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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: 4,024
Photo of calicaliente
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with a big foamy white head and good retention. Decent lacing as well. Aroma of citrus and floral hops with a bit of caramel malts in the back. Citrus hops up front; slightly juicy. Astringent tartness followed by rough wheat and corn husks. Medium bodied. Pretty average IPA, but drinkability is Ok.

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Photo of MichaelRabdau
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Was really wanting to love this beer, having lived in Boston and love the town. I guess the fact that I had this immediately following Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA, it really didn't stand a chance. I'll look at this again when there's no comparison, but on first blush, this is about as generic an IPA can get (consider the comparison)...

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Photo of AlHam
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden and clear.

Smells very hopsy, as an IPA should. The malt comes through as well, with some slightly woodsy scents.

Tastes hopsy and slightly bitter. The alcohol comes through very clearly, adding to the bitterness of the strong hops in the IPA.

The mouthfeel is fairly light, and almost overpowered by the alcohol.

Drinkable, but the taste and mouthfeel are poor for a Harpoon.

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Photo of hermesch
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly golden yellow with active carbonation. Small head that doesn’t stick around with moderate lacing.

Smell: Hops are immediately evident, with a faint promise of citrus undertones.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Crisp and bitter start that is followed up by a moderate hop punch and finishes nicely. The citrus notes in the bouquet are not nearly as evident in the taste, but the hop component is just right for an American IPA, so that’s enough. Notes of pine and biscuit malt hang around just at the very end and make for a fine finish.

Drinkability: This is a damn good beer and you can drink a lot of them. Perfect for just about any gathering. Recommend popping a few open with some pungent cheeses for a lunchtime treat!

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

My serving type was a bottle poured into a Pilsner Flute.

My appearance was a quick forming one half inch head that quickly diminished. (I can relate to that). But a constant flow of carbonation was can be seen in the darkened amber fluid. I would say the color reminds me of a cherry stain or something lighter. (3.5)

Smell - if you've followed my other reviews, well you know that the smell of burnt hops is not something I write home to mom about, but this beer isn't over powering and in my opinion is quite light in hoppiness odor. (3.5)

However that "quite light in hoppiness" would not describe the taste as the hops come through in spades! Not over powering to me. I don't taste many of the florals that others have described, but that's typically not the way I describe things anyway. The taste is strong, but not over powering by any stretch. I could enjoy this with a steak. (3.5)

Now this beer is crisp in the mouth, and you know that makes a high score for me. 4.. I like. It tingles and cracks, and goes down easy.

Overall I got to go with 3.5 - it's better than I expected, and will buy again, maybe I'll aquire a more filling taste for it, maybe I haven't paired it with a great food. Not sure, but it is a good beer and I will definitly have again.

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

I was lucky enough to try this on tap at Buckowski's while in town for the Stammtisch festival. It poured a burnt, golden colour. Not a whole lot of carbonation to be had. The tiny head left its mark down the glass as it was devoured. Understated floral scents on the nose. The initial port like sweetness mellowed as the hops gently let themselves be known. I feel this ale more closely resembles a British IPA than a typical american IPA. Not spectacular, but very drinkable. Yummy.

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Photo of joeyels
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper orange color, thin white head that fades quickly. Tiny bubbles of carbonation well after beer is poured. Light smell of floral hops on the nose. Taste is of light hops a bit perfumey with a slightly sweetened aftertaste. Very light and easy drinking. IMO, a basic run of the mill IPA, very average.

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Photo of Samichlaus
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

12oz. into pint glass

A: Pours a clear gold with a bubbly, tall, off-white head. Head dissipates but leaves a small amount of lacing.

S: Mild grapefruity hops. Grainy malt character. Dull sweetness that intensifies as it warms. Mild smell altogether.

T: Grapefruit and grass. Bready malt. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

D: Top notch drinkability.

Never my first choice but a good go-to IPA. I like a little more body and bitterness than this has to offer but the drinkability is awesome and it's never let me down.

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Photo of applky
1.94/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I'm so sorry, but I don't see what everyone else does in this beer. To me, this beer is absurdly over-hopped, so much so that at all temperatures it smells like rotting vegetation and tastes like a pale ale with with alpha acids added from an eyedropper. The malt flavor is too aggressive and tastes over-toasted. I love IPAs with malt flavor, but only if it works to balance the hop flavor. In this case, both flavors are too aggressive. Come on, Harpoon. Your Dark Munich Ale is so good! Everything else you make is so good! Maybe (with more care) this beer as a double IPA would work well? Although this doesn't bear that much resemblance to their Leviathan. Still, in all departments I find it profoundly below average, except maybe appearance and mouthfeel, which are standard (gold with a tinge of brown and not too oily, respectively). This is just one of those beers I can't get into.

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

Reviewing this one as I drink it...

A-Pours a clear golden color with 1" bubbly head that fades to 1/4 inch. Leaves some lacing.

S-Citrus hops and not a whole lot else, a little bit eartly somewhere in the middle. Also a little bit of alcohol at the end.

T-Pretty mild when it comes to hops. Full of citrus/grapefruit, but not overly hoppy. Somewhat sweet aftertaste.

M-On second thought, more hops than I initially thought. Fair amount of carbonation.

D-Decent body. Wouldn't drink more than two of these probably. Overall a nice IPA, but in a country full of them I'd gravitate elsewhere.

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Photo of LBBeer
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle into a chilled pint glass at the Marriott in Quincy, MA.

A--Straw color with a slightly orange hue. Ivory head.

S--Surprising dose of hops in the nose. Being West Coast based, I have heard many people bash Harpoon IPA for a general lack of character, but the aroma definitely started things off well.

T--Great bittering hop profile that you don't see enough of on the west coast. Just enough hops, not a palate wrecker.

M--This is a sessionable IPA, with enough malt to balance the bitternes, but not so much that it gets big and heavy.

O--Having not had Harpoon IPA in several years, my expectations were low, but I definitely prefer it over Dogfish 60.


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

Short of Dogfish 60, this is one of the better mass market IPAs you'll find. It's clean drinking, medium body and has a bit more octane than some of the other beers in this class at almost 6%. The taste is basic but pleasant, mild to moderate hop present up front balanced by a hint of bitterness after.

Overall it's a good, solid IPA, particularly now that it's available in cans.

It loses points for drinkability, however, because it has a deserved reputation for being much harder on you the next morning than comparable offerings. Whether it's the presence of the sugars or some other factor, I know more than a few people who steer clear for fear of the aftermath.

For a beer or two, it won't kill you.

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

A: Light golden color, with nice white head and good decent amount of lacing.

S: Floral hops and a hint of malt. Unassertive and light.

T: Some hops coupled with barly and malt. Good choice on hot summer days, but nevertheless, unassertive and not that memorable.

M: Almost too little action there. Mild carbonation and light-bodied.

O: For an IPA this one is suprisingly light-bodied and not very memorable. Goes down easy, but then again so do the less expensive budlights of this world.

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Photo of 2wheeledpirate
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This IPA pours a medium amber with a medium head and decent head retention. The aroma is not as hoppy as I would expect from an American IPA. I really struggled to descibed the smell of this beer. I keep going back to the smell of sourdough bread. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Flavor is nice, but still light on that hop bitterness. This beer is pleasant and easy to drink but not the best IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of Will46andbrew
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The color is golden yellow. Very clear, nice appearance.

S - The smell is slightly bitter. Not florally like some IPA's. Somewhat faint.

T - The taste is crisp and good. Not too bitter, just right for a good refreshing IPA.

M - The mouthfeel is good.

D - The drinkability is good. It's not too heavy, but you can't sit down and have a 6 pack without feeling bloated... Has a refreshing taste, a really good beer. Not the best IPA I've ever had, but it's very good. This is one of my staples.

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Photo of Leebo2007
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

COLOR: light to dark brown, great color

CONSISTENCY: Very bubbly, good constant color with copper color

HEAD: Good to medium head

SMELL: fresh/Fruity smell. Has some wild yeast smell too.

TASTE: fruity and floral at first but then loses some hoppiness. Still pretty crispy for an IPA.

Not the best IPA but has a good yeasty taste that many IPAs do not have.

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Photo of Skeeter206
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A ~ A dark golden color with noticeable carbonation and about a half finger head, has a pretty decent lacing. 3.5/5

S ~ Nothing overpowering in the smell of this, sweet fruit maybe oranges, a barely noticeable hop presence in the smell. It might be that I'm a little congested right now but there isn't a whole lot going on in the smell. 3/5

T ~ Well you can definitely taste the hops if you couldn't smell them, nothing over powering but definitely a presence... about average for an IPA in regards to bitterness and taste coming from the hops. Definitely a little bit of caramel in there, pretty good balance. 4/5

M ~ The beer is definitely carbonated, but not in a bad way. Solid feel to it, its goes down easy, an easy beer to drink multiple of. 4.5/5

O ~ This is my go to beer, it isn't an overpowering IPA, with flavor or ABV. It is a good IPA that is available almost anywhere in MA, and on tap at almost every bar. If i feel like having an IPA I can always grab this, it is also generally cheap at bars around Boston if you are on a budget. B-

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Photo of theh3rbalist
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Had 1 on tap.

Somewhere between an American IPA and an English IPA, leaning toward the American side but still more balanced than the usual hop bombs.


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Photo of KenGage
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank from a Sam Adams lager glass; poured from a bottle.

a - pours clear and golden with a touch of copper

s - a hint of malt, spicy notes

t - it starts out with hop spice that is clean and balanced out by malt; finish and aftertaste? like a fart in the fog...was it every really there?

m - clean-crisp finish; again, there's no real aftertaste and its leaving me wanting another beer

d - its OK - nice, all-around solid and non-offensive ale

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Photo of markb33
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a sixer poured into a stein.

A--A clear copper color with a thin foamy white head. Dies out quickly leaving patchy traces of lacing.

S--Dull citrusy sent at the start with some medicinal resiny hop notes.

T--Citrus notes to start with faint orange and lemon peel. A peppery bite rounds out to grassy notes at the finish.

M--Medium bodied with nice pucker and balanced by the carbonation.

D--Overall a solid citrusy, grassy IPA. A tasty brew without a ton of complexity.

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Photo of CAcreeks
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure why Bostonians say this IPA is hoppy. At 42 IBU it qualifies as an IPA but only barely. Not much citrus or floral smell but enough. Aftertaste lingers but thirst quenching bitterness is lacking. Better than any British IPA I have tried, so kudos for improving the style.

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Photo of Monkey962
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to try something of Harpoon's even after having seen the red H bottlecaps in certain secluded areas around town.

Appearance: Two to three finger white, bubbly head. The ale itself is transparent, and a summery dark gold. The head recedes to a foamy layer that sticks itself to the side of the glass, all the way down.

Smell: Smells of a more balanced American IPA. Hopefully it'll taste the same way. However, it's difficult to pick up much of anything, apart from the stronger American IPA scents - grapefruit, resins, pine, astringency.

Taste: Definitely not as bitter an interpretation of the style that's so popular, but instead pretty well balanced. Bitterness comes through first, accompanied by a slightly unsettling 'soapy' flavor, that resolves itself as very mild malt sweetness. The sweetness carries through to the bready aftertaste. I'm sure many others will malign the taste for not being bitter enough, or having enough hop character, but I happen to find its lack of complexity very mellowing.

Feel: The once bubbly head resolves to a layer of foam that smooths out the feel, and makes it feel silky. Carbonation is just enough to feel refreshing.

Overall: I was always aware of Harpoon from a young age, and after reading reviews about this beer, I wasn't expecting much. What I got however, was a very nice middle of the road IPA that makes a perfect go-to beer.

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Photo of n0rmann
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon IPA is the beer I most drink when I head out to the bars. It's a nice, tasty, simple American IPA that I can drink while enjoying good coversation with friends.

Living in Central, Mass., this is usually one of the best beers available wherever I go.

By no means is it the best American IPA I have ever had, but there's also nothing wrong with it, and fits the bill when you want a good beer to drink while out, or sitting at home watching some sports.

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Photo of Jermbrew
2.6/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pale amber color. This beer is very crisp. Too crisp for an IPA in my opinion. I didn't appreciate the wateriness. The aftertaste was also not as pleasant as I had hoped. It's very dry and leaves a bitter bite on the back of the tongue.The package store I work at sells a lot of this, so I thought it would be better. The hops are there (piney), but I prefer a better malt backbone. I'll wait till I see this on draft to try it again.

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

Enjoyed this beer on tap at the Bell In Hand Pub in historic Boston

Poured nicely in a large Hefe style glass with very little head retention...Great autumn auburn color with the aroma of extremely mild hoppiness and chestnut

More similar to an English IPA than its American counterpart...Very smooth, well balanced flavor with decent amount of nutty maltiness that is cut short from the mild hop back...Would view this beer as a good example of a session beer...Not my favorite beer by any means

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,024 ratings.
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