Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
126 Ratings

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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 108
Reviews by LumpyGuitar:
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.58/5  rDev -8%
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.

 480 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown with an off white one finger head that settles slowly,aromas of doughy malt and raisin with anunderlying piney hop wich stood out nicely.Very nice complexities and bold flavors quite fruity mainly plum and raisin mixed with caramel and sweet cookie dough finishing earthy and spicey a hint of black pepper.Very nice barleywine big and flavorful full of complexities and pretty easy to drink for the high alc%.

Bottled November 2004.

 455 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Murky, dirty brown body with a nice head that went down rather quickly.

Smell - This is a stiff one. The sherry comes out in force and works well with the nice hop aroma to create a wonderful scent. There are good oak undertones and a strong indication of the 10.0 ABV. This one is serious.

Taste - This ale will pucker the lips. The red wine tastes are huge. This is almost like a cab or hearty merlot. The oak lends itself well to the style. There are some sweet malt undertones adding dimension to the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Flat and full as hell. The alcohol is barely noticeable. This feels terrific in the mouth.

Drinkability - What more can you ask for? Strong, full-bodied, and unique.

Update - I popped the last of my '04 vintage at the end of May in 2008. This mellowed beer still had the personality of its youth but was more blended. The heavy red cab is still there, the woody sweetness even bigger, and the sense of alcohol a bit more laid back but ever-present. It'd say four years is probably a year too long in the cellar but this was still a very good nightcap.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Byeast
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My sample of leviathan is a 750 bottled November 2002 , batch #4. Tasted 2007 , awsome artwork on the label , im keeping this bottle.

Appearance: poured an opaque reddish brown with some viscousity, appears slightly darker near the middle of the glass , slight sediment on the bottom. Pretty much no head at all on this very still brew.

Smell: lots of english style barley wine maltiness , fruity , with a slightly wine like scent underneath. Red fruits , brown sugar , hint at nuttyness. I fear that (at its age) this bottle is starting to go south , im glad we opened it sooner than later.

Taste: A very full , viscous body of deep malt , brown sugar, red fruityness and grape pokes in here and there , slight nuttiness , just a little bit of balancing bitterness that just might be from hops, after it warmed up to room temp some oak flavor was detectable , just a tiny bit of winey/vinegar sourness to the finish that suggests this one has maybe reached its peak. At times is was more fruity than malty. Hidden alcohol. A unique taste that kept me coming back for more.

Mouthfeel: mildly viscous , slick , lip coating flavor.

Drinkability: I was very happy to be able to taste this barley wine. My friend won it at a barley wine festival in Dunedin , Fl. I am also very glad he opened it this year , as i think another year would have had more negative effects than positive. I thought it was quite tasty , and quite different as well. One of the fruitiest B-wines ive had.

 1,492 characters

Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of Thrasher
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. 2006 vintage. Fresh! ...It's not ready yet. It's tasty, but one-dimensional. The nose is all there -- sweet malts, sherry, orchards of fruit that don't exist -- but the flavor isn't compelling and the sweetness is offputting. It's certainly not bad, though, and it goes down as easy as a 10%abv leviathan could. It's decidedly hopless! And surprisingly so, at this premature age. Instead, a caramel swirl of malts of all shapes and sizes stomp their way across your tongue, leaving muddy footprints. The heartiness of the beer is at odds with the fact that it's not particularly thick, or yeasty. Some oak-aged notes of vanilla bean would do this beer good. Some more minty hops would help too, but these likely will never assert themselves. I'd say this beer has yet to reach full ripeness. In the meantime, get half a dozen friends together, pour everyone half a wine glass full (make sure the glass has ample curvature), dig your nose in and sniff away. The smell is good to go.

Reflecting on the name of this beer allows me to consider that there is not, as yet, to my knowledge, a beer named "Kraken." I humbly assert that this would be the greatest beer name ever, post-10%abv-bomber-haze notwithstanding. If I homebrewed, I would use it. If you are a brewer and want to claim it -- fine. Just send me a case or two.

 1,339 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a light aged copper clear body with a thin light tan soapy head. There is no sign of carbonation except for the odd bubble rising to the surface.

S- The smell is slightly sweet caramel malt with a pine hop note in the background but it is pretty faint over all.

T- This beer has a sweet caramel malt flavor followed by a piney bitter hop finish . As it warms there is a slight smoky note that adds a bit of character to the malt.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a light alcohol hint but it is not enough to balance the sweetness.

D- This beer is light and sugary with some hops but it could use a bit more complexity or balance of flavors.

 712 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy light amber with a faint head that disappears immediately.

Aroma is pretty typical barleywine....sweet malts, sort of tropical fruits, hint of citrus.

Taste is not typical at all. Incredibly fresh tasting. Sweet candied dark malt with some tropical fruits (mangos come to mind) and then nice lemon citrus hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel is perfectly creamy for a barleywine.

Aftertaste stays clean and the alcohol doesn't make itself known until it hits your head.

Very nice of the best.

 532 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of cokes
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5, 2004.

Generally clear scarlet bronze with a frothy, well-held beige cap. Yeast adds a cloak-like sandy veil.
Vinous nose, backed with bread dough and pine.
Begins with a pale bread and toffee maltiness, one that immediately mingles with the buttery barrel-contributed hues to suggest something close to Fullers Vintage. It diverts from that path rather quickly. It gains a lemon fruitiness, juxtaposed with liquorice, and a woody vanilla. The middle is awash in honey glazed apples, glinting briefly at mead (or cyser), then the floor drops out onto a dryish, red vinousness. Lightly tannic, with notions of pepper and cinnamon. The end is hoppy, and NW and piney, but not as forceful as expected. Perhaps the barrels had their way with them.
Heavy bodied, and lowly carbonated. It took me several moments to acclimate myself, as this is vastly different than I expected. It's not a bludgeoning barleywine, as US tradition might have one expect, and its allure comes in its unsuspected, serpentine nature.

 1,022 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

batch #5 bottled in Novemeber 2004. I agree with the manufacturer that there is hop bitterness, long hoppy finish. That there is lots of malts, chocolate malts, there is quite a bit of carbonation. Smells like a barleywine. Looks like an IPA. Drinkable and would definately want to try again in years. Most unusual, thanks Joe McPhee.

 334 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 1,305 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - simply capped. Batch No. 3. Bottled Nov. 2001. "Aged in Hungarian Oak casks previously filled with Cabernet Franc". Hazy brown in color with light mahogany highlights. The light tan head drops quickly to a limited collar. The aroma is quite unique: winey, woody/oak, lightly peppery, piney/resinous hops, with a licorice note. Estery. The body is full with a limited carbonation; leaving it fairly viscous on the palate. The flavor is quite bold but not really complex. It's richly malty but well-heeled by bitterness, hop flavor and notes of alcohol. This is a beer best served at @ 60F to bring out its sublte flavors. Once warmed it reveals a gentle dark fruitiness, burnt sugar, dark subtle caramel, licorice, and lots of resiny hop flavors that carry straight through into a long finish. The barrel conditioning becomes more apparent in the aftertaste with a wine-like character and clear notes of wood. Someone remarked to me that "'s more like a wine" - that's not far off the mark with the exception of its full hoppiness. The alcohol is clear from the start but not offensive in any way. It's got some sweetness, but it's also quite dry (probably due in part to the oak aging). I'd imagine that this would most likely benefit from additional aging. I found this quite easy to drink as the flavor is rich but straightforward. It left me looking for some more depth. I found it quite unique, and enjoyed it quite a bit, but don't think that I'd buy a case of it or put away more than a few bottles for aging.

 1,535 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single...i think this one came from Riley's and I think blackie may have paid for it

November, 04 version

ahh yes, another big beer from one of my fav'

appearance: pours cloudy and hazy apricot into snifter, tinted copper-amber, a sizeable khaki head emerges and leave impressive lacing throughout

smell: thick and juicy...intense sweet-sour citrus hops stick out...sticky sweet lightly toasted malts...caramel, sweet apple, heavy raisin aromas, woody

taste: sweet raisin, warming alcohol, very nutty which was quite nace, earthy nature, thick sweet malt, light caramel, flowery and potent citrus hops...very sweet, bitter aftertaste. A solid barleywine but I liked the 10 squared better probably

mouthfeel: thick and syrupy, medium body, very warming alcohol sensation, quite bitter

drinkability: pretty standard drinking for the style, quite bitter

 884 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,278 characters

Photo of Orrshow
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a transparent mahogany with a small amount of off white bubbly head.

Smell – Lots of caramel malt with sweet brown sugar. There is a little citrus fruit, pine, hop, and alcohol in there as well.

Taste – This one packs a big malty punch off the start with a very strong alcohol flavor on top. The malts bring out caramel and toffee flavors. It’s fairly sweet and there is a slight citrus hop flavor complimented by a wood like taste as well.

Mouthfeel – Fairly viscous and a perfect low carbonation.

Drinkability – Pretty good. Went down easy enough but a little less alcohol flavor could help.

All in all a good Barley Wine. I Look forward to aging this one.

 701 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Growler share. My portion was poured into a chalice. The appearance was a hazy burnt orange to ruddy brown color with a slim finger’s worth of white foaminess that quickly dissipated leaving barely any lacing. The smell was slightly boozy caramel, lightly roasted coffee to a rich nuttiness. The taste was mainly sweet with the boozy caramel coming about into the coffee - esque and almost a tad of woody, slightly tobacco. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. The carbonation seemed appropriately styled and was good to me. Overall, I say this was a pretty good barleywine that I would have again.

 686 characters

Photo of Mandrake
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium golden-orange with a fairly small head that dissipates reasonably quickly and leaves virtually no lacing. Quite still once it settles, though a few trails of tiny bubbles can be seen surfacing along the edges of my snifter. Smell is of resinous hops, pine and citrus, along with spices and piles of caramel. Oakey tones as well, and bright fruits. Nice. Taste is along similar lines, with some hot alcohol present throughout and a sharp hop presence in the finish. Pepper is strong in the middle, and it's quite dry throughout. Mouthfeel has piles of body and great levels of carbonation, and drinkability is great for such a big beer. 650ml goes down no problem, and I would love to get more as often as I can. Great barleywine, sharp and bitter without being a total hop bomb. Strikes such a balance that I can enjoy the balls-to-the-wall complexity and my girlfriend can still enjoy a sip here and there too.

 926 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 810 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of CBA: 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.

 433 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper and caramel shade with no real head whatsoever but appropriate carbonation present.
Aroma is orange, caramel, toffee. Heavy oak, some peaty notes and resiny hop oil.
Flavor is heavy caramel, deep citrus orange but with a very resined and oily hop profile.
Mouthfeel is sweet to start but moves to a grity, resiny hoppiness and finishes with a heavy alcoholic hit.
Drinkability is solid but heavy ABV and relativeness sweetness make me glad I split the bottle.

 484 characters

Photo of waldowin
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mostly clear golden red, with a thin white head that fades very quickly to nothing, no lacing. Thick enough to have some decent "legs" on it, like wine though.

Smells of raisins, cherries, coriander and grapefruit. Heavy on the sugar and alcohol, no hop smell.

Taste is rum, cherries, brandy, honey, and a hint of cloves.A very sweet beer, it could use more hops in my opinion, but tasty.

Mouthfeel is thick, smooth, creamy and just slighlty carbonated. Spot on for a barleywine. If it weren't for the slightly cloying sweetness, it'd be a 5.

Watch the alcohol! You can't really taste it, but it'll whop you. One bottle does it for me.

 655 characters

Photo of BlueSpader
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mikesgroove
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked these up a while back and had not really gotten around to trying one before. Nice 12oz bottle with a good artwork on the front. I stuck one in the fridge the other night and decided to try it last night to see how it was as I was in the mood for a good nightcap. Served at a slightly chilly cellar temp, this one was poured into my terrapin snifter. Poured out a nice light amber color, some nice hints of red around the sides and a decent amount of haze to it. An unremarkable one inch layer of foam quickly faded and left behind essentially nothing in its wake. A slight white crown clinging to the sides, but that was about it. Some light carbonation could be seen bubbling up.

The aroma was a mixed bag. At first it came off with a slight candy like malt character, which was not out off place, but rather just a touch light. As it warmed some light hoppiness started to come through, with hints of grass, and a biscuity like smell, with a touch of alcohol rolled in there as well. The flavor was a little thin for me, I am not sure what it was, but something just seemed a touch off on this one. Definitely an English style Barleywine, with some decent touches of grapes, and a good dose of candied sugar like malts. Light bitter touch to the end, but the profile was just not strong enough for me at all. The overall carbonation level was decent enough with a slightly thin feel to it though. A little bit light, but the alcohol in this was more then well hidden. I could not find a single touch of it at all, really quite nice I have to admit. I put this one down before I knew what had hit me.

Overall I am really not sure about this one. I had one a few years back that seemed much better, maybe it was the bottle. It was still a decent barley wine, maybe it needs some time to come out of its shell, either way its still decent and worth a try for sure.

 1,872 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +2.8%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 126 ratings