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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 768
Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a moderate red-amber color. Off-white head that starts out at a nice two-finger height and falls down throughout. Good lacing. The nose brings some light caramel and toffee notes plus a bit of earthy hops. In the end, a bit of the characteristic Harpoon house yeast which, after having 25 or so of their beers, I've started to pick up on. Taste is slight breadiness plus some earth. Light to medium body and nice drinkability.

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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 tronester
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper, with a a thin light tan head. Smells of ripe bananas. Taste is dextrin sweetness up front, with a toasted bread middle, and a earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation. Drinkability is quite good, easy drinking and refreshing. A good beer overall.

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Photo of CheapHysterics
1.68/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Wow, I usually like Harpoon Brews, but this is awful. I had 4 in the fridge and I have tried it with food, without food, first beer of the night, and 5th beer of the night, and in every case I couldn't find much to like.

Pours a nice red tinged color with a small head that disappears almost totally.

Smells malty sickly sweet, like over-ripe fruit.

Taste is not quite as bad as the smell, but still bad. Way too sweet with a bad chemichally aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, but that does little to compensate for the off-putting flavors.

Like I said, I had 4. I tried them in various circumstances and in each case it was a chore to finish the bottle. bleh.

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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 rawthar
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Nice color, a translucently cloudy, burnt Irish red glow. Just a little bit of seafoam on top, with a few tiny bubbles rising through the body.

S- A pleasant sweetness, but not all that roasty. Just a slight hint of hoppiness in the end to calm things down, I guess. I think I pick up a little bit of booze, which is surprising. Not bad, but not much.

T- When an ale is disguised as a lager. The most interesting flavor that I'm catching here is a flowery bubblegum like disposition.

M- Pretty standard, again lager-like.

D- Easy drinking stuff, man. Can't argue with that.

Harpoon is one of my all-time favorite breweries, helped me get into craft. I think this is their brew for the masses if you catch my drift. Nothing wrong with it, just nothing special. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours reddish copper with white foam with 1-2cm residual white foam. Malty smell, moderately firm. Notes of...cinammon? I don't know, something with a spice.

Light sweet taste with a backed hop for a clean finish. Avg carbonation.

Good drinking Irish red. I enjoyed.

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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 twiggamortis420
3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of 05/15/10. Pours a very clear, medium copper color with a fine-bubbled beige foam. Retention is good and lacing is decent. This one looks pretty appetizing.

Nose is honeyed caramel with a bit of toasty malt and some melted butter. Pretty simple smelling brew with a bit of diacetyl issue that is not altogether unappealing in this type of beer. Kind of like a store-bought caramel popcorn ball.

Sweet caramel malts pretty much complete this one-trick pony, but it is not that bad of a beer surprisingly. The effervescent carbonation offsets some of the sweetness and there is a floral clover-leaf bitterness that is probably at least half toasty malt to go with a mild hopping rate. As an Irish Red, it is pretty lackluster...but it does go down very easy and I must say you could choose worse for a St. Patty's Day sixer. Mine certainly will not go to waste!

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Photo of Fnord
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very effervescent clear read with a medium white head.

Smell and Taste - Caramel, alcohol, some grassy hops, and citrus. The caramel comes to the fore, followed by alcohol, with a balanced finish. The aftertaste comes out more as it warms up, but that's fine because it's rather pleasant.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and high carbonation.

Notes - It's perhaps a little sweet for the style, but otherwise a very solid beer. Not terribly complex, but tasty. A great session beer.

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

A: This beer pours a clear, deep, amber color with a two finger of off white, creamy head. Head retains nicely leaving lots of spider web lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is very light, malty sweetness, bread, and a touch of floral hop.

T: Taste is predominantly sweet. Caramel and toffee really come through on the forefront and linger throughout. Middle has a relatively healthy dose of breadiness that mingles with the sweetness. Finish is a very light floral/spicey hop note.

M: Lighter side of medium body, moderate carbonation, a touch creamy with a crisp finish.

D: Goes down easy, ok representation of the style. It's one to have a few pints of, but not necessarily seek out.

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Photo of mntlover
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice clear copper color with fluffy light tan head that falls quick and leaves sparse lace behind.

Aroma is toasted malts light nuttiness with hints of hops fruity grassy blend.

Taste is like aroma light malts lightly toasted hints of nuts also hints of hops in finish herbal grassy like more then fruity. Overall light easy drinking brew that wants to compete with bmc products i guess.

Mouthfeel is light maybe inching up a little with normal carbonation.

Drinkability is well not great don't see having this one again might as well have a Killians.

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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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Photo of bob3701
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Pours a clear red/copper color with a big fluffy head that retains very well and laces nicely. A slight citrus aroma but not much else. Very mild malty and sour taste. Good clean finish. Goes down very easy. Recommended, this was a pleasant surprise.

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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 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 Ysgard
4.57/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 24 pack sampler; This is my 2nd, and its better than the first. I've recently had the opportunity to sample several Irish red's, and I finally think I understand them.

This pours a touch lighter than I like my Reds, quickly losing head, and leaving only minimal lacing.

The aroma is nutty, caramel, and a touch of butterscotch, with fruity english hops holding it all together.

The taste confirms the slightest hint of diacetyl (butter), accentuating the caramel and nutty maltiness perfectly. A hint of chocolate, mild-moderate hop bitterness, and mild hop flavor, like East Kent Goldings, finish just dry enough to force another sip.

The mouthfeel is a balanced, carbonated silk, not so heavy as to stick, but substantial enough to satisfy.

I could drink this all night.

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Photo of kshankar
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a small foam. Doesn't really stay. Not much lacing, either.

Aroma is malty and bready, somewhat sweet.

Taste is similar to the aroma. Sweet caramel malts dominate, some breadyness to it as well. Hops are minimal

Mouthfeel is light, and drinkability is fairly high. Put together the good taste, light mouthfeel and relatively low ABV, drinkability is its highest rating.

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Photo of Mr3dPHD
3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pilsner glass with a really good strombolli. Yeah, I know...it's not Irish...sue me.

A - Nice copper tone with a medium tan head. Decent enough retention.

S - Nutty malt with a nice bit of hops.

T - Nutty toasted malt. Mild hint of caramel and a pinch of hoppy bitterness.

M/D - Medium carbonation. Very drinkable!

I drank about four of these (all different sittings) before i decided to review it. I wasn't too impressed the first couple of times, but it really grew on me. I don't know if the meal I had with it today brought the flavor out somehow, but I could really taste the toasted malty goodness this time. Great brew!

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Photo of chaunur
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear med. tan with a slightly reddish tint. Presents an off-white head that quickly vanished, slight lacing.

Mild slightly malty aroma, a little sweetness and a trace of hops, pleasant but not outstanding. Again a mild balanced flavor, nothing overpowering, maltly, a slight hoppiness to the finish. Easy drinking, goes down smoothly and is refreshing.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a small head. Smell is of malts, a bit sweet. Taste is crisp, malts with a bit of hops, finishing slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality brew.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a bright amber red hue with one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Unfortunately it is very muted, only a faint malt aroma nothing distinct about it. Not bad, just not good.

T: Follows the nose, nothing great, just a beer...typical Irish Red IMO, these beers just tend to be light bodied and lackluster in the flavor category so this beer is perfect for the style! ;)

M: Light medium body, crisp dry finish.

D: Very drinkable as it is an Irish Red and that is the point of these beers...am I wrong?

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Photo of droomyster
3.11/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear shimmering bronze that is beautiful in the light. Has very little head but settles to a white collar that laces the top of the glass. Constant streams of very fine bubbles add to its attractiveness. Aromas are disappointingly subdued, tending towards a dull toastiness. Tastewise, light English hops balance the bready malts, but the flavors lack assertiveness and aren't very interesting. Overall, it is not a bad beer but doesn't have any remarkable qualities.

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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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