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 bamojr
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wow. thats all I can say. This is nothing i ever would have expected from a wheat beer. Pours very dark with just a hint of red with a very tan creamy head. You can defiantly decern the wine-style in this one, with a very strong alcohol flavor that compliment this brew very well. Its is very think, malty, and has a nice coffee flavor. It is rather low on the drinkiblity because it is so strong in flavor and alcohol. Great Brew!

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

12 ounce bottle, split with a couple friends last weekend. Poured a clear dark brown color, with a small lingering tan head. Nice fruity aromas, along with wheat, caramel and toffee. On the palate, medium bodied and smooth, with flavors of wheat, caramel, toffee and dark fruits.

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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 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 smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown where only faint light passes. Good starting beige head that settles to a single layer of bubbles but leaves nice stringy and streaky lace.

Lots of molasses and maple syrup sweetness to the nose. Light alcohol.

Darker malt flavors than the smell suggests. There's some burnt toast taste to counteract the mild sweetness. Nice bitterness in the swallow. I don't taste any wheat, though. Not a thick beer, it has a decent body.

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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 jorg2619
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed this beer based on prior experience with the Leviathan series. Pours a deep ruby near black and is thick reminding me of used motor oil. I was struck by the amazing smell of this beer. Tons of subtle malt smell with a delicate but identifiable hops zest around the edges. The hop smell is earthy with a bit of citrus. To taste this beer I expected something like an old ale meets a wheat wine. I actually tasted a subtle malt bomb that is all wheat wine with some subtle hopping. Unfortunately the hop flavors become undetectable after the first few sips. Luckily the over all flavor of this beer is good. I was only hit by how sweet this beer becomes as it warms up.

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Photo of AdamPT1
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly deep black color with a thick cream colored head that lingers on the edges throughout the beer. First smells bring out sweetness with malty notes and an alcohol aroma. The beer's ABV is 11.5% which is not for the timid beer drinker. The taste is strong with caramel maltiness with hints of smoke and a hoppy bitterness. The beer finishes with mild pepper notes that tend to linger with a slight alcoholic after taste. The beer boasts a good carbonation that lasts even as the beer warms. I highly recommend this for beer lovers who enjoy a strong dark taste, especially in the winter.

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

Pours a three finger tan head that slowly fades to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is sweet malts. Color is deep brown, no highlights. Flavor is roasted chocolate and malts, high ABV is hidden, didn't get the alcohol flavor others have found. $3.00 for a 12oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

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

Pours a cola colored brown with no visible bubbles / carbonation coming to the top. Some lacing on the sides.
Smell of banana esters, cocoa, caramel, toffee, raisins and purple grape juice.

Taste of cocoa nibs mixing with licorice, overripe bananas, and of course belgian yeast with fruity esters and purple grape concentrate. The booze is extremely strong in this one. I will probably throw the next 3 of this 4 pack in the cellar for a few years to see what happens. To say the least, this is an interesting beer. All over the place with cocoa, licorice, banana, nail polish and booze. I kinda like the complexity, and will stop from hating on this because of the booze factor. Booze has its place and if you are looking for it, it is in this beer.

For those people speaking down on the booze factor in here, I hear your voice, I just don't know that your point is valid. If you can get all of these flavors in a beer without alcohol in it I would love to try it. This is a sipper , not to be chugged

Carbonation low, Drinkability for a wheatwine is pretty good, most wheatwines have a very light mouthfeel as does this however if you sit on one glass for a long while as it is intended, I think it gets decent drinkability as well

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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 Duhast500
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a over sized wine glass.

The color is dark black with some brownish highlights and a thin wisp of brownish/tan head with no lacing.

The smell is a little strawberry with a wheat filled flavor. There is some chap stick like flavors that come out to poke fun at me. Fresh watermelon and strawberry flavor pops in the nose.

The taste is spicy at first with a hard alcohol flavor that announces itself then backs off into a full fruit punch that its me back. Some strong grape, currant, and raisin flavor make for a full spectrum of flavor.

The feel of this beer is big, there is a big fingerprint of alcohol as well as a flavorful body that sits down in your lap till you finish it. It goes down well and at points is easier than a barley-wine at times when it goes down.

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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 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 beyah
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle puchased 11-14-10, 211 on bottle.

A - Deep dark brown, poured fairly aggressively to get a 1/2" head, some slight lacing.

S - Interesting smell, slight roasted smell, some hops. Smell of treacle or molasses.

T - Flavor is nothing like what I have had in the past but very good indeed. Stong roasted flavor, intesting hopping very balanced.

M - Very rich, light carbonation, but there is an alochol aftertaste

D - Not a gulping beer, light carbonation , with a warm brandy like ending.

Due to the high alcohol content, one is enough, two is just on the verge of too much.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz into Alpine pint glass. Drink Alpine beer or go to bed!

A- Lovely dark pour, 2-finger head that fizzes out quickly, moderate lacing.

S- Nose is sweet roasted malt goodness. Undetermined dark fruit notes.

T- Great depth of wheat flavors and a boozy, fruity (almost banana) phenolic sweetness. The hops are here to help cut into the sweetness but don't do much more than that. Not nearly as cloying as I was expecting.

M- Heavy, thick, chewy. Carbonation is spot-on.

D- I liked it.. seems to be a polarizing beer, but I like wheatwines and this is a unique take on the style. Would love to see what a bourbon barrel would do to this beer..

Insanely drinkable (to me) for the ABV.

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

12 oz bottle poured into large snifter glass. thanks phyfe99

Pours a deep, heavy brown, nearly inky black with a thin tan head which fades quickly. Streaks of film run across the top, along with some bubbled lacing around the rim.

Strong roasted malt, heavy sweetness with licorice, candied dark fruit, and some rum raisin tendencies in the nose.

Dark, caramelized fruit with hints of brown sugar and licorice. Rum raisin, dates, and figs all swirl together with some heavy roasted malt flavors. The backbone is thick and burly, with some eventual hop bitterness towards the end. Becomes almost acidic at points, especially in the finish. Warming alcohol is apparent, along with some sticky hop resin.

Heavy body, sticky, almost cumbersome at points on the tongue. Slow drinking due to higher ABV, which is usually fine, but some of the flavors were a little tougher to enjoy as well. Not a poor beer, but might improve with some further age.

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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 bonkers
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It is murky brown in appearance with a sticky 2 finger head. Sweet smell, even had a hint of bubble gum. Bubble gum, and some spinciness finish with a lingering amount of alcohol. Full bodied and creamy mouthfeel, well carbonated. Solid wheatwine, but not best in class.

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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 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 BeerFMAndy
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 11.5% ABV, 211 printed on the neck.

A - Dark brown, almost black beer is pretty surprising! A tall pour had no more than a thin pile of light khaki head. Poor retention from the alcohol and no real lace left over on the glass.

S - Chocolate and roasted coffee gives this wheatwine an interesting aroma to start. Especially since lemon citrus and dry wheat with some straw comes through after. A very interesting blend altogether. Toasted amber malts and a hint of molasses also. No hops.

T - Very roasted, reminiscent of Edmund Fitzgerald porter actually, chocolate and coffee in this overpower the light honey-drizzled wheat flavor. Once again, no hops. Much more of an ├╝ber-porter than a wheatwine. Still nice though.

M - Full-bodied and rich with a roasted dry and lightly bitter finish with a smooth entry. Moderate carbonation and a little alcohol warmth felt on the end.

D - A sipper and nothing more than that to be sure, it's a good beer but doesn't quite fit the style from what I've had. It's good regardless.

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

Harpoon Leviathan Triticus, 2010

The wheatwine style is unfamiliar territory. This beer pours a nice dark ebony with a white head. The beer has aromas of molasses, sun dried raisins and prunes. Initial taste has hits of molasses and cinnamon with a medium body. The beer coats the tongue nicely and washes away with a hint of bitterness. Despite the alcohol content there really isn't much presence of it, making this a very drinkable beer through the fall, winter, and spring months. In conclusion, this beer encourages further exploration of the wheatwine style.

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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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