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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,248 | Ratings: 4,075
Photo of lechroy
2.81/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Fresh sixer in Boston MA. Poured into a glass and A was wonderful, golden and very clean. This was highlight of the brew despite my nostalgia around it. S was weak malty flavor with light hops. T left much to be desired as it was certainly a pale ale to me, not an IPA. BUMMER. M was okay but nothing special and O it was disappointing. Light, flavorless IPA with a nice color as its best asset.

 395 characters

Photo of rfgetz
2.82/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale gold color, quick rush of thin, soapy head, gone quickly. Scent is pale, light, wheat malt with faint touch of stale grassy hops and even fainter touch of lemon, orange and pine. Taste is as disappointing as scent. Pale all around, no malt backbone and no hop bite. Faint flavors of pale malt and grassy hops, some mustiness. Lighter side of medium bodied. Disappointment, if BMC light was dry hopped with year old hops, this would be it.

 451 characters

Photo of tykees88
2.82/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- that orange gold color that seems to be just standard for the style. nothing special with the head.

S- Smells really nice. Biscuits give way to hops.

T- underwhelming. It really has no malt backbone, the hops are weak at best. can't call this much of an ipa

M- medium to lighter bodied, nicely carbonated

O- totally underwhelmed by this beer. It's not hyped, but harpoon makes decent stuff, but this just sucked.

 419 characters

Photo of necoadam
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one disappointed me.

Poured out a golden amber with a decent head that went to lacing after a while.

Smell consisted of hops, but not as strong as I would of liked them to be. Floral and citrus hops for the most part, with some earth tones and a slight whiff of yeast hangs around in the background.

Taste was..light. Hops? Only found a little bit of them. Malts kick in slightly with some citrus tones, but again, quite light.

Mouthfeel was too creamy and smooth for an IPA.

IPA? I know more APA's with more hops than this beer. Unless they want to appeal to the macro drinkers, I would consider this a light IPA. Goodness, go grab a HopDevil and see how it's done correctly.

 698 characters

Photo of BigMike
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light copper orange in color. A thin khaki colored head that goes away quickly. Slighty hazy.

S: Light floral and citrus on the nose. Nothing that really jumps out at you.

T: I got to the end of the glass and forgot i was even drinking a beer. This thing just kind of went by uneventfully. A slight bitterness on the finish is the only lingering flavor. The initial floral notes are gone before you know it.

M: Light bodied. Decent carbonation.

Overall: Nothing special going on here. A non offensive IPA thats pretty easy to drink and would be at home on a hot day.

 574 characters

Photo of danielharper
2.84/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL. (New to AL!)

A: Pours dark yellow/orange color with a very thick white bubbly head. Clear carbonation on the bottom of the glass, slowly-rising bubbles. Very nice.

S: Sweeter than expected, strong sugary aroma, some oranges and a nice bunch of hops. Not exactly bad, but.. unexpected, in its sweetness.

T: About like the aroma, but with an unpleasant astringency on the backwash. Clean enough, but still a bit overly sweet.

M: Moderate thickness, a bit biting on the palate due to hops.

D: Reasonably drinkable. Not one I'll buy again anytime soon, but a decent beer that might make for a welcome change from other IPAs.

Might be better reviewed as an APA, though.

 730 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a little deeper and darker than expected. Smells like very little. Taste = disappointing. "Where's the hops?" a la "Where's the Beef?" I get it this is an east coast interpretation, but dang.

Mouthfeel just tastes like a shiftless amber or brown ale. Doesn't inspire me to ever try any of their hoppy beers. I think they have a limited Imperial or double IPA, but I would have to speculate that based on this beer, it would take a double/imperial to raise it to its appropriate hop and alcohol strength to be a more worthy version of an IPA.

 549 characters

Photo of atigerlife
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a copper color with a small creamy head that dissipated rather quickly. Decent lacing.

Aroma of piney hops.

Taste is light hops [much less than expected], sweet, light malts. Rather non-descript.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly cleansing.

Overall, not a great IPA. Lacking the usual IPA intensity.

 315 characters

Photo of claspada
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is mold citrus and piney hops. A light sweetness in the nose to balance out the bitterness. Simple.

The tastes are quite similar to the nose. Citrus hops, but not overly bitter. Some light malty sweetness. Not very impressive, and bland compared to today's unique/impressive offerings. A medium body, but thin a watery.

Overall this is not a hard IPA to drink. The bitterness does not over power, and makes for a relatively easy to drink beer. Not worth revisiting or reordering with the plentiful amount of great offering available today.

 548 characters

Photo of thinkbreakfast
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

App: Very clear amber. Good, thick head.

Smell: The hops smell citrusy, but more like the skin of a grapefruit than the actual fruit. There is also a sweet smelling malt present.

Taste: It seems to me that the battle of malt and hops that exists in an IPA should be won by the hops. In this particular beer, it is a close call. The hops flash at the very end and prevail in the aftertaste, but in the taste itself...

Mouthfeel: Somewhat clean for an IPA. The aftertaste is a bit weak for the style as I see it.

Drinkability: Well, as far as IPAs go, the lamb of drinkability must be sacrificed to the Gods of hops. I can't beleive I just wrote that. In Harpoon's take, this is not so. The clean-ness is a plus in this category.

 743 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a light gold color with a moderate head and a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has some fruits in it and some spices as well. The taste was fairly smooth, but not very hoppy. The carbonation is evident in the flavor. Decent beer, but a not quite smooth enough for my tastes.

 295 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a hazy yellow with small white head. Aroma of grass and hay, some sweet malt, with not a lot of aromatics for the style. This one had some weird flavors going on. A little bready malt mixed with some unwelcome spice. The hops were not up front and the sweetness was not balanced with bitter. Not impressed, despite Leviathan being a great IPA. I am hoping I just grabbed an older bottle, but when I originally had this I didn't pay much attention to those sorts of things.

 478 characters

Photo of moz9
2.86/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer on two different occasions recently. I decided to wait until the second time to review it, because I thought something was wrong on my first serving.

It's quite honestly an average beer. Looks like an IPA, but the smell and taste are lacking. It's not a bad beer by any means, it's just not as hoppy as I would like. I would much rather drink a SNPA any day of the week.

People talk about this as a session beer, and I think that it could certainly be that. I would almost go as far as to compare it to a hoppy pils or even a lager. It's just average. I guess I'm a bit disappointed and I will certainly hold out hope for a draft serving to see if somehow I got two separate bad batches, but I can't imagine that was the case. An underwhelming beer.

 767 characters

Photo of becktone
2.86/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Clear lively straw gold in appearance. Forms a nice fluffy white head which leaves nice lacing as it recedes. So far head retention looks good, but if it keeps receding it will not be so.(Started off at about three fingers, now at about one.)

Nose: First aromas I pick up whilst sniffing are grainy and malt aromas... what no hops? I take a deeper sniff without exhaling...still nothing. Once I stop inhaling alas there are the hops, floral and citrus balancing out the aroma. The hops in this brew don't hit you in the face, at first you notice the grain with just a bit of hop in there then the rest of it sluggishly comes.

Tongue: Equal parts of sweetness and bitterness right off the bat. They hit the tongue right at the same time, pretty balanced in my opinion for an American IPA. Again a sense of grainy flavor, like cheerios. Bitterness and hop flavor are pretty toned down, low key, on the DL. Little bits of floral and citrus flavors, but not what I'd expect from an American IPA.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Light body with medium levels of carbonation. Typical bodied beer, nothing to write home about. The beer goes down easily, not a bad beer, but nothing that really "wows" one. In a pinch I'd buy it again, but there is nothing about it that would make me seek it out. Not off the mark, just average, nothing spectacular.

 1,354 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
2.87/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Best before 15 October 2011.

A: Light head, good lace, little effervescence. Copper and very clear.

M: Malty, sweet, and beery. Not particularly impressive. Some fruit.

T: Not nearly as good as I remember from my pre-BA days. A passable beer, but a disappointing IPA. Sweet and semi-dry with virtually no hops until the aftertaste...and even that could be an illusion from the biscuity-dry malt. The sweetness is reminiscent of American adjunct lagers, lending an unpleasantly 'beery' taste to the whole production.

M: Largely mundane, but with a carbonated dryness.

O: It doesn't resemble an IPA at all. Potentially a Pale Ale...Not my favourite Harpoon offering. I would not recommend, but I might grab one more to see if it's better than this one.

 807 characters

Photo of MaxBrews
2.87/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orangish Amber with a thin large head, becomes rocky until it dissipates into a spotty soapy that clings all over the glass. Looks like a proper IPA if it only it were a tad bit more colorful.

Smell: Floral and citrus fruit in the hops. For an IPA though the hop smell is really lacking. I've had APAs smell hoppier. The smell is the start to the problem.

Taste: This where it all goes wrong! Taste is really subdued and relaxed. A bit of citrus and a tid bit floral, but a grainy malt/yeast taste. If you look for a Not a complex nor exciting IPA.

Mouthfeel: Standard amount of carbonation, no real hopbite, only the slightest bit dry in the finish.

Drinkability: Yea this is drinkable. This is more of a pale ale of then an IPA. I've heard it used to be more on IPA but this has obviously been dumbed down for the masses. It barely meets the IPA requirements. If you're looking for a refreshing beer this obviously will wet your whistle if you're looking for a in your face hopslam, you'll be very disappointed. This would be an alright beer if they didn't through the IPA tag on it.

 1,104 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

 850 characters

Photo of LordBeardman
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Bertucci's Italian Restaurant in Marlborough, MA.

A: Kind of a dark orange color with a finger of white head.

S: Hoppy with a citrus smell as well. Kind of sweet.

T: Not very bitter. Very mild hop flavor. A lot of citrus in there.

M: Has a good crisp feel. Not the usual bite I get from an IPA.

O: Definitely not my favorite IPA but not bad. Seems like this is the only IPA on tap around this area of MA. I would say that this beer is very average.

 464 characters

Photo of allergictomacros
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear gold with a decent head, and good lacing

S - Aromas of pine, grapefruit and peach

T - Solid hop bitterness in this one. Malt is husky and a touch astringent. I'm tasting some muted fruitiness, but the dominant flavour is a big hop bitterness. Lacks flavour though.

M - Light bodied and a little too fizzy.

D - A disappointing brew. One dimensional in its hoppy bitterness and too light in other regards. The nose is promising, but ultimately fails to deliver.

 474 characters

Photo of Duff27
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Thin white head on a clear amber beer. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Smells of grapefruit and...hoppy.

T- I don't really taste anything until I get a strange fruity aftertaste, kind of off putting to be frank.

M- Medium to medium thin feel. Good carbonation.

D/O- With all the other good to great IPAs out there, don't waste your time with this one. "Must be eight dollar beer night."

 396 characters

Photo of jackorain
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Tacomac in Alpharetta, GA

A-1 finger head of fine dicernable bubbles quickly fell to thin coat that provided a decent lace

S-Light floral and citruc hop and some biscuity malts

T-Floral and citrus hops with an odd taste I could not place, I had charlie taste who was sitting next to me and he placed it. Soap! Some malts carmel and biscuit come through as well. Soap taste is pervasive, once it was defined.

M-Creamy medium body

D- the odd taste in the middle (soap) ruins the drinkability of this one for me.

 547 characters

Photo of anthony23cippy
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass. Pours a golden Amber with a white 1 finger head, a little lacing. Smell is mostly of corn and earthy floral hops no tropical or fruity scents. Taste is mostly the floral hops, not enough malt taste. Mouthfeel is typical of IPA, only thing it gets right. Not something I'd get again especially not a 6er. 3/5

 331 characters

Photo of HerrBob
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a pleasant brew. Would fit on a hot day or with light food. For an IPA it is too meek & mild on the hops. I like an IPA to be a stand alone and this brew is not bold enough for that. I kept looking for the hops to come through but to no avail. Most describe an IPA with different comparison to pine, citrus etc. Not this one. Also much paler than most. If you want an IPA it is best to look elsewhere.

 409 characters

Photo of CAcreeks
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure why Bostonians say this IPA is hoppy. At 42 IBU it qualifies as an IPA but only barely. Not much citrus or floral smell but enough. Aftertaste lingers but thirst quenching bitterness is lacking. Better than any British IPA I have tried, so kudos for improving the style.

 283 characters

Photo of Dalem
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark gold in color and a one finger quickly fading head is how it looks. Laces a big more sticky than expected judging from how soon the head vanished. Grassy scent with hints or caramel. Neither of which are very strong if one but it sure got more aroma than a Bud or Labatt Blue. Taste is along the same lines. Slight metallic hop bitterness up front but muted by the malt. Pretty much the same thing going down the throat but with a little bit of a citrus tang sticking to the back of the throat.

 499 characters

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