Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
4,174 Ratings
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:
We started brewing this beer as a summer seasonal in 1993. There were some great IPAs out in the Pacific Northwest, but no local IPAs on the east coast. We wanted to have a local IPA, so we brewed one. People absolutely loved it, and so did we. So we made it a year-round beer, and it’s now our bestselling beer and our flagship.

Since its introduction, Harpoon IPA has remained unique in its ability to balance hop bitterness with a strong malt backbone. Dry-hopped with Cascade hops, it has a floral hop aroma and a finish that is bitter (it is an IPA after all!) without being harsh or astringent. Combined with a malty sweetness and the fruity esters of our proprietary yeast, those hops create a beer that is wonderfully hoppy but clean and refreshing enough to enjoy a few of - and we hope you do.

42 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,174 |  Reviews: 1,269
Photo of HardTarget
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard 12 oz bottle with a bottled on date of 01/04/05
Aroma: All about the hops, as it should be. I got floral, citric and pine notes in very fresh smelling hops, a sharp quality about the aroma as well. The sweet base underneath was also present. Very inviting.
Appearance: Extremely clear yellow glass with a nice multi-bubbled white head that left a little lace.
Flavor: While the hop flavor was very crisp, I really didn’t perceive a lot of IBUs. Guessing there are more hops later in the boil than earlier. The bittering hops did start to show deep in the glass, but always supported by the firm malt base. Maybe I’ve done too many DIPAs, but I found the hops somewhat restrained. Still, a great taste and very refreshing.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, clean finish
Overall Impression: A refreshing IPA with low bittering flavors. If it were a tad more local I could see making it a regular beer. Drinkability really helps the score.

 943 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp light orange with a decent off-white head that diminished to a ring. The aroma is floral citrus hops with sweet malt. The taste is citrus hops just slightly overpowering the malts. The beer is very light and crisp with moderate carbonation. This is certainly one that makes for a very sessionable IPA.

 315 characters

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful bubbly copper with an inch foamy off-white head. Hoppy and floral aroma; the taste follows suit. Crisp with a good amount of carbonation, but very easy to drink. A nice robust taste with a dry finish. Really enjoyed having this with a basket of fish & chips Definitely going to pick up a six pack in the near future.

 334 characters

Photo of Shrews629
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A clear orange to light amber in color. A mostly white, slightly creamy head that was ok in size, but only had average retention. Decent amount of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell - Some nice hints of citrus along the lines of grapefruit, orange and lemon. Some floral notes followed by a clean malty sweetness. Smells a bit perfumy also.

Taste - The taste brought forth more of the citrus and fruity, grapefruit bite. Hoppy bitterness with a resiny, piney, malty backbone. A nice little "bite." Well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Smooth. Crisp and punchy. Dry. Covers the palate very nicely. Leaves plenty of flavor behind.

Drinkability - This is a very solid beer by Harpoon. Very good in all aspects. I would be more than happy to drink this if it was available. Worth a try for sure. Well balanced in all aspects. Very easy to drink.

 869 characters

Photo of allboutbierge
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is golden colored with strong elements of orange hues. Aroma is moderate in strength and largely comprised of floral and citrus notes. Flavor has an odd malt bite which creates a good balance with the brew's moderate hop profile for an IPA. Body is moderate and head leaves a strong lace. A good IPA. No surprises here.

 324 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear light amber color with a thick foamy head. Head retention an lacing are both excellent. Has kind of a sweet, bready, floral, hoppy aroma. Maybe some mild caramel and resin. Big bready, malty backbone with a good transition to a more grassy hop. Mild astringency to the end but not too much. Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Clean finish. Enjoyable but not the best IPA I have had. I tend to lean towards more West Coast IPAs.

 481 characters

Photo of jb413
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a bright, light golden-copper with some rising bubbles, finger and a half of white head with good retention, and some decent lacing.

S - Big floral hop presence in the nose dominates some less noticeable toasted malt and herbal notes.

T - Floral hops are moderate and tasty in the front. Transitions with mildly balancing underlying malt before moving into a pleasant and prolonged bitterness in the finish.

MF - smooth and crisp. Refreshing. Pretty drinkable. Body is medium. Carbonation matches well and finish is nice.

O - Still new to the IPA hoppy styles, and this has been a nice gateway. A good pick all around.

 633 characters

Photo of DavidHume
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of beoirific
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of KurtE
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Ngntjp
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of thegodfather1076
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Very attractive label in the Harpoon tradition with really nice colors and graphics. Front label states “Love beer, Love Life” and gives a bit of brewery info. Back label pay homage to the 20th Anniversary of Harpoon IPA. Neck label gives a short description of the beer as well as paying homage to the 20th Anniversary of the IPA. Enjoy by 12.15.13 printed on the bottle.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 12oz brown bottle into a 16oz Imperial Pint led to a 3 finger white head of medium density resting atop a clear golden yellow amber colored beer. Head retention was 4min before fading to a thin coating and ring.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of citrus hops with slight hints of floral tones and a nice malt back bone.

Flavor/Taste: Taste is of citrus hops on the front end with a slightly floral hop midpoint and a bitter resin hop back end and finish all resting upon a toasty bready malt backbone. Hops seem very light and not overpowering.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied with an above average amount of carbonation that leads to a smooth slightly crisp mouthfeel. Highly drinkable. 4/5

Overall/Comments: A very good IPA that doesn't wow you but does a good job representing the style. Solid and drinkable. Classified as an American IPA @ 5.9% ABV. Consumed 10/19/2013.

 1,323 characters

Photo of DrewsBrews450
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clear golden color with a white spotty head that sticks in spots on the glass. The smell is pine bitterness with little malt present. The taste is not as bitter as the smell with slight caramal honey pale malt that leads into the piney flower bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium. Not really a hoppy tasteing ipa like the smell would make you think. I do like this very good.

 379 characters

Photo of RayVB
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Abita45
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, it settled into a dark gold color with a slight head that thinned, but never completely disappaited. Hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. Slight citrus undertones in the aftertaste, but very slight. It has a nice mouthfeel to it and a crisp finish. Slight lacing in the glass. Overall, pretty decent.

 316 characters

Photo of einman
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of romain
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Backer2004
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For someone who is not the biggest fan of American IPAs, I absolutely loved this one. Persoanlly, Harpoon IPA or the Cottonwood Endo are the best of its style I've tried so far. Poured a nice amber colored hue that filled the glass with much carbonation and head rentention. Sparkled in the mouth and the hops was not overbearing. Will definitely try this again.

 362 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Poured a nice clear golden copper color. Two finger fluffy looking white head. Light sticky lacing on the glass.

S- Nothing over the top which is a nice surprise. Caramel malts covered over a piney hop balance. The aroma is nothing over the top but at the same time very balanced altogether.

T- Like the nose suggests this is a very well balanced IPA. Caramel notes mix well with piney hops. Nothing over the top...slight bitterness throughout the entire beer while the caramel malts peek through different areas of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little on the too much side for me. Light hops all over the palate with a sweet malt backing to it. Bitter hops in the aftertaste with some light sweet alcohol. Some drying on the palate with each sip...more than I thought there would be.

D- This is the norm for a good session IPA I think. Nothing over the top with this beer. Just well balanced and refreshing. I always go back to this beer when I need a rest from the hop bombs and want to still drink a well made IPA.

 1,090 characters

Photo of irishtimepiece
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark gold/light copper color with a large, fluffy, eggshell colored head that fades quickly to a cap.

A fine blend of floral and citrus hops in the nose.

Citrus hops sustain through the flavor portion, though biscuit malt is definitely present to a fair degree. Not entirely unbalanced as many IPAs tend to be. There is a slight warming sensation from the alcohol that would compliment spicy food.

Has a basic body with a crisp finish.

Not overwhelming in alcohol or hops as many IPAs. I could go for a second or, almost as importantly, something entirely different as the hops didn't leave my palate a wreck.

In my 5 years of drinking this beer has gone under the radar. I'm pleasantly surprised by this.

 726 characters

Photo of kernalklink
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very decent IPA- good looking, crisp and true to form. The cloudy golden pour let loose some spicy hops- nice smack on the tongue at first taste, good quality hops and not overdone on the malts. A good starter for the new hop heads, goes well with most anything you can eat and well balanced for maximum drinkability. Try the oak aged brew by Harpoon for some more complexity.

 378 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressive in the area's that count...being taste and drinkability.
Arrived a darkish golden colour with a slight haze. Head was short and quick to depart. Carbonation was very light and the body a medium/full.
Nose was non-descript.
My initial response to the taste was not favourable but that quickly changed with each taste...this brew can grow on ya real fast.
Starts with a minor in a citrus like hops then explodes to reveal its true character of hop mania with very little linger. I want more!!
Great potential for a session beer

 541 characters

Photo of kmo1030
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice looking amber ale with decent white head. fresh flowery hops define the smell. the taste starts with flowery citrus hops up front with slight toasted caramel malt background. medium bodied with good carbonation and a clean finish. not bad at all, but on tap this is significantly better.

 292 characters

Photo of gdrydenc
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this in many different formats. I have been enjoying this beer for a long time, I can't believe that I haven't reviewed it!

A - Pours a medium orange color with about 2 fingers of off white head.

S - A bit floral, a bit of fruitiness, a bit of piney resin. Pretty mild smell, but pretty standard for its ABV.

T - Much like the smell. A good amount of all three of those flavors. There is an unfortunate amount of bitterness in the finish, though. It's not enough to take a huge chunk out of the beer, but it's good.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty much what I would expect. It's fairly carbonated, but not overly so.

Overall, this is a very solid beer. Considering the price, this beer is constantly stocked in my fridge.

 731 characters

Photo of soju6
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper colorwith a good head that fades to some lacing

S: A nice mixture of citrus & malt aroma with a bit of fresh grain. Not overpowering.

T: A mild taste of malt & citrus. A clean bitterness and a crisp finish.

F: Medium body, quite smooth and refreshing. A well balanced brew.

D: Very enjoyable, a good IPA that is not overhopped or overhyped. Check it out.

 382 characters

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,174 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.