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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPAHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA

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1,567 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,567
Reviews: 702
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 105
Gots: 141 | 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: 1,567 | Reviews: 702 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SaucyA
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

DrDogBeer is the man.

A - Pours a beautiful crystal clear sunset orange with a tight foamy head into the snifter. Nice little jets of bubbles shoot through the body. Fat lacing.

S - Huge sugary sweetness and massive citric fruits. Rind, pith, seeds. The whole nine. Smells like a nice SDPA. The super sugary nose is a little distracting.

T - Very citric American hops, with a barely noticeable malt base. Very bitter, and a touch boozy. It's a VERY big, hoppy brew. Leaves a nice oily coating.

M - Rather thick and oily with a nice carbonation.

D - This is a huge beer. It's a great one-off, but not one I'd normally seek out... so it's fitting.

Notes: If this were available in my area, I definitely would've enjoyed it while it was around.

Photo of TheMistler
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright orange gold. Creamy white head, pretty good retention, never going away - thick cap and thicker ring are always on top, and leave behind sticky lacing.

Sweet grapefruit nose. Lemon zest. Also floral notes. Biscuit dough takes care of the malt.

Hops in the taste initially evidence themselves with a grassiness. Bitter grapefruit. As with the nose, there is substantial malt - but much substantial hoppiness on top, stealing the spotlight. Mouth puckeringly bitter finish. Alcohol warming at the end. Very nice.

Lots of tiny prickles from the nicely ample CO2, very crisp for its rather substantial body. The ABV, as noted, is hinted at by some warming, but overall is very, very well hidden. This is a dangerously quaffable brew.

Photo of bsend
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler to a standard pint.

The beer poured well from the start. It smoothly hit the glass, and offered a wonderful deep, rich orange. The cloudy consistency looked gorgeous, and appealing. From the growler there was no real head to speak of.

The aroma from the beginning consisted of hops! You don't need to get your nose near the glass to smell the sweet, floral smell.

The first sip provided a blast of hops flavor with undertones of citrus. The taste lingers, and fades leaving a wonderfully light bitter finish.

The texture on the mouth was crisp, and over all very refreshing. Despite the 10% abv, it was easily drinkable, and hardly noticeable.

Final Thoughts - WOW! This imperial delivers in every form possible. The beer was excellent from the growler, and want to try the bottles. If I had the money, this could easily become my standard beer. So refreshing, and full of flavor, this beer needs to be tried to be believed. Well worth it!

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is so similar to Green Flash Imperial IPA it's not even funny. I received this one in a trade with Pamola - Kyle this is one fine Impy IPA!

Poured into a Duvel glass this beer is viscous, murky, and the lacing is a beautiful stark white. The beer itself is nutmeg to brown in color (with blond highlights).

The aroma is a spicy fresh hop nose with an oily almost nutty smoothness that begs for a sip.

The first sip is amazing. The flavors are extremely pronounced - this is no doubt a fresh bottle. The fresh hops it the mouth and explode into a massive reaction that doesn't stop. Even through the finish this beer's hop attack has no sign up let up and then the hops fade away pleading for a second taste. The finish is malty, robust, and hops tingle on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is one of the first things you notice. The massive malt backbone is barely enough to hold up to the hops. The huge creamy maltiness adds a whole new depth to this beer. Extremely good.

I would say that this beer requires so much thought to fully enjoy that I would not drink more than 1 or 2 in a session but I will be going back for another many many nights in a row (if I had them). Sessionable = NO, Drinkable = Absolutely!!!

Cheers to everyone able to grab a few of these. Great brew!

Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lemon marmalade with unimpeded clarity and creamy, bleach white head - it is untypically light, clear, and visibly carbonated for a beer of its strength. Despite a slight haze the colour continues to shimmer into the light. Little specs idly gravitate at turtle speeds. Its head sticks enough to leave a radial pattern resembling shattered porcelain.

I can't even describe the sound I just made pulling the glass under my nose for the first time. It was a very odd noise, something normally heard only in the bedroom, or possibly from a farm animal. Oh, the vibrancy of citrus hops! This thing is just sweltering with bitter grapefruit and highly citric tropical fruits. There are big expectations now.

Like my nostrils, my tastebuds also wilt at the hands of bitter and acidic hops. I'll tell you though, pungent pine and citric grapefruit is a fine way to numb your palate! There's just enough sweet malt to keep the lupullin afloat and make for a pine syrup, grapefruit pith and mango pancake. Ah, the breakfast of hop heads.

There's certainly enough flavour to mask the alcohol but not enough to hide it altogether. A little hint of booze can be well suited for a beer that spews out ripe citrus and spurts out toasty malts; its inclusion seems to procure a refreshing lemony kind of character.

I'll refuse to heed my head's advice and just go ahead and keep on drinking it at this fast a pace. Why not? It keeps letting me! The only problem will come when it's all gone; although I still have half a glass left I'm already dreading that moment.

This DIPA is definitely one extraordinarily large and powerful enough beer to earn its spot in the series whose name implies such a thing. Truthfully, I was disappointed with my first taste of the Leviathan Series (their Baltic Porter) but this more than makes amends. In fact, I think I owe them more of my business. Keep 'em coming Harpoon.

Photo of GregPearson33
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a little lighter than I would have expected, a lighter/medium gold.

Given its smell, spicy with strong hoppy notes, the taste was underwhelming. Carbonation was on, and mouthfeel/drinkability was fairly light and very doable - but the ABV was more evident than I would have liked through the spice.

Would recommend/have again, but not all that impressed.

Photo of bbothen
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams beer glass.

Pours a hazy orange/marmalade color with a fluffy 2 finger deep white head.

Smells of piney & tropical hops with a nice bready maltiness coming through.

Sweet caramel maltiness, biting hop bitterness, citric, pine, followed by a sweet fruity and malty finish. Warming booze is more prevalent as the beer warms

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, warming booziness.

Nice example of an IIPA. Would gladly have again.

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

Deep rich gold color, nice sticky head. Huge aroma first of piney and spicy hops, which later becomes more of a citrusy aroma.

Flavor was excellent, made me pucker at first, like that first bite of a grapefruit. Hops dominate; floral and citrus flavor swirl in the mouth. Decent biscuity malt foundation, enormously bitter aftertaste. A big beer, but not as big as some double IPAs obviously. Mouthfeel was lighter than expected, but the carbonation was nearly perfect. Alcohol is wonderfully or devilishly disguised, depending on how you look at it. I could probably do two of these and then never be able to taste anything for the rest of the night. Delcious, top-notch IPA.

Photo of TLove
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am a big fan of this and am a bit disappointed that my honorable peers did not hold this noteworthy beer to the same standard as Stone's Ruination IPA or the Bells Hopslam.

The Harpoon Imperial Leviathan IPA has a rich color that holds a full-bodied, peppery IPA punch and retains some wonderfully resonant floral notes. Strong color and layered head.

Smells of cardamom, dried cherries, and dark malt, all of which are present in the taste. Exceptionally well-balanced and robust. Finish rolls off tongue and into the back of the throat without recourse.

The perfect strong winter IPA.

Photo of Tarps68
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First impression was that it had a stong pine flavor that smacked you up side the head but, it mellowed with some orange flavors as you drank it. I was surprised that it was 10% ABV because it went down real smooth. Overall it was a very good IPA with a good kick.

A:It had a Amber color with a white head and not much lacing.

S: A fruity smell with a a pine scent.

T: When you first taste it it has a nice fruity taste & then you get the strong pine flavor that sneaks up on you. It is pretty smooth & easy to drink though.

M: Medium body

D: Definately drinkable. I am still surprised it was 10%. A well crafted beer but, I am from Boston so I might be biased.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden copper color with a tint of orange.
The aroma of pine,citrus,hops followed by grapefruit.Some hints of alcohol,but nothing to suggest it was a so high.
The taste was of mildly bitter hops with some sweetness. Grapefruit and pineapple and with a touch of malt in background. Some alcohol yet again nothing to make one feel as if they were having such a big beer.
The feel was medium body,medium carbonation and a smooth,slightly bitter finish.

Notes: A decent beer beer,worth te money.
A fine beer easy enough to drink.
The balance is pretty good.

Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried at the brewery in Windsor VT, bottle into Harpoon Leviathan (tulip style) glass.

A - Pours a clear, golden amber color with thin head and little lacing.

S - Citrus, alcohol, slightly sweet and malty.

T - Tangy fruit, flowery, slightly sweet as well, touch of pine or sharp earthy flavor in the alcohol - yummy.

M - Hot, juicy and full, little spicy kick that sticks around

D - As others are saying here, we agree its hard to believe that this is 10%.

Overall this is a delicious DIPA that stands up well against other more "elite" DIPAs. Great series in general.

Photo of marcpal
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 2/19 following a Harpoon regular IPA. To summarize, I liked it, I liked it a lot. I find that when you step up from Hops Infusion to Double Simcoe it is similar to this step up in the brewery.

12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams uber glass.
Bottle Graphics: 6/10.

A: Bright gold body with a fluffy white head that went absolutely nowhere. Maybe could have knife and forked it with the huge puffy cloud.

S: Fruity, citrus grapefruit. I expected far more pine but was dominated by the grapefruit. The sweetness from the heavy hand of malts.

T: The taste is where the floral flavors come in. The fruity flavor was still there but the pine bark slaps you right on the tongue and give you a lashing. As it warmed down the sweetness built upon itself. Maybe this beer spent time with A-Rod's cousin amping up while I wasn't looking because the flavors all became much more intense as I got through it.

On this note, I am going to let this really warm down fully for the other 3 in the pack.

M: Medium body, some pine resin. Sticky and a little bit hot, in a good way, as it settled down. The carbonation from the everlasting head offered something to the texture.

D: Oh yeah, its drinkable. Sure it didn't go down like water but I find it hard to believe its 10%. Nice little afterglow. A well crafted beer, Im starting to really like their bigger beers.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No best by date.

Pours a golden color with a light amber hue, has a large head that fades at a slow rate and leaves some good lacing along the glass.

Smell has a beautiful bouquet of hops with a strong citrus presence along with some grapefruit.

Taste has a nice smooth hoppy taste, strong citrus and malt backing, starts out creamy from the head as well.

A very good beer coming from Harpoon, not usually a fan of theirs but this Leviathan series could change my mind.

Photo of mirish72
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been looking for this for a while and was lucky enough to find a 4 pack in Western MA.

I am born and bred in MA so I grew up drinking Harpoon IPA, attending Harpoon parties and wearing my IPA t-shirt until it disintergrated on my back, so I am a fan of Harpoon. That being said, I probably haven't bought a sixer of Harpoon in a few year, although I am more than happy to sample one if they're around.

I tried my first Imperial IPA from Harpoon and I was really impressed. I have been drinking a lot of west coast IPA's and DIPA's and this goes toe to toe with anything I have tried. Although it comes in the annoying 4 pack, for $10, it was cleary worth it.

It pours a nice copper color and has a strong hop profile. It packs a wallop, but hides the ABV well. Harpoon needs to try brewing more bold beers like this to make folks give it a second look.

Photo of Hautacam
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brewery restaurant in Windsor,VT. Served in a Leviathan chalice. Light, clear amber with a small head. Smell is super piney with a bit of alcohol.
Tastes pretty sweet with a load of hoppy pine and citrus. The hops sure dominate this...the malt fades away and leaves a pretty bitter, almost astringent finish. Reminds me a lot of Ruination. Dense mouthfeel and reasonable carbonation. Alcohol sneaks through.Good DIPA.

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 Jwale73
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my DT Tulip. Poured a translucent burnt orange with a frothy two inch capnand copious tiny bubbles in solution. Head slowly receded, leaving behinds strands of lacing as it dissipated. Nose was piney/floral up front with a hint of grapefruit sweetness in the back. Taste consistent with nose, but charactger is reversed; sweet malt and grapefruit take the lead, with lingering piney hops bitterness at the finish that sticks around between quaffs. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied, lightly effervescent and slightly oily. Offerings like Leviathan and the 100 barrel series remind me of why I continue to go back to Harpoon as a standard. Excellent DIPA, well-hidden alcohol content and a nice balance that tips slightly over to bitter side of the stlye, but not by much.

Photo of WalterSobchak
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper/gold with a light one finger head that quickly dissipates.
Decent but subdued hops smell with a bigger pine note but nothing over the top.
Solid, if not big, hop with pepper follow-up and a mild alcohol heat. Alcohol is well masked but still a noticeable element.
Good carbonation, alcohol heat and tons of flavor that sticks on the palate.
Quite drinkable and really nice when very chilled. A bit too much booze for too many in one sitting but damn flavorful without being too much to handle.

Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a red wine glass. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a crystal-clear, honey-amber color with the tiniest of heads up top. The head almost instantly dissolves into a thin and whispy skim that leaves a few specks of lace. Appears very still.

S: Aromas of juicy pineapple, red apple, apricot, bartlett pear, and of course, alcohol.

T: See above. Loads of spicy fruit; orchard, tropical, and otherwise. The alcohol lends an almost piney flavor. Interesting.

M: Pretty boozy. Obvious alcohol presence. Juicy and sticky with a peppery finish that lasts forever.

D: A really good, but not great DIPA. A little on the unbalanced side compared to other DIPA's of recent memory (Double Trouble, Hop Whore, and Hop Slam to name a few...)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks John!

This pours a clear gold with a huge head of foam.

The smell is fruity and hoppy with apricot being the most noticeable of the fruits followed by lemon and grapefruit. Some piney notes here as well. There's some malt in the nose too as I get some sweet tones...bread and light caramel. Definitely a bitter-sweet nose going on here.

The taste follows the nose to a tee. It's very close to being perfectly balanced with the hops being just a tad bolder because of a shap bite that shows up about mid palate. The finish is fruity and and lightly bitter. Good stuff.

The mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation. A very nice feel in the mouth.

Drinkability? 10%abv, eh? Well, it's very well hidden; nothing in the taste to show it and it leaves minimal warming after the swallow. Nicely done so it's an easy drinker considering how strong it is.

Head retention and lacing turned out to be excellent. A well crafted Double IPA!

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

This is an exceptional IIPA. The aroma is world class, perhaps surpassed only by hopslam. If not for slightly too much alcohol on the tongue, the taste would be a 4.5 or 5. The blending of hops is nearly perfect in this beer. Haven't been really impressed by harpoon that I can remember, so this beer deserved a review. I had a slightly higher rated CA IPA last night that was good, but had one or two flaws. IMO, this beer should be rated a good 0.2 or 0.3 higher than it is. Anyway, find one and drink it!

Photo of Viggo
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber, very brilliant, slightly orange, thick but big bubbled of white head forms, slowly drops leaving a ton of lacing, settles to a thick ring and layer around the glass. Smell is nice, light pine, lots of grapefruit, floral undertones, tropical fruit, mangoes, some malty sweetness, alcohol, caramel, strawberries, nicely balanced but doesn't really jump out at you. Taste is alright, some caramel and brown sugar sweetness, pinesol, grapefruit, sherry, up front alcohol, makes it a bit tingly in the mouth, one dimensional, pineapple comes through as it warms, very solid bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, some warmth but alcohol is hidden relatively well. Not a bad DIPA, but somewhat mediocre and not too exciting, a little overcarbonated and one dimensional.

Photo of PonyBar
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A one-time offering from Harpoon, poured from a 12oz bottle into a clean, clear glass. The appearance is standard; a light amber hue, more clear than I anticipated, with nice carbonation. The smell was not as pronounced as I thought it would be, considering it clocks in at 10% ABV. The taste was well balanced, noticeably strong, but not hop-heavy. A real sipping beer, and great for a cold night. Again, strong, but not the hop blast I was preparing for. The mouthfeel was one of a strong, but one-dimensional beer. Not a lot of mysteries here. Most Double IPAs I have had were on draught, not bottle. This is an enjoyable beer, but not one I would come back to often. I would certainly try it again of draught. I am a big fan of Harpoon's beers, and I am glad they are going for bigger, bolder styles.

Photo of edmedina
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours clear dark yellow color. Has good head retention. Highly carbonated for sure.

Smell: Nice hoppy character. I really can not pick out anything special. The hops just over power any real scent.

Taste: Bang!! you hit with hop bitterness. It doesn't give you really any other taste. Harpoon wants you to know you have an Imperial IPA.

Overall: What you have here is a typical Imperial IPA. Harpoon has a done a great job in keeping with the style. When going for this style you are not going for much malt character or sweetness but for total hit you in the face hops. This is a great representation for the style.

Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
91 out of 100 based on 1,567 ratings.