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Harpoon Leviathan - Triticus - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Leviathan - TriticusHarpoon Leviathan - Triticus

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

135 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 135
Hads: 227
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 15.68%
Wants: 27
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 06-21-2008

Recipe changed from the original 2005 Triticus.

Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 135 | Hads: 227
Photo of BurpingtonDC
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thick, black color with an abundant head.

S - Sweet smell of raisin, prune, molasses and alcohol.

T - Not my thing, these high alcohol, wine-like brews, but it was interesting. Strong notes of raisin, prune/plum, molasses, and alcohol created a fruitcake sort of tatse. This wheatwine's abv is 11% but it's taste doesn't betray it--the alcohol is well masked by the sweetness.

M - Thick and sweet, with a syrupy feel, but not cloying on the tongue. Medium degree of carbonation.

O - I'm sure for the style this is one bang-up wheatwine, but I don't really care for sweet brews. This was graciously given to me by a neighbor, but I don't think I would seek it out.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is very dark. Black with a light tan head. Head is quite large and retention is moderate. A fair bit of lacing.

Some of the scents expected in a hefeweizen are present: banana, bubblegum. Dark fruits are there as well: plum, fig. Brown sugar and alcohol. Really good smell.

Very complex flavour- hard to know where to begin. The bubblegum-like wheat flavours are present, accompanied by fig, raisin and other dark fruits. Slightly bitter. Alcohol is noticeable throughout but is not overpowering. A bit of cocoa. A very hard taste to describe.

Moderate carbonation, full bodied. Somewhat syrupy.

Overall- a powerful and complex beer. The alcohol is present but doesn't really interfere with the wide assortment of flavours. I have extremely little familiarity with wheatwines, but I certainly like this one.

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Photo of neophilus
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Leviathan certainly fits this beer. 11.5% abv is by far the biggest wheat beer I've had. It pours such a deep shade of chocolate brown that it looks black in the glass. Thin yet creamy tan head kisses the top, hugging the sides of the glass but quickly falling in the middle.

The aroma is subdued - faintly like a barley wine but giving more ground to the malt than I'm used to. Very clean. Sweet like candy but not overpowering, perhaps hinting at the rich body lingering under that thin head of foam.

Good dose of hop bitterness up front with sweet flavors rushing over the tongue. There are intense flavors hiding inside this beer but as soon as you look at them they sneak away. Bitter and sweet in great harmony, neither overtaking the other. Aftertaste is clean as well, the bitterness washing away sticky sweetness from the palate.

The mouthfeel is amazing. Silky smooth textures caress the tongue and warmly embrace the mouth. For a moment the thick sweetness threatens to become sticky and chewy, but amazingly washes away as quickly as water. It feels thick and thin at the same time, dense but with a fluid mobility.

How to describe this beer? A wolf in sheep's clothing? A drinkable Barley Wine? At 11.5% you won't be grabbing one of these to cool off after a hot day, but at the same time it is not heavy or cloying, or overpowering to the tastes. Relax and sip this one, but enjoy its subtle friendliness and don't harass it for an explosion of flavors and sensations that you may quickly grow tired of. It's a good thing it comes in a 4 pack because you will be reaching for another.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours a slick black, with a tanish white head, what lacing that leaves is gorgeous. Smell is dark fruit, chocolate, a little bready, and some booze. Taste is that a little sweeter than the smell would let on. Nice body and enough carbonation. This is a very nice beer, probably close to a year old, think I like the way the flavors are now than fresh, but taste buds are ever evolving.

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Photo of cbutova
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 date on bottle neck.

A- Pretty much black body poured into a pint glass with a dark tan head. About two finger height of the cap and pretty good retention. Spotty lace on the glass.

S- Sort of has a roasty malt, raisin, dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar feel. Strong aroma overall.

T- Strong flavor to say the least. Big on the raisin, caramel and dark fruit flavors. These notes are joined by alcohol, sugar, banana and nuts.

MF- Hot from alcohol in a moderately thick, creamy body. Carbonation at medium level. Some bitterness.

A hot, big beer with a caramel dark fruit Barleywine feel. The alcohol feel and flavor are my only complaints but they do not nearly ruin the whole experience.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a snifter glass. Bottle lists the ABV and the year it was brewed.

A: Deep brown and murky with a thin brown head which leaves nice lacing.

S: Lots of complex dark fruit like plums and raisins and other fruit: figs, raspberry, and lemon from the hops. Sweet malt and coconut join a rich aroma.

T: Dark berries, raisins, roasted malt, slight smoke, coffee, smokey char, and spicy, warming alcohol on the finish.

M: Heavy and smooth

O: As expected from a "leviathan" beer, it has big aroma and flavor to go along with the high alcohol level. The alcohol is blended very well in this beer for 11%. It has a lot of dark fruit in the nose, and the flavors are present in the beer. There is a nice bit of roasted malt and smoke which compliments the sweetness of the fruit. The spiciness which is present in the finish also helps balance the sweetness level of the beer. Harpoon really made a solid big beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque cola brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a thin cap. A nice curtain of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark wheat bread, brown sugar, dark fruits, spices, and alcohol. Taste is of dark bread, dried fruit, and some spices. There is an alcohol twang on the tongue with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a thick and slightly flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good wheatwine with a better smell than taste. I was hoping for more flavors based on the aromas I get from this one.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Triticus, from the Latin word for wheat, "triticum," is a wheat wine, and the first beer of its style that I've tasted. Recognizing that I have no basis for comparison, nor any expectations, this is a rather unique reviewing experience. Judging by the smell, however, the experience should prove at least tasty, as the aromas drifting from the bottle remind me strongly of freshly-cut wheat fields after a storm, steamy marble rye bread fresh from the oven, and a hot bowlful of Grape Nuts cereal sweetened with maple syrup and molasses. The beer is, in other words, quite excellent on the nose, promising massive syrupy sugars and fruit esters, as well as a healthy shock of wheat.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a flavor that would not be amiss in a Barleywine, being heavy on syrupy sugars and delicious fruit esters, including berries, lychee nut, apricot, and orange liqueur. Strong wheat flavors--think fresh baguettes, toast, biscuit, cereal grains--do permeate the beer, bringing balance to the sugars. A slight tingle on the soft palate speaks of good hops, the beer clocking in at 57 IBUs. The 11.5% ABV does bring a boozy overtone, but most of this is well hidden by the massive sugars. Late in the mouthful the hops do bring more grapefruit and pine flavors, with a slight hint of dandelion stem. The aftertaste is a heavy and continuing blast of syrupy fruit esters, mixed with a now-slightly-too-large stream of boozy vodka-like alcohol, and lingers for a long time. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium, and carbonation is a slightly annoying medium-high, adding to the buzz on the soft palate.

Overall, this is one of the better beers that I've tried in the Leviathan series (having now tried almost all of them), and is one of the few in that series that I would regularly purchase. The beer as a whole is quite delicious, and the heavy sugars are nicely tempered by the wheat flavors, in much the same way that a good bowl of oatmeal, fresh berries, and maple syrup makes for a perfect combination. Only the slightly overpronounced alcohol whang keeps this from being a near-perfect beer in my books. Well worth trying.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Tylers Taproom in Carrboro, NC.

Poured a dark brown, with hints of amber. Half-inch head that leaves a nice ring of foam. Lacing was rather impressive for the ABV.

The smell was loaded with a sweet wheat smell that was heavily laden with booze.

The taste was actually rather impressive. The most notable flavor is dark fruits and booze. I got hints of fig and prunes mixed with booze. The booze really came out through the nose when you breathe out. Very smooth. For 11.5%, it goes down really well.

The theme of this thing is booze, but not in a bad way.

I normally knock strong boozy beers, but this beer really mixed the booze in well with the other flavors.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a dark brew... Not what I expected from a wheat wine. The color is a dark brown like a stout and has a thin tan head on top. The smell of the beer had a pretty good malty aroma with some wooden aging aromas as well. The taste of the beer is sweet upfront with a decent malt backbone and some dry toasted flavors in the aftertaste. For a brew that comes in at 11.5% it is very well hidden and makes this quite a dangerous brew. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth, it has a good medium body to it. Overall I enjoyed this brew quite a bit.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this bottle out of the cellar. Courtesy of Sir Drew. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark ebony color that is nearly black. Really thin collar. Nose brings some roasted malt and chocolate plus a bit of light anise character. Flavor is slightly roasted with some very mild sweetness. Mouthfeel brings everything together with a good amount of sweetness plus some light cherry character on the backend. Much better as it warms, and fairly nice overall. I'd go for this again.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Triticus on tap at The Stag's Head in Midtown Manhattan (East). First time I see or hear about this beer. Curious, had to try it...

Appearance: Served in a snifter, Triticus comes looking incredibly black, like an Imperial Stout. Mahogany when swirling. No lacing, no retention, no carbonation. Barely any head.

Smell: Raisin, Pedro Ximenez. Sweeetness. A tad of smoke, like a campfire or a kiva in New Mexico on a breezy late-autumn day. Chocolate cake. Sharp booze at the end. Roastiness.

Taste: Chocolate, a bit of hops and a medicinal finish. Biscuit/cookie, like an Oreo. Sweetness, malts and lots of dark fruit. Pomegranate reduction sauce/currant juice.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, chocolaty. Dry and boozy finish. Medium body and flavor, low carbonation.

Overall: I enjoyed Triticus. It was easier to drink than I thought. Not amazing, not earth-shattering, but a fine enjoyable. As to whether this is a wheatwine or not...

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

golden amber then came forward from the bottle, splashing down into the glass with a very hazy thud. Lots of carbonation here as well kept the whole thing alive and kicking with a two inch layer of white foam that quickly faded down to leave a bare top.

The aroma was full of spices and wheat, very musty with a deep down and earthy note to it. I was picking up lots of rye type smells, hints of grass and a touch of grapes. Translated over the taste very well. Very rich wheat flavor. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. There were touches of almost musty pepper or something, hard to place, but very full and very difficult to fully grasp the flavor. Nice hot streak of alcohol running through it as well. Nice medium body with a really good carbonation profile, there was a nice fullness to it.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle purchased in early Fall 2010 into an oversize wine glass on 4.27.11.

A: Appearance is that caramel highlighted dark brown of a Coca Cola under a sparse tan head.

S: Aroma is a deep and crisp roasted malt one with outstanding notes of burnt caramel sweetness, roasted cocoa, dark fruit, and alcohol.

M/T: Deep roasted wheat malt dominates throughout with a balancing crisp hop character. Mouth warming and espresso spiced dry finish. Notes of sticky caramel, chocolate earthiness, and perhaps, pine hops.

O: Not the smoothest of big brews, but nonetheless, enjoyable if you're looking for a post meal nightcap with some balls. Enjoyed slowly...

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown color with just a hint of red around the edged with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down to a thick ring around the glass leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is full of sweet elements, including some caramel, some dark fruit, and some brown sugar. Little bit of banana scents and some alcohol aroma are also present.

T - Starts off with some dark chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Little bit of burnt malt in the background. Through the middle some coffee and caramel flavors come out. The finish is a blend of dark fruit sweetness, some booze, and some caramel that lingers nicely.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate-low carbonation. A bit syrupy and thick and very rich. The finish has a touch of alcohol that warms the mouth.

D - Pretty drinkable, however, a bit more of a sipper. The flavors and big and strong and fairly complex. The richness of the fruit and caramel sugar flavors are really nicely balanced.

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Photo of Marty30
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to baconsausage for this extra.Poured into a snifter.Let sit out of the fridge for about 15 mins before the pour.

A. Pours really dark ruby to black color,with about a 1 inch tan head.

S. Smell is very sweet. Candied sugar,dark fruits,figs,caramel and alchohol.

T. First taste I get is the sweetness of the sugar and the darkfruits followed by caramel and toffee.There is something at the end I cant seem to nail,custard comes to mind, maybe vanilla? Get some alchohol burn also.

M. I like the mouth in this medium heavy semi smooth.Drinks very nicely.

D. This is a sipper for sure,I could drink 2 of these back to back. I really enjoyed this brew.If I see this around I will buy a couple.

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Photo of grub
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

another bottle courtesy of Viggo. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled march 5/2011.

pours deep brown with a small cap of fine tan head. it is mostly opaque, but shows pretty good clarity at the edges. the head drops fairly fast and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is good. rich caramel and toffee. bit of alcohol. bit of pine. whole wheat bread and biscuit. lightly herbal. earthy and a bit woody.

taste is good. rich dark caramel. bit of toffee. lightly warming alcohol. slightly resiny pine. light citrus. earthy and herbal. slightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit. touch of dark chocolate and nutty character. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. good depth. a little dark, but otherwise a tasty wheatwine.

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Photo of Viggo
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a murky dark brown, some dark orange highlights, a touch of red, medium sized light tan head forms and settles down to a medium ring around the glass, some lace spots stick, pretty dark for a wheatwine.

Smell is very fruity, raisin, caramel and brown sugar, big biscuit and toffee, a bit of cherry, lots of alcohol, light grapefruit and some floral, wheat, a bit of banana, real neat maltiness, bit hot but nice.

Taste is interesting, a bit of sweet and sour, some dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, cherries, a bit of citrus and banana, quite yeasty and sweet, pretty boozy in the finish, some wheat, a bit of spice and balanced bitterness, bit of cola going down and slightly watery.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, a bit of warmth, feels almost thin but pretty solid and easy to drink. Not bad stuff.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been eying this 4-pack for some time, wondering if I would fall prey to the string of advertisements boasting this beer's bold characteristics. I did, grabbed it for $10.99 from Consumers in buffalo.

I poured the first few ounces and stopped. I was completely shocked by the darkness of this beer. This beer is 8-ball black, polished by condensation clinging to the outside of my Duvel tulip. There are micro-bubbles floating to the surface. I had not expected a very defining head to appear because of the color richness and alcohol content, but there was a constant halo of a dense tan head always present as if this beer were a divine entity.

Rich malts, chocolate, nail polish remover acetone, berry fruits, banana bread and molasses. Wow, powerful and mysterious. This is my first wheatwine and I am reminded of some of the bigger Dogfish head ales infused with various fruit sugars and exotic whims. I already know this beer will be a sipper and therefore I shall put on my slippers.

Powerful like the nose, sweet raisin and fig with chocolate and coffee bean. I compare this to an immortale or sam adam's triple bock (but severely toned back on content). There is a powerful burnt, caramelized sugar that comes on slowly after a sip and dominates the flavor profile after doing so. Initially there is a spicy sweetness that is light and misleading. I would say the hops were necessary to bring balance to this potent contender.

There is a syrup-like consistency with a tobacco-raisin aftertaste that clings to the back of my throat and coats it like oil. I am happy to be drinking this beer in the dead cold of winter because it's heavy and satiating. The beer is delicious as it warms with the fruit characteristics presented to my palate. The candy sweetness is well compensated by a spicy hop infusion and I cannot muster a complaint based on others I've had that are similar.

Bring this beer with you to have a cigar, bring it with you to watch the game or late night comedy, but do not try and pair this beer with anything other than possibly a steak or stew. Unfortunately there is almost no potential for a pairing, but it might do very well for cooking. However, to cook with it would be a waste of an enjoyable evening doing something else. Likewise, there would be little chance of not feeling the affects from an overwhelming 11.5% abv, which may hinder after-dinner plans on a tight schedule.
Summary: good beer, rich in character and a decent value.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Pours amber-brown with nary a head. Strong ripe fruit aroma with some caramel and citrus hops. Sweet flavor with lots more fruit, prunes, along with caramel and toffee, as well as some rich, smokey cocoa notes. Full bodied with average carbonation. Finishes clean with lasting sweetness and mild bitterness. Nice wheatwine beer that I rarely get my hands on.

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Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear dark cherry with no head.
S: It smelled like dark fruit and brown sugar and alcohol, with some honey wheat and spices.
T: It tasted like sweet dark fruit and caramel first, then pumpernickel and honey wheat along with some roasty barley and coffee. It had a mellow bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation. Very smooth.
D: This was nothing outrageous, but it was super well integrated and balanced. Quite a tasty drink, although it was a bit hot, especially in the scent. It still wasn't difficult to drink, and age may help further mellow it out. Recommended.

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Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, purchased at Cable Bev in Bardonia, NY.

No freshness/bottling date info. offered.

Pours darkest of browns, mocha head, pretty quick to go to a film, collar and moderate fine lacing.

In the nose: Molasas, raisins, rum, black bread.

Flavor notes: Ditto what I got via the sniffer, plus more dark malts, ripe fruits, moderate hops late in the finish to dry things out.

Big and flavorful brew. Super smooth mouthfeel, thick and rich feel to this one.

Well done, dangerously drinkable at 11.5% (!)

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Photo of maximum12
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to hoppymcgee & baconsausage for sending me bottles of this wheatwine, to feed my growing fondess for the style. As my wife has to rise at some ungodly hour tomorrow (5:30 AM) we've split a 12 oz. bottle.

Pours a dark enough red to be a kissing cousin to black. Smell is bubblegum, powder sugar that comes off bubblegum, & a further teaspoon of sweetness. There might be licorice & banana mixed in. Wow. If the smell of sugar caused cancer, this would be a weapon of mass destruction. I like it.

Triticus puzzles me. I can feel the crease between my eyes. Huge shots of alcohol & mapled sweetness vie hand-to-hand for supremacy, on a field littered with candy-coated bananas. The wheat comes in distantly, barely noticed underneath the sweetness. Hop bitterness sticks a head up & loses it almost immediately.

Cloyingly sweet, with nothing to balance it or cut into it. Boozy. I'm sad to say that six ounces of this creature is almost more than enough for one night.

This beer is a hot, muddled, sweet mess. My favorite wheatwines have are a hot, sweet, wheaty mess that somehow comes together. This one feels raw & unfinished. I'm going to stuff my remaining bottle into a dark corner & forget about it until 2015, then try again. Right now, just a decent brew.

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Photo of loren01
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown/reddish color, slight head that dissipates quickly.
S: Sweet, maple, mollasses scents
T: Dark chocolate, mollasses, big time ETOH warmup. Alcohol is not very well hidden. Slight charred flavor at the end also
M: Medium to full, feels oily going down.
D: Glad I tried, probably would not seek this out again though. Good not great.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my glass. Served at about 50 degrees. Very dark color with a small amount of ruby coloring. Slight head, more like a thick film on the top that disappears. Only minor alcohol scents other than that no smell. Mild flavors of brown sugar, maple syrup. No real fruity nature that I would have expected. Alcohol is very warming and relaxing.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Triticus from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
87 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.