Harp Lager | Guinness Ltd.

736 Reviews
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Harp LagerHarp Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2001

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Reviews: 736 | Ratings: 2,556
Photo of allergictomacros
2.23/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Clear gold with lots of bubbling. Not much head retention, but some lacing on the glass.

S: Typical euro-lager smell - some skunkiness and metallicness.

T: Bitter hops stand out most. Not tasting much more of anything else.

M: Harsh carbonation. Medium body.

D: A bit disappointed by this one. For some reason I expected better. I wouldn't order 2 of these.

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Photo of wschmit
2.23/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Clear, almost copper body beneath a very generic white head that dissipates quickly. Ample carbonation up through the body.

S: A cidery, malty sweetness predominates. No real hopping. A very clean, simple nose. Not as adjuncty as I was expecting.

T: Clean and straightforward, but not much going on. It actually does taste of malt, which was unexpected and a pleasant surprise. It has some utterly forgettable hopping, but not much. All in all, it's not the worst large-scale lager I've had, but I'd much rather drink a canned German like DAB.

M: It has some chew, and otherwise very normal carbonation.

O: This beer would be slumming it for many BAs. It's not at all awful, but it's definitely lower half of the curve. This is a beer I default to at pseudo-Irish pubs. There's really just a hint of corn in it, I think.

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Photo of Overlord
2.26/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ah...Harp. So often one of the few "good" beers available on tap at restaurants.

Pours a big golden yellow with a large white head. Well carbonated. Taste is of skunky malt with a bit of hops. Not much going on, and the bitterness is unpleasant. Again, tastes skunky.

Does have decent lacing and mouthfeel, shame it tastes the way it does.

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Photo of ordybill
2.29/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a strong malt aroma Appearance- Resembles any BMC style beer on the market. Taste- A very watery flavored beer Palate- A light bodied beer with moderate carbonation Overall- A disappointment for me. I remember this being a much better beer years ago.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.3/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap in Galway, Ireland. Poured into a generic pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: One finger head, thin, devoid of cream, and of good retention for the style. Clear dark yellow colour.

Sm: Fresh clean barley. A lighter scent.

T: Cream undertone backs a clean crisp barley finish. Very simple, but refreshing. Built in a generic fashion, and balanced for how simple it is.

Mf: Slight cream. Coarser than a lager should be. Too thick and lumpy for the style.

Dr: 4.6% on tap is rickockulous for Galway. It's not popular in Ireland, and is the biggest disappointment to come out of the Guinness factory.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.31/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale gold color with a one finger head that goes away quickly to very little lacing. The aroma is rather weak and simple, your basic ceral and corn malt. The taste is slightly watery and has a ceral/corn malt backbone, there is really no hop presence. The mouthfeel is very carbonated and a little too rough around the edges. Overall this is a beer that like the phillies is one and done, it comes off as simple and weak.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.32/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some plastic-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a weird plastic-like, chemical flavor on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with aromas and flavors that make it hard to drink.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
2.33/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured on tap into a signature Harp pint glass. Head was about 2 fingers for a while and had decent retention, before settling at about half a finger. Very beery, suddy lacing. Body was pretty translucent, brass like a saxophone. Some pineapple highlights at the bottom.

Smell: Nice, big grainy nose with some yeasty characters. Hints of grass and some light floral do emerge.

Taste: Very grassy malt flavors quickly move to a sharper grass hop background. Also taste a lot of metal in this one, as it turns sour at the end. This guy lacks really any balance, and the hops really don't have a nice flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body quickly moves to a light feel - with crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: I haven't had one of these in a few years, well before I really got into craft. I used to think it was pretty good, but as my palette has grown - this guy has fallen behind.

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Photo of udubdawg
2.33/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light gold color with a fizzy head of decent size but no retention to speak of.

Pretty weak pale malt aroma, somewhat flowery, just a bit of alcohol.

Unfortunately I don't have a lot else to say beyond that this tastes watery, with a lightly bitter finish. Doubt I'd have ordered it if it wasn't March 17th.

Pretty highly carbonated - a little less fizz, and I don't think this would seem nearly as filling.

So why drink it? Well, if one is drinking strong stuff all St Paddy's Day, this seemed like a decent alternative to slow down with while "remaining Irish"...and it was.

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Photo of jgasparine
2.35/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served at O'Connor's Pub in Doolin, Ireland.

A- Poured from the tap with a 1/2" white meringue-like head, which was well-retained with some nice lacing. Body was a clear and effervescent yellow color. Incredibly, this head was still solidly retained 30 minutes after the pour!

S- Almost no nose at all... even with this lovely head only some very faint aromas of pale malt come through.

T- Weak pale malts are up-front, and are met with some metallic notes midway. The finish is very dry and slightly metallic; completely devoid of hop bitterness or hop flavor.

M- Thin and watery in the mouth... which was completely unexpected from the appearance. The carbonation was moderate and reasonably soft... but the thin mouthfeel was a big turn-off.

D- If you can tolerate the weak aroma and flavor, then I suppose this would be quite drinkable. I would prefer to drink water. An average drinkability rating would be fitting then, I guess.

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Photo of Trailboss76
2.35/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Medium amber-golden color. Just a little bitterness. A bit "thin" in taste in my opinion. At first drink or two by itself - not my favorite taste. Drank the second half with my meal and it didn't help matters. Certainly not "gosh-awful" but left me disappointed.

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Photo of avaulteriam
2.36/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tastes like it's type. Of course, my palate is currently swayed in favor of more flavorful beers, IPAs, APAs, etc. Okay, not great... Pale Yellow with soapy head, nose of a bit of skunk and lager notes. a bit fizzy, though softer than its American counterparts. Meh.

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Photo of mobud
2.36/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

poured from bottle that was chilled.

S- Nothing of note. Slight smell of grass. Not sure if that is the norm, but might be from sitting on shelf for awhile.

T- Not bad, but not good either. This sample was cold in my refrig(42F), so the first couple of sips were crisp. As it warmed, the taste of malt became more noticable but not enjoyable.

M- Ok, but not my favorite. It was more watery that thick and left very little to embrace.

D- I never had this in bottle before, always on tap. I enjoyed this in the past, but in a bar, ice cold and in larger volume. would not recommend this in bottle, but a tap setup would probably change my mind on this sample.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
2.36/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got one from a friend, it was leftover from before Saint Patrick's Day. I hadn't drank a Harp in quite a while before today, and after tasting and letting this beer sink it, it's pretty obvious why. It may not come from the mainland continent or in a green bottle, but looks and smells like a Euro Pale Lager...

Decent pour - the head was by far the best aspect of it. It filled the remainder of my pint glass up and made up for the lack of lacing and lightness of the hue. Lots of wheat and malted barley in the taste, with a bit of soapiness thrown in for good measure (if that's possible). The aftertaste has the bitterness and carbonation kick in, nearly to the point of overkill. Quite a cleansing aspect to this beer, but it's not very solid and the range and depth of flavors is not to be found here. It lacks the "skunkiness" of it's continental counterparts in the lighter-colored bottles, but this beer shares the aspects that those brews have in common. Not enough backbone up front and the bitterness in the back is neither memorable nor distinctive.

I wish this beer had more depth to it. Between the color, mouthfeel, range of flavors, and aftertaste, it came across as being thin and watered-down. Not a bad session beer, but most common offerings in the Euro Pale Lager style can make that claim as well. This beer's only distinction is it's country of origin. Barely worth a try...

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Photo of soupyman10
2.4/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 bottle into a mug. Appearance was light copper, some visible bubbles, weak, fairly small head, no lacing. Looked like a macro, mostly. Smell wasn't much better. Very mild, some grain, and not much else. Taste was mediocre. Again, mostly grains, maybe some very light fruitiness, a little bit of corn. Feel was thin-bodied, lots of carbonation. Overall, this was pretty bad. For some reason I'd had good memories of this beer, but those were not lived up to here. It's a lager, and not, in my book, a good one. Highly mediocre in every way.

 542 characters

Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.4/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very light straw pale yellow color with a thin white head and very little lacing. Smells of pale malts and a little corn or grain. Very mediocre. Tastes of pale malts a little noble hop and some slight grain. Mouthfeel is medium and it has a fair amount of carbonation. Drinkability is okay.

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Photo of bobhits
2.4/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For some reason I always have to have a Guiness, hate it, and then remember how much better Harps is when I'm in an "Irish" bar.

Well, it's a straw colored, a bit of a head but noting impressive, good carbination. It's got some hops and grain and earthy aromas in the nose. The taste is much the same. Just enough hops to keep it interesting and a bit of earthy grainy flavors I"ve come to expect out of beers from that region. It's not bad if you ignore the huge price tag most bars seem to think it deserves. Certainly not above average or anything but it's got flavor and you can sit back and have a few.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
2.41/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Not at all as good as I remember from my college days, but those were different days with far less craft knowledge. Oh well, it was good to give it one last go.

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Photo of beermanbrian
2.41/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow color. ok head that disipates quickly. Very highly carbonated. Lots of bubbles that last a long time. Smell is slightly skunky. Skunkyness goes away as you drink more but there isn't much taste at all. Just an average beer that dosen't live up to its reputation.

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Photo of chefelf
2.45/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I feel odd reviewing this beer as I feel most everyone in the world has had it at this point. It's a lager. It's not particularly great. It is the only beer I've successfully made a Black & Tan with so for that reason I will hold it dearly in my heart.

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Photo of JohnW
2.46/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This 'pretend' lager has been widely available in pubs and bars in UK for many years, and on the taps it still claims to be the "original Irish Lager!" Aroma is thin and acid, which is reflected in its taste, again, thin, watery, no character other than an acid metalic taste which puts it in the same category as AB 'Bud' in my opinion! Although it is seen on tap in many bars in UK, its not often you seen anyone drinking it, and with good reason. Far better to have Kronenberg or Stella if you really need a UK brewed lager (brewed under licence) on tap in a bar here. Sorry...but in my opinion (and having first had it nearly 20 years ago) avoid at all costs.

John W
Bham UK Jan 2006

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.46/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured in a wine glass (that's all that was available)

A: clear golden yellow, great head; very nice lacing
S: salty, yeasty, a bit of a cloying smell
T: an Irish Miller; macrobrew, but not the worst kind; it's a relatively simple flavor, with hints of cider
M: watery, abrasive

Pretty uninviting overall, to me.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.48/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a golden, straw color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department at all. I get some really faint notes of toasted malt, some slight caramel and a touch of hops, but those are really faint and almost non-existent.

Taste: About the same as the aroma, meaning, not much there at all. Some fain flavors of toasted malt, some slight caramel-like sweetness and a touch of some slightly bitter hops. Not good at all. Pretty poor and tasteless actually.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery, and very crisp and effervescent, as there is quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: As stated, this is a very poor, very pedestrian beer, short on aroma, short on flavor and short on body. It seems that this beer is one that is brewed for BMC drinkers, as a European-BMC alternative. Not recommended at all.

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Photo of woemad
2.48/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

St.Patrick's , 2011 and it's at the grocery store for $1.44, so what the hell.

12oz bottle with no freshness date, a different label than the one pictured, and it states this was contract brewed in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Poured a slightly darker than straw color, with about a half-inch of white foam that dispersed rather quickly. No lace to speak of.

Slightly earthy with a distant herbal hop scent.

Pretty much like the nose. This has a mild, grainy flavor with a very small, grassy hop bite.

Mouthfeel that is thin, but not too crisp, like a fan of a light lager might conceivably want. No mistaking this for a pilsener.

This is somewhere between a yawn and an ugh. Even on future St.Patty's Days, this will not be worth revisiting.

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Photo of SudNut
2.48/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap in one of the local pubs. It is a little darker than most lagers I have tried with the average malty sweet aroma most lagers have with a bit of grain. The taste is good a little bitter up front with a buttery after taste. Mouth feel is average to a bit watery. This beer is fairly drinkable just not my favorite.

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
3.24 out of 5 based on 2,556 ratings.
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