Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,248 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
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Reviews: 1,248 | Ratings: 4,075
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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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 sstackho
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours fairly pale, with medium carbonation. Head fades pretty quickly, but has decent lacing. Nice, floral hoppy aroma. Taste is enjoyable, but a bit lacking, and not as full, hoppy and fruity as I was hoping from the aroma. As this beer appears to be pretty readily available in the Boston area, I would definitely choose it again when offered alongside the big brews, if no interesting micros are available.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

To be honest, I'm just not a fan. I don't think I can exactly pinpoint what it is, but this beer just seems to be too acidic for me. It has a helluva bite, without much reward. It's like breeding pit-bulls without keeping one to protect the house. I looove hops, but this is just plain bitter - not in the good way. There just isn't anything to balance out this brew. I get very little flavors other than hop bitterness. Perhaps a little bit of lemon. Anyway, maybe I'll give it a try in the bottle since the brothers seem to think it is better that way.

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Photo of Gmann
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with a short wispy white head that settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a floral hop with some orange and apricot scents. The malt is bready with a honey sweetness. Smells more malty than hoppy.

The taste is of a sweet honey malt with some cereal grains. The hops are grassy with some citrus. A slight hint of asprin towards the end.

The feel is moderate with tingly carbonation. Pretty balanced between the sweet and the bitter; finishes slightly dry.

Definition of an average IPA. Its quite drinkable but the flavor is just ho hum.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, says to enjoy by 02/15/2013. Poured into a Boulevard tulip.

A - Pours a clear copper color with one finger of head that disappears quickly. Steady column of bubbles rushing up to the top.

S - Malty and lightly hoppy. Smells hoppier than it actually is, if you ask me.

T - Taste is way more malty than it is hoppy, which is kind of disappointing. It is well-balanced, but I definitely wish it was more bitter and hoppy. Has a vague apple cider taste to it also, which is kind of strange.

M - A nicely bodied beer, with a nice resinous mouthfeel, and the lingering taste of green apple.

Overall, it's not a bad beer, but I like my IPA's to be ridiculously hoppy, and this beer disappoints in that arena. Nicely bodied, and tasty nonetheless, but as an example of the style it is a little bland. Solid 5.90% abv, and I got this 6 pack on sale for $5.99 so I guess I can't complain.

Harpoon IPA ---3/5.

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Photo of supercolter
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at a small restaraunt on Nantucket Island, definately the most average IPA I have tasted.
The hops just weren't what they should be. That's not to say they were non-existant, but they were along the potency of an APA and tasted poor in quality. The flavor overall was good but just not a good depiction at all of the style.

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Photo of tewaris
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

42 IBU's

12 oz. bottle with a best by of 6/15/11 poured into a Bell's tulip. Courtesy drdogbeer, thanks!

Copper golden and very clear with a creamy off white head. Good retention and lacing. Looks the part! Aroma is more bready than hoppy, and this is a very "mild" IPA it seems. Some floral notes were present initially but unimpressive overall. There's a gutter like smell too that's off putting.

Tastes equally mild, with some fruitiness and some pils like hop notes. Quite European actually; not highly hopped as it claims. Bitterness never really kicks in but lingers briefly on the palate. The finish is clean and dry, carbonation medium and the body light, but not thin. Low alcohol is a saving grace, although Masala Mama & Furious are in that ABV range and far far superior. Very very average tasting IPA. Overall an average beer that I could drink on my dime faced with limited options. I really think that if this was marketed as an APA, it'd have a better chance at ratings.

Scores: Appearance 4.5/5; Aroma 2/5; Taste 3/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 3.5/5

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.04/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

crystal clear, pale golden amber, some head which soon fades to a thin layer. low-to-moderate lacing.

some mild hop aroma and earthiness, but not much else. maybe even metallic whiff.

hops are gentle but bitter, not much malt. again, something metallic.

watery, a bit fizzy.

what the hell? i guess it's drinkable if you consider this an english pale or bitter. but even for an english IPA, this is tame. don't even try to consider this an american IPA.

22oz bomber purchased from cooler and dated "best by" several months from now, so i really don't think i got a bad bottle.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one poured a light clear orangish-yellow in color with a short but retentive head that left some pretty good lacing.

Smell – The light, leafy hops were mixed with grapefruit and a super-light malty base. I couldn’t really pick up a whole lot from this nose.

Taste – The hop flavors here were very singular in nature. They are very leafy and herbal and sorely one-dimensional. There was a little faint grain mixed in with everything but no finish to this beer.

Mouthfeel – I enjoyed the nice, bitter mouthfeel of this light to medium-bodied IPA but thought it was lacking in complexity.

Drinkability – It would be hard to keep drinking this all night. Although I live out West I can still appreciate a good East Coast IPA, but this just isn’t it.

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Photo of bashiba
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very light amber color with very little head at all, even when poured very aggresively.

Smell has hints of floral hops and a metalic copper odor.

Taste retains the same metallic copper flavors with some light floral hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is light with a touch of slickness.

Overall a drinkable IPA, but fairly average.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a Pilsner Glass.

A: Has a hazy orange/yellow color, 2 finger head with nice retention very nice lacing throughout.

S: Floral notes with hints of citrus.

T: Has a nice sweetness up front with a touch of citus, but finishes with a good amount of bitter hoppiness.

M: I'd say this is a medium bodied brew with good carbonation.

D: I'm not a big IPA guy but this one went down well... Nothing really stands out on this one....

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,075 ratings.
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