Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,239 | Ratings: 4,036
Photo of bcm119
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good American IPA, although its not the hoppiest thing on earth. Gently bitter, clean and dry; floral and a little minerally, with a tasty raw grain flavor that lingers in the finish.

Updated to increase taste and drinkability, after a trip to Boston where I had this fresh at the brewery. This is much better when fresh and overall one of my favorite east coast session IPA's. Very well balanced, bright flavors and really quaffable.

 436 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the local grocery store. It's great to have the 'poon readily available here in Fla. The label is all too true, "Love Beer and Love Life". This 'poon pours to a golden slightly bronze tinged colour with a nice two finger micro bubble head. Smell is malty with a nice earthy hop. Taste of this brew is very well balanced, consistent throughout. The taste is a great blend of malts and hops with neither dominating. Probably one of the better balanced brews I have had. Doesn't bite as much as I expected for an IPA but that just makes it more drinkable. Mouthfeel is spot on, enough carbonation to lend zestiness to the hop bite but not to much to mask the malt backbone. A great beer. Again extremely glad to see it here on the shelves.

 754 characters

Photo of JayQue
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had reviewed this on tap earlier. Not much difference with the bottle. Still a solid, but not spectacular American IPA. After six more months of reviewing since the last Harpoon review, I had to downgrade the appearance for a less than spectacular head. I thought the taste was better than I remembered from before, because the flavor comes out better without the frosted beer mug from the bar. I had this one with spicy Chinese food and the flavor stood up very well. Still wouldn't be my first IPA choice, but I would jump on it is a restaurant if faced with the usual boring choices.

 588 characters

Photo of DrDogbeer
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess I should finally review this beer, since it is the one I drink most often at the brewhouse. Color is very light gold and very clear with nice white head. Very clear for an IPA. Smells of nice floral (cascade) hops when nice and fresh on tap. Taste is very crisp with nice hop bitterness that lasts. Overall a nice session IPA.

 334 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, MA.

Orangish color with an average head and a fair amount of carbonation. It smells very good, a little bit fruity. The taste is sharp and the hops are very present in this one. Can still detect some fruity tastes in there. Leaves your mouth a little bit dry, making it a little difficult to keep drinking. Not a bad beer overall.

Edit>>Since trying this beer for the first time about 4 months ago, I have grown a fondness for this beer and consider it - if not the best - one of my favorite IPA's. Available almost anywhere on-tap in the Boston area, I usually find myself drinking one of these at some point throughout the night. Excellent beer that I have most certainly grown to love.

 737 characters

Photo of lovindahops
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First beer of the evening for tonight. Also my first ever harpoon ipa!

A- a light amber with a clear appearance. Not much of a head but it looks like an inviting ipa

S- a nice earthy scent with some citrus scent as well. There is a nice malty lift to this. It lines up perfect with an ipa. I love the slight banana scent as well

T- this is another yummy neipa. Good tropical taste of mango, oranges, and bananas. There is a bready taste that creates the sweet malt. I really taste some bitterness on the end

M- creamy and crabonated

D- for my first harpoon, I really enjoy this. Some tasty ipa properties make this delicious. I will enjoy these with some greek dishes tonight

 680 characters

Photo of nixhecks
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden color, a little lighter than other IPAs I have tried - this looks almost like a pilsner. The head was medium sized with medium retention, wilted down to a thin film that stayed for the remainder of the glass. The aroma is very good, a full, spicy, floral hop bouquet, with lemony-citrus note. The taste is also very good. Started off mellow and sweet and blended into a crisp, citric hoppiness that left me smacking my lips. Mouthfeel was full bodied, smooth and semi-dry. Good all-round IPA.

 514 characters

Photo of bastardface
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good beer. It is dark in it's taste but still good. The smell is the best I've smelled in a while. The taste is fairly strong with a surprisingly sweet aftertaste. It is sweet but still heavy. Pretty good but not goo on drinking many at a time. Solid.

 268 characters

Photo of Absumaster
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this beer when I visited the US and was amazed at how much craft beers were brewed and sold in the US. This was my first pick, because this is a beer that is one of the benchmark IPAs, I think.

Appearance is orange, with a thin head and glass sticking foam. A steady stream of carbonation is visible.

Smell is citric and hoppy, defenitely fresh with a good malty backbone and a slight sweetness.

Taste is bitter with citric notes, hop aromatic and malty, a nice balance. The beer is slightly sticky and sizzling of the carbonation. Overall a very clean beer without any signs of yeast fruitness or anything. I expected the bitterness to be higher and the beer less drinkable, but I think bitterness grows on you.

 734 characters

Photo of misterscooter
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my brother's best friends from college (UC Davis) was a viticulture and enology major. Rather than go into the wine business like so many in the major, he was brought to Boston to be one of the first brewmasters at Harpoon. Since Harpoon is not easily found away from the East Coast, it was a long time until I was able to actualy try one. Although I wanted the Ale, the IPA was available. Even though it wasn't the best beer I've ever had, it was worth the wait.

Upon pouring, it had a nice golden amber color and a good head. The smell was typical for the IPAs I've had, smelling hoppy and malty. The taste didn't have as much bite as I expected and the malt mellowed it out a bit. A bit of spiciness, though, added just enough tingle with the carbonation. I wasn't done with the first one before I was ready for the next one. I can't wait to get back to New England for some more.

 893 characters

Photo of AaronRed
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap this was a very enjoyable brew. Color was pale, with a nice white head. My favorite part of the beer (not really, drinking it is the best) was the aroma. It was a nice combination of fruity and hop like smells that reminded me of spring. A nice flavored beer as well, with a strong hop presence that I expect from an IPA. Overall, a very tasty brew with or without food.

 377 characters

Photo of dmarch
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden in color with a slight haze. Cascade hops are immediately apperrant in the aroma. Taste is citrusy. Some malt in the taste as well, but it doesn't take away from the hoppiness of this IPA. Basically, just a solid IPA. It has enough bitterness to satisfy the hopheads, but doesn't try to show off with an insane amount of hops.

 339 characters

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep golden color with a big, thick, and white head that makes nice lace on the glass. A floral bouquet of hops fills the nose. The hops are flavorful with pine and citrus notes over a light toasted and biscuity malt taste. The palate is medium bodied with good carbonation and a hopy bitterness that lingers on the tongue and begs you to take anther sip. Its not over the top hoppy but they are main show here which is how I like an IPA to be.

 455 characters

Photo of jakester
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from the Harpoon sampler case. I drank it in a goblet. Born on date clearly stamped on the case, and clearly inked on the bottle. YAY!

Pours a pretty, slightly hazy golden amber with a one finger head of off-white foam on top. Carbonation looks fairly strong. Nice lacing streaks the glass.

Aroma is big grassy/piney hops, clean caramel/toffee malts, and fruity like golden raisins. This is a very fruity, hoppy smelling beer, very nice.

First flavor is big pale malt, followed quickly by a big hop bitterness. Gin soaked golden raisins and pears are next, and the grassy/piney hop flavors enter late. A very good example of the style. Not overdone in any way, but not underdone, either.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, drying out during the sip, with a medium level of carbonation bite. Finish is a resiny feel from hops on the tongue, long and slick. This beer is clean and crisp, very refreshing.

I would order this anytime. As IPA's go, it's on the slighter side now, but it's very well made, clean, refreshing, hoppy, fruity, and delicious. Recommended.

 1,079 characters

Photo of OStrungT
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear golden yellow with a thin white head. The head fades quick, leaving very few laces.

This beer has a floral hop aroma. It smells of grapefruit. Cascades? It also has a slightly surprizing malty aroma. It has just a tough of earthy yeast aroma also. This is not your typical IPA aroma.

This beer has a floral hoppy flavor. Not too piney or grassy. It does taste slightly of grapefruit. As with the aroma, I taste a slight malty sweet flavor.

This beer goes down smooth. It is crisp and clean. The flavor in not overbearing. It leaves a slight floral hoppy aftertaste. It is just a little bit undercarbonated, but not so much that it detracts from the flavor.

I think this beer would make a great session beer. It is not high in alcohol, so that wouldnt be a problem. Also, the flavor is not overbearing. I would drink this beer again, if it was available in So Cal.

 899 characters

Photo of mempath
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

vigorous pour reveals a light honey (medium amber) color...head takes quite awhie to go down..3 minutes+ later, it's still a good inch with plenty of light, consistent lacing.

hmmm. equal hops and malt. the malts hit first, but only a microsecond later the subtle hoppiness fuses with the malt. balanced, admirable....though i still prefer a more hoppy aroma.

thank 'goodness' the taste remains balanced but does emphasize hops with some backup maltiness. as it should be. haven't had one of these in a few years. better than remembered, but then my tongue i know has changed. still, it doesn't have the depth i would like it to have. maybe it doesn't help that i had a Nugget Nectar a couple of hours ago.

a very drinkable beer, nearly exceptional, depends on the mood, the company...this would be a great brew to accompany light, spicey and/or seafood tapas/horsdoeuvres...fine on it's own. i will revisit this and compare notes. all around, it is quite recommended.

 972 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid inch or more of bright white foam rests gently atop a slightly hazy, golden-amber body. The head retention is good, and some very nice lace is left throughout the entire glass. Bright, fresh, and floral hops greet you in the nose as soon as it's poured! Very nice! A medium body combines with a very fine-bubbled carbonation to leave it lightly crisp on the tongue. Floral hops and a sweet grainy malt swirl in a kaleidescope of flavor right off the bat! Rich, exciting, sweet, hoppy, fruity, and finally, bitter in the lingering, drying finish. It's exceptionally well-balanced with a bitterness that reveals itself increasingly with every sip. What finesse!

 667 characters

Photo of Stingray5
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured amber/gold with a white head. Sharp bitter hops in the aroma, a bit of fruitiness. Decent mouthful, taste is a nice hop/malt balance. Good bitterness in the finish. Not sure I'd call this an IPA, but it was certainly a tasty beer. Went down quite nicely. Would make a nice session brew. Nice and fresh from the tap, I'm interested in seeing if the bottle version holds up.

 379 characters

Photo of bignick
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is, and always has been, one of my standbys. When fresh, it is one of the more drinkable IPAs on the market. It is not the most complex beer around, but the crisp bite of the hops is something I really enjoy. It is floral and delicate, but at the same time there is something zesty and lively about it that I really dig. I really enjoy throwing down 34 oz mugs of Harpoon IPA at Wickenden in Providence...it is that drinkable.

 436 characters

Photo of lehows
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow color with a large and fluffy white head. Pleasant aromas of citrus, hops, and some pine. Flavors of fresh bitter hops, mild citrus and pine, earthy grain notes, and a nice subdued malt presence. Very drinkable and just a solid all-around IPA.

 265 characters

Photo of villainchiwwin
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into pint glass
bright amber with off-white thick, creamy head that left chunky lacing behind.
floral scent with some pine, all suggesting the unadulterated hop flower itself; faint butter too.
sweet flowery taste straight to nice raw hop flower kick with some citrus notes that come forward for the finish before tapering off into some light spiciness.
medium body, smooth and appropriate carbonation with a raw, rough finishing texture.
delicious in succession.

 476 characters

Photo of BeerCon5
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice slightly hazy golden color with a little more than 1 finger of fluffy white head, decent retention.

The scent was of citrus and some earthy notes.

The taste was of citrus, toasty, bready malts, moderate hop bitterness, a little alcohol.

Light body, smooth and crisp, moderate carbonation.

This was a very good IPA, the flavor was good and perfectly balanced. This might be the easiest drinking IPA I've had.

 424 characters

Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (best by 4/15/10) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a perfectly clear, pale amber gold with a finger+ of dense off white head, which has pretty good staying power. Head slowly dies, but leaves behind lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass and a few rocky islands on the surface.

S - Spicy and floral hops dominate the aroma with a touch of soapiness. The hops sit atop some nice biscuity malt smells and a touch of sugary sweetness.

T - Nice bitter hoppiness up front, spicy and fruity in nature. Just enough malty sweetness and breadiness to balance things off. Nothing flashy, just flavorful and well balanced.

M - Medium bodied, good strong carbonation, but not overdone. Crisp and refreshing feel on the tongue.

D - Very drinkable IPA, especially when fresh. This is a staple beer of mine...always in the fridge. Nothing flashy, just a good, solid, well balanced IPA. Perfect for a summer day after mowing the lawn, or as a companion with a pizza any time. Easy drinking - multiples of these in a session is easily doable.

 1,072 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint of this at Grafton Street in Cambridge, Mass. Its a trendy up market bar.

This IPA is a deep gold color, lighter than I expected. A big bubbly foamy head lasts for several minutes and leaves good lace trails. The nose is lightly hoppy and malty. Not very strong, but hops are on top. The taste is bristling with grapefruit and pine. A modest malt backbone provides great balance. The finish reminds me of lemon candy, sweet and citrusy. The mouthfeel is a little thin, with some hop pucker going on.

This is a great IPA. My only criticism is the hop bitterness is a little harsh and lacking in complexity and hop aromas are a little weak. Still, I can see why this is so ubiquitous in Boston, tastey stuff.

 723 characters

Photo of kelticblood
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a solid white foaming head with great bubbling carbonation.A slight amount of lace left on the glass.The aroma was of hops with a hint of an earthy smell.The color was a light gold with a touch of a haziness.The taste offered a well balanced hop,bitter,and citric taste and mouthfeel.Very crisp and balanced with just the right amounts of everything.I especially liked this IPA because it didnt leave a gagging bitter finish that lasted for hours.Very smooth and creamy.Easy on the mouth with a high drinkability percentage.

note: not an overpowering hop taste or smell.Very refreshing and light.Great for the summer or really anytime.

Upon another review I found it to be a bit watery.

 699 characters

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,036 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!