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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPAHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

705 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 705
Hads: 1,673
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 113
Gots: 230 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 705 | Hads: 1,673
Photo of SometimesIfart
2.3/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

A - Pours dark gold with a two finher white head. Left a good amount of lacing.

S - Some pineapple, however it is dominated completely by malt.

T - Yep, this is a malt bomb through and through. Extremely bitter as well.

M - Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, it reminded me of a Hop Rocket, which sucked badly.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.51/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I'm in the minority on this one big time it seems...

Pours out terrific with a big fluffy head... Looking very good with a nice golden amber.. Cloudy with hops...

Decent aroma of earthy hops and sweet malts... Where are the hops here? I get some but nothing like what I should for an Imperial...disappointing...

Well, I'm really disappointed now... The hops are present but they are muted big time... This is malt heavy and while the hops arwe there, they fall way short of balancing this out...

I really had high hopes for this brew...this might be past its prime or something

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Photo of WCBCFrank
2.6/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Harpoon Leviathan pours copper amber in a pint glass. There is a nice off-whtie head and the aroma of hops smacks your nose like a uppercut.... Copious amounts of sweet pine and grapefruit; very dry and good amount of carbonation. A massive amount of alcohol, but you knew that when you bought it.

For the novice: If you drink this too fast to impress your friends, you are going to get piss drunk.

Personally: Well made, but too much of a hop slam for my palate.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
2.74/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a small pilsener glass.

A: A clear golden amber more indicative of a BMC offering than what I think of when I think of a DIPA. There is certainly no characteristic head, disappointingly only offering a small thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Overall, very disappointing.

S: Thick wet sticky hops fill the nose and then hit you in the chest. Somewhat sour with citrus notes...mainly lemon.

T: Spicey taste of pepper. Funky hops. Lemony sour malts. This borders on difficult to enjoy.

M/D: Tingly and sour, thicker than it looks. This beer is slightly tough to get down. Way too sour and funky for a DIPA...this is a deviation from the style that just doesn't jive well with my tastebuds.

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Photo of brentk56
2.8/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a modest head that leaves a few dots here and there

Smell: Piney and boozy, with a very resinous character

Taste: Sweet malt, up front, with a growing piney and boozy bitterness that develops through mid-palate; strong juniper berry aspect, as well; after the swallow, the resinous character lingers long into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate to low carbonation; very sticky, with plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Way too boozy and sticky for me; with the juniper berry element, it almost tastes like a "beer-tini"

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Photo of roblowther
2.84/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

OK, here we go. Buckle in, I'm not an IPA guy, really. But, good beer is good beer, so let's see what we got. Pours reddish gold with a frothy, soapy head and lacing that fights for its life. Smells like East Texas. Pine trees and a minerally undercurrent. Taste is overwheming pine up front, again with a sharp finish. It tries to be pleasing and then just somehow...is too much for me. Alcohol very present in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is oily and well carbonated. Drinkability is limited by the astringent character. I'm sure its paradise for the majority of beer geeks (ie- the hop heads) but its not my cup of tea. Or beer.

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Photo of tbailey32
2.87/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For an Imperial IPA this beer has a wicked bite on the front end. You can also taste the hops and I'm sure hop heads would like it. Similar to a DFH 90 in taste. High ABV but could be a bit more smooth overall. Smells great but definately a slow drink beer. I would give it an average rating.

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Photo of tylerprince
2.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a fresh bottle into a pint glass. Having consumed and enjoyed quite a bit of Harpoon IPA in the past, I was excited to try its big brother. I was quite disappointed:

A: Crystal clear orange/copper with no head whatsoever (and I did use a clean glass). Thin lacing.

S: Grassy citrus with a sweet, cloying background. Made me a little scared to taste it...

T: My suspicions were right. Grassy citrus up front immediately gives way to a dominating fruitiness. Berry, berry, cherry, and some cough syrup. Cloying. Finished with warming alcohol.

M: Low on carbonation, and a bit syrupy. Really pretty terrible, and not something I would expect from Harpoon.

O: This is one of the worst IIPAs I've tried in a long time, and I try a lot of them. It's like cough syrup with a touch of hops. I will be avoiding this one.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a clear amber body with lackluster head that melts into thinness.

S - Resiny pine hop oil, loads mandarin oranges, booze vapors, strange onion/BO odor, caramel malt.

T - Jagged pine infused astringent citrus evil hops layered with boozy caramel malt. Bounties of citrus comes out on the finish. Alcohol is not hidden very well.

I've had this beer several times and it's seems to vary alot. Sometimes I sort of like it, sometimes I hate it. This beer is good(better) cold. The citrus is the only thing that saves it. When it warms it turns hideously ugly. The alcohol is evident every time. I love and respect this brewery but I probably won't be getting this again.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.01/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear gold/amber with a huge fluffy head that dissipates slowly. Moderate carbonation and great lacing.

N: Caramel malts, grapefruit, toffee and pine.

T: Pine and toffee upfront which fades into grapefruit and a Fruity Pebbles kind of taste. Finishes with some spicy rye flavors.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, sticky and dry.

O: Eh...this beer can easily get lost in a sea of DIPAs. Nice bitterness, appearance and mouth-feel. Alcohol is well disguised. Yet this is mediocre IMO. Too much toffee flavoring and not enough hops. Perhaps mine wasn't fresh enough?

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Photo of brdc
3.01/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Small capped bottle, thanks to splitgrin.
Poured into a tulip.

Golden colored, nice off white head, decent retention and lacing.
Aroma is biscuity malts, piney hops, faint spices, and alcohol.
Medium bodied, nice carbonation, but the overall taste is a bit disappointing.
Piney bitterness, biscuity malts, but the alcohol is too upfront, dominating at times.
It lacks complexity, it is too alcoholic on the palate, not enough malt backbone to support the hop assault. I would call it unidimensional, if the alcohol did not provide the swecond, somewhat unpleasant dimension.

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Photo of FishGetter
3.05/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served chilled in a pint glass, golden amber appearance with great clarity.
Orange citrus hops dominate the aroma to let you know this one means buisness!
Strong hop character but not overwelming on the palid. Followed by citrus tang and a slight boozieness. 10% ABV is hard to cover up.
Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of a medium bodied beer.
Can't see this being a stand alone beverage after one or two. Better as a pairing with a meal.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this high ABV beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a big nice head. The beer was a nice golden color. It smelled hoppy from the get go and it tasted really hoppy also. way to much alcohol yet it did have a nice malty finish. However I will have to sa no to buying this again.

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Photo of Cresant
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was golden and had a slight haze. The head was persistent and was about the color of an old PC. Sheets of lace encompass the glass.

Smell was oranges and herbs. Fresh milled grain. The alcohol became more evident as it warmed.

Taste was of hops oils and alcohol. Juicy then drying. There was a grassiness in the aftertaste. Pretty sweet.

Mouthfeel was smooth and a bit oily. Medium to full body.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I recommend letting this beer warm up some before indulging in it because it tasted like nail polish remover when it was cold.Golden body with a small white head.Some lacing is left and I smell notes of candy(sweetness) and hoppiness.Sweet and hoppy and not to my likeing.Some fruitiness in there.Mouthful is ok also nothing heart stoping.This beer didnt do anything for me and I wouldnt recommend it.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

My bottle lists the ABV at 9.3%.

A - Light amber, quite clear, with about two fingers of white head. Retention is decent with abundant lacing.

S - Resinous, piney hops abound. Some herbal notes provide depth but ultimately Leviathan IIPA is a pine bomb. Rich caramel sweetness provides the base with some noticable alcohol.

T - While not bad, this stuff could be a lot better, certainly more complex. Pine hits first and rides atop the flavor throughout the entire sip. The initial herbal/piney burst is followed up with sweetish malt, but it can't hold up to the grapefruit peel that quickly shreds the palate with some rough, coarse bitterness. Noticable alcohol (too noticable for my tastes) cuts through any and all sweetness by the end.

M - Medium bodied that almost gets syrupy at times. Carbonation pops in and out seemingly at random settling at an average level. My first thought is to pin this beer as a little too thick and a little too flat, though I think the taste and the abundance of alcohol is the real problem. Nonetheless, the mouthfeel doesn't even begin to resolve any of these issues.

D - Meh, Leviathan IIPA just isn't for me. It's extremely bitter and there's not all kinds of layers of flavor like I'd hoped. I guess I was expecting some sort of malt bomb IIPA in the vein of DFH 90, but Leviathan was a palate shredder without much meat in the middle. Bad? Not really, but it doesn't stand out and in fact gets pushed near the bottom of my list of DIPAs with it's vicious bitterness and whacked out mouthfeel.

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Photo of
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - golden amber with a very thin head that dissipates quickly to a ring, then totally disappears.
Aroma - sweet, fruity malt with a fairly strong hit of pine and citrus.
Taste - Bitterness is the dominant taste upfront here, with enough fruity malt sweetness to keep it reasonably balanced through the middle, but the bitterness comes back at the end with a vengeance. The bitter aftertaste lingers in the back of the throat for quite a while.
I really like bitter IPAs and this one came off as not so much "hoppy" as just bitter. Not entirely unpleasant, but very bitter.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from Nikki's Liquors in Providence, RI for $2.89...
Appearance: Ruddy, tawny, dark-copper hue with a minimal head and minor lacing...
Smell: Very attractive aroma replete with hints of fresh citrus, lemons, and limes...
Taste: The 10% ABV is certainly noticeable on the tongue... Headily alcoholic... Taste overall complements the aroma with a strong dose of powerful alcohol to match...
Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full bodied...
Poor drinkability due to the cloying flavors associated with the strong dose of alcohol....
Unbalanced and shaky...
Wouldn't recommend this one...

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Photo of LarryV
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge malt bomb - the sweetness of the malt overpowers the hoppiness. It's not a bad brew, just too sweet and a tad hot for me. Definitely no something I would seek out.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with a light tan head. In the aroma, gingerbread like malt and a small pine hop. In the taste, mellow pine hops and a sweet gingerbread like malt. A small hop bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry alcohol and pine hop in the aftertaste. A bit boozy, a bit thin, and lacking in hops, eh!

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Photo of ryanonline
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden amber hues with some creamy and rocky white head. Also very clear leaving some seriously sheety lacing.

Very light scent, a little citrussy hop scent a little caramel malt. Not much yeast character, though pretty heavy alcohol scent.

The taste is mostly dominated by alcohol. There is a fairly potent grainy flavor with some grape-ish fruit notes. Light hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is fairly light to medium bodied with somtging between a viscous and watery character. The finish is very dry with prickly carbination.

Moderate drinkability. Im just not a fan.

Overall, i'm not all that impressed. Halfway through and I feel I am done.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So i wasn't at all impressed with the Harpoon normal IPA before this, but i wanted to give this beer a shot when i saw singles for sale. My biggest complaint with the regular ipa was it was really weak, so hoped this DIPA would be the solution. Bought from Bruisin Ales as a single.

Well this one is hoppy enough to warrent a DIPA title, so thats a good thing, but the down side is that there is alot of alcohol presence for being 10%, any other 10% DIPA ive had was able to mask the hotness but this one isnt. there is also a prominent medicinal aspect peeking through that ruins alot of whats going on, which over all is a bigger problem then the hotness. on the good side this one has some spicy citrus notes, and only a little malt backbone that doesn't interfere as much as i expected per the bottles label.

Maybe the medicinal notes were from a bad bottle, but either way the hotness can't be taken care of cause you shouldn't age an IPA. Wont buy again.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: clear orangish yellow. nice white head. moderate retention rate. decent lacing.

S: huge grapefruit nose. solid malt aromas, touches of sweetness.

T: not too much from the malts. literally taste like someone ran a bunch of hops through a sock. very bitter and sharp.

M: ridiculously sharp, with a potent palate. full bodied.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle tried 7 Dec 2009.

Served in a Sierra Nevada Celebration shaker pint. Small tight slightly yellowish head. Lightly carbonated. Clear right orange brown color. Aroma is pleasant, quite floral, sweet pineapple, hay, caramel. Flavor is strongy vegetal and bitter, reminiscent of green beans and brussel sprouts. Some pineapple and basil as well. Finish and aftertaste are vegetal and caramel. Medium body is a bit sticky.

Hope this was just a bad bottle, definitely has potential.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.22/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very light for a double IPA, the only carbonation came from the laser etched hop cone at the bottom of my SN pint. Very clear.

The smell is rather different. It may have to do with the very sweet, malty, slightly skunky, and grapefruit hops I pick up.

The best before 9/15 date probably affects this one. I know its rather late in the season for DIPAs, but I gave this one a try anyway. The malt bill tastes slightly sweet (like adjunct grains). Not the overall volume Id expect from a DIPA. Slightly oily mouthfeel. The hop bill was slightly grapefruity, with a piney feel and an overall focus on bitterness.

Feels very light, even for an IPA. Im not sure I like the malt bill. Not a huge fan of adjunct malts in an IPA, but the hops kind of killed what I usually dont like from adjunct grains. The malt backbone just isnt enough.

Not very bold, and not overly impressive. Middle of the pack in terms of DIPAs. Right there with Mad Hatter.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
90 out of 100 based on 705 ratings.