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Harpoon Leviathan - Czernobog - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Leviathan - CzernobogHarpoon Leviathan - Czernobog

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

31 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 128
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 23.33%
Wants: 14
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheManiacalOne on 12-01-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 128
Photo of puboflyons
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on Nov 27, 2015.

It pours dark brown to near black with a modest tam head.

The aroma is basically sweet with a good character of caramel malts in there.

Medium smooth body.

Notable caramel malt sweetness in the taste but also a cellar-aged mustiness in this. Seems like it has been around and I enjoy that.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quite black pour with very little brown head. Aroma is mostly roast malt with a faint smokiness. Flavors are of cocoa with a mild sweetness, very roasty, and slight hint of ripe fruit. Very balanced and clean finish make this super drinkable for the style. Alcohol is well-hidden.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brief write-up. The aroma doesn't blow me away, as it's muddled in its roast and chocolate notes. It tastes a bit more defined, and actually has some solid depth. I get chocolate, roast, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, and char. While it has a light mouthfeel, it's pretty easy to drink for the style - I do like how dry it is in spite of the 10%. Not a world-beating RIS, but I really enjoy it regardless.

3.63/5: Standard imperial stout, but done the way I like the style to be made

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Photo of Bisco42
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought this RIS was absolutely delicious. Served at room temperature, and into a Tulip. Two finger head that did not quit, remained for longer than most. Thick and nearly creamy in MF. Had all the delicious qualities that I was looking for and hid the high abv incredibly well. Reminded me a lot of Lagunitas' RIS.
This beer would be outstanding if it were to have cocoa and/or coffee added. Awesome for the price point too!!

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Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Two-finger, beige head. Deep, dark brown color--no light passes, even on the edges. Good starting head, but it settles to rim bubbles. They do not leave much lace--a couple of streaks.

Burnt grain and alcohol are the main aromas from this beer. A bit of chalk and chocolate.

The flavor profile begins with the black patent malt up front. Think burnt toast. There's no creaminess to this beer--just pure coffee and Baker's chocolate. The body is thin like many in this style. The carbonation is high.

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Photo of Abra
3.21/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours jet black with a mocha head.
Aroma is very interesting...initially quite sweet with molasses, candied fruit, dark chocolate, a little toasted caramel.

Taste definitely incorporates the sweet molasses flavor, but the bitterness overwhelms it rather than evening it out and it didn't add any complexity to it other than being overtly bitter. Mouthfeel was very light and watery, which I expected a heavier stout like creaminess.

The reviews on this are very good, so it's quite possible I came across a bad bottle.
The aroma was excellent, but past that, I couldn't finish the glass. It didn't blend well at all for me.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 0.5L Duvel Tulip

A: Dense light brown head. Opaque body. Head fades fairly quickly.

S: Dark rich aromas, roasty, boozy, slight black olive.

T: Rich chocolate roast, fairly low bitterness, slightly sweet. Very well made.

M: Nice and dry, not overly filling.

D: A very well made stout, conplex and full of flavor. Would drink again.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2012 brew I saved and poured into pint glass at cellar temperature.
A: Pours jet black color no light coming through and a thick dark tan head that settles to a layer of bubbles.
S: Full on burnt and chocolate roasted barley aroma with a big layer of dried dark cherries and currants. Some mocha coffee adds to the char and ups the complexity. Some earthy hop notes trickle through and a bit of alcohol on the nose.
T: Very roasty and some bitter coffee and dark chocolate wrestle with the dark, dried fruit of cherries and currants. There are a lot of layers here and as you keep going there is a smokiness that gets into the mix. Some earthy hop notes come to balance some of that intense malt character.
M: Full body and medium carbonation with some alcohol warmth that is welcomed and not too hot.
O: One of the best Harpoon beers I have had and certainly the best Leviathan Series brew I have had yet! It is rich and complex but yet not totally a sipper. The flavors demand more sampling and it is not overly strong or sweet. Loved this beer and found it aged nicely!

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Photo of shand
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Czernobog is an imperial stout that really offers average by any mean for the style. It pours out black with a small head. The aroma is a slightly oversweetened dark fruit and roast deal. The taste isn't as sweet as the nose, but a big milk chocolate note comes in that works a bit awkwardly with the big roasty finish. The two don't quite play along properly, but it's otherwise tasty. The mouthfeel seems a little light to me, but the drinkability is pretty good. Overall, Czernobog is a decent RIS, but nothing more. Some oddities here and there keep it from greatness.

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Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage from this past winter.

Pours a very dark creamy 1/3 finger head that fades at a med pace, a bit of lacing, typical for a 10% RIS, pitch black beer, no light coming through, some decent legs as well.

NOse brings some black malt, some dark roasted malts as well, a little burnt coffee with the burnt roasted malts, faint caramel and cocoa, with all that comes a light fluffy nougat for a nice candy bar effect, a light fusel alcohol, and faint earthy chewy hops.

Taste starts with dark malts again but not as crazy dark roasty as I expected, starting with some burnt roast but not a lot, a little black malt and burnt coffee, it does get a little acrid thanks to those flavors. Some creamy baker's chocolate like a baker's choc cut with milk, and even chewy oats. Again the light fluffy nougat fills it out, with a faint caramel and even faint hint of vanilla like. Bitterness comes out thanks to some bitterness from the earthy chewy hops as well as the light roast bitterness character. Booze is there with some warmth but not a lot, mostly a clean booze. Finish is drier but still sticky sweet, a tingly slightly solventy booze comes out this time, with more very dark bitter chocolate, faint roast and black malt, and earthy chewy hops lingering.

mouth is fuller bodied, some warming and tingly booze, lighter but decent carb, thick and a bit creamy as well as chewy and lush.

Overall not bad, it's not something I would be raving about, but not too bad, the acrid over roasted burnt flavors are there but not too much, decent other malt flavors and decent hops, booze starts OK but get a little much, I bet some age would help this a lot.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity, but little bubbles coming up the top of the glass.

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, roasted coffee, smoke, burnt molasses, dark fruits, and toasted malts.

Taste: Very tasty. All of the above with a little booze and espresso in the end. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and warmed up nicely when beer was let to get close yo room temperature.

Overall: Pretty solid beer. I would buy this one again.

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Photo of yourchoice
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Nearly pitch black with a quickly receding tan head.

S - Rich, plum, figs.

T - more rich character. Figs and plums found in the smell with a slight chocolate and toffee flavor. Also a touch of tobacco. Slightly sour finish which I find pleasing.

M - seems to cover the tongue, being both sweet and slightly sour.

O - I recommend this for any Impy fan. A lot of character.

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Photo of Brad007
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours the tint of the blackest hole in the bleakest universe. Looks like one mean mother.

Molasses, dark fruit and a touch of chocolate on the nose. Seems balanced in the nose and doesn't automatically hit you a blast of roasted coffee.

After it warms up in the mouth, I get the sensation of toffee, coffee, molasses, cocoa and a touch of cream. The alcohol is there but fades after the first swallow.

Cocoa dominates the mouthfeel with the alcohol warming up the throat. Very filling in a sense.

I like this. I think aging a bottle would really bring out more of the complex flavors without the alcohol warmth.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single 12oz bottle purchased for $3 at The Beer Store in Nashua, NH. Bottle is stamped with the year, 2012. Served cold in a tulip.

A: A hard pour generates 1/2" of dense brown foam that settles rather quickly without leaving much behind. A small meniscus clings to the edge of the glass. The brew is pitch black and has a cloudy appearance.

S: A fair amount of dark roasty stuff. Very faint aroma of stone fruit, plums. Not much at all going on, but it is still pretty cold. The smell does wake up a bit with warmth, mirroring the taste, but still remains subdued.

T: Really complex and full flavor, much nicer than the subtle smell. The palate is completely covered front to back, side to side, by a large soft seemless wave of black malt, prunes, coffee, cocoa, hints of licorice and mint. The prune really takes charge as the brew warms, I really enjoy this dark fruity aspect. Also with warmth, a sour note develops and quickly becomes quite prominent, like the center of a plum right next to the pit.

M: Moderately thick with a soft and ample carbonation. Finishes dry. No sign of ethanol.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, oily appearance with a very short deep brown colored head. Robust, huge malt and molasses on the initial front of the aroma. Smoked wood, oak, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and nuts. Colossal punch of chocolate malt, roasted espresso beans and creamy, milky molasses. Smoke and alcohol in the body gives this brew a bourbon-like complexion. Moderate tones of vanilla, cherry and other dark fruits make their way into the overall texture. Creamy, robust mouthfeel with a chocolaty finish.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Am always up for an Imperial Stout.... so when I saw this at Ayotte's ($10.69 for a 4-pack) I pounced.... Going with two 12oz bottles, and a small tulip...

Poured a deep, dark chestnut, unlike the oily black of some Impys... Head was a creamy, tight layer of mocha-hued froth which thinned quickly to leave a rim job and some scattered islands of foam here and there. Some lace is noted, though not much. Aroma hit me with some coffee and espresso-ish bitter choco. Feel was quite smooth, and body was medium, but not more, unfortunately.

There's a bit of light, malty sweetness at the start, with hints of malted milk balls and ovaltine. Has some cocoa and subtle choco/coffee bitterness, though not a whole lot. Not a lot in the way of noticeable hopping, imo, though it is a little "earthy"; more of a rather basic, chocolatey concoction... No detectable dark fruit, and lacking complexity. Tasty, but....


3.88/5 rDev -4.7%look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75


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Photo of thebigbambino
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: poured dark with very little head, not as silky smooth as I am accustomed to in this style of beer

Smell: roasted malt and alcohol, no coffee or choclate notes whatsoever

Taste: surprised by the taste after missing on the aroma. malty with notes of licorice and brandy, sweet aftertaste lingered

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation

Overall: not silky and smooth like my Marshal Z, nor as filling but satisfying to the palate. I would drink this again in the future if it was offered.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap in a 10 oz. stemmed Leviathan tulip at Backstage in Torrington, Conn.

A: Poured pitch-black in color with slight mahogany edges beneath a one-finger head of biege foam which left a little lacing around the glass.

S: Licorice, figs, burnt chocolate and a boozy, herbal hop and alcohol aroma rise from the brew. It has a subtle, robust sweetness as well.

T: Very rich, sweet and flavorful roasted malts up front release a combo of bittersweet chocolate, tobacco leaves and caramelized brown sugar. The herbal hop bitterness gently overtakes the palate before settling in with a slightly meaty and roasted, mellow bourbon alcohol sting. The finish is pretty sweet yet somehow balanced with a boozy touch.

M: Quite robust, sweet and full-bodied RIS with a nice, striking balance between cloying malt sweetness, drying alcohol and middling hop resins.

O: Very nice sipping RIS at 10% ABV and one that I went back for a second time. More fruitiness and a complex burnt malt flavor build as the brew warms, so make sure it's not served or consumed too cold. Not the best example of the style I've had, but one of the best Leviathan installments I've had to date.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, clear deep amber while pouring, one finger off white head.

S-Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, burnt notes, tad bit of alcohol.

T-Starts with roasted malt, some more burnt notes, good deal of dark chocolate.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation.

O-Easily the best Leviathan beer out there. There are better RIS out there so no need to drink it again.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Purchased in Wakefield, RI.

A- Pours a dark brown, opaque body with a decent 2" mocha colored head that leaves brown lacing. Medium retention. I like the label, so +.25 for that.

S- Cocoa, light coffee, chocolate. The aroma is faint, I really had to strain to get some good notes here.

T- Lightly toasted malt, fresh coffee, slight breadyness and acidity on the finish. The flavor just isn't coming in strong enough for an imperial stout.

M- This is this brew's downfall. It's overcarbonated for an imperial stout, and watery to the point of taste deprivation.

I was only mildly impressed with this beer. Like a lot of harpoons beers, it's only middle of the road. Should have more body and flavor.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a solid dark brown/black with a good sized creamy tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top. The aroma is filled with dark dried fruit and caramel with hints of molasses, chocolate, and coffee. Light earthy hop aroma tries to provide some balance but succumbs to the depths of the malt. The flavor is a bit of a departure from the aroma. Chocolate and coffee milk flavors with with a bit of caramel and molasses. Light earthy hop and a touch of ethanol in a fairly dry finish. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet silky mouthfeel. This is a decent stout that I can get behind. Its not overly complex, and a bit dry in the finish for my liking, but I enjoyed it just the same.

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Photo of tdm168
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch black with a thin lacing of brown head that has little retention

S - licorice, big dark fruit notes, roasted malts, faint coffee

T - dark fruit, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, faint licorice

M - full bodied, well carbonated

This is a really nice, balanced, flavorful RIS. The dark fruit notes are forward and impressive. The licorice notes are kept to the finish in the flavor which I like. The chocolate and coffee notes also add some depth to the flavor making it more complex. The ABV is well hidden as well which is a plus. This is definitely a stout worth checking out.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle

A: Pours a pitch black color with a tiny head that fades to nothing within a minute

S: Dark, roasted malts with some sweetness, dark chocolate, anise, dark fruits, and some molasses. Fairly complex

T: Follows the nose. Starts off slightly sweet, with bittersweet dark chocolate, dark fruits, anise, light nuttiness, and molasses and broadens out into the finish. Alcohol hardly noticeable

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, rich

O: A nice RIS that has a great balance between dark fruits and roasted malts. Neither really dominates, and both come through fairly significantly. Good to sip on and allow the complexity to unwrap as it warms up. Hard to find, but worth the trouble to track down a single bottle or 4-pack

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 on the neck.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a one finger khaki head that is fairly quick to dissipate. Leaves a few spots of lacing. Light gets through about 1/8" of body.

S: Good dark fruitiness and roasted malt on the nose. Little bit of a tinniness. MIld hoping in the background. Chocolate comes out more as it warms up.

T: Certainly a malt-forward beer. Get a lot of roasty malts, chocolate malts and a raisin/fig fruitiness. Booze is pretty well hidden. Little carmel or toffee as it warms up.

M: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, fairly thick with low carbonation. Good drinkability for a RIS. Not too hot on the mouth.

Overall an impressive new brew from Harpoon. Glad they took the time to tackle the RIS style. Would recommend to any fan of a stout.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Bullock's (Woodstock, GA). 9.99/ 4 pack. Bottled 10/12. Served in a Boulevard snifter.

Pours deep dark, near black brown with a quarter finger light tan head. Very little lace.

Smells of earthy cocoa, roast coffee and raisin bread.

Mixed flavors of dark bakers cocoa, coffee, molasses, rum raisins, lightly smoked bark, licorice and burnt caramel. Enough dark "stouty" flavors to keep it going down easy for a 10% brew.

Medium body with just a bit too much carbonation. Bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.

Nothing wrong with this Russian imperial stout and I believe the other 3 will age well. But there is nothing to truly separate Czernobog from a pretty big pack of well brewed stouts. Worth a shot for fellow fans of the style, just don't expect to be wowed.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Czernobog from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
89 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.