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

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear reddish orange colour with a large size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, caramel, pears, tea

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly thin on the palette. I can taste lots of malts and a caramel sweetness mixed with tea. There are also notes of pear juice and a bit of a black liquorice flavour. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste.

Drink - Not a bad beer for the style. It would come in handy with St Patrick's Day approaching. Worth a try if you happen to see it - it is also very reasonable priced.

 799 characters

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 WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry and fruity scent that boasts of pale and crytal malt as well as yeast esters. It's not overly malty, yet it retains a minimal caramel sweetness. The taste is average. It has a dull malt character along with and equally dull finish. Harpoon makes the same tasting beer and keeps renaming it. Everything is dumbed down for the masses. It's a easy drink, but it's a very boring one. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. Harpoon beers continue to uninspire. Celtic Ale is the newest in a rotating lineup of middle of the road beers that just aren't that good.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear, dark red color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the sweet malt, with some dark fruit thrown in. I get a ton of raisins and cherries in the aroma. The flavor is very similar, with a lot of sweet toffee and some light dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not a huge fan of this style of beer, but this one was better than most I have tried.

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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 Stinkypuss
2.61/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from tap

Light gold in appearance, Irish red? A nice amount of head and lace saves appearance somewhat, but looks nothing like the style.

Nose is very light indeed, slight bready malts and thats about it.

Tastes metallic like iron water, malt is MIA in the flavor profile. A slight lemony/minerally hop character is barely perceivable.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, light and crisp.

Drinkability is average at best. Not reccommended, in fact next time I'll pass. Not awful but I expect better.

 520 characters

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Halcyondays
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2 12 oz. bottles into a nonic, for some reason my local Trader Joe's had sixers of this, never seen Harpoon in the Southland before aside from tastings,

A: Pours an amber red with a creamy full white head, with very good retention, some nice lace.

S: Toasty biscuity red malt. Cracked bread, hint of grassy hops.

T: Lots of crystal type malt, with some roasty husky grain. Heavy dried grain finish, almost like cereal. Some good backing hops add some balance.

M: Fairly robust for its style, a solid drinking pint. Crisp carbonation, nice long aftertaste, well structured.

O: A good effort, not anything to make you go wow, but I certainly enjoyed the 24 oz. I don't know if this is some kind an anomaly, or if Harpoon is actually coming to CA, but I'd like to see more from them in the future.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear coppery-amber color with a light tan head that quickly fell leaving little lacing. Visible carbonation was light.

S: faint caramel, light floral hints with a dried fruitiness.

T: The initial flavor had a sweet caramel taste upfront which soon gave way to a dry toasted malting and light floral hopping. Overall the flavor was pretty basic and nothing to write home about.

M: creamy from the caramel with a light-medium consistency and slightly chewy.

D: Ok, but wouldn't rush out to buy a sixer of this anytime soon. Drinkable but not really exciting.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a medium amber color, full fluffy white head, moderate retention. Scent is pale and mild with notes of caramel malts and stale grassy hops. Taste brings a bit more to the table... caramel malts still dominate with only a light touch of hoppyness, quite grassy, earthy. Lighter bodied and heavily bubbly. Really felt like I had a Vienna lager as opposed to an Irish Red. Just too light and fizzy for me.

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Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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

Pours a white, one finger-head that goes quickly leaving no lace. Nice clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is slightly malty. Starts smooth with more malts than hops, some sweetness finishes quietly with no aftertaste. $7.49 for a 6-pack of 12oz bottles from Fred's Kwik Stop Concord, NH.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, says best before 5/1/08. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like caramel malt, bread/grain, and a bit of hops. Aroma is nice, but a bit weak. Luckily the taste is stronger than the aroma is. It tastes like toffee, caramel, toasted malt and a bit of hops in the finish. But it's a mostly malty sweet beer. Mouthfeel/body is medium with good carbonation and a bit of chewiness. Drinkability is good too, the smoothness makes it easy to drink. Not a bad choice as a session beer, IMO. Overall I think this is a pretty decent beer, I'd buy it again.

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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 harpus
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of ColForbinBC
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of maximum12
2.51/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out dead-on amber. No head. Smell seems a little off.

Probably because the taste is off, too. Hops in the top of the mouth & a bit of nasal, slightly stale bread taste comes on strong. I can taste that it's supposed to be a red, but there's something wrong with this beer. Bad bottle? Little old? I dunno.

It's drinkable.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Brew City, Worcester, MA.

23oz pour from tap in a large fluted pilsner glass. Nice head on top of a deep reddish-brown liquid. Pleasant mouthful of malt, with an appropriate amount of hops to balance. Smell somewhat guessed, as in a bar/smoking atmosphere, and my nose isn't the best under optimal conditions. Definitely worth the trouble to try this beer, great sessionability.

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Photo of bpfrush
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.69/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance –Served a mahogany colored brew with ruby like highlights and a small off white head. The head fades rather fast to leave a persistent film on the top of the brew.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet caramel smell mixed with notes of lightly roasted malt and a biscuit smell. Mixed with these are some aromas of a buttery toffee and a light grassy hop.

Taste – The taste begins with a lightly roasted bready flavor as well as some caramel sweetness. As the taste advances further some toffee, biscuit, and some fruit flavors a apple and a light cherry come to the tongue. The flavors remain relatively constant throughout the rest of the taste until the end where a light citrus and herbal hop flavor come to the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the brew is on the medium side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the average to just below average side. The medium body and carbonation suit the drinkable and lightly roasted and sweeter flavors of the brew quite well. Very appropriately done.

Overall – A decent red ale. It has an easy drinking and non-complex flavor profile that has nice smoother flavors which makes a good beer to have while enjoying the company of other.

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Photo of BGsWo22
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of scruffwhor
4.16/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up my local Jewel today. Was surprised to see this at my local supermarket.

Deep yet clear amber color with lots of awesome bubbling and a well retained thick film of foam.

Sweet toasted malt aroma overall that makes me think of biscuits and home baked white bread. Very inviting session ale smell.

Sweet toasted malt upfront, with a little dryness. The middle has some caramel to add to that toasted bread flavor. Finish is simple and mlaty sweet that makes me want to kill a six pack of this beer in a heartbeat.

Very underated Irish Red ale.

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