Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,248 Reviews
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

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

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,248 | Ratings: 4,073
Photo of wcintula
3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was more excited about trying this beer than I was pleased with the beer. Poured yellow with a little head that receded quickly. It smelt like it was going to deliver in the bitterness department but all around was a very mild beer. Perhaps a beginner's IPA, in that's it's easy to drink and gives you a small idea what to expect from an IPA.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear tangerine orange body, white little head yet nice layer of retention. Smells sweet and doughy, lightly hopped, with faint grape beneath. Very mild aroma and not that exciting. Taste is also sweetly malted with mild hops and some fruitiness. The dryness stands out. Its not that dry a beer but there's not much going on so the dryness takes over. I'd genreally like more hop flavor throughout. Mouthfeel has a nice crisp carbonation, and otherwise is slick and dry. Flowing drinkability is a plus.

Alright, but not hoppy enough for an IPA to me. Goes down nice and easy though, probably a good end of the night beer. One thing worth mention is that this tastes like is should be more like 4.5-5% rather than 5.9%. A nice suprise.

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Photo of jimdalton
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear, straw gold. Small head
Smell: Malt fragrance. Light lemon notes.
Taste: Subtle hop notes of floral and citrus up front, cascading to a wheat and malt back end. Sweet malty after taste.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation.
Overall: Harpoon’s IPA is a great IPA for those new to the style. It drinks more like an EIPA, which is great for newcomers. There is a nice malt base, but it brings subtle hops when compared with other American IPAs.

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Photo of kevinv
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by date of sometime in mid July, 2011. 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear, golden color with a 1 finger fluffy white head. Bubbly carbonation is visible.

S - Lightly floral and a little sweet. Bready pale malts seem to be more prevalent than any hop notes.

T - The taste is mainly of pale malts, slightly toasty. Very subdued hop profile - definitely not "highly-hopped" as the bottle label claims. Light floral notes from the hops. I think others have said the same thing, but this reminds me more of an APA. Mild prickly bitterness up front and a slight dryness on the finish.

M - Borderline light/medium body with a crisp carbonation.

D - An average beer, even given the potential style mis-categorization. It's an easy drinker at it's low ABV, but there weren't any stand-outs here for me.

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Photo of kegger22
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear orange with a moderate head that faded to a patchy skin. The aroma was pretty quiet, not much there. The taste was just bitter hops, no citrus to cut it, and a bitter carbonation bite for an after taste. The feel was medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was good. The great white whale got away again as Harpoon missed the mark with this IPA.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the trocadero in philly

Pours a slightly hazed golden yellow with some orange tones. A filmy head fades out quickly with some spots of lacing and a bit of filmy retention.

Scents of citrus and orange with nice hoppiness. A few notes of bready malt as well.

Bitter hops up front with citrus and orange. Some bready malt with grain and lemon peel. Slight sweetness with caramel and fruit. Finishes with bitterness and fruit.

Medium body, lighter carbonation, fairly soft on the palate. Drinks quietly and quickly, as the flavor is forgettable along with nearly everything else about this beer. This is probably one of the more boring IPAs I've ever had.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bere is orange with a one finger head, completely clear, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly fruity with a mild pine backbone.

Beer is medium to thin in body and tastes like sulfur with some moderate bitterness on the backend. The overall feel of hte beer is OK, the drinkability is fine but this is clearly a bargain basement crappy IPA for the masses from Mass. I am unimpressed and will continue to overlook this particular IPA.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a beautiful golden orange color with a two finger white head. The head has very good retention and eventually fades to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell – Even with a rather aggressive pour the aroma is very light. There are only moderate smells of grapefruit citrus hop some lemon and a very light pine smell.

Taste – Begins dry and malty with a bready flavor. The hops are present right up front with flavors of a bitter nature. The hop is rather nondescript, but seems to be a mix of lemon citrus and some pine flavors. The beer remains in this state to the very end where the taste slightly sweetness with some tangerine and a light caramel flavor. While the initial taste was rather dry and unbalanced in the end the flavors balance out rather well.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the drier and thinner side, with a carbonation level that is rather medium; the beer drinks rather crisp. While it isn’t bad a bit more body may have given it a nicer, less harsh, flavor on the tongue in the initial taste.

Overall – While not really all that appealing from the smell or the initial tastes, the beer does finish well. It’s OK - but not all that great.

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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.


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Photo of deadsquirt
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a nicely. The head was full, frothy, and lightly fragant. The color was a clear, golden brown. The smell contained elements of citrus and light, fresh grains. The taste of hops in this IPA was very thin. However, it is still a very drinkable beer. I'll probably pick this up again.

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Photo of trbergman
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A - Clear golden amber with one finger of fluffy white head.

S - Dry, stale toast, some herbal hop aroma.

T - Light, toasty, slightly nutty malt backbone without much hop flavor - perhaps a bit of orange zest. Minimal hop bitterness for the style, although it does outcompete the malt in the medium-length finish.

M - Rather light, with decent carbonation.

D - I used to drink a lot of this, but my tastes have since evolved and this doesn't really do it for me anymore.

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Photo of jermar
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to think those of you who don't think this is anything special aren't getting it fresh! So much of the enjoyment of this beer is from the incredibly floral hops matched well with a toasted maltiness/alcohol blend. My only complaint is that this IPA seems to get me hung over more than others, thus the lower drinkability rating. And, for some reason, this beer makes me sneeze!

-- on re-review, it seems that Harpoon has dumbed this down for the masses, with a much more watery taste and diminished hoppiness. Not the classic it once was.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a clear light orange with a thick, foamy white head. Aroma of light grassy hops, faint toasted malt. Flavor of wheat and toasted malt with a sweet finish. Kind of bland but drinkable. The tap version is definitely better. The bottle version is definitely more of an APA or ESB, hardly any hops and this was from a fresh bottle too.
6/4/6/4/14 (3.4/5)

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Photo of yesyouam
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Flour City Brewers' Fest 2008. Harpoon IPA is a sparkling, light golden ale with a thick, fluffy, white head. The head retention is excellent. The aroma is muted by the head. I'm picking up a slight note of banana, which is odd. It certainly smells fruity. It is medium light bodied, pretty smooth, a little metallic, and the finish is dry. It has OK bitterness and a touch of sweetness. There is a grassy flavor here. It's pretty drinkable.
(rated Aug 17, 2008)

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Photo of Cresant
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with no date into a Stone IPA glass. Developed a 2" head, then a spotchy lace, then to a tiny collar. Crystal clear golden hue.

Smelled of mild hops and wet straw. Earthy. Mint appeared as it warmed.

Taste was mad hops. Cheek puckering hops. Bitter hop bite was never tempered by malts. Lopsided. Never switched gears.

Moderate carbonation, thin on the swallow.

I like hops yet I won't seek this one out again. Not bad but there are too many other interesting IPA's out.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance-pours a diminishing red golden color, decent two fingers of head, somewhat cloudy but enough to see through.

Smell-floral hoppy aroma, two different types of hop that I can detect, some malt backs it up.

Taste-hoppy off the bat with a little bit of alcohol as well. The hoppy flavor is sort of awkward though and not well mixed. It goes down fine.

Mouthfeel-again, rather awkward, nothing bad or truly vulgar but just doesn't seem to mesh well, if perhaps more of one hop flavor had dominated it would have been better.

Drinkability-not that alcoholic, perhaps this would be a decent first try for someone with an I.P.A. but then again it's a little unbalanced for me to truly recommend it.

Overall-by no means bad, simply ok though, unbalanced and mediocre, and from a brewery this loved, dissapointing.

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Photo of joeyels
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper orange color, thin white head that fades quickly. Tiny bubbles of carbonation well after beer is poured. Light smell of floral hops on the nose. Taste is of light hops a bit perfumey with a slightly sweetened aftertaste. Very light and easy drinking. IMO, a basic run of the mill IPA, very average.

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Photo of dar482
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had it straight from the bottle.

The flavor doesn't on spot for me for an IPA. It lacks generous hopping and a bitter tight finish. Instead it has big malt for a beer of the style. The mouthfeel is quite creamy.

In the end, it's a bit too mellow and middle of the road for me.

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Photo of bonkers
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poure 12 ounce bottle into pint glass
a-pale yellow color, slight head with minimum lacing
S-light citrus smell
T-moderate amount of hops on tongue, fades into a pleasant aftertaste
M&D-This beer felt limp with a mild body, but it is drinkable and not filling
Overall- I was disapointed with this beer. In comparison to other IPA's this one came up a little small.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a can into a pint glass.

A – Pours out a golden yellow. Clear as day. Pretty good foamy three inches of crisp white head. Sticky lacing.

S – Citrusy in the nose and has a bit of sweetness to it.

T – It is not as hop forward as the nose makes you think. Its there but its subdued. Definite citrus in the forms of grapefruit and orange. The orange seems to give it a touch of sweetness. Has some bitterness at the end but again not a ton.

M – Moderate carbonation and medium bodied. Has an almost creamy feel to it.

O – This is a much more subdued taste that I was expecting from an IPA. Was sweeter then most and not quite as crisp. Not bad but not great either. It is very drinkable. As always its worth a try and I would certainly do that but there are better out there.

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Photo of Imsl2013
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Minimal head on mine, smell was vague and not very pronounced. Nice pale amber color. Conservative on the hops for an IPA, and that reflects in the taste -- I get a hint of hops on the back end, but otherwise nondescript. It may just be that I expect aggressive hops from an IPA and am biased in that sense, but I wasn't super impressed with this one. More than willing to give it another shot.

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Photo of Buebie
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pub glass.
A foamy 1'' white head pops up off the pour, receding to leave thick sticky lace drapes and a small collar of white.
Transparent filtered looking. Color is a light amber golden yellow.

Aroma is minerally bitters, a touch of pine and a small amount of citric hops, some malt and breadieness.
Aroma is pretty laid back and doesn't wow me much, for an ipa it should at least hold some more hops to the nose.

Taste is ultra bitter, lacking that malt filled sweetness that aroma held. So balance is now lost, but that's ok, because hops bite and deliver good flavors.
Bitter pine and ultra bitter grapefruit rind line the palette. A touch of hemp and picking up some floral hops as well. I want to say its like clover honey, without the sweetness. A touch of peppercorn and grassy hops with just a little aspirin.

Mouthfeel is thin and carbonation dominant.

Overall a different take on hops for an IPA. Its lacks any real fruity hops, sweet balanced malt or additional dimensions to make it stick out from the pack. The color is great and taste is good and bitter. But I've experienced all I need to with this one 12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent IPA, refreshing but watery. Pours a solid gold color with a small white head. Minimal lacing. Weak floral aroma which is more grass than pine/citrus. Nice hop profile, mostly an English variety IPA from what I could taste. Overall, it tastes like an IPA-lite

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a light amber with a nice two finger creamy tannish head.Say what you want, Harpoon beers look good.The smell is a little light with some floral and yeast scents,but not any hops.The taste is light and weak.In an IPA I would expect some hops,but this beer is very much like a lager with no hops.This doesn't taste bad,but it's not whats advertised.The m/f is light,but full flavored.This would be a good session beer,but for an IPA it's weak.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Golden straw color with small white head.

S- hoppy, but doesn't seem as hoppy as most ipa's. A little more malts than expected as well.

T- grassy and citrus hops with a bit of sweet grain.

M- average carbonation, very drinkable.

O- This is an good IPA, its very drinkable but seems to lack enough spicy hop kick in the smell and taste department. however, because of this, you could easily drink a few.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,073 ratings.
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