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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

725 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.57%
Wants: 16
Gots: 26 | 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
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
2.65/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

Sammy, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.69/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -14.3%

djrn2, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev 0%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Thorpe429, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%

acurtis, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +14.3%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

BEERchitect, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

kjkinsey, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

mikesgroove, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
3.55/5  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.

kylehay2004, May 11, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

oberon, Mar 14, 2003
Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Jason, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

WVbeergeek, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

TheManiacalOne, May 03, 2007
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev 0%
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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Slatetank, May 25, 2013
Photo of mactrail
2.96/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

mactrail, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of WesWes
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

WesWes, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Mora2000, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of jwc215
3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

jwc215, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -14.3%

beernads, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 21, 2013
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Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.