1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

712 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 712
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 14
Gots: 23 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Celtic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 712 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 22:58:37 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately Harpoon seems like one of those brewers that just doesn’t live up to their potential. The beers are consistent and well-made but the flavor just is not there on a lot of them. Seems to me they could easily be a GLBC or Bell’s caliber brewer if they would just decide they wanted all their beers to be less boring. Anyway this Killian’s-ish beer is clear amber with a thin ivory-colored head and minimal lacing. Caramel and malt aroma. Medium-bodied and dry with malt, caramel and light nut flavor. The finish is short and hoppy. Smooth and easy to drink, but again there should be more to this.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2005 15:20:52 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice clear amber with a good half inch of bubbly lightly tan head.

S - Caramel and toffee malts ahoy with a bit of aggressive grain or pine hops in the smell.

T - Starts off moderately sweet then turns toward an aggressive grain and the end hits with a slight hop bitterness that sticks to the tongue a while. Not bad!

M - Light to medium body. Very drinkable.

Overall I liked it. This maybe the first Harpoon beer I did enjoy. Kind of aggressive grain profile but still very good. Would consider buying a sixer.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 00:23:04 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, says best before 5/1/08. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like caramel malt, bread/grain, and a bit of hops. Aroma is nice, but a bit weak. Luckily the taste is stronger than the aroma is. It tastes like toffee, caramel, toasted malt and a bit of hops in the finish. But it's a mostly malty sweet beer. Mouthfeel/body is medium with good carbonation and a bit of chewiness. Drinkability is good too, the smoothness makes it easy to drink. Not a bad choice as a session beer, IMO. Overall I think this is a pretty decent beer, I'd buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 01:37:06 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of 05/15/10. Pours a very clear, medium copper color with a fine-bubbled beige foam. Retention is good and lacing is decent. This one looks pretty appetizing.

Nose is honeyed caramel with a bit of toasty malt and some melted butter. Pretty simple smelling brew with a bit of diacetyl issue that is not altogether unappealing in this type of beer. Kind of like a store-bought caramel popcorn ball.

Sweet caramel malts pretty much complete this one-trick pony, but it is not that bad of a beer surprisingly. The effervescent carbonation offsets some of the sweetness and there is a floral clover-leaf bitterness that is probably at least half toasty malt to go with a mild hopping rate. As an Irish Red, it is pretty lackluster...but it does go down very easy and I must say you could choose worse for a St. Patty's Day sixer. Mine certainly will not go to waste!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 01:44:32 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a small head. Smell is of malts, a bit sweet. Taste is crisp, malts with a bit of hops, finishing slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 15:26:01 | More by tone77
Photo of WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev 0%

07-14-2013 19:25:10 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Been awhile since I've had some (har)poon....my last experience on the beer front was many years ago....on the other front...hours ago...

Not tremendously impressed with this but it is ok....nothing horrible about it...just seems a little light in the shorts....I'm not expecting an imperial stout in body but this seems a little thin and watery even for the style...

Aroma and taste feature some light toastiness...this is a decent beer just not a real assertive beer in flavor, aroma or body.

Let's put it this way, If I was a party and some one kept handing me these I would drink them all night and enjoy them but if I was looking for a six pack to enjoy for a night this wouldn't be one I would be looking at...that sums it up...

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 22:00:11 | More by ZAP
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a nice full creamy tan head, good carbonation, and decent lace. Spicy malt aroma. Spicy nutmeg-like malt flavors; fairly robust malt profile for an Irish Red. Medium bodied and smooth with a spicy dry malt finish.

Good but just not my style to stick with for more than one.

Per B.O.M. notes:
- 22 IBU
- 5.4% ABV
- Malts: 2-row Pale, Caramel, and Chocolate
- Hops: Nugget

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2005 19:00:18 | More by RBorsato
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear reddish orange colour with a large size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, caramel, pears, tea

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly thin on the palette. I can taste lots of malts and a caramel sweetness mixed with tea. There are also notes of pear juice and a bit of a black liquorice flavour. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste.

Drink - Not a bad beer for the style. It would come in handy with St Patrick's Day approaching. Worth a try if you happen to see it - it is also very reasonable priced.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 20:00:37 | More by spinrsx
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

4/5  rDev +14.3%

12-07-2011 21:35:53 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle makred Best By: 05/15/10-020. Probably from their Windsor, Vermont brewery. Sampled on March 4, 2010. The pour is a very nice looking ruby red-mahogany with a thin beige head. Lots of beige lacing. The aroma is strong with caramel malts and some vague hops. The taste is sweet like butterscotch and caramel with a light hoppy ending. A nice take on the Irish style red.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 23:41:14 | More by puboflyons
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

01-29-2013 04:40:38 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is about a dark orange with a bronze edge to it that shines clear in the light. The off-shite head that forms is about one finger high and retains itself fairly well but doesn't leave much lacing, but enough to prove there's some substance to it.
What's in the aroma is good but it's also light. The malts form a sturdy backbone to rest a light dose of hops for balance, while a touch of sweetness and light spiciness rounds it out.
The flavor is also good and offers a bit more, giving what it should without sacrificing depth as in the aroma. Malts are the focus though hops are not neglected, adding a light herbal bittering balance to the sweetness of caramel, a flavor most like brown sugar, and a nutmeg-like spiciness. Grains and breads come and go a bit under it all.
The body is on the lighter side of medium and a touch thinner than the malts would imply. There's nothing that either offends or makes this particularly interesting; a light cripsness is in each sip as well as a moderately smooth finish.
This really isn't a bad little red.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 15:12:57 | More by Brenden
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a medium amber color, full fluffy white head, moderate retention. Scent is pale and mild with notes of caramel malts and stale grassy hops. Taste brings a bit more to the table... caramel malts still dominate with only a light touch of hoppyness, quite grassy, earthy. Lighter bodied and heavily bubbly. Really felt like I had a Vienna lager as opposed to an Irish Red. Just too light and fizzy for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 15:30:45 | More by rfgetz
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

2.5/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out dead-on amber. No head. Smell seems a little off.

Probably because the taste is off, too. Hops in the top of the mouth & a bit of nasal, slightly stale bread taste comes on strong. I can taste that it's supposed to be a red, but there's something wrong with this beer. Bad bottle? Little old? I dunno.

It's drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 01:41:43 | More by maximum12
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the process of posting 4 reviews that I wrote on my blackberry in the spring and just realized I never posted them.

Pint came with no head and the beer was a clear am,ber color with no visible carbonation. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is of caramel and slightly bready.

Everything was light in this beer, the aroma was mild as is the flavor. Some malt tones that seem monotone and slight sweetness. Nothing deep about it.

Body is light as is the carbonation. A little bit slick

I drank the pint quickly and moved on to another more interesting beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2009 20:58:41 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quite respectible entry in this style category. Malt-centric, with some light fruity notes and a touch of woodyness. Body was just a bit on the lighter side than I would have liked, but, overall, an enjoyable sessionable ale that would be a fine accompanyment to a meat-and-potato meal.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 17:44:18 | More by Brent
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev 0%

12-24-2011 07:48:33 | More by jophish17
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

03-20-2013 23:15:42 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear amber/reddish color with a fluffy off-white head that thinned after a while and left spotty lacing.

S - faint caramel malt aroma.

T - a bit more malty flavor than the smell would lead one to believe with a light bitterness on the back end.

F - lighter bodied brew with light carbonation.

D - goes down pretty easy.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 01:30:04 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

11-14-2011 21:19:42 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -14.3%

01-18-2014 17:35:11 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, cherrywood, brownish-red body with a small, beige head that quickly falls flat. Some sticky patches of lace are left on the glass.

Aroma is restrained, and that's putting a good spin on it. Sweet, bready malt and some herbal hops are barely noticed.

Mouthfeel is pedestrian, with moderate carbonation and a light body.

Taste is above average, but unimpressive. Caramel and bready malts dominate, with a balancing, floral/herbal hops presence that provides enough bitterness to give this decent drinkability. Not one of the better Harpoon brews I've tried, but it's not bad, just average.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2004 23:59:20 | More by merlin48
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep copper color with large off-white head. Smell is slightly sweet with a faint hint of hops. Taste is pleasant, but nothing outstanding with a slight hop bitterness at the finish. Let a mild dry taste in the mouth. Could be a decent session beer, both nothing outstanding

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 01:08:27 | More by tgbljb
Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 712 ratings.