Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

4,131 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:
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

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Ratings: 4,131 |  Reviews: 1,258
Photo of Lauthaha
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass.

Appearance: Totally transparent dark-golden color to the beer itself, with maybe just a touch of red tint to it. Heavy carbonation is visible through the glass, and it leads upwards to a sweet, foamy white head. The head recedes very slowly, leaving behind light lacing, and it dimples as it falls. Nice consistency!

Smell: Citrus sweet'n'sour for a base, with floral hops supplementing the orange nose. Haven't had an IPA in a while, and this one (so far) seems to have been a good choice for getting back into the style.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light and crisp on the tongue, with gentle carbonation. The flavor takes a few seconds to creep up on you, which gives the beer some character (i.e. it doesn't smack you in the face with hops). After the initial sip, the bitterness coats your tongue with some fierceness. Citrus in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Straight good. I could drink it several times a week.

If you like IPAs, and haven't tried this one, it's most definitely characteristic of the style. Good interpretation by Harpoon (my first run in with this brewery).

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Photo of nickhiller
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: clear, golden, carby with finger of head that fades slowly to a lacy ring at the edges.

S: bananas (exactly like the Tropicana tropical fruit juice blend with strawberries and banana), yeast esters, a slight sour vomit in the background (gross but true), an irritating lack of hops considering the style.

T: tastes like more of a bitter lager than an IPA; almost exactly like the same as the Harpoon 100 series Potts lager. More of the fruity notes from the nose, bananas, finish is bitter and toasty.

M: light bodied, sharp and clean with good carbonation.

D: meh. This used to be one of my favorite beers in college but I guess I've grown out of it. It's not that it's a horrible beer, it's fairly drinkable, but it's a horrible IPA. If you go in with the expectation of an American IPA (or any other type), you may be sorely disappointed.

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Photo of Wamesit
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden copper color with a strong white head that produces superb lacing.

S- Citrus nose is strong but beneath it is both moderate hops and malty smoothness.

T- Citrus throughout that gives way to bitter hops on the back of the tongue, a mild maltiness follows. Rich flavors that follow in a desirable succession. Not too crisp/sharp but as with any good IPA the hops flavor does have staying power, making itself present with soft bursts on the sides of the tongue as the drinker breathes.

M- Medium feel. Rich.

D- I find this beer to be extremely drinkable. Light but not certainly not dull, this citrusy IPA could fight warm summer nights.

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Photo of claspada
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is mold citrus and piney hops. A light sweetness in the nose to balance out the bitterness. Simple.

The tastes are quite similar to the nose. Citrus hops, but not overly bitter. Some light malty sweetness. Not very impressive, and bland compared to today's unique/impressive offerings. A medium body, but thin a watery.

Overall this is not a hard IPA to drink. The bitterness does not over power, and makes for a relatively easy to drink beer. Not worth revisiting or reordering with the plentiful amount of great offering available today.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the bar. Copper color, no carbonation. Aroma of grapefruit, citrus hops and biscuit malt. Medium body, very sharp. Spicy hops and grapefruit dominate the mouth with biscuit malt in the background. Long bitter finish. Nice, easy drinking IPA.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.33/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, yellow/orange in color. White head of about a finger.

Crisp, slightly floral with a bit of pronounced malt sweetness.

Taste is initially citrus fruits, though a bit faint. A light bitterness follows and sweet malts. Finish was a funky banana taste that I did no care for in the least.

Feel was crisp, slick and lighter in body.

Not great, though not undrinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
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 TheHoppiest
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Mavis Winkles in Independence.

Poured from a too-cold tap into a pint glass. Pours an amber gold, with minimal head. Lack of head is likely due to the nature of the pour, and not the beer.

Smell is underwhelming; slight malt, otherwise, silent on the nose.

This beer has a nice up-front bitter taste, mellowed by malt and ending with slight hop bitterness. Overall, a fair amount maltier than I prefer my IPA's to be.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Serviceable enough as a session beer, but certainly not what I think of when I think IPA.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a slightly cloudly light copper with a finger of frothy white head.

S - Not very hoppy. A bit of floral hops and some sweetness, but not a very appealing nose. "beery" come to mind, as I can pick up a tiny hint of yeast.

T - Floral up front that gives way to an unappealing bitterness. A wave of bready malts kick in and take over and it's a nice ride from there on, but overall not especially tasty.

M - Very thin. Carbonation is average. Leaves the mouth slightly dry. Not great.

D - Just not very enjoyable. A chore to drink when compared to the Lagunitas IPA I just had. Pretty disappointing.

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Photo of mwill7287
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Cityside, Brookline, MA. Poured into standard 16 oz. pint glass.

Appearance - golden, clear & crisp.

Smell - very "floral", as described by a friend early on in my relationship with this beer. The term has stuck. The fact that I can smell it is remarkable.

Taste - Carries out the floral-ity of the smell. Strong in taste.

Mouthfeel - Naturally bitter, as an IPA, but not overwhelmingly so. Refreshing, cool, crisp - good for warm summer days.

Drinkability - Fairly standard. Good choice to a beer to go with for the evening, especially at bars close to BC that have limited selections.

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Photo of gregshead
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Copper in color. Average amount of head, nothing special to note.

S: Pine and floral hit the strongest

T: Pine up front with floral and grass in the bitterness. Also caramel color comes through in the taste. Just like I wrote it, the taste doesn't seem to flow together.

M: Good amount of carbonation runs off the middle of my tongue. Medium thickness feel.

D: Its just ok. Can't put my finger on it completely. I feel like the flavor combinations don't blend together for for my enjoyability/drinkability.

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Photo of emsroth
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

App: Golden amber with a wonderful frothy, white head.

Smell: Sweet, fruity, floral hops. Low malt profile. No alcohol present

Taste: Smooth, gentle flavor for an IPA. Uniform taste throughout. A husky malt flavor paired with a slightly sweet, piney hop bitterness.

Light mouthfeel with refreshing carbonation.

A low profile ipa that gets the job done. It was also my first so I have a special connection with it.

Incredibly easy drinking beer for any occasion.

Pairs very well with my spicy indian dumplings with spinach and flat bread. More Indian restaurants need to sell IPAs.

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Photo of beyah
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz brown longneck bottle into a pint beer glass.
A beautiful golden color very very clear, nice frothy head with decent lacing.
Smell lots of Cascade and a some mild malt in the background.
There is a citrus hop taste and it is more forward than that of the malt. A perfect balance between malty and bitter.There is a sweetness I can only atriute to the yeast. Only notice the alcohol slightly.
A light to moderate body, IPA, with the right mouthfeel.
This stuff is very drinkable, need to keep some of this around yearound, I could serve this to almost anyone and they would find it a good choice.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very pale, amber orange color with a frothy head that leaves some splotches of lacing

S- A sour bitterness on top of candy, honey and oranges

T- The flavor is somewhat bland, but the floral hops are really excellent, even though there aren't enough of them.

M- Smooth, foamy carbonation with a somewhat watery body

D- There isn't much flavor, but at least there aren't any off flavors

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

I drink alot of this because its my sisters only beer. I find it a little sweet at times, and yesterday at the octoberfest in Vermont, I drank it next to the UFO pale, and it was really notable how little flavor the IPA had. Strange, that. But it is a reliable IPA, and I do choose it when I get the chance. My favorite pub in Atlanta has it for $3 a pint!
Again, a little sweet but a fine light hopiness that drives the drinkability.

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Photo of mweso2000
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear yellow color with thin white head. Slight piney smell with a hint of hops. This beer does not really taste like an IPA. The hop flavor is very weak with little bitterness. Tastes more like an Pale Ale. Not a bad flavor, just not an IPA. Drinks very smooth and goes down easy. Overall a good beer, just not worthy of a high IPA grade.

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

a- kinda yellowish pale color, not impressed
s- had a nice smell, nice citrus notes and a hint of a tart fruit, possibly grapefruit
t- mild citrus taste with a little tartness and maybe a slight minty taste
m- average mouthfeel, weak for an ipa, would be good for a regular pale ale
d- on paper the beer doesnt sound that great but i think i actually like this one, its not amazing or anything but its a decent beer for a brand thats readily available here

about halfway through the beer i had a bowl of curry pork and the beer went really well with that

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Photo of soju6
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper colorwith a good head that fades to some lacing

S: A nice mixture of citrus & malt aroma with a bit of fresh grain. Not overpowering.

T: A mild taste of malt & citrus. A clean bitterness and a crisp finish.

F: Medium body, quite smooth and refreshing. A well balanced brew.

D: Very enjoyable, a good IPA that is not overhopped or overhyped. Check it out.

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Photo of soze47
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is a hard one to review. This seems to be an everyday, widely available type of beer in the Boston area, but when comparing it to the style and how it holds up to others, this one simply doesn't get a high grade from me.

Appearance: Light amberish orange hue. 1 1/2 inch of pure white head that settled quickly. There are a lot of ephervescent bubbles dancing up from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: I get biscuity malt first on smell, then slight grassy hops. This is odd and not what I would expect for the style. Although BA puts this in as an American IPA, which it is, I feel like this is closer to an English IPA from the nose.

Taste: Just like the nose, maltiness is what I get first with the hops only providing a balancing bittering quality with little appreciable flavor. It doesn't taste bad, but it certainly isn't robust or anything remarkable.

Mouthfeel: Again, middle of the road. Considering middle of the road ABV, you get a boozy heat on this one. It finishes pretty crisply without a massive aftertaste. The higher rate of carbonation also keeps the body light in the mouth.

Drinkability: Like I mentioned before, this is a fine beer to have when kicking around Boston as it is available everywhere. The bitterness is actually key to keeping this from being too malty or oppressive. It is an easy drinker, but nothing that is remarkable either.

Overall: I seem to have at least on Harpoon IPA a month living in Boston. It can often be the best beer in the room at a party or non-beer specialty bar. However, this is not one to try if you are at a place with other regional or national IPAs on hand.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light golden straw color with about an inch of head, OK retention and lacing.

S - Floral pine-like hops, pretty aromatic, sweet malt, and mild grapefruit citrus.

T - Rather disappointing after the look and smell of it. Hops are there but not very defined. Malty sweetness, followed by a bland yet slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - Pretty crisp and refreshing, a little light and over carbonated for the style though.

D - Not my new favorite IPA, but it's not terrible either, a good place to start, and to enjoy on a hot summer day.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I thought this was just an exceptional IPA. It's aroma is delicious. It's a highly-hopped ale but it's surprisingly very easy to drink.

I will say I've had Harpoon IPA on both tap and bottle, and the differences are substantial. The bottle doesn't do its justice. In fact, it sort of ruins it for me. The hops seem to be more intense out of the bottle, sort of souring the beer.

Still, one of my favorite IPA's. Harpoon is always solid.

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Photo of samie85
2.38/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap earlier tonight at a neighborhood corner bar.

A-This one is a golden orange color with a half-finger head.

S-Bready and caramel malt with a bit of flower and pine hop notes.

T-Orange and maybe a little pine with some light caramel malt and a clean, bitter finish.

M-Light bodied with low carbonation and a thin mouthfeel.

D-A really meh beer for me, not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of JMad
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle to a pint glass...
It pours a light copper color, had a bright white head.
Smells of floral hops, and has a light sweetness.
Tastes mostly of lemon and pine resin.
The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and leaves the mouth with a welcome dryness.
Good all around, but really nothing special, for me at least.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by 11/15/10

A - Pours a clear gold with a good two fingers of off white head. Nice retention and lacing

S - Nose is a bit of citrus hops and a touch of lighter malt

T&M - Lighter bodied and on the maltier side of an IPA. Some nice, light earthy and floral hop notes. Very clean flavors with a clean finish. I could go for a bit more complexity, but it is a bonus to drinkability.

D - See above; very clean flavors, very easy drinking.

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Photo of sogrady
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Short of Dogfish 60, this is one of the better mass market IPAs you'll find. It's clean drinking, medium body and has a bit more octane than some of the other beers in this class at almost 6%. The taste is basic but pleasant, mild to moderate hop present up front balanced by a hint of bitterness after.

Overall it's a good, solid IPA, particularly now that it's available in cans.

It loses points for drinkability, however, because it has a deserved reputation for being much harder on you the next morning than comparable offerings. Whether it's the presence of the sugars or some other factor, I know more than a few people who steer clear for fear of the aftermath.

For a beer or two, it won't kill you.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,131 ratings.
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