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Harpoon Celtic Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Celtic AleHarpoon Celtic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

728 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 728
Reviews: 360
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 19
Gots: 33 | 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: 728 | Reviews: 360 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of proc
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this one.

Pours out to a dark amber in the glass with a very, light, brown head. The aroma is that of malt and smells fresh. The taste is very good. There is a wonderful, sweet malt taste here, that is very lightly balanced by the hops. Its tastes lightly sweet and is very refreshing. A fine example of the Amber/Red style.

Photo of smcolw
3.36/5  rDev -4%
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 homersimpson
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber with a quick, light tan head.
Smells on toffee with a touch of nuts.
Almost chewy, medium body.
Starts with a very sweet malt and toffee flavor that picks up a touch of nuts as it finishes.
Smooth, but like all of the style, fall short of greatness.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer had a nice amber color and a nice malty smell. However, it is boring. If memory serves, the style is a tad boring, but I'm not going to hold it against the beer. Not too much going on with the taste. A malt profile with a nice taste, but not too complex. But it was a nice beer to remember Saint Patrick with.

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.32/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on cask at Redbone's
A totally different experience: wonderful floral aroma, crisp, clean malt. Still puts me in mind of oktoberfest.

on cask at Doyle's

Light glows through reddish copper under a low head of coarse bubbles, which die down fairly quickly. Sour hops smell.

Though served on hairy edge of too warm, the light, crisp body has exactly the tender quality I'm looking for. It tastes quite mild, both in the malt and the hops, reminding me of Sam Adams Octoberfest.

A fine session brew.

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
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 BeerResearcher
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Irish-style ale pours a reddish amber color with a full and creamy off-white head.
A nice sweet malty aroma mingles with a smell reminiscent a fruit cup.
A full creamy caramel sweet body brings up thoughts of Oktoberfests past.
The medium to high hops has some lemony citrus taste with a light tea-like quality.
This is a lively brew with a noticeable Scotch-like alcohol. Interesting.

Photo of PatandDavid
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Redbones. Pour was a clear amber. Aroma was rather clean. Taste was more of the Oktoberfest variety: rather malty. I detected some husky notes as well. Pleasant, but over-all not earth-shattering, could make a nice session beer for a change.

Photo of genaro
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harpoon Hibernian Style Ale was a dark copper/ruby color with a moderate head. It had a nice fragrant hop aroma. The taste was slightly sweet (caramelly with traces of coffee) and citrusy (orangey). The finish was dry and citrusy. Overall it had a nice smooth blend with good carbonation and a good hop bite. I'd have another.

Photo of beerinator
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Reddish Caramel Red. Offwhite rocky head with decent retention.

Aroma: Caramel, malty, very sweet. Malty candy.

Taste: Finishes a lot dryer than expected from the aroma. Not a whole lot of body. Bit of caramel with tingly dryness near the end. Clean.

Notes: Pretty good beer to drink four or five of. Very drinkable. A bit decieving on the body side, considering how sweet the aroma is.

Photo of vitesse
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

served in 12 oz. bottle.
i bought a six pack of this in aug., when the price for this seasonal was marked way way down. i didn't expect much. in fact, from what i'd read before about this one, i half expected to dump out 5 bottles.
anyway, the gamble paid off. i liked this beer. not sure if it's a perfect rendition of the irish red ale, but the malt flavor held up pretty well. reminds me of an english mild ale or an american amber - maybe similar to say, john courage or sam adams.
thin watery mouthfeel, little carbonation, little hops, but nice sweet lip-smacking maltiness that goes down easy. very drinkable and non-offensive to just about any beer drinker.

Photo of Thrasher
2.08/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Well Harpoon has consistently underwhelmed me with almost all of their beers and I have to say this is no exception. First of all, I know this site has had some reconfiguring of the beer styles but there's no way this is a "pale ale/bitter." It's an Irish red ale and there is no mistaking it. It's also a pretty mediocre one, which is tough going because I have always found Irish reds to be a pretty mediocre style in general. While not as initially repugnant as Harpoon's ESB, this is still pretty unlikable. Malts have a nice base to them, and a twinge of smokiness is brought out by the hops, but there is a huge soap flavor that Harpoon's other beers have. It wrecks the beer, and since Irish reds are usually delicate and mild, the off flavor is overpowering. No more Harpoon for me please. I've heard they are currently kicking it up a notch and making more interesting beers (not that it means they will be better) but I probably won't try them unless the word is that they're truly kick ass. And they're free.

Photo of WaltTrombone
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass, reddish body with a tall white head that disappeared about a third of the way through. Vague laciness.

Not much aroma, just an indefinite sweetness. Taste was a little better, mostly malty sweetness, and just a wee bit of hops trying valiantly to hold back the malt. Thin, but not too thin mouthfeel. The hops make themselves known more in the finish, but not overtly so. Pretty drinkable, I didn't have to force myself, a good alternative to macros, and would probably be good for educating macro drinkers to better beer.

Photo of ElGuapo
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A red amber pour with a little white head on top that dies a bit quick for my liking. The aroma is sweet with fruits at the start, but you can also pick up a bit of hops.

Flavor is not very strong, and the body is a bit thin, but it is still pretty enjoyable. A lot of sweet fruitiness with a mass of grains start you out. It then gives a bit of a hoppy flavor, but nothing to die for. I was not impressed, but I would probably drink it again depending on my other options.

Photo of shirfan
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Macro body and feel, and I agree with McCall; this smells and tastes like Bazooka. Drinkable, but doesn't compell me to do so.

Pours a firey red-copper, thin and weak head.

This isn't quite so artificial tasting as Pete's line, but it brought them to mind. Malty sweetness tastes like it came out of a can of extract, although it isn't overly strong. And there's that damned bubblegum flavor; I can't find any rhyme or reason for it.

Finishes with a light and crisp bitterness, nothing for the hop lover.
Body and mouthfeel are letdowns.

Even with the odd flavor, this isn't horrible, but I won't spend money on it again. Perish the thought of celebrating St. Paddy's day with it, as the bottle suggests.

Photo of kelticblood
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent pour that yielded a choppy and soapy looking white head.Trails of lace left as head settled.The color is darkish red.The mouthfeel was very crisp and clean.A light refreshing and somewhat watery texture.A malty and biscuit-like taste.An average aroma of biscuit and malt.More hops and malt would help this Ale alot.Has almost a mass produced beer taste.Its ok but not worh buying again.Try again Harpoon.

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.

Photo of Jdiddy
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The initial color is that of Killians. A red/copper color. The taste is total malt with an overabundance of caramel sweetness. The first time I tried this I loved it. The second time I had a hard time finishing it. It is rather bland and it seems like something is not quite right in the balance. Head vanishes quickly and you are left with a glass of malty syrup it seemed.

Photo of Brewzzle
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a poor introduction to the style with Killians this Irish ale is a redemption.

It has quite a stong aroma, a hint of cinnamon to start and strong alcohol overall, very inviting. Colour is a reddish brown and quite rich. To taste it is very sweet, strong malt profile and a nice hop bite to balance. There is an unfortunate watery finish and aftertaste which detracts, body is quite thin too.

Photo of kunzbrew
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a deep red copper color with minimal head that stays minimal. A rich fruity yeast smell pours out from the yop of the glass. A high carbonation mouth feel, along with a fruity flavor that kinda kinks the jaw. A caramel flavor is also present. A mild hop aroam and flavor make this an ok beer from a ok brewery. This finish good but not the best I have had from these guys.


Photo of mzwolinski
2.79/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy amber in color with a very thin head. Scoth-ale like sweet, caramel malt aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. First sip is pleasantly sweet with a big malt presence. The remainder of the flavor is fairly unremarkable, save for what I find to be a rather off-putting astringent finish. A bit rough on the tongue, and not something I would recommend.

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

Nice amber color with a quickly disappearing off white head.
Aroma was a nice mixture of hops and a hint of malt and a hint of fruitiness.
The flavor was like the aroma only more potent. Hoppy with some fuit tone, and there seemed to be a strange after taste. Never tasted a taste like this in a beer. Dare I saw a little gum like.
Overall I will not buy this again. Looked better than it tasted.

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

A good but not great beer, pours a nice coppery color and a decnet reddish head. The aroma just isn't there but has a pleasant taste and is easy to drink, reminded me of Killians but a step above............CHEERS

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Copper-red body, bubbles small in size and quanity. Big off-white head of microbubbles with good foam above the rim. Good lacing. Light floral nose. While leaning heavily toward the malt side, more hops than I expected. Not spectacular, certainly not equal to a draught of Smithwicks in Galway, but superior to Killian's or Murphy's Irish Amber/Red.
And if we're going to compare Harpoon Spring Seasonals, I'll vote for the long gone Stout, over this, the Maibock, and anything else they have had.

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

Medium-dark amber color with a rich tan head when poured from the tap. A pleasant blend of malty and hoppy aromas and more of the same in the flavor. An enjoyable, above average amber/red ale.

Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.