Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

713 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 713 | Ratings: 1,715
Photo of Hokies
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours and orange and golden hue with some haziness to it. Pours a thin white head that leaves a light lace on the glass.

S: Hops and more hops. Strong aroma of grapefruit, citrus and some piney scents.

T: At first their is a nice malt taste with some citrus taste. The grapefruit and piney hops make their presence known but the malt is heavy throughout. Towards the end their is a hint of chocolate and then finishes with a nice hop bitterness. Their is huge malt backbone to this one which is really nice.

M: Highly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel.

D: The huge malt backbone makes this DIPA a lot easier to drink than the rest.

 641 characters

Photo of bonbini26
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Waterfront Alehouse (Manhattan) 10-23-08
$11 for a pint (ouch!!)

A- Pours a dark oranger hue and small, not to thig head, with lacing that follows the beer down

S- floral, citrus, grapefruiit, hops..all the things i look for in a DIPA, some caramel hints also but mostly citrus hops

T- Starts out with a malty backbone, then finishes with a hearty balanced hop attack, very nice balance of hops and malts. And the hops are well placed and enjoyable

M- probably the best thing about this beer almost chewy, think, and creamy, with a long lasting bitterness

D- very nice balanced easy drinking DIPA, a little different than ones ive had lately, not an over the top hop attack that hides some of the flavors. A little on the pricey side, i guess cause of the availibilty??

 788 characters

Photo of soccerman7
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - warm copper color with a nice sticky head that left ring after ring on the glass.

Smell - Nothing but juicy hops. Pine and grapefruit.

Taste - Really huge hops on the palate. Sharp and juicy. Seemed that the hops overwhelmed the malt instead of working it. A bit unbalanced but a hop lovers dream.

Mouth - a very classic IIPA mouth feel. Citrus after taste, smooth and a bit dry on the finish.

Drink - A very good IIPA from the east that could run with all the west coast ones in the style.

 508 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange with a great head that retains very well. Great lacing to boot. Smells of citrus, grapefruit, tons and tons of hops. Tastes of citrusy hops, slight pine presence, peaches, and more of a malt backbone than the aroma indicates. The malts show up a bit more as the beer warms up a bit. It's almost like a ST Unearthly "Light"...less syrupy and a lot of the same characteristics. Not AS great as that gem though but immensely good. I am very pleasantly surprised by how good it is and how easy drinking it is for 10% abv. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

 577 characters

Photo of dickieb
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light amber orange with a nice big initial head. Big lacing on this one as well.

The smell is a big hit of pine and grapefruit hops with not a hint of malt on the nose

The flavor is more balanced then the smell but this one is certainly a hop bomb by all definitions. Heavy on the citrus hops with some hints of pine cones and lemons, the malts are present but subdued.

The mouthfell is very good for a big IPA and this is so drinkable I finished it during a quick review. I was quite excited after trying the Leviathan Wheat Whine at the Beer Fest and I am extremely pleased with this one from Harpoon.

 615 characters

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Publick House. My first thought was simply "wow". I didn't have huge expectations here, so I was completely blown away. The brew was thin and very refreshing. The taste is full of sweet fruits, peach and grape mainly. Hops were certainly there, mainly grapefruit. Incredible balance in this one - and am going to have to jump back in for more.

 368 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice palish copper color that poured with a nice looking 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Just a punch in the mouth of citrus. Almost like wet sap. Grapefruit right up there. Its like shoving a hop cone in your brain.

T: Just a really nice uber hoppy DIPA. The citrus is right up there. It is a little bitter but that is ok with me. Hops pine sweetness. The malt holds things back nicely but it only hinted at in the taste as it should be.

M: Nice and thick. Creamy. Totally coats everything.

D: Awesome beer. Really reminds me of Portsmouth DIPA. I think I might even be drinking the same beer. By far the best beer I have had from Harpoon.

 661 characters

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

Pours clear gold with a one inch head of white. Retention is moderate, with the head fading to a skim coat within two minutes.

Aromatics are fairly pungent and piney. Grapefruit, melons, and spruce resin follow through with a hint of butterscotch.

Medium bodied and a bit chewy. A creamy and crisp mouthfeel.

Pine dew, spruce bark, melon rinds, and grapefruit start the palate. Light malt, warming alcohol, and buttery undertones follow through.
Bitterness is firm and lingering, and the brew is nicely drying.

Finishes with a sustaining bitterness, warming alcohol, shades of grapefruit zest and conifer tannins.

Pretty damn tasty. One of Harpoons best in my book. The hopping is pretty agressive, and this is a big beer.
I prefer a more tropical, floral type hop profile though, and the buttery undertones detract.

 822 characters

Photo of joepais
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter produced a large white head that lasted for a while before turning to lace . The body on this ale was clear and amber in color

Aromas are big hops, pine and citrus, typical DIPA nose

This has slight malt sweetness to it before you get to the strong hop flavors. the brew ends up being thick and oily with its light carbonation

A good DIPA I didn't find too much alcohol in the aroma or flavors. So I would believe you could get into trouble with drinking too many of these.

 508 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

 1,158 characters

Photo of RedChrome
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

 680 characters

Photo of xerotime
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 424 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.1/5  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.

 1,181 characters

Photo of HopDerek
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 676 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 508 characters

Photo of maddogruss
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 865 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.24/5  rDev +5%
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.

 518 characters

Photo of wyllder
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
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.


 1,042 characters

Photo of Zippie9999
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
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)

 424 characters

Photo of Goregazm
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 946 characters

Photo of CherylM
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 410 characters

Photo of yossarian14
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 844 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  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

 778 characters

Photo of albern
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 1,062 characters

Photo of jaxon53
4.3/5  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.

 1,422 characters

Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
90 out of 100 based on 713 ratings.