Harpoon Leviathan - Triticus | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - TriticusHarpoon Leviathan - Triticus

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Recipe changed from the original 2005 Triticus.


Added by Bierman9 on 06-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 229
Photo of cjgiant
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(Edit note: to the best I can tell, this is the 2011 batch, neck etching "211")

A: dark brown (as evidenced by the edges where light can come through), with a filmy head (never used that term before), foamy/creamy edge head.

S: fig, to burnt sugar or molasses (or both)

T: similar to the nose but cut by bitterness, which yields a cola type flavor, like a less-carbonated birch beer. A bit more molasses in the longer taste than anything else from the smell.

M: decent body, despite the flat-soda reference above, it's not flat for a beer, with decent carbonation.

O: far from an expert onthe style, but it seems a solid variant from the typical barleywine. I'd think the wheat would add some smoothness (it seemed to), but cut the dark fruit tastes a bit (seemed to). I just think this offering lacks depth, which might be a discerning attribute from a barleywine, so take it for what it's worth.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2010 vintage, so aged 3 years.

pours a very dark brown, almost black. thin head that fades. smell has a bit of roasty coffee & herbal yeast spiciness. taste has a bit of boozy flavor but without the harshness. wheat, a touch of roast, dry aftertaste. on the thicker side, moderate carbonation. good mouthfeel, easy to drink.

overall I think the age has smoothed things out. very nice.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter. 2011 version.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger off white head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Fruity, bready, caramel, molasses, chocolate, and warm alcohol.

Taste: Dark fruits, warm alcohol, tingly bitterness, mocha, a little tobacco, caramel, vanilla, and molasses. Tastes better as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Silky and creamy smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, a little bitterness, and warm alcohol.

Overall: The crazy thing is that this dark wheat wine tastes along the lines as some barleywines. The wheat does add a bit of soft mouthfeel to the beer too. Aged for 2 years in a bottle and worth the wait.

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Photo of harrymel
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011

Pours a dark brown with a confluent, skeletal surface etch of light brown foam. Smells of candied dates, some belgian sugar, some hints of toasted malts, a bit of sweet malt, some cocoa powder and a little tawny character - nice. Tastes sweet with toasted brown sugar, graham, some candied yams and plums. Tea, rice and and a little bit of malt extract syrup. Yummy beer. A bit like a simple syrup, low carb and a forgettable finish. I don't know that this really fits the wheatwine category, but I think this particular take on the beer to be fucking brilliant - I would even consider tossing a little bit of belgian yeast into this to give it a touch more depth.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a dark, chocolate-brown tone with less than a finger of head that dissipates fairly quickly; minimal lacing. [edit: raising my appearance score a half point - poured my 2nd a bit more aggressively, and it brought out a much more developed head. the initial pour may have been user error. :)]

nose is of chocolate malts, dark fruits, and alcohol; interesting but not overwhelming - nice but mild, nothing too remarkable.

taste makes me wonder what's going on with my sense of smell. a boatload going on... sweet caramel and chocolate malts, strong dark fruit notes, banana, a definite smoky character, a warming boozy kick and a hoppy finish. admittedly this is not a style i have a whole lot of experience with, but i find this really tasty. uniquely, certain elements of both a tripel or BSPA and a RIS are present.

nice, full-bodied mouthfeel with some chew to it. IMO, docked points on the appearance and smell more than made up for with the taste/mouthfeel. i would definitely have this again.

original review on: 08-23-2010

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

Poured into an oversized wine glass a deep dark cola color with a thin beige head that was gone quickly.Alot of dark fruit and sweet toffee in the nose,faint toasted wheat mixed with sharp alcohol sweetness comes into play more as it warmed.Really sweet on the palate with spiced cherry flavors as well as some mild chocolate and faint wheat malt.Again as the beer warms the alcohol makes the sweetness even more intense.It's not bad but gets a little cloying about mid glass,it's a sipper that's for sure.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber color with a thin tan head.

S: Spice, burnt sugar, roasted malt and wheat, toffee and a light note of earthy and spicy hops.

T: Heavy sweetness with touch of toffee, caramel, thick malt and wheat syrup, spicy clove and touch of vanilla. Hops add some earthy and bitter notes but balance is to the sweet.

M: Full body and slightly syrupy with a medium carbonation level and noticeable alcohol warmth.

D: This was not as impressive at first but as it warmed this beer came out quite well. It is a sipper and can be enjoyed with dessert, dark chocolate or strong cheeses. Give it a try and be patient with it.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What the hell is a wheatwine, right?

A: pitch black with a very thick bubbly head - thinned out quickly, but looked great up front - surprised at the darkness of the beer - expect barleywine-esque beers to be dark brownish, but this was black (actually the edges has a translucent brown character)

S: not a big sense of smell guy - got some malt and some hops, some grains

T: coffee, and hell yeah, I tasted the wheat - something like the bran flakes in raisin bran - and some very dark fruits (like a dark quad such as Pannepot), but not too sweet - let's say 50/50 sweet and not sweet (does that make sense?); is it fair to say there were rye notes or was it just the wheat? Nonetheless, I picked up on the grains.

M: loved it - not heavy - medium-bodied, some crispness, some roughness - not a wimp beer, but classy

O: delighted - I've had a bunch of barleywines and maybe 2 rye beers, and maybe 2 witbiers as well - but this beer stands alone - it has aspects of all three styles, but is a really nice, bold brew - with a great aftertaste (gimme another) - it reminds me of an olden times beer - like medieval almost - and I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Netdigger2
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a bourbon whiskey colored brown, very clear with light tan head. No lacing in my wine glass.

Smells of scotch whiskey phenols, caramel and sweeter malt, toasted wheat bread, more booze.

Taste has some wheat and sweet malt, but it really resembles a watered down fine scotch whiskey. It really does taste distilled and even lent out some heartburn later. The flavor isn't bad, just overwhelmed by alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation. No head retention.

It would be great in a 6oz pour, but 12oz is too much and not very enjoyable after a while. I will cellar the rest and try them as I go.

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3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to snifter. $4.50 for the single. Batch 211 aged for at least 15 months & served at cellar temp. Sampled 9/25/11.

A: This dark wheat wine-style ale pours with 1 finger of light brown frothy/foamy head. Quick to diminish. Body is dark ruby-brown. No lacing.

S: The big malt bill includes toasted toffee and caramel plus a bready aroma reminiscent of a honey roll. Slightly herbal and resiny. The wheat character is minimal or indistinguishable altogether.

T: Toffee and honey-forward with some notes of dark fruit not far behind. Dates, figs & fermented red apple. Light tobacco, herbal with general spiciness in the background. Well integrated alcohol lingers, providing warmth from the belly up. Long lasting flavor and incredibly sweet. Truthfully, not too far off from an English Barleywine. Overall, the flavor is good - just lacks complexity.

M: Very smooth. Medium body with a slick, very alcoholic texture. Soft carbonation.

O: Triticus is an above average wheatwine. I probably wouldn't make it a repeat purchase, although I'd be very interested in trying some of the different wine barrel treatments. Those sound tasty...

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Photo of rlee1390
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear deep ruby, almost balck in the glass, one finger head

S-The smell is off, can't quite place it, maybe a result of some wheat and spice combination.

T-Strong wheat presence, a little spice, bittering hops are present however there is some alcohol bite.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation and smooth.

O-A decent wheatwine, however the nose was off putting and you can detect some alcohol.

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Photo of avalon07
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick, murky consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: A very sharp aroma of malt, caramel, coffee, and booze.

T: Tasted of coffee, caramel, malt, and a slightly astrigent quality. The alcohol was noticeable to a certain degree. An interesting, robust flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a crisp, clean finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A pretty good beer that's worth trying, though I don't think I'd add it to my regular rotation.

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

Received this as an extra from Smakawhat. It's the temperature of my chilly cellar, and I'm pouring it into a tulip glass.

It's an opaque beer, colored dark brown. The head is tan and not very thick. A small layer bubbles built up as soon as I finished pouring, but it quickly settled back down to a ring of bubbles an small skim of foam.Swirling brings the head back and leaves a nice film that holds onto a few patches of foam.

This beer certainly smells like a spicy malt-forward offering. I can detect anise, earthy roots and some alcohol.

The flavor is also very malty, as you'd expect from a wheat wine. My limited experience with this style has lead me to expect a more floral flavor than this, but since this is a "dark" version of the style, more earthy flavors make sense to me. There is a hint of chocolate that I can taste, and a slight coffee bitterness. Alcohol can be tasted as I swallow, but the beer doesn't come across as overly strong.

This is a full bodied beer. There isn't a whole lot of coating, but what's there has some good malt flavors. The beer feels more carbonated that I expected, which was a pleasant surprise.

This is an interesting beer. I'm not always a fan of beers that are "the dark version of a style you already know," but this one seems to take wheat wine in an interesting direction. I'm glad I got it as an extra in a trade, as I don't think I would want an entire 4 pack. I feel like a few of the bottles would sit around for a while (although with this ABV that shouldn't hurt the beer). I think the original packaging—a 22oz bottle—would be a great way to enjoy Triticus.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blind beer #3 from Shogo--
Calls for a pint... Into my nonic with you!

I was honestly hoping for something hoppy tonight... Like a nice IPA or something (call it hopslam envy-- it hasn't hit the SW burbs of Chicago yet!). I grabbed this and hoped against hope...
Tis not to be.

This is dark-- very deep reddish brown, with a tan head. Very nice retention.
Smells of giant coffee notes, some piney resin, even a touch of mint.
This beer has an odd tongue-numbing sensation to it-- it's quite hard to explain. The flavor has all the notes I expected from the nose, and reminds me of a porter crossed with a barleywine in a strange way.

Feels pretty fully and oily.

Well... I have NO IDEA what this is.

REVEAL-- Harpoon Leviathon Triticus.
This is a wheatwine? A wheatwine??? Wow. This is a dark wheatwine! Very complex, tons of flavor-- quite interesting.
Having this blind, wheatwine wasn't even something I considered as a style.

Now knowing what it is, here are my ratings;

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours an extremely deep red which, had i not held it up to the light, i would have thought was black, pours with a finger of big bubbled mocha brown colored head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a small amount of spotty lacing
S: im sensing coffee malts and spiciness
T: interesting, coffee malts hit immediately at the fore front then something kind of sour slides in just briefly, the taste left on the palate is mostly clean with just a bit of roasted malt that hangs around and a bit of deep sweetness like brown sugar that has been caramelized
M: medium carbonation, thick and creamy, i cannot believe how smooth this is for 11.5% almost no alcohol burn and it drinks so incredibly smooth it almost doesnt seem to ass up
O: the whole leviathan line is so incredibly smooth i really cannot believe this is an imperial lineup, this one seemed quite a bit off for the style but it was definitely a good tasting brew and was clearly high quality

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Photo of TwinSox33
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark frothy black

S-Sweet malts, fruity esters, with a touch of fusel alcohol smell à la nail polish.

T-Sweet and smooth with dark fig, fruits, and a hint of chocolate

M-Full bodied and even carbonation. Slick,sweet and a bit 'o spice from fading hops.

D- Very good for a Heavy beer

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Photo of exonthebottle
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark tan small lacing light carbonation

faint fruits less than a dark hefeweizen sugar sharp

dark crisp apple/ berry slightly hoppy afterwards quite long lasting sipper

light crisp and dry but stays on the tongue long enough

good beer nice sipper hides alcohol well nice

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Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at wine source, enjoyed chilled from a tulip.

The color is deep walnut brown, practically opaque with a thick beige cap with fine bead. The head drops fast to spotty lace. The smell is pretty good with a sweet malt aroma similar to toffee with a light scent of dark wheat bread and alcohol with mild anise note and light earthy element. The feel is thick and viscous with moderately high carbonation and toasted texture with spiced accents. There is a moderate amount of alcohol and the beer finishes semi-dry overall.

This wheatwine stands out in the flavor dept for me -a candy like presence that shows the grain bill has a good amount of malt -the triticale is unique as it is toasty and does show off some of the finer flavor of both toasted wheat and rye giving a mild bread crust element with mild raisin and hint of date/nut with subtle caramel tinges toward the end. The alcohol is noticeable in the aroma more than the taste which is not an easy feat for an 11% ale - I found this to a pretty exceptional beer in the places where it counts -taste and drinkability.

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Photo of auroracrisis
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a Choc tulip.

Dark, dark brown with burgundy highlights and a khaki head that doesn't stick around. Pretty opaque as well, no light penetrates it as I hold it up to examine the color closely.

Molasses is the most forward, with a bit of toffee and caramel mixed in as well. Then piney, earthy hops and plenty of heat. A slight mineral taste as well.

Medium bodied and low, low carbonation. A touch of drying and some heat on the tongue.

Interesting flavors of molasses and caramel for a wheat wine, but I would prefer more wheat in this. Not bad, but it may as well have been a barleywine in my opinion. Not much wheat to speak of.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to maximum12 for this one, it was sacrificed out of his vault of mysterious beers for my enjoyment. This is my first Wheatwine, first Harpoon brew.

The pour is red. I mean black. I mean brown. No, red. No, wait, brownred. Whatever it is, the pour refracts light beautfiully.

The smell is predominantly sweet flavors, caramel, hazelnut, toffee. But lurking in the background is alcohol, a lingering artificial sweetness, and something vaguely medicinal.

Taste is great, a Wee Heavy on steroids.Caramel leads the way, slightly grainy, plenty of alcohol, the weird smell now presents itself as a fruity wine finish.

Smooth in front, dry in the back on the tongue. Isn't that a description of a mullet?

This was an interesting and damn good drink which left me somewhat plastered at the end. I am on the lookout for more Wheatwines.

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Photo of threeviews
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just like another member of this website...I wasn't planning on reviewing a beer this evening, but felt compelled to do so.

After trying a 4-pack of Leviathan IPA and not being overly impressed, it took a moment of introspection to pony up and purchase another Levithan-series brew. However, I am pleased to report that I am ecstatic that I did. Date on the neck of the bottle simply reads: 2011

Poured from a 12oz bottle at ~cellar temperature into a snifter.

A- Pours such a dark, dark ruby (a bit darker than a red wine)...only by holding the glass up to a light reveals that the brew is not entirely black. Tan colored head rises about 3/4" and dissipates gently leaving a thin lace where the liquid meets the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet malt, earthy hops and booze in equal amounts. Despite the wheat base malt, this reminds me of a traditional over-the-top American Barleywine...awesome.

T- A lot going on. Starts off with sweet caramel, chocolate and coffee notes. That is followed by pleasant hop bitterness and then the booze settles in. Again, awesome.

M- Slick on the palate at first and then finishes dry. The carbonation is light and perfect for this brew. Enough to excite your tastebuds but remains out of the way for you to enjoy all of the flavors found within.

O- "O" for Overly impressed. This is one great beer and would highly recommend it for fans of American Barleywine style beers. I will definitely purchase this again and hope I can get it in the future.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1" mocha head which seemed to draw all the carbonation out of the body which was flat thereafter. Dark as coffee. Very mild almost no smell but subtle hints of malt. Taste is sweet and hoppy and pretty strong despite the lack of smell and has dried fruits and toffee. There's a hop bitterness along moderate IPA scale. A mixed bag in this beer.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a couple of 12oz bottles from a $10.99 4-pack.

Poured into a small Portsmouth tulip, Trit was a deep, opaque brown, with a thin, wispy layer of tan bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. The aroma has some choco notes with a little florality. I like the feel; it is smooth and pretty solidly medium body-wise.

Flavor has a smidge of bitterness with some choco and subtle toffee. Mixed in here is a grapey, vinous quality. This was more noticeable in their original Triticus series, but still present here in their small format. The choco is of the cocoa variety, a touch dry and chalky, and settles nicely on the palate. Decent, though a bit of a step back from the 100-barrel series. Prosit!

3.9 rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz bottle marked 2011. Sampled on October 27, 2011. The pour is a handsome looking dark brown to black with a thin tan head and pretty good clarity through its opaqueness. Powerful malt and chocolate aromas penetrate the nose with a hop presence on the backside. The body was about medium but firm, meaning the texture did not break down into carbonation bubbles while swirling. The chocolate is a bit more obvious in the taste than in the aroma with a pungent, strong hop bitterness melding itself into the experience. It is too bad that I did not notice it was a wheat wine/barley wine until after I opened it. I wonder what it might have tasted like at this time next year. Guess I'll have to buy another one and shelf it.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. 2011 dated on the neck line of the bottle.

A very light coffee cream like head, with varied sized bubbles mostly small sits on top of a brown/black walnut body with some red hue edges. Head snaps and makes some noise too. That is usually not a good sign for me. Good wispy top as the drink settles.

Nose is small with subtle malts and barleywine sense. Slight cherry chewy fruit notes and some jam.

Mild malt and some booze like alcohol prevalent in the palate. Big on banana fruit for the finish. Missing that classic wheat like chewiness that I miss so much. Palate feels a little dry and fussel alcohol sense.

Overall not really gravitating to this much. Doesn't have much going on.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Triticus from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.89 out of 5 based on 229 ratings.
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