Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style AleHarpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

230 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 230
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 22
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 11-20-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 230 | Reviews: 103
Reviews by Flounder57:
Photo of Flounder57
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a Boulevard tuliped glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced and left nice lacing on the side of the glass. The beer is a nice mohogany crimson ruby red color with carbonation coming up through the center of the glass

Smell: sweet caramel and toffee malt aromas. Slight hints of banana and raisins. Super sweetness and alcohol hide a lot of other aromas.

Taste: Same as taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, alcohol is very boozy, medium to full bodied and easy to enjoy.

Overall: Over the past year I have become accustomed to barleywines and the many different breweries that produce them. Will be having more of these in the future.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first review on the newer updated BA.Poured into an imperial nonic a rich clear amber bronze with a 1/2 finger head atop that left a a broken ring of lace as it settled pretty quickly.Deeply fruity in the nose along with caramle malts,alot of sweet alcohol as well.Sweeter and alcoholic on the palate,somewhat hot it takes a little while to get used to,after awhile some fruity notes and leather-like flavors com in to play but it's still an acoholic monster.It looks great,feels great,and has alot going for it but it's hot and on the sweet side for my taste.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A cherry amber color with a thin tan head.
Caramel/toffee aroma, some citrus. Alcohol there.
Citrus hops up front in the taste, followed by the caramel/toffee malt. Kind of boozy.
Overall, a pretty nice barleywine. However, it was a little too alcoholic for me. Rather intrusive.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Orange/brown w/ light brown head
S - Alcohol, butter, bsicuit/breadiness, spiciness from esters
T - Butter, alcohol, subtle hop fruitiness, and a slight hint of wood
M - Medium bodied with a slight syupiness, but still a decent amount of carbonation
O - This is the best harpoon brew I have ever had, it is a pretty good english barleywine. The alcohol is one of the most prominent character that makes one of these beers really nice to have, but that is about all you can have. I would definitely get this beer again sometime.

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date though this beer is probably good to go for cellaring /aging if needed.

Clear dark copper color, egg shell colored head rises to the top of the pint glass and holds strong. Smells of shortbread, caramel, figs, peppery alcohol and a hint of toasted bread. Big creamy body with a smooth mouth feel. Fresh woody, minty, leafy and faintly orangey hops ride a pretty big wave of caramel maltiness. Hop bitterness is certainly there to balance. A little biscuity then the figgy flavors jump in with a peppery alcohol warmth. More leafy woody hop flavor in the semi-dry finish.

Sip after sip this beer grows on me more and more. Sure you could probably cellar this beer but it is drinking great now.

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wine glass at Bert's Landing, Plymouth--$2 draft of the day--great deal

Appearance: burgundy in color, hazy, 1/2 inch head that fades quick

Smell: caramel and pine

Taste: deep brown sugar and caramel start, the body contains figs--more brown sugar, piney hops, and bread, the end finishes a bit citrusy and still more bready brown sugar

Mouthfeel: sweet start followed by a bitter spike and a blend that lingers with a dry finish, medium-light carbonation, heavy bodied

Overall: A sipper but and enjoyable one. The hops do come out more than some other English barleywines that I have had. One of the better Leviathan beers I have had, yet there are others in the style I would go to first. A nice offering.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the brown sugar with some caramel malt and piney hops mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of sugar as well as some pine and orange notes. While there is some hop flavor, there is very little bitterness resulting in the beer being very sweet. The alcohol is barely detectable. Very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice overall.

Photo of jondeelee
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Harpoon's Leviathan series take on an English-style Barleywine begins with just about as sugary a nose as you could expect from this style, filled with berries (especially strawberry), banana, pear, and effervescent white grape. Brown sugar and a biscuit malt backing provide a counters, and hops supply a fresh citrus grapefruit spritzer backing.

On the tongue, the beer begins immediately sweet, the strawberry, banana, and pear notes translating perfectly to the tongue, almost bubble gum sweet in their fruit esters, and dominate the flavor profile for most of the mouthful. These are joined in lesser amounts by vanilla and pepper. Towards the end of the mouthful, as the sugars die off, the malts come into stronger play, bringing toasted grain and nut flavors, joined strongly by the 65 IBUs and their grapefruit/pine goodness, which have so far been mostly subsumed beneath the massive sugars (which tells you a lot about the sugar levels). The aftertaste is mainly hops, and lasts for a while. Mouthfeel is a thick medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is also medium to medium-heavy.

Overall, this is a good Barleywine, though I feel that the carbonation is a bit excessive, the sugars are slightly heavy, and the hops overly dominate the end of the mouthful. The beer doesn't--at least for me--match up to the excellent levels of Harpoon's other Leviathan beers. Don't get me wrong: this is still a good beer, but of the Leviathan beers that I've tried (which is all but one of them), this is towards the bottom of the rankings.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours orange tinted amber with 2.5” off-white foam collarthat grips the side of the glass.
S: Resiny, citrusy hops, sweet malt, dried fruit.
T: Begins with sweet malt, some light caramel notes, light fruit and a hint of dried apricot.
F: This is a full bodied luscious, chewy beer with medium carbonation
O: The big malt and hops mask the alcohol making for a deceptively drinkable beer.

Photo of lnashsig
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from October 2010- been cellaring since. Poured from bottle into DFH snifter. Pours a rich dark amber color, with a creamy off white head that stands on top of the beer. No receding. Some lacing stays on the side of the glass. A terrific looking beer. Smell- toffee, mocha, some grainy aromas, caramel. What I would expect from the style, very appetizing aroma. Taste- creamy mouthfeel, a rich sweet blast of dark fruits like prunes, raisins, dark cherries. Very little hop presence or bitterness, this is just a super smooth and drinkable barleywine. And, no heat whatsoever from the ABV- it is well hidden in the creamy sweetness that the beer offers. I enjoyed this one, will seek out again.

Photo of Aberration
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Good ol' Pint Glass.

A: This beer boasts a very nice red/orange hue to it. Looks fantastic.

S: Nose is very complex but I got a phenolic cherry smell almost, which put me off a bit. Other than that it smelled good. Esters and malt primarily.

T: The phenolic taste was there for me to go with the smell, but the taste was good though. Very complex with honey, spices, esters.

M: Full bodied barleywine, what else can be said?

O: Very good offering by Harpoon, I can't wait to age some of these and come back to them later when they've mellowed out!

Photo of Wegomlegging
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep clear brown pour with good head. Decent smell, mostly hops. Taste is also hoppy, also slightly sweet and malty with alcohol coming through in the middle of the swallow. Nice finish, but overall a little harsh. This beer is one that requires an open mind to enjoy.

Photo of bamojr
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is quite potent brew, as is par normal with the Leviathan series. It has a strong malty taste that rounds off quite nice on the tongue. This is one of the better beers in the leviathan series, which is saying something considering the caliber of this whole line. It does have a very strong alcohol flavor to it that I have not noticed quite so much in the rest of the series, but they still round this one out for an all around good beer.

Photo of BeerEngineer89
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Redder than most, this beer had virtually no head compared to the last one I had, with the same pour and glass. Not much going on in carbonation either, maybe I just got shafted.

S- Spicier than I would expect. It mixes fairly well with the malt, but their isnt enough going on to excite the senses too much. Some dark fruit just barely makes it through

T- The taste finally has me on the positive side. It immediately hit me with tons of malty, fruity, and spicy flavor. It might have some saaz in it for spiciness, but there is a pronounced citrus hop. The finish is nice and crisp.

M-I love how this feels, this could definitely be a session beer with the crispness.

D- I could drink this all day. In fact, I think I will.

CORRECTION-after checking, what i thought might be saaz was probably tettnang hops. close.

Photo of thagr81us
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wheat, and corn. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wheat, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. The aroma on this one really didn't do much for me. I honestly had the wheat and corn aroma you would expect off of an adjunct lager. However, the flavor didn't follow suit here and went to a more traditional and solid barleywine. A definite must try if you are a fan of the barleywine or curious alike.

Photo of Boozefox
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one tasty affordable barleywine! $10 for 4 12s at 10%? Right on.

A: Ruby brown, the same color as cran-apple juice, with a thin white head that fades quickly into light but persistent fine-bubbled lace.

S: Lots of alcohol sweetness and some spicy, citrusy, piney hops. Malt thoroughly present in the back of your nose.

T: starts off really clean, gets interesting quickly. Straight from clean and alcoholic and fizzy-fuzzy into citrus-spice hops and heavy caramel malt. Swallow and you get more interesting flavors from the hops: lemons and apples and oranges and a minty sort of heat, among others and a very classic hop flavor. Finish is thick in your throat, heavy on caramelized malt flavors but with even more sweetness from the high alcohol content, but still spicy and hot in the rest of your mouth.

M: Creamy and oily, easy to imbibe, but then thick and coating after the swallow. Interesting, indeed, and helps mask the 10% alcohol content.

D: Pretty good in my experience, for a barleywine. Not a Pilsner, of course, but it's not hard to drink by any means.

Pairs well with spicy foods: Vindaloos and hearty meaty spicy stews of the western variety, as well.

Photo of Bung
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz picked up at Grapevine.
An amber pour, layer of off white head. Sticks fairly well to the snifter.

Sweeter aroma, candi and light brown sugar. Some malt in there, fruitcake and barely a hint of some citrus hops.

Taste was not as sweet. Some tart and sour mash like qualities. There doesn't seem to be much malt or anything associated with it. Caramel, toffee are barely present. Earl Grey with some lemon and a pinch of sugar. Finishes with the tea and light fruitcake. Little bit smokey tobacco.

Thinner bodied, probably helps the drinkability here. Alcohol is neither under or over represented.

Not really too keen on this one.

Photo of puboflyons
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2010 batch stamped #316. Uncellared and sampled on June 16, 2013.

The pour is a handsome looking copper-amber with reddish hues sparkling along the edges when held to the light. Moderate tan head that sticks around until the end. Great clarity.

Sweet barley malts and caramel greet me on first whiff with a notable pear or apple fruitiness tearing up the rear. The hop bitterness is distant and there is no boozy aroma.

The body is medium and the texture is smooth.

While the taste entertains me with a solid sweet and caramel malt character, the hop makes itself much more pronounced at the end. Slightly boozy taste but not on the nose. Still, not something that makes me shun this one - rather it makes me enjoy it even more.

Here is a barleywine that has aged remarkably. I only wish I had another.

Photo of danmcg62
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured into a snifter. Pours an amber color with not much head to speak of.

S-Real strong smell with this one. Raisins come to mind, malty, lots of alcohol. Not much else comes to mind.

T-Citrusy taste (oranges, red grapes). Figs and other sweets come to mind. Can definitely taste the 10% alcohol.

M-Thin, liquidy feel.

O-Overall not too bad. Definitely need to take your time this one. The 10% ABV is very evident.

Photo of dutchlq7
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Tulip glass

Appearance- poured a ruby brown color, with a off white creamy head.

Smell-I get hints of caramel, raisins and bread.

Taste-A caramel, bready taste up front then a grassy hop and peppery finish. More going on but cant pick out specifics.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and a bit heavy, leaves a dry finish.

Drinkability- A good barley wine, maybe it should be aged to mellow it out but i enjoyed it and it left me wanting more after every sip.

Photo of MLasoski
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle marked with a number "316." Not sure if that has to do with the bottling date.

A: Poured into a Victory Golden Monkey tulip glass. A solid 1/4" thick head stayed above the mahogany body. Lots of sediment in the body too which could have been from me keeping it on its side in my chiller. Lacing sticks around as I drink sip by sip.

S: This has a very sweet and boozy smell when sniffed over the glass. The ABV already told me I'd run into this characteristic anyway, most likely.

T: Well, luckily the sediment didn't negatively effect the taste. The alcohol overpowers all; however, it does present itself smooth enough to swallow down.

M: Boozy up front with a malty and sour taste at the end, which has been my overall experience with English barleywines. When sipping, the beer doesn't allow for much of a big gulp per se. Once sipped, you feel almost forced to put it down and savor it.

D: I partially answered this already; however, this is more of a one-and-done deal for me. I'd much rather seek out other English barleywines than this; however, I wasn't disappointed with this either. The ABV isn't as masked as I hoped it would be.

Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip at approximately 44 degrees.

Appearance: Red-Bronze in color, reminds of Indiana clay. Good 1.5 inch egg-shell colored head with excellent retention.

Smell: Hops and grass, golden raisins and prunes with a hint of coriander, then the alcohol hits. This definitely smells like it's got some alcohol to it, and it doesn't hide it too well.

Taste: Malt followed by prunes, caramel, and hops. The hop balance is good, they're not too citrusy or bitter, they compliment the malt flavor well. The lightly bitter hop taste is followed by a light alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel- thick but flowing, it's silky on the tongue.

Overall: This is a decent barley, I've certainly had better but I would drink this again, it's moderately priced, and I think I got what I paid for.

Photo of gtermi
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a very dark brown with a nice red tint. The head is about three inches thick and slowly fades to nothing. It leaves a nice amount of lace around the glass too.

S: This has a very sweet pineapple smell to it. You also get a bit of sweet malt and a little bit of fruit.

T: I am getting a lot of sweet malt. There is some fruity tastes to this beer that linger on my tongue for a long time. I am honestly not too impressed with the taste.

M: The beer is relatively smooth and easy to drink. There is a little bit of crispness on the back of the throat, but it doesnt really bother me.

O: The taste on this is very weak to me. It has a lot of good qualities and hopefully with age it will take a lot better. I remember liking this more the last time I had it.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: ruby mahogany beer with quickly thinning head, followed by clingy lace

S: sweet malt, some toffee, some citrus and pine

T: lightly sweet, notes of oak wood, caramel toffee, and piney citrus - malt and hops vie for supremacy

M: a little sticky, medium body, some alcoholic atringency

O: tonight is barleywine night apparently, as this is my 2nd of a possible 3 (let's see how I feel after this one's gone, eh?) - this is an excellent barleywine, being directly compared to Uinta's Anniversary Barleywine Ale - I'd say the Harpoon Leviathan is a tad sweeter and lacks the barrel-aged oakiness, but presents a more sweet malt character with some more notes of flavor (the pine and citrus, for example) - Harpoon's is more similar to other barleywines I've had, but still establishes a dry character that I especially enjoy. This is a good night for barleywine in my house.

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

reviewed from notes, poured into a pint glass

very dark brown. Very thick looking on the pour with a minimum amount of head coming up through it. A bout a half inch of off white foam rose up through it, but then quickly settled down into a thin film,

Smell - The aroma was loaded down with caramel. Lots of spices in the nose here as well. Hints of raisins and figs, light earthy, roasted malts and a good touch of alcohol. Very complex nose, and unique for the style. Rich tastes of oak and vanilla, hints of roasted malts and caramel. Very tight and nicely done. A bit of alcohol, just enough to thicken it up a bit. A really nice and very full barley wine. Finish was strong, with a healthy dose of d spice lingering in the mouth for what seemed like forever.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
86 out of 100 based on 230 ratings.