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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Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 768
Photo of Brewzzle
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a poor introduction to the style with Killians this Irish ale is a redemption.

It has quite a stong aroma, a hint of cinnamon to start and strong alcohol overall, very inviting. Colour is a reddish brown and quite rich. To taste it is very sweet, strong malt profile and a nice hop bite to balance. There is an unfortunate watery finish and aftertaste which detracts, body is quite thin too.

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Photo of WVRadar
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by date stamped on bottle. 3/4 inch white head, clear sparkling dark amber body with ruby highlights. Initial bitter taste, with short finish. Couldn't really pin the taste of this beer down, different than any other beer I've had. Not really sure if I liked it enough to have another one.

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Photo of shamrock7
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I recently was introduced to Harpoons Hibernator by mistake and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was presented to me as an IPA, but it was really a red ale. I was expecting an IPA and I found my first sip not only to be a surprise, but a pleasant surprise. It was really smooth and tasty. It was a nice pour with a rich foamy head. The aroma was a nice mix of fruit and caramel, but not overpowering. It went down very easily - light, tasty and very drinkable. Even though I was looking for an IPA I ended up sticking with this one for the whole time I was there. There was no aftertaste and it was easy on the pallet. I’ll be looking for this one next time.

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Photo of FollowedMyFolly
2.21/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am a huge fan of reds and have a huge respect for Irish beer. Most reds that I have tried are American so the Irish style reds are somewhat new to me. This beer was not in favor to my personal pallet. Harpoon I will keep trying to find the beer for me in your company. I still keep the faith.

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Photo of thagens
3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep amber with about an inch of white head.

S: Typical for an Irish beer. It reminded me of Rogue's Kells Irish Lager. Smells malty with a little bit of nuttiness.

T: Slightly medicinal, not necessarily bad but not what I was expecting. Taste is way different than the smell.

M: Creamy and smooth.

D: Pretty drinkable. Not really what I would chose to drink on a regular basis, but not bad.

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

Poured from a refrigerator-temperature bottle into a standard pint glass. One finger head of large tan bubbles quickly dissipates into a lacy skim across the top of the beer. Champagne-like bubbles rise to the top of this copper colored brew. Aroma is of sweet malts and some spice. The initial flavor is sweet caramel malt, with a drier finish and a hint of hops. As the beer warms, I am noticing a bitterness that balances the sweetness. There is a good amount of body to this brew, but the high carbonation keeps it from being syrupy or heavy. This is a deliciously uncomplicated beer that I could drink many of.

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Photo of LuthersLager
1.18/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Beautiful amber color, I do wish it was a little more red.

I could only smell the alcohol, no malt, no sweetness, not hops, just alcohol.

The taste is acidic, astringent just bad.

I can't leave it in my mouth long enough to judge mouthfeel.

drinkability - i'm pouring this one out.

Reading others' reviews I think I got a bad one that spoiled... it tastes spoiled. Next time I get a chance to try this beer I'll re-review.

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Photo of MikeTaz
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Poured deep red and clear with little head that evaporated quickly.

Crisp, clean taste. Slightly hoppy, very understated. Hits the front of the tongue. Very refreshing on the palate, thin mouth feel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of darknova306
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at J.B. Quimby's last night.

This beer pours a deep copper color with a two finger thick head. The bubbles in the head are large and coarse and pure white. After settling, the head remained thick enough to keep the beer covered.

The first impression you get from this beer is that it smells like lightly toasted bread. If there was any hop aroma, I wasn't able to detect it. Some British malt comes through in the nose, slightly offsetting the bread aromas. A minimal amount of yeast esters manage to poke through as well, lending a touch of a sweet floral aroma.

As with the aroma, the flavor of this beer is dominated by bread. There is a solid malt base that uses the bread and toasted notes to balance itself rather than hops. There do not seem be more than a token amount of hops as the hop bite was barely noticeable on the back of the tongue.

While not a light beer, this is an easily drinkable one. It's thick enough in the mouth so you know it's a solid beer, but it's thin enough to go down pretty quick.

Harpoon's Celtic Ale is not the most exciting beer, but you could do a ton worse. It's definitely a solid beer that should be really good on those cool rainy spring evenings. I would have enjoyed it more had I not been in a hoppy mood when I tried it. Don't expect an award winner, but this is a decent beer that's worth trying if you're not in the mood for hops.

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3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

irish reds aren't the most interesting style and this one lives right up to that name sake

a light amber color with very little head as it poured from the bottle to a standard pint glass

decent aroma - a little malty and sweet
even bodied with a hint of hops in the finish
a slight taste of biscuits or bread
it goes down pretty easy and you could drink two on a hot day

 380 characters

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 shadwrack
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love everything Harpoon makes. Had way too many of these on St. Paddy's Day this year. Very drinkable indeed! My favorite thing about the Hibernian (besides the taste)is the label on the bottle.
I love Celtic crosses & staffs, very cool! Too bad this is only a season beer.

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Photo of jopper
2.81/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A nice copper color with a cloudy aspect to it, little to no head that quickly settles and fades away

Smell - Not much here a slight aroma of crisp hops

Taste - a decent crisp taste with a slightly bitter finish

Mouth - typical

Drinkability - The finish on this lets your mouth know that it would like another taste and sooner than later, it drinks quick especially on a nice hot day.

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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 atucker0985
2.16/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am usually a rather jovial fan of any beer that comes out of Boston, however, this one deserved to be bent over my knee and spanked. After first pour into a clean and crisp pilsner glass, my initial thoughts on its appearance nearly convinced me that I was going to enjoy this beer. It has an attractive reddish/amber hue and a good inch thick head on it after it settled. Christ almighty was I fooled! As I poured this facade of a brew into my eager mouth, I was immediately struck with an incredible shock to my taste buds like a spear to my gut. This beer had rudely interrupted what I thought was going to be a celestial experience. The taste was almost nonexistant...bland would be an understatement. I sensed a cripsness to it that could have been better exploited ...had the beer had better componets to it. The finish was bitter, but I will admit that the aftertaste did not linger as long as I thought it would. I truly missed the presence and aroma of the ingrediants of this brew as I have grown accustomed to smell in other reds that I have tried. Sorry Harpoon, your other brews are great, but other than the pleasant appearance, this one was a crushing failure.

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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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