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 Jason
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep shaded reddish amber, nearly tawny with a nice settling white lace. Clean maltiness with some hints of fruitiness and light floral hop. Woody hop and faint bubble gum? Moderate body with a smooth slightly creamy mouth feel, mild hop bitterness lets the delicate malt sweetness come through with waves of toasted malt and grain. Fruit floral yeast. Touch of caramel and a subdued fruitiness in the back ground. Dry toasted grain lingers for a while. Clean, smooth and malty.

A lot of flavor to soak in here for a normal strength beer. A sensible seasonal on their part for the Boston area, this ended up being a more than just a decent beer.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A light tan foam that lasts and leaves some lacing. Pours out a clear, amber beer.

Smell: Sweet caramel and yeasty malts. I also get some banana notes.

Taste: The malts show up and dominate the beer but they're supplemented by a little of banana.

Mouthfeel: Really light carbonation with creamy feel.

Overall: Not a bad beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit and might buy more in the future next time they're available.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice clear amber with a good half inch of bubbly lightly tan head.

S - Caramel and toffee malts ahoy with a bit of aggressive grain or pine hops in the smell.

T - Starts off moderately sweet then turns toward an aggressive grain and the end hits with a slight hop bitterness that sticks to the tongue a while. Not bad!

M - Light to medium body. Very drinkable.

Overall I liked it. This maybe the first Harpoon beer I did enjoy. Kind of aggressive grain profile but still very good. Would consider buying a sixer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange-red color with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint and has a metallic smell to it, contains caramel, tea, nuts and some hops.

T: The taste is malty but light with flavors of caramel, spice, nuts and tea along with a nice hops background. It’s simple but pleasant. The after-tasty is slightly sweet and a little bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, decent representation of style, it isn’t the best beer that I’ve had in the style but it’s still very good. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here but it’s enjoyable in its simplicity.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a refrigerator chilled bottle into a pint glass. It has a pretty copper color with hints of red. There is a thick tan head made up of many different sizes of bubbles. It leaves a patchy spiderweb of lacing as the head settles. Initially there were a lot of carbonation bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass, but they have quickly disappeared. There are still a few steams of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. It has a slightly spiced malt smell. The beer has a malty flavor reminiscent of graham crackers. This is most prevalent in the finish, as there is a sweeter flavor up front that disappears as you hold the beer in your mouth. The aftertaste is a bit strange; it has kind of a nutty, alcohol flavor. It has kind of a thick body, but I wouldn't go so far to call it a full-bodied beer. The carbonation bubbles feel sharp on my tongue, but that may go away as the drink's temperature rises. The beer goes down pretty well. It's not an incredible complex beer, so you don't feel like you need to think much well drinking it, you can just enjoy it. This is a great beer to have on hand for easy drinking and to share with friends.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a nice full creamy tan head, good carbonation, and decent lace. Spicy malt aroma. Spicy nutmeg-like malt flavors; fairly robust malt profile for an Irish Red. Medium bodied and smooth with a spicy dry malt finish.

Good but just not my style to stick with for more than one.

Per B.O.M. notes:
- 22 IBU
- 5.4% ABV
- Malts: 2-row Pale, Caramel, and Chocolate
- Hops: Nugget

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours red, medium bubbly head.

Malty aroma with some fruitiness and hints of hops.

Medium body, somewhat smooth with a creaminess also. Noticable hop bitterness that melds with malt sweetness. Weak fruitiness comes through as well.

Very nice spring beer.

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Photo of karengarys
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This pours - um - amber? It seems to a bit more orange than I'd expect from a red... Leaves little head and seems fairly clear (not hazy).

The smell is sweet... Floral?

The taste is odd, but not bad, and easy to drink. It has an edgy hop bite I don't like, but it also has an odd sweetness and maltiness I do like.

The body seems light. A bit watery.

Mouthfeel is decent, somewhat creamy, somewhat coarse, but in any case not flat at all.

the finish is a bit off, that goes back to the hop bite I do not like. It makes itself known quite a bit at the end.

This is a decent brew, but it seems like I could guzzle one after another - something I usually wouldn't do. A bit bland, but very very easy to drink.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at fridge temperature in a pint glass. Best by 5/11/07 is lasered on the bottle. Thanks for that!

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear rich, deep orange... sort of reddish orange actually. The two finger head condenses into a bone white foamy cap, leaving sporadic lacing inside the glass.

Smell- A wonderful biscuity nose on this beer draws me in, while the bolder presence of malts anchors the aroma. I had a few of these on St. Patty's Day this year, and it put all other available beers to shame.

Taste- A well-balanced display of bread, malt, and hops that drinks so nicely... it's full flavored and big where it counts. Terrific with or without food, this is "best of show" for the style this year ('07).

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The sheer slickness of this beer in the mouth is fantastic, but it's also a bit too active and gassy. The malts really deliver on this one, and I'd highly recommend anyone at least try it.

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Photo of brewemstrong
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color of this beer is fantastic. It's a great burnt orange/ruby red color that signals a Red. But, the 1 finger, white head dissapated much quicker than I was hoping.

S: Mild to medium aroma hops with caramel or scotch undertones. Nothing jumps out at me, nor drives me away.

T: Not sugary at all. The flavors are very mild and hard to distinguish. Possibly clove and/or allspice.

M: Medium to strong carbonation that eases you into the bittering hops. Mild finish with limited bite.

D: Not too heavy, not too light. Maybe hoping for a stronger all-around flavor but I would buy another bottle of this in the near future, just not a 6-pack.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rusty-orange hue with brass highlights and pristine clarity. Dense, pale biege three-finger head sinks to a marshmallow fluff cap- shows decent retention, and leaves spotty lacing. English hop and Munich malt nose, nothing offensive but nothing impressive either. Toasted pale malt sweetness is backed by dextrinous graininess in the first sip. A deeply earthen-herbal hop flavor balances, while leaving the aftertaste slightly dry but retaining a fair caramel taste. Light-medium/thinnish body gains some texture from dextrin which gives it a pleasent tannic bite- although not quite astringnet. The mouthfeel is mild but flavorful- with medium carbonation. Finishes biscuity with a comfortable level of residual sugar and mild English hop flavor. Quite a nice session beer- highly drinkable with a very agreeable expression of stye.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this. Clear red body with nice white head. Smell is very nutty and malty. Taste is the same. Nutty is what I notice with a nice malt backing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very low carbonation. Very smooth like most irish reds. This is a very drinkable brew and I reccomend it to those who enjoy smooth and nutty.

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Photo of welldigger888
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle in to my trusty iriash pub pint glass, Beautiful garnet hue with an off white head that slowly fades with ok lacing.
The aromas seem a bit muted but what does come through is of a nice grain malty caramel, little hop if any on aroma.
Very well put on brew here, the slight hop goes well with the style and the malty flavors with a slight caramel stand tallest.
Seems a touch thin on mouthfeel but good carbonation.
Could knock these back for days!

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this Harpoon offering pours a dark amber color, with a cream colored head. carbonation is apparent as bubbles steadily rise. a distinct fruity aroma is thick and inviting. hard ot place, seems like maybe prune.wow, the bitterness of this brew is very refreshing. it finishes a bit dry, which is only a problem if you run out. easily drinkable, another good brew from Harpoon.

a great beer to review on St. Patricks Day!!
Happy St. Patricks to all

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Photo of Redrover
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Harpoon Celtic on tap at the Distillery. It was served in a marked glass, the beer is a dark garnet with a sticky tan head.

It has an aroma of lightly roasted malts, biscuits and plums.

The beer leads with toasty malts and a hint of caramel. There is a touch of spice that reminds me of rye bread and some crackers.

The mouth is slightly thick with low carbonation.

It is very sessionable and easy to pair with food. Harpoon has nailed the style.

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Photo of kenito799
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tall glass.

Dark reddish amber brew, tan foamy head, not much lace. Not much aroma at all, a bit of malt, blandish smell.

Crisp and light on the palate, dry, refreshing, with a nice toasted malt flavor that recalls an alt. I really like this brew, I find it very drinkable and refreshing...more flavor than your standard lager, I would like to revisit this in hot weather as I think the light dry body will go well with hot humid days, while providing a good amount of toasty flavor.

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Photo of aepb1
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Translucent amber/brown body with a light fluffy white head

S- Mostly caramel malty sweetness

T- Much like the nose only a bit more full. Caramel malts, a bit of hops poke through and a sweet finish

M- Medium body, moderate carbonation, feels good

D- Very easy to drink a bunch of this in a sitting and even easier to come back to

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Photo of puboflyons
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle makred Best By: 05/15/10-020. Probably from their Windsor, Vermont brewery. Sampled on March 4, 2010. The pour is a very nice looking ruby red-mahogany with a thin beige head. Lots of beige lacing. The aroma is strong with caramel malts and some vague hops. The taste is sweet like butterscotch and caramel with a light hoppy ending. A nice take on the Irish style red.

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into a clean pilsner glass. The beer poured a deep golden copper color with 2 fingers of off white fluffy head.

A. Overall a very nice looking beer. Great color of both the body and head. Slowly rising carbonation build up near the top of the beer.

S. Smell of mlatiness and some earthy smells.

T. Taste of malts and some breadiness. Good depth of flavor and a solid taste.

M. Feels great on the tongue, very refreshing, finishes with great aftertaste and smooth flavor.

D. Pretty impressive beer overall and would drink this one no problem.

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Photo of Kromes
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a nice reddish gold color with a thick dense off-white head.

S: Sweet toasted malts and a little bit of crisp floral hop.

T: Sweet toasted caramel flavors are there up front and then a nice slightly bitter floral hop rounds out the finish. There is a faint trace of alcohol flavor and warmth.

M: It is light in body. The carbonation is good, leaves a slight pepper feel on the tongue.

D: This is a nice little red ale. I would recommend it.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a copper color and produces a thin head. The smell is of light malt. The taste contained a bready maltiness, and had hints of cherry and banana, which yielded to bitter citrus hops in the finish. The mouthfeel was balanced. Overall, a pretty good beer, but not exactly earth-shattering.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, dark caramel color with just a quarter inch of off-white head, excellent clarity. A very buttery, lightly toasty aroma comes through with some toffee like character as well. An almost oaked, vanilla note as well, kind of strange. On the palate, a complex malt profile comes through. A range of orange, bready, biscuit, and toffee notes are in there. Finishing slightly smoky and floral, with a burnt, bitter feel. The roastiness of this beer is deceptive given its light shade, but overall, an interesting beer.

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Photo of Kanyon22
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I tend to not be a big fan of Irish reds but trying to get a handle on the style before March 17.

A: Pours a very clear and lively carbonated orange-red color with a white foamy head. Seems to be lighter in color then other reds I have had.

S: Has a sweet toasty Malt smell with some earthiness going on in there.

T: Starts with sweet dough and then moves to a metallic nutty finish.

M: Has a water feel that finishes kinda harsh in the throat

D: Very easy drinking, really high marks here. Seems to get better as you drink more than one.

For a Irish style ale this is the best one I've had to date. So far this is going to be my St.Patrick's day beer of choice.

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Photo of proc
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this one.

Pours out to a dark amber in the glass with a very, light, brown head. The aroma is that of malt and smells fresh. The taste is very good. There is a wonderful, sweet malt taste here, that is very lightly balanced by the hops. Its tastes lightly sweet and is very refreshing. A fine example of the Amber/Red style.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear deep copper color, with a nice two-inch head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malt, faint caramel, clean finishing. Light-bodied and sessionable, plain but pleasant. A nice choice as a session ale on March 17.

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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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