Harpoon Leviathan - Czernobog - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - CzernobogHarpoon Leviathan - Czernobog

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very good

121 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 121
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 14
Gots: 13 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by muskiesman:
More User Reviews:
Photo of CloudStrife
4.13/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of MikeSkaz
2.26/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Too sweet for an imperial stout

Photo of tdm168
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of rlee1390
4.01/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of shand
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/28/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a medium dense beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate and a touch of hops but it’s a bit metallic as well.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character. Then some sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee come in. There’s some flavor of dark fruit in the background and no hint of the 10% ABV. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid big stout to drink for a long time.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a shaker pint: Black body, just a little syrupy highlight around the edges, half-finger of soft mocha head. Good strains of lacing with each sip, considering the low head.

Nicely toasty, coffee bean aroma, a little watery & "cool" smelling, but not in a bad way. Not really getting a whole lot, but what's there is very good. A little fresh-baked bread crust.

Pleasantly creamy, roast coffee with a sweet little twist like molasses in the taste. The first few sips carry an assertive alcohol character that recedes before long, aftertaste is long & moderately bitter with just a curl of dark chocolate at the end. A little fig-like dark fruit, with a restrained tartness like plum skin.

Very smooth feel, medium-bodied & on the light side for an RIS. Packs just a little heat, wouldn't even really call it warming.

A very enjoyable, temperate RIS. Good flavors, not abrasive or overly insistent, could even have a few in a row. Alcohol is well integrated, you can tell it's there but it's not obstacle.

Photo of thebigbambino
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of beer4colin
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Union Brewhouse!

A - A deep back to black mahogany, not letting the bar light shine through at all. Had is a typical UBH 12 oz pour. They fill it with beer, not foam.
A - a beautiful char. 2012 will go down, IMO, as the year of the smoke. Everybody was offering something. This is a good trad roast. Nothing contrived here.
T - this is a nice brew. I confess, I am a fan of Hapoon's Leviathon series and I will be glad to see this on the shelf, albeit for a short time, at Granite Liqours, Weymouth (the best beer store in MA). Nice coffee/espresso roast with a backbeat of pine on the finish.
MF - This is more for sipping than swilling.
OA - a long wait but well worth it. I need to do a side by side tasting of Leviathon with this in the mix. It might be the best of bunch. Remember, use a DD if you plan on multiples! And you will wnt multiples!!

Is this still eligible for my beer of the year????

Photo of Bisco42
4.21/5  rDev +6%
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!!

Photo of gcamparone
3.77/5  rDev -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.

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

This brew was served on tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a thickly stemmed chalice, glowing the darkest brown coloring. It held a one and a half finger head of creamy, latte colored bubbles. This retained well, with a medium brown film never quite leaving. Rings of patterned lacing stuck around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared light and slow. The aroma was thick with heavily roasted coffee and chocolate malts, light molasses sweetness, fusel fiery booze, and phenolic plastics. With warmth came the mixing, balancing sweetness of cooled vanilla cake icing and roasted toffee candies. Our first impression was that the malts were big with coffee and chocolates, but soft on the sip, and rather easy going. As we sipped, the sweetness of chocolate covered cherries struck an immediate balance with smooth coffee malts, roast, and milky vanilla sweetness. The middle peaked with fusel alcohol bite, bittered dark chocolate, chalk, and soured lactics. The end came with banana esters, vanilla sugars, café au lait creaminess, big coffee roast, and a moderate smoky char. The aftertaste breathed of banana esters, black peppercorns, fusel booze, and more chalkiness of powdered dark chocolate. The body was full, and the carbonation was medium. Big froth and cream came to the lip, and with a swirl around the mouth. Slurp, smack, and pop were all pleasant. The mouth was cooled with a thick, creamy coating, leaving the mouth satiated, but not quite dried. The abv was warming, and this guy is a casual sipper.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the nice warmth, and ease of drinkability. From the start it is apparent that the flavoring possessed all the roasty char that a nice, fatty stout should. Throughout it remained smooth and drinkable, without an overly robust pop or pucker. The aroma was comparatively weak, but by no means bad. This is a nice addition to the Leviathan brand.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark coffee color with a thick, creamy colored light toffee head.

S - Deep roasted coffee, cocoa, dark roasted chocolate, light char, dark fruit, and cocoa cream.

T - Dark fruit, roasted chocolate, very light alcohol effervescence, a touch of molasses.

M - Medium body but a bit thin for a Russian Imperial Stout with velvet texture on the tongue.

O - Considering the high ABV, it's very well hidden and dangerously drinkable.

Photo of Brad007
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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

Photo of YouSkeete
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of Abra
3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
3.89/5  rDev -2%
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


Photo of yourchoice
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
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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Harpoon Leviathan - Czernobog from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
89 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.