Ahhh Harpoon IPA. When I moved into my first ever real apartment the first thing that christened the fridge was a 12 pack of this guy (and by real apartment, I mean a non-college apartment where mom no longer deposits 100 dollars into your bank account every month for “groceries”). Why did I choose to buy Harpoon IPA? Well, a number of factors really. Number one: it’s reliable. Much like that friend who is quick with a joke or a light of the smoke, you always know what’s in store for you when you have a bottle of this brew. Nothing out of the ballpark, but something that is drinkable and always consistent. Number two: ppo, or in beer terms, price per ounce. It was on sale at the local package store (enough said there). And number three: it’s good for company. Not everybody likes the bitterness of a beer, so when we had those first guests to come over and check out the new place, you had offer something they could tolerate without uttering the words, “Bud Light?” Harpoon IPA is not overly hoppy and is very well balanced, even for the novice beer drinker.
That being said, if your looking for a complex IPA with lots of notes and a bigger hop taste, go with a Lagunitas IPA or a Rogue Brutal Bitter. Harpoon is a no frills IPA that has an east coast taste. The hops are more toned down, as mentioned before, and a lot of malt and a sweeter character comes out of this brew. The smell is that of light hops and the slightest bit piney – not as pungent as a bigger IPA as expected. It poured a rich golden brown that left an attractive lacing as I drank, and a very big head at first poor, but not much retention. Overall, this is a reliable, good tasting IPA that I would certainly get again, but am not dying to make sure its in my fridge at all times. A solid B for a solid beer.