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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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

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1,479 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,479
Reviews: 687
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 94
Gots: 102 | 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:
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 added by: DrDogbeer on 09-07-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,479 | Reviews: 687 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of number1bum
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant orange amber color, good clarity and a rich, creamy two plus inches of beige head. Recedes slowly, leaving a good amount of stick and a very full head. Beautiful; hard to get much better..

Smell is very citrusy, lots of grapefruit going on, with some resiny, piney hops, as well. Bit of caramel in there, too, but the juicy, citrusy hops dominate and are very nice.

First thing I notice taste-wise is that this has a very nice malt backbone, and overall it's quite well balanced. Not as juicy and citrusy as the smell, but there is still plenty of grapefruit, pine, and earthy hops, along with what I'd call a substantial but not completely overblown bitterness. The malt is caramel and toasted, with an overall biscuity taste to it, and provides very nice balance. A bit more juicy hop flavor would do me just fine, and would play beautifully off the very good malt profile.

Mouthfeel is close to full, is on the chewy side and is quite creamy. Finishes with a long lasting bitterness.

Very nice DIPA here. Great malt balance, but a ton of hops too. As I said, I'd love even a bit more juicy hop flavor, but a very fine beer nonetheless.

number1bum, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of RedChrome
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear light to medium golden colored body. Half an inch of foamy white head faded over two minutes. Streams of carbonation develop in the middle. Sticky lace clumps.

Very gritty earth aromas. Malt is sweet and quite present but is still covered by a pine sap hop power. A very nice blend on the nose.

Resin and hops oil are very forward on the taste buds. Malt is very buttery, and takes a back seat to the hops. Not as strong as I would expect from aroma.

Decent feel on the sides of the tongue. A tingling carbonation is a bit overpowering.

A decent brew. Great with a plate of chicken wings. Worth giving it a try. Still others out there if you are looking for the best.

RedChrome, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of xerotime
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 4 pack of this in Rhode Island while on my way to Newport for the weekend. As far as I have seen, it hasn't hit CT yet.

Pours a nice clear amber color with a 1 finger head. Not much retention but lots of sticky lacing the whole way down. The hops dominate with a big citrus taste and aroma. Drinkability I would say is a bit low just due to the high ABV but definitely something I would recommend searching out.

xerotime, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of Kadonny
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a 10 ounce tasting glass.

A: A light amber orange that lets light shine through, clearer than I expected. A nice one finger off white head with nice glass lacing.

S: Wow, pounds your nose with hops. Smells of piney floral and citrus hops jump at your nose. If I try really hard, I get some maltiness, but this nose is about the hops.

T: Again, massive amounts of pine hops mixed with some light floral earthy flavors. Mid taste some citrus comes through with grapefruit and maybe a bit of lemon rind. Finish is all hops bitterness with some more earthy grassy piney hops. The malt underlying is there becuase the hops get held up very well, but it's not overly detectable.

M: Nice and thick which is a bit surprising based on the color. Alcohol comes through on the back end but is not overly offensive, just very warming.

D: Medium, one or two of these is about all I could handle because of the massive and deep hops flavors, not to mention the alcohol.

Overall a great beer, probably the best I ever had from Harpoon. To me most of their stuff is average, but this beer is excellent. I will seek out a few more bottles. Grab this one if you can.

Kadonny, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Matt Capone for suggesting this one.

Pours a clear rich amber with 2+ fingers of thick foamy off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. Smells of citrus, pine, honey, and caramel malt. Tastes of grapefruit, pineapple, orange and lemon rind, and apricot up front followed by light notes of caramel, biscuit, and honey. Finishes with strong flavors of grass and pine. Medium in body with nice carbonation. Oily and sticky with lots of bitterness. Unbalanced with too much hop presence and not enough malt character. Even a hop lover needs some maltiness to not destroy the tastebuds. This beer definitely provides the hops, but could use more malt for better balance.

HopDerek, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear beautiful deep golden color with a fluffy white head that disappears quickly. Smell is hoppy, spicy, citrus hops. Theres also a bit of malt in there caramel and a bit of molasses. Taste is very hoppy bitter citrus and pine resin. The malt is very faint in the taste. Medium to thick body, crisp carbonation, resinous bitter in the mouth. Another one for the hop heads. Smells really balanced, but taste is heavy to the hop side. Decent brew, reminds me a lot of harpoon IPA only bigger.

johnnnniee, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern as part of their PhD program.

A: Pours a light golden body with a small, white head with ok lacing but with low retention. Lacing was fairly evident until the finish.

S: A sweet, citrus, grapefruit smell with some bitter, earthy hop notes. Seemed like a fairly balanced smell that was pretty enticing.

T: A well-hopped, bitter, and earthy taste with a sweet, citrus, grapefruit, malt background that did well to balance. Earthiness was a little more evident in the aftertaste than the taste itself.

M: A smooth mouthfeel with nice carbonation that was pretty silky on the palette. A pretty, well-developed mouthfeel and beer overall.

D: Definitely a very drinkable beer with a complimenting mouthfeel and taste combination. Can definitely hang out and drink this all night, despite the relatively high ABV level.

maddogruss, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks like a pretty rare beer on here, I'm glad my local beer store had it in stock last week for me to try it. This is one of the best smelling beers I've layed my nose on... ever. It's simply a hop explosion of smell which is awesome. Taste wise its of course loaded with hops and bitter, maybe a little too overkill taste wise, I can't see having more than one or two at a time. But those one or two are delicious, well balanced, and really warm you up. This double IPA is much smoother than others I've tried.

oriolesfan4, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of wyllder
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up on recommendation of one of my friends.

It pours a crystal clear menacing orange-amber. Head is moderate and well balanced. The appearance overall is one of complete polish, with none of the frothiness you might expect from some of the wilder DIPAs out there. Looking at this gives you no idea of what waits in the glass.

Smell is a solid citrus nose, but nothing that really hops out at you.

Taste is great. Lots of citrus up front on the palate but a surprising malt backbone keeps it from getting over-the-top the way many DIPAs do.

Mouthfeel is also good, with no complaints at all in this department.

Drinkability is crazy for a 10% DIPA. I downed the two I've had so far like they were much less potent IPAs. Dangerous stuff.

In all, Harpoon has quickly taken over my personal #2 spot for Double IPAs, coming in right behind Yulesmith. That said, I tend to find many DIPAs too abusive on my palate. So if you were hoping for something to rival Ruination or Dreadnaught, this might not appeal to you as much.


wyllder, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of Zippie9999
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving type:bottle
Smell: Citrusy, hoppy, a bit hempy
Taste: hoppy, bitter, a definite hop bomb!!!
Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth
Drinkability: definitely an IIPA! Done very well. Hides the ABV vell for the style.I'd give this an A-A+ overall. Definitely gives the style mad props!!! I'm a true friend of the imperial IPAs. Gives a major run for Avery's, dogfish head, Lagunitas, and Stone (CA)

Zippie9999, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of Goregazm
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Appearance: Has an orange/yellow color, kind of like a thin honey. Has a good bubbly head which dissipates slowly and leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: This beer has a strong, hoppy smell which will definately give you a kick. Also has a bitter-citrus scent which really prepares you for the strength of the taste.

Taste: Starts out slightly sweet, then gets bitter and stronger You will definately taste he hops in each sip, along with a slight alcohol tint.

Mouthfeel: Definately gets stronger the longer it stays in your mouth. Has a slightly smooth consistancy to it, but the aftertaste is extremely bitter and I didn't care for it much.

Drinkability: Let me say that I don't usually drink Imperial IPA beers so much, beacuse I'm not crazy about them. However, I do enjoy a good strong one from time to time and this is one that I would buy again. Recommended.

Goregazm, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of CherylM
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- It poured a light amber color, the white foam head lasted throughout.

S- Citrusy, some malt.

T- It tasted a little like a menthol cough drop. I was hoping for a little more malt at the finish.

M- It had the right amount of carbonation.

D- I wish they posted the ABV on the bottle. It was smooth enough, but too strong for everyday drinking. I think I'll stick with the Harpoon Octoberfest or Brown Ale.

CherylM, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of yossarian14
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a 4-pack at Shaw's in Cambridge (excellent beer selection for a grocery store) for $11

Poured into an oversized brandy snifter and a slow gentle pour still revealed an inch and a half head of frothy off-white foam. The color is a clear light amber. The head lasts only a minute or so but leaves some nice lacing.

Upon my first whiff, I was immediately reminded of Clipper City's Loose Cannon Hop3. Big Citrus aroma - Grapefruit, Heavily Hopped.

Taste-Even hop-heads need a strong Malt to back up the hops. I think the balance is a little off even for a double. Hoppy bitters loitering in back

Feel-Smooth from start to finish

Drink- Very drinkable for the style

I just wish the dry bitter aftertaste didn't hang for so long. Overall a well-crafted beer from a brewery that has really been making the effort to be interesting again.

yossarian14, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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

Billolick, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of albern
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The labeling is a bit deceiving, but the BA photo let me know that I was dealing with the same beer. This is a pretty characteristic double IPA. This is hoppy, estery, and full mouth flavored malty, all the indications of the style. The beer pours a clear orangish copper amber color with some head and retention, no lacing. The beer is very hopped up, and the nose on this beer is prodigious. Hop oils, hop esters, hop leaves are all present. There is a sherry like quality to the aroma as well, and you know you're drinking a high ABV product. You will also get some piney, grapefruity, floral notes in the aroma too. This beer is excellent in that regard.

The taste is classic DIPA, a tad syrupy, a tad sherry like sweet, and tad bit of a liqueur taste and consistency. There is some malty sweet backbone, the beer is medium bodied, but the hop presence is the main characteristic. There is a mouth puckering grapefruity and pine hoppiness to the beer. In the finish there is a pronounced ABV throaty burn to the beer. This is not a beer for the uninitiated.

albern, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of jaxon53
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served this slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. I've been waiting to try this beer for a while, so I'm pretty excited about it.

Appearance: Leviathan Imperial IPA pours out a beautiful copper amber color with some almost golden highlights. A somewhat hard pour results in about a finger and a half of soapy white foam. Head faded slowly, leaving a good coating of lace on the glass after each sip. Noticed quite a bit of lively carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. A pretty good looking beer in my opinion.

Smell: A pretty big, juicy nose on this beer. Loads of thick floral and citrus hops. Touches of pine in the background. Plenty of thick, grainy, toasted malt aromas in there as well. Has a bit of a metallic tone to the aroma. Hints of grass and bread. Great earthy nose.

Taste: Huge hop profile, with an almost equally huge , balancing malt backbone. Hops are resiny and quite bitter. The malt shows flavors of bread and caramel. Tons of citrus with some pine. Almost an astringent bitterness to it. Finishes with a bitter hop bite, and a little bit of alcohol. Pretty nice balanced flavor from this Imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Enjoyable, full bodied mouthfeel. Plenty of tingly carbonation. Almost oily and thick.

Drinkability: Great drinkability. Don't really notice the ten percent ABV too much. Damn smooth. A pretty impressive Imperial IPA from Harpoon.

jaxon53, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of Rainintheface
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear golden orange with a 1" white head and moderate carbonation. nice lacing in a beer clean glass.

S: grapefruit, tangerine, very faint mint and caramel is noted in the background

T: again with the grapefruit and citrus. pine makes a showing along with a smidge of mint. a moderate malt presence.

M: medium body. has some cripness as well as a small bit of creaminess. alcohol is there but to no ill

D: great stuff. I've had brewery fresh and bottle, can't go wrong either way

Rainintheface, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of wobblymailman
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Harpoon product in probably 15 years I gave up on them after Tod left in the early 90's, but I am a sucker for any double or Imperial IPA. Bought a 4 pack at Station Liquors in Rockland for 9.99. Poured into a 22 oz. snifter.

Appearance = golden hue with a nice head, not much head retention, but nice lacing in the glass throughout.

Smell = very grapefruity upfront with some pine and alcohol notes in the background.

Taste = Super hoppy with some citrus and pine and just a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel = How Ray is that??

Drinkability = I am surprised at how well this beer came out. Great job!!!!

wobblymailman, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden-copper color with ample carbonation and a decent head that fades after a minute or three.

Aroma is smooth and floral with subtle hints of biscuit malt and a light bitterness.

Taste is floral and grassy upfront with notes of citrus, biscuit malt and a bit of alcohol burn. Does not seem overpowering. Smooth, not rough.

Mouthfeel has more of the floral/citrusy notes with a very light bitterness that seems to fade into fluffiness at the back of the throat. Only a touch of bitterness and grassy notes from the hops remain.

I would say that this beer is highly drinkable for the style. At 10%, it's deceptively delicious. It seems well-balanced and a nice way to get acquainted with the style. Who says that imperial IPAs must be overly bitter and undrinkable? Harpoon shows us that with years of proven brewing experience and skill, that it can produce bigger styles.

Brad007, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09/23/08- Purchased a 4 pack at the brewery in Windsor, VT or is it NH? Two down giving one to my friend Talisker.

Presentation- 12oz bottles with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Pretty clear deep golden colored pour. About an inch on pour which settles at a mild forthy rim. Leaves light lace patches and spots.

Smell- Nice nose of citrus and sweet sugary grapefruit candies. Light toasty malt hidden in the background.

Taste- Hophead delight. Off balnce by way of hops, but the hops are oh so nice and oh so bitter. Definite grapefruit all the way. Not really any citrus besides that as noticed in the smell. Malt is packed way in the back with an earthy deeper roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation is about right, aftertaste is extreme in the length of time. Bitter for several minutes if not into an hour or so past consumption.

Drinkabiltiy- I really liked it, which is odd becasue I like a more balanced DIPA, but his one struck a cord with me. I think it was the nice freshness of the grapefruit taste.

GClarkage, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of TrevorGW
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful copper color. And you can smell the rich hops from a mile away. Not a big grapefruit blast in the aroma. Something deeper that you would almost smell in a hoppy barley wine. Perhaps the malt and the alcohol are getting involved in the aroma a bit.

Wonderful oily hop profile. Really quite delicious. Although the flavor declined slightly as it warmed up. I let it sit out for 15 minutes before drinking, so I will give the next bottle less time out of the fridge. I am a fan of Harpoon IPA but wish it was even hoppier. So this Imperial IPA is exactly what I was looking for.

I feel like this was pretty drinkable for a double IPA. I would have gladly had two more of these. I hope I can find this on tap somewhere and see how it measures up to the bottle.

Great stuff ... I am very excited about the Leviathan Series from Harpoon. Can't wait to see what is next!

TrevorGW, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
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...

dsa7783, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of JoeCeez
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was really excited about trying this, having cut my teeth as a hophead drinking the ubiquitous Harpoon IPA for close to a decade, I really wanted to love this, but I didn't.

The beer poured a lovely deep clear copper with a two finger white head that dissipated to leave some fantastic lacing, this beer looks just as sexy as any other high quality DIPA

The smell just didn't do it for me. there is a strong herbal/pine aroma with a hint of citrus but it could have been much much more aromatic, there was some malt there and a hefty amount of fusel alcohol present as well. There was that signature Harpoon house yeast smell that I really don't care for all that much. I wanted to be assaulted by hops and I wasn't.

The Leviathan tasted good, not great, just good. First thing I noticed was that it tasted like a boozy Harpoon IPA because I think they have a very distinctive house yeast (ringwood maybe?). It was very hoppy but in a one dimensional sort of way. I like to have multiple layers of hoppiness and this just didn't have that complexity. There was alot of herbal pine flavor but not much in terms of grapefruit citrus. There was a fair amount of malty sweetness that balanced the hops well. Definitly an East Coast DIPA reminded me alot of 90 minute but with a little less hops

It's slick and oily on the tongue, decent carbonation that makes the aggresive bitterness assertive but not in a palate-wreaking sort of way. The alcohol is a little too dominant and I feel like that is this beers downfall, I could drink more than one but I'm pretty sure I would have to call it a night after a four pack.

In the end this was a good attempt at a well balanced double IPA, Five years ago I would have loved this but I just feel that recently I have been so spoiled by all these massive west coast hop bombs that everytime I try a balanced DIPA I feel a little underwhelmed. For the price this is a great deal and I can't wait to try the Leviathan Imperial Porter

JoeCeez, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of leif86
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clearly coppery colored brew with off-white head and copious lacing.

S: Fresh hop aroma with some spice, maybe even a little piney, and some alcohol.

T: Very hop forward (as you would expect it to be) with a strong grapefruit bitterness that I wish Harpoon's normal IPA had even a hint of. Some caramel at the end where I can also taste some alcohol.

M: The right amount of carbonation. A little sticky in the mouth but not in a bad way.

D: Please make this a year round option, or at least bring it back for years to come. I want to see more things like this from Harpoon.

leif86, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of scarletfire79
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up a growler in windsor and am really glad i did. pours a sublime orange hue, the smell of citrus and fresh cut grass flew from the glass. beautiful head, everything about this beer is appealing. the taste is so smooth. creamy citrus with a nice hop bite. someone compared it to dogfish head, but let me be the first to say, this kicks the crap out of DFH 60min. hands down the best harpoon beer i've ever had. thank you guys, keep up the good work with this series.

scarletfire79, Sep 13, 2008
Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
91 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.