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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPAHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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.

Added by DrDogbeer on 09-07-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 714 | Ratings: 1,726
Photo of mick303
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at the Vermont brewery. A caramel brown colour, quite clear with a slight lacing, aroma has caramel malts, grapefruit and pungent fruity citrus. Taste has grapefruit and florals, quite jammy, leading to a more spicy finish. Mouthfeel is full, moderate carbonation, more alcohol on the finish, noticeable quite caramelly. A quite sweet, though flavourful IPA, hoppy oils and a bracing hop bitterness. Decent and quite hoppy and satisfying but not an inspiring DIPA, but one I would have again.

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Photo of scotorum
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy By 8/15/14. Plus "065" suggests it may have been bottled in early March.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Lawson's tulip.

a: Clear amber with a half finger thick white head which receded quickly to thin surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild fruit cup.

t; Ripe fruit up front quickly followed by an almost cloying hop bite at the sides of the mouth and a sharp alcohol burn in the throat.

m; Full and smooth, some carbonation tingle.

o: A powerful if not particularly tasty IPA. If my decipher of the number 065 is correct, it's over four months old, and that might explain the limited hop flavors. Nonetheless a good drinkably hefty 10% wallop in every sip. If this was packaged as a barleywine I might not question it.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours an absolutely beautiful honey-colored hue. Pretty decent foamy light-tan head that retreats to a slight coating on top. Picking up some hints of citrus but mostly pine, floral hops and some sweetness too mixed in the aromas. Tastes of pine, grapefruit, and the caramel malts help to balance out the bitterness. A touch of peppery-type heat on the finish. There is carbonation, bitterness, and alcohol warming/burn on the palate; though this one goes down very smooth. Overall, the malt sweetness works really well with the hops and I might find this to be one of my favorites; plus, easy to drink and the 10% abv is hidden quite nice. Harpoon has brewed a complex, well balanced, and delicious imperial ipa here; well done!

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Photo of snaotheus
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle at 41 F poured into a pint glass. Enjoy By 03/15/14 (today is 03/22/14). Bought in Texas, shipped to Washington.

Pours coppery amber, clear, small white head, lots and lots of carbonation. Smell is slight alcohol, mild pine. Some grapefruit rind.

Taste is alcohol tartness, pine bitterness. Some muted sweetness, some grapefruit rind bitterness. Not bad, just a little hot and not terribly interesting.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick, slightly slick. Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of eldraque39
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Every guest I've served this to has loved it. Whether it's a hot afternoon in the back yard, or a watching a football game in December in front of a fireplace, this is a great beer for social occasions. You don't sip and savor - you get a good mouthful and enjoy. A righteous beer, and I always make sure I have some available.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - copper color with a great lasting slightly tan head that really sticks to the glass
Smell - strong piney boozy smell with some citrus. Smells thick.
Taste - strong boozy pine and very slight citrus and some resin, very similar to the smell.
Feel - creamy thick with lots of bobbles on the tongue that last for while after drinking
Overall - strong beer that's really good if your a fan of boozy piney imperials.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a thin one-finger white head. Light amount of sticky lacing.

S - Lots of sweets malts and floral hops.

T - Sweet with lots of malt present. Good amount of tropical fruit with a nice floral hop presence. Very nice balance.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry finish.

O - This is a pretty good DIPA. Nice balance of flavors and very enjoyable.

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

A-a clear orange amber with a fingers worth of white head

S-bready malt backbone with grapefruit and piney hops

T-bready pale malt with a bit of caramel sweetness, but the pine and citrus hops are very prominent. Alcohol leaves a bit of heat.

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, bitter finish

Overall a very good beer from Harpoon, very enjoyable

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Photo of wiscokid920
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into English Pint Glass

A-Amber golden in color with a frothy white one finger head that dissipates into a ring around the glass.

S- Subtle citrus and piney hops overdone by a big malty/bready sweetness.

T- Great balance between the Citrus and Pine hop bitterness and Malty sweetness. Ends with a nice boozy aftertaste that helps contribute to the malty sweetness.

M- Chewy with a crispness that blends into a nice hop pucker which fades into a nice boozy warming sensation.

O- BALANCED. This IIPA is not a Hop Bomb but an excellently crafted balanced brew. A fantastic blend of both citrus/pine hop bitterness and malty/bready sweetness.

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.91/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle purchased as part of a 4 pack

A: Side poured into a 12 oz taster glass. Initial carbonation blast that quickly settled into a 1/2 inch, slightly off-white head. Color is a slightly reddish golden amber. The beer is just a little hazy. Anticipating something very nice.

S: Initial major hop blast. I am getting hops, citrus, pine. Smells great!

T: Fantastic! Lots of hops up front. Citrus and tropical fruits in the middle. Sweet malt backbone balances it out with a very incredible bitterness on the back end. Extremely well balanced. Barely even a hint of the 10 percent ABV. In my opinion, perfect for this style.

M: Chewy. The hops hit your mouth, loud, crisp and bright. The bitterness makes you pucker for more. Only a slight warmth on the back of the tongue from the alcohol.

O: Excellent. This is one of the few defining beers of this style which I really love. The hidden ABV is incredibly stealthy. Upon letting the beer warm before I finished the bottle all I can say is WOW! I really do not think that this can be improved. Don't change anything! If you are an IPA fan, you must try this beer. But be careful as you won't notice the alcohol until you feel it. Incredible brewing!!!

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Photo of T-34-85
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had in a balloon glass from a bottle.

Pours a nice amber color with a one finger head that quickly dissipates to a rim of lacing about the perimeter of the glass. Good blend of hops in the beer aroma. Can clearly sense the Simcoe hops in the mix. Beer is a little on the malty side, but well paired with fruity and bitter hop flavors present.

Overall: This is a solid double IPA that I would recommend to any hop heads.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: mostly clear golden. Substantial plush off white head.
Smell: mostly citrus hops and a nice sweetish malt backbone. Some floral notes and a hint of grapefruity bitterness. Complex and very good.
Taste: much like the nose, which is to say very very good. Intense hops and an equal balance of malt.
Overall: dis is good stuff. To plagiarize from Sammy, it's like a "hop whiskey". Very nice.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

From my tasting notes: The beer pours a gorgeous orange color with a nice head and loads of hops in the aroma. The first taste gave me a hop attack! There were loads of hops that bombed my palate, in a good way. I was impressed. As it warmed the sweet malt began to come through which gave the Leviathan a nicely balanced profile. This was definitely an Imperial IPA and a great beer from Harpoon.

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Photo of zookerman182
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber color with a one finger white head.
Aroma is of sweet malts and hops with caramel and toffee notes.
Not super carbonated and gets batter as it warms up.
Flavor is very malty and sweet just a little bitter.
I don't pick up much citrus at all but it is piney on the back end.
It's a tad boozy but it is high in abv.
I would drink it again but I'm not into the big malty ipas.

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Photo of enulcwww
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. Poured a darker golden with only a finger of head at the most had decent lacing all the way down. Smelled similar to other ipas with a less hop forward aroma. The booze was very well hidden for the strength and the mouth feel was amazing extremely smooth beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle dated Best By 10/15/13. Sampled on August 5, 2013.

It pours an attractive looking golden amber-copper with agitated carbonation leading up to a long-lasting off-white head. Great clarity.

The aroma is floral and sweet. The sweetness is akin to caramel and toffee and the ops more like a garden party.

The body is full and actually rather creamy.

The taste begins very sweet and almost fruity but it does not take long for the hops to flex their muscles and roar in from the backside ending highly bitter and dry. Alcohol is well-integrated. What I found interesting is that it was much sweeter when I started than when I ended. The hop bitterness seems to evolve with each sip.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Extremelly clear gold/amber with a thin soapy head. Modest lacing.

A: Big pine and tropical candy hop notes, with a pretty boozy alcohol hit as well. Sweet malt accentuates the candy hop notes.

T/M: Big, smooth bitterness upfront, followed by a big juicy hop character with notes of pine and tropical fruit, and some sweetish candy-like malt balancing it out. Fairly boozy as well, perhaps because of the big malt character, or maybe their yeast strain. Nothing very off-putting, this thing is smooth and goes down easy.

Overall, a nice DIPA, very tasty and cured the hell out of my hop fix. A must try if you like that juicy fruit hop character.

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Photo of dar482
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a orange amber color, lots of caramel malt in this.

The aroma has tons of citrus hops, pine, and lots of caramel sweetness. Very bready and that stands out.

The flavor follows, but a bit lighter. It has a pop of grapefruit and orange, and then piney and spicy hops. Then the caramel malt rolls in gently with some big flavors and a bit of alcohol in the back. Lots of bitterness that lingers as well.

It's a very big DIPA. It's pretty well made and for those who are into huge beers.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
2.79/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Hoppy-yes. Malty-YES. Started off ok but hard to drink a whole beer. Cloying malty sweetness was too much. This gets much worse as the temp rises. Could not imagine having again as there are so many other choices I prefer.

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

Enjoyed this beer on tap at LURES in Maryland

A: Pours a light yellow hue with a white head that slowly dissipates in to a wispy lace.

S: Sweet caramel malt aroma with a slightly hoppy background

T: Similar to the smell there is a caramel malt flavor with a decent hoppy backbone with a slight citrus twinge.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Solid DIPA – worthy of a try.

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Photo of richj1970
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a nice golden coppery color. Crystal clear with small one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Almost no lacing to speak of.

S: Fruity hops mixed with sweet malts. Pineapple, mango, bread, caramel.

T: Juicy fruit flavors with some bitterness from the hops mixed with sweetness from malts. A bit boozy but in a good way.

M: Full bodied and coats the tongue nicely. Lacks a bit in carbonation.

O: A very nice DIPA. My favorite of the Harpoon IPA choices.

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Photo of fegelFatso
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is my first review on here (hopefully of many) and I'm honored to start off with this amazing beer!

Serving type: 12oz bottle, bought from a grocery store in Texas, and poured into a Sam Adams pint glass (would prefer a tulip, but I'm on vacation and had to improvise).

A: A deep golden orange. Very clear and crisp. Had about 1/2 inch head that slowly reduced to less than half a fingernail... No lacing.

S: Hops! Smells like I opened a bag of cascade pellets and took a good whiff! Fades away to a sweet, dare I say boozy aroma. Beautiful!

T: OH BABY! Hops quickly fade to a sweet, malty, boozy background while the hops still play a role! Less hoppy, more boozy as it warms. Reminds me of Avery's Maharaja (my 2nd favorite IPA until I tried this!)... But better!

M: Sticky, heavier bodied, slightly chewy. Probably my least favorite part of the experience, but that's being knit picky at this point... This beer is AMAZING!!!

O: This isn't the first glass of this I've ever happened... That honor goes to the 10oz pour I bought at the Harpoon Taphouse in Boston a few weeks ago (I got the Sam Adams glass from their brewery earlier that day!)... It cost $8 for the 10oz... I muttered to myself "this better be one of the best beers I've ever had"... Took my sip... And thought the same thing Barney Gumbo thought after paying $50 for a beer and drinking it... "You got lucky!" This is better than Maharaja, but doesn't eclipse my absolute favorite IPA (and beer overall), Pliny the Younger... But seeing as that's impossible to get 50 weeks out of the year, this will do! AWESOME BEER!!!

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

Pours copper with perfect clarity. A finger of foam that doesn’t last to a thin ring and skin on top. Fair retention and pretty good lace. It’s rather pretty actually because of the orange glow in the color. Nose is grand. Delectable malt! Caramel, biscuit, nuts. Fruity tropical hops, pineapple, mango, grass, sweet pine and an all over earthy scent. The malt opens up as it warms with lots of bread and a graceful honey sweetness. Taste is superb. Tropical fruits with a touch of floral, fat malt character. Bread and biscuit, nuts, and honey. Pale and caramel malt abounds in the taste. Smooth and very drinkable. The hops leave a nice oil and bitter leading into the finish. There is a touch of alcohol on the palate before a nice dry aftertaste and a full on hop bitter that coats the throat with just a touch of sweetness underneath.

What a surprise this was. A real malt treasure of an Imperial IPA. Graceful, drinkable, delicious, fruity, gentle and fat. Has many tea like qualities that make it very attractive to the palate. It has everything an IPA should have in the way of hop grandeur and bitter and everything favorable from it’s malt character. Cheerful and loaded with colossal malt.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

My apologies for the departure from form. Just conveying instant observations--not going for a full tasting.

Nice pour, head was gone before it left the counter (at the brewery's own beer hall). Starts out piney with green notes reminiscent of Japanese green teas, but quickly yields to fruitiness (roasted plum and burnt orange) and medium malty sweetness. Barely noticeable yeast note. Lingering finish, more complex malt flavors coming out. Not a lot of bitterness in the aftertaste, but hops remain throughout (which one would expect from a decent five-hops blend). Alcohol not pronounced which also resulted in mineral-water mouthfeel (hence the downgrade), along with all the hops and malt notes. Medium body, low carbonation. Although none of the flavors were overpowering, all subsequent beers tasted watery (even those I know not to be so). So if you make it a night with Leviathan, don't expect to be able to cheat with Belgian Blonde or a Summer Wheat. Would pair well with gourmet pizza, grilled pork chop, mild curry or a chocolate-heavy dessert, but would not work with pasta or any delicate cream-based sauces or desserts. Tastes better warm, of course!

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
90 out of 100 based on 714 ratings.