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Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic PorterHarpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

240 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 240
Hads: 365
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 45
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lpayette on 11-16-2008

Leviathan Baltic Porter is a dark, strong beer of considerable complexity. Brewed with a highly alcohol-tolerant strain of lager yeast, it has a smooth, full flavor with dark fruit and licorice notes in the aroma. De-husked roasted malt lends a dark chocolate character without being sharp or harsh. Raw sugar and dark crystal malt give some raisin and molasses notes while East Kent Goldings hops make for a long, earthy finish.

38 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter Alström Bros
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Reviews: 240 | Hads: 365
Photo of NEhophead
2.86/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.

Pours a near opaque maple with a mahogany hue. Densely creamy, inch-high coffee-colored head that recedes leaving frothy lacing. Thickly ringed lacing with very good strength.

Bland, musty floral hops that initially assault the senses. Artificially sweetened, weak caramel and molasses. The malt character is anything but rich in aroma. Faint hints of tea. Mild plum, currant, and raisin.

Intense artificial sweetness that swarms the palate from impact through the aftertaste: think immense amounts of liquid splenda. Bitter dark chocolate, toffee and weak caramel. The floral hops are somewhat astringent and heavy at mid-sip which allows for a chalky finish.

Full in body; chalky with film admist an active, spicy mouthfeel. Despite being intensely sweet in flavor, the accompanying texture doesn't present itself all that much, which is certainly a relief.

A beautiful Baltic Porter to look at, but that is where the compliments end. The artificial sweetness, bland hop character, and intense alcohol are all out of balanced drawbacks to this offering. Unfortunately, 'unpleasant' would be too kind of a description for this brew. If you respect your tastebuds, please avoid this one.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a chilled O'Doul's pint glass. (I love the irony of drinking high ABV beer from an O'Doul's glass.)

A rigorous pour gives 1 finger of tan foam on top of a pitch black brew. A slight brown tinge shines through the edges of the glass when held to the light, but otherwise it's completely dark. Head fades to a thin layer which clings to the sides.

Smell is of burnt malts, somewhat acrid up front. Upon closer inspection I detect molassas, oak, a herbaceous notes, and some very faint floral notes. Overall it's very dark, burnt malts and woody/ grassy.

On the tongue, the woody oak/ cedar character comes through strong. Lots of dark malt and burnt sugars, like dark molassas without the sweetness. Herby notes are also much more distinct than in the nose... oregano and sage? Dry and somewhat acidic. Slight alcohol burn in the finish. There's a lot going on here, but it's not very refined or coherent, kinda harsh and chaotic.

Overall I'm not impressed, especially after being very pleased with the Leviathan Quad and especially the IPA. I did not enjoy the Porter nearly as much and will not be getting it again. There are much better porters available without the premium price. Sorry Harpoon, I love you dearly, but this one isn't up to par.

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Photo of roadhouse
2.98/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a hazy dark brownish mahogany color with a one inch light tan head. It sinks to a cap and leaves some lacing.

Aroma is very weak with pretty much nothing going on except for some alcohol and very light dark fruits, maybe a little chocolate.

Taste is basically identical to the aroma. A bit of chocolate up front with a slight dark fruit character but that is overtaken by the spicy hot alcohols in the finish and leave much to be desired.

Mouthfeel is medium, dcent carbonation, but seems to heavy for the style. Hard to drink.

Bad example of a Baltic Porter. This is like an Okocim missing all the good qualties.

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Photo of cbutova
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours pitch black with a beige head. Some brown is shown around the edges where light makes it way through. The head looks fairly creamy and has good retention at about half a finger. The head falls to a thin cloud/ring and leaves a moderate coat of fine lace.

S- Dark, roast malt up front. The strange thing is it smells like a black malt before it is mashed, reminds me of homebrew. Cocoa notes blend in decently with this very roast, grainy malt. It smells almost burnt/smoky but not overly so. Alcohol comes in a bit. The strength fades somewhat and it becomes hard to pick up.

T- Dark, burnt, roasty malt up front. Some fruit actually comes through. Grainy notes from the malts as well. The cocoa I liked in the nose is present but not as prominent. About halfway through the glass, alcohol starts to come in and mess the balance of this up. Some earthy and grassy hops help to balance the flavor but the alcohol really does bring it down, a lot. A low amount of bitterness from hops.

MF- Moderate body with a decent creaminess to it. Very, very warm on the palate from the alcohol. Too warm for the flavors at hand. A coat of flaming hot roast malt is left on the palate.

DB- I got this for free so I cannot complain. It is definitely 9.5%, but in a bad way, it needs to be hidden a lot more. Redeeming cocoa and malt qualities masked by vodka-like alcohol notes. Gotta give it some credit because its not a drain pour but can't even say it tastes average. A good of example of an Imperial Porter gone astray.

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Photo of charliedvrs
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into tulip glass.

A - A hard pour gives a small beige head over an opaque black beer.

S - Dark, roasted malts with bits of dark fruit and chocolate in the background. Alcohol comes in towards the end.

T - Followed pretty much with the nose. What I couldn't get over with this beer was how overpowering the alcohol was. It seemed like a RIS without all of the intense flavors to cover up the alcohol. The first half of a sip was pleasant, but by the end it seemed like all of the flavors had dissapeared.

M - Smooth and medium bodied, but way too warm. Carbonation is slightly high as well.

D - As I mentioned earlier, the inability to cover up the 9.5% ABV killed this one for me. Had trouble finishing off the glass.

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Photo of avalon07
3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch and a half of creamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: Not a huge aroma, but some hints of chocolate, malt, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of dark chocolate, a little hops, roasted malt, raisins, and a slight burnt quality. Oddly, all these ingredients don't add up to much. It simply tasted like a halfway constructed beer.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I'm kind of surprised by the high ratings for this beer. It seems like one of those beers that could have better than it was.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.19/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I got this bottle in a trade with Nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

This pours a very dark brown with some ruby highlights. Big 2 finger head of barely offwhite foam. Gorgeous beer in the glass.

The smell has some roasted malt notes as well as some rather substantial hoppy citrus, light coffee and light chocolate. Oh, and lots of booze. :^(

The taste is big on the sweet chocolate and roasted malt up front followed by intense dark chocolate bitterness, citrus hops twang and a rather big presence of alcohol. Man, there's a whole lot of warming going on. It's very distracting, sadly, because the flavours, I really dig.

The mouthfeel is medium, the carbonation borders on medium, and it finishes with both coffee and chocolate flavours that linger on. Nice.

Drinkability? The alcohol is just plain intrusive. I can't put it any other way as it's not a brew that urges you to take another sip. I'm glad I got a chance to try it but 1 bottle was enough.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer is black with a light tan 2 finger high head that is gone in about a minute leaving only head around the rim of the glass. The lacing is pretty decent.

The aroma is strong and mostly you get a roastiness from it. Its roasted coffee with some dark fruits.

The taste is a huge disappointment. The biggest thing you get is all 9.5% of that alcohol just bursting at the seems. You also get some coffee but it is just drowned out.

The feel is way to light for a bp.

Overall, this is a pretty poor effort. Its way to much alcohol and water in the feel. Very sad.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.26/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, late 2012 Vintage. Served at around 50F.

Pours thin dark brown with red highlights and a two finger light brown head that leaves a little lacing and recedes to a wispy, foamy cap.

Aroma is grainy, earthy, dusty, underlying notes of cocoa powder and hints of dark fruit. Good to very good strength (but not that enjoyable).

Flavor is dark fruits, cherries, figs, dates, raisins, molasses, some chocolate, a tinge tart, pretty sweet, some alcohol but not bad for 9.5%. Much bigger and better flavor than aroma.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, very sticky, moderate carbonation.

Well, I love Baltic Porters and I’ve been looking for this one for years. Very excited to see it come in my store last month. Pretty good, but still a little disappointing, particularly the odd grainy aroma that doesn’t match the flavor at all.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark brown with chestnut colored edges. One finger of foamy tan head fades quickly but has nice retention from swirling and leaves nice lacing. Smells of roasted malts, caramel, molasses, fruits, coffee, chocolate, sugar coated cereal, and smoke. Tastes of grapes and plums up front then roasted malt, dark chocolate, and caramel with some smoke, chalk, and faint spicy hops in the finish. Medium in body with good carbonation. Smooth but chalky with some nice alcohol warmth. Not very assertive at all, the flavors were very subdued and ho hum. Easy enough to drink, but not a very memorable Baltic Porter to me at all.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a pitch black with ruby highlights when held up to the light with no foam to speak of

S - roasted malt aroma with some sweet dark fruit thrown in

T - roasted malt backbone with some bitter chocolate, sweet dark fruit flavor as well

M/D - nice mouthfeel and flavor, it was almost too sweet for me, something to sip on

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Photo of sweemzander
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a dark black color with the slightest hint of red highlights. Produced a foamy tan head.

(S)- Bits of raisins, molasses, and a hazelnut-like coffee. Slightly smoky.

(T)- Same as the smell. Mountains of raisins in this.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. A nice malty sweetness & creaminess. Gets a tad chalky later on.

(D)- A good porter. Not too strong or rich. A bit one dimensional. Still a good experience from the norm.

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Photo of bfflo
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mostly-opaque reddish-brown, with minimal cream-colored head. Solid lacing at first, which dissolves to loose swiss cheese as you drink. Smell is surprisingly dominated by dark fruit, particularly prunes and black cherry; much different than the Left Hand Fade to Black Baltic Porter I was sipping an hour or two before. Taste follows suit with a lot of pungent sweetness, more akin to the Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter than the Left Hand Fade to Black. The sweetness is dark fruit based, as per the smell, with strong licorice notes, a full body, and a little less alcohol heat than I expected (though there is certainly some). Mouthfeel is syrupy, bitterness is low. While this boasts a complex flavor profile and is by no means a mediocre brew, it is not really my kind of porter, personally - it is too sweet, with a medicinal twang, leaving me feeling as if I were drinking some kind of bizarre, fermented prune juice. B-.

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Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Wasatch for this one!

Pours dark garnet with ruby hues. A slim head doesn't make it for the duration.

The smell is of dark fruit, licorice, and a hint of chocolate. Ashy.

The taste is of charcoal-ish ash, alcohol and a general sweetness.

The carbonation is on the aggressive side, cutting into the body a bit.

Drinks okay considering abv shows.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown with a billowing light brown head with good retention; laces nicely

S - Dark chocolate and roasted malts are predominant, with a slight hint of fruit

T&M - Alcohol warmth is the first thing that hits me, followed by the chocolate, which appears to be the dominant flavor. There is a slight ashy flavor in the background. I think the fruit flavors detected in the nose are lost behind the alcohol This beer feels "dry" on the pallet

D - Overall this goes down nicely, and closely matches the style. I must admit I find the alcohol flavor slightly out of balance, but again, it is a Baltic Porter, and should be a higher ABV; I think cellaring for a bit may improve this one.

Food Pairing - I could see this with a hearty stew, and the ABV will allow this to cut through anything with a lot of fat or oil (steaks, for instance)

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Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chunky head with good ring lace. Deep ruby brown where light only shows through on the edge.

Slightly sour aroma; otherwise, a chaulky mocha smell.

Creamy latte flavor, with the emphasis on the coffee. Moderate body with a low level of carbonation. A very light sweetness to the brew.

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Photo of leif86
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Near black body that shows some ruby coloring when held up to a light. Cola like head, that is to say it's a dark tan color and pretty frothy. Moderate lacing.

S: It smells like roasted grains and bitter chocolate with a hint of coffee.

T: Much better once it is allowed to warm up. A big cereal grain flavor with the expected coffee and bitter chocolate in the back. The bitterness at the end is nice and feels more to come from chocolate than hops. Tastes a little hot at times, that little boozy and wine like alcohol taste that is non too pleasant.

M: Pretty darn creamy and smooth, like silk really. Not at all sticky after I swallow.

D: For 9.5 it's a darn drinkable beer, surprisingly drinkable, until that alcohol taste rears it's ugly head. Surprised that I don't get some of it with every sip, either way it kinda kills this one for me.

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Photo of nickfl
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of light brown head on an opaque black body with some minor, ruby highlights. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Light chocolate and toffee with a dominant espresso note. Some caramel in the background and a hint of alcohol.

T - Coffee flavors up front with moderate malt bitterness. Sweet caramel in the middle with some spicy alcohol notes and dark chocolate. Strange interplay of sweet and bitter in the finish with an odd cherry note.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - The flavors are quite syrupy and a combination of excessively hot alcohol and a weird, cloying flavor in the finish makes for low drinkability. The big Harpoon beers seem to be pretty hit or miss and aside from the aroma this one is a boozy, sticky mess.

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Photo of Zorro
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An extra from a trade with Damian.

Clear deeply brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smell is sweet with a charred and soapy odor. Faint sour aroma with a slightly boozy Kahlúa. The scent is slightly syrupy.

The taste starts out sweet with a strong char aftertaste. Carrot stick taste from hops and patent malt combination. Fairly bitter aftertaste faint black licorice.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Don't really like this one, the balance is just off. Give me a Gonzo porter instead.

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Photo of SirDrinxAlot
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(My first Baltic Porter)

Poured black with a 1 finger tan head that dissipated quickly and left little lacing.

Smelled like roasted malt with a faint smokey smell, spice and light espresso.

Big chocolate, roasted malt, sour alcohol flavor with a lingering bitterness.

Rich and smooth with medium carbonation. Low drinkability for me in this beer. Not a big fan of the aftertaste it leaves. It might be that I just don't like the style. I'll have to try some others.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gift from Thorpe, thanks. Poured into a RR wine glass. Beer is brown dark and forms a thin off white / tan head of small bubbles that cling to the glass leaving lace lines. Looks good.

Aroma is very very weak and a little soapy.

Beer is medium to light in body and finishes really dry. Forward its a little sweet and it finishes OK. There is some alcohol in the forward palate and some bitterness at the back. Its OK, I've had better Baltic Porters.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2012 12 oz bottle poured opaque with red-brown edges. The small, weak head soon reduced to a ring but left lacing nonetheless.

Aroma: Dark fruits, alcohol esters and a touch of smoke.

Flavor: Fruity and boozy for style.

Feel: Full body with low carbonation.

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Photo of bamojr
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yet another great brew from the Leviathan series. I personally have never been a fan of porters, but this is one of the few exceptions in my book. Pours a very dark color with a fluffy tanish head that sticks around for a while. As is expected with the series it has a very high alcohol content that does so through in the flavors a bit but is by no means overpowering. Because of its strong flavors that accompany a good porter, it does not have the greatest drinkability but is still quite a tasty beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: black, opaque, tan 1 CM head, decent retention, heavy lacing

S: molasses, booze, chocolate, light hop presence, some coffee and more roasted notes

T: the chocolate notes are very bold and robust, the alcohol presence seems to be way too prevalent for the style... finish is hot and all booze which detracts from the nice chocolate notes

MF: thinner than its appearance would suggest, high carbonation... the body seems a little off for the style

D: too boozy and unbalanced for my liking... not bad on the flavor profile but there is a lot of room for improvement

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Party Source in Syracuse.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark cola brown with slight ruby outlines. A full two finger light tan head slowly crawls down the sides of the glass leaving a spotty layer of chunky stick. Smell is musty and malty with dark fruits and cocoa powder. Some cardboard, brown sugar, and brandy in the nose as well. Ehh, not a bad smelling beer, but by no means wonderful. Taste starts off with a warm booze flavor, dates, raisins, and fig. Midway smokey malts and molasses emerge on the tongue. Aftertaste burns in the back of the throat with a bitter chocolate flavor. If it wasn't for the over the top alcohol it wouldn't be too bad. Medium to full body with a smooth feel and flowing carbonation. Tough to put down because of the alcohol burn. Worth a shot, but an average beer overall.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
89 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.