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 BigCheese
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Huffs
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Enola
3.24/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was looking pretty good up untill I tasted it. It is about the color of a glass of tea. There was little head and no lacing. The taste is just too harsh. There is a negative bitterness that cannot be overlooked. It kills the entire beer. The mouthfeel is average at best. I could not drink this beer again. There are much better red beers.

 349 characters

Photo of vdub191
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ContentmentDIPA
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of dmamiano
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice crystal clear copper with a nice white head . Carbonation cascades out of the glass.
Smell of bready, caramel malts with hints of fruits and flowers.
Taste is malty, sweet and pretty clean. Not much in the hop department, but enough to balance this one out pretty good.

 274 characters

Photo of gmfessen
3.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours with a nice thick head that eventually settles to a thin rim. Beer has some lacing which follows the beer down the glass. There is a metallic smell present, maybe a skunky batch? Otherwise, the smell is of amber and roasted malts. The taste is better than the smell, no metallic taste is present. Taste is of amber malt and a nice honey like aftertaste is present. The beer is balanced well, and is rather light in body, almost watery, with not a whole lot of carbonation. Overall this beer isn't bad, but it doesn't stand out either.

 545 characters

Photo of auxiliary
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Clear red amber color with a nice head from the carbination. Some lace leaft on the glass after I drank it.

Smell - Nice sweet malt smell to it. Very nice.

Taste - Sweet malty taste.

Mouthfeel - Light and carbinated here.

Drinkability - This was St. Patty's day beer along with my other choice's that I bought. I could drink a bunch of these.

 371 characters

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of Michaeldmanley
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of seplo
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of ColdWaffles
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes from the Spring. Poured from a 12 oz into a standard pint.

Appearance: Very clear red ale with a little white head. Head didn't last long. 3.5/5

Smell: Not particularly strong, but mostly bready, malty. 3.25/5

Taste: Fairly sweet take on the style. Nice caramel malts. Slight alcohol on the very end of a sip, odd given the ABV. Not bad. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Nice, balanced carbonation level. Goes in watery, finishes slightly dry. Probably the best aspect of this. 3.75/5

I'd give this another go, but I probably wouldn't buy a six pack. 3.5/5

 565 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Thrasher
2.08/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Well Harpoon has consistently underwhelmed me with almost all of their beers and I have to say this is no exception. First of all, I know this site has had some reconfiguring of the beer styles but there's no way this is a "pale ale/bitter." It's an Irish red ale and there is no mistaking it. It's also a pretty mediocre one, which is tough going because I have always found Irish reds to be a pretty mediocre style in general. While not as initially repugnant as Harpoon's ESB, this is still pretty unlikable. Malts have a nice base to them, and a twinge of smokiness is brought out by the hops, but there is a huge soap flavor that Harpoon's other beers have. It wrecks the beer, and since Irish reds are usually delicate and mild, the off flavor is overpowering. No more Harpoon for me please. I've heard they are currently kicking it up a notch and making more interesting beers (not that it means they will be better) but I probably won't try them unless the word is that they're truly kick ass. And they're free.

 1,019 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon Celtic Ale...way before St. Patrick's Day

Appearance-a vibrant ruby red, head appears with decent tan lacing, big crackling bubbles.

Smell-usual Irish Red style aroma, sweet malt, crystal and toasted malt, a little alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel-more sweet and less sour than I expected, ok medium level flavor hits, malty and a spicy toasted finish, well balance and very smooth.

Drinkability-easy to drink, balanced and not too watery or heavy.

Overall-good version of the style, no problems with this beer, not overly creative but it fits the style mold and does it well.

 581 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2/16/2005. Pours an amber color with a moderate head and some lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty. Easy drinking but not quite as flavorful as I thought it might be. Could be because I was overpowered by Smuttynose Barleywine last night and this now seems watery. Either way, the flavor was sweet with some malts. Good but not a great beer.

 341 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
2.79/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy amber in color with a very thin head. Scoth-ale like sweet, caramel malt aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. First sip is pleasantly sweet with a big malt presence. The remainder of the flavor is fairly unremarkable, save for what I find to be a rather off-putting astringent finish. A bit rough on the tongue, and not something I would recommend.

 350 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.79/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz brown long neck bottle with a crimped on cap.

Clear,amber red color,a slight bit of carbination,1" off-white head dissapated quickly to a coating of foam.

Moderate aromas,sweet carmell/toffee,very fruity,nutty with a bit of roastyness. A good,inviting aroma.

Some carmell tastes,lots of sourness, taste is nothing like the aroma would indicate. A good balance with a dry,tart,grassy finish.

A medium mouthfeel that's grainy and a bit on the rough side.
Not a bad taste just not enough to make me want another.

 560 characters

Photo of dlin0sbb
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of patrick802
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of bh123
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of kirkse
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

 475 characters

Photo of climax
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a clear red/brown good size frothy head which faded quick to next to nothing

nose was somewhat mild but clean and complex if you search a little. the toasted caramel malts were in the forefront. ripened fruit, nuts, buttery and darker coffee and chocolate tones were evident as well. i did also hint faint sweet cinnamon and bubble gum

flavor was good but pretty one dimensional. sweet toasted caramel malts and fruit. more diacetyl as it warmed (it didn't warm much i drank it pretty quick)

body was medium/light, fizzy carbonation throughout and a creamy feel. finish was dry

easily sessionable, nice easy flavors, won't knock your socks off but it's definitely worth a try

 686 characters

Photo of scoobybrew
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - clear amber color with a small head that settles, some minor lacing

S - caramel malt aroma with a touch of roasted grain

T - mild malt flavor characterized by slight caramel notes and some slight roastiness, fairly clean but some fruitiness noted from yeast, some hop flavor on the finish

M - medium to light body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent enough Irish Red. It's fairly well done with regard to craft, but there's not much interesting going on here. It might be a good gateway craft beer.

 565 characters

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