Harpoon IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

1,246 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,246 | Ratings: 4,064
Photo of Grugalug
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a golden yellow color with just a hint of amber. A pillow-like finger and a half of head that sticks around a bit and leaves nice lacing.

S- This IPA hits you with earthier hop aromas than it's citrusy west coast brethren. Floral, pine, resin, and just a slight hint of citrus. Nothing that will blow socks off but balanced and complex nonetheless.

T- Pleasant amount of hop bitterness up front with a continuation of the earthy hops. Virtually undetectable citrus but nice amounts of pine along with some nice maltiness. It's surprisingly toasty, but it is not strange or undesirable in any way. Overall very nice.

M- Manages to be refreshing while still having a nice and welcome creaminess. Just enough carbonation and goes down very easily.

O- A reliable and pleasing east coast IPA. I do tend to lean towards IPAs with more citrus character, but this one will certainly not disappoint. Not overly bitter and this would also serve as a nice introduction to American IPAs for those that find themselves reluctant to give them a try.

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Photo of irishtimepiece
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark gold/light copper color with a large, fluffy, eggshell colored head that fades quickly to a cap.

A fine blend of floral and citrus hops in the nose.

Citrus hops sustain through the flavor portion, though biscuit malt is definitely present to a fair degree. Not entirely unbalanced as many IPAs tend to be. There is a slight warming sensation from the alcohol that would compliment spicy food.

Has a basic body with a crisp finish.

Not overwhelming in alcohol or hops as many IPAs. I could go for a second or, almost as importantly, something entirely different as the hops didn't leave my palate a wreck.

In my 5 years of drinking this beer has gone under the radar. I'm pleasantly surprised by this.

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Photo of wavz
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This IPA is one that should have been classified as a pale ale. Light amber honey hue as you pour. The head stands up well, then just sorta fizzez out. But the taste and the aroma are the lightest part of this beer. This has to be the lightest hopped IPA I have ever tasted. Has a light honey and flower finish to the taste, and is a easy drinking beer. I am a hop head so I was kinda disappointed in this one. But if your looking for a good light IPA to get someone into the style, this is the one for them.


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Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, burnished golden. Begins with a 2 1/2 finger white foamy head that reduces to about 3/4 finger width.

S - Pine and mildly floral - like that slightly planty scent you get initially when smelling a flower. Very faint malt in the background. Grapefruit and a hint of green apple. Not a strong aroma, really have to dip my nose into the glass to gather the aroma.

T & M - This is weird - Very smooth on the front end but a crisp bitter white grapefruit like finish framing the overall experience. I'm gathering brief malty middle. I like this balance. The bitter finish lingers and that's cool. The more I drink beer the more I distinguish between a bitter finish and a sour aftertaste. The body seems light yet the flavor is solid and full. Medium carbonation.

D - I'm digging the drinkability on this. I'm alright with this.

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Photo of kinupanda
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very translucent light amber hue in the pint glass, and an almost non-existent, somewhat patchy head. The nose is good mix of earthy and hoppy. The initial taste feels somewhat abrasive, but after a while grows to an almost spicy kick. The hops aren't particularly apparent at first, but they open up and provide the expected bitterness if the sip is held, possibly due to the carbonation; thus, the mouthfeel is acceptable, though don't expect the same kick as provided by other IPAs. The alcohol becomes more apparent on the aftertaste.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE. Nothing particularly exciting in this beer when compared to IPAs, but it is certainly drinkable.

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Photo of ridedammit
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am fortunate that this is my local "macro" brew. You can get Harpoon in nearly every bar, restaurant, liquor store, and some grocery stores (Wholefoods on River Street has a good beer selection). I am a big fan of IPA's, this one is a nicely drinkable beer. I wish it was a bit more hoppy, but when you get a fresh Harpoon its a real treat. Like Jason I prefer the bottle to the Keg, mainly because it tends to taste fresher, and because I often have it in my fridge as my default beer.

I used to always have Sierra Nevada as my standard offering for friends and visitors, but with a great local brewery like Harpoon it was an easy move to stock the fridge with the IPA.

I realize my scores are kinda odd, with taste being average to good and drinkability being excellent, but the reason is because I know I can always get a six pack and have a few of them and be perfectly happy, especially on a nice warm day outside.

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Photo of cjl1209
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"In the tradition of IPAs, our highly-hopped, copper-colored ale features a floral aroma and a crisp, refreshing finish. We hope you enjoy this beer as much as we do."
No freshness date.

A - Pours a crystal clear gold color with a 2 finger off white bubbly head. Lighter than expected.

S - Pleasant floral hops with a touch of sweet malts.

T - The sweet malts come through at first, followed by the somewhat spicy hops. A nice floral, fruitiness develops showcasing a good hop complexity. There's actual hop flavor in this beer, it's not just straight bitterness. With a solid malt backbone appearing on the tail end of things, this is a high-quality, well balanced brew. Slightly bitter but not overly dry finish. This isn't an aggressive IPA but it certainly is tasty.

M - Light bodied and crisp with a good sense of hops.

D - Very sessionable brew. Hops are there but not overbearing.

Final Thoughts: Not overly hopped as promised but still a solid effort within an overrepresented style by the folks at Harpoon.

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Photo of huhl23
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a DFH snifter; nice bright white head that sits on top of the beer throughout, little bit of lacing; color is very pale copper.

Smell is light malt, hint of floral hop bitterness.

Taste is crisp light malt, followed by a hop bitterness, not striking me as an ipa, more pale ale, milder flavors.

mouthfeel is well balanced, nice carbonation with good flavor on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good, nice balance of malt flavor and bitter hops.

Overall an ok IPA. One of the more boring ones I've had. Not likely to ever buy again.

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Photo of MisterSH
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. No freshness date noted.

Rich coppery gold color, very clear. Nice 2 finger head with some staying power.

Floral hops dominate the aroma. Some pine, citrus. Very pungent and pleasing. A hint of malt adds a reassuring appeal.

Taste is most all hops. Some warming alcohol is apparent. Finish is remarkably (strangely?) clean, I am not detecting much malt flavor in this beer. There seems to be a long period while this beer sits on my tongue where I am not tasting much of anything.

Light in body, moderate carbonation. Somewhat watery.

Surely this beer could use a stronger malt backbone. It's refreshing, and easy to drink, and no doubt the hops are pleasant, but something is lacking, making this a near miss for me.

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Photo of Gattopardo
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Prominent, frothy head, strong golden color with an orange tint, and lots of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and slightly fruity aroma.

Taste: Pronounced hoppy flavor not overly bitter at all, lingering nicely on palate with pleasant citrus highlights. Underlying sweet flavors that really come out with the right food pairing (in my case, a spicy curry).

Mouthfeel: A bit light.

Drinkability: Very light and drinkable, though not my favorite American IPA.

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Photo of WSB
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice light amber color. Good head, light but sturdy- not too thin, not too thick, good white color. Absolutely love the smell-hoppy, flowery with subtle citrus undertones. Mouthfeel is wonderful-light and warm- Perfectly balanced between the light spice of the hops and the citrus, very smooth. You know you're drinking an IPA, but its not overpowering, very enjoyable. Taste is great, nice hoppy flavor, complimented with citrus undertone and a mild bitterness in the finish. Drinkablity is good, but the hops seems to get more pronounced and bitter the more you drink. Still, a good session beer, no doubt. A great backyard BBQ drink that will complement a spicy BBQ sauce. A classic brew.

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Photo of apants007
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Note: this is a review of the can.

Poured from the can into a pint glass. Nice amber color with a thick dense head that lasts and lasts. But then it goes down from there... Smell is faintly of coastal hotel must... And the initial taste is like a good beer poured through dirty lines... Or like if you poured a shot of tap water into a lagunitas ipa... Not bad... But not great. If I had to pick between this harpoon and a dale's I'd pick this ... Good for a cookout or tubing or walking down the street with a paper bag or somewhere else you absolutely need a can... But not a beer to seek out.

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Photo of BigPapaLager
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My number one beer. Of all the beers I try and drink this is the one that is always in my fridge. Pours are dark gold with decent head retention, Not over hoppy for an IPA but the hops are present enough to be my go to beer. I'm glad its local and ready for me.

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Photo of mac56
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: honey color, a good sized head that took a long time to fall, tight bubbles and very little lace.

Smell: slightly floral, slightly spicy. My wife said "marigolds".

Taste: very nice balance of hop and malt. Aftertaste can only be described as crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel: the hop bitterness hit me in the back of the mouth, then faded away ever so slowly to be replaced with a malty smoothness.

Drinkability: quite so. Finished one and immediately wanted another.

Overall: a very good beer of the style. I think this is what I expected the Sweetwater IPA to be like when I reviewed it last week. I will definitely drink this again.

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Photo of pibbxtrasucks
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours gold with a tall, white head. Smells very citrus with notes of hops. the sip starts bitter which lead to a slight malty taste which is immediately replaced by hops. It closes with a slight alcohol taste. I think it's a bit too carbonated. over all its a tasty beer, easy enough you can drink a few in a row. Worth a try no doubt.

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Photo of fishtownhxc
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

overall, a pretty good beer. it's not going to blow you out of the water as far as IPAs are concerned, but it's a solid session beer (even if it's over 5%) and one i could drink pretty continuously throughout the year. has a nice golden color and a crisp aroma when poured. not overbearing in the hop department, but enough to keep it refreshing and very drinkable. like i said, a good beer, but if your'e looking for a hop bomb or something out of the ordinary as far as IPAs are concerned, you're looking in the wrong place.

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Photo of ChrisSimpson1968
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear medium gold color. Moderate white head that sticks around and leaves behind thick sheets of lacing. Aroma is subdued but grassy, with pale malts providing for a mellow background. Flavor is fairly hoppy, with grass and herbs as the main component. Also found a bit of drying wheat and some cheap tasting pale malts. Medium body. Easy to drink, but a bit unsettling at the same time. Average IPA at best.

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Photo of TeamSeabass
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

was glad to receive some good beer for christmas, and this was one of them.

golden in color, white foam head, leaving some lacing.

smells of grapefruit. the hops smell is floral and not overpowering.

it tastes good and the hops are pretty mild and balanced with a mild bitterness. this IPA does not have a powerful hop component, though it certainly has a nice hoppy aroma and IPA flavor.

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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.

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Photo of MichaelRabdau
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Was really wanting to love this beer, having lived in Boston and love the town. I guess the fact that I had this immediately following Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA, it really didn't stand a chance. I'll look at this again when there's no comparison, but on first blush, this is about as generic an IPA can get (consider the comparison)...

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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.

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Photo of chefnash51
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden light copper. Minimal head with little retention. Carbonation looks a bit non existent

S - Nothing over whelming or pungent. Some floral notes make their way up to my noise.

T - This happens every time I have this beer. the first couple sips are pretty much let downs. Then about half way through the beer I really start to pick up on the floral citrus hop that I love in this beer. Nowhere near a hop bomb. But, tasty all the same.

M - Carbonization could be kicked up a little bit more. Otherwise the body was pretty spot on for this refreshing IPA.

D - I put this one pretty high on drink ability. Good IPA to showcase to folks who are getting into craft beer. It shouldn't scare anyone away.

One of my fail safe beers when I go out and all they have is BMC.

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Photo of Smixam
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, a nice medium copper; medium (two-finger), foamy head. Splotchy but persistent lacing and an overall nice appearance. The scent of this beer is great if you're an IPA fan; very floral and full of hoppy aroma, it's one of the best for a medium to large scale IPA like this.

First taste is all about the hops, nice for this style, so many offerings are too weak in this regard. After the initial onslaught of hops, the taste is very smooth and crisp; this will be an excellent summer-night brew. Aftertaste is minimal and pleasant, floral feel left on the pallet that just begs you to have more. Instantly became one of my favorites.

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Photo of chrisrhoppe
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Depressing head formation with a clear light amber hue of a body. Lightly piney, citrus nose carried by more of a grain scent. The taste is balanced but weak, the light hop bitterness coats the tongue as the malt washes over hardly leaving a trace or influence. Maybe I’ve been spoiled but I expect a bit more out of my IPAs, at least the leviathan is incredible.

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Photo of Diggitydustin
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle to mug. It was a pretty golden color, head stuck around basically til the last drop. Smell was decent. The taste was a typical IPA, which isn't a bad thing, there was just nothing really to differentiate it from others. The price is pretty good compared to other IPAs I've had that tasted relative. Not the best beer I've ever drank but I did enjoy it. No complaints here.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,064 ratings.
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