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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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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
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Reviews: 1,239 | Ratings: 4,036
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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Photo of kmo1030
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice looking amber ale with decent white head. fresh flowery hops define the smell. the taste starts with flowery citrus hops up front with slight toasted caramel malt background. medium bodied with good carbonation and a clean finish. not bad at all, but on tap this is significantly better.

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Photo of Porkfist
2.21/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My first review.
When I went to my local beer distrib, he suggested I try this brew.
Poured nicely with a nice thick head and good retention.
The smell was unimpressive. I liked to be knocked over by the smell of hops. The first time I tasted this was right after a Hop Devil, so I assumed that it tasted off because my palate was somewhat numbed by the Hop Devil. I'm not sure if it was the lack of malts or the citrus flavor, but this brew tasted average to me. I also perfer a beer with a little more body to it, not crazy about it being "crisp", I rather it smooth and the mouthfeel a little thicker.
Overall, not bad for the $5 I paid, but after this sixpack is gone, it won't be returning to my beer stash.

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Photo of marburg
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I think this was previously released under the name, "Golden hop water."

Prickly, citric hops. The malt portion of the aroma is limited to a light cracker-like breadiness. Hop dominated flavor. While the bitterness isn't overwhelming, the lack of malt really helps to bring forth the hop flavor. Very citric and crisp but there's nothing here to keep this from being too one-dimensional in a not entirely pleasant way.

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Photo of benmiliron
2.81/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paid $1.38 for a 12 oz. single.

Ehh. This is the standard IPA. A bit too bitter, even for the style. Not balanced by many hop flavors. Where's the aroma hops? I'm not very familiar with the brewery, but this was a diappointment. I will not try it again.

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

This is a good all around IPA. It's not big in any one category but drinkable and flavorful. Smell is unmistakenly hops, cannot go wrong there. Taste is a hoppy , citrusy flavor with a dry finish. Well balanced but without a strong malt backbone like with the hop devil. this is probably more of a session ipa than many others. I like this a lot.

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

The beer pours a golden color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a nice light maltiness to it along with a mild addition of citrousy aroma hops. It seems to be a bit dry and refreshing. The taste is good. It has a nice pale malt core along with a super bitter hop bite. It goes down smooth and finishes dry. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine IPA. It is a bitter tasting brew with a nice hop aroma.

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Photo of scriabin
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the beers that I keep coming back to, due to my affinity for IPA's and it's reasonable price. Very hoppy, as an IPA should be. Somewhat on the bitter side, yet goes down smooth. The taste is a little sweet and a little malty. Head is a little on the thin side, but it's there none-the-less. Goes well with a good steak or hamburger.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon IPA

Appearance- dark yellow/orange with a billowy white head.
Smell- floral hops and citrus. Orange peels.
Taste- very good. Crisp with a tinge of dry bitterness. Smooth with a hint of wateriness.

Went well with my teriaki seseme chicken noodles.

Overall- a delicious IPA comparable to a SN pale Ale. Harpoon IPA is a definite purchase!

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Photo of ism
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the tap into a bright and rich amber color, with a thin head resulting in a decent lacing. Subtle smells of hops, almost imaginary. Full body for the style, tastes fairly standard. Seems to have just enough hops to qualify and impart the proper bitterness, but there just isn't enough mouth action for what I expect from an IPA. Could stand to use more hops or something to cause that nice tingly sensation. Not too much character here, but surprisingly clean in the end. Mostly par for the course, but good drinkability because of it.

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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.

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

Pale golden brew, very little carbonation, great lace but weak retention.
Nose is mostly malty, not much hop presence but has a full quality to it.
Sweet grain up front flavors that quickly dissipate to make room for the healthy hoppish citrus spin that grows to it's peak in the lingering aftertaste.
Decent mouthfeel, not too thin or too thick. good drinkability.


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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What says Boston better than a Harpoon? I had to send my first pint back because the bartender put a lemon in it.Never understood that. It is a light amber in color with a quick receding head and ever-so-slight lace. Not as bitter as most IPA's, the hop flavor is slightly stronger than most IPA's instead. This beer helped me get through college, so I may be a bit one-sided.

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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 proc
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-reviewed: 3/14/04: Pours out to a bright yellowish, copper color in the glass with an decent sized head. Aroma is that of grapefruit and biscuits. The taste is very good, with a nice, hop assault on the palate. Not as well-rounded, malt-wise, as some other IPA's, but still a nice offering.

Original review: 11/01/02: A fine IPA and one of the most balanced IPA's I've tried. While hoppy, it doesn't have that one-sided hoppiness of most IPA's. It has a nice balance to it that lets the malt shine through as well. I swear I detected the taste of cloves, similar to a hefeweizen, which only added to my enjoyment. A fine beer. I wish it were distributed here in the Midwest.

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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 rdrummer
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A classic American IPA that pours a deep golden or copper color with a large white head. Lacing is minimal, however. The aroma is predominantly citrusy hops with a malty undertone. The taste is classic hops with citrusy tinge, a nice hoppy bitterness, smooth carbonation, and a slight alcohol hit at the end. It has a crisp, moderate body. This is a real drinkable beer from the beginning to the end and through several more. There are hoppier ales that I like more but this is one is above average.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Typical color for an IPA. Nothing real 'wow'-ing. The nose...I expected it to be clean, but not this clean. Almost odorless.

The flavor of this beer was very smooth flavored IPA - strangely smooth. The bitters were there -but there was no bite!!! IPAs should bite you... especially when the waitress recommends it to you when they are out of Dogfish Head 90 min IPAs!

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Photo of fdrich29
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been a staple of mine for a few years now. Bottle has the distictive Harpoon logo that looks like it a tatoo youre great uncle had from his navy days.

Amber in appearance with a sweet, hoppy taste and smooth and pleasant mouthfeel makes for its high drinkability.

Easily accessable in the New England area and beyond and reasonalbly priced for such a well crafted beer. Tastes best out of a growler fresh from the brewery in Boston, Massachusetts.

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

Nice copper color, very nice head that lasts a while.

Nice citrusy hops smell, very full aroma, smells just like an IPA should. Some floral notes as well.

Medium mouthfeel, very hoppy, slight bitterness. Strong citrus notes and a slight bitter-sweetness in the finish, as well as a bit of dryness.

Definitely a nice brew and a quality IPA.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale clear golden color with off white head that crowned to about two inches tall. Floral hop aroma is gentle yet strong. Delicate pine resin hoppyness with an assertive spicy bitterness. Hints of butterscotch and grapefruit on the palette back the hops up nicely. Medium to thin creamy body. Very drinkable. Don’t worry about what you might have read about this beer on some other site, this is a pretty good IPA.

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Photo of Gasp100
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very solid and enjoyable IPA. Poured a cloudy orange with a wispy off white head -- Nice lacing sticking to the side of the glass. The smell was of Hops and citrus fruit. The taste was lighter than I expected and not too bitter but the fruit taste was very well balanced and not as obtrusive as some other IPA's I've had. There was not much of a malt backbone, but overall I welcomed the lighter side of this IPA. Very enjoyable, spring time drink with a decent ABV and very drinkable. I believe I can find this brew in most stores on the East Coast so this will be added to the list as a nice, quick "on the road" brew.

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

This is a very nice IPA that looks good and tastes good as well. The body is a very clear dark golden color and the head is just one shade or so off-white. The head comes up about 3 fingers and dissipates, but slowly; lace deposits are fairly nice.

The aroma initially impressed me of malt but then the hops kicked and it was clear where we were heading. The hops flavor was notable because of the nice bittering sense thta seemed very well balanced against the malt. This manifested itself as a lightly fruity flavor and was nicely contained by the malting. The finish is more than a little bitter.

The feel was very good with nice clean crispness in the ending. Overall this is a nicely drinkable American-style IPA.

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