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 Arbitrator
1.06/5  rDev -72.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Arne.

A: Pours a seemingly pitch brown body, but edge translucence suggests the beer is probably dark and clear. It has a light mocha head, maybe half a finger in thickness, that falls into a thin collar on the brew. No lace.

S: Honey, licorice, bubblegum, booze. The last two coupled together make this seem like some kind of cheap, alcohol candy or generic cough syrup. OMFG this is disgusting.

T: A disjointed, clashing mess of roasted malt, booze, honey, bubblegum, licorice, and some random aspirin-like bitterness. On paper alone it sounds like a recipe someone designed while high. "I want a pepperoni pizza. With nachos, and popcorn, and chocolate, and peanut butter, and some mashed potatoes..." I don't understand what I'm supposed to get out of this Franken-beer. What a trainwreck.

M: I lost patience typing up my notes at this point.

This was just disgusting. I had an immediate, visceral dislike to it and threw it out.

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Photo of mikey711
2.13/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Deep brown near black with a touch of mocha colored head that is about an 8th of an inch thick. it does leave some nice webbing though

S: Burnt raisins and some plum fruit notes. heavy caramel and toffee notes with a faint hoppiness as well

T: Burnt fruit notes, mainly raisins, some boozy rum like notes but overall it is all just too much going on that could use some mellowing out

M: Very boozy and surprisingly thin.

D: maybe with some time will help but for the moment its just a bit messy

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
2.18/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Split a 4pk of this with a fellow BA.

Pours nearly black with a tiny bit of tannish foam, not much, no retention, dots of lace.

Aroma is big hearty malts, sweet caramel, with wheaty twang and a fruity component thats like slightly tangy kiwi? Very subtle but I picked that out for some reason. But its mostly just boozy. It's big and stinging. harsh.

The taste is huge as well, boozy, tons of sugary raisin, wheaty chalkiness on the palate. cloying, just not good. Messy. Mouthfeel is medium, low carbonation, just not a very pleasant beer to drink. I drain poured the second half.

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Photo of Pahn
2.35/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. "211" is printed on the neck of the bottle, so if you know what they're trying to say with that, you probably know when the beer was bottled.

Appearance: Free pour yields a light tan head that quickly dissipates into a tiny ring around the surface. Pours a solid black that's reddish and semi-translucent around the edges. No lacing.

Smell: Caramel and sweetened grape juice. Some nice, ambiguous smells like raisin and banana bread, with the grape juice aroma not overboard but complimentary to the rest. Boozy. Smells like an interesting beer.

With warmth, all you can generally smell is alcohol. Some really faint roasted and dark fruit aromas pop in and out, but it's predominantly like rubbing alcohol / nail polish remover.

Taste: First sip: grape, chocolate, alcohol. It's a little stout-like, with roasted malt and chocolate flavors dominating. Long straight alcohol aftertaste along with warmth in the chest. Next sip: significantly more grape, sweeter and with an emerging note of anise. Roasted flavor more in the background, alcohol still prominent.

The third sip: cough syrup. And it's down hill from there. Harsh, overwhelming booze colored by occasional hints of some of the other things mentioned above.

All the good flavors taste better in other beers. The solvent-like alcohol taste is too much. This flavor reminds you that alcohol is a poison, and why people cut liquor with juice or cream. Sickening.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Kind of watery. Hot as hell. Hard to gauge other aspects of the feel (like carbonation) in light of the heat.

Drinkability: I'm considering pouring this down the drain.

I have no problem with high alcohol beers; I've given As to several beers with a higher ABV than this. However, this beer tastes like hard liquor that alludes to various beer styles (stout, weizenbock). To be blunt, this beer is awful.

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Photo of maximum12
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to hoppymcgee & baconsausage for sending me bottles of this wheatwine, to feed my growing fondess for the style. As my wife has to rise at some ungodly hour tomorrow (5:30 AM) we've split a 12 oz. bottle.

Pours a dark enough red to be a kissing cousin to black. Smell is bubblegum, powder sugar that comes off bubblegum, & a further teaspoon of sweetness. There might be licorice & banana mixed in. Wow. If the smell of sugar caused cancer, this would be a weapon of mass destruction. I like it.

Triticus puzzles me. I can feel the crease between my eyes. Huge shots of alcohol & mapled sweetness vie hand-to-hand for supremacy, on a field littered with candy-coated bananas. The wheat comes in distantly, barely noticed underneath the sweetness. Hop bitterness sticks a head up & loses it almost immediately.

Cloyingly sweet, with nothing to balance it or cut into it. Boozy. I'm sad to say that six ounces of this creature is almost more than enough for one night.

This beer is a hot, muddled, sweet mess. My favorite wheatwines have are a hot, sweet, wheaty mess that somehow comes together. This one feels raw & unfinished. I'm going to stuff my remaining bottle into a dark corner & forget about it until 2015, then try again. Right now, just a decent brew.

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Photo of bilyboy65
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful brown color, but no head though. Not the best offering. Nose has a high alcohol scent with a bitter wheat undertones. The taste is sour, bitter and without much goodness. Mouthfeel is a medium/full body that has a slight oil trail. I'm not that impressed as the alcohol and the wheat really seems to take over everything else.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

APP- Billiard black beer with decent white head leaves no lace. It is opaque.

Aroma- Prunes, raisins, soy sauce, alcohol, sherry

Taste- treacle, plum skin, fig, roasted grain, notes of toasted marshmallow

Mouthfeel- light bodied despite the heavy flavors, wheat barely comes through with all the roasted grain, combines with hot alcohol to sear any of the more pleasant flavors off the palate

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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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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet oatmeal and molasses. In the taste, sweet oatmeal, molasses stickiness, a hint of chocolate and a pinch of alcohol. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry sticky roasty malt. I thought this was a stout, no wheat hints at all. Good for what it is, but not a wheatwine.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Leviathan: cresting the waves, leading us all to the grave." - Alestorm

I picked up a 4-pack of this a few months ago and found it too hot to trot. It tastes about perfect now.

Pours a chestnut brown but collects opaque black in my glass. A tough pour yields a 1 finger tan head. Lacey tiling left by shifting skim retention and a foamy collar.

Aroma is Malt (yes, with a capital M), licorice and pumpernickel.

Taste somewhat makes up for the reserved aroma. Subtle fruit esters over slighly burnt toast with some hop spice in back. Bitter chocolate with a nice roasted fade. The alcohol has mostly faded out at this point but I do feel a tad giddy. Rich and creamy mouthfeel.

Doesn't age well.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fair wheatwine, dark with a nice push that does not quite get there, primarily held back by the raw and young boozy sense.

Presentation: 12 oz capped brow bottle. Leviathan series abyss creature design in ocher/orange over black. Neck label offers a short description with the main characteristics of the brew. Code screen-printed on neck (211) Notes Alc. by Vol. (11.5%)

A - Very dark brown with a short lived 1/4" foamy head, thin surface memory ring with a few spotty touches of lace.

S - Malty nose, dark fruit with a touch of caramel

T - The taste has a bit of a longer range, albeit still woven in a predominant alcoholic heat. Malty, touch of a wheaty sense, faint pepper, caramel and dark fruit and the alcohol with a tiny hoppy touch in the finish.

M - Medium body held up with medium small carbonation albeit with a nice tingly finish, that paddles around quite a raw boozy sense.

D - Fair sipper albeit a bit too rough ended.

Notes: It's not a bad brew, but there is nothing remarkable about it. Maybe some aging would soothe the boozy beast earning some smoothness and a longer range.

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Photo of champ103
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger light beige head rises with good retention, especially considering the ABV. Some light lace is left behind as well.
S: The nose is odd. Soapy hops up front. Though a big sweetness follows. A lot of liquorish as well. Together, it just does not mesh right for me.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of hops up front, but quickly gives way to the big malt presents. A big caramel malt sweetness, and a huge liquorish flavor. Some black currents as well that combine for just an odd experience.
M/D: A medium to full body. Maybe just a bit over carbonated for my tastes. I was really surprised to see how high the alcohol was. I downed this in no time.

This is interesting, to say the least. I am not a fan of the huge liquorish flavor. Really not much of a Wheatwine either. Overall, worth a try, but more of a one and done than anything for me.

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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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Photo of argock
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a 10oz snifter at Sunset Tap and Grill (Allston, MA).

A: Murky grape-brown with short off-white cap of head that leaves no lace.

S: Sweet and tart wheaty aromas are clubbed by brash berryish and metallic alcohol. Molasses and licorice accent the aromas intensely.

T: The flavor is best described as a mixture of estery wheat tartness beat down by the raw strength of the alcohol and the sharp anise qualities of the licorice-molasses component.

M: Full-bodied and mouth-filling. The alcohol tones are a detriment though.

D: The alcohol is a blugdeon unfortunately for this one.

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Photo of LOCAL
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my first time having this brew. Pours a very dark brown with a thin mocha head that leaves a trace amount behind after fading quickly. Nose has some caramel and chocolate malt notes and slight citrus undertones. The taste is big on the caramel and chocolate malts, very dominant. A bit of a piney hop background. Feels fairly thick on the tongue and a leaves a lingering hop bitterness. The only other wheatwine I've had is Smuttynoses, and these two taste worlds apart. Gonna see if this changes any in the cellar.

It struck me after the fact that if there are American barleywines and English barleywines... this would be the English equivalent wheatwine.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 12oz bottle

Pours a brown color with dark ruby hues at the edges when held up to the light, hardly any head or lacing at all.

Smell has a wheaty malt aroma, hints of bubblegum and a strong alcohol presence.

Taste has a nice mix of malt and bubblegum, bits of spiciness throughout, the alcohol strength is very evident right away and even feels a slight burn in the back of the throat, decent creaminess with soft carbonation.

I think with a bit more time this would be quite good, but I'd sooner reach for Smuttynose's Wheat Wine.

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Photo of cbutova
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 date on bottle neck.

A- Pretty much black body poured into a pint glass with a dark tan head. About two finger height of the cap and pretty good retention. Spotty lace on the glass.

S- Sort of has a roasty malt, raisin, dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar feel. Strong aroma overall.

T- Strong flavor to say the least. Big on the raisin, caramel and dark fruit flavors. These notes are joined by alcohol, sugar, banana and nuts.

MF- Hot from alcohol in a moderately thick, creamy body. Carbonation at medium level. Some bitterness.

A hot, big beer with a caramel dark fruit Barleywine feel. The alcohol feel and flavor are my only complaints but they do not nearly ruin the whole experience.

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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 Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thin-brown head into my tulip. I've only had one other wheatwine so it's nice to try this one.

Aroma is strong with banana, clove and plum in the nose. Strong alcohol presence as well.

Lots of clove and banana are present upfront but it's mainly dominated by alcohol heat. A bit rough on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very hot and full of lingering clove/banana flavors.

Certainly hard to enjoy in this state. I would buy another bottle and age it for I don't know, 6 months? Not bad but just not drinkable.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 4-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" light tan head above the clear dark brown brew. Head recedes rather quickly, with very leggy lacing. Aroma is creamy wheat with pungent bubblegum.

Taste begins with a subtle sweetness, which slowly intensifies, yields to the bubblegum in the middle, and then finally gives way to alcohol, numbing and somewhat harsh. Mouthfeel is smooth but rough near the close, and drinkability is pretty limited by the alcohol as well. Not a bad brew, but the booze could be dialed back a bit. Maybe some age would smooth out the rough edges.

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Photo of seeswo
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a black wheatwine, which is two styles removed from being anything close to a normal beer. Normally, wheatwines have a nice golden color, but this pours much like Nemesis '10. It gets color from the dark malts that are in it. So, what is this beer? Well, every other wheatwine I have had, the wheat is a very present flavor in the experience. This, not so much. It tastes kind of like an odd barleywine. To be more specific, it tastes like a less hoppy Nemesis '10. This may be a function of age, or otherwise a lack of hops, but I would be more comfortable calling the Triticus a black barleywine than a wheatwine.

So, enough about what it is like. How does it taste? Pretty good. I actually don't like it as much as the Nemesis '10 (or the '09 for that matter), and kind of miss that big hop profile. This tells me that the Nemesis '10 might not age as gracefully as I hope. Back to the beer under review...there is some slightly off flavor that accompanies the finish of this brew the diminishes as the beer warms. I would definitely set it out for 30 minutes before giving it more than a sip. At 11.2% ABV, I imagine this will be enjoyed slowly. I would buy 2 and drink one the next time it is cold out and leave the other in the basement for a year and see what you think then.

In the pursuit of the ultimate wheatwine, this beer falls flat. Outside of style, I would call this decent, but not what I am looking for or expecting when striving for wheatwine.

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

On-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in a brandy snifter:

A: Deep and dark black color with a thin tan/light brown head.

S: The aroma had a nice big malty aroma with a hint of wheat and a big boozy component.

T: I didn't know what really to expect as this was only the second of this style that I have ever had, but it had a big taste. Dark fruits with heavily toasted malted barley with a big boozy finish. I expected more characteristics of a wheat beer/hefeweizen.

M/D: The beer had a heavy body and with the high alcohol content, one should probably not enjoy more than one and any sitting. The beer was creamy, but it felt a little watered down. Overall, not a bad beer, but I am unsure as to why it is called a wheat wine when I really didn't get any characteristics of a wheat beer.

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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 UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque cola brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a thin cap. A nice curtain of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark wheat bread, brown sugar, dark fruits, spices, and alcohol. Taste is of dark bread, dried fruit, and some spices. There is an alcohol twang on the tongue with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a thick and slightly flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good wheatwine with a better smell than taste. I was hoping for more flavors based on the aromas I get from this one.

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