Celtic Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Celtic AleCeltic Ale
769 Ratings
Celtic AleCeltic Ale

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

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon Celtic Ale features a deep amber color. The flavor is malty and complex. Celtic Ale has a moderate hop finish that, along with the generous amounts of malt, makes for a medium bodied, smooth, rich beer. Try serving Celtic Ale with a hearty stew… the beer’s robust character will complement the bold flavors.

25 IBU

Added by barleywinebrewer on 01-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 769 |  Reviews: 365
Photo of gentlebubbles
4.32/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on cask at Redbone's
A totally different experience: wonderful floral aroma, crisp, clean malt. Still puts me in mind of oktoberfest.

on cask at Doyle's

Light glows through reddish copper under a low head of coarse bubbles, which die down fairly quickly. Sour hops smell.

Though served on hairy edge of too warm, the light, crisp body has exactly the tender quality I'm looking for. It tastes quite mild, both in the malt and the hops, reminding me of Sam Adams Octoberfest.

A fine session brew.

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Photo of MTYBTY5000
4.28/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth. Very easy drink. Refreshing on a warm day.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Harpoon.

Bottle poured to a pint glass.

A- Kind of a orangy red, almost matches the orange parts on the label. Nice 1 finger off white head with decent retention.

S- Caramel and sugar, over all a sweet aroma.

T- Mainly roasted malt, little sweet, a little spicy and a hint of some kind of wood flavor.

M- A little watery but very smooth and crisp. About medium carbination.

D- Over all a very nice beer! I found myself at the bottom sooner than I expected. Easy session beer and I will definitely get it again!

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Photo of captainhowdy39
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of kkmiller76
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Ropowers3
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of balinor
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of JackRB
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of ContentmentDIPA
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of TomMcNichols
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Wally1912
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of JayKay412
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Peter
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of RussBecker1
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of mempath
4.24/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i find it surprising how folks who are reviewing brews negatively aren't giving many details as to why. and why does one person find no head or lacing...is it the way they pour the brew? not dissing, just wondering.

surprisingly exceptional appearance due to a massive ecru head that laces plenty. i poured what i thought was too much into the glass. as it foam up it rose 3/8 of an inch over the rim WITHOUT slurping over the side. impressive, spiney head!

for some reason, not getting much from the nose. some sweet maltiness, but nothing assertive.

taste comes in quick, sweet, minimal bitterness in the sweetness, candied flavors. for all that head, not alot of carbonation at first, but arrives in the finish keeping a crisp edge to the delightful sweetness. not sickly cloying like Killian's...actually, something in the finish that has a hoppish burst in it with the carbonation. really nice, but simple nonetheless.

a very drinkable iriish style lager. definitely a St. Paddy's Day session brew, though i prefer to mix it up with anything else not naturally green...

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Photo of JohnL9013
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is apparently their seasonal, but in my opinion, they should sell this year round. It's similar to their standard Ale, but much better. It's a fairly light beer, and extremely smooth and drinkable. At the same time, it really packs a lot of flavor for being so light. I had a Blue Moon and one of these on the same night and in my opinion, this is a much better beer. It's still just as light and easy to drink.

A: (kept in the bottle)

S: Nothing offensive, but nothing insane.

T: Sweet, much more peppy than your typical light ale. Creamy, and nothing offensive at all. A little bit of bitterness to round it out.

M: Light to medium mouthfeel.

D: Really, really drinkable stuff, as I've come to expect from most of Harpoon's stuff.

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Photo of Greenlabel
4.21/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my choice for a St Patricks Day beer and for many other occasions also. Pours a very attractive reddish color with a lasting head. Has a rather sweetish aroma and the taste is semi-sweet also - but nonetheless very refreshing. A rather thin palate - roasted barley with very little hoppiness. Some hint of, say, bubblegum in the aftertaste. Much lighter overall than many of the red ales I've tasted.

I would think this would be an excellent crossover beer for folks new to the world of craft beers as well as a solid session beer for craft veterans. In many respects, I'm sorry that this is only a spring seasonal as I'd definitely prefer it as an alternative to the many summer wheat beers.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear copper hue with a one finger light tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap.

Lots of toasty malts along with a little sweet caramel. The hops are very herb-like, giving a light balancing bitterness to the malts.

More toasty grains, giving a very smooth and clean finish. The hops give a little bit of bitterness, along with a little bit of tea (just like the style description). The caramel isn't as obvious in the flavor as it is in the aroma, but it's there. A slight creaminess is in the background. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation - a little spritzy.

A really good Irish Red Ale. Very smooth and balanced as the hops do a good job of complimenting the malts. A good representation of the style. Recommended.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours with a fat, rocky, sticky beige head, slowly resting and sticking heavily to the sides of the glass as it disappears. Color is a beautiful deep mahogany leaning more toward the ruby end of the spectrum, and crystal clear.

In the nose are toasty, biscuity malt aromas, sweetened a bit with caramel and toffee notes and wrapped up with herbal, slightly grassy hops.

Medium-bodied with a bit of slick, buttery mouthfeel, and nicely carbonated. The brew opens up nice and sweet, with a rich caramel foreground that lies over sweetbread and a bit of graininess, surrounded on the sides by a tingly hoppy bitterness of resin and cut grass, finishing with a pleasant balance of sweet and bitter that leaves a sharp dryness.

Superbly drinkable and delicious to boot, this brew easily knocks out many Irish Reds with its wonderful balance and full-on flavor that is just complex enough to be interesting yet not so much so that it would not be suited for sessioning.

Simply put: much more than I was expecting, and an amazing surprise.

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Photo of kels
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review poured straight from the fridge into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lovely clear red with visible carbonation running throughout and a 3 finger foamy cream-colored head. The head fades and retains at a 1/2 finger. The lacing is wet and thin, sliding back down the glass into the head.

Smell: Subtle, but true to style. It is full of chewy, toasty, nutty malts. There's a slight metallic note that becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really enjoy the taste. Chewy/toasty malts, slight syrupy sweetness, and a little bite of alcohol. A little peaty, too, actually reminds me more of a scottish ale. The hops become most present in the aftertaste and remind me of crisp green apples and grapefruit. Feel is lacking a little - effervescent enough, but missing the creamy fullness I get from other irish reds I've enjoyed, leaving it a little thin. Leaves a slightly satisfyingly sticky feel in the palate afterward.

Drinkability: Super-high. Could have several of these thanks to the tastiness and low abv. Happy St. Paddy's, indeed.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Typical Harpoon label adjusted to the St. Patty's Day seasonal time.

Appearance - Pours a nice reddish copper color with a nice 2 finger golden foam head that sticks around. Tons of lacing!!

Smell - Smells of slight citus hops and brown sugar malts.

Taste - Floral hop tasts hints of toasted caramel-bready malts.

Mouthfeel - Slightly creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Drinkability - Very smooth and flavorful. Highly drinkable Irish Red.

I personally thought this was a very good Irish Red. Very smooth and tasty. I hope it is released again next year.

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Photo of BruMeister
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon Celtic has a reddish amber color, taste has a good malty character with a moderate hoppiness. Good head retention but the first taste almost has a little too much head for my taste. Once I get into the beer itself I am quite pleased. This ale has a medium body and is very drinkable. One of my favorites on draft at my local pub.

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Photo of kindestcut
4.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Harpoon Celtic Ale pours a deep red with a two-finger white head. Given my affinity for Irish red ales, I was most impressed by the appearance.

The aroma is not heavy with hints of malt and hops. While the beer does not have a strong aroma the flavor is much more prominent. The flavor is well balanced like a ll good Irish reds. There is a nice malty sweetness with a hoppy finish that is the signature of this style. Too much sweetness and this would taste like a brown ale.

The mouthfeel is very good, a product of good carbonation. This also adds to the drinkability in my book.

I would say that the Harpoon Celtic Ale is at the top of the Irish eds I have tried recently. This beer would definitely be in my fridge year round.

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Photo of BZero007
4.16/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice clear amber red color, with a decent head and lace formation. Smell was not overwelming and consisted of a Spicy Fruit aroma with a light hop background. Smell was light but I felt it contributed to the taste still. Taste was nice spicy and prickley fruit flavor that hits you up fromt and is supported by a malt back ground. The carbonation is not overboard but it is allot and it helps bring out the flavors allot.

I really enjoyed this beer and would drink again as a session brew.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.16/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up my local Jewel today. Was surprised to see this at my local supermarket.

Deep yet clear amber color with lots of awesome bubbling and a well retained thick film of foam.

Sweet toasted malt aroma overall that makes me think of biscuits and home baked white bread. Very inviting session ale smell.

Sweet toasted malt upfront, with a little dryness. The middle has some caramel to add to that toasted bread flavor. Finish is simple and mlaty sweet that makes me want to kill a six pack of this beer in a heartbeat.

Very underated Irish Red ale.

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Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 769 ratings