and malt. Pleasant, lingering bitterness on palate.

M - Crisp and pleasant, moderate carbonation light body for style.

D - Will always be a staple in my fridge!

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Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - straw golden yellow, fine head which dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma - floral and citrus layered over a pleasant honey sweet maltiness.

Taste - grassy and citrusy to start followed by a light malty sweetness and a nice hop finish with just an edge of bitterness.

Mouthfeel - smooth and round with a sweet soft finish.

Overall - very nice IPA with a great balance of malt and hops neither of which is over stated. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Kessel
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: copper orange, slight lacing.

Smell: floral, grass, honey-fruit.

Taste: perfume, bright, young hops, lingers on the buds.

Feel: plenty carbonation, light-medium mouth feel, tangy.

Overall, for this style of English inspired ale, Harpoon has done a pretty damn good job. Let's say they aimed traditional but ended up with a bit of American one-up ism.

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Photo of dmk139
4.55/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Surprisingly light for an IPA. i like the drinkability of this beer. The nice crisp flavor and floral tones make this a very good beer on a hot summer night. A very impressive India Pale Ale. Doesnt have the high alcohol content and isnt AS hoppy as most IPA's but i enjoy this beer very much

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Photo of MightyCow9
2.68/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Everyone gets a good on appearance since I cant see colors.

Beer drank smooth. A really light mouthfeel with a tingle of hops.

The smell was hops and very little else. It is an IPA, but I wouldn't mind smelling some beer.

No terrible aftertastes, but it was essentially hop water. Lacked any sort of balance with carbonation or malt.

I don't recommend.

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Photo of UncleBubba
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice beer. I recently picked up a six pack, and I was impressed by how easy this beer drinks for an IPA. It is not the finest IPA I've tried, but Harpoon's offering is a really good beer. Also, I'm not sure if I'd seek it out again, but I would definitely down a few if they were offered to me! Decent hoppiness/bite with fairly balanced malt sweetness. I liked it. Worth checking out!

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Photo of mjhorn
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a pint glass. Initially served a bit too cold and needed a chance to warm up a bit. Poured a lighter golden color than I expected for an IPA with a nice creamy white head. Not a lot going on in the nose, little caramel and roastiness, not a lot of the typical hop aromas. Flavor was good but light on the hops for an IPA. Mostly caramel and roasted malt, with slight fruit notes. Hops are really only present in a slightly bitter dry finish. Smooth and drinkable, pretty good beer I just didn't think it was a great fit for the style. Reminded me more of a slightly more bitter red ale or the like than true IPA.

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Photo of eepound2
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Pours a nice copper color with a decent head. Smell is ok nothing special. Taste Is Actually Pretty good. Refreshing with some suttle hints of citrus. Nothing spectacular or overwhelming but decently balanced and enjoyable. Feel this beer is slightly underrated and find it to be a little above average for the ipas I like. Will try again

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Photo of Bru-ster
4.6/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the first breweries to bring ale brewing back to New England. New England, particularly Boston, has always been known as home of ale cisumers, because of its large irish population.

A great IPA. Nice hop malt balance. Not so happy you can't taste the malt. Smooth and very drinkable. One of my favorite all time ales (Ballantine IPA was one and Sierra Nevada IPA another).

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 1,223 ratings.