Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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1,235 Reviews
Harpoon IPAHarpoon IPA

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States | website

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,235 | Ratings: 4,015
Photo of Xadoor
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try it during a recent trip to Boston and it was as good as expected. Colour was a dark yellow with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing on the glass. Very drinkable and refreshing. It would definitely be one of my regular IPA's if I could buy it down here.

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Photo of inebrius
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite the easy drinking tap offering. A toasty malt spine holding up a well hopped bitterness, aroma and flavor. One could drink this all night, but the ABV might have something to say about that after a half dozen.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Cheers the Bar of all places. (I was a tourist, I know.) This beer had a minimal head, but it had a nice color and a good aroma.

The big plus of the beer is its really good malt profile. This made this an exceptional beer. I've purposely not read the other reviews, and I assume most will say not enough hops. This is hoppy. But definitely could use more hops as an IPA. Very good though. You can find this all around town, which is a nice thing to say about Boston.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the AOBF 5/24/03.

Pale amber in appearance. Silky smooth off-white lace coats the glass. Aromas are much softer than the bottled version. A slight citrus and earthy mix. The taste is so very smooth. Given that this is my first cask-conditioned beer, I really didn't know what to expect. Man! Was I impressed! When I'd originally reviewed this beer, I noted how well-balanced it was, from a hoppy bitterness:malty sweetness ratio. The very same holds true with this version of the IPA. Everything just seems to have been toned down and mellowed. Mouthfeel and drinkability were fantastic. The differences in this beer from the cask and bottle are striking. A great way to start off the AOBF.

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

Nice copper color, very nice head that lasts a while.

Nice citrusy hops smell, very full aroma, smells just like an IPA should. Some floral notes as well.

Medium mouthfeel, very hoppy, slight bitterness. Strong citrus notes and a slight bitter-sweetness in the finish, as well as a bit of dryness.

Definitely a nice brew and a quality IPA.

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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 Globetrotter
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand-delivered from Boston to Moscow by a colleague (thanks, Jenny - go Red Sox!), I couldn't wait to pop this old friend open. Lord, why can't we get stuff like this here? No ingredient or freshness information. U.S. needs to get with the program on that score.

Pours a nice cloudy amber-copper hue under a slightly off-white one finger head that settles pretty quickly but leaves a bit of lace. Marvellous flowery nose, balanced by some barley but clearly hops are the main attraction. The mouth is prickly, yet smooth, with a heaviness to the texture that coats the mouth and tongue almost like thin syrup. There's definitely a sweet malt backbone here which does a good job of supporting the hops, which are present from the beginning. Definitely not a super-hopped brew, the flowery sweet and crisp bitter nevertheless determine the flavor experience. A deeper bite emerges briefly in the aftertaste, but the flowers linger remarkably long. There's no impression of espresso here - it's more like perfume. Nice.

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

Poured on-tap at a TGIFridays and served in a weisse-vase, the beer is a bright copper-gold coloring, with a chestnut color in the depths. Very thin film of white head atop the brew. Light and green nose, with spicy notes throughout, and an overall blend of grapefruit and oregano. The flavor is caramel malt forward, with a roasted character, followed by grapefruit sweet and tart, and then ending with a flush of fresh, green, wet hops at the end, and peppery/all-spice highlights throughout. Grapefruit sweet and tart aftertaste, with hops spice and bitters. The finish is quick, clean, and dry. Tasty!

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

Big bubbly white head over golden body. Nice lacing. Big hop aromas, lot of citrus. Much more balanced in taste than nose would indicate. More English than American IPA (except for the aroma). Which makes it more of a session beer for hopheads. Some postings/reviews seem to indicate that it has been dumbed-down, but this is still a fine beer. Glad they still send large quanitites to New Jersey.

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

Poured into a pint glass and it had a nice frothy 2 finger head that stuck around for a while and left nice lacing. A bronze hue thats typical of this style.

The smell was very crisp and very appealing. A hoppy/floral aroma that makes your mouth start to water.

The taste isnt as strong as the smell would suggest but still very good. It's not overly hopped like some IPA's but makes the hop flavor come out more subtle and with less of a bitter finish that many of it's counterparts.

Overall a very nice IPA indeed. Could become a staple beer for those that want a lot of flavor but don't like some of the other hyper-hopped up IPA's out there.

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

Pours a beautiful clear amber-golden with a decent head. Aroma is strong and surprisingly malty, but there is also a good hop component. Flavor is strongly hoppy with minimal bitterness and a good malty undertone. Thus is a very smooth and definitely enjoyable IPA.

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

Pours a deep golden color with a fluffy, sticky head of foam. Pleasing citrus nose. Taste is grapefuit, pine combined with earthy notes. Terrific balance with this beer. Great sudsy mouthfeel. Always has been my "go to" beer of choice. It never disappoints.

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

Nice bronze color, very clear with a thick white head. Lacing looks good so far but the head is dying slow.

Aroma of nice citrus hops, not the in your face grapefruit of so many others. Just a nice pleasant aroma. There is not a big malt backing here. I am getting an interesting candy cinnamon aroma that intermingles with the hops.

Taste is slick with sweet malt, some nice citrus hops and fading to a hoppy bitterness. Again a candied anise or cinnamon flavor, very subtle but noticeable for me. Interesting depth to a standard AIPA from a pretty big brewery.

Nice body, a nice slick feel with good carbonation. Very nice and superbly drinkable.

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

A - beautiful orange hues in the beer along with a nice white

S - initial smell of hops but not strong; you know immediately that
this is a well balance session beer.

T - tastes of pine and herbal hops initially with a slight medicinal
taste at the end..

M - mouthfeel is a bit thin but that only pushes this beer into the
session beer category that much more...

D - extremely high with the drinkability this one is, and I could
easily polish of a few of these on a hot summer day..

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

Hard pour yeilds a large foamy white head atop a slightly hazy pale golden body, fair ammount of lacing.

Lightly sweet and bready aromas with a bitter hop background, lemon-lime finish.

Bitter hops mask a slightly buttery malt, fairly clean slightly bitter finish.

Slightly acidic bite, medium light body, good carbonation, dry finish.

I like this one. A bit more dry and clean than many other American IPAs.

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

Pours a nice light copper color with a thin white head that has some decent lacing qualities. Nice pungent, oily aroma. The hop explosion hit the palate first. And it is good. I would say this beer is more hoppy than it is bitter. There is a bitter element present, but more of the hoppy tones seem to make their way to my taste sensors. Flowery and herbal at the same time. A bit oily. Slightly pungent. After cutting through all of the wonderful hop nuances, you will find a decent malt presence. Nicely done IPA here.

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

Pours a nice light amber color with a very white, foamy head.

It smells of fruity hops, almost sweet. There's also some citrus notes in the aroma as well.

The flavor is hoppy -- big surprise! -- with a nice malt character that is almost balanced. I'm not a big fan of balance, so this does not bother me.

The mouthfeel is oily and slick, perfect for such a hoppy IPA.

This is a very nice IPA. I'm glad we're getting it in Florida.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours medium honey, .5 inch white head reduces to ring. Persistent foamy lacing.

S - Sharp malt and floral notes.

T - Nice sweet caramel bittered efficiently - clean finish.

M - Light to medium body, good carb, nice balance, good coating.

D - Like this better than the Ale, and that was very drinkable.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First encountered this beauty drinking on Landsdowne Road before a Red Sox game in August with my Dad and my younger brother. We were at this old pub full of baseball memorabilia and we drank four rounds and had a big nacho in about half an hour before the game. Great atmosphere in the whole area. Strong stuff. Then the game got rained out..doh!
A suprising color for an IPA, fairly pale, with a decent quantity of foamy head and moderate carbonation bubbles apparant. Berry is the first scent I detect in the nose, follwed by other fruits, some sugars, and some great hoppy bite.
A big burst of hop flavor that tapers off into a bitter sheen and a dryness on the roof of my mouth. Pretty good stuff if you like hops. This is a beer with some personality and I can definitely drink these when drinking needs to be done. Among my favorite American Indian Pales me thinks.

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Photo of Moxley
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at Rockafellas in Salem, MA.

A - Nice clear nut brown color with a decent head that stuck around and good lacing. Good looking IPA.

S - Hops were not overpowering, but definitely there with a sweet malt background.

T - Very good IPA. Not overly hoppy, but a good clean hop presence. The sweet malts compliment the bitter hops nicely and create a really well balanced beer.

M/D - This is a great beer with a refreshing clean finish. Highly drinkable, not too heavy, and with a 5.9ABV, you could comfortably drink this all afternoon.

Going to the Brewery today. I'll rate this beer again after I've had it at the brewery.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pale golden brew with a whispy white head and decent lacing. The aroma is pretty mild flowery hops dominant over a bit of bread/wheat. The taste is again dominated by the floral hops with a background of some malt. It has a nice sweet citrus orange flavor mixed in with sprite carbonation, easy drinking. Very nice as a relatively light but flavorful American IPA. Always open to one of these.

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Photo of grumpyowl
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
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 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 Gatch
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great IPA that you can drink any time. I had the Winter Warmer first, so that could have been the reason for my high marks, but their IPA has always been good from what I've heard before. Everything about it is typical IPA but that's not a bad thing at all. Very smooth throughout and complemented my steak tips really well. This isn't as common as Sam Adams Boston Lager in most bars/restaurants, but many that I've been to have Harpoon IPA as one of the few micros amongst the Bud and all that. I never hesitate to order it.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,015 ratings.
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