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Harpoon Leviathan - Great Scott - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Leviathan - Great ScottHarpoon Leviathan - Great Scott

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 12.86%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.54/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Appearance: Deep amber-hued body, clear, with a scant, beige head.

Smell: Mildly smoky, mildly sweet-scented caramel, with bready notes, faux strawberry, and a double shot of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, with a light nuttiness of toasted cashews. Also, toasted bread. Low peat character. Mingled, mangled berries and peppery herb as a sharp acetone burn sets in. Sweetish, toasty/nutty finish with a final kick of booze.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Some stick, some burn present.

Overall: Guh! Like eletronic packaging, I'm really, really trying to get into this, but, at this point, I'm ready to just chuck it in the trash.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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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Photo of jdhilt
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear tawny amber with a slight reddish/brown hue. Off-white collar and thin skim of bubbles coated the top of the beer. Malty aroma, sweet caramel and toffee, hint of smoke, light alcohol, slight rose character. Low bitterness, biscuit, toffee and caramel in the flavour. Full bodied, light carbonation, lingering warmth. Decent overall, but a bit one note.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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


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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of stumac
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty darn good, but I'm beginning to realize that's just one of the glories of the style. It's a beautiful, dark amber in the middle of my Leviathan glass that fades to orange highlights. The head is a thin collar of off-white sustained by a gentle rain of bubbles.

Smells of strawberry and distant molasses with the sandy dryness of peat. There's a touch of booze swirled in as well. Overall, it's surprisingly fruity.

Ack! The flavor starts out very dim and and smooth with a touch of fruity seltzer, but waves of peat and an entirely unsuited hop come in, confusing my palate. I'm not getting this at all. The aftertaste is the same, with two competing senses of bitter, hops and peat. Bleah. Either of the two alone would be nice, but together, they just compete. In the midst of all of this, there's a very solid and pleasingly sweet malt. If the hops were backed out of this, I suspect it would be quite remarkable. If I sip this one a bit quicker, the dissidence isn't so bad, but a bit of booze comes out.

Feels dense yet clean with a nice scrub of little bubbles. Nice. Considering this is 10.2%, the cleanness is much appreciated.

I think I may be being too picky with this one, but ultimately I'm just one enjoying it. And I had to get a 4-pack! If hoppy Scotch Ales are your thing, you may be in heaven here.

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Photo of ksimons
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-a medium brown toffee color with some orange highlights and a thin layer of white head

S-rich sticky malt, raisins, toffee, and fruit like sweetness.

T-Similar to the smell but with more hops than I was expecting from the smell. Strong alcohol taste, a bit of a cough syrup aftertaste.

M-medium to full body, light to medium carbonation

Overall the beer started out promising but the taste seemed a bit off. Maybe its the peat? Doesn't seem to fit in with the sweetness of the beer.

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Photo of Celtics76
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, unknown date, but fresh release. Served at around 45F and allowed to warm through the review.

Pours clear red/copper with a small off-white head that quickly recedes to a wispy cap and ring, leaving some short-lived lacing behind.

Aroma features fruit such as apples and pears, some peaty smokiness, caramel, toffee, some herbal hops. Very good strength.

Flavor is also rather fruity with cherries, apples, pears, some peat, notes of toffee and molasses, moderate sweetness, mild bitterness, alcohol is there and the finish isn't the best...tastes kind of like watered-down Robitussin on the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty sticky, good carbonation.

Solid Wee-Heavy, but not great. The Robitussin-esque finish is keeping me from fully enjoying this one.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of hreb
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

4 pack of 12oz bottles; no date given. Beer pours reddish orange but surprisingly pale for a scotch ale. Aroma is phenolic and slightly sweet. Flavor is similarly fruity. As promised by the Leviathan series the flavors are really big here, and so is the ABV. There's no overpowering bitterness or chalkiness, just big scotch ale flavor profile. I don't get much smokiness or caramel, unfortunately.

Fans of this particular style of wee heavy may really like this, but I'm just not a huge fan.

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Photo of acevenom
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of obrike
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Great Scott from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
85 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.