Harpoon Leviathan - Great Scott - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - Great ScottHarpoon Leviathan - Great Scott

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BA SCORE
85
very good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elgiacomo on 05-02-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Leviathan Great Scott pays homage to the celebrated Wee Heavy Scottish Ales of the past. This beer is a full-flavored, full-bodied dark ale with a complex malt character. The hint of smokiness is a tribute to the peated malts that were historically used in Scottish brewing. Relax and enjoy with bagpipes playing in your head (kilt optional).

33 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 35
Photo of diesel59
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a big fan of the scotch ale style and I have to admit this stuff is right up there w/ Founders Backwoods Bastard... I am very impressed!!! I really don't know how they got all that flavor in there without a bunch of shit floating around...but they did... this is top shelf stuff and should be bought, hidden, hoarded, and enjoyed privatly as not to be shared w/anyone ... I think this is going to be a hot item... "STOCK UP!"

Photo of PrimScrewhead
4.56/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Malty, sweet, smokey & boozy. This is a great beer for the price and a fantastic representation of the style.

Beautiful deep amber in appearance.
Malt, sugar and alcohol is what you smell and malt, sugar and alcohol is what you taste. Finishes with a hint of smokey peat.

I liked this Wee Heavy offering over Dirty Bastard (it's OK at best) and Sam Adams (I liked that one more than most).
Maybe a push with Skull Splitter and Trinity Brewhouse's Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

You can usually get a 4-pack for under $10. For a beer weighing in at 10.2%, that's almost unheard of.
Fantastic choice for your 2nd or 3rd beer of the evening, when you have settled in and need something to savor.

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured room temp in shifts in sampling glass

A: very robust head; great carbonation action; dark ruddy copper color
S: very enticing malt, booze, and caramel; classic scotch ale aroma
T: smooth, seductive, deeply alcoholic taste; once again, a classic rendition of a scotch ale; very sweet; strongly hopped; peat, caramel
M: viscous, with muscle

This is a good one.

Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Scott opens rich and malty, the aromas drifting from the bottle heavy with caramel and brown sugar, with touches of vanilla. Rich, whole-grain rising bread dough brings earthiness, and a healthy does of orange, nectarine, and fig fruit esters adds lovely complexity. The nose also bears a slight smoky quality, like a wood burning stove full of pitchy pine smelled from afar, or peat moss. But sugars win out on the nose, providing a varied and compelling aroma that is especially heavy in fruits and candies, which play off the slight smokiness well.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a mimicry of this sweet smoky flavor, the sweets being quite sugary and providing caramel, brown sugar, orange, vanilla, and nectarine, as well as touches of cream and cherry/berry. The smokiness is quite subtle, but not so much that it’s overlooked, and adds a layer of peat. Crusty breads, rich yeasty dough, and floury baguette help offset the sugars, joined by just a touch of grapefruit and pine from the hops. The aftertaste is still heavy on sugars, but brings on a larger layer of smoke and grapefruit rind, slightly burning the soft palate. The high 10.2% ABV is slightly noticeable throughout the entire mouthful, but more so in the aftertaste, adding to the burn. Mouthfeel is a creamy medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent fare, being full-bodied and finely nuanced, the craftsmanship immediately apparent in the complexity and variance of flavors. The sugars especially are delicious, providing a malty sweetness that more brewers would do well to take notice of. The high alcohol content does get slightly in the way, especially late in the mouthful, and the beer needed just a touch more bread flavors to keep pace with the sugars, but there aren’t many Wee Heavies on the market better than this.

Photo of stumac
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Im a Scottish mofo so it was either this or Left Hand Smoke Jumper and I chose this fellow Scot. pours up a dark mahogany color with a quickly fading tan head. Aromas of molasses, sugar, toffee. Tastes of all of the above plus earthy smokey peat, some plum too. Big body, thick, smoothe yet has a harsh bite to it. Can't really detect the high booze. I'm all in!

Photo of JasonL
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now in used to the hoppiness of IPAs and Pale ales but I wanted to try a nice regular ale. Since im a fan of the harpoon brothers I wanted to try this.

Now I consider this ale more of a barleywine, because of it's high alcohol content, and also since its rich with a heavy malt presence. The first sip was rather a unique experience because I never tasted a beer quite unique as this. The smell was very sweet and the taste is very sweet. It has caramel and plum flavor to me and the taste lingers for quite some time. The mouthfeel is excellent as it is not overly carbonated, another note to it being a barelywine.

Overall this is a unique ale but very pleasant. Harpoon never seems to fail me as all their beers are made with such craft and dedication that you can taste it in the beer. Overall good experience.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into NB globe. Pours a rouby toned brown with a bit of off-white head. Sweet malts and dreid fruit aromas, and typical scotch aromas.
Its a bit smoky, but sweet malts, caramel, and dried fruit notes. Nice sweet vanilla like aftertaste. Big alcohol nose but smooth.
Overall, a really great wee heavy; most likely one of my favs.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle

A: Pours a mahogany color with a fingernails worth of head that fades to nothing within a minute

S: Nice fruity maltiness, cherries, plums, some sweetness, and a hint of smoked malts

T: Follows the nose. Nice and fruity, with notes of cherries, plums, and other darker fruits. Goes into a moderate sweetness and finally into a very light hint of smoke. Finishes with some residual sweetness and fruits. Alcohol not noticeable at all

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A very nice wee heavy with some great fruity flavors going on a just a hint of smoke as it fades away. For 10.2%, there is absolutely no noticeable alcohol and it's extremely easy to drink. A great brew in the Leviathan series, but mostly long gone at this point

Photo of DRyan
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle, poured into a Ranger Creek tulip glass

A: Pours a deep wooden brown with just a splash of red with a very minimal off white head that doesn't stick around at all or lace at all
S: mmmm. toffee, vanilla, some malty sweetness, some alcohol, really it smells more like a barleywine than what I'm expecting, but in a very nice way (I love good barleywine!)
T: Opens with toffee, middle is alcohol potency, and ends with just a mild hop bitterness, one of the tastiest wee heavy's I've had
M: smooth and velvety, again more in line with a barleywine
D: Very drinkable. I've been trying to sip this bottle and it's almost disappeared in the last 1/2 hour even though I'm intentionally going slow!

Photo of jdhilt
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Nice crystal clear, deep amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty dark fruit nose and flavor is malty caramel, dark fruit and hints of alcohol. Decent Scotch ale. $3.60 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Photo of pmacoy78
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served cold from a bottle in a snifter, sitting to get closer to room temperature.
Appearance: Lighter than most Scotch Ales. Off white one finger head is very light and dissipates quickly.
Nose: Brown sugar, molasses, Hint of Vanilla (maybe caramel?) Smells strangely like French Toast with a hint of peaty smoke.
Taste: Alcohol. Warm, Smokey. Light peat and brown sugar mix nicely to create a warm, comforting taste experience.
Mouthfeel: Lighter, less oily more than most Scotch ales.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Pours a crystal clear ruby red/brown color. the head is thin and white and dissipates fairly quickly. A thick blanket of spotty and clumpy lacing remains behind.

S: Fruity scents of raspberry and cherry. Hints of cocoa, bread crust, and a very subtle, vague spice. Faint kiss of smoke. ghost-like touch of alcohol. Grape skin.

T: Cocoa, mild crusty taste, grape skin. Sweet and malt-forward as it should be. Molasses and bread pudding. Warming, spicy alcohol toward the back end. Just the faintest whisper of campfire and smoke. Sweet finish of molasses, caramel, bread pudding, and fruits.

M: Thick, chewy, and a touch syrupy. Coats the mouth. Low carbonation. as bit creamy and smooth enough.

O: A good stab at the style. All the pieces are in place. An enjoyable beer, and a worthy entry into the Leviathan series.

Photo of facundoCNB
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a clean but very deep amber in color, finger of white head which quickly dissipated, lots of visible carbonation bubbles. smells of caramel, barley, heavy sweet maltyness like a barleywine, slightly fruity/wood scents. the flavor has more of a fruityness than expected, some cherry/raspberry but mildly there. lots of wood barrel, sweet malt, caramel. a very booze heavy beer, letting its presence known by stinging your gums and leaving a nice warmth in your chest. full body, moderate amount of carbonation. this is a very nice beer both in general and for the style. one of the best beers i've had from harpoon.

Photo of obrike
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4 pack at Specs in Round Rock for about 10 bucks.

This one pours a dark copper with a decent head that disappears quickly...a little lacing, but nothing much...fairly pedestrian looking beer.

Getting a caramel, cinnamon-booze infused scent. Very rich. The burnt malt is apparent in this one...some bitter peat or tea as well. Smells pretty good.

Taste follows...pretty boozy, but a warming, rich flavor. Sweet as hell, but not cloying. The spices (i'm getting cinnamon quite a bit) and rich malt are pretty tasty. I'd like to drink this one during the colder months...really savor it. Almost more of a treat beer or dessert beer. I will more than likely buy it again in Nov or Dec, but a little too big and sweet for me in the heat of July in Texas.

Nice job on this one Harpoon.

Photo of tigg924
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the New World Tavern. Served into a tulip glass.

Appearance: cloudy, dark chestnut brown in color, minimal head, low carbonation

Smell: caramel, peat, and flowers

Taste: deep caramel start, peat, and heather and other flowers--maybe a touch of lavender

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium-heavy body, high carbonation for the style--prickly

Overall: Outside of the aggressive carbonation, I really enjoyed this one. A bit boozy even for the style, it was good and complex. I would certainly get this again.

Photo of Brad007
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber with a one-finger head into my glass. Great Scott, Marty, it's a wee heavy!

Sweet, smoked peat reminds me of walking through a bog at dawn.

Great Scott, this is too damn sweet! Well, not totally. A nice alcohol bite shows, followed by spice and peat.

Lingering sweet, smoky peat flavors coat the back of the mouth. A welcome compliment with a meat dish? Don't ask me!

Check it out!

Photo of Celtics76
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this while preparing to grill a Greek pizza and watching the Sox continue to collapse. I poured it into a Red Hook Limited glass.

The head is thin/fizzy and quickly reduces to a ring around the glass. Dark brown in color with a smoky aroma. Appears to have very mild carbonation.

The aroma comes out in the taste - sweet smoky flavor with hints of caramel as it warms. Has a very heavy, syrupy feel to it. There's a solid alcohol burn which I don't mind, however the 10.2% ABV is quite obvious here.

This is a good representation of an Imperial Scotch Ale. I recommend letting it warm a bit before consuming, as serving it too cold causes the alcohol to overpower the complex flavors.

Photo of acevenom
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours slightly hazy copper with a light cream colored head that dissipates slowly. There appears to be abundant tiny bubbles rising in the beer. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass. The beer smells of sweet malts with some alcohol in the aroma. I pick up some of the peated malt as well. The alcohol is forward in the taste as well as some of those smoky and sweet flavors I'd expect from the malts. There's some back end bitterness and some dark fruit notes. It's a rich flavored beer. The body is full with moderate carbonation. The alcohol brings a nice warming quality, making it acceptable for a cool evening. The finish is fairly clean thanks to the carbonation. This is a very good beer.

Photo of puboflyons
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle served about 40 degrees. Sampled on October 7, 2012.

It pours a very attractive looking dark amber with copper hues throughout and a head that rises slightly than diminishes to a ring.

The aroma is malts, caramel malts, and more sweet malts. That is the best way to define it. Some boozy character but no smoky character as promised in the description.

The body is bold and creamy. I like that a lot.

The taste begins with a whole lot of malty sweetness and a more downplayed bitterness at the end that does not linger for very long. Still, as far as Scottish Wee Heavy's go, Harpoon has a pretty good rendition on the style.

Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 4-pack of this a few weeks back. Time to set my thoughts down in bits and bytes....

I poured most of 2 bottles into an old, large Rapscallion snifter. It's a deep, mostly clear, rich amber color. A bit too dark to make out what the carbo scene looked like, but the head was a touch off-white, thin, creamy and fine. Lacing was a bit on the sparse side. The nose was a somewhat sweetish, with some caramel, molasses and brown sugar. The body was a little more than medium, and it felt rather smooth going down.

Flavor is solidly sweet and malty, yet not cloying or syrupy. Caramel appears here again, plus more brown sugar, with hints that it was lightly caramelized. The smoky peat malts are on the faint side, but can be discerned if you look for them. Though lacking complexity, this is pretty tasty, overall. Would like to try a side-by-side with Sammys Wee Heavy. Cheers!

3.9/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1487

Photo of rlee1390
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Translucent ruby one finger head with some carbonation and slight lacing.

S-Rather malty, some caramel, tad bit of peat, dark fruits (plums?)

T-Caramel, little beat, some bitterness. Plums and other dark fruits. Not as much smokiness as I would have liked.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, a tad watery and even some alcohol heat.

O-A good scotch ale but a little too boozy and not enough smokey notes.

Photo of tigerbeer90
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this great scott from a bottle into a chalice. Malty with a bit of strawberry? This beer was overall a good beer. Not much alcohol taste, but a little bit of confusion in the mouth. From the darker color, I expected a little more. This is not as good as the imperial IPA, but worth a try.

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a small fizzy head that fades fairly quickly, over clear toasty wood brown colored beer.

Nose fairly typical scotch ale, some darker malts, brown malts, caramel, some molasses and toffee, toasty caramel reddish malts, light booze esters and fruits, and hint phenols, apple and nutty like fruit additions. As it warms big caramel and molasses like aromas come through, brown sugar, etc.

Taste starts with a nutty malt, some fruity esters from the booze as well as a touch of phenols, warming and slightly tingly booze come through quickly. Then malts set in, with plenty of brown malts, toasty reddish malts, lots of caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, etc, and a little fluffy even. It has a nice nutty toffee flavor throughout, and a hint of fruity flavor from the booze esters with a light strewed apple fig like flavor. Finish is slightly bitter with more sweeteners, slightly drier but still fairly sweet, lingering nutty flavors, brown malts, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, etc, and a bit of the warming booze.

Mouth is med to slightly bigger bodied, fluffy carbonation, some warming booze.

Overall OK, not the best scotch ale around but not too bad either. Decent malts and sweeteners, plenty of booze warmth with associated esters etc.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz plaid-clad fish bottle of the 2012 vintage pours a clear, light copper color with a small off-white head. Not much retention and lacing.

Nose is big, bold butterscotch, caramel and toffee. Lots of sweetness and pretty big alcohol.

Taste is better than the smell and appearance might indicate...maybe combined! The butterscotch flavors work well to soften the toffee and toasty aspects very nicely. The ABV is far more tame than I thought possible after the sniff test. Fairly sweet, and does not show some of the darker malt traits I typically like to see in a Scotch Ale...peat, smoke and even a bit of chocolate can be nice...but this beer is really tasty. This might be a good candidate for the cellar. Worth a purchase as most of the leviathan beers seem to be.

Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber to brown color, nearly clear. Requires two pours to tame the head, but this settles to rim bubbles which leaves some layered lace.

First impression is fresh paint, like when I was building model airplanes. Leans toward the darker malts albeit with a strong alcohol kicker.

Rich and malty with a touch of molasses sweetness. Lots of alcohol warmth. As advertised, this is a big beer. The swallow reminds me of a cross between Brandy and Scotch--that's how strong the alcohol is. Short aftertaste except for the strong aperitif warmth.

If you like the warm glow of alcohol, you'll love this beer.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Great Scott from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.