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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,246 | Ratings: 4,065
Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft in a chilled shaker pint glass at The Eastern Standard, on to the beer:

The beer shines a light pale gold in the glass, leaving decent lacing on the glass as I drink it. Aroma is clean and somewhat malty sweet. The same can be said for the first part of the taste. You taste the malts (which are bready and caramel) at first, but then the hops kick in mildly during the second half. There's a note a fruit in the middle of it all. Clean and easy drinking.

I could have confused it for a pale ale, as this is a well balanced, albeit averagish example of an IPA. Still, you can find this all around Boston, and it might make a good starter beer for those who are getting into hoppier beers.

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Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler for the trade.Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is also very hoppy, not much else going on, considerable bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkabilty. Overall this is a fairly good beer.

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Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a two finger creamy head. There was good retention and good sticky laing.

The smell consisted flowery and citris hop and biscuity malt.

The taste was dominated at first by the oily hop character but soon was balanced by a solid doughy malt backbone.

The mouthfeel was light and dry.

Overall a nice AIPA. Not the greatest one out there, but definitely highly drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of dar482
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had it straight from the bottle.

The flavor doesn't on spot for me for an IPA. It lacks generous hopping and a bitter tight finish. Instead it has big malt for a beer of the style. The mouthfeel is quite creamy.

In the end, it's a bit too mellow and middle of the road for me.

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Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the Secret Bunny 2007 BIF and sinstaineddemon.

A freakishly clear and lightly colored IPA, this has the clarity of Macro lager and is barely tinted Orange. Fair white forms but does not last.

The smell is sweet and malty and hoppy without covering up a nice floral aroma. Grapefruit and roses are the main scents here.

The taste begins sweet and floral, that suggestion of rose petal makes its way to the taste. Outstanding taste in an IPA, lots of flavor instead of a simple tongue numbing hops overload. Lots of floral taste here and just the merest trace of the normal citrus and pine tastes. Mostly the taste here is herbal and floral and doesn't really settle in to a 'taste' it keeps changing. A cut above the rest for an AIPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

VERY easy to drink and flavorful AIPA. As a rule the beers that interest Beer Advocates are too much for most of the beer drinkers of the USA this is one that is both outstanding and accessible to more casual beer drinkers.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. It pours a golden yellow with a lot of carbonation and and fizzy, white head. There is decent lacing. The hoppy aroma is clearly there but not as powerful as most IPA's I have had. The mouthfeel is moderate to bold The flavor has the hoppy bitterness of most IPA's but like the aroma, it is not as powerful as better IPA's.

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Photo of Kelp
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice golden color when poured into my glass, bubbling up into a decent head. Nice aroma from the beer reminds me of grapefruit and hops. Mild hoppiness in the taste only a tinge of grapefruit on the end notes. Smooth finish with a bit too much carbonation for my taste. I could have a few of these, but the fact that it is easily attainable around here and that there are better IPA's to be had make it nothing more than an occasional beer for me.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, orange body with a one-finger head that receeded quickly and left a ring of lace down the mug. A textbook version of an IPA in the smell, as my nostrils were greeted with a bouqrt of floral and citric notes from the hops and a mild sweetness from some sweet malts.
A semi-sweet beer with some good malts, but it is really about the hops. Springy and citric, the hops are prevelant throughout the beer and give off a light drying sensation on the backbite, but this medium-bodied beer goes down smooth and doesn't crush the tongue with hop overload. This is a great IPA and I will gladly have another.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.3/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A good IPA but not my style, serious hops from start to finish. Clear, good head, heavy hop aroma. Medium body and fairly dry. Strong bitter finish.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Best By 12/19/08

A- Pours a golden orange color with a huge white head that possesses excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is malt with some citrusy and floral hops.

T- The taste starts out with some malt and finishes on the dry side with some citrusy hops.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a bit of a creaminess to it.

D- Not a bad IPA, not a full-flavored as some of the other examples of the style, but easy drinking nonetheless.

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Photo of corby112
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light amber color with a thick off-white foamy head. The aroma is very bland, containing only a slight bitter hop presence. This beer was very watered down with not enough of a strong bitter hop taste. Another dissapointing offering from an, in my opinion, overrrated brewery.

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

Yet another sample that I got in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks John!

This pours from 12oz bottle(best by 10-10-07) a clear light gold with a 1 finger head of foam that recedes slightly but remains as a solid fine layer right to the end of the session.

The smell is of grapefruit and a touch of malt but it's pretty light on the nose.

The taste is pretty light also but I get some nice hop *and* malt flavours. The hops are mostly grapefruit but the malt moves in quickly to balance out what bitterness the hops injected. This is a *very* balanced IPA that is smooth drinking, medium bodied, medium in carbonation, and it finishes slightly citrusy.

Bottom line: This kind of reminds me of a English Style IPA in that the malt character doesn't just make an appearance, it shares equal billing with the hops. It's a very balanced brew and easy to drink. I like it.

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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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a gold colour with a very large size frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing the lacing is very nice. The head lasted for quite a while before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, hops, grapefruit and lemon zest, breads/grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation on the palette and the beer feels light yet creamy. The carbonation level suits the style of beer very well. The most noticeable flavours are hops, malts, breads/grains, a slight woodiness, and lemon zest. The beer finishes with a malty mild hop bitter aftertaste.

Drink - This is an above average beer that to me tasted a little bit like a pilsner. I'm not sure I'd seek it out again, but I'm happy to have tried it.

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

Poured a medium gold color with a small white head and decent carbonation. Nose is floral, lightly hopped. Taste is grainy, light bodied with floral hints and not much malt. Mouthfeel is light, astringent at times and floral. Do not recommend at all.

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Photo of wl0307
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Notes of 02/2009) Tasted during a horizontal tasting of two American IPAs, the other one being the Flying Dog "Snake Dog IPA"; BB 21/10/2008, served only mildly chilled in a wine glass.

A: dark golden to amber in colour, fast-retreating off-white foamy head, fizzy upfront, then turning light on the carbonation.
S: balanced - a "breezy" aroma mixed of honey drink, lychee fruits, other slightly sharp tropical fruits, a flowery scent of Cascade-like US hops springs to mind, set against an enticing bedrock of light biscuity and faintly caramely malts. As the beer warms up a bit, a semi-sharp touch of pineapples also comes forward, witnessing the work of yeastiness.
T: sweet honey-ish, grapefruity and lychee-shell-like flavours upfront precede a lightly tannic, leafy hop bitterness and residual citric sourness; settling to a lightly chewy finish with lingering biscuity elements of pale malts, while hop bitterness stays loyally at the end of the tasting, transcending a little piney scent as well.
M&D: unfortunately, it's pretty thin on the body and the semi-spritzy fizziness comes not as soft and natural as a bottle-conditioned ale, but perhaps it's designed as such (light) to be quaffable and the overall mouthfeel is clean enough indeed. Not as deep and complex as the FD Snake Dog IPA tasted alongside, but overall an easy-drinking example all the same.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden amber color. Poured a 1 finger fizzy white head with good retention. Decanted lightly. Wavy rings laced the glass.

S: Citrussy hops and crackery malt. Neither were overpowering.

T: Citrus hop flavor backed up by biscuity and crackery malt. Slight resiny coating; smooth. Dry and bitter finish.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Bitter and dry.

D: Very drinkable. Sessionable IPA. Its not weak, but smooth and well-balanced hop and malt bill.

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

This is a serving of Harpoon IPA at the satellite brewpub in Windsor, VT.

Appearance: The ale is a deep yellow, almost orange color with no haze. There is a bit of head, but nothing to get excited about.

Smell: The ale has a very strong citrusy hop aroma that dominates the nose.

Taste: The hops are strong here, adding a very pleasant bitter flavor. The malt body is incidental, providing enough balancing to prevent the beer from being a bomb.

Mouthfeel: The hops are crisp and clean and provide a truly good flavor kick.

Drinkability: The ale is very drinkable with a firm hop character that is spicy without numbing the tastebuds.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.77/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A darker srm than average for an ipa. Head was 1/2" off white. Aroma was almost completely devoid of hops. Shit no man, I believe you'd get your ass kicked for that.

Taste and mouthfeel are more reminiscient of an amber ale. There's more malt and roasting there than your average mass produced lager, but as for the ales, there just isn't the hopping, much less the india pale ale style. Is there brown malt in this? Bready toffee notes. Zucchini bread and shit in a bottle.

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Photo of barczar
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep golden color with copper hues and a solid one inch ivory head that is fluffy and dense. The head dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Aroma is grassy and slightly dank, with a bit of skunky hops and an underlying bready malt. There's a subtle citrus finish.

Flavor reveals more citrus underpinnings, heavily grapefruit, ending pithy and a touch bitter. Toasted breadcrust forms the backbone, and herbal and floral hops add hints of complexity. Notes if pine surface as it warms

Body is pretty moderate, with carbonation on the high side. There's a bit of an astringent bite at the finish, and a touch of alcohol warmth.

Fairly subtle for an ipa and lacking depth and hop complexity. Might be a good intro to ipas, but I would consider this to be closer to a pale ale.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Bottleneck says Enjoy By: 12/15/13.

A- Pours a clean medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind on the glass.

S- Unique hop aroma that's spicy and a bit earthy. A little bit of alcohol comes into play as the malts play off the zesty (but not citrusy) hops.

T- Very balanced for an IPA as the bitterness is very tame and the malt creates a nice balance making for a high drinkability. The hops that are there are pretty earthy and the malt is lightly toasty.

M- Moist and a tad oily. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- This was the first IPA I had (besides DFH's 60 and 90) where I realized "Hey, I like IPAs." Not very surprising since it's such a subtle version of the style. Recommended for people who aren't that into hops but would like some bitterness in their beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice light golden color with a low off-white head and good carbonation. Nice, but not overpowering, citrusy hop aroma and flavor with a perfect hop-malt balance. Medium-light bodied and easy drinking.

A very nicely balanced American IPA. This was one of the better bottlings I have tasted but also haven't had this in a bottle in a very long time -- a nice revisit !

Per HB website:
OG: 15.5 P
Color: Copper 15 EBC
ABV 5.9%
IBU’S: 42

Bottled: 'PKG ON 07/24/06' lasered on neck ('6202' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 11/09/06

($7.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: It pours brilliant gold under a 3” finely bubbled cream colored persistent foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: This is five months past is best by date but the floral hop aromas are still detectasble from several feet away. Closer up are traces of citrus and pepper.
T: Clean, crisp and dry with light malt on the front end and assertive floral hops on the finish. A trace of light caramel to toffee along with light citrus on the tongue.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: A strikingly beautiful beer that is hoppy yet refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a clear golden orange body, one finger thick white head, good retention, lots of frothy lacing. Smell is marmalade, pine, orange peel, grainy sweetness, caramel. Very English in style. Flavour is caramel, grain and orange marmalade. Not too sweet by any means, which is nice. It's malty but not too malty; a nice hop and mild bitter presence makes this approachable. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, appropriately carbonated, mild zesty bitterness with a bit of marmalade on the finish. A classic, and just had to tick this one. Now that's a blast from the past.

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Photo of avalon07
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish-red color and a cloudy consistency. A decent amount of head and OK lacing.

S: Smelled mainly of hops and citrus, with a bit of malt thrown in.

T: A solid flavor. Hops, grapefruit and malt. A fairly well done, with a bitter finish.

M: A pretty high (but not that high) level of carbonation and a smooth finish. medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a good example of an IPA. Although I wouldn't rate it as high as some others of the style, it's still drinkable.

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Harpoon IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.63 out of 5 based on 4,065 ratings.
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