Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPAHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

700 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 700
Hads: 1,645
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.91%
Wants: 114
Gots: 213 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 700 | Hads: 1,645
Photo of patpbr
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber color that pours nicely.
S- Fruit you can smell the alcohol
T- loads of hops. it gets your attention right away citrus fruit. sweet but balanced with the malt. a pine finish.
M- medium carbonated, not to much bitter. but it lingers nicely
O- Its good. Solid for the style. (284 characters)

Photo of acevenom
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours copper with a tall, eggshell colored head. It appears to be lightly carbonated. The head recedes very slowly, leaving plentiful lacing along the glass. I pick up some of those sweet and bready malt aromas along with some citrus from the hops. There are some of those earthy and piney hop aromas as well. There is some alcohol as well. The hops really come through in the taste. There's lots of pine and citrus. There's enough bitterness in this one to please any hop head. It's resinous and juicy. It also has a solid malt backbone. It's slightly sweet from the caramel malts and it's also bready. I also get some alcohol, but it's well-hidden. The body is medium to full with light carbonation. It finishes sticky. This is an excellent beer. (774 characters)

Photo of Danny1217
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at ROK:BRGR in South Miami. $4 for all beers on Mondays, so I tried the most expensive one there. Served in a pint glass.

A - Somewhat translucent amber orange with a one finger off white head. Pretty decent retention, and lots of nice lacing on the sides of the glass

S - Extremely hoppy smell. Grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine are present. Some caramel malt aroma too. The alcohol is somewhat present on the nose, which is not surprising at 10% ABV.

T/M - Fairly thick feel. Extreme hop bitterness at the front. Some thick, bready malt, grapefruit, and pine. Hops dominate. You can taste the 120 IBU that this beer supposedly has. The hop head in me likes it. Medium carbonation. (691 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle, this beer is big and bold with an amber/orange color, a rocky head of foam, and a nose that offers strong pine, citrus, alcohol, and floral notes. The heavy foam settles down in due time, but it leaves generous legs as you consume and always reminds you of its presence.

With such a lead- in by the appearance, you may wonder at first if the taste can meet expectations but I am happy to report that it does. This beer has a strong flavor profile that combines toasted malt, bread, pine, caramel, honey, and fruity notes such as pineapple and a touch of citrus. The beer is very full bodied and has an alcoholic dimension that is obvious from the first sip all the way to the finish.

Leviathan Imperial IPA is a big beer with big taste. It is quite distinctive and certainly above average, although not quite as great as some of the other double/imperial IPA I have sampled over the years. It’s a hop bomb all the way, but still has enough malt backbone to try to balance out the bitterness. The thick body and resiny hops will be too much for most, but hopheads will love it and will certainly come back for more. (1,143 characters)

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

Leviathan

Four pack of 12 oz bottles. First bottle poured into a tulip glass, second one into my snifter.

A – good looking DIPA. Deep colors, oranges, reds, and yellows. Foams up nicely (especially the first bottle), but it recedes slowly.

S – pretty generic. Lots of hop character, very floral, but sweet simultaneously. I can smell the 10%.

T – tastes just like it smells, although the alcohol plays a slightly smaller role. Sweet and floral, but also bitterer than I expect it to be. Too syrupy for my taste.

M – the syrup doesn’t help the mouthfeel. The alcohol sticks to the cheeks, but the aftertaste is still pleasant. The beer definitely has a coherent beginning, middle, and end. Readable on every level, despite the shortcomings of taste.

O – I compare every DIPA I have to Hopslam, but only because it’s the one I’ve had the most (not trying to be boast, I just always had access to it, living in Michigan for so long). The alcohol content in Leviathan is the same as Hopslam, so I expected it to taste similarly. It did, although it isn’t quite as sweet, there’s a more syrupy character, and the bitterness pervades. An overall good offering, but I don’t think I’ll get it again, unless of course I can have it on tap. (1,260 characters)

Photo of kevdemers
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been all over the place for me! Several years back for my first 4.5 review, loved the grapefruit nose with an aggressive strong ale taste. However in the time since, I have found other imperial IPAs that do a much better job of putting hops in the forefront and hiding the astringent alcohol aftertaste. My rating fresh would be lower as a result (3.5-3.75 range?)

But tonight I just had it again unintentionally "aged" and this is what my rating is adjusted for. Best by date on the bottle is 9/15/14. Nice nose, not quite as grapefruity as fresh. The taste really improves with age, as the overly sweet notes and alcohol have calmed. This definitely fits the recent tale of letting an imperial IPA age to create a barleywine. I would say this now drinks more towards the strong ale/barleywine area and is more enjoyable in my opinion than fresh... (872 characters)

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

12 oz. draft in a pilsner glass

A: Thin white head with a clear, copper body. Clings to the glass in a wavy sheet

S: Very fruity for an ipa. Its not citrus hops, there's apricot in there, moreso than hops. Not what I was expecting but nice.

T: Hoppy ipa taste up front, sweet in the middle, leading back to the stone fruits on the back end. Aftertaste is all resiny hops.

M: Dry and light, the hops bubble around my tastebuds before settling down.

O: My first homogeneous review. It's an odd beer in the fruitiness of the nose, but it's all around solid. (559 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by 9/15/2012 - I'm assuming this is almost 6 months old. I would prefer it to be fresher, but it is what it is...
Poured into a snifter, it's amber in color with good clarity, thin white head leaves a little lacing. Aromas are citric hop, caramely malt, faint tropical notes as well. Tastes are well balanced (actually more sweet than bitter), caramel, honey, tropical, papaya, pine, booze as it warms. You'd never guess 120ibu. Mouth is medium bodied and smooth but resiny, lower carbonation but still acceptable. Overall, good, but I wish I had tried it fresher. I'd grab it again if I had the chance to try it again. (637 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Amber with heavy bubbles in the beginning, head comes white maybe 1/3" off the body.

Smell: floral scent, little light hoppy feel.

Taste: Very good and complex, malty and floral. I will tell you this it is bitter but not to the point where is avoidable. For you Imperial IPA fans this might be your go to when

Mouth: Would be lying if i said smooth, it is more crisp and feel of toasted hops. With it's medium carbonation very hard beer to ignore.

Overall: If this is going to be a usual at my local beer spot then it will be a usual in my fridge. I will buy this again, and so should you. Salud (641 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour yields a brilliantly clear light copper color with a dense 3"cream head that lingers.

Grapefruit pith, onion, and dank hops are accompanied by bready malt and caramel in the aroma.

Big citrus flavor of grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and tangerine are dominant, with a bready malt backbone supporting the hops into a fairly bitter, peppery, piney finish. There's a bit of sweetness offering respite, along with a minty note.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, a very good dipa, but it's fairly hot. Also a bit on the sweet side. (598 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden orange with a beige head that left lotsa lace

S: lemon zest; deeper caramelly malt

T: citrus and pine are balanced; nice chewy malt; robust flavors under lighter hoppiness

M: medium body, creamy undertones - almost buttery - but with a zestiness that dries out the maltiness

O: I'm starting to think that the DIPA is a brew that anyone can do, and there are a lot of similarities between the American DIPAs - they all seem to exist on a spectrum of pine and citrus - so its no surprise that Harpoon's Leviathan is a solid weigh-in for the style, and a real good exmaple of the style (596 characters)

Photo of neophilus
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored beer, mostly clear. Lazy, small bubbles from the bottom. Foamy, active head that dies down but shows good lacing.

Aroma is malt then a dose of piney, citrus hops. Good clean balance in the aroma, the big body gives off lots of malt sweetness but the resiny hops freshen it up a lot.

Stiff hop bitterness up front. Heavy dose of pine resins fight back the thick malt body. Hop flavor is a bit one dimensional but does a great job cutting down the malt and drying out the beer. Just a hint of booziness hides behind the resin flavors.

Rich, smooth body is thick in the mouth but cleans up well as it finishes dry. A serviceable DIPA that brings it with the ABV but keeps it in check with the IBU. Not breaking any new ground, but clean and crisp for such a strong beer and easily lends itself to a second. (821 characters)

Photo of crazyfraser
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very Deliciuos brew.

Apperance is kinda clear amber, I prefer a little cloudiness for body but it is beautiful. 4.0

Smell is very alcohol y, strong, you can really smell the 10%abv coming through. very hoppy/grapefruity. 4.5

Taste is strong yet smooth, very very hoppy. with citrus noted. if you like hopslam then youll love this. the difference is this this one has more of an alcohol bite. 4.5

mouthfeel The only reason i give it a 4.0 is the super strong alcohol taste, given it is 10%, Its hard not to compare it to hopslam which is way smoother

Overall very nice, will buy again, very soon (599 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a deep orange/amber pour with 2 fingers of frothy white head. smells of honey, pine, grapefruit, sweet corn smell which i assume is coming from the malts. an earthy / spicy bitterness up front followed by a citrusy/sweet malt backbone. leaves a nice bitter aftertaste behind. creamy mouthfeel, medium body, nicely carbonated. overall a great ipa, not spectacular or outstanding like some others, but pretty solid as far as ipa's go. (432 characters)

Photo of Greenmachine07
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-very light brown minimal head, clear

S-bread, slight pine. there was not alot noticeable once poured but upon warming there was a hop presence and a citrus smell.

T-this is where i am won over. There is a forefront of flavor slight lemon, bread, malt and then it is won over by a large dose of hops. if there were any more hops this may be overpowering for anyone not used to the bitter spike. but for the average drinker this was perfect.

O-i loved this beer and can not find a day i do not enjoy a bottle. i bought a case after i went through two six packs. it is easy drinking packed with flavor and hops but not so much that you will dull the palette.

Buy it you wont regret it. i (691 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a bright orangish amber with a half inch of off white head that is foamy, dense, and creamy; great retention

S - bread, grapefruit, pineapple, faintly herbal, faint alcohol

T - bready malt with some faint caramel; grapefruit and pineapple make up the citrusy hop character up front with some piny, spicy, bitter hops in the finish; decent lingering bitterness on the palate; a bit of alcohol in the finish

M - crisp, warm alcohol, medium to full bodied

This was a decent DIPA. There could have been a bit more balance. I think the malt was just a tad off for the intense hop character. Overall, however, I will definitely have this again. (652 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a clear dark orange, with a one inch off white head that leaves plenty of lace. Smell is grapefruit, pine, papaya, and tangerine. Taste is massive grapefruit and pine, with citrus flavors in though out. Body is medium, plenty of carbonation, not very dry considering 120 IBUs and its 10%, and very easy drinking once again considering its size. A wonderful, underrated DIPA. (413 characters)

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

A - Exceptionally clear, moderate carbonation, off while head that fades to a covering. Head fades rapidly and not a lot of lacing, wonder if it is because they filter.

S - Lots of hop aroma tending to be more pine with citrus coming second. A touch of sweetness from the malt, but this is very much hop dominated.

T - Hop pow! Tons of hop flavor, again big pine and grapefruit flavors. Simple but nice malt profile to stand up to the hops. Would like a little more complexity, nothing crazy, just a little more floral or spice.

M - Big resinous feel, coats your mouth with all the hop oil. Nice warmth from the alcohol, not too much carbonation, this is how a DIPA should feel.

O - Very good beer, lots of good qualities, one hop away from being excellent. (761 characters)

Photo of mttaylor1066
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the better imperial IPAs you can purchase.

Appearance -- Does a beer look any better than this? Deep golden and clear with a head that collects nicely... leaving a nice lacing on the glass as you sip.

Smell - Deep, clean hops aroma with a lighter malt backing. Lets you know this a is a beer that you need to consume slowly and enjoy at your leisure.

Taste - The 10% ABV is well-hidden by a balance between malt and hops. Not a light body by a long shot... but not heavy. Exercise caution when you stand up after drinking this IPA!

Mouthfeel - Deep and rich... malty. The malt lingers on the palate and is assisted with a hoppy finish. (646 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - really beautiful head at 3 fingers to top of pint glass. dark copper and you can tell it looks heavy on appearance

s - very piney hopped smells with some spice notes. A strong scent profile.

T - Its definitely a strong heavy beer as expected but at 10% its one of the more tolerable sippers. Its a hop bomb for sure but not overly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - full bodied

Overall - I'm usually very polarized with beers this strong in ABV. Usually a love/hate relation. This one is a rare one that I think is pretty good and sort of average tasting overall. Hopheads probably like this one a little better than my rating. (636 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Big City, allston MA (10/23)
review from notes.

pours a golden / orange tone while yielding a finger or so of off-white head. decent retention and lacing. nose is not as potent as i remember from numerous previous samples (bottle - 1st time having it on draft), but then again lots of heavy odors are present in the bar, picking out elements in the aroma not ideal. primarily citrus / floral hops with the suggestion of a malt backbone.

taste is good. pine, citrus hops with that balancing maltiness. a bit boozy, but tasty and flavorful. resin-y mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall i really enjoy this DIPA. one of the really good locals i too often take for granted. holds its own, no question. highly recommended. (737 characters)

Photo of stercomm
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an Avery mini-pint glass.

A - Light coppery orange, massive off white head that hangs around for a bit then leaves a nice layer, very strong lacing.

S - Surprisingly getting a lot more malt and butterscotch then usual pine and citrus, alcohol definitely comes thru in a big way.

T - Wow, lots of nice bitterness, piney and citrusy on the front get some malt and slight sweetness in the middle and then finishes with a nice dry bitterness that stays in the mouth.

M - Medium bodied nice carbonation.

O - Aside from the fact this is a 10% ABV (careful here), very nice taste profile, very distinct flavors (640 characters)

Photo of minterro
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Whitley for buying me this beer for part of my bday present.

A&S: lots of grainy malts coming through for it being a double IPA. Along with lots of piney and tropical citrus notes. Also pretty formidable alcohol scents. Clear butterscotch colored beer. The head is off white and fizzy. Head pours about a half finger and isn't retained well

T&M: Very bitter upfront. The thing I think I like the most about this beer is that its pretty bitter throughout for a double ipa unlike alot of doubles that are very sweet. Lots of piney hops but its a little unbalanced. lots of alcohol in the taste as well, but less maltyness then in the smell.

Overall: I liked it but its not even close to be worth 4$ for a bottle, I would suggest other cheaper common doubles over this one to rep the style like: hop wallop from victory or stone ruination or depending on the area hopslam from bells. (894 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite citrusy and has some notes of pine resin along with hints of caramel from the underlying malts. There is a moderate to strong amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is relatively well masked from the taste. (706 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.

Beer pours a clear bright copper hue with fluffy off-white head foaming up 3 cm and receding very slowly back to the surface. Tight latticework and large craters form as the head fades.
Aroma is some earthy and vegetal hops, I also get a little rindy grapefruit mixed in for good measure.
First sip reveals a soft texture and mild spacious carbonation. The texture is fluffy for lack of a better word, light and airy in my mouth and slightly sticky on my lips.
Flavor is biscuity malt and then some sweet caramel and a bit of toffee, but rolls to some mixed bag of hops. I get earthiness and citrus, primarily orange and grapefruit, with a good dose of pine sap resin and bite on the finish. Leaves a dry astringency on my palate after each sip.
I dont get any hints of the booze which is impressive for a 10% brew.
Pretty solid Double IPA. Worth a shot if you like big beers that dont taste big and have a decent dose of hops (970 characters)

Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
90 out of 100 based on 700 ratings.