Review of Harpoon IPA

29 May
Today, I thought I would review another IPA.  It’s been a few posts since my last one and I was in the mood for a fresh, hoppy ale.

The beer of choice is the Harpoon IPA from the Harpoon Brewery located in Boston, Massachusetts.  This is the flagship brew from Harpoon and one that I have, actually, never had.  

From the website,, we find this description: 

Harpoon IPA is an interpretation of the classic English style using hops and malt grown in the United States.

The high hopping of Harpoon IPA is not only noticeable in the nose but especially in the finish.  The lingering bitter finish of this beer is not harsh or astringent, but crisp and pronounced.  This is created, in part, by dry hopping – a technique that involves adding fresh hops to the conditioning beer to provide a fresh hop aroma.

This beer is floral, medium body with an aggressive, clean hop finish. 

This brew sounds enjoyable, so let’s give it a try.

The Harpoon IPA has an ABV of 5.9% and comes standard in a 12 oz. bottle. 

After the pour, this brew appeared clear in the glass with a color range of orange to light amber.  A mostly white, slightly creamy head was produced from an easy pour that had ok size, but did not have an extremely long retention time.  The lacing was decent as it adhered to the sides of the glass pretty well.

The smell was nice with the expected hints of grapefruit citrus along with qualified notes of orange and even some lemon.  Nice and fruity.  A few floral notes came on strong as the brew settled followed by some perfume”y” redolence.  As it warmed, an earthy malt became evident, which, to me, seemed to calm the overall hop profile of the aroma.  Not bad.  It seemed to be balanced very well, however it’s not overly boisterous or vigorous.

The taste brought forth a nice, little hop “bite.”  More of the grapefruit citrus and fruit was found along with further hoppy bitterness from a resiny and piny distinction.  Again, as the brew developed, a malty backbone gave it some stability to round out the resume.  Nice and easy in the flavor department.  Not flourishing or extremely potent.

The mouthfeel was medium, smooth, crisp, dry, somewhat refreshing and punchy.  The palate is saturated well enough to leave a significant amount of flavor behind.

Overall, the Harpoon IPA is pretty good.  It’s not quite as complex or daunting as some others I’ve had, but I still found it to be enjoyable and easy to drink with plenty of proper IPA “goodness.”  I would be more than happy to drink it again if it was available.  It’s worth a try if you see it, but don’t expect an over-the-top hop “bomb.”  Instead, expect a beer that is solid, even and proper with enough character for a good representation of style.  This could be a decent introductory IPA in my opinion.  Pick it up, try it and let me know what you think of it. Please leave a comment if you so desire.

Thanks for reading guys.  Hope everything is going well in your “craft beer” world.

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Country: USA, Harpoon


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