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 stephenjmoore
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Medium amber body with transparency and a thin white layer of bubbles on top.

S- Rich caramel malt aroma, not much else going on.

T- Caramel malt dominates the taste with a slight hop presence to balance out the flavor.

M- Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

O- Decent beer, but nothing great.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- dark amber, almost red in color with a small white fizzy head and good lacing.

S- floral hops, fruity, sweet malts, and just a bit of citrus.

T- floral hops similar to the smell, a bit of citrus fruitiness and an interesting note of bubble gum. It gives a pretty sweet taste, which transitions into a sweet malty taste, almost caramel like. Finishes moderately bitter with a nice linger.

M - medium body, medium carbonation and goes down pretty smooth. M

O- an interesting take on an Irish Red. Fruity and refreshing, yet nicely balanced by the sweet malt. Better than I was expecting.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.12/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Harpoon Celtic Red has a thick, cream-colored head, a bit of thin lacing, some streaming bubbles, and a clear, reddish-brown appearance. The aroma is faint, but bread crust, some sweetness, and a touch of sourness can be detected with deep inhalations. Taste is of the same, with a harsh and unpleasant bitterness in the mid-to-end of the sick. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Harpoon Celtic Red finishes lager like- crisp, clean, refreshing, and mostly dry. Some alcohol shows up in the throat. Overall, this just does not taste very good. I don’t recommend it.


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Photo of Reagan1984
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the process of posting 4 reviews that I wrote on my blackberry in the spring and just realized I never posted them.

Pint came with no head and the beer was a clear am,ber color with no visible carbonation. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is of caramel and slightly bready.

Everything was light in this beer, the aroma was mild as is the flavor. Some malt tones that seem monotone and slight sweetness. Nothing deep about it.

Body is light as is the carbonation. A little bit slick

I drank the pint quickly and moved on to another more interesting beer.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a clear chestnut color with almost no head. Not really getting any red from this.

S: malty with a hint of fruitiness. I get some white and concord grape, grape nuts and brown sugar. Smells really sweet.

T: seems like it's going to hit upfront with a citrus hop bite, but that fades quickly into a lot of sweet bready malt. Some caramel, malt syrup and some grain. Mouthfeel is pretty watery. Not really a fan of this one.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy By 04/15/13

A: Pours an amber/copper color with a fingers worth of head that reduces to a cap within a couple minutes

S: Plenty of Irish malts provide a slight sweetness. Also get some light fruitiness and grains

T: Follows the nose. Irish malts dominate, lending a slight sweetness which is balanced by some fruitiness and grainy character. Definitely hearty

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Hearty

O: A nice take on the style and one that could easily be drank in either the winter or spring. I'm not the biggest fan of the style, but this one is good. Worth a shot

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Photo of CHickman
2.65/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear red amber in color with a 1 inch finger creamy tan head that lasted a minute or so; basically no lacing to speak of.

Smells of malt, caramel and very mild hops; nose is pretty faint, but not bad.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, syrup, molasses, and light citrus like lemon or grapefruit; I could not detect the hops in the flavor besides the light citrus taste. To me this beer is not balanced and also lacks any real carbonation as well as any real hoppy or citrus accents to counter the malt taste. Basically it's like a maltier Killian's Red with a roasted grain or malt finish.

Medium body with a light, crisp finish and flavor that's nothing to write home about. The taste wasn't bad, but just didn't do anything for me. I was disappointed.

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Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quite respectible entry in this style category. Malt-centric, with some light fruity notes and a touch of woodyness. Body was just a bit on the lighter side than I would have liked, but, overall, an enjoyable sessionable ale that would be a fine accompanyment to a meat-and-potato meal.

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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 Florida9
3.87/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper amber in color. Forms a minimal off-white head that doesn't bother sticking around for too long. No lacing.

S: Aroma is fairly light, not much more than some creamy caramel malt and some very light hops.

T: Taste is about what you'd expect for the style: Moderate caramel malts, a slight nuttiness, lighter stewed tea hops. Finish is lightly sweet.

M: On the fuller side of medium. Mild bitterness. Medium carbonation.

O: Let's face it, this isn't the greatest or most appreciated style of beer and while it's one I used to appreciate, I've grown away from it. Never-the-less, this beer is just about spot-on for the style. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of david18
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer becuase it was the only new one on draft that day at my local beer bar. I'm not a big fan of Irish Reds but as far as the style goes, Harpoons is quite nice. Good red/amber color, not much aroma but a refreshing flavor that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes irish beers and even those in the mood for an "American Light Lager"

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear amber/reddish color with a fluffy off-white head that thinned after a while and left spotty lacing.

S - faint caramel malt aroma.

T - a bit more malty flavor than the smell would lead one to believe with a light bitterness on the back end.

F - lighter bodied brew with light carbonation.

D - goes down pretty easy.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hibernian Style Ale pours a clear copper color with a thin slightly off white head that dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface. The faint caramel malt aroma has a hint of floral hops mixed in. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is dry with a nice malt flavor. Some notes of nuts, bubblegum and floral hops balance out the malt. It sort of reminds me of tea. A sweet malt flavor lingers on the palate when the beer is gone.

This is a quite drinkable, well balanced beer. I consider it middle of the road in regards to flavor.

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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 merlin48
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, cherrywood, brownish-red body with a small, beige head that quickly falls flat. Some sticky patches of lace are left on the glass.

Aroma is restrained, and that's putting a good spin on it. Sweet, bready malt and some herbal hops are barely noticed.

Mouthfeel is pedestrian, with moderate carbonation and a light body.

Taste is above average, but unimpressive. Caramel and bready malts dominate, with a balancing, floral/herbal hops presence that provides enough bitterness to give this decent drinkability. Not one of the better Harpoon brews I've tried, but it's not bad, just average.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep copper color with large off-white head. Smell is slightly sweet with a faint hint of hops. Taste is pleasant, but nothing outstanding with a slight hop bitterness at the finish. Let a mild dry taste in the mouth. Could be a decent session beer, both nothing outstanding

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Photo of MacQ32
3.12/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear amber brown with a solid finger of dark tan colord head. Fantastic retention, nearly a quarter of an inch 10-15 minutes later. Lacing is ok.

S - Very sweet, cracker like aroma and a wee bit of sourness and spice.

T - Sweet caramel and friuts transcends into a slightly funky beady flavor. Mildly dry

M - Medium bodied, a little thick. Very smooth - really like the body.

O - Definitely on the lower end of the craft beer spectrum IMO - you could do worse however

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

This beer has a fairly generic-amber color, but with a thick creamy, and lasting head. It's a bit faint in the nose, but the malty bread notes are pleasing enough. The flavor is malty, mostly caramel with a touch of bread crusts. Not much hop flavor but a moderate bitterness keeps the sweetness away. Clean finish. If there's a fault here, it's the rather watery body.

Average amber beer. Nothing too bad, but nothing to recommend drinking it again.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.4/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours out to a brilliantly clear, beautiful deep garnet, forming a small beige head with poor retention and average lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is disturbing...a headache aroma...fusels, a ton of diacetyl, soy sauce, B.O, toffee, and English hops. Mouthfeel is ruddy and oxidized and fades into a nasty medicinal/chemical bitterness and astringency with a medium body. This stuff is bad....echo of aroma with rotting wood, ester of wood rosin, brominated vegetable oil, caramelized laffy taffy. Finish is chemical with an acrid, oxidized cardboard twang.

Pure nastiness, this is horrid stuff. Another dumper from the folks at Harpoon. After 4 brews from this brewery, I have no interest in ever having their beer again, and will warn my friends to stay away. Down the drain it goes. Avoid at all cost.

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

Beautiful, bright ruby color with a thin white head that is quick to fade. Bummer about the lack of retention and lace because the color is great.

Smells sweetly of cherry hard candy and watered down Harpoon Winter Warmer spice. Light floral hops.

Syrupy and sweet cherry orange citrus up front with more watered down Winter Warmer spice and some hop bitter in back. Far too sweet and syrupy to drink more than a couple.

What ever happened to Harpoon Hibernian? Is this a rename or a completely different recipe recipe?

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Photo of nrbw23
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a reddish amber color with a white foamy head that left a good amount of lacing down my glass.

S- I could pick up a lot of caramel malts and then a tiny bit of hops and a floral smell.

T- Nothing crazy here tastes like most other Irish brews. Malty and very pleasant tasting.

M- Medium in body and carbonation. Pretty smooth overall.

D- Nothing special here easy drinker.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber-orange color with a finger of tan-brown head. The head fades down to a solid ring leaving behind some lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is full of sweet roasted caramel and bread malts. There is a bit of spices and some banana in the background. Touch of brown sugar.

T - Starts off with a blend of some sweet caramel malts and some spices. There is a touch of bread in the background. Through the middle some brown sugar sweetness and a touch of yeast that come through. The finish is a bit of caramel and spices that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A touch watery but the finish feels really pleasant on the tongue, with the right amount of spice.

D - Very drinkable. The flavors could have used a touch more of a hit, though the spices were a nice addition, they weren't quite perfect and enough on their own.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A) nice amber color, clear. Hardly any foam capping, fades quickly.
S) Smells of roasty malts. I don't notice any hop presence.
T) I do notice some hoppy tones on my first good drink but is almost muted by the roasted malts.The malts also have a nice sweetness to them. Taste is well balanced.
MF)The beer feels thin and watery, slighty bitter or dry on finish.
overall) true to style, good

Drink well my friend

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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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