Belgian Pale Ale
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Belgian Pale AleBelgian Pale Ale
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Belgian Pale Ale
3.66 | pDev: 10.66%
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Belgian Pale AleBelgian Pale Ale
Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 219 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BostonHops
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass. (best by stamp of 03/15/11)

pours a lucid, bright golden amber tone with a fairly large finger of head, beige in color. average retention, fades into a thin cap; decent lacing.

nose is predominantly of sweet malts with notes of clove, banana, and hops also evident. as the beer warms the aroma becomes more notably more pronounced. flavor follows the nose, led by a candied fruit like sweetness followed by spice and a touch of hoppy bitteness in the finish. pretty enjoyable, a pleasant surprise.

medium bodied with adequate carbonation, and an easy drinker. nice component to the mixer.

originally reviewed: 01-16-2011

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Photo of Celtics76
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 5:30 mix pack poured into a Harpoon IPA pint glass.

Amber golden in color (as the label states), very little head. Smells great with yeast rising to the forefront. Some carbonation present.

I'm not all that familiar with this style, but this is a good one regardless. Has a nice spicy flavor with a subtle hoppiness to it. I could easily see putting down 3-4 in one sitting. Very easy to drink and flavorful.

Probably my favorite Harpoon brew.

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Photo of berliner07
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm surprised this style doesnt have more entrants. This beer fits the style well. NOT an IPA, but a good Pale Ale, with belgian yeast. Aroma is a nice mix of sweet belgian yeast and citrus from hops. Not too much, just righ. A bit of carbonation and a nice showing on the malt side. Citrus in the middle and the classic belgian yeast flavor on the back. Well executed.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon Belgian Pale Ale…in a bottle from the Winter Mix Pack

Appearance-Pours an orange gold with a decent two finger head that lasts a long time before leaving. Looks ok in the snifter glass.

Smell-very aromatic, yeast and peppery spice, alcohol, light hops. Malt is overpowered but I do get it in the next few tries. A lot here.

Taste/Mouthfeel-fruit flavors initially with a mix of pear and citrus, a little apple and of course slight banana. Again very spicy, mix of pepper, alcohol is also featured more strongly then I thought. Medium mouthfeel, finishes is smooth but the flavors mix messily in the end. A lot here to like though, depth an layered flavors.

Overall-nice version of the style, not sure if it beats a true Belgian version but overall this is good. Worth a try and among the better beers in the Winter Pack.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a mix-a-six poured into a pint glass. I see this beer is no longer brewed, it seems I have snagged one of the last ones.

Pours medium amber with no residual foam. A little cloudy. Black peppery smell, very light. Mixed tropical fruit taste, papaya/guava even - is that even possible? Fruity close, mild hop throughout. Subtle belgian yeast. Hard close, long aftertaste. Like a non-belgian brewery making one in the style. Good, but not the real thing.

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Photo of bennway
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a session glass.

a: Amber and clear, a slightly deep dark gold, two fingers of head with healthy retention.

s: Plenty of Belgian esters come through, yeasty and funky with some polite aroma hops poking through.

t: Tasting on the tip of the tongue reveals plenty of fruity/banana/bubble gum notes, light strawberries, almost like watermelon. It reminds me of something like a modest Tripel. Biscuity Munich malts shows itself on the back of the tongue.

m: Smooth and not harsh in the least bit, feels like a very enjoyable ale.

o: Perhaps I might have a bit of out-of-season-bias, it being January currently, but this beer leaves something more to be desired. Don't get me wrong, I find it to be perhaps one of the better examples of an American beer with a modest amount Belgian sensibility. But its not something to write home about either. My hop headed tendencies leave me desiring bolder Belgian/brett funk to play against more pronounced aroma hops, something like Green Flash's Rayon Vert.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 5:30 mix pack

A - Pours a very slightly hazy golden orange with about a half finger of off white foamy head.

S - Belgian yeast and pepper, earthy hops, and some sweet bready malt. There's a nice brown sugar sweetness in the aroma similar to what you normally get in a pumpkin ale.

T - Quite a bit better than I was expecting. There are tons of flavors here from the Belgian yeast: spicy pepper, bubblegum, and pear predominantly. It has a really nice flowery, grassy hop profile that blends well with the Belgian flavors. Finishes dry and slightly fruity with a hint of booziness.

M - Pretty light bodied but sticky and sweet on the lips. While crisp and refreshing, the carbonation could be kicked up a bit.

O - Probably the best beer in the mix pack and a solid BPA. Flowery and fruity, but well balanced and light.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich and brilliant ly clear amber color. A white foamy head sits on top, nothing special. Good carbonation. Aroma is a bit hoppy, malts are rich and hints of spicey yeast. A good tasting malt forward brew with sutle hints of spicy yeast. Lightly hopped providing balance with the malts and spicy yeast. There is some light fruitiness towards the end.
Smooth and dry and refreshing.
Very good beer nicely balanced and quite drinkable.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Harpoon Belgian Pale Ale

Appearance: Pours a dark gold, dark for the style. White head with good retention, lasting much of the duration.

Smell: Aroma of peppery Belgian yeast, strong hop aromas and a small brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: In the forefront, American style hops with an earthy tone mixing with a spicy Belgian yeast. Solid bitterness, estery yeast strain, small fruityness, alcohol and mild spice.

Mouthfeel: This Belgian pale is medium bodied, exhibiting crisp carbonation and a touch of dryness.

Overall: A pretty decent stab at a Belgian from the folks at Harpoon. Tastes pretty authentic, with a nice hop character. Give it a try.

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Photo of SidewinderX
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a winter mix pack. The aroma is a bit sweet and spicy, and the taste is the same. Sweetness at first that ends with spice in a rather delightful way. Mouthfeel isn't as good as the taste, but not disappointing.

Solid brew, a nice part of Harpoon's winter mix pack!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, crystal clear, amber-tinted, yellow coloring with a thin, filmy covering of white. The beer's aromas have a caramel malt and clove base, with some dark fruit sweetness (maybe cherries). The flavors are roasted, with a heavy clove presence right off the bat, and a dry hopping highlight. The caramel malt sweetness is light, but it helps to balance. There is a slight citrus with the clove spicing into the aftertaste, and a slight bitter mouthfeel on the finish. Interesting blend of spicing and fruit character throughout, making the beer more complex than I was originally expecting. Good brew.

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Photo of Gmann
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a toasted straw color with amber highlights. The off-white head is small and tight, settling inot a small cap.

The aroma is spicy and floral from the belgian yeast. Notes of clove and tropical fruit mix with a perfumey floral character. It is a very bright aroma and very belgian, good job.

The taste is noticably more American. There are notes of clove, wild flowers and bubblegum from the yeast. There is a solid grassy american hop profile, that adds some bitterness. Light tropical fruit notes from the yeast are detected as well.

The feel is light to moderate with prickly carbonation. Starts off sweet on the palate but finishes with a grassy bitterness. The finish is dry and asprin like, kinda lingers on the palate.

An above average BPA from an american brewer. It is not a cloying sugar bomb so that is a plus. Definitely a bit hoppy for the style

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Harpoon Brewery pint glass.

A: Pale, golden amber color with great clarity beneath a two-finger head of chunky, off-white foam which retains well and leaves some weby lace.

S: Fruity, spicy complex nose of toasted grains, bananas, citrus, pear, apple and grassy, minty, peppery hops.

T: Light, toasted malt flavor and fruity flavors ranging from apple and pear to lemongrass and white pepper. The flavor muddles up a bit through some thin and sharp alcohol and watery carbonation flavors. Less subtle than Belgian yeast and more metallic via American butchery.

M: Thin, crisp, sharp and biting with fruity spices and carbonation, though somewhat sticky in the finish.

O: Not a terrible American version of an amber Belgian pale. I'd probably reach for this over Palm, but the two could be interchangeable. Some more hops here to keep the brew interesting and nearing IPA stature at 5.8% ABV. I'm not avoiding, rather nudging it aside in the fridge to seek better options first.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at Red Bones while it was on cask.

Poured from a cask into a pint glass.

The color is clear, bright amber with a finger and a half of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.
The smell is slightly yeasty with a nice floral aroma that has a bit of a spicy note. Some citrus hop aroma is there in the nose as well and is is giving off the anticipation of a more complex beer.

The taste is fruity with some citrus flavors in the very early taste that goes into a slight malt flavor with a spice flavor that mixes nicely together. The nice floral hops seem to be a bit more of a bitter pillow, less sharp but still bitter as the beer goes toward the end.

The feel of this beer is a bit of surprise. It seems light then it’s medium body that you would get from the bottle. There is a bit of a smooth feel that seems to push instead of punch.

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Photo of barleyroad
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is amber and clear in the class with a generous head. Over all aroma is good with a hint of spice. Mouthfeel is good with limited lingering. This is a good tasting beer one that is ok on a one to one basis. Overall we found this beer to be very well brewed, one worth having. Huha. Great with coconut shrimp...

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Photo of Kromes
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A clear orange color with a thick white head that dies down to a thin line of bubbles.

S: Belgian yeast, clove, alcohol, funk.

T: The beer starts out where the aroma finishes, yeast, clove, spice, however the beer takes a bitter turn. Finishes with a slight toasted malt flavor and a bitter clove spice.

M: A little thin and carbonation is low for a Belgian beer.

O: I was expecting a bit more. It does deviate from the traditional, however not in a good way. It is more sessionable if that is what the goal was.

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Photo of dudelove7485
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

Bright amber color. A half-inch white head lingers briefly and leaves behind a thin lace. The aroma is very piney and spicy with citrus and a bit of banana (almost like a Hefe) and other fruity undertones. The taste is crisp, fruity and malty, but in typical American fashion, they slightly overdid it with the hops. Light-medium body with very little carbonation. The finish is sort of dry and the aftertaste hangs back by the tonsils. Not particularly thrilled, but I would try it again.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear orange, two finger head, although not as much carbonation as one would expect.

S-Very spicy, clove, wheat some hops

T-Spicy (not as much as the nose though), surpising amount of bitterness for the style, but the taste is bland compared to the nose.

M-Light and little to no carbonation.

O-The nose was great but the rest of the beer was disappointing. Harpoon really doesn't make anything worthwhile, that I've had so far, and this is no exception.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. Freshness on bottle.
Pours a clear, shiny amber color with an off-white, fast-fading head. Some patchy and sticky lacing lasts throughout.
A yeasty and citrusy smell rises at once then rolls into a sweet malty, hoppy mix. A light smell of wild flowers sneak in, along with a hint a ripe fruit.
A taste of nutmeg and cinnamon quickly vanish within evenly balanced malt to hops tastes. A light yeasty flavor also fades, leaving me with the impression that I’m drinking an English-style Pale Ale, and only imagined the Belgian-ness. It’s there, but restrained.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at DeCicco's in Brewster on 25AUG11; $5.00 for a 14oz serving.

My tulip was filled with a clear, medium-golden concoction. Carbo was swirling about at a frenetic pace, and the head was a stark white dollop of creamy foam, with very nice lacing left behind. Nose was a touch on the mild side, a bit sweet and crackery, with some candy-sugarish notes. Solid mouthfeel; medium body - not much to write about here.

Light sugary malts sweeten the palate, with some crackery action. Decent fruitiness appears, with mango, pear and green apple being present. Some citrus appears in the finish, which is a bit on the dry side. Not complex or an earth-shaker, but still pretty good, overall. Prosit!!

3.83 rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


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Photo of chefelf
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I admit that I'm a huge fan of Belgian ale and not a lover of pale ales but I will try to be fair in my review.

I did not get a lot of Belgian flavor in this beer. Given that I'm not a huge fan of the type this really just tasted like an IPA to me. It was an above average IPA, but I didn't taste any of the Belgian flavor I'd expect in the wheat or the yeast.

If you enjoy pale ales or IPAs you'll probably like this beer quite a bit.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip; it's a bit past its 5/15/11 best by, but as its been in my cold fridge since well before that date I'm not too worried.

A: Pure, clear, bright amber body beneath an inch of off-white head. Average retention and lace. Pretty standard, but not bad; I was kind of hoping to see some yeast haze given the style, though.

S: Well, despite the clarity there's no lack of yeast character in the aroma - in fact, it's pretty much the only player. Floral, fruity, and quite spicy, this is a rather intense and enjoyable duel between esters and phenols, with the former coming out on top. I love how the yeast is totally foregrounded, and yet delicate enough not to be medicinal or chalky. Very nice indeed.

T: Cinnamon is the first thing I notice, followed by some green apple esters and a touch of thin malt. Phenolic spice and some light bitterness on the finish. It's enjoyable, but quite rough compared to the lovely aroma.

M: Light, bubbly, and a bit prickly. Good life, but not as creamy as I'd like.

O: This isn't a groundbreaking beer by any means, but for the price and availability, I'm a big fan. I'd gladly drink a 6-pack on a sunny day.


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Photo of streetcommander
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good Belgian ale. Typically people either like the Belgian type yeast and partial wheat flavor of these beers or they hate them -I'm actually in between. I can appreciate the style and heritage but I'm not a big fan overall. That being said, this is still very good and drinkable.

Malt comes through with the twang and astringency of the wheat and well balanced hop presence. Very drinkable and a very clean finisher. Color carbonation and clarity are respectable.

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Photo of matjack85
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this single brown 12oz bottle at the Binny's store in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.49. No freshness date, but there is a short blurb about the beer on the neck label.

The beer poured a mostly clear golden/orange color with a ½-finger of white head that completely disappears in about a minute. Very little lacing with this one.

The beer has a nice smell of sweet malt, fruit, spices, and a touch of alcohol when swirled.

The malts, Belgian yeast, and hoppy spice flavors dominate with some mild lemony citrus in the background. The 33 IBU's worth of hops keep it from being too sweet from the pale and caramel malts, but one thing I did not care for was the noticeable alcoholic flavor in here despite it only being a 5.8% abv beer.

Light to medium moutfeel with crisp carbonation.

Warning: DO NOT let this beer warm up as the alcohol gets stronger and stronger as it sits. It's drinkable cold, but not the best Belgian Pale Ale out there.

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Photo of steelerguy
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very clear copper, moderate carbonation, 1 finger white head that fades to a covering and leaves some lacing.

S - Sweet, floral, a touch of bubblegum and spice. Refreshing and clean aroma.

T - Much like the aroma, some floral hops, although not malty sweet you get a sweetness from the spice and hops. Some of the bubblegum comes though but not in an unpleasant way at all just more fruity.

M - Fairly light body and with the carbonation makes it very clean, easy to quaff on a hot day.

O - I think this is a very solid Belgian style pale ale. Would go to this over a hefe just about anytime (unless it was a Bavarian weiss...then I would have to think).

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Belgian Pale Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 219 ratings