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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.
BA SCORE
80
good

722 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 722
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.57%
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: 722 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

smcolw, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of Halcyondays
3.69/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

Halcyondays, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -14.3%

beernads, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -27.1%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap acquired at Trader Joe's and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I'm a big fan of the style and based purely on the marketing, I'm assuming this one is going to be bad. I'm judging this book by its cover. I believe this is my first beer from Harpoon. Enjoy by 05/15/13. 5.4% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a luscious beige-khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and great (~6+ minute) retention. Body colour is a vibrant clear translucent copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks exactly as it should for the style; I'm impressed. Fair albeit thin lacing as the head slowly recedes.

Sm: Hrm. A malty sweetness up front with backgrounded toasted malt; it should be the exact opposite. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Hopping is minimal, floral, and generic. I do like the aroma, but it isn't quite to style. Good amber malting. I can't wait to try it. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Sweet up front. Light toasted character - not enough. The malts lack richness and depth of flavour. Balance is okay. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Simple. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Very underwhelming. This just isn't what it should be.

Mf: Way way too dry. Also too coarse. Completely wrong for the style. This isn't at all refreshing. Carbonation is good, and thickness is good, but it's severely problematic. Scratchy. Presence on the pale is horrible.

Dr: This one really misses the mark. A poor excuse for an Irish red. It's drinkable, but its problems exceed its successes. I definitely wouldn't get this again. I'm in no hurry to try Harpoon's other beers after having had this one. Hides its average ABV well.

Low C-

kojevergas, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%

07/04/05- Received from BA member Spinlock upon his return from Boston.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating listed. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Dark amber pour with a 1/2 inch white head and decent lacing.

Smell- Mostly a heavy malt scent.

Taste- Mildly sweet malt, maybe a bit roasted and toasted. Definite caramel as well. Slight pine hop taste as well.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation with a slick and smooth feel.

Drinkability- Perfectly adequate red ale. But nothing special really popped into my head while drinking it.

GClarkage, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%

Surprised there are so few reviews for this beer.. I've seen it at the package store for the past month or so.

Always like to try Harpoon's beers.. never amazing but usually pretty solid (like the Saranac of New Englad).

Nice looking beer.. a nice copper color with nice head to it and lots of ascending bubbles. Smell is very much of caramel and malts.. nice smell. Taste is little simple but solid.. again hints of caramel, but a little too macro tasting as a previous reviewer stated. Reminds me of Bud American Ale. Nothing great, but a nice solid drinker.

oriolesfan4, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev 0%

InspectorBob, May 22, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

tempest, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of Billolick
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%

Pours reddish(suprise) amber, slight white head, clear and no lacing. Sort of nondescript beer for my liking. This is a semi sweet brew, I also pick up a little ginger or mint. This just too dull a brew for me. No real character, nor of much interest. My wife liked it, she said "'this is much better then all that crazy strong beer you like" What can I say I like crazy strong, flavorful beer with some character. I wont buy this red ale stuff again anytime soon.

Billolick, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of dbrauneis
3.54/5  rDev +1.1%

Served on-tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear deep copper to amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some golden orange + red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy off-white head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering about 75% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with a touch of light fruit sweetness and some floral hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted caramel malts with a hint of light fruit sweetness. Light amounts of earthy and floral hops towards the finish which impart a light amount of bitterness that fades rather quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Pretty easy to drink and a little better than other offerings in the Irish red style. Not a favorite for me but I could easily have a couple of these in a single session.

dbrauneis, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -14.3%

drewone, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

jdhilt, Mar 17, 2005
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -14.3%

ejimhof, May 05, 2013
Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 5/15/2012. Pours crystal clear reddish orange color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice thin cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of caramel, raisin, prune, molasses, banana, bubblegum, clove, floral, and toasted bread. Some pretty nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, pepper, bread, banana, bubblegum, raisin, molasses, floral, toasted malt, and yeast spices. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, dark fruit, banana, clove, and pepper on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of flavors with good complexity. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish present. Very easy and smooth to drink. Overall this is a very nice Irish red ale! Very nice amount of flavor and balance for being almost a session beer. I would have this again.

superspak, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
2.63/5  rDev -24.9%

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.

Stinkypuss, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of ppoitras
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%

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.

ppoitras, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

wrightst, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

beerthulhu, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Pours a ruby amber with a thin layer of soft, creamy, white head that fades away. There are a ton of carbonation bubbles that rise to the top when first poured. The nose has a sweet, rich, caramel malt note. The flavor is caramel malt, sweet, toasted malt, and faint butterscotch. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, and smooth.

This is a decent beer. I would definitely have a few of these with my St. Patty's celebration.

tdm168, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Kelp, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

sendbeer, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev 0%

rolltide8425, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev 0%

harpus, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%

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.

GarthDanielson, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

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.

Brad007, Mar 03, 2008
Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
80 out of 100 based on 722 ratings.