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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 | website

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: 716 | Ratings: 1,731
Photo of utopiajane
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with perfect clarity. A finger of foam that doesn’t last to a thin ring and skin on top. Fair retention and pretty good lace. It’s rather pretty actually because of the orange glow in the color. Nose is grand. Delectable malt! Caramel, biscuit, nuts. Fruity tropical hops, pineapple, mango, grass, sweet pine and an all over earthy scent. The malt opens up as it warms with lots of bread and a graceful honey sweetness. Taste is superb. Tropical fruits with a touch of floral, fat malt character. Bread and biscuit, nuts, and honey. Pale and caramel malt abounds in the taste. Smooth and very drinkable. The hops leave a nice oil and bitter leading into the finish. There is a touch of alcohol on the palate before a nice dry aftertaste and a full on hop bitter that coats the throat with just a touch of sweetness underneath.

What a surprise this was. A real malt treasure of an Imperial IPA. Graceful, drinkable, delicious, fruity, gentle and fat. Has many tea like qualities that make it very attractive to the palate. It has everything an IPA should have in the way of hop grandeur and bitter and everything favorable from it’s malt character. Cheerful and loaded with colossal malt.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

My apologies for the departure from form. Just conveying instant observations--not going for a full tasting.

Nice pour, head was gone before it left the counter (at the brewery's own beer hall). Starts out piney with green notes reminiscent of Japanese green teas, but quickly yields to fruitiness (roasted plum and burnt orange) and medium malty sweetness. Barely noticeable yeast note. Lingering finish, more complex malt flavors coming out. Not a lot of bitterness in the aftertaste, but hops remain throughout (which one would expect from a decent five-hops blend). Alcohol not pronounced which also resulted in mineral-water mouthfeel (hence the downgrade), along with all the hops and malt notes. Medium body, low carbonation. Although none of the flavors were overpowering, all subsequent beers tasted watery (even those I know not to be so). So if you make it a night with Leviathan, don't expect to be able to cheat with Belgian Blonde or a Summer Wheat. Would pair well with gourmet pizza, grilled pork chop, mild curry or a chocolate-heavy dessert, but would not work with pasta or any delicate cream-based sauces or desserts. Tastes better warm, of course!

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Photo of tbeckett
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Total Wine in Tampa. Enjoy by July 15.

A - Pours a nice dark golden colour, bright, with light-medium carbonation. Two finger fluffy off white head on top. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Juicy pineapple. Lot's of citrus, some booze, and a nice fruity malt note.

T - Sweet peach or mango up front with pineapple again and pine. Good maltiness for balance. A little spice and booze too.

M - Lot's of appropriate bitterness in the finish. Decent carbonation a full body. Finish has a spicy hop bitterness too.

O/D - A good DIPA. Doesn't stand out in many ways, but seems to nail the stylistic requirements properly. Alcohol definitely makes itself known, but hardly offends.

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Photo of Segelstrom
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured into tumbler with absolute clarity. Medium/light golden/copper color. Not much head which wasn't long for this world. Swear beer was filtered.

S - Hoppy hoppy hoppy

T - Wonderful hoppy taste with all the varieties couldn't single any one out. Just great

M- not harsh with over carbonation.

O - will buy again

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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 mfnmbvp
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with smeared best by date reading 05/15/2013. Nothing too much to preface, I've had this beer before, and I've been less than impressed with the regular Harpoon IPA. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours about one finger of off-white fizzy bubbly head, which is more than can be said for the regular Harpoon IPA. Same typical clear copper colored body, if maybe just a shade darker. Virtually no lacing on the glass.

S - Strong dominant citrus and pine hops coming in strong on the nose with this one. Some grapefruit / mango. Smells more like hop extracts than it does a genuine hop aroma, almost reminding me of a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. Bit of a sweet tea leaf type malt finish. We'll see what aromas arise when the beer begins to warm. Warmth brings out some bready biscuit malt.

T - A bitter hoppy beer, but not as intense as some other imperial / double IPA's I have had in the past, especially for one that is packing a 10.00% abv. Bit of bitter hop spiciness in the finish, but nothing too overpowering. Like it's contemporary beer, the Harpoon IPA, this beer is more malt forward than it is a full on hop bomb, like many imperial IPA's.

M - Smooth, clean, and malty. Some resinous hop bitterness lingering.

Overall, hides it's 10.00% abv deceptively well; you would never know this beer was packing such a high abv by the taste. Very mild hop burn, but well balanced with a strong malt forward profile. Personally, it is not a beer I'd be interested in trying again. I would however give other beers in the Harpoon Leviathan series a shot, although this has been the only one I've seen so far. A serious fan of IPA's should give it a shot, though.

Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA ---3.5/5

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.3/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

A - Pours dark gold with a two finher white head. Left a good amount of lacing.

S - Some pineapple, however it is dominated completely by malt.

T - Yep, this is a malt bomb through and through. Extremely bitter as well.

M - Medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, it reminded me of a Hop Rocket, which sucked badly.

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Photo of Mojo
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head glass

This beer pours up a very clear gold with a nice 1 finger head, decent retention, and some nice lacing. The smell is fairly strong. The main note is the alcohol followed by breadiness and pine. Taste is BIG. I get a big maltiness at first sip followed by the mother of all hop bitterness on the finish. Unfortunately the alcohol is not that well hidden whic detracts from overall enjoyment. Mouthfeel is not as big and full as I thought it would be, but it is kind of heavy nonetheless. Not bad...if only the booze could be hidden better.

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Photo of mntlover
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty clear copper color with a thumb sized cream colored head that falls to sum. Some pretty nice lace left behind.

Aroma is nice spicy hops hints of floral notes riding on alcohol hints with some pine resin hiding underneath. Nice sweet lightly fruity malt base mostly biscuit like malts.

Taste is nice bready malt with nice spicy hops hints of fruit. Some alcohol notes are ovious right away and do detract form the experience in my point of view. Had plenty 10% plus that do better job of hiding it. That being said it is not terrible more towards average.

Mouthfeel is not huge only medium or little more. Mouthfeel is smooth.

Overall looks nice smells tasty but problem it is not as tasty as it smells. Just little too much alcohol. Wishing I hadn't bought a 4 pack but I see I am in the minority on this.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Beer pours a slightly hazy orange color and leans toward amber. Head is thick and does not stand tall but mellows nicely leaving great lace on the glass.

S: Spicy hops up front with orange peel and some floral bouquet. Some sweet biscuit aromas push through the hop haze just a bit and in comes a touch of honey and cardamom spice.

T: Layers of hops from peppery, citric and floral slam the tongue and bitter the hell out of the tastebuds. After they recover a bit a touch of honey on light roasted barley and a straw like flavor from the grain profile. Hops still stick with you for awhile and along with some alcohol give the tongue another slam.

M: Medium body, a bit slick, and crisp in the carbonation with a light alcohol burn.

O: Aggressive beer for Harpoon and it is for those who love hops! It can seem a bit much at times but it finds a way to back off just enough to let one continue to explore and enjoy the flavors of. Try it don"t slam it and be rewarded.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoy By 03/15/13

A: Pours a golden color with a fingers worth of head that reduces to a thin cap

S: Dominated by piney and tropical hops with a hint of malts. Also get some of the alcohol

T: Follows the nose. Piney and tropical fruity hops stand out the most, along with a decent malt backbone and alcohol. Finishes moderately bitter with a slightly solvent alcohol note

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly oily and slick

O: This one could definitely do your palate in after a couple. The 90 IBUs are present in full force. That said, you won't want more than 2-3 of these at a time, especially given the 10%. Make sure you get this one fresh to enjoy the full hop bombardment

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of negroobserver
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a small Heineken glass. don't judge.

c - reminiscent of a medium colored black tea. has an almost golden amber color. pours with a substantial head which settles into a heavy foam on the top. lots of sticky lacing on the glass. very nice.

s - sweet. hoppy. more sweet than hoppy. there is a crisp quality to the aroma.

t - starts of with light sweetness, which transitions into a moderately strong hoppy aroma. that is than followed by light to moderate bitterness. not as hoppy as would be expected of an imperial ipa, however it works well. i personally like that the hoppiness doesn't become overwhelming bitterness. however, the hoppy aroma could be a bit more dominant.

m - smooth and not too dense body. it's not light or watery, but it's not incredibly dense either.

overall - the beer is exceptional but not a masterpiece. there is room for improvement. having said that, its definitely a very nice enjoyable ipa.

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Photo of Altrurian
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rather deep amber. The relative thinness of the head is mitigated by attractive cling. Aroma subdued but promising. Taste is rich and powerful--a real "money's worth" IPA richness in both flavor and body. Minimal citrus notes. Hoppy maturity of flavor that fades into a malty whisper of sweetness.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear orange, not much carbonation, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Hops, some citrus, more earthy notes, balanced with malt and no alcohol, which I've com to expect from this series.

T-Nice balance, nothing overpowering. Mild citrus hop presence, some bitterness, alcohol heat is there as well.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation with hop resins.

O-Easily the best of the series, the 10% abv isn't really needed, however it isn't that bad. Could have used some more bitterness and stronger hop presence.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, rich golden amber into a pint glass. An 1/8" head settles into a nice off-white layer and many lazy bubbles can be seen rising through the depths.

The scent of this 10% imperial IPA isn't as powerful as some, but the scents give a nice hint as to what's to come; There's a honeyed, floral orange-peel quality with hints of spice and alcohol.

The flavor bursts on my tongue with rich, sweet maltiness that lingers long enough to savor and then is replaced by the bitterness of the hops. The hop profile is very well balanced; Orange and mild grapefruit, a little lemongrass, spice. There's no sticky or bitter aftertaste to take away from the flavors, just a lingering reminder to go back for another sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with just a little astringency from the alcohol and fine carbonation.

Overall a delicious DIPA, this one is on the sweeter side - it definitely packs a huge malt profile to go with the hops, which have a fruity character rather than outright bitterness. I find this one dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of patpbr
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber color that pours nicely.
S- Fruit you can smell the alcohol
T- loads of hops. it gets your attention right away citrus fruit. sweet but balanced with the malt. a pine finish.
M- medium carbonated, not to much bitter. but it lingers nicely
O- Its good. Solid for the style.

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Photo of acevenom
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours copper with a tall, eggshell colored head. It appears to be lightly carbonated. The head recedes very slowly, leaving plentiful lacing along the glass. I pick up some of those sweet and bready malt aromas along with some citrus from the hops. There are some of those earthy and piney hop aromas as well. There is some alcohol as well. The hops really come through in the taste. There's lots of pine and citrus. There's enough bitterness in this one to please any hop head. It's resinous and juicy. It also has a solid malt backbone. It's slightly sweet from the caramel malts and it's also bready. I also get some alcohol, but it's well-hidden. The body is medium to full with light carbonation. It finishes sticky. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at ROK:BRGR in South Miami. $4 for all beers on Mondays, so I tried the most expensive one there. Served in a pint glass.

A - Somewhat translucent amber orange with a one finger off white head. Pretty decent retention, and lots of nice lacing on the sides of the glass

S - Extremely hoppy smell. Grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine are present. Some caramel malt aroma too. The alcohol is somewhat present on the nose, which is not surprising at 10% ABV.

T/M - Fairly thick feel. Extreme hop bitterness at the front. Some thick, bready malt, grapefruit, and pine. Hops dominate. You can taste the 120 IBU that this beer supposedly has. The hop head in me likes it. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of BryanCarey
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle, this beer is big and bold with an amber/orange color, a rocky head of foam, and a nose that offers strong pine, citrus, alcohol, and floral notes. The heavy foam settles down in due time, but it leaves generous legs as you consume and always reminds you of its presence.

With such a lead- in by the appearance, you may wonder at first if the taste can meet expectations but I am happy to report that it does. This beer has a strong flavor profile that combines toasted malt, bread, pine, caramel, honey, and fruity notes such as pineapple and a touch of citrus. The beer is very full bodied and has an alcoholic dimension that is obvious from the first sip all the way to the finish.

Leviathan Imperial IPA is a big beer with big taste. It is quite distinctive and certainly above average, although not quite as great as some of the other double/imperial IPA I have sampled over the years. It’s a hop bomb all the way, but still has enough malt backbone to try to balance out the bitterness. The thick body and resiny hops will be too much for most, but hopheads will love it and will certainly come back for more.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Four pack of 12 oz bottles. First bottle poured into a tulip glass, second one into my snifter.

A – good looking DIPA. Deep colors, oranges, reds, and yellows. Foams up nicely (especially the first bottle), but it recedes slowly.

S – pretty generic. Lots of hop character, very floral, but sweet simultaneously. I can smell the 10%.

T – tastes just like it smells, although the alcohol plays a slightly smaller role. Sweet and floral, but also bitterer than I expect it to be. Too syrupy for my taste.

M – the syrup doesn’t help the mouthfeel. The alcohol sticks to the cheeks, but the aftertaste is still pleasant. The beer definitely has a coherent beginning, middle, and end. Readable on every level, despite the shortcomings of taste.

O – I compare every DIPA I have to Hopslam, but only because it’s the one I’ve had the most (not trying to be boast, I just always had access to it, living in Michigan for so long). The alcohol content in Leviathan is the same as Hopslam, so I expected it to taste similarly. It did, although it isn’t quite as sweet, there’s a more syrupy character, and the bitterness pervades. An overall good offering, but I don’t think I’ll get it again, unless of course I can have it on tap.

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Photo of kevdemers
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been all over the place for me! Several years back for my first 4.5 review, loved the grapefruit nose with an aggressive strong ale taste. However in the time since, I have found other imperial IPAs that do a much better job of putting hops in the forefront and hiding the astringent alcohol aftertaste. My rating fresh would be lower as a result (3.5-3.75 range?)

But tonight I just had it again unintentionally "aged" and this is what my rating is adjusted for. Best by date on the bottle is 9/15/14. Nice nose, not quite as grapefruity as fresh. The taste really improves with age, as the overly sweet notes and alcohol have calmed. This definitely fits the recent tale of letting an imperial IPA age to create a barleywine. I would say this now drinks more towards the strong ale/barleywine area and is more enjoyable in my opinion than fresh...

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Photo of RichardMNixon
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. draft in a pilsner glass

A: Thin white head with a clear, copper body. Clings to the glass in a wavy sheet

S: Very fruity for an ipa. Its not citrus hops, there's apricot in there, moreso than hops. Not what I was expecting but nice.

T: Hoppy ipa taste up front, sweet in the middle, leading back to the stone fruits on the back end. Aftertaste is all resiny hops.

M: Dry and light, the hops bubble around my tastebuds before settling down.

O: My first homogeneous review. It's an odd beer in the fruitiness of the nose, but it's all around solid.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by 9/15/2012 - I'm assuming this is almost 6 months old. I would prefer it to be fresher, but it is what it is...
Poured into a snifter, it's amber in color with good clarity, thin white head leaves a little lacing. Aromas are citric hop, caramely malt, faint tropical notes as well. Tastes are well balanced (actually more sweet than bitter), caramel, honey, tropical, papaya, pine, booze as it warms. You'd never guess 120ibu. Mouth is medium bodied and smooth but resiny, lower carbonation but still acceptable. Overall, good, but I wish I had tried it fresher. I'd grab it again if I had the chance to try it again.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Amber with heavy bubbles in the beginning, head comes white maybe 1/3" off the body.

Smell: floral scent, little light hoppy feel.

Taste: Very good and complex, malty and floral. I will tell you this it is bitter but not to the point where is avoidable. For you Imperial IPA fans this might be your go to when

Mouth: Would be lying if i said smooth, it is more crisp and feel of toasted hops. With it's medium carbonation very hard beer to ignore.

Overall: If this is going to be a usual at my local beer spot then it will be a usual in my fridge. I will buy this again, and so should you. Salud

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
90 out of 100 based on 716 ratings.
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