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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,236 | Ratings: 4,024
Photo of Moxley
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at Rockafellas in Salem, MA.

A - Nice clear nut brown color with a decent head that stuck around and good lacing. Good looking IPA.

S - Hops were not overpowering, but definitely there with a sweet malt background.

T - Very good IPA. Not overly hoppy, but a good clean hop presence. The sweet malts compliment the bitter hops nicely and create a really well balanced beer.

M/D - This is a great beer with a refreshing clean finish. Highly drinkable, not too heavy, and with a 5.9ABV, you could comfortably drink this all afternoon.

Going to the Brewery today. I'll rate this beer again after I've had it at the brewery.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pale golden brew with a whispy white head and decent lacing. The aroma is pretty mild flowery hops dominant over a bit of bread/wheat. The taste is again dominated by the floral hops with a background of some malt. It has a nice sweet citrus orange flavor mixed in with sprite carbonation, easy drinking. Very nice as a relatively light but flavorful American IPA. Always open to one of these.

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Photo of grumpyowl
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle in Manchester, NH.

A: Clear 1 inch head. Nice lacing that holds up. Dark gold in color

S: Sweet fruit; Strawberries come to mind, some pine

F: Hops in the back then fruity in the finish. Some date. No maleness detected.

M: Dryer than I thought considering sweetness in the nose. Carbonation hits back of palate right away. Taste disappears then bitterness comes through. Slight tartness in the finish.

D: Very drinkable.

O: Although no maltiness detected, sweetness in the nose and mouth balances the finishing bitterness. Nice!

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass.

Appearance: Totally transparent dark-golden color to the beer itself, with maybe just a touch of red tint to it. Heavy carbonation is visible through the glass, and it leads upwards to a sweet, foamy white head. The head recedes very slowly, leaving behind light lacing, and it dimples as it falls. Nice consistency!

Smell: Citrus sweet'n'sour for a base, with floral hops supplementing the orange nose. Haven't had an IPA in a while, and this one (so far) seems to have been a good choice for getting back into the style.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light and crisp on the tongue, with gentle carbonation. The flavor takes a few seconds to creep up on you, which gives the beer some character (i.e. it doesn't smack you in the face with hops). After the initial sip, the bitterness coats your tongue with some fierceness. Citrus in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Straight good. I could drink it several times a week.

If you like IPAs, and haven't tried this one, it's most definitely characteristic of the style. Good interpretation by Harpoon (my first run in with this brewery).

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Photo of Gatch
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great IPA that you can drink any time. I had the Winter Warmer first, so that could have been the reason for my high marks, but their IPA has always been good from what I've heard before. Everything about it is typical IPA but that's not a bad thing at all. Very smooth throughout and complemented my steak tips really well. This isn't as common as Sam Adams Boston Lager in most bars/restaurants, but many that I've been to have Harpoon IPA as one of the few micros amongst the Bud and all that. I never hesitate to order it.

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Photo of RyanGoodman
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Full inch+ of off-white head that never completely disappeared throughout session. Copper, golden color that is completely and intensely clear. Nose offers bready malts, and faint hop aroma. Taste is malt and hop balance perfected, which is not exactly preferred in the American IPA style. So I'm not taking issue with the beer, just the genre that it's listed under here, according to BA's definition of an American IPA. The brewery brochure simply says it's an IPA, so this may be more accurate. Flavor is certainly floral, some definite cascade hoppiness, and finishes with an unexpected sweet/malty appearance. I can't put my finger on it, perhaps ?mead? which would go along with the floral nature to the beer. Mouthfeel, again, is lighter than one would expect from an IPA. If it were styled as a Pale Ale I may have given it a perfect rating across the board. All this being said, I more than thoroughly enjoyed this beer. So much so that I could drink it all day long. Beer substitute for water? Thank you very much Harpoon!

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Photo of LushessPuppy
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This IPA is a working class beer. I'm not a big fan of beers like Torpedo or hopper whackers. This is a great beer for drinkers looking for a step up, and just that. Itsa bit pricey but at 5.9 it really does the trick. I live 3 miles from the Pabst store and the coop is next store so I hada case of the shakes and couldn't ride to the store so I walked next store and got my liver Harpoon. I feel way better just wish I had some 420 lol

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great beer I wish I could get in Oklahoma.

Pours to a lasting foam head and golden color. The hop aroma is somewhat mild for a U.S. IPA, but is nonetheless very pleasant--lots of citrusy-piney American character. Flavor is light for an IPA, but sufficiently hoppy with just enough malt character to balance the bitterness. Light-medium mouthfeel. Very easy to drink. A "session" IPA if there ever was one.

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Photo of Murph
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear bright golden color with a thick, bubbly, white head. Smell is all hops and hop oil. Some slight citrus and very floral qualities. Floral hops explode onto the tongue but are then followed by some nice balancing malt. Brew gets maltier as it warms. Crisp and dry mouthfeel and extremely drinkable. This is definitely one of my major fallback brews when I am home in MA. Recently it has become very easy to get down here in VA, no complaints from me. One of my all time favorite session brews.

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Photo of mtbbaboon
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my "comfort" beers. I buy it often and it's very consistent. This time I ordered it on tap. It came to me with about a 1" thick head and the beer was a golden color. Long trails of carbonation stretched from the bottom of the glass to the top. Smells hoppy with some citrus mixed it, but the aroma was rather mild for an IPA. This particular beer came to me colder than I like, so I let is sit for a minute before continuing. The ice cold temp hid much of the flavor. Once it warmed up a bit, the mouthfeel was crisp and fizzy with a medium body. The hops come through in the taste, and it had floral and citrus hints. The taste is very well balanced and quite refreshing. Slightly bitter aftertaste. A very drinkable beer and I am reminded why I enjoy it so much. It went real nice with the spicy food I ate.

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Photo of greenengineer
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good solid IPA. I love that it is local, always a good pint.
Color is a nice shade of blonde. Head sticks around with good lacing. Not a hop bomb, but enough to remind you it's an IPA. In addition to the bitterness, a decent malt backbone. Not chewy, but a good tingle on the tongue from the carbonation.

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Photo of nastley3
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great ipa. This beer has a copper color, does not have a very strong smell, average head, but delivers on taste. Has a very nice balance to it, the perfect amount of hops. It is extremely drinkable, it would be very easy to drink this beer frequently. Has a refreshing finish.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Not Your Average Joe's, quite cool, poured with no head like it was a damn Bud Lite.

Appearance was marred by the stupid macro pour with no head. Second round I asked for some head and got only a 1/4". What geeks. Anyway, the beer itself is great, that quarter inch head was white and creamy, leaving thick rings of lace all the way down. The beer is light golden color, almost straw--perhaps a bit light for an IPA.

Aroma is weak, nothing wrong with it except it almost isn't there. Needs a bit more maltiness and some aroma hops.

There is a fine hit of bitterness up front, with plenty of floral flavor hops all the way to the finish and then lingering. It's clean and slightly sweet.

Drinkability is fine. It could use some aroma hops, and a bit more body and color. All around a great beer with moderate alcohol.

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Photo of bigbodybussey
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a pint glass at The Fermentation Lounge in Tallahassee, FL.

Appearance - a clear, deep, golden yellow with an inch of fluffy white head.

Smell - Loads of hoppiness paired with some citrus (probably orange) and lightly fragrant spices.

Taste - Very subtle with initial hoppy bitterness that progresses throught the sip. Citrus and mild spice pair with the bitterness quite well and blend. Finally, the bitterness becomes more apparent and leaves a nice bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Light with moderate carbonation and a slight creaminess. Very smooth in comparison to other IPA's.

Drinkability - Exceptional. The bitterness blends quite well and is not overpowering. This beer goes great with anything. Just an all around winner.

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Photo of Symmes
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am an IPA whore. The more hops that drop kick my tonsils on the way down, the better. In my honest opinion, this should be an "all day" IPA. It goes down great, but may leave you wanting more. By no means is it tasteless, yellow, boiled wheat by-product, but drinks more like a pilsner than an IPA. Harpoon makes great products, and this beer is no exception. Just know, it is not going be like a lot if the IPA's on the shelf nowadays. It's damn good on any occasion, great with any meal, best when shared with friends....or.....well, don't be a dick! If your hosting, the least you can do is serve beer. This would be a great beer to serve.

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Photo of yit4311
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Love it. Can't beat a case of harpoon when you're trying to have a good time. I enjoy a good IPA and harpoon is very easy way to get my fix. It is carried at most bars in my area as well as pretty much any liquor store. The crisp hoppiness defines this beer for me. It's definitely worth a taste.

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Photo of Schoney62
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a six-pack of this in Boston. I asked the liquor store owner for something local, and his reccomendations were this and Whale's Tale. I picked this. Overall, I was pleased.

Appearance: I drank it out of the bottle, so I didn't really get a good look at it. 3.0 by default.

Smell: The first one I drank was warm, and it had a strong hoppy smell as soon as I opened it. It was very pleasant. Cold, the beer had less of a smell.

Taste: Rich hops, but a very smooth flavor as well. It's not sweet, but it is mellow.

Mouthfeel: Not very heavy. Not light, of course, but a generally pleasant heaviness. A little aftertaste is all that's bringing this down.

Drinkability: All in all, very pleasant. Not exceptional - I would pick Summit over Harpoon any day (if I were ever able to make the choice, that is), but I'm glad I asked the liquor store employee for a local with which I wasn't familiar. Even given the option between this and Sam Adams, if we're comparing local beers, I'd pick this.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Best by: 6/7/07 Consumed on: 4/30/07

AP: Pours out a totally clear Pale amber color with good carbonation that creates an impressive two-finger all-white frothy and foamy head that is very tight and displays really good retention. Sticky lacing does remain.

nose: Fruity sweet and floral hop with dark and red berries, herbal and zesty way down and a bit of cotton candy. Just a whiff of herbal and zesty green hop at the end.

flavor & feel: This IPA has a really nice complex hop flavor, slightly mild hop impact for the style but still ejoyable level of hops. fruity-sweet hop is very bold, featuring light red fruit berries, mild zesty herbalized edge and not at all bitter.There's A mildly sweet-bread and very buttery malt presence that does a great job balancing this out. This is a light bodied brew that is crispy, but goes down smooth. Highly enjoyable flavor and feel.

DA: This one goes down s00oo easy it's scary.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Harpoon IPA is sorta the Mustang of craft beer. It rarely (if ever) wins the 'best of' conversation, but somewhere along the line, someone inevitably brings it up and I can see why.
It pours a nice amber, with a nice bit of white head that soon fades into obscurity. It smells likes it's on the ESB end of IPAs, with a nice balance of malt and hops. None of this is truly impressive.

The taste and mouthfeel on the other hand -- Wowie-zowie! What a great beer. It marries hops with malt in a beautiful way and the mouthfeel is pleasantly grainy. It's mouthfeel is flat-out perfect and it's taste is wonderful. Clean, yet voluminous . . . it works on so many levels. Awesome, awesome awesome.

Truly, 100% recommended. Great stuff. I usually only buy singles but this time I sprung for the six-pack and I don't regret it. Not one bit.

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Photo of goz
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark golden/light amber, with a large cloudy white head, lacing is superb in it's sheeting and strength. Aroma is mostly strong floral hops, with a bit of caramel malt holding it together. Flavor is slightly malty up front, with a big juicy hop finish that dominates the palate and lasts for a while. Medium bodied, extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber and smelling of hops when poured, it's been quite some time since I last had ANY Harpoon. I'm glad to have this opportunity once again. Hops dominated the aroma but subtle undertones of lemon came through. Nice tangy bite when drank. Smoothed out to a nice small molasses finish. This is a really good IPA, above average. The hops and malt play very well together in this.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Doyle's 9/04

A pretty little thing. Nice amber with creamy, glossy head that is alas not long for this world, leaving but memories on the glass. No scent. Simple malt with a generic citrusy finish, more lemon than grapefruit. Moderate carbonation gives a lovely mouthfeel. However, there's also something vaguely unpleasant I'm having trouble pinning down, just a touch of the vegetal corn I fear. And I've got a headache after a mere half-pint despite a tall glass of water and two huge slices of pizza. I blame the lines. Pity.

on tap at the Quarterdeck in Maynard - 6/04

A lovely toasty amber with a tall, thick head--white with lemony tones. It smells wonderful: grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. It takes a while for the head to die down, so I'm sipping the biting foam trying to get at the beer. When I get there I find more of the same, lots of hoppity-hop grapefruit.

At first I'm loving it, but it has no balance or other dimension and gets boring after a while. By the time I get to the end, I'm ready to move on to something else.

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Photo of ckollias
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a pub glass.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with a white 2-finger head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Nice hoppy aroma that is crisp and clean.

T: Crisp hoppy flavor that is slightly bitter and tart. Finishes in the dry side of sweet.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid ale – very balanced and well hopped!

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Photo of BigPapaLager
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My number one beer. Of all the beers I try and drink this is the one that is always in my fridge. Pours are dark gold with decent head retention, Not over hoppy for an IPA but the hops are present enough to be my go to beer. I'm glad its local and ready for me.

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After writing this review I thought I should clarify. If you are rating according to high hop presence this would be lower. Truly I love Pale Ales and I would rate this as an American Pale Ale and not an IPA. If rating to IPA I would likely lower the taste and smell down a fraction but chose not to in this case.

Well when in Boston this beer seems to be a mainstay. Upon inspection It appeared to be fairly light in color. Head was nice and lacing was average.

Smelled good, more like an American Pale than an IPA but the smell was very pleasant. Not overpowering in the Hop department but a good balance of malt and hops.

Taste was surprising, definitely like an IPA from Michigan standards but I have been told that East Coast IPAs are more subtle. Assuming that it was very pleasant. I think my preference has been switching lately to pale ales over IPAs so this was very welcomed.

I had multiple beers on multiple nights, hence the drinkability. It was one that was easy to drink. Carbonation was perfect, went down easily. Was a little light in body but not greatly so. Would definitely have again although I am not sure I would buy it if something new was available.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,024 ratings.
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