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.

720 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 720
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.53%
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
Ratings: 720 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scruffwhor


4.18/5  rDev +19.1%

Picked up my local Jewel today. Was surprised to see this at my local supermarket.

Deep yet clear amber color with lots of awesome bubbling and a well retained thick film of foam.

Sweet toasted malt aroma overall that makes me think of biscuits and home baked white bread. Very inviting session ale smell.

Sweet toasted malt upfront, with a little dryness. The middle has some caramel to add to that toasted bread flavor. Finish is simple and mlaty sweet that makes me want to kill a six pack of this beer in a heartbeat.

Very underated Irish Red ale.

03-12-2011 23:45:28 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of xnicknj


3/5  rDev -14.5%

12-14-2011 23:35:33 | More by xnicknj
Photo of jrallen34


2/5  rDev -43%

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.

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


3.38/5  rDev -3.7%

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.

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


3.95/5  rDev +12.5%

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.

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


3.8/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

02-10-2008 01:37:06 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of tone77


3.43/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

03-12-2010 15:26:01 | More by tone77
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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!

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

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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


3.4/5  rDev -3.1%

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...

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

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


3.93/5  rDev +12%

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

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

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

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


3.73/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

06-08-2011 15:12:57 | More by Brenden
Photo of ROGUE16


4/5  rDev +14%

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


3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

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

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

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


2.5/5  rDev -28.8%

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.

05-23-2008 01:41:43 | More by maximum12
Photo of BGsWo22

New York

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

03-20-2013 23:15:42 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of ZEB89

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

05-05-2013 23:44:56 | More by ZEB89
Photo of jophish17


3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -14.5%

01-18-2014 17:35:11 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of Reagan1984


3.15/5  rDev -10.3%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

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


3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

11-14-2011 21:19:42 | More by bpfrush
Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 720 ratings.