1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

358 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 358
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 42
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: lpayette on 11-16-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 358 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black with very minimal head, aroma coming off this is quite strong and boozy. Smells pretty strong of raisins and dark fruits. Taste has a nice malt backbone. I'm getting some caramel and some raisin with some hotness of the alcohol. Nice and sweet like a porter with a kick. Fairly drinkable, might benefit from a little age to balance the hotness out. Solid baltic porter.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown in color, nearly black. A little bit of a bubbly white head in spots.
Smell is heavily roasted malts and a little bit of licorice.
Taste is much roasty and smokey. This is not your typical baltic porter. A little tough to get used to.
This is more like a roasted coffee, chocolate porter. Flavor is getting better as it warms. A little thin in the mouthfeel, but very good carbonation.
Easy drinking and enjoyable.

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass and produced a nice looking near-black beverage with a nice inch high head. Decent retention and lacing.

Aroma of dark chocolate, malty and sweet, and slightly roasted dark malts. A lot of cooked caramel aroma in that sweetness, like when you're making caramel apples... No hop aroma.

Flavor parallels the aroma. Dark chocolate bitterness, a little bourbon sweetness and boozey licorice flavor at the end.

Medium/full bodied, light carbonation which is great for the style, feels thick on the palate. Lingering flavor of that sweet booze.

Despite the high abv, I would probably have more than one. Good flavor and apperance. Not the best, but a damn good representation of its style. Would definitely have again.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very drinkable baltic porter. A bit of the BP edge, but mostly tastes closer to a RIS with chocolate malting. A little roast. Smooth and good drinkability. Pours dark, smells malty. Something I would keep several in the fridge if I could.Sweetish yet balanced.

Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra, but can't exactly remember from whom. Thank you, whomever you are! Served in my Pisgah pint glass.

A - A half finger of late-rising tan foam with some big bubbles. Dissipates to a ring and a bit of haze after a minute or so. Not much in the way of lacing. Transparent when held to the light, displaying a bit of suspended sediment, and a nice deep mahogany color. Wish there had been a little more head volume and retention.

S - Potent nose of dark roasted malts, smokiness, some espresso, a bit of baker's chocolate, and a note of dark fruit. It's a little bit no frills in the world of hoppy/coffee/barrel-aged/chocolate-infused porters, but it's still quite pleasant.

T - Taste is very similar - with more of a dark chocolate vibe and less of the smokiness found in the nose. There are some dark fruit elements and a touch of caramel in the mix as well. The finish is full of roasty and espresso type bitterness that lingers for a while.

M - Carbonation is fairly active - a little more than I prefer but not totally off-base for the style. Thick, viscous, full-body that is quite oily and smooth. Fairly sticky finish with a bit of heat building after a half-bottle.

D - This is a pretty solid "plain jane" Baltic Porter - one of the better brews I've tried in the Leviathan series. It was pretty easy to consume the whole 12oz bottle and I'd consider having it again.

Photo of gford217
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark, dark brown that's nearly black in the glass underneath a big creamy tan head that shows very good retention and lacing.

The aroma is dominated by dark roasted malts and lots of milk chocolate. It's pretty sweet for the style and has hints of roasted coffee. It smells almost like a mocha with a shot of espresso.

The taste is also dominated by the roasted dark malts and has a little more coffee than the aroma. There are definitely hints of lactose and milk chocolate.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated and it's fairly smooth and less roasty than I was expecting in the finish.

This is a very good beer from Harpoon but it's not at the top of my list of porters as the lactose is a little out of place in the taste and the body probably doesn't stack up to the best in the style. Still, a good beer.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a decent inital 1 finger head with a dark brown color. Lacing fades half way through. Appearance is not a huge deal to me, so I adjust

Smell is of chocolate malts with hints of cocoa and coffee and a bit of licorice.

The taste is outstanding. Very chocolatey and smooth, any roastiness is perceived as smooth on the palate. Low bitternes, no harshness. Caramel malts balance ou the chocolate malts and minimal roast exquisitely.

Smooth, slick mouthfeel.

This is outstanding for the style. The richness of dark malts with a backing caramel malt sweetness and a slick mouthfeel makes for one hell of a beer. I would have never guess in a million years that the abv was so high.

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/2 inch head,

Smell: roasted malt and some cocoa

Taste: roasted malt, some cocoa, a touch of cream, and a bit of nut in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, dry, semi-sweet

Drinkability: I think this is above average for a baltic porter. It hits the style without pushing the envelope. I do like how the alcohol is not overpowering. I look forward to finishing the four pack, but may not get this again. A perfectly above average beer.

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served at 48 degrees in my New Belgium Globe glass. No freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured two shades shy of black with a loose, half inch, khaki-colored head. Head eventually recedes into a broken skim. Some thick bands of lacing revealed during the tasting with decent adhesion. Big chocolate nose and dark fruit. Taste follows nose, but also a bit of lactose in the mix and some acidity that comes out at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a somewhat lively carbonation level - lactose gives it a slightly creamy texture. Really tasty, with a well-hidden abv. I'm usually not big on the style, but I'm loving this one. Another outstanding brew from the Leviathan series.

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pretty darned black, not much head, leaves of white ring.

S - Cocoa, mostly, sharp notes on finish.

T - Nice muted cocoa, chocolate milk, cookies and some coffee.

M - Good carb and balance, aggressive enough to keep interest.

D - A nice brew.

Photo of sisuspeed
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had one last bottle of this sitting around from last winter and decided I should give it a review.

Poured this fairly aggressively and produced a nice tan head. The color is dark and murky, with maybe the slightest red tinge to it.

Mmmm, the aroma is chocolatey, roasted malts mingled with some wood notes. Reminds me of walking through a pine forest in the middle of winter, accompanied by a warm crackling fire. The smell of wood and some smoke. There is also something sweet there as well. Possibly fruit, cherries.

The flavor is strong roasted and smoked malts. Followed by some chocolate malts and a little bit of fruit. The finish is intertwined with a bit of warming alcohol and licorice. Overall, roasty and dark. I remember there being more of a cherry presence when I drank a couple of these last winter, but I'm not getting too much of that flavor now. I wonder if that flavor is only good while the bottles are fresh off the line.

In conclusion, this is a nicely done baltic porter and a good addition to the Leviathan series. Hoping Harpoon produces more of this for the coming winter. At 9.5% ABV it warms you up nicely.

Photo of abuliarose
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a rounded goblet, revealing a dark opaque body with an appealingly thick tan head. Lacing slips down the inside of the bowl. It doesn't appear very viscous. Smells roasty, savory and upon swirling hints of candied cherry are released.

Tastes roasted and chocolaty with a fine carbonation and pleasantly bitter finish. The alcohol vapor is laced with rich red cherry undertones. Quite warming. Medium-bodied thickness with a smooth but dry mouthfeel. The dryness makes this one more of a sipper after awhile, otherwise it tastes great.

This one would be fun to age, I imagine. Quite an enjoyable brew is this; one of my favorites from Harpoon.

Photo of Gtreid
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A: Hazy, dark brown, very dark. The pour only produced about a half finger of kahki head that quickly receeded and left no lace.

A: Rich, dark chocolate, and coffee. Nice aroma from the roasted malts. Some light dried fruit, grassy hops, and alcohol are present as well.

T: Chocolate, coffee, and roasty nutty flavor. I get a little sourness from the dried fruit, but not as much of an earthy taste as I would prefer. Beer finishes dry with some alcohol heat.

M: Aggresive carbonation delivers the flavor nicely. Medium body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is just slightly above average here. Overall, this is a fine beer. Nothing I'm gonna go ga ga over, but I'm enjoying this as it warms to room temp. Worth the try, but nothing I'll go out of my way to get. Skal.

Photo of Berthold
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured at SRM30+ dark brown with ruby red when backlit and a thin, tan head. Rich malty aroma with chocolate, toffee and licorace complex notes.Deeply roasted but not burnt. Thick rich dark maltiness with a slight 'juniper' taste. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. Clean finish with warming from alcohol. The flavor profile changes complexity as the beer warms slightly. A very drinkable beer.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice deep brown cola color with just enough head to get by.

S: Light licorice smell with a touch of what I call "baltic-ness". A touch of sweetness in the malt too.

M: Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Not too shabby here. Very drinkable in the way of how it is a beer. Not my favorite Baltic Porter but still a very good beer.

Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from Abe's Cold Beer for a couple bucks. Appeared black with a light tan head in my glass. I though it made a great dessert beer and was a pretty good recreation of the style. I'd like to try is side-by-side with some of the classic baltic porters. The flavor was a mix of dry cocoa with dark fruit that come off closer to a cola taste to me. Still, it hits the marks (and hits them well) of being a relatively drinkable strong lager with both chocolate and fruit flavors. Very tasty and worth a try if you can find it.

Photo of mikereaser
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
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

Photo of CampusCrew
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice one Harpoon!

appearance: deep dark black, pure ebony, loaded head and creamy froth.

smell: no hops, and slight chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, sweet aftertaste and pleasant, goes great with dark bitter chocolate

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: One of the top imperial porters out there. Loved and will drink again

Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 bottle to a pint glass; one of two bottles received from a kind New England trader. A little surprise: this is my first Harpoon beer.

Label is a wicked-looking monster of a fish from the depths of the sea. A single orange eye aglow, a crimson glint off its menacing fangs.

A: Held to light it's a dark cola-brown, though it looks black enough otherwise. Slight reddish tint, a swarm of carbonation...but a also a fine cloud of suspended yeasty bits (this isn't more than 4-5 months old). Fairly strong head, a sandy-tan 1/2 finger at first, falls to a clinging ring and a couple small blots of film. Almost no lace.

S: Smells as grainy and fruity and chocolate-y as it should: caramel, cocoa, nuts, soda, and a little grape drink. Robust from start to finish.

T: Rich and ripe fruit, chocolate covered. An earthy berry and light coffee. Leans a little more toward an American Porter than a Euro-Baltic, much more roast and hop bitterness. Laced with vanilla and a little woodiness. Spiced sweetness in the finish, then lip-smacking caramel. Continues to open, develop as it warms. Terrific multi-layered flavor profile.

M: Burst of carbonation, then a mellow, mouth-filling coating. Hint of alcohol warmth, a tingling spice. Medium-full body with lasting sticky malts.

D: Big Boy beer, probably the heftiest of the Baltic Porters I've tried. As such, it's a sipper...but a tasty one. Nice flavor and aroma and a special mouthfeel. I won't rave about it, but I'm glad to have enjoyed it (twice). Worth seeking.

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

Appearance: deep reddish brown. Murky, but bright in front of the light. Big fluffy head. *Looks* like a Big Beer.

The aroma is heavy raisin and dark grape. Some roasted mocha and coffee. Dark and rich. Hint of dark sweetness. Dark cherries and oak.

The taste is bitter, bitter dark marlt. A bit sugary but also slightly sour. Grape, dates, raisins. A MAJOR burn on the way down, like rum. Burnt cookies.

The feel is creamy and milky. Smooth and buttery; no grit. This beer is seriously bitter and hefty. A slow sipper and a beast, but a delicious beast.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into pint.

A- Pours black. Little read on this one. I'd say the color is bullseye for porter.

S- Sweet, like dried fruit. Something behind the initial sweetness, but I can't put my finger on it.

T- Smoky sweetness. The sugary sweet hits the back of the tongue. Very well done, complex taste. Coffee, smoke, and brown sugar come to mind. Hint of spice, as well as booze. Very nice.

M- Very well done. The alcohol isn't hidden, but it isn't overpowering, either. Very impressive @ 9.5%.

D- It's a toss up. I like porters, but don't usually drink more than 1. This beer is no exception, although I enjoyed it all the way down. Very filling.

Photo of Damian
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl oz bottle purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits, Somerville, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a deep, dark mahogany color (approaching near black) with a two-finger, super bubbly and frothy cap of foam. A bit thinner and lighter in color than some of the more extreme examples of this style. The head slowly faded to a thick, bubbly collar.

The aroma was somewhat mild initially. Powdery, roasty and smooth with some crisp, lager-like qualities. Slightly smoky. As the head dissipated and the beer warmed, the aroma became much sweeter, stronger and more complex. Coffee and dark chocolate notes were apparent.

The taste was rich and robust. Dark malts and espresso notes came through up front. Plums, raisins, brown sugar, anice, semi-sweet chocolate and spices were noticeable in the center. The finish was crisp, dry and moderately hoppy. Some booziness appeared as well, along with a bit more spice. By the end of the glass, the finish turned pithy, dry, woody and a touch acrid.

The mouthfeel was a touch thinner than I anticipated with a very fine and mild carbonation.

At 9.5% ABV, this was a flavorful yet surprisingly drinkable version of a Baltic porter.

I was blown away by Harpoon's Triticus Ale and I have been impressed with all of their subsequent Leviathan releases. Keep 'em coming!

Photo of BeerNinja007
2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color porter with a huge light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aromas of black chocolate and roasted malt are well balanced and quite enjoyable. Taste is also a well balance mix between some lightly bitter roasted malt notes with some dry black chocolate. Body is a bit thin with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. A fuller body and more chocolate notes would have made this a pretty perfect Baltic Porter but this is very good nonetheless.

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a roofing tar black body with a thin wispy light tan head on top.
A big whiff of coffee liqueur fumes up at first pour. A smell of burnt rye bread, earth, chocolate, and horse barn are all quite noticeable. Very Nice!
Coffee, molasses and rye bread make up the main malt characteristics. Mild limey tartness along with a light metallic bitterness attempt to offset the large maltiness. No little avail. However, a big whopping tequila-like alcohol bite factors through.
This is a likeable big brew, though it is a bit over-the-top for the style.

Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
89 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.