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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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BA SCORE
82
good
1,239 Reviews
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
harpoonbrewery.com

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon IPA is an interpretation of the classic English style using hops and malt grown in the United States.

42 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,239
Ratings:
4,037
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
24.24%
 
 
Wants:
82
Gots:
891
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,239 | Ratings: 4,037
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a nice medium golden color with a two-finger white head. Nice floral notes upfront.

Clean, floral and citrus hop flavors resting on a sturdy malt backbone. Very well balanced and well made. Crisp and clean, finishes dry. Medium bodied. Carbonation is appropriate. It's not the latest and greatest, but it has been around since the 90s. I think that says something about the quality and consistency.

A nice, solid, easy-drinking IPA. I could drink several of these and not get tired; sessionable for sure. A great all-purpose beer for chicken, fish, and Indian dishes -- I'd love to have a dish with mango with this as I think the contrast would be nice.

 660 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BranfordBound
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Well this is an interesting beer to review. A relic of an older craft beer age, if you will. Per style it's actually pretty well done. Restrained, earthy and leafy hops that are controlled by a nice caramel malt sweetness. It's nothing spectacular, which is funny that I say it because 15 years ago this would have been. Times have changed and Harpoon IPA is still around, watching all the other IPAs get hopped into out space. Harpoon IPA stays the same, keeping its malt prominent. Respect!

 492 characters

Photo of nebula1999
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The classic New England IPA of the 1990s (for me anyways). One of the first, solid, approachable, outstanding IPAs that I ever drank. Ya see, back then this was a go to beer for New England hop heads. This well rounded ale taught us micro beer fanatics and newbies what hops were all about. Though the style has changed unbelievably with all these new hop varietals and brewing techniques (that make my mouth water), I bow in respect to the one that schooled me all those years ago.

 486 characters

Photo of Ikeithbot
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So this beer is getting some shit reviews lately. It's NOT AN AMERICAN IPA! English ipas are a different breed. Don't expect a citrusy grapefruit drink. They are closer to wee heavies. Very malty, but with more hops.

 220 characters

Photo of Dirty_Curt
4.59/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Easy drinking. Being from Boston it is fairly cheap here and a great regular drinking option. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy at times but the taste is a decently hoppy and with a nice bready, biscuity finish. Hints of caramel for me with floral overtones as well. Not too simple, not too complex. A great sessionable beer that keeps you interested while again, remains drinkable. I may be a bit biased, but I have to say I feel this beer is better than reviewers are saying. Harpoon never fails to satisfy me.

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Photo of toti1972
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA, one of my favorites so far, great smell, fruity but not exaggerated, right carbonation and a very appealing clear orange color. Will have it again.

 158 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice medium gold color with a medium head that leaves some lacing,aroma is assertively hoppy and zesty.The taste is hoppy for sure but there is a sweet balance there in the finish.I think this an above average IPA that is very drinkable and goes good with spicey food.

 276 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one poured a light clear orangish-yellow in color with a short but retentive head that left some pretty good lacing.

Smell – The light, leafy hops were mixed with grapefruit and a super-light malty base. I couldn’t really pick up a whole lot from this nose.

Taste – The hop flavors here were very singular in nature. They are very leafy and herbal and sorely one-dimensional. There was a little faint grain mixed in with everything but no finish to this beer.

Mouthfeel – I enjoyed the nice, bitter mouthfeel of this light to medium-bodied IPA but thought it was lacking in complexity.

Drinkability – It would be hard to keep drinking this all night. Although I live out West I can still appreciate a good East Coast IPA, but this just isn’t it.

 782 characters

Photo of ExtraStout
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this one from the local packy. Pours a medium amber in color with a good two finger head and lots of lace. Floral and hop aromas in the nose. Biscuity malt with a slight caramel sweetness with lots of hops to balance. mouthfeel and carbonation are good. Drinkability? had no problem drinking several for this review.

 323 characters

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Harpoon ipa. 5.9% alcohol.

A- At first glance i notice this beer doesn't have any different look than that of an standard micro ipa. Pours a mild orange tinted fluid with a small head that falls to a small ring around the glass, light lace retention.

S- Good scents of floral hops and mild hints of pine.

T- Improvment of smell first is the floral and pine tang followed by a slight hop bitterness that finishes the job nicly.

M-D- Rolls over the taste buds easily but leaves a thin bitter layer on the tongue. I do like the feel of some hoppy oil kick. Alcohol is light but work in a good session beer way.
I could drink a six pack easily.

Note: A good all round ipa at its standard.

 689 characters

Photo of woodchipper
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Look= light amber, small head
Smell= off flavor detected
Taste= Sour cardboardy malt, but not overpowering
Feel= Slight carbonation, could be more

146 characters

Photo of dcrawlins
2.14/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had a Harpoon IPA on draft at Red Robbin last night and I couldn't even tell it was an IPA or even a Pale Ale. There was no hop aroma and barely any taste. It was a bit cloudy also It reminded me of Bud American Ale which has no noticeable hop aroma either . I don't recommend it.

 280 characters

Photo of BigGold
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not sure how I've missed this classic before now. Had at Legal Sea Foods Long Wharf, Boston, Mass., on draft into tumbler. A solid traditional English IPA, this beer must have been the answer to a condemned (to thirst) man's last request on its debut in 1993.

 261 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared flute glass at Bliss.

Another Thursday, another tasting at Bliss. This offering pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger or white foam. The nose comprises flowers, light grapefruit, orange zest, and very light lemon zest. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a mild contingent of caramel in the background. The body is a hefty light (or light medium...whichever y'all prefer), with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice IPA, nothing outstanding, but something easily drinkable.

 553 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Acquired today as part of a trade with the gracious michaellscoates - thanks, man! 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and standard branded pry-off cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings. Reviewed as an English style IPA per current notes. No ABV listed. "Best by 08/19/12" (acquired in a trade and served the day of receipt..)

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

A: Pours a 4-5 finger wide head. Beige colour. Nice thickness. Decent frothiness. Slight creaminess; not enough. Pretty good (~4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks pretty standard for the style; not unique or special. I don't notice any overt flaws. Uneven inconsistent light lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Sm: Definitely English-style hopping; fuggles and noble if I had to guess. The malty end is dominant, with caramel and pale malts seizing prominence. A bit toasty and bready. A fairly strong aroma; certainly above moderate strength. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Appealing for the style; I haven't had an IPA with English character in awhile and this fits the bill.

T: Pale malts and caramalt; the malty backbone is strong here. Floral hops complement the simple body nicely. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Lightly bready with a hint of toasted character. Not much in the way of citrus. Not juicy, oily, nectary, or bitter. A balanced enjoyable IPA, but its simplicity does hold it back. No subtlety or complexity here. Just a barebones English style IPA with effective build. Limited depth and intensity of flavour. Average flavour duration.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nice thickness. Not oily or harsh. Average/adequate carbonation. Decent presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile generally well but doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. No complaints here.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable; very sessionable stuff. A no-frills English IPA that I could kill a 6er of. I doubt I'd get it again but I'm glad to have tried it. I wouldn't mind trying it on-draught at a good price. Hides its average ABV well. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it gets the job done and doesn't offend. Approachable pedestrian stuff. This would be a great beer to use to ease newcomers into the style.

C+

 2,523 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Radiant amber with a hint of orange peel when backlit with morning sunshine. The polished ivory crown is truly gorgeous. It's thick and rich and sticky and is beginning to lay down an impressive amount of lace. Although lighter than most IPAs, this is good looking beer.

I'm a sucker for a Cascade-hopped APA or IPA. This one smells more like the former, but that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying each and every sniff. Given the color and the nose, I'm betting that caramel malt wasn't used to any great extent. Good.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to acquire a bottle of Harpoon IPA. I know the brewery considers it to be their flagship beer, but, beyond that, I don't have any preconceived notions. And the conclusion is... yeah, not bad. My worries about a lack of IPAness in the nose apply equally on the palate. Time might have passed this offering by since 'generously hopped' isn't a phrase that applies in any way, shape or form.

The flavor profile is on the simple side (no crime in that). Pale malt, with a hint of something more earthy and toasted, provides ample backing for what has to be considered a barely acceptable amount of citric hoppiness for an IPA in 2007. There's plenty of bitterness to go around, although it's still on the left side of the bell curve for the style.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, the mouthfeel is APA-like (light-medium and briskly carbonated without being overly busy). Simply put, this IPA should be thought of as an American pale ale. It makes more sense that way.

Harpoon IPA might have been the 'be all and end all' at some point in the history of the craft beer movement, but it's no longer on the cutting edge. The good thing is that it has retained enough sharpness to be enjoyable (on occasion) to hopheads and to be a good introduction to those who wonder what 'all this fuss about hops' is about.

 1,868 characters

Photo of cam477
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Mulzicus
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ccapurso
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Iamjlopez12
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sgoodship
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Fairly clear pale amber color. Nice creamy white finger head. Some spotty lacing and the head is retained as a dusting and ring throughout.

S: Caramel malt with a bit of floral hop coming through. I was surprised not to get more hop bitterness.

T: Bready and malty. Sweet caramel. A pleasant taste but really lacking hops. It's there but not at an IPA level. Feels empty.

M: Medium carb is a touch aggressive on the palate. Light body - feels thin at times.

D: If this was a pale ale, I'd say it is a nice subtle one. It's lacking flavor and kick as an IPA. At times, I say it is even a touch watery. I know this brew has a strong heritage and I feel bad about not taking that into account. It just isn't what people want from an IPA these days IMHO.

 757 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,037 ratings.
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