Harpoon Celtic Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Celtic AleHarpoon Celtic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

748 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 748
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 24
Gots: 59 | 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:
Beer added by: barleywinebrewer on 01-16-2009

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  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: 748 | Reviews: 366
Photo of Sammy
2.66/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A rough beer tod rink. Odd malty aromas, light orange coloured body. I did not like the taste, the mouthfeel. Still a little drinkability. I have had better in the style.Not the worst Harpoon, ending with something more flavourful from the brewery.Thanks Radek.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by 5/15/13.

Pours a dark copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, slight hops, and some nutty aromas. Taste is much the same with malty and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: two finger head with excellent retention on a cloudy amber body.

S: caramel malts but with a more sour/funk aroma than sweet. slight burnt toast note as well.

T: heavy maltiness with mostly sweet caramel and toasted malt that almost provides a rough texture to the beer.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: very malty so much that the beer texture is affected.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderate red-amber color. Off-white head that starts out at a nice two-finger height and falls down throughout. Good lacing. The nose brings some light caramel and toffee notes plus a bit of earthy hops. In the end, a bit of the characteristic Harpoon house yeast which, after having 25 or so of their beers, I've started to pick up on. Taste is slight breadiness plus some earth. Light to medium body and nice drinkability.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the better Irish Reds that I have had. Not being one of my favorite styles, I was skeptical. Has a bold toasted malt aroma with and under-riding hop scent and moderately spiced. Nice strong malt flavor that hits on toasty, dates, nuts, and a light brown sugar flavor. Hops balance out the sweetness well while lending a mild bitterness and spice flavor. Other spices such as nutmeg and ginger. The body is medium and balanced. Finishes lightly sweet with a slight bitterness and a lingering malt flavor. Pretty good stuff.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.86/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-bronze with a hint of brick red that's only appreciated with strong backlighting. The head is off-white with an orangish ecru influence and doesn't rise higher than a finger or two after the pour. It's fairly nondescript and leaves only a stunted collar of lace.

The nose is a few clicks too low on the old intens-o-meter. There isn't much to go on. In fact, I'd have had a hard time coming up with the proper style if I didn't already know it. The beer is slightly more malty than it is hoppy, which is only fitting since it isn't hoppy at all. Weak, weaker, weakest.

Hibernian Ale isn't a bad little drinker. On second swallow, while it isn't that far off the mark, it isn't an especially good version of an Irish red. It's undermalted with a mildly sweet, quasi-caramel flavor that fails to impress. My guess is that it's hopped with some British variety, like Goldings. Since the brewers were overly stingy with the hops, it's hard to tell.

The finish is nothing special and differs only in that it contains a smidgen more herbal English hoppiness and some tea-like notes. Clean and tending toward dry sums it up pretty well. The light mouthfeel aspires to light-medium... and comes up short.

Hibernian Irish Style Red Ale is a fairly lackluster offering from a brewery that is new to me (or at least to my taste buds). I know better than to judge Harpoon by one beer and will have no trouble trying other offerings as I run across them. For instance, there's an interesting little creation called Triticus, brewed by two brothers who know a thing or ten about beer, that I've been itching to try.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new one from Harpoon well what do you know. I had to grab a single of this one and at least give it a try right? Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/13/2010.
 
The pour was a deep orange red in color with a small head of white that sat effortlessly on the top of the glass. Falling back down to earth it left a little bit of lacing on the sides and the bottom of the glass, but again nothing that would really blow me away. Still though decent look overall. Light caramel coming off the glass is the first thing I notice, warming mixing in some light herbal notes, hints of grasses and sweet sugary esters. Nice feel, light, well carbonated but full enough to keep me interested for a while. Rich caramel flavor combined with a nice, lightly drying hop presence really let it take off quite well. Very drinkable and session able I would have no issue at all with throwing down multiples of this.
 
Overall a very solid and well put together offering from Harpoon. Would not mind trying this again and one of the better I have had from them lately.

Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Says on label its an Irish Red but mine seemed to be more copper,but anyways left hardly no head when poured.A little bit of clove or cinnamon in the smell also picked up some wood-likw smell.To me the taste had some smokiness to it,it was very malty sweet as well wich I liked.Nice mouthfeel cant drink to many of this style though kinda sits in my stomach.A pretty good American style Irish ale though.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish amber body with a thin, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Caramelized sugar aroma with a slight doughiness and a vague fruitiness.

Taste: Bready, caramel sweetness. Very light earth hops before the finish. The fruitiness perks up in the overall sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fairly average Irish ale, that's all I'm saying.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange-red color with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint and has a metallic smell to it, contains caramel, tea, nuts and some hops.

T: The taste is malty but light with flavors of caramel, spice, nuts and tea along with a nice hops background. It’s simple but pleasant. The after-tasty is slightly sweet and a little bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, decent representation of style, it isn’t the best beer that I’ve had in the style but it’s still very good. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here but it’s enjoyable in its simplicity.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Surprised there are so few reviews for this beer.. I've seen it at the package store for the past month or so.

Always like to try Harpoon's beers.. never amazing but usually pretty solid (like the Saranac of New Englad).

Nice looking beer.. a nice copper color with nice head to it and lots of ascending bubbles. Smell is very much of caramel and malts.. nice smell. Taste is little simple but solid.. again hints of caramel, but a little too macro tasting as a previous reviewer stated. Reminds me of Bud American Ale. Nothing great, but a nice solid drinker.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a touch of red. A fair amount of head and a lot of lacing. On the nose I got a touch of peach and a slight sweet edge. The taste is earthy and full. There are the typical hops and roasted malt on the mouth and the feel is a little bit thick, but good. Overall a nice brew. Worth trying, I suppose. But not something I will seek out again though.

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep shaded reddish amber, nearly tawny with a nice settling white lace. Clean maltiness with some hints of fruitiness and light floral hop. Woody hop and faint bubble gum? Moderate body with a smooth slightly creamy mouth feel, mild hop bitterness lets the delicate malt sweetness come through with waves of toasted malt and grain. Fruit floral yeast. Touch of caramel and a subdued fruitiness in the back ground. Dry toasted grain lingers for a while. Clean, smooth and malty.

A lot of flavor to soak in here for a normal strength beer. A sensible seasonal on their part for the Boston area, this ended up being a more than just a decent beer.

Photo of mactrail
2.99/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A lovely coppery amber color in the wine glass. Even the last pour has fine foam all down the glass. Fizzy and well carbonated. Musty aroma.

Flavor consists of a schmear of sweet malt followed by a mineral sensation. Dry and bitter to the finish. For a light beer that is not even on the low-alcohol side, this is very unrewarding. Resiny and medicinal. This and cardboardy. So attractive and well made, but so unpleasant. And Harpoon has made some very good beers.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Trader Joe's in San Diego.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice caramel ruby amber tone forms nice caramel tan off white head forms a collar of lace around my pint not bad eh? Aromatics going on instantly are caramel nut toasted malts with very appetising fruit tones dancing around in there mild hop dosage what an amber should be except for HopBack. A very strong malt backbone compromises the main taste here with some fruit almost sugary fruit notes and toasty malts nice mix mild hop bitterness nice amber ale. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied very reserved carbonation nice beer. Drinkability factor here yeah I could enjoy few of these beauties without a problem.

Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap acquired at Trader Joe's and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I'm a big fan of the style and based purely on the marketing, I'm assuming this one is going to be bad. I'm judging this book by its cover. I believe this is my first beer from Harpoon. Enjoy by 05/15/13. 5.4% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a luscious beige-khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and great (~6+ minute) retention. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks exactly as it should for the style; I'm impressed. Fair albeit thin lacing as the head slowly recedes.

Sm: Hrm. A malty sweetness up front with backgrounded toasted malt; it should be the exact opposite. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Hopping is minimal, floral, and generic. I do like the aroma, but it isn't quite to style. Good amber malting. I can't wait to try it. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Sweet up front. Light toasted character - not enough. The malts lack richness and depth of flavour. Balance is okay. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Simple. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Very underwhelming. This just isn't what it should be.

Mf: Way way too dry. Also too coarse. Completely wrong for the style. This isn't at all refreshing. Carbonation is good, and thickness is good, but it's severely problematic. Scratchy. Presence on the pale is horrible.

Dr: This one really misses the mark. A poor excuse for an Irish red. It's drinkable, but its problems exceed its successes. I definitely wouldn't get this again. I'm in no hurry to try Harpoon's other beers after having had this one. Hides its average ABV well.

Low C-

Photo of smcolw
3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance--Clear with a reddish-brown hue; Has a gray-white head that leaves an excellent lace.

Smell--First impression is a metalic aroma; both the hop and malt is relatively light

Taste--The malt offers a sweetish malt that is well balanced by the hop. This beer (on tap) was also carbonated more than expected. The finish is surprising dry. Unfortunately, the finish is also surprising short.

After all is said and done, this beer is flavorful and very drinkable. I think it would improve if it were slightly fuller in body and more complex in flavor.

Photo of jwc215
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 06/15/09:

Pours copper - not quite red - with an off-white head that dissipates. Virtually no lacing sticks.

The smell is musty, with some caramel and green apple. There is a hint of herbal spicing.

The taste is of some caramel with metallic notes and a powdery dust. Caramel struggles to stay ahead of a chemicalish dryness. There is an odd, but interesting, nutmeg spiciness.

The body is thin, though the carbonation is fine.

Not a fan of this one. There are certain (metallic/chemicalish) detractors. It's a little harsh, as well. With all these "complaints", it's still not "bad", or "horrible" as it has an "interesting spiciness and there is a maltiness to it. But, it's not "good" either.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 5/15/2012. Pours crystal clear reddish orange color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice thin cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of caramel, raisin, prune, molasses, banana, bubblegum, clove, floral, and toasted bread. Some pretty nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, pepper, bread, banana, bubblegum, raisin, molasses, floral, toasted malt, and yeast spices. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, dark fruit, banana, clove, and pepper on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of flavors with good complexity. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish present. Very easy and smooth to drink. Overall this is a very nice Irish red ale! Very nice amount of flavor and balance for being almost a session beer. I would have this again.

Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry and fruity scent that boasts of pale and crytal malt as well as yeast esters. It's not overly malty, yet it retains a minimal caramel sweetness. The taste is average. It has a dull malt character along with and equally dull finish. Harpoon makes the same tasting beer and keeps renaming it. Everything is dumbed down for the masses. It's a easy drink, but it's a very boring one. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. Harpoon beers continue to uninspire. Celtic Ale is the newest in a rotating lineup of middle of the road beers that just aren't that good.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear deep copper to amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some golden orange + red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy off-white head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering about 75% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with a touch of light fruit sweetness and some floral hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted caramel malts with a hint of light fruit sweetness. Light amounts of earthy and floral hops towards the finish which impart a light amount of bitterness that fades rather quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Pretty easy to drink and a little better than other offerings in the Irish red style. Not a favorite for me but I could easily have a couple of these in a single session.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear, dark red color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the sweet malt, with some dark fruit thrown in. I get a ton of raisins and cherries in the aroma. The flavor is very similar, with a lot of sweet toffee and some light dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not a huge fan of this style of beer, but this one was better than most I have tried.

Photo of GClarkage
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

07/04/05- Received from BA member Spinlock upon his return from Boston.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating listed. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Dark amber pour with a 1/2 inch white head and decent lacing.

Smell- Mostly a heavy malt scent.

Taste- Mildly sweet malt, maybe a bit roasted and toasted. Definite caramel as well. Slight pine hop taste as well.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation with a slick and smooth feel.

Drinkability- Perfectly adequate red ale. But nothing special really popped into my head while drinking it.

Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby amber with a thin layer of soft, creamy, white head that fades away. There are a ton of carbonation bubbles that rise to the top when first poured. The nose has a sweet, rich, caramel malt note. The flavor is caramel malt, sweet, toasted malt, and faint butterscotch. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, and smooth.

This is a decent beer. I would definitely have a few of these with my St. Patty's celebration.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2 12 oz. bottles into a nonic, for some reason my local Trader Joe's had sixers of this, never seen Harpoon in the Southland before aside from tastings,

A: Pours an amber red with a creamy full white head, with very good retention, some nice lace.

S: Toasty biscuity red malt. Cracked bread, hint of grassy hops.

T: Lots of crystal type malt, with some roasty husky grain. Heavy dried grain finish, almost like cereal. Some good backing hops add some balance.

M: Fairly robust for its style, a solid drinking pint. Crisp carbonation, nice long aftertaste, well structured.

O: A good effort, not anything to make you go wow, but I certainly enjoyed the 24 oz. I don't know if this is some kind an anomaly, or if Harpoon is actually coming to CA, but I'd like to see more from them in the future.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 748 ratings.