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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,236 | Ratings: 4,023
Photo of in780
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint. Best-by date of "2-15-11" printed on the bottle.

A - Looks good. More golden than copper (color stated on the bottle), but whatever. Nice white foam sticks around, good lacing. Visible carbonation all the way til the end.

S - Not much. Was expecting more floral notes. Not bad, just not enough here to go on.

T - Initial hop bite, but fleeting and gone in a snap. Bread. Nothing standing out.

M - Good, enough alcohol presence so you know it's beer, but not abrasive. Right amount of carbonation for and IPA

D - One more at most if fine.

Would have liked to sample fresher...I'll have to revisit.

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

Fresh sixer in Boston MA. Poured into a glass and A was wonderful, golden and very clean. This was highlight of the brew despite my nostalgia around it. S was weak malty flavor with light hops. T left much to be desired as it was certainly a pale ale to me, not an IPA. BUMMER. M was okay but nothing special and O it was disappointing. Light, flavorless IPA with a nice color as its best asset.

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

A great, moderately hopped IPA. It's piney, but not excessively so, and leaves a pleasantly bitter aftertaste behind. A great beer in it's own right, and I think it serves as an excellent introduction to the style for people who are unfamiliar, because it hits the standard notes, but remains very drinkable and not too heavy.

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Photo of powoo19
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this a while back and had yet to review. This beer is not bad but forgettable. It has a pale apricot color which is not very impressive. The smess is average and hoppy as is the taste. I would rather this on tap then bottle but have yet to try it. Anyone out there have any opinion on the tap version?
Happy Drinking!

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Photo of loosey
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

beautiful pale copper in a pint glass, crystal clear, huge foamy white sticky head... it really is very pretty

the aroma is immediately hoppy, floral and citrus, but requires you to really get in there... malt is almost undetectable

some malty flavor, hoppiness is not overwhelming or even dominant, just slightly more present, a floral mid-palate and a citrusy bitter finish... more malt and biscuit flavors showed up after it began to warm

mouth is light, the whole feel is smooth with some alcohol warming, carbonation is a bit low

i guess i thought it would be hoppier, but all in all a nice example of a well rounded, non-offensive ipa ... a good beer to sip while you download massive amounts of porn (you
know, good but not too distracting)

i would highly recommend you visit the brewery in boston, they feed you beer after beer after beer leaving no tap untouched, and that is just good business

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Photo of schuim
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very aesy going IPA, could have been a little more hoppy in caracter.

A blond to amber

S light hoptones and some fruityness in the aroma.

T Accessable with light hop taste. More a blond than a IPA in my opinion. Could do well as a beginner IPA.

O Nice but a little more hops would make it better.

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Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer in the beers of the world gift box for christmas. Sorry for the redundancy with that sentence haha.

it's got a nice bronze color, and a one finger foam head. Retention is nice as well.

immediate taste is a lil sharp and bready with a hint of citrus in the smell.

It was not an out of this world experience, but it is a very light and enjoyable beer for everyday or get togethers.

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Photo of jimdalton
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear, straw gold. Small head
Smell: Malt fragrance. Light lemon notes.
Taste: Subtle hop notes of floral and citrus up front, cascading to a wheat and malt back end. Sweet malty after taste.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation.
Overall: Harpoon’s IPA is a great IPA for those new to the style. It drinks more like an EIPA, which is great for newcomers. There is a nice malt base, but it brings subtle hops when compared with other American IPAs.

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

On tap at Legal Seafood's Flagship in Park Square. A beer with a beautiful yellow-orange hue and a thin head that dissipates quite quickly. The 5.9 % abv is completely hidden behind flowery hops. Not a hop monster by any means actually at the bitterness of some breweries pales. The hops don't disappear and the last taste is of hops. Very drinkable and a very good old reliable. This is definetly a beer that Boston should be proud of to be brewed here and served in even some of the least reputable of establisments.

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Photo of drotski
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice thick foamy head, that thinned out quickly with lots of lacing.

Smell was alright, I expected to smell more hops. A definite sweetness to it.

Taste was decent, oakey but not as hoppy as some IPAs (a little less sweet and little more hop would of been nice).

Sort of a dry mouthfeel. Not bad overall.

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

I'm not a big fan of any IPA that is below 6%, but I thought I would go ahead and rate anyway. Well balanced IPA in the English style with a decent malt background and a burst of American Cascade hops. Reasonable color and aroma. Not the typical "hop bomb" IPA, but enough hops to still be a reasonable example of the style for a pale ale. Again, I don't think you can have an IPA below 6% - it should just be called a pale.

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Photo of G2Brew
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Harpoon IPA
Bottle, poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Coppery gold with a little haze. A full finger of white head with medium retention and nice lacing.

S - Citrus, leaning heavily toward grapefruit, piney hops, and malt.

T - Straight-up American IPA, with plenty of citrusy, piney hops, as expected. Nice sweet malt undertones. Plenty of flavors, nothing unexpected, but definitely not a disappointment.

M - Medium body, with some lingering bitter, pine and malt aftertaste. Strong carbonation.

D - Very drinkable...or more like sippable. This is a solid beer, with no shortage of the good stuff you want in an American IPA. I'd buy it again, if I was in the mood for an IPA, and there wasn't another one available that I haven't tried or have and liked better.

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Photo of box299
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good local beer from Boston... Most fun when consumed at one of the great parties that are held outside at their brewery. This beer is also available on tap all over town.

I usually try and bring a twelve pack on the plane back to Chicago when I travel out east.

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

This has always been a reliable "backup beer." You know when you find yourself out with friends at a restaurant not known for their beer selection. They just might have Harpoon IPA.

First time I have had it in a can!

A: Light to golden.

S: Not as hoppy as I would like, but still has that earthy IPA hop smell.

T: Better than I remembered it. Well balanced, nicely hopped, great example of an east-coast IPA.

M: Not overly carbonated.

D: Bottom line, for the price, and for the quality this is a great deal. This is a reliable beer that even non-beersnobs enjoy. Nicely balances quality with price. Now it comes in a 12 pack of cans, which is great for the beach.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into glass
A- large head, light golden brown copper color.
S- very strong smell. could smell it without even putting nose up to it! some fruitiness, sweet like a candy store. Excess of hop smell.
T- some sweets come out in taste. Not as hoppy tasting as it smells. Caramel, and maybe an undertone of spiciness?
M- not much left over in mouth after swallow, easy to slosh over tongue.
D- good, but not perfect. Sits somewhere in the middle for IPA's in my books.

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Photo of VietPong
2.51/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had high expectations. A unique beer with a unique name. Unfortunately, it was too bitter for my liking. Probably the most bitter beer that I have ever had. It was not watery at all, but if you are a big fan of bitterness then you should like this beer

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Photo of EORS
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Golden with almost no head (what little there was was pale) and very minimal carbonation.

Smell: Herbal hops right out of the gate, with some honey/caramel/raisin sweetness as the beer warms up

Taste: Lingering bitterness balanced well by the malt body - a hint of citrus but mostly more of that herbal hop.

Mouthfeel: Light, would be crisp if there was more carbonation.

Overall: Don't know if the bottle that I had was a little flat, but a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Grugalug
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a golden yellow color with just a hint of amber. A pillow-like finger and a half of head that sticks around a bit and leaves nice lacing.

S- This IPA hits you with earthier hop aromas than it's citrusy west coast brethren. Floral, pine, resin, and just a slight hint of citrus. Nothing that will blow socks off but balanced and complex nonetheless.

T- Pleasant amount of hop bitterness up front with a continuation of the earthy hops. Virtually undetectable citrus but nice amounts of pine along with some nice maltiness. It's surprisingly toasty, but it is not strange or undesirable in any way. Overall very nice.

M- Manages to be refreshing while still having a nice and welcome creaminess. Just enough carbonation and goes down very easily.

O- A reliable and pleasing east coast IPA. I do tend to lean towards IPAs with more citrus character, but this one will certainly not disappoint. Not overly bitter and this would also serve as a nice introduction to American IPAs for those that find themselves reluctant to give them a try.

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Photo of irishtimepiece
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark gold/light copper color with a large, fluffy, eggshell colored head that fades quickly to a cap.

A fine blend of floral and citrus hops in the nose.

Citrus hops sustain through the flavor portion, though biscuit malt is definitely present to a fair degree. Not entirely unbalanced as many IPAs tend to be. There is a slight warming sensation from the alcohol that would compliment spicy food.

Has a basic body with a crisp finish.

Not overwhelming in alcohol or hops as many IPAs. I could go for a second or, almost as importantly, something entirely different as the hops didn't leave my palate a wreck.

In my 5 years of drinking this beer has gone under the radar. I'm pleasantly surprised by this.

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Photo of wavz
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This IPA is one that should have been classified as a pale ale. Light amber honey hue as you pour. The head stands up well, then just sorta fizzez out. But the taste and the aroma are the lightest part of this beer. This has to be the lightest hopped IPA I have ever tasted. Has a light honey and flower finish to the taste, and is a easy drinking beer. I am a hop head so I was kinda disappointed in this one. But if your looking for a good light IPA to get someone into the style, this is the one for them.


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Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, burnished golden. Begins with a 2 1/2 finger white foamy head that reduces to about 3/4 finger width.

S - Pine and mildly floral - like that slightly planty scent you get initially when smelling a flower. Very faint malt in the background. Grapefruit and a hint of green apple. Not a strong aroma, really have to dip my nose into the glass to gather the aroma.

T & M - This is weird - Very smooth on the front end but a crisp bitter white grapefruit like finish framing the overall experience. I'm gathering brief malty middle. I like this balance. The bitter finish lingers and that's cool. The more I drink beer the more I distinguish between a bitter finish and a sour aftertaste. The body seems light yet the flavor is solid and full. Medium carbonation.

D - I'm digging the drinkability on this. I'm alright with this.

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

Very translucent light amber hue in the pint glass, and an almost non-existent, somewhat patchy head. The nose is good mix of earthy and hoppy. The initial taste feels somewhat abrasive, but after a while grows to an almost spicy kick. The hops aren't particularly apparent at first, but they open up and provide the expected bitterness if the sip is held, possibly due to the carbonation; thus, the mouthfeel is acceptable, though don't expect the same kick as provided by other IPAs. The alcohol becomes more apparent on the aftertaste.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE. Nothing particularly exciting in this beer when compared to IPAs, but it is certainly drinkable.

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Photo of ridedammit
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am fortunate that this is my local "macro" brew. You can get Harpoon in nearly every bar, restaurant, liquor store, and some grocery stores (Wholefoods on River Street has a good beer selection). I am a big fan of IPA's, this one is a nicely drinkable beer. I wish it was a bit more hoppy, but when you get a fresh Harpoon its a real treat. Like Jason I prefer the bottle to the Keg, mainly because it tends to taste fresher, and because I often have it in my fridge as my default beer.

I used to always have Sierra Nevada as my standard offering for friends and visitors, but with a great local brewery like Harpoon it was an easy move to stock the fridge with the IPA.

I realize my scores are kinda odd, with taste being average to good and drinkability being excellent, but the reason is because I know I can always get a six pack and have a few of them and be perfectly happy, especially on a nice warm day outside.

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Photo of cjl1209
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"In the tradition of IPAs, our highly-hopped, copper-colored ale features a floral aroma and a crisp, refreshing finish. We hope you enjoy this beer as much as we do."
No freshness date.

A - Pours a crystal clear gold color with a 2 finger off white bubbly head. Lighter than expected.

S - Pleasant floral hops with a touch of sweet malts.

T - The sweet malts come through at first, followed by the somewhat spicy hops. A nice floral, fruitiness develops showcasing a good hop complexity. There's actual hop flavor in this beer, it's not just straight bitterness. With a solid malt backbone appearing on the tail end of things, this is a high-quality, well balanced brew. Slightly bitter but not overly dry finish. This isn't an aggressive IPA but it certainly is tasty.

M - Light bodied and crisp with a good sense of hops.

D - Very sessionable brew. Hops are there but not overbearing.

Final Thoughts: Not overly hopped as promised but still a solid effort within an overrepresented style by the folks at Harpoon.

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Photo of huhl23
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a DFH snifter; nice bright white head that sits on top of the beer throughout, little bit of lacing; color is very pale copper.

Smell is light malt, hint of floral hop bitterness.

Taste is crisp light malt, followed by a hop bitterness, not striking me as an ipa, more pale ale, milder flavors.

mouthfeel is well balanced, nice carbonation with good flavor on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good, nice balance of malt flavor and bitter hops.

Overall an ok IPA. One of the more boring ones I've had. Not likely to ever buy again.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,023 ratings.
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