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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,250 | Ratings: 4,085
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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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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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,085 ratings.
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