Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

very good
107 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2002

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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 124
Photo of johnnnniee
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2005 Bottle from Mike's Barleywine tasting, thanks for the opportunity!
Rich fruit and caramel with some faint cardboard and sherry notes. Decent aged barleywine.

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Photo of Vancoubeer
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found a 2007 vintage for sale at my local bottle shop for 10 bucks. Why not right? A hard pour at first created some head which was a nice sign to see that the bottle's cap had not lost its proper seal and that this was kept in great care while aging. It has a thick white head and dark brown tone before being held up to light. When held up to light you get the nice red and amber tones mixed with the browns depending on the angle held at the light. On the nose at first you get a scent of candied dark fruit. Sweet plums and you get that caramel and toffee in there but not as strong as I thought. Very pleasant. For a 10% beer the fact that the alcohol scent is gone is a great sign of aging. Flavor wise this is smooth easy drinking. You get that really slight caramel flavors in there and no hops at all. I still get that almost Belgian double kind of frutiness but without the yeasty notes of a good trappist ale. This is superb. The carbonation is very light and no alcohol in the flavor. You get a full mouthfeel of the ingredients used, minus the hops of course that normally will disappear over time. For 10 bucks this is a steal. I would totally recommend this to barley wine fans and especially people looking for a strong malty beer because if the hops did anything in this beer, it did yield a bit of a earthy tone in the back end of the sip. Dare I say this is better than the aged O2 I had at Fish Tale's brew pub?

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, batch #5.

Pours chestnut brown with a ruby hue and a thin, whispy head of beige. A thin bead around the edge of the glass and zero lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with sugar-dusted fruit, sweet malt, figs, and caramel. Hints of apples and raisins follow through.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a sticky, tacky mouthfeel.

Sweet, juicy malt with undercurrents of red fruit and caramel start the palate. Hints of jam, candied apple, and vineous alcohol step forward.

Finishes with lingering sweet malt, toffee, and warming alcohol.

This beer is holding up very well for it's age, no cardboard or wet paper to be found. Hops are non-present so it's fairly one dimensional. Sweetish and warming otherwise.

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Photo of jera1350
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The month on the label is notched November. I've had this one for at least two years now, so guessing this is about a 2009 vintage.

A lovely clear amber body with a creamy little head which is tan. Leaves some very generous lacing on the glass.

A great smelling beer. Lots of malty goodness with scents of brown sugar, toffee and caramel sweetness. A little hop scent in there also.

Very pleasant taste of the aforementioned sweets with some bitter citrus peel hops. Quite mellow and nice. A touch of warm alcohol towards the end, but not much.

The carbonation is lower, probably due to the aging, but overall it feels really smooth and soft. The finish is dry.

A very nice barleywine that has done well with the aging process. Drinks very easy for the style at this point. A very good experience with this one.

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Photo of BlackWednesday
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a clear deep copper color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of sweet malt is domination with some very subtle dry figs and fruits. Taste is dominated by sweet malt on the verge of being disgustingly sweet with again some light dry figs. Body is a lot more watery then I would expect with some low carbonation. Ending is quite bitter but does not attenuate some of the sweetness.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dirty orange brown with pale pineapple yellow highlights that had a very very thin white head and left almost no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: caramel malts and booze are quite noticeable on the first whiff alongside slight honey, brown sugar, toffee, and faint chocolate notes.

T/M: upfront on the palate caramel malts and a mild hop bite strike first with dark fruits, slight honey, and brown sugar accents but it did have some booze as well. The brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank really good considering the ABV and was noticing that the booze has been mellowing out with time; pretty tasty barleywine.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this growler on 3/5/10.

A - Poured a clear reddish orange, copper-tinted body with half an inch of frothy off-white head that reduced to a patchy film and delicate, web-like lacing.

S - Tea-like hops and herbal notes mingle with caramel malt and a warm alcohol presence. Further back in the mix, some perfumy notes and a hint of citrus oils also emerge.

T - Hoppy up front with a perfumy character and sharp herbal notes, as well as an oily citrus character. Sweet malts balance the bitterness with caramel and toffee notes. Finish is warm and boozy with a bit of phenol alcohol character partially disguised by sweet caramel notes.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and fair amount of carbonation, although the mouthfeel is a tad thin and oily overall. Finishes warm and boozy on the palate.

D - Pretty solid barleywine overall. Although the alcohol was a little obtrusive and the hops a bit sharp, this was still pretty tasty.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark amber color with a small head. Nose is dark fruit, booze, licorice, and caramel. Taste is malty, caramel flavor with dark fruits and booze. Also boasts a ceetain earthiness as well. 10% abv is well hidden. Very good and just how I remember it.
06 Vinatge on tap.
Spured and funky. Thin ad past its prime fire sure.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dirty amber with no head, no legs. A lot of sediment floating about. Three years ago I wouldn't have touched this beer.
Bitter hops and fresh, earthy, watery malts. Toffee.
Despite the aroma, there is very little hops profile in this one. A slight bitterness, but heavy stale malts, and some toffee and perhaps some stale milk chocolate. Little bit of alcohol presence, but surprisingly low considering the ABV.
Very smooth for a barleywine. Flat and a little thick and sticky.
Fairly drinkable, though not remarkable enough to make me seek out another bottle of this one.
I found it interesting though. I wish I knew when it was bottled. Something tells me it was at least a couple years ago.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I think this was the first barleywine I ever had, back in 2002 or so. Glad to finally see this again where I live. "Spawned" (bottled) in November, probably of '08, but I'm not sure. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Glassy rust colored liquid with a thin off-white collar and iridescent skin, punctuated by a large raised bubble that looks uncannily like the eye of a large octopus. A swirl spreads the collar across the surface. Lacing chatters down the glass rapidly leaving a few thin globules behind, suspended in clear legs.

Intense malt aromatics present as soon as the bottle cap is popped. Dark fruit esters, suggesting old raisins and dates reconstituted in light sherry join the chorus.

The initial taste is of apricots and figs suspended in alcohol served in a leather goblet - with a dash of orange bitters. Biscuity malt in large quantities and very faint cocoa and clove mid-palate. Throughout, there is a dusty note, like a room no one has lived in for several years. Dry and somewhat bitter finish, the hops only really making an appearance in the after-taste.

Low but adequate carbonation, and a bit thin, especially considering the ABV.

Very mild as far as barleywines go, though the flavor profile is enjoyable and unique enough. Would love to try this on cask someday.

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Photo of slaintemhor
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the 2004 Leviathan which I had on tap at the Bailey's Taproom anniversary in August '09. The colour was cloudy amber with no head at all. The nose was sweet and similar to refined white sugar. On the palate, it was slightly bitter up front with some hops that quickly faded and were followed by a wave of sweetness. The finish was bitter and quite quick.

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Photo of MPLS
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A brewery that Minnesota once got distribution for but now does not from my understanding. I must say the name is amazing, Leviathan, a great reference to Moby Dick and consequently one of my personal favorite metal albums from Mastodon.

A: Cloudy brown/orange accented body, with 3 cm white sea foam cap, lacing is layered, and a small head remains. Perhaps in part to my Duvel glass.

S: sweet Malt, orange citrus, your grandma's perfume, and raisin.

T: Not as hoppy as I was expecting, also not sure of when this was this 12 oz was bottled (2007?) as the hop profile could have faded since then. Tastes like grain that has been wrapped up in 2 week old alcohol soaked orange peels with a cherry twist. The citrus element of this beer isn't big/bright at all and leaves me unsatisfied, but better than average.

M: Slightly thin for the ABV, but nice smooth finish.

D: I can say I found this beer good, but I feel like I have been craving bigger and bolder English Barleywines/Old Ales. Interesting beer that I just purchased tonight.

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Photo of Mdog
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Murky brown-amber, thin, fading head.

Smell: Enticing floral aroma I've never encountered in a barleywine, some deep caramel sweeness.

Taste&Mouthfeel: Pretty disappointing after the smell. Feels quite thin right off the bat, a little bit of brown sugar sweetness after it warmed up some. Mostly a dry, bitter taste.

Drinkability: Extremely light feel for a barleywine, but high price and mediocre flavor do not help it.

Picked up a bottle on sale, I'm going to guess it is Nov. 2008 bottling. It was in a refrigerator all that time--the store I bought it from keeps everything cool. Not very much to say, other than it is very light feeling for a 10% beer and seems to be lacking in malt balance for a barleywine. Smelled great but not great tasting.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from mikesgroove (thanks Mike). The beer looks nice, dark amber and hazy with a 2-finger tan foam. The smell is classic American Barleywine ala Bigfoot, lots of citrusy hops in a strong caramel malt matrix, orange peel and grapefruit mixed in toffee. The taste is much the same, maybe a little less rich than Bigfoot but that's not all bad. The up front citrus flavors are nice but the aftertaste is a little odd, hard to pinpoint the flavor but it seems unique and kind of bitterly dry. The body is thinner than usual for such a big beer but that helps drinkability.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark clear red copper with a solid and nice thick and firm light tan head.

Nose of sweet creamed coffee with light maple/carmel/toffee notes, although very light and you have to search a bit. Nose is the weakest part of this one.

Nice mouthfeel-bold, full and rich with some creamy character.

Flavors are not what the nose promises! Nose invites an expectation of cooked fruit and sweet tones-not so. Flavors are of bitter light coffee with some malt and roasted grain undertones and a layer of bitter grapefruit. The flavors improve after a few sips and takes on a more complex coffee/malt character.

Finish is bitter coffee and grapefruit skin. This one really grows on you the more you drink it.

This is a quality, complex beer and one that will likely do well with many food flavor profiles.

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Photo of illidurit
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of bulletrain76. Pours a slightly hazy amber-orange with an ecru head. Aroma is caramel-based with hop notes of orange and grapefruit, some woodiness, and a little nuttiness. Flavor is woody and earthy in addition to the sweet caramel/toffee from the nose. Bitter lingering finish, somewhat tannic and astringent. Maybe a little too ambitious with the hopping here.

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Photo of gford217
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of dave12285, unknown vintage, poured into a tulip.

Pours a murky caramel brown with a deep amber look when held up to light. There is a small cream-colored head that maintains a small collar and a bit of bubbles strung along the top.

The aroma is dominated by caramel malts and toffee sweetness. There isn't much in the way of hops left in this one - maybe some faint citrus if anything. As it warms, I can definitely pick up some chocolate malts and a slight sherry character overall. Great nose.

The taste isn't quite as solid with a less dominant sweetness than the aroma. The hops aren't present and have given way to a slight cardboard bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is where this one falls slightly short for me as it's a little watery on the palate. It's got a low soft carbonation and lacks the thickness necessary to carry the flavor with that low carbonation.

The nose had me excited, but the taste didn't quite deliver and the mouthfeel was definitely a let down. Still, a good barleywine that has probably just seen better days.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recieved this in trade from MASPuros, thanks again mate!

Pours a light orange with a finger of white head. No lacing and retention was weak.

Smells of sweet malts and brown sugar.

Taste is very refined and sweet. Sweet malt dominates. Light cinnamon spice in the back, some brown sugar and oak notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, coats your mouth, very sticky.

Drinkability is alright. This is a good barleywine but theres better out there and this is very hard to get for me.

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Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

According to the label, this beer was brewed back in 1999. This was generously provided by the cellar master at Max's (Casey) at the BA gathering there yesterday. All of us were stunned by how well this beer had aged and held up.

The beer pours an amber orange color with surprisingly good head retention and lacing. To look at this beer, one would not guess it was 10 years old. The nose is also attractive and is not what I typically expect out of barleywine. There is some noticeable orange citrus, along with some sweet malt. I'm guessing that in it's youth, this was probably one hoppy monster of a BW. On the palate this beer is delicious. The beer reminds somewhat of older versions of Doggie Claws I've had, with the hoppy bitterness seemlessly integrated into the sweet malt and alcohol. While the beer is still on the sweet side, it's not overly so, which enhances it's drinkability I think. This beer is surprisingly light on the palate, and there is no way I would have guessed I was drinking a 10% alcohol beer.

Exceptional. Still can't believe how well this has held up after all these years.

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra in a recent trade, thanks Solomon420!

A: Pours dark brown, almost apple cider colored with very little wihte head that settles as a film and leaves good lacing.

S: Smells like caramel malt overload, as expected! brown sugar, molasses, pumpkin bread, etc

T: Much less intense flavor than I expected from the very aromatic scent; definitely a caramel malt bomb, some brown sugar, molasses, and a bite from the malt

M: Only slightly thin, low carbonation, but hey this is a Barleywine

D: Low drinkability for me, I'm starting to gain an appreciation for this style, but I'm a ways away from preferring them. The malt flavor and bite is just too much for my infantile palate I think.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, clear, rosey amber with a finger of beige colored head that'a also got a bit of burnt orange highlights to it as well. Retains with a 1/2 finger creamy layer that leaves a beautiful looking frothy cascade of lacing back. The aroma is floral and spicy on top, with an extra bit more of earthy accents and oaky tannins underneath. I'm also getting some citrus, a big oat presence, caramel, and candied sugars. There are lots of good flavors packed in this nose but none of it seems to pop out like it should.

The taste is surprisingly mellow (or maybe not) with a mix of bready malts, oats, caramel, and sugary notes. Very malt forward. Additional sugary notes and oaky wet tobacco comes out after a bit and the more malty sweetness of this dies down. Hops finally arrive in the finish with a drying leafy feel but not a lot of overt bitterness. The mouthfeel is extremely mellow and creamy in the mouth. It's all actually feeling a bit thin to me but if that's the case, then that 10% ABV is magnificantly hidden. So we'll call it a wash on the body.

All in all, this was a good stab at an English Style Barleywine. There were definitely decent flavors present but I just wish that they had been a bit more assertive at times.

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Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown longneck style bottle with no freshness date or code that I could see. It pours a slightly hazed deep copper with a 1/2" off-white head. Mild carbonation, but right for the style.

The nose is very malty, slightly sweet and earthy. Notes of malted milk balls, bread dough, and a faint hop in the background.

The taste is much the same, with a sweetish caramelly malt, bread dough, malted milk balls, molasses and earth. Tastes very much like an English Barlywine to me...big and malt driven. Tasty.

Big body with a bit of chew too it, alcohol is well masked for a 10 percenter. Overall a very nice Barleywine that's very easy too drink...reminds me a bit of John Barleycorn and the Old Godfather, which I like as well

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Photo of DrJay
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Not quite clear orange/amber colour with an off-white cap of fine bubbles. Sticky lacing, good head retention. Powerful aroma, lots of citrus, orange blossom, caramel, alcohol. A little biscuit malt, a little indistinct fruitiness. Same in the flavour, with moderate bitterness that was a bit acrid in the finish. Light warmth, fine carbonation, quite dry. The body was medium at best, seemingly a little overattenuated. Not bad overall. A decent barleywine, but not enough heft to the body.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange brown in color with a decent taupe head that jumps up pretty quickly but recedes to a thin film. Not much lacing, but a good look overall.

The nose is strongly malty, with mostly caramel notes and a little citric fruit from the hops. Slightly phenolic, clove wafts up as well, along with some boozy fruits.

Flavors of caramel malt, orange-zest hops, and a hint of alcohol. Not bad, but not very unusual either. Pretty run of the mill; the malts definitely lead the way here, in contrast to many West Coast versions of the style.

Fairly light mouthfeel, not very chewy, but pretty sticky from the malts. Low carbonation allows the flavors to really marinate on the tongue. Pretty decent in the mouth, and not bad drinkability either. Just not quite the Leviathan I was expecting.

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Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange-brown pour with a flat white head. Oily and earthy. Pine, grapefruit, wood, and musty malt in the nose. Unbelievably smooth and sweet taste of fresh hops, resin, blood orange and orange peel, cane sugar, and caramel. Great balance with the alcohol taste completely hidden. Loved it.

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Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.88 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
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