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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

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Reviews: 1,236 | Ratings: 4,025
Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/burgandy color with a tan, two-finger head. Left some lace.

S - It smelled of a good deal of hops. A a toasty malt aroma.

T - It tasted of bitter hops bite, very grassy. It also had a good sweet maltiness.

M - It was crisp and sharp. It was a medium-bodied brew.

D - This is a very nice IPA. An impressive beer for their flagship brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a nice copper color with a white head and some good lacing on the way down. The taste is malty with some pine and floral hops seeking to balance. The flavor is mostly malt with a bit of bread and some light floral hops. A bit of bitterness and a good body. Drinks well enough, but not too fantastic.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice medium gold color with a medium head that leaves some lacing,aroma is assertively hoppy and zesty.The taste is hoppy for sure but there is a sweet balance there in the finish.I think this an above average IPA that is very drinkable and goes good with spicey food.

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

On tap @ the Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden (Windsor, VT) on 2/20/11. Served in a Harpoon IPA branded pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of thick and foamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly a rich ½ finger that proceeds to coat the sides of the glass with heavy sticky lacing. The aroma is bright and zesty smelling in the nose with citrus flavors that are undercut by some additional leafy, earthy, and spicy notes. A firm backing of caramel and bread balance things out across the back, giving the overall nose a spicy tanginess at times.

The taste mirrors the nose, with fresh biting citrus flavor that is surrounded by a leafy spiciness. This is balanced by a silky mix of caramel and lightly toasted grains. The finish is dry and spicy with a touch of bitter earth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the sides, which then pulls together into more of a creamy and silky feel across the back of the throat as this goes down. That slightly sub 6% ABV helps keep this smooth and drinkable.

This was my first time with this beer on draft and I must say that I enjoyed it much more than the few times that I've had it out of the bottle. Lots of fresh bright citrus flavors and bitterness here, which were well balanced and the creamy body here kept this very drinkable. This has a bit of an Americanized British IPA hybrid thing going on and I really liked it.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 4/15/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention that reduces to a cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of pine, herbal, floral, citrus, grass, caramel, and a bit of honey sweetness. Decent aromas that are on the weak side. Taste of big pine, citrus, herbal, floral, caramel, biscuit, grass, and graininess. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of biscuit, pine, herbal, citrus, and grass on the finish for a bit. Some good malt and flavor balance with bitterness. Medium carbontion and body; with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Some prickly carbonation present as well, but it still drinks very smoothly. No alcohol presence in the taste or finish. Overall this is a solid and pretty enjoyable IPA.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid inch or more of bright white foam rests gently atop a slightly hazy, golden-amber body. The head retention is good, and some very nice lace is left throughout the entire glass. Bright, fresh, and floral hops greet you in the nose as soon as it's poured! Very nice! A medium body combines with a very fine-bubbled carbonation to leave it lightly crisp on the tongue. Floral hops and a sweet grainy malt swirl in a kaleidescope of flavor right off the bat! Rich, exciting, sweet, hoppy, fruity, and finally, bitter in the lingering, drying finish. It's exceptionally well-balanced with a bitterness that reveals itself increasingly with every sip. What finesse!

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Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at the May 2011 LEAF Festival.

A - Amber with a off-white head

S - Exceptional aroma of hoppy citrus. Somewhat floral. Very pleasant and enticing. If only the flavor paralleled the aroma.

T - Good flavor, but insufficient hop flavor for an Amer. IPA.

M - Mouthfeel of an average pale ale.

O- Great aroma and good flavor. Score would be higher if this was classified as a pale ale or had more hops.

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

Radiant amber with a hint of orange peel when backlit with morning sunshine. The polished ivory crown is truly gorgeous. It's thick and rich and sticky and is beginning to lay down an impressive amount of lace. Although lighter than most IPAs, this is good looking beer.

I'm a sucker for a Cascade-hopped APA or IPA. This one smells more like the former, but that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying each and every sniff. Given the color and the nose, I'm betting that caramel malt wasn't used to any great extent. Good.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to acquire a bottle of Harpoon IPA. I know the brewery considers it to be their flagship beer, but, beyond that, I don't have any preconceived notions. And the conclusion is... yeah, not bad. My worries about a lack of IPAness in the nose apply equally on the palate. Time might have passed this offering by since 'generously hopped' isn't a phrase that applies in any way, shape or form.

The flavor profile is on the simple side (no crime in that). Pale malt, with a hint of something more earthy and toasted, provides ample backing for what has to be considered a barely acceptable amount of citric hoppiness for an IPA in 2007. There's plenty of bitterness to go around, although it's still on the left side of the bell curve for the style.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, the mouthfeel is APA-like (light-medium and briskly carbonated without being overly busy). Simply put, this IPA should be thought of as an American pale ale. It makes more sense that way.

Harpoon IPA might have been the 'be all and end all' at some point in the history of the craft beer movement, but it's no longer on the cutting edge. The good thing is that it has retained enough sharpness to be enjoyable (on occasion) to hopheads and to be a good introduction to those who wonder what 'all this fuss about hops' is about.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, coppery body with a full, white head. Splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Aroma of lightly toasted malt and fresh-cut flowers with a far-off note of sliced grapefruit.

Taste: Pale malts, a hint of toast, a touch of sweetness. Medium 'pop' of cleansing hop bitterness. Flavors of flowers and citric grapefruit. Crisp finish with a light, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A standard, basic India Pale Ale, but quite easily drinkable.

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

On-tap 2/23/07 at The Celtic Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is faint, but has a good floral hops content, with a mild background of caramelized malt and citrus.

T: It starts out with a good hops burst as an IPA should. The thing with this beer though is that I find the hops taste has much more of that “cut grass” flavor than any other beer that I’ve had. There’s a decent caramelized malt backbone and a slight citrus sweetness. The after-taste is of course hoppy and pleasantly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, dry and clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, good kick, slightly filling, good representation of style. The first time that I had this beer I didn’t like it at all, but since then it has grown on me, which is fortunate for me as a hophead, because it’s the most common IPA in the area on-tap.

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

First had: on tap at Rex's Tavern, West Chester, PA

Pretty good IPA. Of note is the fact that when I first had this beer, I was served in a true glass pint, while my friend Dave received his in a plastic cup. Just sayin'.

Poured a slightly hazy amber, with some carbonation, and a humble white head. Faint aroma of citrus hops and caramel malts. Pretty smooth tasting at first with malts and nuts up front, and hops coming in soon afterward with some bitterness. Citrus and pine notes. Light-medium mouthfeel with some stale bitterness in the aftertaste. Fairly drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a pint of this one at the mellow mushroom in Columbia tonight. Not a very good tap list, so I had to go with a standby. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/18/2009.

The pour was decent with a nice amber color and a moderate head of white on the top. Even color and a nice carbonation throughout the session. The aroma was nicely balanced. Light pine hops, hints of bready malts and a light touch of caramel on the nose. Well balanced but nothing really jumping out at me. Smooth, even flavor here with the first sip identical to the last. Light caramel flavors that have overlapped with nice touches of hops. Light to medium body and an easy sessionability made this one easy beer to put down.

Overall very solid and a good choice. Again while nothing spectacular it was a more then decent beer to drink.

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

I had this on draft at the Colisseum in Camp Hill, thanks to tenderbranson69. Served cold in a tumbler.

A - A light amber w/ a half inch of white foam. The lace has good stickage.

S - Piney aroma hops w/ subtle malt notes. Very fragrant w/ slight toasted notes w/ a floral aroma and light yeast odor.

M - Malty w/ a nice balance of bitter hop acidity and sweetness. Gently carbonated w/ a slightly hop accented finish.

T - Maltier than I remember, this has been one of my favorite American IPA's for years, probably the first IPA I actually liked when first getting into craft brew. This ale has a pleasant balance and has a full sweet feel like some pale ales w/ a crisp taste that has nice English hop characteristics.

D - A solid American choice, very drinkable w/ pleasant flavor yet the bitterness isn't overdone. I could quaff several of these without much thought. I would recommend this to those who claim to dislike hoppier beers.

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured golden with a 1" white head. Some lacing & minmal head retention

S: Floral hops

T: Floral hops combines with fruittyness up front. Slight cirtus/lemon hops. Finishes fruitty dry & zesty

MF: Medium bodied with good carbonation & balance

Drank too easy, a good ipa with a bit of English influnce IMO

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Photo of Jason
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with an ink jet printed bottled on date above the label.

Appearance: Vibrant deep golden hue with a fine clarity, densely frothed head sticks just about everywhere.

Smell: Earthy and citric hop in the nose with a mild maltiness in the back, hops are a mix of Cascade and Cluster.

Taste: Soft citric hop throughout, bitterness is just above the malt flavours. Some alcohol is there with a warming factor towards the end. Toasted and biscuity flavours from the grain show a stable base of malt. Hop flavour in its softness lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, lined crispness with a smooth backing.

Drinkability & Notes: A highly drinkable bottled ale, seems faintly withdrawn over the years but is still a reliable American IPA.

One of my favourites especially when I can get it with a month old or less "bottled on date". Nothing like fresh Harpoon IPA! Oddly I like this brew better in the bottle than on tap.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared flute glass at Bliss.

Another Thursday, another tasting at Bliss. This offering pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger or white foam. The nose comprises flowers, light grapefruit, orange zest, and very light lemon zest. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a mild contingent of caramel in the background. The body is a hefty light (or light medium...whichever y'all prefer), with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice IPA, nothing outstanding, but something easily drinkable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A: The beer is orange gold in color with a one finger white frothy head. Pretty good head retention, lasting for most of the time drinking. Left behind some spotty lacing.

S: Very light, a bit of floral hops with a bit of citrus and caramelized malt.

T: Similarly weak, with a slight bit if hops upfront. There is some light citrus as well as some floral and grassy flavors. A little biscuity malt and some caramel balance the beer out. Slight bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and was rather crisp on the hot day that I had this.

O: Nothing offensive about it, just a bit boring. Seemed lacking in oomph. Just needs a little something more to get it to solid. Not a bad option in the greater Boston area though, where it may be the best draft beer available.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To start, I must admit having a soft spot for this beer. When it was first introduced, it was the best IPA I had up to that point. Throughout New England, this is my favorite regularly available beer. That said, it is not my favorite IPA any longer, but it is worthy of this review.

A-color is honey to light amber. Has a two-finger head that leaves clumpy lace on the glass.

S-Floral hop bouquet, although this muted from some of the "big" IPA's now available. This bottle had a slight refridgerator smell.

T/M-Nice bitter flavors with a moderate body and an above average carbonation. Fairly smooth in terms of mouthfeel. The aftertaste is largely bittering hop.

D-I find this to be the quintessential drinking IPA. It's not too pronounced in any of the areas that some IPA's are prone to. A consistent performer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 07/03/11 notes. Brought a 12 pack of this to a BBQ to try and get some friends to try something other than Corona, but I ended up drinking 6-7 of them myself as most people did not touch them.

a - Pours a clear amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and mdoerate carbonation evident. Light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hop, fruity malts, light pine hops, and some tropical fruits. Not overly hoppy, but a lot of fruit, which I enjoyed.

t - Tastes of citurs hops, fruity malts, tropical fruits, biscuit, and bready malts. Some ncie fruit again but also some smooth bready malts.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body, and very easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice IPA that got me through the day. The friends of mine who did try it all enjoyed it a lot; I would think this could be a very good low ABV IPA to bring to a summer BBQ or gathering to introduce some non-crafat beer drinkers to craft beers. Would certainly have it again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a golden copper tone with an off white mother of pearl tinted creamy full head while leaving some nice residual lacing. The aroma is slightly citric, but predominantly a nice floral hop aroma with a good bit of malt sweetness balancing out the over scent of this beer. Can't say the aroma is amazingly memorable, but I can say this is a nice pleasant go to at this point very solid brew. The taste flavor is a mellow creamy balance of malty goodness blended with a floral bitter hop profile, I can tell that this beer is a little dumbed down from the guidelines of a typical IPA not getting the hop satisfaction that any true hophead is yearning for. Like I said not a failure but not a favorite at the same time. Mouthfeel is lighter in body with a nice chewy texture to it, not thick and cloying chewy just some pleasant and welcoming body to this beer. Overall what can I say no off flavors maybe lack of some hop bitterness, but overall a dangerously drinkable well made beer in my book.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Upper Crest in D.C.

The beer is crystal clear and light yellow hued. Effervescence lasts the duration of the session. The head is a finger thick and leaves some decent legs on the glass. The aroma is pretty weak, with only faint traces of hops. The flavor is better, with some pine and hop flavors and a lingering bitterness. Overall, an ok offering.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The CANQuest (TM) moves forward with another summer CANned beer from Harpoon. CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "In the tradition of IPAs, our highly-hopped, copper-colored ale features a floral aroma and and a crisp, refreshing finish. Cheers! Love Beer. Love Life. Harpoon. Pack it in, pack it out. Please recycle."

I got two-plus fingers' of tawny head from my pour, demonstrating that the rain today is finally killing the oppressive head and humidity of the past week. As the head slowly reduced, a good bit of sticky lacing formed, which was a nice trade-off. The CAN read "copper-colored", but it was a light copper for which I will extend the benefit of the doubt, with NE-quality clarity. No qualms with their mention of "a floral aroma" on the nose, however. Citrusy and definitely hoppy - that's how I like my beer from a CAN! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a great hoppy spiciness on the tongue. What a welcome relief from some of my recent CANs! This both tasted like something and it tasted good, also. The finish was bitter, dry, and refreshing, just the way I like my AIPAs to be. I would definitely put this is my cooler, but it is sadly a limited test run in New England to see about the viability of CANning their beers. I was lucky to get some but I hope that they make it a routine endeavor.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear amber with a nice crème head. Nose is hops with a strong leaning towards very live tree evergreen tree needles. Flavor is hops all in the mouth. But it certainly isn't obliterating my palate. It stays smooth and even, and after a long time, I get a rather earthy aftertaste that some might say was dirty. Feel has a lot of carbonation that goes over the tongue. This is drinkable yes. Seems like the tail end of it could use more balance or rounding out, but overall it is still a good IPA.

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Photo of stakem
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle best by date of 1/15/10.

Pours a very clear amber color with more than a finger of big bubble head. Just slightly off white color to the cap. Not much retension but it laces all over the place. The hops present in the nose is kinda mild for an IPA but recognizable as the fruity/citrus character of cascade. Little bit of malt sweetness coming through in the aroma as well. Taking a sip, it is a nice balance of malt sweetness to hop bitterness. Feel is quite thin and carb is a little low. Overall it isn't bad but I feel cheated. I got to enjoy this in time before the best by date but it doesn't have the freshness character to back that label up.

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Photo of jwc215
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap and in a bottle at a local bar...I asked the bartender to just place the two next to each other without my looking. I tried each and prefered the bottle. I have tried both before - and tried it on tap at other places. I thought it was my imagination, but the bottle is better. The tap isn't BAD, but lacks the fresh crispness that the bottle has.

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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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