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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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1,239 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: 1,239 | Ratings: 4,037
Photo of merlin48
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This was from a 12 bottle sampler box that arrived at Lexington, Kentucky's Liquor Barn stores a couple of weeks ago, so it should be reasonably fresh. Pours out a medium gold, with an average head and moderate lacing. Floral hop aroma is pleasant, but doesn't knock you back like many American IPAs. Mouthfeel is just about right, medium carbonation and dry hops balanced perfectly with the malt. Taste is basically the same, impressive balance with notes of pink grapefruit and lemon. This is not an exciting or "big" IPA, but it is definitely a very well crafted, if toned down, American style pale ale. I'm impressed with its overall likeabilty.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lovely amber ale with a good-sized head.

The aroma struck me as being pure Cascade hops. I'm not sure if that's what they used, but that's what it certainly smelled like to me. That bitterness, pine, and citrus aroma that blend together like no other.

The taste was of sharp, tangy, bitter hops with touches of citrus. Again, it tasted like pure Cascade to me. Quite delightful.

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Photo of Damian
4.31/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear golden yellow. The small, fizzy head quickly faded to a film of lace.

Aroma was intensely hoppy (piney, citrusy, cascade hops) and somewhat fruity, with notes of spices.

Taste was similar. Punchy, resiny hops from start to finish, with a touch of malty sweetness (just enough to perfectly balance out this beer). Grapefruit and other ripe fruits were detectable as well. Hoppy and nicely bitter on the swallow with an incredible, resonating, floral hop aftertaste. Crisp and refreshing.

Medium bodied.

Overall, very easy drinking (I would have never expected this to be 6% ABV).

This was a flavorful, thirst quenching beer and a great selection overall (especially for the price).

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Photo of fdrich29
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been a staple of mine for a few years now. Bottle has the distictive Harpoon logo that looks like it a tatoo youre great uncle had from his navy days.

Amber in appearance with a sweet, hoppy taste and smooth and pleasant mouthfeel makes for its high drinkability.

Easily accessable in the New England area and beyond and reasonalbly priced for such a well crafted beer. Tastes best out of a growler fresh from the brewery in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Photo of Bamabrew22
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! Nice find for Sweet Home Alabama.

Appearance: Nice coppery hue with decent head retention. Good looking beer.

Smell: Floral hops, distinguishable, with a light malty hint

Taste: Great hop bite, spicy, with notes of coriander and citrus. Just an overall great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: Suttle, yet significant. Lays across the palate, as though it doesn't want to leave. Full.

Drinkability: Smooth, tasty, easy-drinking beer. One of the best IPAs I have ever tasted, although I will admit, I haven't tasted that many IPAs. A great experience, and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of drjamyma
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If I had beer snob friends, this would probably cause a riff in our friendship, for this is my favorite IPA. This is not even my boston bias speaking. If I want to enjoy a nice beer with hop presence with out feeling like I'm being medicated, this is my go to. The key is they don't over do it. This may not be enough for hardcore hop heads out there, but man, on hot afternoon, nothing does it like a nice cold one of these.

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Photo of seanh99
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from 12 oz bottle into Harpoon IPA glass.
A: Golden with a white pillowey head that faded to lacey fairly quickly.
S: Piney hop note up front with floral, citrus notes and then the malt way in the background.
T: Hop forward flavor with a bit of maltyness coming on. M: crisp and refreshing, enough carbonation to scrub the hop of my tounge
D: This is my go to beer when out as it is usually available eveywhere in the Boston area

I just wish is was 4.9% instead of 5.9% it has snuck up on my a couple times...

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Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best-balanced IPA's, particularly for an American style. Up front, this is moderately sweet with a little resin in the hops. The hops bittering in the finish is lingering at the back of the tongue. Very drinkable, and one of the few IPA's that I would designate as having session potential.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a great golden straw color with a thin white head a great lacing. Aroma was of citrusy hops. The taste was great. Hops abound and a nice sweetness to it along with great citrus notes. Mouthfeel was a medium body with medium high carbonation. Overall a damn good IPA! Wish we could get this on a regualr basis here in LA.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep golden yellow with a solid white head of mixed bubble sizes. Dissipates quickly and left minimal lacing.

Smell: Floral hops with biscuity malt. Some tart fruit as well.

Taste: Wonderful hop bite that is supported with sweet malt underpinnings. The hops leave a nice tart finish, which begs for another taste.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: This gets two thumbs up. A fantastic beer that is a great representative of the style. These go down easy and are completely enjoyable.

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Photo of Leon
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So here's a beer that has been surpassed by many others in the style, in various ways...or has it?

Well, the answer is yes. And the answer is also no.

Appearance? Simply what you'd expect. Golden-orange, fairly clear, tight carbonation.

Smell? Well, this is really nice, actually. Clean as can be, distinctly orange,
extremely fresh.

Taste: It's all about balance, with a slight tilt toward bitterness. Just enough to adhere to the style. Not enough to be dominant. Big enough overall to be an American IPA. Good amount of fruit, awesome hop burps.

Mouthfeel is simply great. Just enough hop oil to keep it interesting. Not so much that you can't down it with ease. Sweet, subtle malt backbone is sublime.

Drinkability is rather ridiculous. I'd like to meet the beer drinker who can't suck one of these down, and I'd like to smack him in the mush.

Good in hot weather, good in cold weather, good at home and the bar. Maybe the ultimate session beer.

And maybe I'm prejudiced, because I can score this wonderful beer for $20.99 a case every day.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz with no dates.

Golden orange with good carbonation. This one sports a 1"+ head of white that clings to the glass leaving nice lacing.

Smells of earthy hops, more citric than floral. There's a slight touch of malt underneath.

The taste is (as expected) very hoppy with the citric notes carrying through. Nice clean, dry finish.

Medium-light mouthfeel. Great drinkability as this one isn't hop overkill like so many others from this style.

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Photo of jaluria
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear & almost glowing orange color with subtle copper hues. A frothy, white head develops quickly and stays intact for a few moments before dissipating and leaving behind some nice lacing. Aromas of fresh citrus, juicy hops, bubble gum, grass, and pine; quite aromatic and yet not overpowering or fear-inspiring. The taste is loaded with juicy hops and citrus/grapefruit flavors, but not entirely unbalanced with a mild (but present) malt profile that grows over time. Refreshing and crisp, this beer feels like it is cleaning my tongue with every sip. The carbonation adds a touch of cream-like texture to the already silky and slighly oily mouthfeel. Very easy to drink and enjoy with a variety of dishes including Mexican cuisine and an assortment of aged cheeses.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours somewhere between a deep gold and a light amber. Your pick.

Aroma is slightly grainy malt, soft floral hops, and a sprinkling of rock sugar. Very refined -- the soul has been sucked out of this baby a bit over the years, but there's still something here.

Taste is still delicioso, not nearly affected by the recipe changes as the aroma has been. There's something extremely distinct about the hop profile of this beer -- I could recognize it from a mile away. It takes me back to cases of the stuff back in Upstate NY, drinking it as the last of the leaves fall, and the first stiff breezes let you know that the snow isn't far behind. Gets a bump-up for nostalgia...so sue me.

Mouthfeel is just dandy. Even, slow, maybe a bit high at moments, but it's just passing by.

Drinkability is good -- in a pinch, this is a decent sessioner, after all these years. That being said, was my next pint another Harpoon IPA? No, it was not. Take that as you will.

Still a solid brew in this late summer of 2005. No, it's not challenging, no, there isn't a huge attack of hops, no, you're not checking to see if your gums have melted after a pint of this. It's barely holding on to it's identity as an IPA in this age of big juicy hop bombs.

That being said, it's still a good beer, I still got a little hop-burping in -- and I'll certainly never turn down a pint of Harpoon IPA.

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Photo of TommyW
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clear, gold with a white, sticky head.

S- Spicy and citrusy hops with some sweet, malt undertones.

T- Malty base is slightly toasted in nature, but is almost completely masked by the citrusy hops. The bitterness is assertive but not over-the-top.

M- Good carbonation making for a crisp and smooth beer.

D- One of my favorite IPAs so far. Really enjoy drinking this brew at any time.

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Photo of nmoreilly
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

in the context of a "traditional" English IPA Harpoon nails it. I'm shocked it is not - on average - rated much higher. This is a well balanced IPA with no pronounced malt "backbone" as it were. Malts, floral and fruit are all well combined with what might possibly be one of the best East Coast masterpiece interpretations of the style; other than the ABV being a little high for an English, this one is killer

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark gold/orange hue with a one-finger pinkish-white head. Moderate lacing left on glass.

Smell: Very floral and fruity, almost detect a peach-like odor. Hop dominant.

Taste: What a lovely brew! Moderate floral and citrus hop flavors mold together, forming a beautiful taste. The end note is especially flowery, and there is a slight bitterness throughout. Not overly hoppy, but extremely well-balanced and delicious!

Mouthfeel: Light/moderate body with moderate to high carbonation, it's crisp and refreshing and an easy drinker. Would be great on a hot summer day.

Overall: An awesome IPA, one that I'm definitely going to be grabbing way more often. Very floral, which I love.

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Photo of cardinal25
4.29/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz long neck Best By: 6/14/07

Appearance: golden with exceptional clarity, dense frothey head average cling

Smell: Citric

Taste: Citric and hop, bitter, small

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, crisp, smooth

Drinkability & Notes: First time in the bottle, second time overall, love the crisp hoppiness

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Photo of Smixam
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, a nice medium copper; medium (two-finger), foamy head. Splotchy but persistent lacing and an overall nice appearance. The scent of this beer is great if you're an IPA fan; very floral and full of hoppy aroma, it's one of the best for a medium to large scale IPA like this.

First taste is all about the hops, nice for this style, so many offerings are too weak in this regard. After the initial onslaught of hops, the taste is very smooth and crisp; this will be an excellent summer-night brew. Aftertaste is minimal and pleasant, floral feel left on the pallet that just begs you to have more. Instantly became one of my favorites.

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Photo of LBBeer
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle into a chilled pint glass at the Marriott in Quincy, MA.

A--Straw color with a slightly orange hue. Ivory head.

S--Surprising dose of hops in the nose. Being West Coast based, I have heard many people bash Harpoon IPA for a general lack of character, but the aroma definitely started things off well.

T--Great bittering hop profile that you don't see enough of on the west coast. Just enough hops, not a palate wrecker.

M--This is a sessionable IPA, with enough malt to balance the bitternes, but not so much that it gets big and heavy.

O--Having not had Harpoon IPA in several years, my expectations were low, but I definitely prefer it over Dogfish 60.


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Photo of IntriqKen
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I forgot I was going to review this beer and just took a big gulp while reading beermail on here.
WOW. What a surprise that was!!!
This beer is heavily floral in aroma with some fresh pine oil at the end.

Taste is very clean and fresh and incredibly balanced. Sweet amber malt melts to citrus and pine hops with light floral notes in the middle. It truly blends together very nicely.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Very nice.

Drinkability is definitely a 4...wish it was summer or at least spring. A 6'r of this IPA would be real nice on a warm afternoon.

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Photo of seagis
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Simply put, I was really impressed with this beer. At just over $1 per bottle for a 12 pack, it was truly a bargain.

I poured a bottle into a pint glass, and it stood a nice two finger head that dissipated rather slowly. There was a very discernable fruity aroma. Not unpleasant, not overpowering, just good.

The actual taste, as many have said, was rather hoppy. It had a bit of a champagne essence to it, in the sense that it was very bright, crisp, and even somewhat floral. The carbonation was just about right, and before I knew it I was finished with the entire glass. This is truly a session beer if there ever was one.

The IPA class is rapidly becoming one of my top favorites. I'm still a bit preferential to English bitters, but if there are more beers like this one out there, I may have to rearrange my priorities.

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Photo of beyah
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz brown longneck bottle into a pint beer glass.
A beautiful golden color very very clear, nice frothy head with decent lacing.
Smell lots of Cascade and a some mild malt in the background.
There is a citrus hop taste and it is more forward than that of the malt. A perfect balance between malty and bitter.There is a sweetness I can only atriute to the yeast. Only notice the alcohol slightly.
A light to moderate body, IPA, with the right mouthfeel.
This stuff is very drinkable, need to keep some of this around yearound, I could serve this to almost anyone and they would find it a good choice.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice hoppy beer for those that love hoppy beers. Pretty heavy on the hops and that isnt a bad thing gives a unique taste and flavorful beer. Look forward to trying others from Harpoon

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Photo of everythingiszen
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

A subtle, solid IPA. When I lived in Boston, this was my go-to IPA. An excellent contrast to the West Coast, superhop approach (though I like those too).

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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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