1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harpoon Celtic Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Celtic AleHarpoon Celtic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

728 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 728
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.57%
Wants: 17
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Harpoon Celtic Ale features a deep amber color. The flavor is malty and complex. Celtic Ale has a moderate hop finish that, along with the generous amounts of malt, makes for a medium bodied, smooth, rich beer. Try serving Celtic Ale with a hearty stew… the beer’s robust character will complement the bold flavors.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: barleywinebrewer on 01-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Celtic Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 728 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LuthersLager
1.15/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Beautiful amber color, I do wish it was a little more red.

I could only smell the alcohol, no malt, no sweetness, not hops, just alcohol.

The taste is acidic, astringent just bad.

I can't leave it in my mouth long enough to judge mouthfeel.

drinkability - i'm pouring this one out.

Reading others' reviews I think I got a bad one that spoiled... it tastes spoiled. Next time I get a chance to try this beer I'll re-review.

LuthersLager, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of drinkfella
1.24/5  rDev -64.6%

drinkfella, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of Mitchster
1.35/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours out to a brilliantly clear, beautiful deep garnet, forming a small beige head with poor retention and average lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is disturbing...a headache aroma...fusels, a ton of diacetyl, soy sauce, B.O, toffee, and English hops. Mouthfeel is ruddy and oxidized and fades into a nasty medicinal/chemical bitterness and astringency with a medium body. This stuff is bad....echo of aroma with rotting wood, ester of wood rosin, brominated vegetable oil, caramelized laffy taffy. Finish is chemical with an acrid, oxidized cardboard twang.

Pure nastiness, this is horrid stuff. Another dumper from the folks at Harpoon. After 4 brews from this brewery, I have no interest in ever having their beer again, and will warn my friends to stay away. Down the drain it goes. Avoid at all cost.

Mitchster, May 19, 2004
Photo of CheapHysterics
1.68/5  rDev -52%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Wow, I usually like Harpoon Brews, but this is awful. I had 4 in the fridge and I have tried it with food, without food, first beer of the night, and 5th beer of the night, and in every case I couldn't find much to like.

Pours a nice red tinged color with a small head that disappears almost totally.

Smells malty sickly sweet, like over-ripe fruit.

Taste is not quite as bad as the smell, but still bad. Way too sweet with a bad chemichally aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, but that does little to compensate for the off-putting flavors.

Like I said, I had 4. I tried them in various circumstances and in each case it was a chore to finish the bottle. bleh.

CheapHysterics, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Naes
1.9/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance is dark amber in color with a small light tan head.
Aroma is of candy sweet malt.
The flavor starts out watery, then becomes candy sweet and moves into a semi bitter stage followed by an odd sweetness. The aftertaste just does not agree with me.
Mouth feel is a bit light and under carbonated.

Naes, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of greenjeff4141
1.93/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A: Reddish amber color, not much head.

S: Malts, a bit of hops, caramel. Nothing to write home about.

T: Didn't care for it, too malty, sweet, ends in a dry funk. It was the finish I didn't care for.

M: Dry and then sticky. Heavy. This was the biggest turn off for me.

D: I drank one. That was it. Not one to have again either.

Not a good example at all of the irish red style. Stick to something else.

greenjeff4141, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of MrShroom
2/5  rDev -42.9%

MrShroom, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -42.9%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of sweisel80
2/5  rDev -42.9%

sweisel80, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of Rekrule
2/5  rDev -42.9%

Rekrule, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of jrallen34
2/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer pours a light clear watery amber without much head.

The aroma and taste are both light and sour, way to sour to be drinkable. It is very boring and watery.

Overall, this beer is just plain bad, I can't recommend it to anyone.

jrallen34, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of Thrasher
2.05/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Well Harpoon has consistently underwhelmed me with almost all of their beers and I have to say this is no exception. First of all, I know this site has had some reconfiguring of the beer styles but there's no way this is a "pale ale/bitter." It's an Irish red ale and there is no mistaking it. It's also a pretty mediocre one, which is tough going because I have always found Irish reds to be a pretty mediocre style in general. While not as initially repugnant as Harpoon's ESB, this is still pretty unlikable. Malts have a nice base to them, and a twinge of smokiness is brought out by the hops, but there is a huge soap flavor that Harpoon's other beers have. It wrecks the beer, and since Irish reds are usually delicate and mild, the off flavor is overpowering. No more Harpoon for me please. I've heard they are currently kicking it up a notch and making more interesting beers (not that it means they will be better) but I probably won't try them unless the word is that they're truly kick ass. And they're free.

Thrasher, May 21, 2003
Photo of atucker0985
2.08/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am usually a rather jovial fan of any beer that comes out of Boston, however, this one deserved to be bent over my knee and spanked. After first pour into a clean and crisp pilsner glass, my initial thoughts on its appearance nearly convinced me that I was going to enjoy this beer. It has an attractive reddish/amber hue and a good inch thick head on it after it settled. Christ almighty was I fooled! As I poured this facade of a brew into my eager mouth, I was immediately struck with an incredible shock to my taste buds like a spear to my gut. This beer had rudely interrupted what I thought was going to be a celestial experience. The taste was almost nonexistant...bland would be an understatement. I sensed a cripsness to it that could have been better exploited ...had the beer had better componets to it. The finish was bitter, but I will admit that the aftertaste did not linger as long as I thought it would. I truly missed the presence and aroma of the ingrediants of this brew as I have grown accustomed to smell in other reds that I have tried. Sorry Harpoon, your other brews are great, but other than the pleasant appearance, this one was a crushing failure.

atucker0985, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.1/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Harpoon- Celtic Ale

A- Nice golden brown with a thick white head. Decent lacing down the top 1/3 of the glass.
S- A dirty penny soaking in coca-cola. Slight caramel maltiness.
T- Sweet syrupy cola with a metallic twang to it. Coppery/ tinny taste. bleech. Earthy hop finish.
M- Sweet and metallic. Dry and earthy.

Overall- A huge letdown!

NJpadreFan, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of geexploitation
2.17/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish brown, with a dark center and bright caramel edges. Only a collar of head remains after a few minutes. Aroma is definitely on the butterscotchy diacetyl side of things, although some nutty malts and fruity hops poke through in spite the diacetyl intensity. The palate, the palate. OK, I'm usually OK with a bit of diacetyl in my English style ales, but this is ridiculous. Diacetyl in the front, mid, and finish, along with some acidity first off and some grapefruity notes at the mid-palate -- but those last two things are overwhelmed by the big D. The finish dries out quickly. Mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied, with good, medium carbonation that fills things out. Overall, this beer has only the minor trappings of a successful one (looks, mouthfeel). It's kind of like a hot girl who looks great and feels great in all the right places, but can't carry on a conversation and has poison for a soul. This is an abject failure of a beer IMO; I can only see someone enjoying this is they either a) have a strange diacetyl fixation or b) are blissfully unaware that the stuff exists.

geexploitation, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of FollowedMyFolly
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am a huge fan of reds and have a huge respect for Irish beer. Most reds that I have tried are American so the Irish style reds are somewhat new to me. This beer was not in favor to my personal pallet. Harpoon I will keep trying to find the beer for me in your company. I still keep the faith.

FollowedMyFolly, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of Mayhewbc
2.25/5  rDev -35.7%

Mayhewbc, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of deadliest
2.25/5  rDev -35.7%

deadliest, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Michaeldmanley
2.25/5  rDev -35.7%

Michaeldmanley, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of kmpitz2
2.42/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a somewhat transparent amber color, with a finger of head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is a very dirty, earthy hop. I don't reallyl ike it. The flavor is bad. There is a funkey sweetness on the finish, that follows a dirty flavor. The mouthfeel is fairly thin and drinkability is pretty bad. I don't really want to finish this one.

kmpitz2, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of ReelBigwigFish
2.45/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

a: Poured 12 oz bottle into a chimay chalice glass. It has a nice dark amber color to it, not quite red though. Poor head retention and no lacing to speak of, could be the glass though.

s: smells of caramel malts and apples with a bit of alcohol and spice in there.

t: not that great, the maltiness is there but im not picking up on the hops that others speak of, has a dry sweet finish that i find more bothersome than enjoyable.

m/o: the initial mouthfeel is fine; smooth, slightly creamy, but about 10 seconds after swallowing there is such a dryness in my throat that just ruins the experience. I suppose I could just keep pounding these down and somewhat enjoy them, but I'll inevitably have to leave this beer being annoyed and disappointed because it finishes so poorly.

ReelBigwigFish, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of stegmakk
2.45/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice amber color with a quickly disappearing off white head.
Aroma was a nice mixture of hops and a hint of malt and a hint of fruitiness.
The flavor was like the aroma only more potent. Hoppy with some fuit tone, and there seemed to be a strange after taste. Never tasted a taste like this in a beer. Dare I saw a little gum like.
Overall I will not buy this again. Looked better than it tasted.

stegmakk, Feb 07, 2003
Photo of lemonlime311
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

lemonlime311, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of db12
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

db12, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of NatsnSkinsDC
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

NatsnSkinsDC, Dec 13, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.