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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
4,167 Ratings
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:
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,167 |  Reviews: 1,269
Photo of mnrider
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle. Best By on bottle.

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a thick white sticky head. lacing clings to the glass better than most.

S: Strong rich aroma. Nice hopy citric mixed with nice thick malts.

T/M: Creamy and medium bodied. Excellent balance between citric hops and malts. Slight bitterness. Hops are weaker than I would like.

D: Solid all around American I.P.A. Other than the hop situation this is an amazing brew. I'll be returning to this one again.


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Photo of G2Brew
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Harpoon IPA
Bottle, poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Coppery gold with a little haze. A full finger of white head with medium retention and nice lacing.

S - Citrus, leaning heavily toward grapefruit, piney hops, and malt.

T - Straight-up American IPA, with plenty of citrusy, piney hops, as expected. Nice sweet malt undertones. Plenty of flavors, nothing unexpected, but definitely not a disappointment.

M - Medium body, with some lingering bitter, pine and malt aftertaste. Strong carbonation.

D - Very drinkable...or more like sippable. This is a solid beer, with no shortage of the good stuff you want in an American IPA. I'd buy it again, if I was in the mood for an IPA, and there wasn't another one available that I haven't tried or have and liked better.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually on top over bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden straw color with a thick off white head that makes nice lace on the glass. Aroma of floral hops,and a hint of bread and maybe a note of sweet peaches . Flavor is piny faintly citrus over a light toasted and biscuity malt taste. The palate is medium bodied with good carbonation and a hopy bitterness that lingers on the tongue. A very sessionable and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of imagese
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Notes from 1/15/11:

Bottled bought in New Orleans. Dated best by today!

A- golden with the slightest haze. Heavy pour provided 1 finger fluffy head that faded fast and left decent lacing

S- super sweet malt with the slightest earthy hop bitterness. Looks like the hops have already left the building

T- spicy sweetness, but appears to all be malt. Hard to really pull out any distinctive flavors. There is a super faint citrus hop taste at the end. If this is more present fresh, then this would be awesome!

M- medium body with a slight watery feel. High carbonation accents the odd malt flavor

D- at the end of it's life, it seems to drink like a really good pilsener or kolsch.

I'd love to try this beer fresh. Not avail out here, so had to go with what I could get. Seems like it has the bones of a good beer

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Photo of bylerteck
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a two finger white head and medium carbonation on top a golden sort of straw body. Head leaves fairly nice lacing.

S - Pine, citrus, some lemon, and a slightly unpleasant grainy element.

T - Quite malty up front with pine and citrus that are much more mild that the aroma would lead you to believe. Nice bitter finish which is too short and complimented by a lemony flavour.

M - Strong carbonation in the mouth with a light body.

D - Not the greatest IPA but a nice one that is readily available all over Boston where I bought this. Good for watching the hockey game but not something I would session or look for again. Worth a try though.

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Photo of wcintula
3.19/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was more excited about trying this beer than I was pleased with the beer. Poured yellow with a little head that receded quickly. It smelt like it was going to deliver in the bitterness department but all around was a very mild beer. Perhaps a beginner's IPA, in that's it's easy to drink and gives you a small idea what to expect from an IPA.

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Photo of kinupanda
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very translucent light amber hue in the pint glass, and an almost non-existent, somewhat patchy head. The nose is good mix of earthy and hoppy. The initial taste feels somewhat abrasive, but after a while grows to an almost spicy kick. The hops aren't particularly apparent at first, but they open up and provide the expected bitterness if the sip is held, possibly due to the carbonation; thus, the mouthfeel is acceptable, though don't expect the same kick as provided by other IPAs. The alcohol becomes more apparent on the aftertaste.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE. Nothing particularly exciting in this beer when compared to IPAs, but it is certainly drinkable.

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Photo of Jeffro96
2.66/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured in to pint glass and looked promising. Deep amber with a creamy think head.not shabby.

Smelled like pine and hops, a hint of turpentine or after shave. All in all it promised to be bitter.

If it promised bitterness it didn't fail to deliver. The bitterness hit me up front but lacked any real hops flavor.The only flavors I could taste was a bit of a spice bite and then warmth from the alcohol.

very average mouthfeel quite carbonated though.

Finished clean and fairly quick.

Haven't found an IPA that I've ever liked guess I still haven't. Can't see what all the hype is about, sorry!

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Photo of rfgetz
2.82/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale gold color, quick rush of thin, soapy head, gone quickly. Scent is pale, light, wheat malt with faint touch of stale grassy hops and even fainter touch of lemon, orange and pine. Taste is as disappointing as scent. Pale all around, no malt backbone and no hop bite. Faint flavors of pale malt and grassy hops, some mustiness. Lighter side of medium bodied. Disappointment, if BMC light was dry hopped with year old hops, this would be it.

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Photo of bastardface
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good beer. It is dark in it's taste but still good. The smell is the best I've smelled in a while. The taste is fairly strong with a surprisingly sweet aftertaste. It is sweet but still heavy. Pretty good but not goo on drinking many at a time. Solid.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the winter pack, best by 3/15/11

A - Pours a nice copper color with a good fingers worth of nice foamy head. Decent lacing as well.

S - Aromas of grapefruit and other citrus from the hops with a bit of a bready malt background. Pretty standard for the style, nothing overly exciting though.

T - Pale malts and burnt toast up front. You can taste the hops, its just not as noticeable as they should be. No matter though, still a very tasty IPA.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation, what you would expect.

D - Pretty good, I would have a couple of these no problem. Solid job by Harpoon.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice light copper (as stated on the label) with a half in of head. Carbonation level is moderate but active.

S - First impression was kind of a cat piss type hops which may be the biscuit malts clashing with grain but it smells kind of ehh...

T - Not really offensive but I kept thinking for an IPA it could use more hops. Still a mild hop presence is balanced with a biscuit like malt and grain level is not offensive.

M - Very light to medium. I could easily pick up the "around" 6 percent ABV from the body.

D - Really forgettable IPA. Balance yet nothing really stands out in being sweet or hoppy. It just exists.

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Photo of plfahey
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap in shaker pint glass at Bertucci's in Boston.

Appearance-Deep gold to light amber in color. Very clear. Thin, off-white head with fair retention and slight lacing.

Aroma-The bouquet is a blend of caramel and bready malt aromas with some woodsy, piney, and earthy hop aromas. Some light fruit esters were also apparent.

Flavor-Bready, biscuity malt with light caramel. Medium to medium low piney, woodsy hop flavor, with moderate hop bitterness. Slight fruity esters. Finish is dry with medium hop bitterness carrying on into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel-Medium body. Moderate carbonation. No astringency from hopping (though I would really be surprised if there were any astringency as the hop load seems relatively low for the style.) No alcohol warmth.

The first word that comes to mind when I think of this beer is plain. Not bad, but not too special. This is a middle of the road IPA-easy to drink, but just not that great.

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Photo of mastodonj
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Exceptional clarity although very little head. Very little lacing.

Some real pleasant citrus hoppiness in the nose.

Sharp crisp immediate taste. Nothing subtle. Nicely bitter and just the right bitterness.

Very drinkable although boredom might set in.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice slightly hazy golden color with a little more than 1 finger of fluffy white head, decent retention.

The scent was of citrus and some earthy notes.

The taste was of citrus, toasty, bready malts, moderate hop bitterness, a little alcohol.

Light body, smooth and crisp, moderate carbonation.

This was a very good IPA, the flavor was good and perfectly balanced. This might be the easiest drinking IPA I've had.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bere is orange with a one finger head, completely clear, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly fruity with a mild pine backbone.

Beer is medium to thin in body and tastes like sulfur with some moderate bitterness on the backend. The overall feel of hte beer is OK, the drinkability is fine but this is clearly a bargain basement crappy IPA for the masses from Mass. I am unimpressed and will continue to overlook this particular IPA.

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Photo of Ryan011235
1.66/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Barley's Smokehouse on 11/27/10

Clear, grainy yellow. Thin retention with a little drippy lace.

Smells like soap, lysol & watered down jolly ranchers. Tastes like bubblegum & bread. Agitation that comes with tasting air cleansers as they rain down. Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Soapy finish.

Where is the IPA?

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Photo of mafeeker
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep golden color with a sizeable off-white head. Nice lacing down the glass

S: Pronounced malt with grassy hop aroma. A light citrusy pineyness follows.

T: Nice hop bitterness a first, followed by a malty sweetness, and finishes dry and slightly bitter

D: This is a very drinkable beer. Not the best IPA I have ever had by far, but very good. A nice summer beer, great for any hop-head.

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Photo of TheOtherMike
5/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is another one of my go-to brews. It's sometimes hard to get but is often available in my area. It is a good session beer for me as the ABV is not too high and it goes well with most food. I haven't seen it outside of my area on recent vacations - I do check around to see what's available. So I guess I'm lucky that I can usually get this top-shelf selection.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light amber, barely any head, however lace remains

S: 1' Floral, 2' citrus

T: quickly evolving citrus/floral flavors following the hop kick. Seems to have some amber and wheat beer flavors to it.

M: thin, not too dry but the hop presence does remain the whole way through like it should

D: would drink all night long.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clearly filtered, this arrives at the table a nearly transparent golden color, with visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. A generous pour, so there is not much of a head, but what there is has a white color and leaves bits of lace.

Smell: Floral and pine hops, some light grapefruit citrus.

Taste: Definitely hop-centric, this is light on the malt presence. A touch of sweet caramel malt, then grapefruit rind and sticky pine. A bit of biscuity malt remains throughout, hiding beneath the hoppy flavor. Finishes clean.

Mouthfeel: Mostly clean, with a light bitter puckering and hop oil lingering on the tongue. Medium body, with above average carbonation.

Drinkability: Crirsper than what I would normally order or expect from an IPA, but pleasantly bitter. Not sure if this would have more character out of a bottle.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Harpoon I.P.A. has a thin, off-white head and a semi-clear, copper color, with fine suspended particulate matter throughout. A pretty good amount of carbonation can be seen streaming up the glass, and a little bit of lacing is left behind. The aroma and taste are all floral hops, and some sharpness requires little sips. Mouth-feel is medium, and Harpoon I.P.A. finishes semi-dry. Overall, this is a pretty good ale, and I'd recommend giving it a try.


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Photo of zoso1967
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours your standard IPA copper toned medium amber with a white head that has very good retention and leaves sticky lace.

The aroma has a good amount of biscuity caramel malt that is accented by grapefruity hops. Definitely not as well hopped as a more contemporary American IPA.

The flavor is also on the malty end of the spectrum. Plenty of Biscuity malt and a bit of caramel blend with grapefruit, pine and some spicy hops. Definitely less hop forward than most IPAs, but still good. Despite the significant malt presence, this beer has a good amount of bitterness to keeps it from getting too sweet.

The body is on the light end of medium with a good amount of carbonation. It finishes quite cleanly.

This is a very drinkable IPA, but pretty tame by today's standards. A lot of people think they have dumbed down this recipe, but if the brewery is telling the truth then this is the exact same recipe and all that has changed is peoples' perceptions due to the other extremely hopped IPAs on the market. Whatever the case may be, this beer is still quite tasty, but it is no longer a go to.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice gold/copper color with beautiful fluffy white head that leaves thick creamy walls of lace.

S- Citrus and floral hops in the front, grassy, background of caramel.

T- Nice bitter hop bite up front, sweet middle, and a dry bitter end.

M- Nice bite of bitter, medium/light balance.

D- The standard of IPAs. Nothing out of this world, but a great refreshing go-to beer.

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Photo of bamojr
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a great standard IPA. It embodies everything about the name that it should. It is fairly average, but the perfect example of what the standard should be. It pours golden with a small head into a pint glass. smells hoppy and fruity with some very subtle malt notes. It's flavor is quite nice and is a very refreshing brew. good mouthfeel and decent drinability.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,167 ratings
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