Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,250 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: 1,250 | Ratings: 4,085
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 Treyliff
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Golden straw color with small white head.

S- hoppy, but doesn't seem as hoppy as most ipa's. A little more malts than expected as well.

T- grassy and citrus hops with a bit of sweet grain.

M- average carbonation, very drinkable.

O- This is an good IPA, its very drinkable but seems to lack enough spicy hop kick in the smell and taste department. however, because of this, you could easily drink a few.

 411 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Bright copper gold overall it is quite clear. After the pour the head is a couple of fingers tall but it falls quickly and to a thin layer of fine bubbles that lace nicely throughout the session. The bottle says IPA but my nose doesn't quite agree. The aroma is much more in line with a pale ale than an IPA with a lot of caramel and a bit of sweet buttery notes and very little in the way of hops. The taste too is ok, there is a good bit of bitterness up front and a lot of sweet caramel but really not much in the way of hop flavor or unique malts. The beer finishes with a bit of a metallic twang that i'm not too sure about either. Carbonation is relatively high and there is a decent amount of bitterness in there as well which is nice and overall its not too sweet and not too dry. Overall this is a decent sessionable beer, an IPA for people who dont like IPAs perhaps.

 912 characters

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

Clear gold. Large white head with a mess of drippy lace sticking everywhere. Looks like something I'd want to drink. Never looks that good on tap though

Smells of fresh floral hop. More piney as it warms. Odd, newly vacuumed rug smell. Sweet, light malt underneath it all. Brilliant hop aroma fades as the beer sits.

Tastes of floral, earthy hop with honey sweet malt in back. Perfect bitterness...for a pale ale. Smooth but crisp mouthfeel. Buttery Harpoon yeast aftertaste.

This is the beer that got me into beer. I remember duffextracold saying, "try this, it tastes like flowers." Still one of the best every occassion IPA's in my opinion though it's much better in a bottle vs. tap and hoppiness can vary greatly between bottles/kegs depending on freshness. I'd probably rate it lower if it wasn't such a nostalgic beer for me.

 835 characters

Photo of clickpush
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. With a violent pour this beer came out with about 2 fingers of white head. It's a pale golden color, same as a macro lager, with very few bubbles inside the glass. Slow dissipation of the head and eventually evens off at about a half finger ring around the glass of thick foam.

Nose: Very light smell. Hints of citrus and bitter hops.

Mouth: Enters the mouth with very light carbonation that flattens as it goes back. Has a slight sweetness to balance the nice bitter flavor and extremely hoppy swallow. Slightly grapy in flavor with no lasting bitterness. Overall, it's not a bad brew, it's got a great hop flavor but not enough depth or balance, and the weak mouthfeel ruins the experience.

 731 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours 14k gold with good clarity. Creamy white head of one and a half fingers shows good retention and decent spotty lacing. Slight apple ester in the nose with some mild chinook and cascade aromas. Flash of sweet toasted malt upfront, followed by a blast of grassy american hop flavor and mild grapefruit rind taste, which then dissipates to a solid bitterness. A pinch of high-Alpha acid hop flavor in the aftertaste, but mostly just a bland, dry bitterness. Medium-high carbonation and light-medium body- this seems too crisp and light for the style with an unbalanced bitterness and lack of hop flavor and aroma. Finishes bitter but clean. While this very drinkable and devoid of any significant flaw, it's also kind of boring.

 731 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 rowew
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Flowery label, date printed on the neck just below the upper label.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden, with a nice sized head and good retention.

Smell: More malt than hops - some bready malt with just a hint of floral aroma.

Taste: A bit more hops in the flavor, but still more malt than I would expect in an IPA. Nice malt flavor, with just a bit of the floral hops.

Overall impression: Not a bad beer - not quite what I was expecting, but enjoyable and sessionable.

 493 characters

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

Pours with a thick creamy white head and a slightly hazy golden-copper body.

Smell is citrus hoppy and slightly sweet.

Taste is grapefruit with with a slightly oily feel. Robust malt character adds sweetness. Finish is light and crisp. Pleasant but not as bitter as expected.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a decent brew. However, I feel the flavors are not as balanced as they should be. The maltiness isn't bad, but is slightly inconsistent with the rest of the flavors until it warms a bit. A good session beer.

Thanks to Bashiba for sharing this brew.

 588 characters

Photo of psycl0nb
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A: Pours the expected copper color, moderate lacing.

S: A definite floral aroma reminiscent of the flowers on the label, not as grassy or citric as some of the other IPAs I've had.

T: Honestly I'm not very impressed in this department, for an IPA this seems weak to me, the hop bitterness is not as shocking as I'd like, though interestingly I will note some biscuity malt tones...however, this is not something I'd prefer to taste in an IPA.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, watery, goes down without much of a hit.

D: I suppose I could drink a few of these, but not because I think it's a fantastic beer, simply because it's weaker than I'd expect from the style.

In summation, everything about this beer feels weak for the style, the ABV of only 5.9%, the lack of good hop bitterness throughout and even the appearance is a bit drab by comparison to some of the other top contenders. It's certainly not a bad beer, just not a very impressive one. If I'm going for an IPA I'd much rather have a Dogfish Head or preferably Stone.

 1,026 characters

Photo of bottle
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Characteristics: low carbonation, slightly hoppy, medium sweet (sweet aftertaste), very dry. No really dominating/characteristic taste, very balanced and average.

Overall a average IPA, not outstanding but not bad either, something you can have in the fridge.

 260 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big off white head slowly recedes into a pretty decent lacing above a clear honey golden colored IPA.

Not much aroma for an IPA but what there was was a light citrus hops with an ever lighter sweet background.

Light citrus hops almost bitter taste with a little sweet malt coming through after the initial hops dissipates.

A medium bodied affair that leaves you wanting more for some reason, maybe if there were stronger and richer hops tastes there would be a different reason for wanting more.

 498 characters

Photo of marcpal
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I have very often had this on tap in the past as the best option available at chain restaurants (Legal Seafoods, Cheesecake, McCormicks) and decided while I was picking up 4 Leviathans, I would grap a 6 of these bottles to sit down and think through.

Notes from 2/19. 12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams uber glass.
Bottle Graphics: 3/10.

A: Golden to orange body with a hazy wheaty look for an IPA. Rocky mountain head with spelunking like caves. The color is made up for by the head and fluffy lacing that sticks like marshmallow fluff.

S: Ahh, the lovely scent of Cascade hops. Not an intense smell of some IPAs but robust enough. The sweetness was not apparent in the nose. The smell is the shining moment of this beer.

T: There are clearly hops in the flavor but it doesn't round out to where it needs to be. It seems like it is about three notes away from being a very good IPA, like Smutty Finest Kind but the areas it lacks just leaves it several notches lower. The hops from the aroma don't carry over to the bite or chew which is unfortunate. When cold, no real malt flavors but some biscuit as it warmed down. Closer to a pale and an india pale. Need double simcoe, stat.

M: Maybe training wheels for someone curious about what a hop can bring to a beer because in the texture, there is no oil or bitterness that leaves you yearning for more.

D: Almost to a level of predictability when I get this as the best tap option, the spicy food I like usually dominates and overpowers this beer. Hell, the soy chips and cinnamon sugar pretzels I am chowing on now are not a palate cleanser, they are defeating the heart of this beer.

 1,640 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 nhopkin
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: coppery amber, modest head

Smell: nice herbal, earthy hop aroma, very fresh and delicious. Like herbal tea

Taste: Not as much of the hop character comes through in the taste as I had hoped. The body is a little thin as well and it finishes with a very modest hop bite

mouthfeel: fine, but it seemed maybe a little fizzy to me

Overall: it's fine if there's nothing else around. It has some sentimental value for me, but I feel like it comes up a little short as an ipa

 483 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A - A watery poor that does not hold it's head beyond a very thin line up bubble on the edge of the glass; this beer had the color of apple juice and absent the thin head, you would never know the difference on first glance

S - Subtle, but indistinct aromas, nothing dominate

T - It has the hop bite, but it's far less bitter than most IPAs, no dominate flavor

F - Has a carbonated feel despite no appearance

O - For me, just okay

Disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of the IPA, but my curiosity keeps me tasting. I try to temper my preconceptions when evaluating.

 564 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

tulip glass. best by 6/15/12.

a - a hard pour yields a transparent amber colored brew with a three finger, coarse, sudsy, off white head. retention is ok, calming slowly to a thin cap and leaving thick chunks of sticky lacing in the glass.

s - carmel, toasted bread, earthy hops.

t - strong, bready malt character with floral and herbal notes. hop character is subdued, possibly because it's past it's freshness date, possibly because it wasn't there to begin with. either way, standard ipa flavors but fairly well balanced. finishes very dry.

m - medium in body, slightly sticky, adequate carbonation, medium co2 profile.

o - enjoyable and goes down easy, but nothing really stands out here. overall just average for the style. might be a good place to start if your new to hoppy beers though.

 800 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one last night before bed. Poured a clear bronze color with soap bubble white head and decent lacing. Smelled of citrusy hops followed by grass and malt. Tasted like very mild earthy hops and malt. It was slightly overcarbonated as well, reminding me of something like a hoppy club soda. I could kick back a few of these, but only if nothing else is available.

 369 characters

Photo of travolta
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Light frothy head with minimal retention. Lacing was nice. Golden apricot in color.

Nose: Slightly herbal, leafy, and fruity.

Taste: Leafy, lightly bitter. I don't really get anything else. Maybe some hops.

Notes: Well balanced and not over the top. I like the fact that this beer is not west coast, over-hopped, craziness.

 346 characters

Photo of vitesse
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on draft.
a thoroughly average beer. pours a clear light amber color. very little head. some lace. lots of carbonation bubbles.
smell is citrusy, with some hops aroma. taste is clean and crisp. hops up front and tons of lemon at the end. very very lemony when i had it on tap. i don't think that aspect is as prevalent when had in bottles. mouthfeel is thin and crisp. average drinkability. not a top-notch beer but a decent IPA that delivers some hops and is pretty tasty. much better on tap, imho.

 501 characters

Photo of rdilauro
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This looked as if it was a red ale. It poured a golden, but definitely reddish color. I did not have much of a head on this.

The aromas were somewhat natural for an IPA. There were slight hints of grapefruit and citrus giving it the IPA feel. My fist taste was decent, nothing to take this beer down or anything, but there was also nothing there for me to get excited about.

A good wholesome IPA, perhaps a very good choice for someone who wants to venture into the world of IPAs!

 482 characters

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Massive head in a pint glass clear orange copper color with beige medium bubbled head, yeasty looking. Aroma is a bit weak, smells kind of floral. All the carbonation must have gone to the head! Mouthfeel is very thin and under carbonated. Taste is not as hoppy as most IPA’s. As a beer it is quite drinkable but as an IPA it is definitely not top shelf. Probably a good beer to drink with pizza.

 397 characters

Photo of in780
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint. Best-by date of "2-15-11" printed on the bottle.

A - Looks good. More golden than copper (color stated on the bottle), but whatever. Nice white foam sticks around, good lacing. Visible carbonation all the way til the end.

S - Not much. Was expecting more floral notes. Not bad, just not enough here to go on.

T - Initial hop bite, but fleeting and gone in a snap. Bread. Nothing standing out.

M - Good, enough alcohol presence so you know it's beer, but not abrasive. Right amount of carbonation for and IPA

D - One more at most if fine.

Would have liked to sample fresher...I'll have to revisit.

 645 characters

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.

 848 characters

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

A - Medium orange/yellow colour with a ring of white head.

S - Slight bitterness present with a light citrus aroma. Not overly impressive aroma.

T - A decent bitterness up front with some floral and citrus flavours. A slight bready malt backbone is present.

M - Light body with some creaminess. Moderate carbonation.

 320 characters

Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,085 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.