Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,248 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,248 | Ratings: 4,076
Photo of Dewey0603
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a light amber with a nice two finger creamy tannish head.Say what you want, Harpoon beers look good.The smell is a little light with some floral and yeast scents,but not any hops.The taste is light and weak.In an IPA I would expect some hops,but this beer is very much like a lager with no hops.This doesn't taste bad,but it's not whats advertised.The m/f is light,but full flavored.This would be a good session beer,but for an IPA it's weak.

 453 characters

Photo of Lnedrive14
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

To be honest, I'm just not a fan. I don't think I can exactly pinpoint what it is, but this beer just seems to be too acidic for me. It has a helluva bite, without much reward. It's like breeding pit-bulls without keeping one to protect the house. I looove hops, but this is just plain bitter - not in the good way. There just isn't anything to balance out this brew. I get very little flavors other than hop bitterness. Perhaps a little bit of lemon. Anyway, maybe I'll give it a try in the bottle since the brothers seem to think it is better that way.

 554 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First encountered this beauty drinking on Landsdowne Road before a Red Sox game in August with my Dad and my younger brother. We were at this old pub full of baseball memorabilia and we drank four rounds and had a big nacho in about half an hour before the game. Great atmosphere in the whole area. Strong stuff. Then the game got rained out..doh!
A suprising color for an IPA, fairly pale, with a decent quantity of foamy head and moderate carbonation bubbles apparant. Berry is the first scent I detect in the nose, follwed by other fruits, some sugars, and some great hoppy bite.
A big burst of hop flavor that tapers off into a bitter sheen and a dryness on the roof of my mouth. Pretty good stuff if you like hops. This is a beer with some personality and I can definitely drink these when drinking needs to be done. Among my favorite American Indian Pales me thinks.

 876 characters

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

Had this on tap in a casual seafood restaurant while visiting Boston in late September. The RedSox fans were enjoying the Friday night victory over the Yankees.

This brew had a orange-yellow color that poured an OK head that disipated quickly and left minimal lacing. Nose is of floral hops, malts,and a hint of fruit as well. Taste is a nice combonation of hops with a hint of sweet malts. Mouthfeel was decently full and OK carbonation. Overall drinkability is good. This is a nice beer that representative of the style.

 525 characters

Photo of Ricochet
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This review will be just like the other good IPA reviews I've made. It's good but not outstanding.

Pours orange as advertised, slight head. Smell was like JWD's Pale ale, hops, malt, average for IPA. Mouth was good, with that bite from the hops and the alcohol making itself known. Taste was , well, a little grapefruit, a lot of hops bitterness, very little alcohol taste, buffered by the bitterness of the hops.

Yeah, I will get this again. It would be nice during football. However there are several other pale ales/ipas that I can also choose that have more notes that I would favor. Beer is good.

 609 characters

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

Appearance: Prominent, frothy head, strong golden color with an orange tint, and lots of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and slightly fruity aroma.

Taste: Pronounced hoppy flavor not overly bitter at all, lingering nicely on palate with pleasant citrus highlights. Underlying sweet flavors that really come out with the right food pairing (in my case, a spicy curry).

Mouthfeel: A bit light.

Drinkability: Very light and drinkable, though not my favorite American IPA.

 498 characters

Photo of jettjon
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I’m really beginning to get into the IPA’s, and Harpoon did not disappoint me.

Highs: Nose, good IPA taste
Lows: None

Pours amber/gold with a fluffy, thick head that slowly fades away. Nose is floral and honey sweet with evident hops—pretty much what you’d expect from an IPA. Flavor is both hopsy and sweet, a good blend that is refreshing and drinkable. This IPA is less bitter and more sweet than many others I have sampled, but it works for me. Individual tastes, of course, will vary. The mouth is watery and bubbly; refreshing, but nothing to write home about. There’s a nicely bitter finish. Drinkability is average to slightly above average.

Overall, this is a good IPA and is heartily recommended.

 721 characters

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

Appearance: A deep golden yellow with a solid white head of mixed bubble sizes. Dissipates quickly and left minimal lacing.

Smell: Floral hops with biscuity malt. Some tart fruit as well.

Taste: Wonderful hop bite that is supported with sweet malt underpinnings. The hops leave a nice tart finish, which begs for another taste.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: This gets two thumbs up. A fantastic beer that is a great representative of the style. These go down easy and are completely enjoyable.

 535 characters

Photo of sopor
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light amber to dark gold with a finger of sticky head leaving a thin creamy film and sticky pile of bubbles. NOt a lot of smell, but some slight floral and fruity notes.

Light malts, I think Vienna or Munich agai. Bitter but not overpowering herbal hops. Basic but adequate.

Lighter refreshing body, and pretty drinkable, but completely lackluster.

 354 characters

Photo of surfadelic23
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first had this when it was a seasonal. It was also the first "smaller" brewery offering I ever tasted. The hop flavor though mild now in comparison to some of the IPA's was such an eye opener it just blew me away. Never thought I'd see it again living in FLA., but found it on tap about 15 minutes from my house. Still a pretty good lil ale, but in comparison to DFH 60min or Hazed and Infused (all on tap at the same place) it seems a lil mild. Still, I manage to have a pint or two! This may be a good offering for folks that normally drink macros as it has significantly more flavor but probably won't blow their heads off...

 630 characters

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

A little watery on the palate, a little soapy in the mouthfeel, but a good hops character and an overall enjoyable flavor for an IPA.
A little herbal, a bit of citrus rind.
At $6 for a six pack, this is a brilliant idea.
A good way to get your hops fix, even if you dont get the bargain price.
Good for the style and a good brew.

 333 characters

Photo of rpgman456
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ahhh the Harpoon IPA... I distinctly remember this as the first Indian Pale Ale I have ever tried. This beer alone catapulted me into the world of IPAs and amber ales that I enjoy today. From the second I removed the cap of this Ale I was immediately filled with a sensation of a beautiful spring day. The floral scents of this ale are awe inspiring, but not overdone. As I poured the beer into the only available pint glass left in the kitchen (beer was stored refrigerated and had a shelf life of less than one week) I was pleasantly surprised with the golden amber color and a nice thick head that stays around for a couple minutes but doesn't leave a lace like most macro beers do and can only compare to craft beers. The aroma of hops complemented the wonderful color of this beer and the taste was nothing short of climatic. The mouthfeel for a beer of this nature was extraordinary... by far the first beer that I was really able to sit down and enjoy. Since then I have tried the IPA with a barrage of foods and find Italian and Cajun cuisine complement the taste of this beer very well. I highly recommend this beer to anyone interested in the field of American IPAs.

 1,176 characters

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.

 270 characters

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.

 1,057 characters

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.

 460 characters

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.

 277 characters

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.

 1,390 characters

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.

 403 characters

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.

 623 characters

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.

 830 characters

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.

 497 characters

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).

 489 characters

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!

 527 characters

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).

 538 characters

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.

 272 characters

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,076 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.