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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
4,175 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
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Ratings: 4,175 |  Reviews: 1,270
Photo of jsmith313
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MisterSH
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. No freshness date noted.

Rich coppery gold color, very clear. Nice 2 finger head with some staying power.

Floral hops dominate the aroma. Some pine, citrus. Very pungent and pleasing. A hint of malt adds a reassuring appeal.

Taste is most all hops. Some warming alcohol is apparent. Finish is remarkably (strangely?) clean, I am not detecting much malt flavor in this beer. There seems to be a long period while this beer sits on my tongue where I am not tasting much of anything.

Light in body, moderate carbonation. Somewhat watery.

Surely this beer could use a stronger malt backbone. It's refreshing, and easy to drink, and no doubt the hops are pleasant, but something is lacking, making this a near miss for me.

 772 characters

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle Best Before Date 4/15/09 poured into Nonic Pint Glass
A - Clear copper/ orange color, aggressive pour had pillowy 3 finger head, nice lacing around glass

S - Nice floral notes, earthy hops, some citrus notes

T - Earthy, floral hops are present at first, but followed by bready maltiness. Hops are mild, and not very dominant. Its kind of simple, and not very crisp

M&D - easy drinking medium body with medium carbonation. Its pretty drinkable but just an okay IPA, just nothing fantastic.

 504 characters

Photo of Bunnyhop
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear, golden IPA with a clingy, off-white, moderate head. The smell is floral, hoppy, and malty. First I taste malt, then grapefruit, with a bitter citrus finish. The body is thin to firm in my mouth. Overall, a bit on the bitter side for me.

(source: Habersham Discount Beverage; Savannah, GA)

 300 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden amber with a half finger white head. I've noticed that this beer sometimes has a good head and leaves lace and other times it doesn't.

S: Sweet citrusy hoppy aroma with a background of malt.

T: Citrus hoppy beginning that turns a tad bitter then becomes fruity in the end. Hoppiness is a bit dim and light--could be more dominant.

M & D: Mouthfeel is nice. It's a good beer that goes down smoothly. Seems to be one of those staple good beers that people bring to parties. Usually a fall back for me if there isn't anything else interesting at a bar. Definately a drinkable beer.

 606 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CBFanWish
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from Beers of the World.
Straw color with medium head. The basic standard, really.
The smell was of floral hops. Definate IPA. Caramel also in there
The taste was hoppy, yet well balanced with caramel malt. Not bad, but not great. There are much better IPA's out there. It was smooth and I will drink it again. I just liked it better on tap.

 363 characters

Photo of kmcnair
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a nice clean, very translucent, pale copper color and makes a bit of a head that tries real hard to stick around but fades into a halo of white bubbles around the edge of my glass. Floral, earthy hop aroma and a hit of clean pale caramel malt. Clean crisp malt flavor, moderately bitter and strong sour citrus notes. Light in body with a crisp and peppery carbonated bite, finishes dry. This is a nice refreshing ale, though to me it feels more like a pale ale than an IPA. I would choose it over your typical pale ale, a solid drinkable brew.

 565 characters

Photo of CNoj012
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very clear honey golden color with a 2.5 finger soapy off white head. Retention is decent and there is some thin wispy lacing left on the sides of the glass.

Smell is malt forward, sweet and also doughy. There are some pine and floral hops in the background.

Taste is similar, but the malts really drown out the hop flavors until the very end of the sip and into the aftertaste where there is a crisp zip of pine. Not bad, but not great.

Feel is light and crisp with a dry finish.

Overall this beer is alright. I haven't drank a Harpoon beer since visiting the brewery ~5 years ago, but I remember enjoying them a lot more than this. Something about the malts they use in this beer seem very offputting to me. To each their own though.

 757 characters

Photo of 322wingedfoot
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LiquidBreadMan
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon was the second IPA I ever tasted, so it holds a special place for me.

Appearance is golden amber, nothing special. Aroma is typical for an IPA: fruity, sharp and moderately pronounced with a short-lived dirty blonde head. Taste is good, with a spicy floral accent. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a tingly finish.

Harpoon is not the best IPA but it's a worthy brew and I'll buy it again.

 406 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a nice apricoty hue, head is nice and white. Aroma is quite nice, fresh and fruity, abounding in sweet associations, with orange on top, followed by peach, apricot, melon, cherries. I keep searching, and I keep finding. Great aroma!
Hops are plentiful on the palate. An entire garrison is deployed upon the tongue, but it swiftly subsides. Taste is ultimately very smooth and mellow, but less complex than I'd prefer in a hoppy IPA. Smelled great, tasted blase. Oh, well.
I do thank Uglyradio for sending it.

 519 characters

Photo of doremite
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jws6w7
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sogrady
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Short of Dogfish 60, this is one of the better mass market IPAs you'll find. It's clean drinking, medium body and has a bit more octane than some of the other beers in this class at almost 6%. The taste is basic but pleasant, mild to moderate hop present up front balanced by a hint of bitterness after.

Overall it's a good, solid IPA, particularly now that it's available in cans.

It loses points for drinkability, however, because it has a deserved reputation for being much harder on you the next morning than comparable offerings. Whether it's the presence of the sugars or some other factor, I know more than a few people who steer clear for fear of the aftermath.

For a beer or two, it won't kill you.

 713 characters

Photo of TeamSeabass
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

was glad to receive some good beer for christmas, and this was one of them.

golden in color, white foam head, leaving some lacing.

smells of grapefruit. the hops smell is floral and not overpowering.

it tastes good and the hops are pretty mild and balanced with a mild bitterness. this IPA does not have a powerful hop component, though it certainly has a nice hoppy aroma and IPA flavor.

 391 characters

Photo of PrendUnVerreDeBiere
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%

Photo of granger10
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a flourescent orange color with a medium bright white head. Lots of bubbles rush to the top. The scent was restrained at first but I picked up more notes the further I went along. There seems to be a real strong floral pungency in here along with citrus notes from what appeared to be dry hopping, but im not sure about that. The taste was a bit restrained. There was no real dominating flavor but a big mix of estery hops, caramel malt, and a grainlike huskiness around the edges. The body was a bit thin and that hurt this beer a little. All in all a decent but underwhelming beer, not really an ipa but not subtle enough to be a good pale ale.

 662 characters

Photo of ralerwen
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%

Photo of kbeals
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 12 oz. bottle pours an exraordinarily clear golden golor. About a finger of foamy, white head sits atop it leaving behind good lacing. Lots of bubbles rise up from the bottom resulting in good head retention also.

S- A good base of hops with a bit of sweet malts lingering in the background. Nothing really stands out in this one, it's just a solid smell for an IPA.

T- Similar to the smell with a decent amount of sweetness in the backbone. Hops aren't really prevalent, not like you'd expect in an IPA anyways. As it warms, the beer gets sweeter with the hops seeming to almost disappear from the taste. Average, nothing more to it.

M- Good mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation and a nice light body.

D- Definitely drinkable, just wish it had more of a hop presence to it. I probably wouldn't buy this one again just because there's so many other IPA's that are better examples of the style than this one.

 914 characters

Photo of von_kaiser
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of papposilenus
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MJ64
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of braican
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zekeman17
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,175 ratings
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