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Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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1,239 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:
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Reviews: 1,239 | Ratings: 4,037
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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Poured a 2 finger head. Some lacing noticed. Body a clear golden yellow color.

S. Citrus and pine hops. A vague sweetness about it as well.

T. Understated. Light pine hoppiness runs rather quickly into a straight bread flavor with light spice.

M. Light, sessionable. Watery. Easy going.

O. Not what I'm looking for in an IPA. I like a balanced IPA, and this one is very balanced, but it doesn't have enough "oomph" in it, especially on the hop end.

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Photo of jimbotrost
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

reviewed 01-05-05 and transcribed from notes. Pours a deep hazy gold to copper color. Small head is accompanied by a small carbonation level. Nose is cloying with malt sweetness and has a hint of hops. Flavor is big malty and overly sweet. The flavor does dry up nice and quick. Aftertaste starts off with malt but then hops take over and dominate.

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

I think this was previously released under the name, "Golden hop water."

Prickly, citric hops. The malt portion of the aroma is limited to a light cracker-like breadiness. Hop dominated flavor. While the bitterness isn't overwhelming, the lack of malt really helps to bring forth the hop flavor. Very citric and crisp but there's nothing here to keep this from being too one-dimensional in a not entirely pleasant way.

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Photo of Floydster
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle courtesy of swnicholson as an extra in a trade, thanks for the opportunity Scott, best before date of June this year, consumed Friday, reviewed from notes, poured into my Humboldt pint glass, color is a cloudy golden orange, 1/2 inch soapy white head, aroma consists of floral hops, and what smells like Cascde, grapefruit, peaches, grassy accents, bread, and strong yeast, starts off slightly dry, chewy in the middle with toast and caramel malt, finish is slightly sweet and barely has any hops, minimal bitterness in the aftertaste, warming up did not help that either, malty, chewy, and slightly dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, too much carbonation, almost watered down because of it, taste does not linger, could drink a lot of this but probably would not just because there is not much flavor for an IPA and it is too malt reliant for me, although it does stay smooth, refreshing, and light, this IPA did not really do it for me, definitely can tell it is not heavily hopped like I am used to here on the west coast but even taking that into account, it was nothing special, probably would skip next time, might be worth trying

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: golden yellow/orange hue, 2 finger big head, very little lacing

S - subtle floral, grain, and hint of pine.

T: sweet malt, earthy mild pine hoppy finish

M: med/light body, crisp/semi-dry finish, big bubbly feel

D: I had to do a double take, is this an IPA? Had more of an adjunct lager feel and look to it. Fine session beer for a newbie and perhaps ok gateway brew. Have not yet been impressed with Harpoon.


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Photo of mzwolinski
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Surprisingly Weak" For some reason, I expected good things of Harpoon. Maybe it's just my West Coast enchantment will all things Eastern. But this beer was just "blah." Poured clear gold in color with rather little carbonation and not much of a head to speak of at all. Aroma contained very little malt and only a muted leafy/grapefruity hop boquet. This grapefruit taste comes off in the flavor as something more like grapejuice -- sweet without any significant hop bite. Not much of a malt body, either. It's drinkable, but so is water.

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Photo of sholland119
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a highly unexpected pilsenery yellow gold. Fluffy white head and a little lacing.

S-A bit better than the look. Nice malt presence and some hops faintly in the middle distance.

T-Bready malt in the front with a bit of earthy hops in the finish.

M-Crisp, medium carbonation.

D-Well if you insist it's an IPA who am I to argue? But this is not to my liking at all, really.


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Photo of CapH
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A- Light amber, almost dark golden color. Nice head eroding to crisp ring.

S- Astringent malt followed by slight hop bitterness.

T- Fruity malty frontline followed by bitter hop tones in the back.

M- Crisp almost light mouthfeel. Not much body, high effervescence.

O- A solid IPA. More traditional English style than true American. Not bad at all. Nice drinking, enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Risser09
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip - Best by date of 11/2/2007

Appearance: Pours a transparent gold color with orange hues. The head really rises up to about 1.5 inches and is off white in color. Plenty of stringy lace drapes on the sides of the glass. Nice.

Smell: Hops, both piney and grapefruit. Wheat, sugar and slight mothball aroma. Maybe this one isn't as fresh as it should be. Not very aromatic.

Taste: Bitter hops up front. Next is the grapefruit middle and also the finish. Not much hop oil in this beer, as it is mostly a drying, thin bitterness. Malt balance is definitely there.

Mouthfeel: Thin and bubbly with an alcoholic presence that finishes bitter and dry.

Drinkability: This is a decent IPA. It is dryingly bitter without the oiliness from the hops. It is very drinkable, but below average in a league of other mediocre to very good India Pale Ales. So far I have not been impressed with what Harpoon beers I have reviewed.

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Photo of powoo19
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this a while back and had yet to review. This beer is not bad but forgettable. It has a pale apricot color which is not very impressive. The smess is average and hoppy as is the taste. I would rather this on tap then bottle but have yet to try it. Anyone out there have any opinion on the tap version?
Happy Drinking!

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Photo of callmemickey
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber body. 2 finger off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Generic caramel malt and non-descript earthy hop bitterness.

T: While decent, this could be the IPA at any mediocre brewpub. Its got a generic caramel malt base, somewhat bready in parts and mildly bitter earthy, piney hops.

M: Somewhat thick and chewy. Lively carbonation. Muddled finish.

D: Eh. Not bad. But I don't really want to drink "not bad." I am spoiled, I guess.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,037 ratings.
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