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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: 4,025
Photo of rousee
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a true honey-apricot amber and forms a small cap of 2mm or less within 60 secs. Very little carbonation but it doesn't seem to bother me - I don't like flatness-- but in this case, there is still plenty of energy in it.

Smell is very mild malty sweet honey with hop/berry present too.

Taste is a peach/apricot berrymix with nice malt and hops resembling berries backing it up. Cranberry essences I am getting
too. Pretty well balanced with an emphasis on berrymix/hoppy flavor.

It finishes failry dry and chalky but chalky in a nice kind of "cleanse your palate way". Mouthfeel is slightly better than average but nothing special.

Drinkability is DANGEROUS !! Easy to get carried away and have too many of these.

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Photo of oracle
1.96/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Trying as hard as I could, I could find very little in this beer that I approved of.

It poured a clear and very light copper, with a moderate medium density head that left heavy lacing.

The smell was best described as harsh and unforgiving. The characteristic hoppiness of an IPA was present, but in a very one sided and unforgiving way. No malt that I could detect, just harsh hops.

Taste was bad, just plain bad. Harshly bitter (which one would expect in an IPA), but also a little sour. It also had a foul long-lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was about average. Not too dry or too sweet.

I definately will not be buying this again.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand-delivered from Boston to Moscow by a colleague (thanks, Jenny - go Red Sox!), I couldn't wait to pop this old friend open. Lord, why can't we get stuff like this here? No ingredient or freshness information. U.S. needs to get with the program on that score.

Pours a nice cloudy amber-copper hue under a slightly off-white one finger head that settles pretty quickly but leaves a bit of lace. Marvellous flowery nose, balanced by some barley but clearly hops are the main attraction. The mouth is prickly, yet smooth, with a heaviness to the texture that coats the mouth and tongue almost like thin syrup. There's definitely a sweet malt backbone here which does a good job of supporting the hops, which are present from the beginning. Definitely not a super-hopped brew, the flowery sweet and crisp bitter nevertheless determine the flavor experience. A deeper bite emerges briefly in the aftertaste, but the flowers linger remarkably long. There's no impression of espresso here - it's more like perfume. Nice.

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Photo of John1985
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper color with a decent long lasting head. Aroma was lightly hopped. Taste was dominated with hops with just enough malt to make it enjoyable. Body was light for the style but you could drink a number of these on a hot afternoon. Very refreshing and flavorful.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light amber with light carbonation, thick white head and decent lacing.

The smell was piney hops.

The taste was piney hops, a little bitterness, but not bad for an IPA. Goes well with burgers and grilled vegetables. A giid example of the style.

The mouthfeel is light, hoppy bitter with carbonation bite and a hop-bitter aftertaste.

A very drinkable IPA, not too hoppy for the style.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at a local pub this evening. The beer is in a pint glass and cold.

Clear copper color with minimal head. Floral and piney hop aroma. Not too much malt presence here.

First sip. Average bodied and carbonation. Some light toffee followed quickly with heavy pine hop notes. THese pine qualities linger through the finish and after. Very smooth and easy to drink. Rather crisp and refreshing as well.

Nice brew but not more than a crisp hoppy brew. A little one dimensional but tasty and smooth make it a good beer to have with some friends.

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Photo of RocketWidget
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Being from the area, I can't believe I haven't reviewed at least one of Harpoon's offerings before! A fine American IPA. A gloriously golden pour with moderate pure white head. Carbonation makes a nice visual effect in this clear beer. Smell is crisp and hoppy. Taste is sweet and fairly bitter. Refreshing on a real hot day like today. A good choice if in need of an IPA.

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Photo of Hibernator
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle served in a pint glass. The packaged on date was on the back on the bottle and it read 6/3/04. This beer was about a month and a half old. One of the nice things living in the area in which the beer is made is that the majority of the time its fresh.

The appearance was a golden bronze. Respectable head with nice lacings.

Smell provides a nice floral hop aroma and citrus.

Very crisp with some citrus flavors. Good amount of malt with nice hop flavor. Tastes like Cascade hops in this IPA. Medium body and very drinkable. I frequently choose the Harpoon IPA as a sixer of choice for an evening when the selections are basic.

This is truly one of my staple beers, either in a restaurant/bar or as a 6 or 12 pack. The majority of the time I get this IPA fresh and I'm always pleased. Probably my favorite consistent product from Harpoon.

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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 TongoRad
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber color, thick head.

Very fresh (almost raw) hoppy bouquet, some malt as well.

Flavor is nicely balanced between hops and light caramel with just enough malt to support all those hops. Finish is floral/ resiny hops and a lingering bitterness.

Well made IPA- definitely skewed towards the hops- clean and straightforward.

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

App: Very clear amber. Good, thick head.

Smell: The hops smell citrusy, but more like the skin of a grapefruit than the actual fruit. There is also a sweet smelling malt present.

Taste: It seems to me that the battle of malt and hops that exists in an IPA should be won by the hops. In this particular beer, it is a close call. The hops flash at the very end and prevail in the aftertaste, but in the taste itself...

Mouthfeel: Somewhat clean for an IPA. The aftertaste is a bit weak for the style as I see it.

Drinkability: Well, as far as IPAs go, the lamb of drinkability must be sacrificed to the Gods of hops. I can't beleive I just wrote that. In Harpoon's take, this is not so. The clean-ness is a plus in this category.

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Photo of bditty187
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tawny gold in hue, lighter in color for an IPA, minimal animation, largely clear in appearance. A white head of one finger in height topped the beer. The head retention was fair, after a moment it slid to a loose cap. The subsequent lacing was spotty and it didn’t cling well. The nose is very lovely, the hoppiness is apparent. But the fruity aromas really take this beer to the next level. Oranges, peaches, a trace of lemon zest, and some wild berries construct the marmalade fruitiness. The hops add some straight acidic notes. Overall the potency of the bouquet is solid and I find the total package to be inviting. The palate is very good; it is an East Coast IPA all the way. That is not a negative comment. The bitterness is moderate but fairly pronounced. The acidity is modest but the hops are pleasantly juicy. In the middle the fruitiness really sings, oranges and peaches mainly, a hint of grapes. That is a wonderful combination of fruit; now add in the hops… yum. The maltiness is a tickle weak IMO, it doesn’t really add much aside from a hint of caramel. Regardless the other aspects of this beer are very positive. Medium in body, somewhat low carbonation, it is natural and pleasing. The mouthfeel is good. I could drink this beer routinely, if it was available to me locally of course. It is simply lovely stuff. Thank you drweizen for including this in BIF 5!

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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 AllThingsNinja
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This draft ipa was served in a Harpoon glass with little head, and no room for one. What was there added a bit of lace to the glass, as I consumed the rose-tinted gold ale. The pungent casacade hop aroma is a fair advertisement for the initial grapefruit/sour flavors. As the beer warms, or it kills whatever taste buds were repulsed by the unbalanced and rather predictable hop assault some more interesting tea-like flavors emerge to compliment an understated malt body. It’s a passable IPA, but nothing that I’d pursue.

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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 PopeJonPaul
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber color, not much of a head but good lacing regardless. Spicy hop aroma, hoppy orange flavor, nice but not very special. Tingly mouthfeel, finish is clean and a bit dry. Good and refreshing, more hoppiness would be nice though. Makes a good $6.99 6pk special at the corner deli.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huge dark golden orange 20 oz. draught 5/4 pint, capped off with a 1/4" head.

Dry mild hops balanced with malts but falling on the hops side. Not a huge hoppy IPA. Dry aftertaste.

Swiggable IPA, but lacked a little flavor. A bit on the middle of the road side.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a very pale orange color with a one finger white head. There is an ample amount of lace that clings throughout the glass. The aroma is citrusy and the hops waft up into the nostrils in abundance. The taste is, of couse, hop topped and citrusy as well. This is a good IPA in my opinion. It has the extra hops, but not so it knocks you over.

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Photo of brewQ
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color was towards red. A light, sandy head.
The aroma brought fruity, floral, spicy and sweet in alternate waves. Very interesting. The taste delivered on the nose and ended with a bit of a hop pucker. Fairly drinkable, given the decent hopping and abv.

I enjoyed this brew. In fact. I was with some fairly mainstream drinkers at a work function and we started talking about hops- I let them sniff my empty glass and most of them realized they had never experienced that in a beer before. Better yet, several ordered an IPA for their next round! There is hope.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This IPA pours lighter than most--a rich, clear golden tint topped off by a medium thick white head. The hops are delightfully abundant to the nose, complemented by a complex floral arrangement. The taste and mouthfeel were both lighter than the usual for this style. The hops are not as dominant in the taste as in the smell, and the citrus moves more into the forefront. A good, light, and smooth IPA for a warm evening--I could have a number of these.

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Photo of shapudding
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came from the tap dark golden with a nice light aroma and light hoppiness in the scent. Very light head retention, left with a very thin coating... heavy lacing. There is light bitterness and decent flavor. Very drinkable brew, a nice all-season kind of a beer.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressive in the area's that count...being taste and drinkability.
Arrived a darkish golden colour with a slight haze. Head was short and quick to depart. Carbonation was very light and the body a medium/full.
Nose was non-descript.
My initial response to the taste was not favourable but that quickly changed with each taste...this brew can grow on ya real fast.
Starts with a minor in a citrus like hops then explodes to reveal its true character of hop mania with very little linger. I want more!!
Great potential for a session beer

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Photo of Mitchster
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out to a slightly hazy peachy-golden, forming a modest spongy white head with good retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is fresh with mostly floral and some citric hops, with a fruity grain husk sweetness. Thank god, no diacetyl like their others that I've had. Mouthfeel is tart and wet with a medium body. Taste is much the same as aroma with an interesting strawberry note and a very mild touch of diacetyl towards the finish. Hop flavor is not as much as I would expect for an IPA...this is much closer to a typical pale ale. Bitterness is mild to moderate. I like the residual sugars and the fruity toast notes. Pleasantly wierd taste of unsalted black olives in the aftertaste.

A decent pale ale, but hardly an IPA. Decent, easy to drink, but nothing stellar.

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Photo of maek228
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2 finger head when i poured it. receded into a frothy head that linged and laced all the way down the glass. sa-weet.

smells great...citrusy, alil bit of hops.

im having a damn hard time rating the taste of this one. it tastes extremely full in your mouth....the hops and the citrus pull through quickly and leave you with a bitter hop aftertaste that sticks around for awhile....but something seems to be missing? i cant put my finger on it maybe its just cause im drinking to many IPA's? it lacks the x-factor that all great IPA's have.

overall, a good beer. the bitter taste would ward me off from drinking a bunch of these in one session

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Photo of garthwaite
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A clear, lightly golden brew with little to no head. Aroma is really pleasant with faint caramel, floral hops, & a touch of fruit. Initial tastes are sweet malt & caramel. Hop flavor comes in nicely to balance this brew out & provide a lingering bitterness. The beer is enjoyable, but does not have the hop punch I was really hoping for. That said, it is very drinkable & a good introduction to the style.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,025 ratings.
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