Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA
4,189 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: 4,189 |  Reviews: 1,273
Photo of LBBeer
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle into a chilled pint glass at the Marriott in Quincy, MA.

A--Straw color with a slightly orange hue. Ivory head.

S--Surprising dose of hops in the nose. Being West Coast based, I have heard many people bash Harpoon IPA for a general lack of character, but the aroma definitely started things off well.

T--Great bittering hop profile that you don't see enough of on the west coast. Just enough hops, not a palate wrecker.

M--This is a sessionable IPA, with enough malt to balance the bitternes, but not so much that it gets big and heavy.

O--Having not had Harpoon IPA in several years, my expectations were low, but I definitely prefer it over Dogfish 60.


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Photo of thagr81us
2.76/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from bottle into a shaker. Poured golden yellow-orange with a three finger bone white head that subside to one finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of pine, pine resin, and pine hops. The flaovr was of sweet malt, pine hop, and pine resin. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall I was not a massive fan of this one. If you like pine this is the beer for you... It was even more piney than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which I couldn't believe. Not balance in the flavor at all, just pine, pine, pine. The aroma was the best part about this one, but that's not saying much. Did I mention pine???

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Photo of shand
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.

One of the few widely available IPAs I've yet to have. Let's give this a shot. A very aggressive pour yields a whole hand's worth of very foamy head that leaves nice sheets of lacing on it's (very rapid) way down the glass. The brew itself is a golden color, very clear and with visibly high carbonation. The aroma is very good good, floral hops take center stage, along with some citrus. The taste is also quite good, it's a very refined IPA that comes on with nice citrus aspects paired with clean malts at first, then some of the floral aspects come through along with a bit more of a biscuit-y character from the malts. The finish leaves just a bit of nice oily hops.

The mouthfeel is delicate, just like the brew. That said, I'd like a bit more thickness. The drinkability is very good, this glass didn't last long in front of me at all. Overall, I think this is a great IPA. I like the fact where it was "hop-forward" without punching me in the face with hops. Just a very well made and drinkable beer with just enough of a hoppy bite to satisfy me. Not the extreme "punch you in the face with hops" that many people expect from IPAs, but it's just a delicious beer.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter with a nice amber-golden color and a white head that dissipates quickly. Little lacing. Smell is floral with a hint of citrus. Taste is more of the floral notes, balance is nice. Feel is smooth and medium bodied with a nice, oily finish. Overall a good beer and a tasty IPA.

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Photo of schmidtn
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly clear copper color with a nice thick white head that dissipated quickly leaving a nice lace.

Smell is milder that I was expecting. Clean fresh smell with hoppy citrusy goodness. Not as hoppy smelling or tasting as other IPA.

Taste is a good malty hop balance. The carbonation spot on, which lends to a nice mouthfeel. Malt and hops linger on nicely.

A very good beer to introduce people to a true IPA. Quaffable

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Photo of GSmithBeer
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a solid IPA.
A: the appearance was as expected from an ipa
S: Nice nose. Nothing spectacular but good.
T: Again a solid ipa taste, with no real problems or nothing I would say makes this an expectional ipa
M: Good. Good carbonation and mouthfeel.
O: this is a good ipa. not great. good. i would expect it to have a bit more alcohol to keep up with the current crop of ipas on the market.

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

Golden body. Looks decently carbonated. Frothy white head turning into a iceberg effect.

Hops, some pine and floral but a very mild aroma.

Nice tasting IPA but a little on the lighter side. Hops, pine and a mild metalic taste mostly in the beginning with a slight bready backbone.

Light body and easy to go down. Not a whole lot of carbonation but it's noticeable.

This a session IPA. It's light in the body so it's easy to go down. A nice taste makes this a IPA to try.

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tanish golden brown, 1/2 head, plenty of lacing.

Smell - Hops, malts, spices, citrus, sugars, some mild alcohol and yeast

Taste - This ipa is mild, has a dry hop twist to it with the bland bitter hop flavor. Not overly sweet, or spicey, pretty mild bitter yeast and malts. alcohol comes out after it warms up.

Mouthfeel - Thin and bland. Not much of a palette wrecker to say the least. Simple and easy to overcome after a drink of water.

Drinkabilty - Its easy to drink but the flavor of this doesnt do much for me. So much better ipas out there, this one needs some work espcially with the hops. Easy to drink and low in alcohol gives it some points, other then that, nothing special here

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Photo of Kelly88
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap served in a pint glass.

A- very clear golden orange color with a white head that really makes the beer look good. This is also a very clear beer and lacing is minimal but there.

S- not much nose on this beer. Has a mixture of light light hops That are backed with a grassy smell. Yet all these smells are very muted and you really have to work for them.

T- the start of the sip is almost like an amber ale and in the mid/finish the hops show up but not in force. Tastes of watered down citrus fruits. Not a bad taste just really average.

M- pretty good. I like the feel in the way that it is really subtle. Crisp and refreshing. I like this.

D- I could down many of these. I think this would be a great hot weather beer.

More of a pale ale then ipa. Very refreshing and enjoyable. Just needs more flavor and profile. Not a world class beer but one that would be Good after mowing the grass.

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Photo of bmwats
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark golden hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, white head. The head kind of disintegrates, leaving sticky residue on the sides of the glass as it does. A little beer ring lacing.

S: Hops, lemon citrus, a little honey and Italian spice.

T: Pungent hoppy flavor with just a tinge of spice and lemon lime citrus and honey.

M: Dry, hoppy, but has a little of washed-out feel.

D: Goes down easy. Dry, but you can put this one down.

Atmosphere is good. Nice look, good head, and some decent lacing. Nose is a really good combination of hops, citrus, sweet and spice. Flavor is pungent and hoppy with a citrus and sweet. Tastes like it smells. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From tap to 22oz glass at Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal City on 2/26/11
*From notes

A: Clean light gold with one finger head and dissapointing lacing.

S: Not much. I was expecting something, anything. I mean I really had to jam my nose into the oversized glass to pick up even the faintest of mild hop oil.

T: This one definitely caters to the masses, as there really isn't a whole lot to get excited about. I dectect a dallop of hops, which is immediately followed by heavy grain and malt. The finish is soft and fairly weak.

M: Better then I had expected, given the lack of character.

O: This isn't one I'll be returning to often if at all. Not a bad beer, just a bland beer, especially for an AIPA.

I will say this one served it's purpose though, as I and the rest of the wifey's Birthday bunch left (well, got asked to leave) rather toasty.

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Photo of mjhorn
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a pint glass. Initially served a bit too cold and needed a chance to warm up a bit. Poured a lighter golden color than I expected for an IPA with a nice creamy white head. Not a lot going on in the nose, little caramel and roastiness, not a lot of the typical hop aromas. Flavor was good but light on the hops for an IPA. Mostly caramel and roasted malt, with slight fruit notes. Hops are really only present in a slightly bitter dry finish. Smooth and drinkable, pretty good beer I just didn't think it was a great fit for the style. Reminded me more of a slightly more bitter red ale or the like than true IPA.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden (Windsor, VT) on 2/20/11. Served in a Harpoon IPA branded pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of thick and foamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly a rich ½ finger that proceeds to coat the sides of the glass with heavy sticky lacing. The aroma is bright and zesty smelling in the nose with citrus flavors that are undercut by some additional leafy, earthy, and spicy notes. A firm backing of caramel and bread balance things out across the back, giving the overall nose a spicy tanginess at times.

The taste mirrors the nose, with fresh biting citrus flavor that is surrounded by a leafy spiciness. This is balanced by a silky mix of caramel and lightly toasted grains. The finish is dry and spicy with a touch of bitter earth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the sides, which then pulls together into more of a creamy and silky feel across the back of the throat as this goes down. That slightly sub 6% ABV helps keep this smooth and drinkable.

This was my first time with this beer on draft and I must say that I enjoyed it much more than the few times that I've had it out of the bottle. Lots of fresh bright citrus flavors and bitterness here, which were well balanced and the creamy body here kept this very drinkable. This has a bit of an Americanized British IPA hybrid thing going on and I really liked it.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours crystal clear golden color w/good carb & nice white head. Smells faintly hoppy - citrusy. Doesn't punch you in the face w/hops. Malt (crystal) caramel flavors delicately hopped. By today's standards, this one is a weak IPA because of the lack of hop character. Light to medium mouthfeel. Slightly bitter by today's IPA standards. Nicely drinkable.

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Photo of grumpyowl
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle in Manchester, NH.

A: Clear 1 inch head. Nice lacing that holds up. Dark gold in color

S: Sweet fruit; Strawberries come to mind, some pine

F: Hops in the back then fruity in the finish. Some date. No maleness detected.

M: Dryer than I thought considering sweetness in the nose. Carbonation hits back of palate right away. Taste disappears then bitterness comes through. Slight tartness in the finish.

D: Very drinkable.

O: Although no maltiness detected, sweetness in the nose and mouth balances the finishing bitterness. Nice!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 5/15/11 lasered on the neck. It was a clear, medium golden yellow color with good carb streams. It had a large, foamy head that slowly settled into a thick collar and thin foam cap. Good sheeting with some sticking.

The aroma was good with floral hops and a little citric hops along with a good malt base. Would have liked a little more hop aroma. The taste was good with a solid, lightly bitter hop flavor balanced with the malt. Medium mouthfeel with good carb and a good hop finish.

Overall, a good IPA that is balanced but lacking in the hop aroma and flavor for me. Not bad by any stretch but also not that exciting. I won't remember this one tomorrow. Avail here in TX. Rotation - good but too many other better ones out there to buy again unless once on tap. [N;O]

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

on tap at the trocadero in philly

Pours a slightly hazed golden yellow with some orange tones. A filmy head fades out quickly with some spots of lacing and a bit of filmy retention.

Scents of citrus and orange with nice hoppiness. A few notes of bready malt as well.

Bitter hops up front with citrus and orange. Some bready malt with grain and lemon peel. Slight sweetness with caramel and fruit. Finishes with bitterness and fruit.

Medium body, lighter carbonation, fairly soft on the palate. Drinks quietly and quickly, as the flavor is forgettable along with nearly everything else about this beer. This is probably one of the more boring IPAs I've ever had.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint glass. best before 2/15/11, a few days past its prime, but it doesnt bother me.

pours out a clear golden color, hues of orange with a big fluffy 2 fingers of white head. great retention, eventually faded to 1/4 inch retentive layer. lots of sticky lace covering most of the glass.

in the aroma there is some citrus, grapefruit, and floral hops, a little dank and a bit lemon and grassy hops as well. not super hoppy. bits of bready malt behind the hops.

citrus hops, lemon, grassy, nothing exciting, not as hoppy as i would have liked. a weak bready malt tries to make a balance. slightly resinous towards the finish with some lingering bitterness, but nothing intense.

medium bodied, a bit too much carbonation. hops are felt on the palate, but doesnt wreck it as much as i would have hoped.

drinks fairly decent, would go down easy on a hot summer day. i wouldnt buy this again, this bottle came in a variety pack, but if offered, i would drink it. maybe a fresher bottle would be better.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass; nice bright white head that sits on top of the beer throughout, little bit of lacing; color is very pale copper.

Smell is light malt, hint of floral hop bitterness.

Taste is crisp light malt, followed by a hop bitterness, not striking me as an ipa, more pale ale, milder flavors.

mouthfeel is well balanced, nice carbonation with good flavor on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good, nice balance of malt flavor and bitter hops.

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Photo of negroobserver
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - Best Before Date: 08/15/2010

A: Light Golden / Honey Color. Filtered with a slight hazy quality. Pours with about a half inch of head which leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing. Visible rising carbonation in the glass.

S: Sweet. Honeydew. Medium roasted scent followed by maltiness. Overall a very pleasant smell to the beer. Makes me want to drink it.

T: Starts out without much flavor. In the middle you will find strong hoppy and floral notes. Finishes with a strong bitter taste, which lingers in the mouth for about 3-5 seconds.

M: Carbonation is a little high. The beer has good depth and texture. It's got weight but isn't syrupy.

D: I could have one or two of these, but the bitterness and the roasted aroma can be a very detracting. The more you drink, the more the roasted malty scent begins to dominate.


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Photo of perrymarcus
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a standard shaker pint.
best before stamp: 03/15/11

pours a clear dull gold/copper color with a finger or so of fizzy while head. so-so retention; bits of lace in patches but nothing to write home about.

nose is definitely on the subdued side (not one of those aromatic IPAs that swarms the oflactory senses); floral hops and some toasted malt characters.

flavor is an improvement. at the risk of showing my bias - this was one of my "gateway" craft brews - you get a nice hop/malt balance with a crisp, slightly bitter finish. not exceptional by most measures but a tasty and enjoyable IPA.

medium-light bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. very drinkable.

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Photo of WrathsU
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Super clear/clean gold liquid with milky white head. The lace stays around after drinking and the head retention is nice.

S - Not too much here, mediocre hint of citrus with a small note of spicy.

T - Pretty average run of the mill IPA. Not too bold or daring, yet is pronounced enough to not be boring.

M - Not light or heavy, closer to lighter than heavier though.

D - Unoffensive IPA that could be plowed through.

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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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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 4,189 ratings