Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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1,236 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,236 | Ratings: 4,023
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 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 jmz62565
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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Photo of fank2788
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Bright copper gold overall it is quite clear. After the pour the head is a couple of fingers tall but it falls quickly and to a thin layer of fine bubbles that lace nicely throughout the session. The bottle says IPA but my nose doesn't quite agree. The aroma is much more in line with a pale ale than an IPA with a lot of caramel and a bit of sweet buttery notes and very little in the way of hops. The taste too is ok, there is a good bit of bitterness up front and a lot of sweet caramel but really not much in the way of hop flavor or unique malts. The beer finishes with a bit of a metallic twang that i'm not too sure about either. Carbonation is relatively high and there is a decent amount of bitterness in there as well which is nice and overall its not too sweet and not too dry. Overall this is a decent sessionable beer, an IPA for people who dont like IPAs perhaps.

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

Clear gold. Large white head with a mess of drippy lace sticking everywhere. Looks like something I'd want to drink. Never looks that good on tap though

Smells of fresh floral hop. More piney as it warms. Odd, newly vacuumed rug smell. Sweet, light malt underneath it all. Brilliant hop aroma fades as the beer sits.

Tastes of floral, earthy hop with honey sweet malt in back. Perfect bitterness...for a pale ale. Smooth but crisp mouthfeel. Buttery Harpoon yeast aftertaste.

This is the beer that got me into beer. I remember duffextracold saying, "try this, it tastes like flowers." Still one of the best every occassion IPA's in my opinion though it's much better in a bottle vs. tap and hoppiness can vary greatly between bottles/kegs depending on freshness. I'd probably rate it lower if it wasn't such a nostalgic beer for me.

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Photo of clickpush
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. With a violent pour this beer came out with about 2 fingers of white head. It's a pale golden color, same as a macro lager, with very few bubbles inside the glass. Slow dissipation of the head and eventually evens off at about a half finger ring around the glass of thick foam.

Nose: Very light smell. Hints of citrus and bitter hops.

Mouth: Enters the mouth with very light carbonation that flattens as it goes back. Has a slight sweetness to balance the nice bitter flavor and extremely hoppy swallow. Slightly grapy in flavor with no lasting bitterness. Overall, it's not a bad brew, it's got a great hop flavor but not enough depth or balance, and the weak mouthfeel ruins the experience.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours 14k gold with good clarity. Creamy white head of one and a half fingers shows good retention and decent spotty lacing. Slight apple ester in the nose with some mild chinook and cascade aromas. Flash of sweet toasted malt upfront, followed by a blast of grassy american hop flavor and mild grapefruit rind taste, which then dissipates to a solid bitterness. A pinch of high-Alpha acid hop flavor in the aftertaste, but mostly just a bland, dry bitterness. Medium-high carbonation and light-medium body- this seems too crisp and light for the style with an unbalanced bitterness and lack of hop flavor and aroma. Finishes bitter but clean. While this very drinkable and devoid of any significant flaw, it's also kind of boring.

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

Light amber to dark gold with a finger of sticky head leaving a thin creamy film and sticky pile of bubbles. NOt a lot of smell, but some slight floral and fruity notes.

Light malts, I think Vienna or Munich agai. Bitter but not overpowering herbal hops. Basic but adequate.

Lighter refreshing body, and pretty drinkable, but completely lackluster.

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

Presentation: Flowery label, date printed on the neck just below the upper label.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden, with a nice sized head and good retention.

Smell: More malt than hops - some bready malt with just a hint of floral aroma.

Taste: A bit more hops in the flavor, but still more malt than I would expect in an IPA. Nice malt flavor, with just a bit of the floral hops.

Overall impression: Not a bad beer - not quite what I was expecting, but enjoyable and sessionable.

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

Pours with a thick creamy white head and a slightly hazy golden-copper body.

Smell is citrus hoppy and slightly sweet.

Taste is grapefruit with with a slightly oily feel. Robust malt character adds sweetness. Finish is light and crisp. Pleasant but not as bitter as expected.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a decent brew. However, I feel the flavors are not as balanced as they should be. The maltiness isn't bad, but is slightly inconsistent with the rest of the flavors until it warms a bit. A good session beer.

Thanks to Bashiba for sharing this brew.

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Photo of psycl0nb
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A: Pours the expected copper color, moderate lacing.

S: A definite floral aroma reminiscent of the flowers on the label, not as grassy or citric as some of the other IPAs I've had.

T: Honestly I'm not very impressed in this department, for an IPA this seems weak to me, the hop bitterness is not as shocking as I'd like, though interestingly I will note some biscuity malt tones...however, this is not something I'd prefer to taste in an IPA.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, watery, goes down without much of a hit.

D: I suppose I could drink a few of these, but not because I think it's a fantastic beer, simply because it's weaker than I'd expect from the style.

In summation, everything about this beer feels weak for the style, the ABV of only 5.9%, the lack of good hop bitterness throughout and even the appearance is a bit drab by comparison to some of the other top contenders. It's certainly not a bad beer, just not a very impressive one. If I'm going for an IPA I'd much rather have a Dogfish Head or preferably Stone.

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Photo of bottle
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Characteristics: low carbonation, slightly hoppy, medium sweet (sweet aftertaste), very dry. No really dominating/characteristic taste, very balanced and average.

Overall a average IPA, not outstanding but not bad either, something you can have in the fridge.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big off white head slowly recedes into a pretty decent lacing above a clear honey golden colored IPA.

Not much aroma for an IPA but what there was was a light citrus hops with an ever lighter sweet background.

Light citrus hops almost bitter taste with a little sweet malt coming through after the initial hops dissipates.

A medium bodied affair that leaves you wanting more for some reason, maybe if there were stronger and richer hops tastes there would be a different reason for wanting more.

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Photo of marcpal
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I have very often had this on tap in the past as the best option available at chain restaurants (Legal Seafoods, Cheesecake, McCormicks) and decided while I was picking up 4 Leviathans, I would grap a 6 of these bottles to sit down and think through.

Notes from 2/19. 12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams uber glass.
Bottle Graphics: 3/10.

A: Golden to orange body with a hazy wheaty look for an IPA. Rocky mountain head with spelunking like caves. The color is made up for by the head and fluffy lacing that sticks like marshmallow fluff.

S: Ahh, the lovely scent of Cascade hops. Not an intense smell of some IPAs but robust enough. The sweetness was not apparent in the nose. The smell is the shining moment of this beer.

T: There are clearly hops in the flavor but it doesn't round out to where it needs to be. It seems like it is about three notes away from being a very good IPA, like Smutty Finest Kind but the areas it lacks just leaves it several notches lower. The hops from the aroma don't carry over to the bite or chew which is unfortunate. When cold, no real malt flavors but some biscuit as it warmed down. Closer to a pale and an india pale. Need double simcoe, stat.

M: Maybe training wheels for someone curious about what a hop can bring to a beer because in the texture, there is no oil or bitterness that leaves you yearning for more.

D: Almost to a level of predictability when I get this as the best tap option, the spicy food I like usually dominates and overpowers this beer. Hell, the soy chips and cinnamon sugar pretzels I am chowing on now are not a palate cleanser, they are defeating the heart of this beer.

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Photo of ahking
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very light colored amber with a bubbly white head. Slightly orange looking. Smells a little bubble-gummish. Tastes quite malty with little hop presence. Finish is cirtusy (grapefruit). Why is this an IPA? Malt character pretty much overpowers the hops. This is a decent tasting beer, but not what I expected. If you want a nice IPA, try a Founder's. If you want an entry level IPA, try this guy.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,023 ratings.
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