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Harpoon Celtic Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Celtic AleHarpoon Celtic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

363 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 363
Hads: 749
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 27
Gots: 62 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Celtic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 363 | Hads: 749
Photo of Halcyondays
3.71/5  rDev +6%
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. (799 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.61/5  rDev -25.4%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (718 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (313 characters)

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. (399 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of tone77
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. (273 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
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. (396 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: A decent reddish-amber color with one-finger head and decent carbonation.

Aroma: Very sweet and malty with some caramel essence. Smooth.

Taste: Very smooth and malty upfront. Sweet and caramel-ish. Goes down easily. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Sweet with a touch of caramel. Smooth with some dryness.

Verdict: A highly drinkable Irish Red Ale. It's what I expect from Harpoon and perfect for the spring season. (420 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.16/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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. (558 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
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. (799 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
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. (520 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
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. (290 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
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! (896 characters)

Photo of ZAP
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... (737 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,059 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (611 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance –Served a mahogany colored brew with ruby like highlights and a small off white head. The head fades rather fast to leave a persistent film on the top of the brew.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet caramel smell mixed with notes of lightly roasted malt and a biscuit smell. Mixed with these are some aromas of a buttery toffee and a light grassy hop.

Taste – The taste begins with a lightly roasted bready flavor as well as some caramel sweetness. As the taste advances further some toffee, biscuit, and some fruit flavors a apple and a light cherry come to the tongue. The flavors remain relatively constant throughout the rest of the taste until the end where a light citrus and herbal hop flavor come to the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the brew is on the medium side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the average to just below average side. The medium body and carbonation suit the drinkable and lightly roasted and sweeter flavors of the brew quite well. Very appropriately done.

Overall – A decent red ale. It has an easy drinking and non-complex flavor profile that has nice smoother flavors which makes a good beer to have while enjoying the company of other. (1,277 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
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 (397 characters)

Photo of maximum12
2.51/5  rDev -28.3%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
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. (557 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Clear amber, some carbonation, not much, one finger head

S-Roasty malts, caramel, little else.

T-Caramel, some roastiness, semi-sweet.

M-Medium bodied but little carbonation.

O-Another Irish Red Ale that just didn't do it for me. The mesh of flavors isn't there. (268 characters)

Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.