Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
BA SCORE
46.7%
Liked This Beer
3.62 w/ 4,139 Ratings
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
harpoonbrewery.com

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We started brewing this beer as a summer seasonal in 1993. There were some great IPAs out in the Pacific Northwest, but no local IPAs on the east coast. We wanted to have a local IPA, so we brewed one. People absolutely loved it, and so did we. So we made it a year-round beer, and it’s now our bestselling beer and our flagship.

Since its introduction, Harpoon IPA has remained unique in its ability to balance hop bitterness with a strong malt backbone. Dry-hopped with Cascade hops, it has a floral hop aroma and a finish that is bitter (it is an IPA after all!) without being harsh or astringent. Combined with a malty sweetness and the fruity esters of our proprietary yeast, those hops create a beer that is wonderfully hoppy but clean and refreshing enough to enjoy a few of - and we hope you do.

42 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#35,782
Reviews:
1,260
Ratings:
4,139
Liked:
1,933
Avg:
3.62/5
pDev:
13.54%
Alströms:
4.01
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
939
Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,139 |  Reviews: 1,260
Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
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!

 667 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
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 oberon
3.8/5  rDev +5%
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 Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +5%
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 dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear golden copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + amber colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a large half finger thick cap in the center of the glass surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of floral + citrus/grapefruit pith hops over the top of light aromas of toasted + biscuit malts as well as a hint of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a just shy of moderate flavor of toasted, biscuit, and caramel malts with a hint of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of floral + citrus/grapefruit pith hops which impart a light to moderate amount of bitterness which fades away pretty slowly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery in the finish.

O: A pretty easy to drink and enjoyable English IPA - nothing jumps out about it but if you put it into perspective of when it was introduced to the market, this one is pretty decent. Alcohol is well hidden. A classic.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 1,021 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 1,408 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -8%
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.

 574 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of smithj4
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
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 smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 827 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 518 characters

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mdaschaf
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 1,868 characters

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 46.7% out of 100 with 4,139 ratings
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