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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 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 JasonCoop
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance- nice. crystal clear orange/amber. nice little head that fades in a minute or 2. nothing too special, but not bad

smell- i love the smell of this beer. very flowery and nice strong hops aroma.

taste- very nice. a classic IPA taste. hoppy of course, but not too much. pretty nice balance. seems like carbonation is kind of high. nice flowery elements mixing with the hops taste

mouthfeel- nothing special in this aspect, kind of highly carbonated feeling, bubbly, somewhat light. the hops and slightly dry finish give the tongue kind of a cottony feel after a while.

drinkability- easily drinkable. a classic IPA. if you like IPA you could definitely have a nice session. they are light enough to put down a lot and smooth enough to keep your interest.

overall- Harpoon is the kind of beer that isn't anything truly special but will always be around as someone close to boston. i consider it the gateway to IPAs. when u start expanding your taste it is probably a good choice to figure out what IPAs are all about. The old stand-by.

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

Much better on tap than in the bottle. Looks more creamy with more body, active carbonation, and clarity. Smells pine-ey, hoppy, mildly sweet, and very citrusy. Tastes much more citrusy than through the bottle. More crisp and refreshing. Just more alive. Mouthfeel is a good blend of bubbly and creamy. Crisp and mildly dry in the finish. Less metalic, tin-ey, and thin than the bottle. This suddenly became a good beer. I recommend this beer--but only on tap.

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

Golden amber, very clear, big white head, nice lacing. Smell is pine and citrus hops, crystal caramel malt, honey sweetness. Taste is piney, some light malt flavour, citrus near the end, clean bitter finish. Lighter bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and refreshing, tasty IPA.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours somewhere between a deep gold and a light amber. Your pick.

Aroma is slightly grainy malt, soft floral hops, and a sprinkling of rock sugar. Very refined -- the soul has been sucked out of this baby a bit over the years, but there's still something here.

Taste is still delicioso, not nearly affected by the recipe changes as the aroma has been. There's something extremely distinct about the hop profile of this beer -- I could recognize it from a mile away. It takes me back to cases of the stuff back in Upstate NY, drinking it as the last of the leaves fall, and the first stiff breezes let you know that the snow isn't far behind. Gets a bump-up for nostalgia...so sue me.

Mouthfeel is just dandy. Even, slow, maybe a bit high at moments, but it's just passing by.

Drinkability is good -- in a pinch, this is a decent sessioner, after all these years. That being said, was my next pint another Harpoon IPA? No, it was not. Take that as you will.

Still a solid brew in this late summer of 2005. No, it's not challenging, no, there isn't a huge attack of hops, no, you're not checking to see if your gums have melted after a pint of this. It's barely holding on to it's identity as an IPA in this age of big juicy hop bombs.

That being said, it's still a good beer, I still got a little hop-burping in -- and I'll certainly never turn down a pint of Harpoon IPA.

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Photo of ahking
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very light colored amber with a bubbly white head. Slightly orange looking. Smells a little bubble-gummish. Tastes quite malty with little hop presence. Finish is cirtusy (grapefruit). Why is this an IPA? Malt character pretty much overpowers the hops. This is a decent tasting beer, but not what I expected. If you want a nice IPA, try a Founder's. If you want an entry level IPA, try this guy.

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Photo of 99bottles
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One I've had and seen quite a bit, but never took the time to review. Sadly, this IPA is a product of the past before bigger meant better. It's not a bad beer, but it can't hold a candle to the new wave of American IPAs out there. Medium body of reddish brown, with syrupy scents of caramel and biscuit. Hopfeel is minimal for an IPA, but still adds a soft bitterness to the finish and some nondescript coniferous notes to the middle. I'd take it over a macro any day and when I see it on tap I typically buy it, but I can easily think of 2 dozen IPAs I'd have before this. The classy label adds to the bottle's appearance.

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

Appearance-pours a diminishing red golden color, decent two fingers of head, somewhat cloudy but enough to see through.

Smell-floral hoppy aroma, two different types of hop that I can detect, some malt backs it up.

Taste-hoppy off the bat with a little bit of alcohol as well. The hoppy flavor is sort of awkward though and not well mixed. It goes down fine.

Mouthfeel-again, rather awkward, nothing bad or truly vulgar but just doesn't seem to mesh well, if perhaps more of one hop flavor had dominated it would have been better.

Drinkability-not that alcoholic, perhaps this would be a decent first try for someone with an I.P.A. but then again it's a little unbalanced for me to truly recommend it.

Overall-by no means bad, simply ok though, unbalanced and mediocre, and from a brewery this loved, dissapointing.

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

I have poured this into a mug. It is slightly darker than a light golden. The nose is of spicy hops, with a sprinkling of malt.

This tastes pretty good. I would say that the flavor is leaning slightly toward the hop end of the scale, but not by much. This might be a good way to introduce someone to craft beer. The mouthfeel is smooth, despite the moderate carbonation. The drinkability is good, although I wouldn't have too many since I prefer beers that smack me upside my head with flavor.

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Photo of kingjames1
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light amber, with a good head that maintains its integrity through the better portion of the 'sampling'.

smells are citrusy and floral - hoppy

taste is more of the same, with some malt balance there (to my surprise). well done. this is a very decent ipa - not too overpowering, and not underwhelming.

mouthfeel is good - normal carbonation for an ipa, in my experience.

very drinkable ipa, and great session beer (if slighly higher in ABV than a standard session beer).

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Photo of hero27
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale, copper color with a foamy white head. Floral hop aroma & taste...i guess I shouldn't be too surprised, considering the label is covered with pictures of flowers. I've heard this beer has gone downhill in the past few years, and that may be so. A bit one-dimensional, but it should do a good job of satisfying the appetite of most hopheads. All in all, it's a decent IPA, and definitely of "fallback" status, but nothing I'd go out of my way to purchase on a regular basis.
Beer courtesy of ski271. Thanks again!

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Photo of Illinick
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Great offering from Harpoon.
Pours a golden/copper color with a sticky white head that remains nicely throughout.
S: Nice aromatic smell of citus hops and a little biscuit in the background.
T: Really well balance IPA. Typical citrus notes with biscuit backdrop and a malty middle that ends hoppy and dry with a nice bitterness.
MF: Medium body, but has a great mouthfeel.
Overall: A great IPA. The citrus hops really continue throughout the taste. Always feel confident with this IPA, an old stand-by (if I can find it).

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

Purchased as part of sampler pack. Poured a clear golden color with a nice white head. Smell is loaded with hops. Taste leaves a nice dry hop bitterness that is pleasantly enjoyable. Finishes dry and bitter with the feeling of wanting more. Another good beer from Harpoon.

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

This one is copper colored with a large white head.

The aroma is of hops and a bit of citrus.

Its flavor is hopy with a citrus aftertaste. It’s also a bit grassy.

The mouth feel is surprisingly light for an IPA and is nice and refreshing. It’s nothing amazing, but much better than I was expecting. It’s worth a try.

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Photo of cracgor
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden Amber color. Thin creamy white head. Leaves good lace.

Smell: Ruby Grapefruit like hop. A little piney. Maltiness is almost nonexistent.

Taste: Well hopped. A dry fruity hop. NOt over the top. A little to sweet as far as maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Refreshing.

Drinkability: A very good IPA. Tasty and refreshing.

 351 characters

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

Finally got to try it during a recent trip to Boston and it was as good as expected. Colour was a dark yellow with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing on the glass. Very drinkable and refreshing. It would definitely be one of my regular IPA's if I could buy it down here.

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

This beer has recently become locally available, so I had to try it.

It pours clear gold yellow with Ivory head of medium bubbles, and I immediately get a scent of both sweet malt and Hops. Served at 70 deg. F (cellar temp) both the malt and hop flavor are more pronounced than I would expect if chilled.

Taste is hoppy, but not complex. Perhaps I am drinking to much big hop beer recently, but this seemed thin; also thin in the mouthfeel. I will try the rest of the sixpack chilled, maybe something will change.

There are lots of IPA's on the market, and most of them are good, but not remarkable.
This is a good IPA.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.7/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, so I'm a little bit biased with this review. I've been drinking Harpoon IPA for years and can't believe I never reviewed it until now. It's my favorite IPA, session beer and go to beer at most bars.

The beer pours a clear straw yellow with some orange hues mixed in. A frothy white head forms on top slowly dissolving to a thick ring around the surface leaving behind a nice netting pattern of lace. A citrus aroma of grapefruit and pine with a hint of toasted malt greets you before each sip.

The flavor of this medium bodied smooth beer is filled with hoppy goodness. It begins with some pine and citrus. It sweetens towards the middle with some malt and bubblegum flavors before finishing with a mild bitterness leaving behind a hoppy residue. The hops are not too bitter and are well balanced with the malt. This would be a good beer to introduce someone to the wonderful world of hop bitterness.

Harpoon IPA is the light in the darkness when at a new bar with a (mostly) poor beer selection. It can always be found in my fridge or cooler on a camping trip. It's so easy to drink and full of flavor I can't see why anyone would want another session beer.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is uninspiring but fortunately that's the weakest part of this brew. The beer pours a clear bright yellow with a reasonable sized white head. No real stickiness to the foam and it falls flat in no time.

The smell is very inviting - a somewhat sweet hoppy note with plenty of pine resin and floral hops. Not pungent by any means but refined and inviting.

The taste is certainly the high point here - this beer has a very nice balance between the floral hops and a rather robust malt note. There's an underlying sweetness that rounds out the drink very nicely. The hops aren't the least bit acrid or bitter so you end up with a solid but not overpowering taste.

Mouthfeel is good as well. This is a light bodied brew with lots of fine carbonation. No bitter aftertaste, no burning of the palate. This is a good IPA for beer lovers who aren't incurable hop-heads seeking extreme brews..

All in all a pretty good brew, if you're an IPA drinker I could easily imagine this one in the regular rotation.

[Another brew from the "Midwest Beer Barge" trade with TikkiGodxxx - a great opportunity to sample some fine beer that doesn't normally make it to the Left Coast]

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Photo of AlexJ
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11$ a 12- pack at Lowes, fuck it.

Pours light amber yellow with a pretty nice looking head of bone white. retention is OK with some spots of light lace.

Aroma is bready caramel malts, notes of lemon and citrus, a light floral note, and green hops.

The flavor is similar in structure, although overall a bit understated for an IPA. It drinks more like a pale ale.

Body is light to medium with a grainy dry mouthfeel. It's not bad for budget sessioning, but I think it used to taste better 10 years ago. Perhaps my tastes have just changed too.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A great IPA to start with is Harpoon’s The Harpoon brewery makes great brews, but their IPA may be the most accessible of any variety. The beer pours up a dark gold/copper color with a thick, white head of foam, leaving lace on the glass as the contents are drunk. The aroma offered is wheat or sweet hay with some hints of fruit (spicy orange). The taste is moderately bitter, not as hoppy as many IPAs out there, but the beer has a great deal of carbonation, balancing out the bitterness, making the beer extremely smooth and very drinkable. Unlike some aggressively-hopped beers, you can drink many Harpoon’s IPA without getting overwhelmed or turned off by the taste of repeated bottles. A very refreshing beer for the summer days. Enjoy the brews. Cheers…

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Bukowski's Tavern and presented in a Harpoon pint glass. Had a clear light amber color, generous finely wrought carbonation and a thick, foamy white head. Minor spotty lace left behind.
Pretty typical IPA aromas going on here; light malt notes, faintly earthy, playing a backup role to the citrusy tang of juicy grapefruit flesh and tangerine peels. The taste started off pretty much par for the course also with a fruity sweetness up front. This gave way to a crackery malt base that came through mid-palate. Juicy citrus bitterness started to kick in and then things started going off the rails. A rather raw bitterness akin to biting an orange seed took hold, followed by a stinging metallic note. The feel was crisp and light but a bit thin.
Drinkability was so-so. Overall, a decent, but not great IPA.

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

Pours a nice gold with a medium white head. Fades slowly.

Lots of hoppy floral aromas on top of the nice fruity hoppiness. There some sweet malt in there, but it's minimal compared to the big hops.

Flavor has a nice bitter floral bite to it. The sweetness comes through in a minor way, but there's a dominant grapefruit citrus feel as well.

Fairly crisp and drinkable with a medium-bodied mouthfeel. This is just a solid, decent IPA.

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Photo of bobbyc881
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice golden color, thick white head that hangs around for quite some time. Clear when held to the light, with visible, but low carbonation. Lace clings well to the side of the glass.

Smell is nothing impressive, and not totally noticeable. My sense of smell isn't much though. From what I can gather, the smell is a bit sweet.

Great hop taste. Sweet tastes, almost of honey, balanced well with the hop bitterness. Tastes of corn/grain come through as well. Overall a nice taste: moderately complex, and creates a very pleasant drinking experience.

Sweet taste lingers, then dries out quickly. Very drinkable beer.

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

The hop aroma was nice and strong but not overpowering

The beer arrived a clear golden with a quick disappearing white head that left a thin lace on the glass.

The taste was balanced but leaning toward the hops. It finishes a bit sweet with the malt taste clinging to the tongue.

The mouthfeel had a little bite on the roof of the mouth and was medium light.

This was a very nice beer and I look forward to taking another trip to Boston to partake of this beer again.

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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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