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: 721 | Ratings: 1,742
Photo of Nickls
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy light orange-gold coloring, and poured with a nice frothy white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Great hop aromas, but not as overpowering as some other DIPAs. Hops are more earthy than piney or cedary

T - Hop bitterness up front, citruisy and grassy. Solid malt backup that balanced out the strong hop presence without covering it up.

M - Creamy, medium-to-thicker MF. Good carbonation, and really nothing negative in this department

D - The alcohol didn't creep through even though it's has a substantial abv. Decently balanced, and not too hard to work through.

Overall, this was a nice take on the style and glad to see the brewer's didn't just churn out a run of the mill DIPA. I liked the grassy hops, and thought it was pleasantly drinkable. I would definitely recommend.

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Photo of torchednoodle
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is unique. It's slightly different than the DIPA's I'm used to out here in California, but still unmistakably a DIPA. I like the difference.

A lot of bitter hoppiness backed up with a lot of maltiness. Not as dry and predominantly hoppy as you can find out here in CA, but I'm sure some hoppiness is probably lost to shipping and time.

As other reviewers have mentioned, there's a hint of spice on the back end of a swig, and that's what I think makes this beer truly unique. There's even some of that spiciness in the nose. Carbonation is great, and alcohol is well-hidden. I really enjoyed this beer.

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

Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany.

A: Clear golden copper body with a small off-white head. Good splotches of lacing left behind.

S: Sweet malt and florally hops. Some pine too. Pleasant nose.

T: Sweet caramel malt up front. Hops follow -- sweet citrus and pine. Spice towards the back end -- feels like spice from hops, not alcohol, though there is heat at the finish from that 10% ABV.

M: Somewhat resiny in feel, medium-to-heavy in heft.

D: Pretty good for a beer of this strength.

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

12oz bottle no freshness date, poured into snifter

A hard pour yields a brassy orange body with two fingers of ecru head, nicely laced.

Scent is orange, grapefruit, overripe pineaple, pine, alcohol esters and bread.

Taste is sweet fruit: citrus, orange, pineapple, grapefruit, peaches even! Bready, juicy, spicy. There's some pine oil. Nicely malty with sweet caramel, fresh bread. Nicely bitter with a peppery alcohol spiciness. Quite well balanced.

Mouth is juicy, syrupy thick-medium. No lightweight but not exactly motor oil.

Startlingly easy to quaff; 10% abv hidden well.

A very nice Imperial IPA; will enjoy again.

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

Thanks goes out to JoeCeez for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some minimal sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, with some malty, citrus, and some pine notes. The taste is sweet, hoppy, nice malt notes, with some nice citrus and pines. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one surprised me, very tasty.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 10/26/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish orange color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of hops, citrus and some caramelized malts.

T: The taste is very hoppy and very fruity with a strong floral bitterness bite and a strong citrus sweetness. The malt character is a bit thinner than most beers in the style, but is hearty enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent high-octane hop-bomb that is worth drinking for a whole evening.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bomber at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Reddish copper hue. Thin head. Visible effervescence. Brilliant clarity.

S: Alcohol/booze up front. Citrusy hop elements and fruity beyond citrus. Has a rich earthiness as well - in fact this might be the most prominent aspect of the nose.

T: Very crisp. Strong grapefruit taste carries through and lingers. Well balanced with a good malt base. bitterness is strong.

MF: Crisp. Medium mouthfeel with some alcohol warming.

D: A nice crisp double IPA.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a free sample of this when my twin sister and I went to a beer tasting on Saturday 10/18/08 at the brewery in Boston when I was on vacation there visiting her. Served to me in a 5 oz sample glass. This beer is a clear medium golden color. There was certainly a strong hop aroma! Has a citrus hop flavor along with a sweet malt flavor as well, but the hops sure do dominate. Has a crisp, smooth, frothy, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Fairly easy to drink.


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Photo of Hokies
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours and orange and golden hue with some haziness to it. Pours a thin white head that leaves a light lace on the glass.

S: Hops and more hops. Strong aroma of grapefruit, citrus and some piney scents.

T: At first their is a nice malt taste with some citrus taste. The grapefruit and piney hops make their presence known but the malt is heavy throughout. Towards the end their is a hint of chocolate and then finishes with a nice hop bitterness. Their is huge malt backbone to this one which is really nice.

M: Highly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel.

D: The huge malt backbone makes this DIPA a lot easier to drink than the rest.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Waterfront Alehouse (Manhattan) 10-23-08
$11 for a pint (ouch!!)

A- Pours a dark oranger hue and small, not to thig head, with lacing that follows the beer down

S- floral, citrus, grapefruiit, hops..all the things i look for in a DIPA, some caramel hints also but mostly citrus hops

T- Starts out with a malty backbone, then finishes with a hearty balanced hop attack, very nice balance of hops and malts. And the hops are well placed and enjoyable

M- probably the best thing about this beer almost chewy, think, and creamy, with a long lasting bitterness

D- very nice balanced easy drinking DIPA, a little different than ones ive had lately, not an over the top hop attack that hides some of the flavors. A little on the pricey side, i guess cause of the availibilty??

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Photo of soccerman7
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - warm copper color with a nice sticky head that left ring after ring on the glass.

Smell - Nothing but juicy hops. Pine and grapefruit.

Taste - Really huge hops on the palate. Sharp and juicy. Seemed that the hops overwhelmed the malt instead of working it. A bit unbalanced but a hop lovers dream.

Mouth - a very classic IIPA mouth feel. Citrus after taste, smooth and a bit dry on the finish.

Drink - A very good IIPA from the east that could run with all the west coast ones in the style.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange with a great head that retains very well. Great lacing to boot. Smells of citrus, grapefruit, tons and tons of hops. Tastes of citrusy hops, slight pine presence, peaches, and more of a malt backbone than the aroma indicates. The malts show up a bit more as the beer warms up a bit. It's almost like a ST Unearthly "Light"...less syrupy and a lot of the same characteristics. Not AS great as that gem though but immensely good. I am very pleasantly surprised by how good it is and how easy drinking it is for 10% abv. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

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Photo of dickieb
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light amber orange with a nice big initial head. Big lacing on this one as well.

The smell is a big hit of pine and grapefruit hops with not a hint of malt on the nose

The flavor is more balanced then the smell but this one is certainly a hop bomb by all definitions. Heavy on the citrus hops with some hints of pine cones and lemons, the malts are present but subdued.

The mouthfell is very good for a big IPA and this is so drinkable I finished it during a quick review. I was quite excited after trying the Leviathan Wheat Whine at the Beer Fest and I am extremely pleased with this one from Harpoon.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Publick House. My first thought was simply "wow". I didn't have huge expectations here, so I was completely blown away. The brew was thin and very refreshing. The taste is full of sweet fruits, peach and grape mainly. Hops were certainly there, mainly grapefruit. Incredible balance in this one - and am going to have to jump back in for more.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice palish copper color that poured with a nice looking 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Just a punch in the mouth of citrus. Almost like wet sap. Grapefruit right up there. Its like shoving a hop cone in your brain.

T: Just a really nice uber hoppy DIPA. The citrus is right up there. It is a little bitter but that is ok with me. Hops pine sweetness. The malt holds things back nicely but it only hinted at in the taste as it should be.

M: Nice and thick. Creamy. Totally coats everything.

D: Awesome beer. Really reminds me of Portsmouth DIPA. I think I might even be drinking the same beer. By far the best beer I have had from Harpoon.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with a one inch head of white. Retention is moderate, with the head fading to a skim coat within two minutes.

Aromatics are fairly pungent and piney. Grapefruit, melons, and spruce resin follow through with a hint of butterscotch.

Medium bodied and a bit chewy. A creamy and crisp mouthfeel.

Pine dew, spruce bark, melon rinds, and grapefruit start the palate. Light malt, warming alcohol, and buttery undertones follow through.
Bitterness is firm and lingering, and the brew is nicely drying.

Finishes with a sustaining bitterness, warming alcohol, shades of grapefruit zest and conifer tannins.

Pretty damn tasty. One of Harpoons best in my book. The hopping is pretty agressive, and this is a big beer.
I prefer a more tropical, floral type hop profile though, and the buttery undertones detract.

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Photo of joepais
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter produced a large white head that lasted for a while before turning to lace . The body on this ale was clear and amber in color

Aromas are big hops, pine and citrus, typical DIPA nose

This has slight malt sweetness to it before you get to the strong hop flavors. the brew ends up being thick and oily with its light carbonation

A good DIPA I didn't find too much alcohol in the aroma or flavors. So I would believe you could get into trouble with drinking too many of these.

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Photo of number1bum
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant orange amber color, good clarity and a rich, creamy two plus inches of beige head. Recedes slowly, leaving a good amount of stick and a very full head. Beautiful; hard to get much better..

Smell is very citrusy, lots of grapefruit going on, with some resiny, piney hops, as well. Bit of caramel in there, too, but the juicy, citrusy hops dominate and are very nice.

First thing I notice taste-wise is that this has a very nice malt backbone, and overall it's quite well balanced. Not as juicy and citrusy as the smell, but there is still plenty of grapefruit, pine, and earthy hops, along with what I'd call a substantial but not completely overblown bitterness. The malt is caramel and toasted, with an overall biscuity taste to it, and provides very nice balance. A bit more juicy hop flavor would do me just fine, and would play beautifully off the very good malt profile.

Mouthfeel is close to full, is on the chewy side and is quite creamy. Finishes with a long lasting bitterness.

Very nice DIPA here. Great malt balance, but a ton of hops too. As I said, I'd love even a bit more juicy hop flavor, but a very fine beer nonetheless.

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

A clear light to medium golden colored body. Half an inch of foamy white head faded over two minutes. Streams of carbonation develop in the middle. Sticky lace clumps.

Very gritty earth aromas. Malt is sweet and quite present but is still covered by a pine sap hop power. A very nice blend on the nose.

Resin and hops oil are very forward on the taste buds. Malt is very buttery, and takes a back seat to the hops. Not as strong as I would expect from aroma.

Decent feel on the sides of the tongue. A tingling carbonation is a bit overpowering.

A decent brew. Great with a plate of chicken wings. Worth giving it a try. Still others out there if you are looking for the best.

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Photo of xerotime
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 4 pack of this in Rhode Island while on my way to Newport for the weekend. As far as I have seen, it hasn't hit CT yet.

Pours a nice clear amber color with a 1 finger head. Not much retention but lots of sticky lacing the whole way down. The hops dominate with a big citrus taste and aroma. Drinkability I would say is a bit low just due to the high ABV but definitely something I would recommend searching out.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a 10 ounce tasting glass.

A: A light amber orange that lets light shine through, clearer than I expected. A nice one finger off white head with nice glass lacing.

S: Wow, pounds your nose with hops. Smells of piney floral and citrus hops jump at your nose. If I try really hard, I get some maltiness, but this nose is about the hops.

T: Again, massive amounts of pine hops mixed with some light floral earthy flavors. Mid taste some citrus comes through with grapefruit and maybe a bit of lemon rind. Finish is all hops bitterness with some more earthy grassy piney hops. The malt underlying is there becuase the hops get held up very well, but it's not overly detectable.

M: Nice and thick which is a bit surprising based on the color. Alcohol comes through on the back end but is not overly offensive, just very warming.

D: Medium, one or two of these is about all I could handle because of the massive and deep hops flavors, not to mention the alcohol.

Overall a great beer, probably the best I ever had from Harpoon. To me most of their stuff is average, but this beer is excellent. I will seek out a few more bottles. Grab this one if you can.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Matt Capone for suggesting this one.

Pours a clear rich amber with 2+ fingers of thick foamy off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. Smells of citrus, pine, honey, and caramel malt. Tastes of grapefruit, pineapple, orange and lemon rind, and apricot up front followed by light notes of caramel, biscuit, and honey. Finishes with strong flavors of grass and pine. Medium in body with nice carbonation. Oily and sticky with lots of bitterness. Unbalanced with too much hop presence and not enough malt character. Even a hop lover needs some maltiness to not destroy the tastebuds. This beer definitely provides the hops, but could use more malt for better balance.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear beautiful deep golden color with a fluffy white head that disappears quickly. Smell is hoppy, spicy, citrus hops. Theres also a bit of malt in there caramel and a bit of molasses. Taste is very hoppy bitter citrus and pine resin. The malt is very faint in the taste. Medium to thick body, crisp carbonation, resinous bitter in the mouth. Another one for the hop heads. Smells really balanced, but taste is heavy to the hop side. Decent brew, reminds me a lot of harpoon IPA only bigger.

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

Got a bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern as part of their PhD program.

A: Pours a light golden body with a small, white head with ok lacing but with low retention. Lacing was fairly evident until the finish.

S: A sweet, citrus, grapefruit smell with some bitter, earthy hop notes. Seemed like a fairly balanced smell that was pretty enticing.

T: A well-hopped, bitter, and earthy taste with a sweet, citrus, grapefruit, malt background that did well to balance. Earthiness was a little more evident in the aftertaste than the taste itself.

M: A smooth mouthfeel with nice carbonation that was pretty silky on the palette. A pretty, well-developed mouthfeel and beer overall.

D: Definitely a very drinkable beer with a complimenting mouthfeel and taste combination. Can definitely hang out and drink this all night, despite the relatively high ABV level.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks like a pretty rare beer on here, I'm glad my local beer store had it in stock last week for me to try it. This is one of the best smelling beers I've layed my nose on... ever. It's simply a hop explosion of smell which is awesome. Taste wise its of course loaded with hops and bitter, maybe a little too overkill taste wise, I can't see having more than one or two at a time. But those one or two are delicious, well balanced, and really warm you up. This double IPA is much smoother than others I've tried.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
4.04 out of 5 based on 1,742 ratings.
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