Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPAHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA

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1,636 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,636
Reviews: 714
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 114
Gots: 207 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DrDogbeer on 09-07-2008

Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA will challenge your senses and your palate. As the vibrant aroma rushes out of your glass you will notice the blend of piney and tropical fruit notes. At first sip, this big beer starts with a powerful hop bitterness up front and an aggressive hop flavor and character throughout.

Leviathan Imperial IPA is brewed with tons of pale malt and just enough caramel malt to provide a sweet malt body to balance the hop intensity. We used copious amounts of a variety of hops including Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo at various points during the boil to create a complex hop flavor and clean lingering bitter finish. We then fermented the beer with Harpoon’s own versatile proprietary yeast. Finally, we dry hopped at a rate of over 1 lb a barrel to produce this beer’s massive aroma.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,636 | Reviews: 714
Reviews by JoninVT:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ColdOneKev
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

A - Slightly hazy, dark gold body. Medium white head fades quickly leaves heavy lacing.
S - Powerful hops, pine, medicinal concentrated citrus. Dank.
T - The nose definitely influences the flavor, while breathing in such a powerful aroma it is difficult to pin point all the hop profiles. It all works well together but it is very complex, pine, medicinal, spiciness, citrus, more pine. Long lingering bitterness that warms at the end and sweetens. Reminds you this is 10%.
M - Thick, chewey, coats the palate, but it is not cloying. The bitterness also helps the finish dry out.
O - An excellent imperial IPA. Certainly not something you could have everyday, but this one is up there with other imperials. I dragged my feet on trying this one out, I'm sorry that I did. Would definitely seek out again.

Photo of Andrew041180
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear, deep copper color. The head is creamy and thick, and retains fairly well, leaving thin lacing on the glass. There is a small amount of visible carbonation in the glass.

S - The aroma is a bit disconcerting to me. It is quite overt, but syrupy and heavy smelling. Mostly sweet malts. I don't detect any hop character at all.

T - I see other reviews highlighting hop character, but to me, this is a complete malt bomb. It comes equipped with some hop bitterness, but basically all I get out of this one is a syrupy sweetness. Also quite a bit of booziness to this one, which I do not like. I find this to be quite like Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale.

M - Nice full-bodied feel. Causes me to wish that I liked the flavor a bit more.

O - Glad I only bought a single, because this one is not for me. I drank this bottle well within the enjoy-by date, but really only tasted the malts. If you're into Undercover Shutdown than by all means give this a try. I recognize that many people like that combination.

Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great to see this down here in my area.Poured into a nonic a rich deep golden near bronze with a bit of chill haze,a thick,tight,creamy white head atop that never completely settled.Big citric hop in the nose,deep grapefruit rind and lemon pith,as the bottle says juicy hop flavors of grapefruit and resiny pine with some caramel/tofee flavors coming thru in the finish.Its very fresh tasting and very drinkable for its size,a very nice DIPA to sip on today.

Photo of RoyalT
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is a thin-looking light brown in color with an explosive, retentive head.

Smell - The huge hop profile let's the drinker know that this big beer is not just whistling Dixie. There's a big, sweetish orange aroma as well. The malt base is likewise sweet and full of caramel with maybe just a bit too much grain.

Taste - Sometimes these big beers will show a lot of hops up front but not deliver in the mouth, but not the case here. The hops are huge at the taste. The grain is a bit bigger in the mouth and the rindy orange is big as well. This is a big, big DIPA.

Mouthfeel - This beer is thicker than medium-bodied but not full. The bitterness is extreme and will chase away the casual drinker.

Drinkability - This sipper will please the hophead purists but is not for the faint of heart.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle also lists the ABV at 9.3% not 10%. This beer pours a clear medium coppery color with a nice white foamy head. Decent lacing makes this a real nice looker. The smell is very strong with citrus hops and some bread yeast. The taste is crisp with a bitter first sip followed by citrus hop and bread yeast. The high alcohol is also mildly present making this a bitter warmer. The m/f is medium for a high octane beer with all flavors mixing well. This is a real nice beer,and one that you should give a try.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Leviathan double ipa. 9.3% alcohol content.

A- Pours a nice clean lightly hazed orange tinted color with nice one inch white head. Excellent lacing with maximum retention.

S- Fresh hop oil on the nose first with other grassy scents appearent as well.

T-M- Taste is a bitter hoppy front followed by mild malty notes ending this flavor bomb. All and all a good drinker but just seems bland on the mouth will little to prove.

D- Drinkable in the aspect of it has high amounts of alcohol and is quite tolarable.

Photo of sgoodship
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Mrs. Murphy's & Son's Irish Bistro in Chicago.

A: Clear golden color. Creamy white finger head. Great lacing and head retention.

S: Huge aroma. Mostly really amazing tropical and citrus fruit. As the beer warmed, there was more candy but not a sickly sweetness. There was a bit of a strange aftersmell. One friend said it was like a litter box. I thought it was more like the smell of spit if you lick your hand. Don't get me wrong, the overall smell was impressive but I'd like to try this beer again to make sure that the strange aftersmell wasn't an anomaly.

T: My first thought was that it reminded me of Hop Slam with no balance. This was all hop. There is enough malt to challenge the hop but there is no doubt who is the champ - it's all about hops. On closer inspection, you get more of the combination of tropical fruit and grapefruit. The candy flavor comes in later. The hops are aggressive on the palate.

M: The mouthfee felt on the full side of medium and carbonation was medium and nicely done. Alcohol and hop give you a nice burn on the palate. Generally clean, slightly resiny and refreshing.

D: This is a really big beer. I couldn't put many of these away. The alcohol seemed well disguised on-tap although some of the burn may have been lost among the hop aggressiveness. It's an in your face type IPA. My friends did not like it. I think you have to be a fan of IPA to appreciate the insanity of a brew like this. It's not the bitterest Imperial IPA out there but it is most certainly a very huge beer and one of the more distinctive flavors in the style.

Photo of steelerguy
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Exceptionally clear, moderate carbonation, off while head that fades to a covering. Head fades rapidly and not a lot of lacing, wonder if it is because they filter.

S - Lots of hop aroma tending to be more pine with citrus coming second. A touch of sweetness from the malt, but this is very much hop dominated.

T - Hop pow! Tons of hop flavor, again big pine and grapefruit flavors. Simple but nice malt profile to stand up to the hops. Would like a little more complexity, nothing crazy, just a little more floral or spice.

M - Big resinous feel, coats your mouth with all the hop oil. Nice warmth from the alcohol, not too much carbonation, this is how a DIPA should feel.

O - Very good beer, lots of good qualities, one hop away from being excellent.

Photo of JasonA
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper, barely dark twinge. Solid 2 fingers of considerably thick head considering body color. Ample lacing.

Citrus, pine, grapefruit, light malt. Almost smell some yeast in there, not in a bad way. Floral, some bitter/grass.

Yummy malt, bittering hops, alcohol. Lots of different hops. My amateur guess would be ample cascade, liberty, and saaz. Boy do those hops sit on the back of your throat.

Nice finish, bitter and malty on the tongue. Great body. Alcohol present in a good way. 10% tasting, but great for a DIPA.

Love it. 10% isnt for everyone, but this is a great option. For perfection, maybe a little more body and malt.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Golden color with a smaller head than I would have expected, though still with a lot of lacing.. Big floral aroma, pine and a little lavender. Maybe some citrus. Big, resiny pine taste, smoothed out a bit by the malt. The alcohol is very well hidden. This is an aggressive beer, but I mean that as a compliment. Quite good.

Photo of andrewsporter
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle - lots of churning and swirling on its way. Nice head probably 2 fingers that lingered nicely, very aromatic. I really liked this beer; very good texture and taste. The way it settled in the glass was breathtaking. It's a peaceful beer. Few bubbles. I normally don't like that "flat" look, but IIPA pulls it off well; this beer isn't idle chatter. Once you taste it, you know instantly that the tranquility of its appearance fits exactly into it's coolheaded character. Agitated it a bit to see what happened. Delightful micro-bubbles settle quickly. Solid beer.

Photo of warnerry
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from old notes best by 11/15/10; consumed 11/24/10

Pours a beautiful crystal clear orange with two fingers of head. Look delicious.

First aroma to hit is pineapple hops , followed by a bit of pin and citrus. Hops are followed by a decent amount of caramel malt. Smells promising.

Hops burst on the tongue before any actual flavor comes through. While similar to smell, the piney hop character seems to dominate over the fruitier hops. Caramel malts come through nicely on the finish. Leaves a nice bitter aftertaste. Taste is a bit of a letdown after the smell, but still pretty good.

Mouthfeel starts prickly. Then a slight oily/resinous feel comes through, followed by a nice drying astringency on the finish.

I'm enjoying this more than I expected to based on other Harpoon beers I've had. Alcohol is somewhat apparent, but it goes down pretty smoothly.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Allagash tulip.

Beer is golden with a hint of amber color. A big head forms. It has a a very sticky lace with a creamy frothy head.

The aroma is spicy piny and pungent hops. The hops are the main aroma but the malt does show in the back. very nice balance

The taste is very nice a pleasant mix of hops and malt to begin. The hops start the show with a pungent piny, earthy flavor. The hop let a slight sweet malt through. A nice bitter finish come in to end the whole thing.

The mouth is smooth and the carbonation is subtle. The only trace of alcohol is in the finish leaving a slight numbing on the gums.

On a side I've had this at the brewery mixed with UFO white and they have termed it a "Storm Trooper" it was very tasty

Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange with a great head that retains very well. Great lacing to boot. Smells of citrus, grapefruit, tons and tons of hops. Tastes of citrusy hops, slight pine presence, peaches, and more of a malt backbone than the aroma indicates. The malts show up a bit more as the beer warms up a bit. It's almost like a ST Unearthly "Light"...less syrupy and a lot of the same characteristics. Not AS great as that gem though but immensely good. I am very pleasantly surprised by how good it is and how easy drinking it is for 10% abv. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Photo of merlin48
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I forgot to buy any of these at The Keg, in Clarksville, Indiana, last week but was fortunate to find a few bottles in Louisville... Pours a chill hazed golden amber body with a tall offwhite head. Lots of sticky patch lace.

Aroma is huge! Valencia orange opens into a cornucopia of citrus-pink grapefruit, tangerine, and mango. Raw pinecone, grass, and some leafy florals quickly join in. A hint of alcohol and toasted caramel underneath.

Mouthfeel is between medium and full. Creamy carbonation and some hop oils help disguise the big alcohol content.

Taste is excellent. Assertive citrus boasts orange and mango, grapefruit, and some lemon rind. Pine and grassy hop bitterness adds complexity. Some chewy caramel malt tries, unsuccessfully, to balance. Finishes with what I would call an orange wine punch, leaving a lasting dryness.

Wow! Best DIPA I've had in several months. Some big hops in this one!

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from Nikki's Liquors in Providence, RI for $2.89, freshness/vintage dating not found.
Pours lighter honey amber, clear, under an oatmeal tan head, that lasts and lasts. Lace left behind is fine and well developed in its intricacy and detail. Nose is all about the grapefruit which follows through into the taste/finish/character of this high quality Harpoon offering. Plenty of citrus, grainy, resiny hops. At 10% and with a crushing hop profile, this one is clearly worthy of the tag "DIPA". The grapefruit lingers and lingers on the palate, well into the very long finish, and needless to say into the hop burp stage. A step up for Harpoon as they are not playing around with this one. Well worth a try...Hop heads rejoice and go get some

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass from Asheville Brewing. Beer pours orange with a little white head. This beer smells like a DIPA with lots of citrus, pine and hop aroma. Flavor is more of the same, with grapefruit being the predominant flavor. I couldn't see myself drinking a lot of these (mainly because of the alcohol, not the flavor) but this is one solid DIPA.

Photo of Swedes21
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark ale, light coper, off-white head, good carbonation

Smell - Malts, hops, pine, citrus, sweetness

Taste - Alcohol, malts, bitterness, not a lot of pine, warming, dry/metallic

Mouthfeel - Strong alcohol and malt presents, lot more metallic.

Overall - Nice tasting beer, found to b a litte dry/metallic and the alcohol wasn't well hidden. Another great one shared with SpinRSC

Photo of kingcrowing
4.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best IIPAs that I've ever had, it's got one of the strongest hop aromas of any IPA I've ever had, it even rivals the Sierra Nevada Fresh Hop summer harvest.

It's nice a smooth with very little head and low carbonation with a deep amber to almost red coloring. If you can find this, buy it. The Leviathan series has given me a whole new outlook on Harpoon!

Photo of Kraken
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 7/30/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an over sized wine glass. Firm yields a 1/8 inch of off white head. Head falls quickly but leaves a very nice thin lace. Color is a deep and cloudy orange.

Nose- Roasted caramels, overripe orange, vanilla, tangerine and grape fruit rind.

Palate- Wow Hop Punch. Plenty of bitterness, perhaps too much. Orange rind, lemon zest, lots of thick caramels and tangerine. Huge bitter finish. This is really a mouth puckering sipper.

Mouthfeel- Thick, a bit syrupy, lots of carbonation.

Drinkability- This is a heavy weight, high alcohol palate crusher.

Photo of jondeelee
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon's Leviathan Imperial IPA begins with the nose one would expect from an Imperial IPA: thick with hops, which bring delightful grapefruit and pine notes. Beneath that is the promise of an equally well-tended bed of malts, which add sticky brown sugar and toasted bread aromas.

On the tongue, the beer begins with an intense 120 IBU hop kick, the tastebuds awash with grapefruit rind and pine sap, as well as peppery hints of flowery perfumes. Despite the massive bitterness, the hops are well-balanced and palatable (assuming you're used to such IBUs, that is). These hops last throughout the mouthful and make up the majority of the aftertaste, which lingers in bitter citrus joy for a long time. There is a good malt backing in here as well, however, and I'm glad to see Harpoon didn't turn out a one-trick pony. Look past the hops, and a thick, syrupy, sugary layer presents itself in biscuit and toast glory. Mouthfeel is a creamy medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is excellent fare, and a sure pleaser for almost any hop-head.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes

A- pours a very clear heavy golden color. fluffy off white head with great retention and some wonderful lacing.

S- big earthy spicy hop aromas. some citrusy fruity hops as well with a little bit of a warming alcohol smell.

T-lots of hop complexitity going on here. although nice balanced by the malts even at 122 ibu's. spicy earthy hops give way to citrusy pineapple tasting hops. nice sweet caramel malt back. some alcohol heat, but no off flavors of the alcohol. leaves a nice resiny lingering hop flavor.

M- big heavy resiny sticky mouthfeel. chewy. nice minimal carbonation with a nice creamy mouthfeel.

D- good drinkability for the high abv. still definately a beer that needs to be handled with caution, or it could bite you in the ass. definately recommend this to any hophead, overall a huge IPA at 122 ibus, enough said...

Photo of far333
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear apricot orange with streams of fine bubbles rising up. A dimpled and frothy head of off-white foam sits atop and lingers long, and leaves big sheets around the glass as I drink.

Inviting aroma of spruce tips, grapefruit rind, tangerine and honey. Some hints of green apple.

Rich flavor of doughey malt, mixed evenly with juicy, oily, resiny hops. Medium-high bitterness, great flavors of orange and grapefruit, some pith. Morphs to piney notes, finishes with a definite warmth, sharp cinnamon and citrus lingers.

Chewy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, finishes tingly and warm. Pretty smooth for such a big beer, scarily drinkable.

Photo of Soonami
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Harpoon beers tend to be pretty average, at least of the selection that I've had, but the Leviathan series suggests that I should re-evaluate their special releases.

This DIPA is a bona fide winner. The beer is the color of pale caramel, like what goes into a peanut brittle. The head doesn't hang around for long, disappointingly fading. The aroma, however, is fierce. It smells like orange blossom honey at first, a very sweet floral aroma. Then a get a touch of very ripe pineapple and a little toasted malt aroma. A little alcohol is apparent but not unwelcome. The beer does not taste nearly as good as it tastes, though, but still very good. The beer is not bitter enough, it doesn't have that big punch in the face bitterness that I want, an almost puckering sensation when a drop touches my tongue. The flavor: grapefruit, pineapple, peach flavors are there, but I want more and some resinous pine tar tang. It's almost too gentle for what I was expecting. The carbonation is very good and the body is well executed as well, but not particularly special. Very drinkable, in fact too much for the style!

Photo of whoneeds8
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear orange/amber with a quickly disapaiting head. Good lacing. Smells of strong floral hops. The taste matchs the scent, with a much stronger kick. I'd like to see some better malt balance on the backend, but this definatly is a hop head drink. The mouthfeel is solid, maybe a little on the thin side. Lots of alcohol heat on the tounge.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
91 out of 100 based on 1,636 ratings.