Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,250 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: 1,250 | Ratings: 4,082
Photo of treehugger02010
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this 12 ounze bottle from a Harpoon Mix case, and poured into a pint glass. It had a beautiful amber/goldish color with 2 and a half fingers of head. There was good retention, not to long not to short. There was a lot of lace immediatly, but it wasn't very sticky so it dissapeared over time. The smell was that of a typical IPA, hoppy and spicy. The mouthfeel was not smooth, but not rigid either. All in all a solid brew. Don't drink and review.

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Photo of bmills1608
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz bottle a deep gold with slight chill haze present. Head was stark white, moderately sized for about 30 seconds then begins to collapse ending up as a solid but thin film on top. Sticky lace from the collapse clings to the side of the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, prickly spices and sweet toasted malt on the nose. Somewhat prototypical American IPA nose. Taste was very nice. Cascades in the forefront, a nice bitterness, lots of spicy goings on, some buttery/toasted malts ease their way in and balance things out exceptionally well. Finishes smooth with hop oil flavor clinging to the roof of your mouth, slightly drying with some lemony notes as well. Mouthfeel seemed a bit watery when too cold, but smoothed out and become fuller as the beer warmed. Carbonation was medium with very tight bubbles.

Overall impression - Not a monstrous IPA, but definitely not wimpy either. Solid and well crafted. The balance was superb, as was the drinkability. Moderately complex character keeps you interested all the way to the bottom of the glass.

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Photo of Brenden
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a clear but deep coppery amber color. An off-white head is like a dense, soapy pillow that's about as compact as can be and sits the entire time at a few fingers once it does "dissipate." Fat patches and rings of lacing cling all the way down the glass. Maybe it's a great bottle, maybe I got a great pour, probably both; either way, the appearance is perfect.
The aroma is a nice mix of pure floral hops and malt. There's nothing hidden here.
The taste follows suit: there's simply a very nice mix of floral hops and malt with an earthy undertone. Other than very light citrus notes, there are no underlying complexities.
The body is medium with moderate carbonation and a mix of smooth and crisp in the mouthfeel.
This is a fresh brew that sticks to a standard. It's simple.

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Photo of emsroth
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

App: Golden amber with a wonderful frothy, white head.

Smell: Sweet, fruity, floral hops. Low malt profile. No alcohol present

Taste: Smooth, gentle flavor for an IPA. Uniform taste throughout. A husky malt flavor paired with a slightly sweet, piney hop bitterness.

Light mouthfeel with refreshing carbonation.

A low profile ipa that gets the job done. It was also my first so I have a special connection with it.

Incredibly easy drinking beer for any occasion.

Pairs very well with my spicy indian dumplings with spinach and flat bread. More Indian restaurants need to sell IPAs.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A--Old gold body and a nice medium head .

S--Very fresh hop aroma, pine needles and citrus.

T--Very balanced at first with a hop kick at the end.


D--Get this beer as fresh as you can. A really nice in between IPA. Not too hoppy not too malty. Goldilocks just right.

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Photo of Keepmywitbieraboutme
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really recommend trying this at the brewery.
The pour is clean with a cotton like head.
A shade darker than amber in the color.
The floral smell is what sets off the good feeling. Take the time to get your nose in the beer.
The hops comes through in the taste and lingers a minute.
The beer finishes nicely and is constant from start to finish.

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Photo of RingoBro
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass.

A - Light, golden amber color. Half a finger of head with a little lacing throughout.

S - Pine and citrus, but not much there.

T - Grapefruit and floral taste. Light hops and a fairly sweet malt.

M - Lot of carbonation but very light and refreshing.

Overall, not my favorite Harpoon Brew but a very drinkable beer. Light band refreshing. It's a fairly light IPA so those that don't like the bitterness of other IPAs may like this. I'm sure I'll pick up again.

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Photo of Loki
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in a 12oz bottle.

Poured a clear, golden yellow with a one inch head. Sampling left ribbons of lacing one the glass.

Aromas of hops, flowers, wheat, and malt came from the glass.

Had soft citrus, hops, and malt throughout. Finished with a toasted biscuit with a mild bitterness that finishes nicely. Great IPA and a wonderful beer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,082 ratings.
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