Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPAHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA will challenge your senses and your palate. As the vibrant aroma rushes out of your glass you will notice the blend of piney and tropical fruit notes. At first sip, this big beer starts with a powerful hop bitterness up front and an aggressive hop flavor and character throughout.

Leviathan Imperial IPA is brewed with tons of pale malt and just enough caramel malt to provide a sweet malt body to balance the hop intensity. We used copious amounts of a variety of hops including Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo at various points during the boil to create a complex hop flavor and clean lingering bitter finish. We then fermented the beer with Harpoon’s own versatile proprietary yeast. Finally, we dry hopped at a rate of over 1 lb a barrel to produce this beer’s massive aroma.

Added by DrDogbeer on 09-07-2008

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Reviews: 722 | Ratings: 1,745
Photo of wlester
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious over the top double IPA. Wonderful citrus overtones, super hoppy but not acrid. Feels great in the mouth. Small amount of fine foam that clings to the glass. Beautiful amber color.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- A beautiful amber brew!!! Clear, carbonated, and a nice 1 1/2 finger white head that drips away leaving foamy goodness all over the tulip glass.

S- Fresh citrus! Oranges, grapefruit, peach, and sweet mango smack your sences, just before the piney hops waft in.

T- Tastes just like it smells! OMG! Damn close to perfect! Tons of citrus... Bits of hops... nice sweet malt finish on the tongue! Such an amazing balance! FRESH, FRESH, FRESH!!!

M- Sweet and caramely... citrusy and bitter!!! All the flavors mingle and blend like Eric and Duane on "Layla"!!! Perfect Harmony and Pitch in a beer... me thinks so!!!

D- This is it!!! As good as Pliny if not better! Just my opinion... I've seen this before in the past... and like a dumb ass... passed on it for something just OK... NEVER AGAIN!!!

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.92/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours an absolutely beautiful honey-colored hue. Pretty decent foamy light-tan head that retreats to a slight coating on top. Picking up some hints of citrus but mostly pine, floral hops and some sweetness too mixed in the aromas. Tastes of pine, grapefruit, and the caramel malts help to balance out the bitterness. A touch of peppery-type heat on the finish. There is carbonation, bitterness, and alcohol warming/burn on the palate; though this one goes down very smooth. Overall, the malt sweetness works really well with the hops and I might find this to be one of my favorites; plus, easy to drink and the 10% abv is hidden quite nice. Harpoon has brewed a complex, well balanced, and delicious imperial ipa here; well done!

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.91/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle purchased as part of a 4 pack

A: Side poured into a 12 oz taster glass. Initial carbonation blast that quickly settled into a 1/2 inch, slightly off-white head. Color is a slightly reddish golden amber. The beer is just a little hazy. Anticipating something very nice.

S: Initial major hop blast. I am getting hops, citrus, pine. Smells great!

T: Fantastic! Lots of hops up front. Citrus and tropical fruits in the middle. Sweet malt backbone balances it out with a very incredible bitterness on the back end. Extremely well balanced. Barely even a hint of the 10 percent ABV. In my opinion, perfect for this style.

M: Chewy. The hops hit your mouth, loud, crisp and bright. The bitterness makes you pucker for more. Only a slight warmth on the back of the tongue from the alcohol.

O: Excellent. This is one of the few defining beers of this style which I really love. The hidden ABV is incredibly stealthy. Upon letting the beer warm before I finished the bottle all I can say is WOW! I really do not think that this can be improved. Don't change anything! If you are an IPA fan, you must try this beer. But be careful as you won't notice the alcohol until you feel it. Incredible brewing!!!

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Photo of BenJames1984
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Captivating, burnt orange with a tinge of amber. Nice white head, leaving an exceptional amount of lacin.g

Smell- Piney hops, complimented with a nice malt backing.

Taste- Amazing. A blast of a perfect hop and malt balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Smooth as silk. Very little carbonation. I could probably drink a couple of these a night, maybe three at the most.

My only beer from Harpoon, but hopefully not my last. I would like to try the others in their Leviathan series.

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Photo of Brad007
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden-copper color with ample carbonation and a decent head that fades after a minute or three.

Aroma is smooth and floral with subtle hints of biscuit malt and a light bitterness.

Taste is floral and grassy upfront with notes of citrus, biscuit malt and a bit of alcohol burn. Does not seem overpowering. Smooth, not rough.

Mouthfeel has more of the floral/citrusy notes with a very light bitterness that seems to fade into fluffiness at the back of the throat. Only a touch of bitterness and grassy notes from the hops remain.

I would say that this beer is highly drinkable for the style. At 10%, it's deceptively delicious. It seems well-balanced and a nice way to get acquainted with the style. Who says that imperial IPAs must be overly bitter and undrinkable? Harpoon shows us that with years of proven brewing experience and skill, that it can produce bigger styles.

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Photo of afacini
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dangerous. The massive hops delivery will effectively burn out your tongue and prevent you from tasting other things for a while.

...but that's perfectly fine, so long as there's another bottle of this stuff nearby.

If you can tackle the raw power behind the ridiculous hop and alcohol levels, this beer will become one of your favorites. Drinking it is an experience that takes at least a half hour. It's an "extreme beer" that doesn't overpower your senses for the sake of it... it is delicious and flavorful and goddammit, I want some right now.

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Photo of gcarl
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am so taken a back by this beer it is hard for me to find the words to review it! I keep checking the bottle I poured it out of to make sure that it came from harpoon. I have always loved Harpoon for their solid staples(IPA, Brown Ale) , tasty 100 barrel series, and unique seasonals, but this...the Leviathan Imperial IPA is something else. It bests what I feel is the pinnacle of the style, DFH 90 Min IPA. With Leviathans beautiful orange hue, thin but strong head, creamy hop flavor, and syrupy aftertaste it is near impossible to put down. I am blown away, this is the beer to take Harpoon to the next level and I can not wait to see what else the Leviathan series holds.


Edit: after doing a side by side comparison of the Leviathan and DFH 90 min my conclusion has changed slightly the beers are different and therefore my suggestion that Harpoon was better is not correct. with 90 Min having a sweeter hop presence while the Leviathan is crisp and clean. Both are amazing in their own right.

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Photo of mempath
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beautiful off-white head and great lacing. thick with a transparent, golden-apricot underneath. smells of intense grapefruit with both the expected sour-citrus punch with added, mysterious sweetness. truly a 'chewy' nose that has me really anticipating the taste. and...

WOW. this is, first impression, it's own thing, but i do get a double sense of the intense Smuttynose IPA but the thicker, chewier aspects of Troegs Nugget Nectar. there's hops and hops and hops in these depths. the malt backbone is a bit more like jellyfish, but that's ok...this serpent of the deeps eats its own tail and captain ahab will have plenty of chasing to do...

a very drinkable beer for hopsters. and perhaps Harpoon's best offering. at least of all that i've tried. another great HOPPY brew for US.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I initially got two fingers' worth of thick, off-white head that began to melt away fairly quickly, reducing to some bubbly wisps, but leaving some incredibly sticky lacing in its wake. The color was a gorgeous deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was like standing in a pine forest in the winter and inhaling deeply! The mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a very pine-y, hoppy bite. The finish lingered with the pine taste, but mingled with a pleasant malty sweetness at the extreme finish. Dry? Like the Sahara, baby!

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Photo of RossiDaMan
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I absolutely loved this beer and put it in my top 5. Maybe I was getting burned out from the bitterness of my recent IPA/DIPA run but this one totally and pleasantly surprised me. Sweet and creamy in aroma and taste, the boozy non-bitter close is what sealed the deal for me. Big win!

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Photo of Zippie9999
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving type:bottle
Smell: Citrusy, hoppy, a bit hempy
Taste: hoppy, bitter, a definite hop bomb!!!
Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth
Drinkability: definitely an IIPA! Done very well. Hides the ABV vell for the style.I'd give this an A-A+ overall. Definitely gives the style mad props!!! I'm a true friend of the imperial IPAs. Gives a major run for Avery's, dogfish head, Lagunitas, and Stone (CA)

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Photo of jmerloni
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a translucent and fairly vibrant amber color. Very exciting with nice bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Head is fairly minimal, however, and it does not stick around nor lace very well.

S - Oh my what an aroma. One of the truest IPA aromas I've come across in a while. Pine, grapefruit, citrus. Hops are detected at astronomical levels. This smells like a pure hop bomb.

T - Stays true to the nose and more. Pine, grapefruit, citrus, and floral hops, but what couldn't be picked up on the nose is how FRESH all of these flavors are. The hop level is like I've never tasted in my life. This is the hoppiest beer I have come across in my relatively short beer tasting life. WOW!!

M - Also perfect. Medium bodied. Carbonation complimenting the hoppiness, leaving one of the freshest, cleanest, driest finishes I've experienced. Fantastic.

D - I would give this a lower drinkability only because the hop level is so absurd that I couldn't even taste my dinner while I was drinking it. This beer launches the most intense, visceral blitzkrieg on the tastebuds as any other I've tried. But, I can't say that this beer is only moderately - or even only pretty - drinkable, because that is exactly what this beer was meant to be: the atomic hop bomb of beers. And I also can't say I'd love to session with these and drink a 4 pack of these one night. So rather, I'd say this is a very drinkable brew. I think this is absolutely the most honest and true DIPA I've come across, and there is something to be said for a company wanting to simply craft the most honest and genuine beer of its kind that it can and doing so with the best inputs available to them. There is a reason this beer is $10 for a 4 pack, and I think it's worth every penny. I look forward to getting this one again very soon.

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Photo of Greenmachine07
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-very light brown minimal head, clear

S-bread, slight pine. there was not alot noticeable once poured but upon warming there was a hop presence and a citrus smell.

T-this is where i am won over. There is a forefront of flavor slight lemon, bread, malt and then it is won over by a large dose of hops. if there were any more hops this may be overpowering for anyone not used to the bitter spike. but for the average drinker this was perfect.

O-i loved this beer and can not find a day i do not enjoy a bottle. i bought a case after i went through two six packs. it is easy drinking packed with flavor and hops but not so much that you will dull the palette.

Buy it you wont regret it. i

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Photo of darksunshaman
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I can't state enough how much I adore this ale. As DIPA's come, this is the best I have had as of yet. The 10% ABV is extremely well worked in with the hoppiness and the well executed maltiness. This has definitely become one of my go to picks alongside of the ever present Torpedoes. I would definitely recommend and will buy, buy, buy again! The only DIPA that I have had to date that compares to this is is the Alchemy Hour DIPA from Great Lakes Brewery (pending name change). To me, being able to pull off a 10% ABV without the end product being too boozy is an accomplishment unto itself, unlike the Majarajah from Avery I have also reviewed. This will always have a space in my fridge, always!

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best IIPAs that I've ever had, it's got one of the strongest hop aromas of any IPA I've ever had, it even rivals the Sierra Nevada Fresh Hop summer harvest.

It's nice a smooth with very little head and low carbonation with a deep amber to almost red coloring. If you can find this, buy it. The Leviathan series has given me a whole new outlook on Harpoon!

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Photo of Jaguar
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a big harpoon I.P.A. fan, it's pretty much always in the refrigerator, so I was wondering if this was going to be harpoon I.P.A. on steroids or something completely new. At $10.00 a four pack, it was a toss up between a four pack of this or a four pack of Leviathan series Baltic porter, and as much as I love porters, I have to admit I've turned into more than a part time hop junkie. this won.

Harpoon's description:
We used copious amounts of a variety of hops including Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo at various points during the boil to create a complex hop flavor and clean lingering bitter finish. Finally, we dry hopped at a rate of over 1 lb a barrel to produce this beer's massive aroma.

How the hell can I not try it after reading that?
How is it? it's flowery, perfumey, hoppy perfection. It's harpoon I.P.A.on steroids, and to me that's pure joy.
If you're an goofball kid playing the I.B.U. game " Oh yeah, Dude, well I shotgunned three 120 minute I.P.A.'s and a Hop Monster up my nose and chased them with warm donkey piss!" then this probably won't get you any bragging rights.
If you want to try a very good balanced hoppy ale give this one a shot.

I went to Fenway park recently and spent $7.75 for shitty plastic cups of Guinness and Smithwick's, (don't get me started) so at $2.50 a bottle this is manna from heaven.
After paying $50.00 a ticket(X2) and $7.75 a beer,I think I'll buy a trunk load of this this and watch the games on T.V.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is orangey and an almost grapefruit color with a piney and citrusy aroma, also adds some dark brown sugar and dark fruits like dates. Taste is roundly bitter, but not overly so, very hoppy with lots of grapefruit notes; lots of sweet citrus notes hit first before a bracing piney bitterness overtakes, some tints of tylenol in there, but very faint.

Reminds me a lot of DFH 90 minute, but this is a bit thinner and more drinkable. Alcohol is content to stay in the background as the strength hides well. A top-notch DIPA and one I will go back to.

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Photo of sae249833
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The high alcohol content made this an excellent beer to start off with. Not as much flowery aroma as other IPAs but that is one thing I liked about it.

Coming from a person who generally doesn't appreciate IPAs as much as other styles this was a particularly pleasing beer.

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Photo of scarletfire79
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up a growler in windsor and am really glad i did. pours a sublime orange hue, the smell of citrus and fresh cut grass flew from the glass. beautiful head, everything about this beer is appealing. the taste is so smooth. creamy citrus with a nice hop bite. someone compared it to dogfish head, but let me be the first to say, this kicks the crap out of DFH 60min. hands down the best harpoon beer i've ever had. thank you guys, keep up the good work with this series.

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Photo of fegelFatso
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is my first review on here (hopefully of many) and I'm honored to start off with this amazing beer!

Serving type: 12oz bottle, bought from a grocery store in Texas, and poured into a Sam Adams pint glass (would prefer a tulip, but I'm on vacation and had to improvise).

A: A deep golden orange. Very clear and crisp. Had about 1/2 inch head that slowly reduced to less than half a fingernail... No lacing.

S: Hops! Smells like I opened a bag of cascade pellets and took a good whiff! Fades away to a sweet, dare I say boozy aroma. Beautiful!

T: OH BABY! Hops quickly fade to a sweet, malty, boozy background while the hops still play a role! Less hoppy, more boozy as it warms. Reminds me of Avery's Maharaja (my 2nd favorite IPA until I tried this!)... But better!

M: Sticky, heavier bodied, slightly chewy. Probably my least favorite part of the experience, but that's being knit picky at this point... This beer is AMAZING!!!

O: This isn't the first glass of this I've ever happened... That honor goes to the 10oz pour I bought at the Harpoon Taphouse in Boston a few weeks ago (I got the Sam Adams glass from their brewery earlier that day!)... It cost $8 for the 10oz... I muttered to myself "this better be one of the best beers I've ever had"... Took my sip... And thought the same thing Barney Gumbo thought after paying $50 for a beer and drinking it... "You got lucky!" This is better than Maharaja, but doesn't eclipse my absolute favorite IPA (and beer overall), Pliny the Younger... But seeing as that's impossible to get 50 weeks out of the year, this will do! AWESOME BEER!!!

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Photo of Bobheed
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Exactly what an imperial IPA should look like, very golden, with a slight orange hue

S: Very floral, I'd say oranges and roses, kinda piny

T: Again, very floral. Tasted like drinking flowers almost.

M: This may be the biggest thing this one has going for it. Very tingly and thick for an IPA, got a lot of warmth from the alcohol in there as well.

This is such a good beer, and very close to being the perfect IPA. Very aggressive in the combination of the hops and presence of alcohol. Would love to drink more often if it was distributed to my market

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Photo of biggred1
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey golden with a creamy fine eggshell colored head that leaves beautiful lace behind. The aroma is complex, a nice spicy blend of hops and caramel. The flavors are also complex, citrus fruit and pineapple hop flavors, tobacco and a slight bubblegum pale malt sweetness with warming alcohol in the finish. Medium slippery mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the somewhat cloudy golden amber brew. Head fades slowly, with leggy lacing action. Aroma is sweet and piney. Taste is sweet and citrusy to start, goes piney in the middle and through the close. Nice that the hops is dominant but not out of control. Mouthfeel is smooth, with excellent drinkability for the abv. Great stuff.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler fresh from the brewery, $12.99 for the beer + $2.50 for deposit. Poured into a chilled pint.

A: Thick golden brew generates 1" of slowly building ivory head after a gentle pour. Head settles to a single stable layer that forms a heavy meniscus on the glass.

I swirl the glass when half the pint is gone, a frothy and audible fizz flares up and quickly dissipates. This is holding a lot of latent carbonation.

S: Smell is very intense, thick, and diverse. Sweet smooth honey and melon or mango, a bit milky, and obviously a massive dose of rich and complicated hops... mixed citrus, fragrant pine, green grass.

T: When I hold this in my mouth there's a taste of honey and tropical fruits, maybe a hint of citrus, on the tip of the tongue. Only when it is swallowed and goes over the back of the tongue do the hops kick in. Very fun. Hops are a big resiny kick of lemon and grapefruit, pine pitch, and also a bit of fresh mowed grass.

M: Thick and viscous in a way that a ton of pale malt can be. This keeps the abundant carbonation to a very soft and pleasant level. Finishes dry and crisp with a strong resiny hop feeling. Alcohol barely (if at all) detected, very well hidden.

D: I love this beer. Even on a hot (mid-90s) day, it is clean and refreshing. Surely nobody is going to drink a huge volume of this stuff (at 10% ABV), but it is quenching and I'm sure I'll be gladly downing a quart of water soon after just to see how long the hops linger on my palate.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,745 ratings.
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