What they say (Harpoon Brewery): “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.”
I used to be a big fan of reds. I was only familiar with a couple though: Killian’s Irish Red and Red Wolf?(retired). ?Red Wolf never impressed me, but to this day I’ll pick up a Killian’s and enjoy it.
I went for Celtic Ale because truthfully, I’m not a fan of Guinness and never have been (yes, I AM Irish). And sure, I could pick up a case of Killian’s for Saint Patrick’s Day, but where’s the fun in that? So I decided to hunt for a solid contender to enjoy on The Festival of Patrick.
Label is easy to spot as it is a typical Harpoon label. Go with what you know, right? A lot more green in the art and some Shamrocks added in, so it looks a bit more Irish. Otherwise, the usual Harpoon label.
I was surprised to see such a large, foamy head when I poured this into the glass. Considering the lighter taste, I just didn’t expect it. It’s medium-bodied with a nice, reddish color and leaves behind light lacing. Pleasant, sweet smell to this one, too. Maybe a little touch of citrus to the aroma.
Another thing ?that surprised me was that the light carbonation lasted throughout the glass. ?Every Harpoon I’ve had has been very smooth, including this one. So to see the continued bubbling, that didn’t match the feel, was kind of neat. It definitely lightened the taste up a bit.
The cool thing about this ale is the matching of worlds. It’s a malty brew, that feels every bit like something from Harpoon. But then it has this light taste that makes it every bit a spring beer. Very forward. They work well together, but it is not quite what you expect when you pour it in the glass. ?It’s sweet, smooth and easy to drink. With the warm weather lately, this has been a fantastic sipper while I’m grilling. This will definitely be a go-to-brew for me throughout this spring. And at only 5.4%, drinking a few won’t get you in trouble.
I’ll say this, too: Harpoon Celtic Ale was a sleeper for me. When I sampled it, I thought it was OK. But after having enjoyed the 6-pack over the past few days, it’s grown on me and I find myself thinking I need to pick up more tomorrow.
Definitely a good one for Saint Patrick’s Day – like I said, it’s to the light side, so you can have a few and not get yourself in trouble. If you’re looking for Guinness, this ain’t it. But if you’re looking for a good, springtime seasonal, this is one you can enjoy!
I’ll rate Celtic Ale at a ?7 out of 10.