Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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English India Pale Ale (IPA)
Ranked #121
Ranked #40,226
3.64 | pDev: 13.19%
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
Notes: 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
Reviews: 1,295 | Ratings: 4,294
Photo of Handsome_Steve
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice smell. It suffered a bit because it didn't get poured into a proper chilled glass. The taste itself was light with a fruity note but really didn't turn into much of anything at the end. Okay but I don't think I'd buy a six.

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Photo of solisbrewmaster
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a snifter. The color is orange - little brown, has a good head retention.
The smell is hoppy, with the most being floral, with a little pungent-peppery, also has a little citric. And can smell some malt in the background.
The taste is hoppy - citric, followed by a malty and caramel background. It is not very bitter and not very resiny.
The body is medium and the mouthfeel is ok, has good carbonation. It is just an OK beer.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a tap into a conical pint glass at Empire in Boston, Massachusetts. Retasted on 07/31/19, beer bottled 12/17/18.
A: Pours a crystal clear, amber color with one inch head that resolves to more than a cap. Spidery, spotty lacing.
S: Aromas of mango, pitted fruit, caramel, and a little pine. Malty.
T: Fairly dry, leaning to sweet. Caramel and fruit flavors lead. Bitterness is light and offsets excessive sweetness.
M: Light bodied with low carbonation. Crisp, refreshing finish.
O: I enjoyed this beer. It was much lighter bodied than most IPAs. It is definitely more in the English subcategory in that it does not have the big, loud flavors and aromas of an East or West Coast. Sometimes subtlety is what is needed and this delivers that. Solid flavor, refreshing, and the potential to pair it with almost anything: what is not to like?

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Photo of jimmah120
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a date

Look is aight. Head fades real quick to nada. Smells slightly hopy, lot of malt. Taste is a muted ipa, more of a pale ale with a ton of malt.

Not bad stuff, just really unremarkable

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Photo of PASTOR_at_DAChurch_of_IPA
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Harpoon makes the best commercial hard cider on the market, so when I saw their IPA in the store, I figured why not try it. The art on the bottle looked cool, I have always loved their clean crisp carbonated sulfite-free dry cider, so I was straight shocked when I opened the first bottle of their IPA and couldn't finish it. Gross. Heavy, sweet, malty, didn't even taste remotely like an IPA, not enough bitterness, not much carbonation, not much alcohol, too sweet, too much spices and flavors, no thanks, no wonder it was cheap.

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Photo of billybob
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

golden color with a one finger head not much lace. smell is mild pine with a fruity note. taste same, bready, smooth, mild fruitiness along with a salt taste to it. no bitter after taste which I liked the best about this beer. ipa is not my go to beer but I would buy this again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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 Wi_brew_bud
3.19/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Its an ok beer that covers its bases but really doesn't stand out. It isn't bad at all but it is to vanilla. I really am not going to break it down past the fact that it is a run of the mill IPA. It doesnt fail any categorie but it doesn't shine. I guess the best part really is the feel it is really smooth for an IPA. But beyond that it is very plain.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very clear honey golden color with a 2.5 finger soapy off white head. Retention is decent and there is some thin wispy lacing left on the sides of the glass.

Smell is malt forward, sweet and also doughy. There are some pine and floral hops in the background.

Taste is similar, but the malts really drown out the hop flavors until the very end of the sip and into the aftertaste where there is a crisp zip of pine. Not bad, but not great.

Feel is light and crisp with a dry finish.

Overall this beer is alright. I haven't drank a Harpoon beer since visiting the brewery ~5 years ago, but I remember enjoying them a lot more than this. Something about the malts they use in this beer seem very offputting to me. To each their own though.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I recently had this beer in Boston. It may not be a top notch brew but it is a good easy drinking local IPA.

Look: golden/amber with a thin white head.

Aroma: citrus and some pine

Taste: caramel, citrus, a bit floral and some pine, a fairly mild flavor for an IPA.

Feel: light to medium mouthfeel

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4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle poured to YETI.
Nice copper color.
More of a piney hops aroma and flavor initially but found a great floral, citrusy, juicy and hoppy flavor halfway through to the end.
One of my favorite sessionable IPA's off the shelf.
Does not disappoint.
Harpoon. Love beer. Love life.

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Photo of JimmyJ76
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L - Amber with a white head and little carbonation.
S - Floral and citrus smell was pretty nice.
T - Slight bitterness and caramel maltiness.
F - Light/moderate mouthfeel.
O - old school, Hoppy yet simple, straight forward beer. Very sessionable.

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Photo of Radome
3.04/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Union Oyster House in Boston, MA.

Appearance was decent; clear golden beer but with little head. Aromas and flavors seem to be in line for an old-school American IPA, but are muted compared to the best modern examples. Mouthfeel is a bit wanting, with low carbonation and low hops bitterness. Overall, this comes across more like an American Pale Ale than an IPA.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

See through light orange/amber look with lots of little carbonation bubbles. Scent of slightly sweet citrus and a malt center. Seems like some alcohol in the flavor profile and it's not good. The hops hit right away a bit astringent and citric mixing with the alcohol flavor, then it moves to a bready malt ending with slight bitterness and maybe a bit of metallic flavoring working in. Something not well blended with the flavor profile if you ask me. Gets easier as you drink it I guess. Pretty watery also.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of those "tried it again for the first time" situations. Haven't had this beer on tap in over 10 years, even though it's brewed right in town. It's a great beer that's waiting at home for any beer drinker to come back from their long craft-beer-journey, whether for good or just a quick break. Floral, hoppy, caramel and bitter - it embodies what I've come to realize is my personal standard of the IPA, like how SNPA set my standard for the pale ale. Lots of reviews to sift through but know that this is quality.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Bright, clear amber with a white head and little carbonation. Minimal lacing.
S - Floral and citrus smell was pretty nice.
T - Slight bitterness and maltiness.
F - Light/moderate mouthfeel. Fairly crisp.
O - Although the bottle stated enjoy by 3/15/17, this was a pretty solid beer. Enjoyed it.

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Photo of jth63
3.24/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This used your be a very good IPA. It was my house beer and what I would buy when I couldn't decide. Unfortunately the quality has fallen off a cliff and I never buy it unless my other choices ar s bud light and coors

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L-Dark amber clearly see-through beer with a very, very small head.
S-Slightly sweet aroma, floral, and citrusy. I'm also picking up the scent of lemon and tea? Booziness follows. Malty hops as well.
T- Very much under-toned and I'm afraid a bit too watery. Slightly bitter, but man, it's watery. Not much else after this.
F- Crisp.
O- Fresh and crisp IPA, thats about it though. Its very well grounded, it doesn't have to much of anything wrong with it, its just lacking the complexity I want.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a clear golden orange body, one finger thick white head, good retention, lots of frothy lacing. Smell is marmalade, pine, orange peel, grainy sweetness, caramel. Very English in style. Flavour is caramel, grain and orange marmalade. Not too sweet by any means, which is nice. It's malty but not too malty; a nice hop and mild bitter presence makes this approachable. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, appropriately carbonated, mild zesty bitterness with a bit of marmalade on the finish. A classic, and just had to tick this one. Now that's a blast from the past.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pale copper with an average head. The aroma is made up of moderate caramel, floral notes, pineapple, and dried peach. The flavor features a solid malt body, with strong floral and perfumey flavors, candied pineapple, cedar, and other rather woody flavors. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some clinging bitterness, and foamy carbonation. Overall this is different, but maybe to perfume centric for my taste.

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Photo of Savan
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an unimpressive hue of straw-golden with medium body white head.
Smells of lavender and grapefruit but only in a subtle sense. Has a good taste about it glass I got is slightly warmer than I would prefer to drink a IPA at... Anywho... there are subtle flavours of pine-nut, lavender, tropical fruit and a 'lil bit of something sweet under currents of bitter hopped goodness. A little crisp and refreshing... I would say clean finish about it. Over all a better than average IPA but not what I would call AMAZING.

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Photo of Mdog
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear gold, small head.

Smell: Floral, light toffee.

Taste: Mild toffee sweetness balanced by citrus bitterness which shifts to a more grassy flavor and finish.

Overall: Harpoon recently started distribution to MN so I picked up a 6er. I thought it was going to be a American IPA so slightly disappointed to find it's the English style, but I ended up enjoying it anyway. It stayed away from the tea-like bitterness I don't like in English-style IPA/PA's and kept to a more citrus/grassy hop flavor.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Thin,soapy,white head that dissipates fast,leaving a circle around the glass.Beautiful cascade on the pour.Dark gold in color with nice clarity.Light carbonation.

The palate follows the nose with floral and piney hops,combined with some sweet malts.

The body is thin with a medium dry finish.Nice crisp,clean,easy drinking beer.

This is a good IPA,not top shelf but pretty solid.Crisp,clean,and refreshing.Good beer for a hot summer day.
On the nose I get mostly floral notes,with some piney hops,and sweet malts.A little bit of citrus.

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Photo of BDabbler
4.78/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours amber with a white head. This beer is popular in my area; so, it on tap everywhere. The more IPAs I drink, the more I'm reminded that this is a go to IPA and rivals anything else I've had. It's very smooth and balanced with floral and citrus notes. Not to strong, not too light; so, I keep going back and I'm never disappointed.

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Photo of Imsl2013
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Minimal head on mine, smell was vague and not very pronounced. Nice pale amber color. Conservative on the hops for an IPA, and that reflects in the taste -- I get a hint of hops on the back end, but otherwise nondescript. It may just be that I expect aggressive hops from an IPA and am biased in that sense, but I wasn't super impressed with this one. More than willing to give it another shot.

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IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 4294 ratings