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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.

718 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 718
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
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
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Ratings: 718 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vitesse


3.35/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

08-28-2003 23:37:11 | More by vitesse
Photo of Thrasher


2.05/5  rDev -41.6%

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.

05-21-2003 14:45:47 | More by Thrasher
Photo of WaltTrombone

New York

3.05/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

05-02-2003 19:05:29 | More by WaltTrombone
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

04-01-2003 16:04:20 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of shirfan

New York

2.9/5  rDev -17.4%

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.

03-29-2003 20:58:56 | More by shirfan
Photo of kelticblood


3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

03-23-2003 22:30:18 | More by kelticblood
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

03-14-2003 13:52:23 | More by oberon
Photo of Jdiddy

Rhode Island

3.15/5  rDev -10.3%

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.

03-08-2003 11:55:31 | More by Jdiddy
Photo of Brewzzle


3.63/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

03-06-2003 17:37:25 | More by Brewzzle
Photo of kunzbrew


3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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.


02-26-2003 15:14:53 | More by kunzbrew
Photo of mzwolinski


2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

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.

02-19-2003 17:07:29 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of stegmakk

New York

2.45/5  rDev -30.2%

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.

02-07-2003 10:04:13 | More by stegmakk
Photo of tigerpaws

South Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -3.1%

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

07-03-2002 16:33:57 | More by tigerpaws
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

05-31-2002 20:33:05 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of John

New York

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

04-15-2002 08:04:31 | More by John
Photo of pbrian


3.45/5  rDev -1.7%

Judge the beer for what it is (a very drinkable Irish ale) rather than what it's not (spring Maibock). Let's face it, it's not the most complex style out there, but this beer is head and shoulders above the other mass-produced Killians, etc out there. Very clean and drinkable, good at a party when you don't want to have to think about the beer too much.

03-11-2002 08:32:26 | More by pbrian
Photo of Todd


4.03/5  rDev +14.8%

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: A nice and clean looking rich red / amber beer. Head is a tad off-white with a creamy foam stick and excellent head retention.

Smell: Malty, fruity, estery with a soft hop aroma in the background.

Taste: Body is medium. Mouthfeel is smooth. Malt flavours are quite fruity, dark fruits, with an even semi-sugary sweetness. Touch of roasted flavour sits in the back with some bubble-gum-like and woody flavours. Carbonation is tight, zesty and creams-up on the palate. Grain flavours follow, then some esters and a slight touch of alcohol. Hop flavours are floral, tea-like, with a thin, soft character. Some leafy feel can be detected on the palate. Finish has some roasted notes to it.

Notes: Harpoon replaced their Spring Maibock with this beer. I put that aside. They come out with an "Irish-style red ale", which is so typical. I put that aside. What's left? In my opinion a damn fine ale. It's balanced. It's simple. It's easy to drink. It has appeal.

02-18-2002 00:00:01 | More by Todd
Photo of xXTequila


3.28/5  rDev -6.6%

I have been waiting a while to try this one and now i wish i hadn't. It's not that great. I was expecting a heavier bodied ale, with a a creamy caramel maltiness to it and instead it was rather weak tasting. It went down easy with not much to think about when you drank it, which is probly what they were shooting for when they made it. I can't believe they replaced their spring mai bock with this.

01-28-2002 09:55:42 | More by xXTequila
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Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.