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Harp Lager | Guinness Ltd.

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733 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: 733 | Ratings: 2,526
Photo of Sammy
3.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rather mediocre lager, but a decent carbonation that grows on you. So I wouldn't spill it out. Very creamy initial pour and creaminess stays in mouth. Balanced between some malts and acid, and hops, so not too sweet. Medium mouthfeel. New bottle and fresh brew for St. Patty Day.

 281 characters

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 kylehay2004
3.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: half finger head. Dissipates rapidly. No lacing really. Straw with golden hues.

S: mild malt and bready

T: Breads and grain. Lemon notes. Typical bitter end of a lager. No hops to speak of.

M: light bodied, mild to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Decent amount of flavor for a lager.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

apparently brewed in Canada now, so the label doesn't lie when it still reads, "imported". I also still enjoy a harp lager from time to time, a little more hearty than some of the American lagers, and certainly more flavorful than the BMC stuff. it pours a glazed copper tinted color, darker than convention, with a short lived white head. the nose is pale euro malts all the way, not sweet but dry, a little adjunct metallic hint, but nothing offensive at all. the taste is bready and grain heavy, I taste a number of different malts. hops? no so much. this beer could use a more aggressive finishing hop, but that's just me. I like all the malt heft without much sweetness, a nice twist away from the generic. fuller body for the style but still easy drinking, especially on a hot day. good carbonation and a flavorful finish. I bet this is remarkable at the original source, and it doesn't travel too bad really...

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Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So Harp lager poured out as a clear golden yellow color with a pretty nice looking head on it. The lacing isn't the best in the world but there is some on the glass. The smell of fresh grains with a earthy sweetness on the nose. The flavor is nice in my opinion, I find this beer to be one very good lager. The mouthfeel is light, crisp and refreshing. Overall I enjoy this beer from time to time and I find it to be a great social drinking brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Molly Pitcher's Ale House, New York, NY

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin bright white head that took a long time to fade away and left a thin collar and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of cooked corn in the nose along with some hints of grainy malts
T: The taste has light flavors of cooked corn along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but has a little too much flavors of adjunct malts.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A solid beer that I haven't had in a while. Looks between straw and light golden. Highly carbonated with a white head that falls but laces ok. Smells moderately malty and a bit toasty or bready. Mildly spicy. Tastes cleanly malty with ginger, corriander, and clove like spicy sweetness. Holds a moderate body as carbonation fades. Crisp and dry, finishes a bit cidery or zinfandale like. A nice change up from the german and czhec pils that I have been drinking lately.

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Photo of brentk56
2.55/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Slightly darker than your typical lager, but clear, with no head or lacing

Smell: Slightly phenolic, with not much else going on

Taste: Really rather unpleasant, to be honest; has some bite to it, but not a flavor I really appreciate; again, somewhat phenolic

Mouthfeel: Probably it's best attribute; light/medium bodied with decent carbonation

Drinkability: Next time, I think I'll give it a miss

 421 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.23/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

20oz pint at O'Byrne's on Whyte Ave.

This beer appears a clear, pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of wispy, and slightly foamy off-white head, which leaves some decent bands of hoar frost lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of grainy, moderately crackery pale malt, a certain hard water minerality, and some hard to pin down fruity, musty essences. The taste is more unheralded grainy pale malt, a touch of stale, indistinct drupe fruitiness, and kind of astringently floral and weedy noble hops.

The carbonation is generally quite palate-friendly, neither flat nor over-active, the body on the weak side of medium weight for the style, and rather timid in its bland smoothness. It finishes quite dry, the grain and hops both concurring on the matter.

While not a particularly off-putting Euro-lager, it also does little to make me want another. Kind of disappointing when sitting in a decent new-world Irish pub, looking somewhat desperately for an alternative to another of THAT stout, even if it's made by the same mega brewing concern.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.83/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a brown color beer with a nice medium head with above standard retention for a lager. Aroma comprised some malt and hops with some floral aspect. Taste is kind of sweet with some nice malt in the background. Bitterness is kind of sweet but a bit too shy for my liking. Overall, this is a decent drink and a lot better then your average macro lager out there.

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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 oriolesfan4
2.78/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For the price that this is (usually about 14-15 dollars a 12 pack) I always figured this was top notch stuff... not so much.

Just your typical bland, european tasting pale lager. Hard to pick it out from (insert mass produced european import here). Very drinkable but not much tastewise. Just way too thin of a body to make it even worth a little of the money. Not worth a try.

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Photo of zeff80
3.52/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a bright golden hue with a thick, foamy, off-white head that left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and grains. It had a subtle floral/hoppy aroma, too.

T - It tasted of light caramel malt. It had some nice spice and hop flavors, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good tasting lager. Certainly appropriate for a St. Patty's celebration.

 416 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate golden color. White head and a slight amount of lacing. The nose is some light malt and bread with a tad bit of sweetness. The taste is mostly some light bread. Light to medium feel with good carbonation. This drinks fairly well, but works better in a black and tan.

 305 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce bottle.

A: Pours a clear pale yellow with a half-inch thick white head which fades to a thin cap and leaves semi-rings and spots of lace.

N: Yeasty and malt/grainy with a faint citrus and grassy note.

T: Clean and crisp, biscuity malts and yeast.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Yeasty, mildly sweet malt finish.

O: Basic in every way and thankfully not too undrinkable.

 394 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.5/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Guinness Ltd. "Harp Lager"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, brewed in Canada
$2 @ Wegmans, King of Prussia, PA

My review for Harp from years ago was removed because I called it "sulphur-ridden swill for shanty Irishmen" (probably reported by someone from Guinness, despite the fact that my numbers were some of the highest it had received!). I shouldn't have added the "shanty Irishmen" part, I was just going for effect, but the "sulphur-ridden" part I'll stand by to my last dying breath. It was! It was way too sulphury for a lager, and as a trained professional brewer with over a decade of experience at the time I called it out!

Anyway, it's OK that my review got kicked because they've cleaned it up and changed it, and now it's a different beer altogether; I would have had to re-review it anyway. The sulphur is gone, and it's more malty and even a touch caramelish. What's the problem with that? Well it's not the beer that it originally was, and now it's simply a homogenized "lager" that tastes just like so many other beers out there. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they had Yuengling Lager in mind when they made their changes! And that's a shame, because even with its defects it was at least original. Now it no longer exists and you'll never be able to try it, and with that said, what you can get now is even more worthless in my opinion, but I don't want to be negative (or this review will be removed!) so I'll note that it's very easy to drink, nicely malty, superbly balanced, and has enough character that you can enjoy it for more than one or two - all of which is true, just like so many other beers out there.

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Photo of chinchill
3.19/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pint glass on tap at McGee's Pub (SC).

A: Clear golden color with visible carbonation; white head; plenty of lacing.

S: subtle aroma of a weak and very plain lager.

T: has the flavor of a rather average light lager except it is more fruity (i.e., it has some touch of fruitiness, mainly orange) and has a notably nice bready/fruity finish.

M: light body; crisp; semi-dry

O: a wee departure from your standard macro-lager. {3.25]

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark straw with a large, firm, ivory colored head. The foam deflates fairly quickly, but makes up for it by depositing a good bit of lace in thick, chunky scraps. The nose does not impress. I smell grain and noble hops, as well as an off-aroma that I can't quite place.

Harp tastes no better than okay. Nothing to get excited about. The start is slightly sweet, the middle is bitter and thinning, and the finish is even more bitter and is borderline watery. It's more bitter (hoppy?) than most versions of the style, which is usually a plus in my book, but it isn't cohesive enough to be considered better than average.

Harp Lager used to be one of my quasi-standbys, though I haven't had it in quite a few years. It's still drinkable, but that doesn't mean it's good beer. Bottom line: decent and acceptable... which probably qualifies as damning with faint praise.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.59/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served up on-tap at Hang Fire, a small, local dive bar in Savannah, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, faint yellow body with a fine, white head. Light sheeting of lace on the way down.

Smell: Faint, vaguely grainy maltiness with a thin whiff of Noble hops.

Taste: Light pale malts with an equally light cereal sweetness and touch of grain. Expect no more than a hint of floral, spicy hops and bitterness, which remains for the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. A tad watery.

Drinkability: Tolerable and fairly cheap. Which, I'm sure, has been even said about me at times!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.73/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On-tap and served in a 16oz. plastic cup.

A: The beer is a deep copper color, with a foamy medium-sized off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The smell is of malt & barley but isn’t strong at all.

T: The taste is malty but very plain and bland with a little bit of hops.

M: Smooth, but no crispness, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: Goes down easy and not too filling, but not very tasty at all. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I can see myself drinking this beer again under any circumstances.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.85/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Max's Seafood Cafe, Gloucester City, PA

A smooth, satisfying lager by your Irish friends, and certainly a notch or two above most pale lagers. Pours a clear, straw color with little to no head; some carbonation visible. Grainy aroma and light malts. Crisp, light malt taste, grains, sweet corn, and a hint of hops. Weak overall, but not unbearable or terrible. Light, crisp mouthfeel, and can be refreshing and drinkable. For extremely casual imbibing.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.58/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one again at Hooters tonight of all places and just had to write a review as it was in a bottle. Much better this time around. Nice crisp clear finish. Great taste. This was one that really is deserving of its status. It is a good fallback option always, as the nice english hops really give it a nice feel. Still a winner here.

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Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date. On the back label it boasts about the spirit of the beer and the award winning flavour.

Appearance: Bight and shimmering golden hue, active carbonation sparkles to the top to form a rich cake like foam that slowly dissipates into a thin yet strong white lace.

Smell: Mix of quick yet inviting sweetness of malt and floral like hops, alcohol is a tad noticeable … clean to the nose.

Taste: Broad medium body for a lager, crisp and smooth at the same time with a grainy palate of a mouth feel. Bitterness of the hops is very straight forward with a tingling sensation and mildly astringent bite. Full mouth of grain, a little malted though more husk of grain than anything else reminiscent of fresh cut hay. Odd raw but refined at the same time with in the grainy flavours. Both husk and hop bitterness linger into a tightly packaged finish.

Notes: Not bad though not what I remember drinking back in the day. I’d gladly pay the extra buck or two a six pack to have the real stuff again.

Brewed and bottled by Guinness Brewing Company, Canada.

 1,121 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.07/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and brassy + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of vegetal, corn, and grainy malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of corn and grainy malts with some lighter vegetal notes. Hints of grassy hops towards the finish. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which lingers slightly.

M: Light bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Lightly crisp.

O: Easy to drink and refreshing but not really anything special - leftover from St. Patrick's Day. Alcohol is well hidden but not one that I will be rushing out to get again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Finn McCool's.

More Quizzo beer. Yes. This one pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises wheat, corn, light corn syrup, very light citrus, and some light florals. The taste is very similar, though with some greens and heavy notes of flowers and corn chips. The body is light, with a moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a decent brew, nothing all that special, but drinkable enough to get at a slightly discounted price during Quizzo.

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Harp Lager from Guinness Ltd.
3.24 out of 5 based on 2,526 ratings.
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