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Harpoon Celtic Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Celtic AleHarpoon Celtic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

742 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 742
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 21
Gots: 56 | 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
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Ratings: 742 | Reviews: 363
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 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 InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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 Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +14%

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 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 nathanmiller
2.81/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

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 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.

Photo of Billolick
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours reddish(suprise) amber, slight white head, clear and no lacing. Sort of nondescript beer for my liking. This is a semi sweet brew, I also pick up a little ginger or mint. This just too dull a brew for me. No real character, nor of much interest. My wife liked it, she said "'this is much better then all that crazy strong beer you like" What can I say I like crazy strong, flavorful beer with some character. I wont buy this red ale stuff again anytime soon.

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap a Kelly Cole's

This is a definite St. Patty's Day beer. A good go at the irish red style, reminds me of Smithwick's but less creamy than I'm used too. That'd probably be fixed by a nitro pour, but anyways. Seems a little light in body for a craft beer, but I think that goes with the style. There's a mellow ester flavor from the yeast plus a touch of caramel and a little tang. Almost seems closer to a lager for some reason. Anyways if you want an irish red session beer, get a 6er or order a pint.

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.61/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from tap

Light gold in appearance, Irish red? A nice amount of head and lace saves appearance somewhat, but looks nothing like the style.

Nose is very light indeed, slight bready malts and thats about it.

Tastes metallic like iron water, malt is MIA in the flavor profile. A slight lemony/minerally hop character is barely perceivable.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, light and crisp.

Drinkability is average at best. Not reccommended, in fact next time I'll pass. Not awful but I expect better.

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 ejimhof
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a white, one finger-head that goes quickly leaving no lace. Nice clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is slightly malty. Starts smooth with more malts than hops, some sweetness finishes quietly with no aftertaste. $7.49 for a 6-pack of 12oz bottles from Fred's Kwik Stop Concord, NH.

Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

23oz pour from tap in a large fluted pilsner glass. Nice head on top of a deep reddish-brown liquid. Pleasant mouthful of malt, with an appropriate amount of hops to balance. Smell somewhat guessed, as in a bar/smoking atmosphere, and my nose isn't the best under optimal conditions. Definitely worth the trouble to try this beer, great sessionability.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.46/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, dark, copper-red coloring with a light, frothy, off-white head that quickly settles into an uneven film. Aromas of malt depth, with some nutty and scotch characteristics throughout. Light roasting throughout both the aroma and the palate. Strong malt backbone, with layers of nut, caramel, and toffee sweetness blended together into a smooth, rich body. There is a slight hops bitterness that cleans up the tail end of the flavor profile, leading into a light, richly sweet aftertaste. The body is light and smooth, with a sharpness for the finish. Slightly cloying, leaving a slight linger behind. Easy to drink, and some interesting and light flavors.

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

A: Poured a clear coppery-amber color with a light tan head that quickly fell leaving little lacing. Visible carbonation was light.

S: faint caramel, light floral hints with a dried fruitiness.

T: The initial flavor had a sweet caramel taste upfront which soon gave way to a dry toasted malting and light floral hopping. Overall the flavor was pretty basic and nothing to write home about.

M: creamy from the caramel with a light-medium consistency and slightly chewy.

D: Ok, but wouldn't rush out to buy a sixer of this anytime soon. Drinkable but not really exciting.

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Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 742 ratings.