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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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1,544 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,544
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 102
Gots: 124 | 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: 1,544 | Reviews: 692 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PonyBar
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
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
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of gford217
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of joepais poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear golden orange with a big pillowy white head that dissipates slowly to a small cap and leaves tons of lacing on the way down the glass.

Aroma is sweet and floral with hops up front with a generous caramel malt presence as well. The hops are a bit subdued at this point, but it's still a nice balanced aroma.

The taste has a slight citrus hop kick up front but had definitely lost some of its hop profile. The bready malts dominate underneath before the bitterness of the hops linger in the finish.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and still slightly sticky with hops though the bitterness has clearly faded a little bit.

I would have loved to try this fresh and I still think it's a very good beer. The hops have faded but it's still drinkable.

Photo of JordanChabot
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice clean amber with a finger and a half of white head. Small amount of speckled lacing.

S- Nice malt sweetness surrounded by sweetened grapefruit and very slight alcohol sting. I think i might get a hint of vanilla or sweet cream...it's there then it's not..similar to some oak aged.... anyone else?

T- Spruce tip dominates but not enough to hide peppery, spicy hints with a honeysuckle sweetness. A nice lingering peely bitter finish comes right in time to kill off some pesky alcohol that sneaks in. Not as sticky or resinous as other DIPA's

M- I enjoyed the body of this beer very much. Its very silky at first but the after-feel is sharp as a knife. Leaves you salivating.

D- Very Very drinkable for a 10 % abv. Could definitely finish this 4 pack. Do not leave the house after drinking this.... (but do leave the house to try one on tap if you can find it...and take a cab home)

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this one courtesy of Norica - thank you sir!

Pours a clear golden copper color with a two-finger slightly off-white head. The head sticks around for quite a while before receding into a thin layer of bubbles on top that leaves speckled lacing.

Smells of piney hop aromas mostly, with underlying hints of grapefruit and sweet malt.

Tastes very good. Piney hop flavors give way to a robust malt backbone that has the faintest hint of vanilla. Midway through the sip the bitterness begins taking over, and follows through until the end.

Mouthfeel is good. The thickness and carbonation work together to make this creamy.

Drinkability is good. I savored the one I received but I could drink a few more of these.

Overall this is a solid no-frills DIPA, certainly worth a shot if you can find one. Thanks again to Norica for sending this along to me.

Photo of roopy40
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden to copper color with a soapy-looking head that lingers for a few sips into the beer, then leaves a honeycomb lace around the glass
S - Piney and flowery, not as much citrus, but somewhat fruity and certainly hoppy
T - HOPS! HOPS! HOPS! From start to finish, this offering is piney, hoppy and bitter. It isn't out of control by any means and is actually well-balanced. The bitterness definitely sticks with you though
M - Crisp, uniform bitter dryness throughout. Medium carbonation prances around your tongue and makes sure the hoppy flavor makes it all around your buds and palate.
D - Very drinkable and I've said this in other reviews that I would have had more had I not wanted to try other offerings.

A great Imperial IPA that I plan to drink more of in the future.

Photo of riversider76
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden with a thin white head. Excellent retention and laceing.Lots of bubbles,makes this a good looking glass o'beer. Aroma is of piney,earthy hops and fruit. Body is medium and carbonated. Taste is Fruiy up front with a nice hoppy finish. Really good!

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

UPDATE 12.20.12-- Changed some scoring but not the narrative. Enjoying it much more this time. Much more balanced and the synergy of the various elements working well together.

Bottle into goblet.

Pours very clear orange, with frothy white head that quickly melts into a ring. Leaves ample lacing.

Earthy, floral, and grapefruity hop bouqet hits immediately, and is supported by malty sweetness initially. After the initial head settles the hop profile is very much subdued and the sweetness more prominent.

A sharp, dry hop bitterness and a rich malty base are both present immediately in the taste. Plenty of each, but they seem to conflict more than compliment each other at times. This one is definitely tilted out of balance toward the hops, and an astringent bitterness lingers long after the finish.

Carbonation is right on, not overdone. Feels thick, rich and slightly viscous. Finish is dry and bitter.

I like a good hop bomb as much as the next hop head, but the dominant bitterness, lingering well into the aftertaste, is a bit off the mark. This one is close, though, to being in the top tier. A tweak in the hop bill resulting in a little more balance and this one could be awesome. I'd have it again, for sure, but wouldn't seek it out (anytime soon).

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

12 oz bottle picked up from the continually tremendous Glenmont Beverage, 09 bottle date into a Sam Adams tasting glass.

Pours very pale with hints of amber an orange, nice egg shell white head about an inch and a half.

Aromas are mango, pineapple, baked apple crisp, earthy and minty hops, a hefty whiff of alcohol but not at all offensive more inviting alcohol.

Flavor is just tremendous, reminds me a bit of Saranac Imperial IPA but with huge melon, citrus, pine and tropical fruit, some alcohol perfume like rose flavors but much drier on the malt side far less cloying and NO fusels. There is a decent enough malt backbone but, the flavor is carried all the way by the hops on this beer.

Carbonation is medium, the beer has a nice combined alcohol bite and hop bitterness, sweetness is minimized by both aspects and the presentation is a dry toward medium dry finish.

For a beer of this heft, extraordinarily drinkable and perfectly hoppy. I am guessing but not entirely, drink as fresh as possible the malt bill on this beer is toward a traditional very pale IPA.

Photo of Hibernator
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon IPA (Leviathan Series)
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a Smuttynose tulip glass

Pours a bronze colored yellow with a nice head on top. Great trails of sticky lace decorate the glassware.

The nose is awesome - whiffs of tropical fruits and citrus. Blend of orange and pineapple. Clearly a hoppy brew from the start.

Toasted grain and biscuity mouthfeel. Very smooth with a major hop punch on the finish. We're talking pine notes, orange & lime citrus flavors and black pepper. So drinkable and complex.

Bottom line - a really good Double IPA from Harpoon. I'm very pleased.

Photo of Duhast500
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored into a tasting glass from the tap.

The color is an orange/amber, with a foamy white head.

The smell is fruity, hints of orange, and grapefruit

The taste was a bit hoppy, fruity with orange, mango maybe and a few others I could not place. Has a bit of a bitter finish but not too strong of an aftertaste.

I was not sure if i would end up liking this beer. It was a little high in ABV and not sure what to expect from an Impeerial IPA. In the end I think this beer was well made. It was a bit like Harpoon's good IPA that they brewed before but with the volume turned up a bit.

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

I have been trying to find this beer for a while now and I finally came across it last night in Cleveland Circle. All I could find was the Leviathan Baltic Porter and I'm not a huge Porter fan. Anyways, this is a very unique imperial IPA. Pours a very clear amber color with a small head that leaves little lace. Very big hop aroma and also very fruity with hints of pine. I like this one a lot more than the regular Harpoon IPA. Tastes very sweet and piney. This is an awesome brew from Harpoon, I may say its my favorite. If you are a big hop head and happen to come across this beer in your travels, definitely try it out. This only available in 4 packs, but its a pretty heavy beer. Tear one up!

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this impy IPA is a golden amber with a rocky white head, with plenty of live, active carbonation

S - extremely hoppy aroma, with typical grapefruit and piney aromas associated with Imperial IPA's

T - big time piney, some background sweetness mellows the hoppy bitterness to a nice balance, not as exquisitely crafted as DFH 120 min, but seriously good for an Impy IPA.

M&D - rather easy to drink for an Impy IPA and 10%, well done Harpoon, will have to try the rest of the Leviathan Series

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

After enjoying its deliciousness the first time around, I somehow neglected to transfer my notes. So now I sit with a freshly poured glass in front of me, thanks to DrDogbeer.

Pours a rich and vibrant caramel orange with a good bit of suspended particulate. A fluffy yet sticky looking yellow-cream head slowly fades leaving a crumpet-like cap and some impressively resinous and varied lacing.

Aroma is hops and caramel. Malty, sweet and cane sugary. citrusy and a broad spectrum of fruit - pineapples and guavas. And then some more earthy malt intermingled with a definite alcohol aroma.

Deliciously strong in all aspects. A even-handed assault on my palette, with some heavy malt bring caramel sweetness to the battle, a definite citrus and pine hopping fueled by some other fruit notes - persimmon, pineapple and fermented white guava. There's a definite alcohol note in there, which I'm not entirely fond of, yet the other flavors merge so beautifully together that it's easy to overlook.

Mouthfeel is great. thick and chunky, as the ample thick lacing hinted at. Full, almost syrupy, with a good bit of carbonation that helps cut through the syrup.

overall a beautiful DIPA. It hits all the right notes and packs quite a punch (which may or may not be a good thing). A bit boozy for my tastes, although the other tastes more than make up for it. If it were a bit less intense with the alcohol, this one would be very close to perfect. Definitely wish I had a few more bottles now.

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

decided I'd give this a try. I liked their other small batch releases so why not a Leviathan series. Yeah, yeah, how'd it fare? Solid citrusy double IPA. Some caramel background notes, but all in all a solid citric hopfest. Smooth hops, not biting so I enjoyed it. Worth a try.

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Harpoon 100 Barrel Series tulip glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with 2 fingers of poofy off-white head. The retention is creamy with a big ole' flareup when swirled, leaving a huge sticky latticework of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is big hops and spice up front, with a tangy mix of caramel sweetness and tropical citric fruits next, lastly followed by a stiff waft of alchohol that singes the nose hairs a bit.

The taste starts out with a moderately aggressive hop profile that is earthy, spicy, and a touch resinous all rolled up in one. This is supported a beefy backbone of sweet caramel, citrus, and grainy malts. Bitterness returns after the malts fade out and lingers for a bit. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied with a beefy (that almost gets to be a bit boozy)and slick feel at times. There is still a touch of creaminess to the carbonation though that keeps the big flavors and ABV moving along.

Pretty straight forward East Coast DIPA here that showcases it's malt and alcohol just about as much (or even more) as it's hops. I wish I could have gotten to this a little fresher. I had the chance to sample this at the Boston brewery last October and the hops just popped so much more then.

Photo of Damian
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 fl oz bottle purchased at Cambridge Wines & Liquors, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a hazy, golden amber color with a tight, frothy, one-finger, white head that faded to a ring of lace. Short-lived blankets of thick, bubbly lacing cascaded down the glass with each sip.

The aroma was amazingly smooth. Tropical fruits galore. Malty and sweet with notes of mango, pineapple, papaya and candied orange peel.

The taste was intensely hoppy and quite boozy. Almost a bit hot from the get-go. Sweet caramel malts were noticeable up front. A hint of brown sugar also came through before the resiny hops took over. Grapefruit, orange peel and a touch of mango appeared mid-palate. The long-lasting finish was crisp, dry and boozy, with bitter grapefruit notes again dominating.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied (somewhat thin for the style) with a medium amount of carbonation.

Between the super bitter finish (which intensified as the beer warmed) and the booziness, this definitely was not one of the easier drinking DIPA's I have sampled.

Imperial IPA is a big beer. Though it did not quite live up to my expectations (especially after trying Triticus Ale, the first release in Harpoon's Leviathan Series), I am glad to see that this brewery is trying their hand at creating more adventurous brews.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz received in my most recent trade with Wasatch.. Thanks a bunch.. Very thoughtful... Poured into my shaped SA glass.

2 finger head takes a long while to die back leaving chunky and crusty lace.. the lace is gonna stick around for even longer.. the brew is an only slightly hop hazed honey golden color..

the nose is very citric with almost as much floral hops.. smells fairly malty.. but this brew still has a nice hop punch to it.

Great bitterness with quite a bit of maltiness... verging on too much.. the hop flavors are abundant but are more on the tail end.. but wow.. they are still there.. it is sorta like somebody brushed my back teeth with grapefruit oil.. squeeky and resinous finish.. finish is a long citrus rind washed in fresh flower petals.. the body is fairly thick for the style.. definitely more of an East Coast DIPA.. quite a bit of maltiness that really makes this one a sipper.. savor because the lingering finish is gonna last a while and make you think about the last time you had a DIPA like this one.

Again.. big props to the Uber-Trader to my South East.. John.. another flawless trade.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

"Leviathan: slaying all foes who dare to oppose." - Alestorm

Pours a clear honey color with a two finger white head. Good retention and ample lace.

Smells like sticking your face in a bouquet of flowers. Reeks of fresh citrus and floral hops. Girls should wear this stuff as perfume.

Tastes of fresh floral and citrus hops that fades into a piney hop as the beer progresses. Some sweet malt under there somewhere with a great creamy mouth feel but it's absolutely buried by an avalanche of hops. It's like a creamy hopsicle. This isn't just a typical hop bomb though, for each individual hop flavor finds a balance with other hop flavors. It's like a delicate hop sculpture. No discernable alcohol either, and if it wasn't 10%abv one could drink this all night.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a scant finger of head that fades pretty quickly. The beer is a honey orange color with good clarity. I poured pretty aggressively and as a result got some micro-floaters of sediment. Single bubbles of carbonation escape to the surface. Some nice sudsy lacing is left behind.

Aroma is a nice combination of some fruity/pine hop notes and a great deal of ripe pineapple. There is a nice sweetness to this that I just dig.

Flavor is really smooth and nice. Wonderful malts and sweet ripe pineapple up front. This is followed by a moment or two of caramel, then the hops hit. Big grapefruit notes on top with some additional sweetness below. It finally hit me. My daughter puts honey on her grapefruit and this is what it tastes like. You can sense the alcohol, but it plays very well with the flavors and it not at all out of line.

Mouth feel is medium bodied to bordering on syrup like.... There is a touch of dryness due to the yeast or suspended sediment. Do to my pour, so I certainly don't blame Harpoon for this. Very smooth for a DPA.

Very drinkable. I wish I did have more....

I wish I had the opportunity to buy this when it was really fresh. I know some of the hop notes have mellowed and it's still quite nice.

Well Done Harpoon!!!

Photo of UnionMade
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've got to say, I bought this beer because of the label. Really cool, black, with the blue, lanternfish-like leviathan creeping along with a glowing, orange eye. Rad.
The beer pours a bright, coppery orange, pretty clear, topped with a thick, puffy head of foam. Sheets of lace cling to the glass, marking off each sip.
Very hoppy aroma, citrusy, bold and very american. Fruity and piney. A bit of that trademark light Harpoon diacetyl hiding underneath with the malt.
The flavor opens with a gasp of malt, then it's all hops. Just a tickle of caramel sweetness underneath it all, but much of the taste is citrusy grapefruit hops. Lots of bitterness in the finish, with an almost metallic bite. A bit of boozy heat. Oily feeling, full bodied, with rather jumpy carbonation. The carbonation seems a little high, but works to lighten up the heavy feel. The malt picks up a little as the beer warms, but the hops are so potent everything else is nearly an afterthought.
Pretty nice, but not much there beside the hops. I love a punishing IPA, so this is fine with me. The harsh bitterness is refreshing at first, but becomes a bit cumbersome at the tail end of the glass. I found myself forcing the last couple sips. Definitely something I'd reach for after a bad day.

Photo of jslot38
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A somewhat hazy golden orange with a bubbly white head. Retention is ok, however, lacing is great.

Smell: Interesting and nice medly of hops. Pines and grapefruit, grass and citrus zest. Hops dominate the nose.

Taste: High level of earth ridden and floral hops. Interspersed are some noticable grass, pine, and a bit of spice. Malt backbone is made up of some biscuit, grain, toast, and a touch of caramel. Alcohol sweetness is definately there and endangers the taste of this beer a little too much for me.

Mouth: Carbonation gives way to a resiny slickness. Flavours linger nicely.

Drinkability: Not the most drinkable Double IPA I've had as the balance really isn't there and the alcohol pierces through a bit too much.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 9/30/08. Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a thick light tan head. Aroma of bitter grassy hops, banana. Flavor of the same bitter grassy hops, some wheat, a nice malt backbone, and lots of banana. Alcohol is well hidden. Quite hoppy and quite tasty!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

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

Big thanks to some kind New England traders who sent me down a bottle of this brew to try. Always a fan of the big IPA, I could not wait to dig in. Served at a nice cellar temp, this was decanted into a snifter and consumed on 12/18/2008.

The pour was decent. A very dark amber color with a small white head of foam that came up over the top. A nice settle down caused the lace to cling a touch but the top did go bare after a few minutes.

The aroma was very nice though. Rich citrus hops, lots of grapefruit and pineapple notes. Light biscuit comes through as it warms and a touch of alcohol starts to really come through. The flavor was nicely balanced. At first a touch shredding with loads of pineapple and bitter grapefruit coming through, but mellowing nicely as it came up to room temperature, offering some departure with a touch of sweet caramel flavor. Nice medium body was spot on for the style and the strong alcohol notes led this one to be a real nice sipper.

Overall a very solid beer from Harpoon here. I would love to have this one around locally.

Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
91 out of 100 based on 1,544 ratings.