Harpoon Celtic Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

365 Reviews
Harpoon Celtic AleHarpoon Celtic 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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 768
Photo of trekbiker3000
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I did not know what to expect with a name like Harpoon Hibernian. Well I guess I expected an Irish Red Ale. The pour was not overly impressive in my glass, no head with just slight amount of foam floating at the top.

The aroma at first sniff was an amazing array of fruitiness, sweet yet malty. I could not wait to get a taste. It was crisp, full of carbonation. The body was strong but not overpowering. The fruitiness and slight hop flavor is intense. The flavor lingers in your mouth long after you took your last sip.

While ales are not usually my type of beer, I found this too be a very drinkable beer. Great appearance, good aroma, good taste, and a lasting impression. If you get a chance try this beer.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with a nice head and good lace action.
The aroma of grains,malts and fruits.

The taste begins with malts and low hops.I tasted the caramel with lingering fruit notes. The fruit was mild,the malts were upfront and held up well.

The feel was light bodied with medium carbonation and some grains in the finish.

Notes: I was really surprised by this beer, Normally, this brewery fails to get my attention yet this was great for sessions with a good ABV.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one really well rounded beer. Pours a nice head with some lacing. Heavy scented peat flavors on the nose. Very pumpkinesk spicey flavor on the palate. Quite complex. Creamy feel also on the palate. Nice beer to throw a few back with. Flavorful hops round it out.

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Photo of jktedder12
4.06/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a chilled pint glass. Foamy head, about a quarter inch, dissipated to some lingering lacing. floral hop aroma with a hint of citrus. Color is golden ruby. Nice ruddy appearance for an Irish Red. Nice smooth feel in the mouth with just a bit of extra carbonation. Floral hop taste with a hint of caramel. Finishes bitter and dry. Overall very nice, solid red ale.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red hue, clear and frothy head that leaves an even ring.
Smells malty and slightly fruity.
Has a forward taste of a bit of a biscuit flavor with a middle taste of a little fruit and malt, followed by esters to finish it all up.
A pretty nice beer that I would love to drink at a bar with some of my pals.

Great beer!

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Photo of yuenglings
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice clear amber color with a red hue to it , big head at first disapears quickly with minimal laceing

S: Sweet caramel malt like smell

T: About the same as it smells vrey good

M: Light and bery smooth nice carbonation

D: This is a very drinkable beer feels like i could easly drink a case of this in a sitting and if i could find it around where i live i would definately buy a case or two

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Photo of sixerofelixir
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Best-by date clearly inked on bottle neck.

Pours an ultra-clear, dark amber-orange. A tan head recedes and patches to the glass. but a few slow carb trails. Smell is high-pitched toasted malts, some fresh greens as well. I tend to rate finish with mouthfeel, and this beer has some of the best of both. I like it when a beer makes me forget about the seperation. For taste - a light, buddy hops twists intently into an absolute blast of sweet and almost cocoa-ish roasted malts. Then the finish is dry. And bitter. Feel is carbonated and medium-bodied and hearty. Drinkability high. I'm starting to think I like these red ales..

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Photo of Snowmanfs
4.04/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid beer that anyone should be happy having. Solid ballance. Nothing to crave but something to enjoy anytime. A mainstay of Harpoon. Glad it's available, keep pouring.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.04/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the brewery in Boston MA.

Pours a brilliant almost crystal clear reddish tawny brown color with a perfect white head that laces well down the glass. The aroma was a bit muted, smooth caramel and cereal notes slightly.Tasted creamy as ever and nice and malty. Slight hops flavor balances the sweetness enough. Extremely smooth and refreshing. Does well as it warms as well but cold is perfect. This is a huge session beer for red ale drinkers. A very good example of the style.

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Photo of Todd
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: A nice and clean looking rich red / amber beer. Head is a tad off-white with a creamy foam stick and excellent head retention.

Smell: Malty, fruity, estery with a soft hop aroma in the background.

Taste: Body is medium. Mouthfeel is smooth. Malt flavours are quite fruity, dark fruits, with an even semi-sugary sweetness. Touch of roasted flavour sits in the back with some bubble-gum-like and woody flavours. Carbonation is tight, zesty and creams-up on the palate. Grain flavours follow, then some esters and a slight touch of alcohol. Hop flavours are floral, tea-like, with a thin, soft character. Some leafy feel can be detected on the palate. Finish has some roasted notes to it.

Notes: Harpoon replaced their Spring Maibock with this beer. I put that aside. They come out with an "Irish-style red ale", which is so typical. I put that aside. What's left? In my opinion a damn fine ale. It's balanced. It's simple. It's easy to drink. It has appeal.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

23oz pour from tap in a large fluted pilsner glass. Nice head on top of a deep reddish-brown liquid. Pleasant mouthful of malt, with an appropriate amount of hops to balance. Smell somewhat guessed, as in a bar/smoking atmosphere, and my nose isn't the best under optimal conditions. Definitely worth the trouble to try this beer, great sessionability.

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Photo of tapman
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper and a foamy, tawny head. Very clear.

Earthy, minty hop and a lightly sweetened toast.

All the flavors of the nose with a light-moderate bitterness. An apple-like fruitiness is subtle.

Crisp and refreshing.

A good all-around irish red. Pretty close to the style, from my experience. I could have used some more hops, though not bright ones.

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Photo of fx20736
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic, served at fridge temp.

appearance: a burnt orange shade of medium amber with vigorous tiny bubbles and a creme brulee 1 finger head. decent lacing.

nose: Amazing bouquet, very fruity, candied fruit, like ginger, mango, papaya, with maybe a touch of floral hops.

mouthfeel: pretty average, a tad thin, really.

taste: crystal malt, a slight fruitiness with a kiss of spicy hops

notes: the taste cannot live up to the amazing nose but it is pretty good, easy to drink and easily the best Irish Red I've had. Actually, it reminds me of Bass Ale. I only bought a single bottle of this but this being St Patrick's Day I will go forth and buy a 6 pack of this. I could drink this all day long.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.01/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

12-ounce brown glass longneck into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: sexy red colour with half-inch off-white head that sticks for most of the pint. Very attractive visually.

Smell: Tea, toast, and floral hop notes dominate, as is appropriate.

Taste: My first impression of this beer was "Hey, this tastes like tea and toast! Try it!" And that hasn't really changed. I'm a big fan of tea and toast and, therefore, a big fan of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very light. Tingly carbonation and it doesn't even begin to coat my vocal cords.

Drinkability: I could drink an entire 6-pack of this without realizing it; it's that tasty.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear red-orange with a large off-white head. Decent retention.

S: Fruity esters of pear, apple, and bubblegum. Grainy/bready malt. Grassy hops.

T: Sweet malt tastes up front. Lots of what I perceive to be crystal malt. Esters come mid-palate. Bubblegum taste is very distinct and even more prominent than it was on the nose. Cereal grains come out mid-palate and ride into the finish. Grassy and floral hops lend a light balancing bitterness. Woody taste hangs in the background. Finishes dry with grainy tastes.

M: on the lighter side of medium bodied. Carbonation is firm and crisp. the body is substantial enough to command respect, but light enough to maximize drinkability. Not watery and castrated like so many of the reds on the market today.

O: A very tasty and approachable beer. Sweeter than most reds. Will please the seasoned beer drinker as well as the neophyte.

Notes: Certainly one of the better reds on the market, and a solid spring seasonal. Sweeter than most reds, but I enjoyed it. Bubblegum esters threw me off at first, but in the end I think it really fits well.

More notes: The woody tastes seem even more apparent when this beer is served on tap. I think it throws the balance of flavors off a little bit. One of the few beers I enjoyed better out of the bottle.

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Photo of scarletfire79
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red amber with a slight off white head. the smell is unoffending and slightly sweet. the first sip of this beer didn't really get my attention right away. but after a couple of glasses from the growler, it really started to grow on me. the taste is really well balanced with a real smooth finish. almost honey like. i think this is a real solid beer. very smooth, very middle of the road and very appealing to the masses. i dig it.

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Photo of CountJustinian
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice almost pure red color with a half-inch-to-an-inch of off-white foam that sinks rather quickly. Malty nose with hints of sweet garden vegetables. Medium body, leaning towards the light side. Carbonation is smooth and creamy. Sweet maltiness with caramel, taffee and mild woodsiness. Clean and smooth without a lot of aftertaste. Very drinkable; easy to have more than one.

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Photo of Saunapoika
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice looking amber-brown color and very clear. Quickly subsiding two-finger head that maintains lacing down the side and a finishes with thin head till the very end.

S: Generally sweet maltiness with a slight floral hint to it. Very clean scent with just a touch of alcohol as well.

T: Very nice up front. Malty like the nose discovered. Slight bitterness in the finish but overall, nicely balanced. A little bread thrown in there somewhere in the middle.

M: Smooth. Nicely carbonated. Finished a tad dry but left you ready for another swig.

D: I like this one. Nothing stands out by itself in this brew and I think that's a good thing. Well-balanced all the way through. No off flavors or metallic taste for me either. I could have a few of these.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Hazy brownish red coloration with a solid two tip head of white froth. Sat on top the whole way down and left behind some sedimentary lacing.

S - Cherries and sweet malts. Not much of anything else.

T - Yeah, the cherry comes through again, but it feels very natural, not sour cherries like in Bell's Cherry Stout, or artificial syrup like in Michelob Celebrate Cherry. Other than that it's a pretty solid yet balanced sweet malt profile.

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation level, dry finish with mild fruit flavors in the aftertaste.

D - Standup job, I could drink several of these and be satisfied. Recommendation on this one for sure.

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Photo of stirgy
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured out clean, clear and was an orangey-amber color. A large persistent head of foam rose out of the beer and left a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is semi-sweet with buttery malts and bitter orange notes. The taste is buttery smooth and flavorful. This goes down extremely easy. The body is solid and the finish is clean and leaves a pleasant tartness in the throat. The draft version was good, but this might be even better.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 04.26.09. Part of a BOTM sampler. Poured into a 14oz. pint glass. Labeled Hibernian, not Celtic (before the renaming...).

A: Clear amber with a red tinge. 3/4 in tough head. Medium amount of lacing.

S: I absolutely LOVE the smell of this brew. Citrus hop notes. Toasted malts. A lingering sweetness.

T: Average to above average for the style. Citrus up front. Smooth in the back. Malty, sweet overall.

M: Smooth. Lingering malt & barely any graininess.

D: Good with appetizers, something vinegar-based (maybe fries...). Also could see this being sessioned a bit.

Extra stats from the BOTM newsletter:

Serving Temp: 45-50 d F
IBU: 26
ABV: 5.4%
Malts: Pale, Caramel
Hops: Apollo, Willamette

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Photo of TitanTake
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was poured from a bottle into a mug.

A - Nice full head; great lacing along the rim; color a bit off; it seems almost orange, two-toned

S - excellent hops and florals; a hint of something stale however

T - hops are not overpowering; nice malty flavor throughout

M - the carbonation was surprisingly excellent; wonderful effervescence on every mouthful

D - overall I would say that this beer is not an every day, sit down at the pub, beer. However, it does have it's merits for an occasional change of pace

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Photo of BeerTaster
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance copper amber in color one finger tan head and some lacing, would have liked a bit more head retention though. Smell caramel and malt thats about it. Taste caramel malt grain and a touch of spicy hops in the finish to balance. Mouthfeel a bit light in body mediem carbonation. Drinkability a nice beer to share a evening with friends.

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Photo of iceball585
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep reddish color, semi-clear, thin lacy cover that faded slowly

S- Toasted malts, sweet, fruity, caramel, hint of hops

T- Grains, caramel malts, creamy, woody, sugar, floral hops, light bitterness

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, crisp

D- Great session beer

I consider this one great irish red ale. An all around good beer from start to finish.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.96/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Shaw's. Amber-red translucent body with a little less than an inch of light tan head. Smells of malt and floral hops. Biscuit and caramel malt with some floral hop to support it. Creamy full mouthfeel. Pretty good ale. Nice malty ale.

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Harpoon Celtic Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.51 out of 5 based on 768 ratings.
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