Leviathan - Baltic Porter | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Leviathan - Baltic PorterLeviathan - Baltic Porter
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365 Ratings
Leviathan - Baltic PorterLeviathan - Baltic Porter

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

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Leviathan Baltic Porter is a dark, strong beer of considerable complexity. Brewed with a highly alcohol-tolerant strain of lager yeast, it has a smooth, full flavor with dark fruit and licorice notes in the aroma. De-husked roasted malt lends a dark chocolate character without being sharp or harsh. Raw sugar and dark crystal malt give some raisin and molasses notes while East Kent Goldings hops make for a long, earthy finish.

38 IBU

Added by lpayette on 11-16-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 |  Reviews: 240
Reviews by MacDomer:
Photo of MacDomer
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I acquired this one in a trade with fellow BA brewandbbq, thanks for the opportunity, Jeff. Poured into my new Duvel tulip glass from Santa.

A - As I pour this into the glass it's a bit lighter than expected - like a brown ale - but in the glass it's pretty darn dark. Light tan head. Average lacing.

S - I like the nose on this, but it left me wanting a bit more roastiness. I got some dark chocolate, some nuttiness, dark fruits, something tangy. A slight hint of smoke.

T - Nicely bitter up front, with dark chocolate and dark malts, but again light on the roastiness. Some toffee, molassas, dark fruits such as raisins and plums, and some bitterness in the end.

M - Lighter and thinner than I like for the style, but quite smooth and creamy.

D - This was a pretty good beer, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it. I wouldn't seek it out, however, since I'd have to trade to get it since it's not available around me. High ABV feels quite nice...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First of the Leviathan series I have been able to get my hands on.Poured into a imperial nonic a deep but not opaque black,there is some ruby tint thru out,a thinner off white head atop that never really sticks around for long.Aromas were doppelbockish in my mind,deep fruit and bread-like malt along with some brown sugar and alcohol,more like a hybrid or melding of styles in the nose.Great malty flavors,sweet with big raisin notes mixed with bitter chocolate and some sweetish alcohol but it doesnt burn.Full and lush in the mouth its sublime but the alcohol does creep as it warms,a kick ass brew meant to be drank one at a time.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. III Issue I:

Pours opaque and nearly pitch black with dark ruby edges and a foamy, two-finger tan head that clings to the glass. Hint of metal in the nose with some major higher alcohols (think vodka or isopropyl), bicuity grains, dark breads, light hop spice and touches of caramel and molasses. Creamy and fluffy on the palate with a silky-smooth feel. Body is lighter than anticipated, yet a bit syrupy as things warm. Tons of complex and rich malt character up front, including: coffee, molasses, tobacco, toffee, caramelized sugars, and suggestions of marshmallow and malted milk balls. There's a center of dark ripe fruits, followed by some slight acidity that moves in to break up the sweetness with a hint of burnt raisin. Leafy hops. Mild wisp of smoke toward the finish, along with some grainy tannins. Dries and cleans up nicely, except for the fusel alcohol on the breath--hide your matches.

All the expected flavor profiles are present. In fact, they're nearly spot-on compared to all of the Baltic Porters we've had the pleasure of meeting. That said, our only gripe is that the alcohol is way too hot, too boozy and deters from the experience as a result.

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Photo of JasonA
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an non-thick oil slick black. Half a finger of head. Not too much lacing, though no real head.

Deep rich roasted malt. Something roasted, is that like some sort of roasted nut. Definitely smokey. Something else thick and rich, but I cant quite place it. Maybe some hops as expected.

Light and rich. Dark roasted malt. Maybe some chocolate.

Nicely carbonated in the mouth for a porter. Full bodied, though 9.5 ABV isnt present. Very nice.

Would love some more. Though the 3 I have left ill be adding the the cellar stock :)

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Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I could really get to like Harpoon's Leviathan series. The IPA was great, as is this porter. Plus the labels are really cool. The beer was a deep, deep black with red highlights. It had a modest tan head. Roasted malt, chocolate, and somw sweetness made the aroma. In taste, first up was sweet chocolate, then a bit of dark fruit, followed by coffee, nicely bitter coffee. The alcohol is not at all noticeable. Great beer.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/vintage info. Pours dark dark brown, not quite black. Dark mocha head, slow to settle to a thick and frothy film/sheeting/lace. Smoke, chocolate and ripe dark fruits in the nose. Dark bitter chocolate dominates the flavor profile. Light smoke smoldering malts add to the complexity.Thick milkshake like body and mouth feel. Full flavor, quality and worthwhile offering. Along with the DIPA, another nice beer in this series.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/2 inch head,

Smell: roasted malt and some cocoa

Taste: roasted malt, some cocoa, a touch of cream, and a bit of nut in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, dry, semi-sweet

Drinkability: I think this is above average for a baltic porter. It hits the style without pushing the envelope. I do like how the alcohol is not overpowering. I look forward to finishing the four pack, but may not get this again. A perfectly above average beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love Baltic porters and this one didn't disappoint.

Pours dark brown to black with a cream colored head. The aroma is lots of roasted malt as well as coffee. Not what I was expecting, but still awesome. The flavor is more of the same, with the alcohol coming in during the aftertaste. For a higher ABV beer, the alcohol is semi-well hidden, making this very drinkable. Creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the most unusual, discussion-worthy porters I've tried. The nose is heady with toasted grains, with light promises of coffee and caramel.

In the mouth, the first flavor is of fruits, but heavy and dark; perhaps roasted apples, or black cherries dipped in dark chocolate. Still, there's a fair bit of sugar surrounding those fruits, resulting in an interesting melange of dark and sweet that proves quite tongue-tingling. Somewhere deep beneath those flavors--lying at the bottom like the proverbial leviathan of the label--is a porter base, redolent with chocolate malt and toffee. However, it takes a while for those flavors to surface; they might even be missed, so subtly do they influence the palate. The finish is notably spicy, leaving a slight tingling on the tongue and soft palate.

Overall, I rate this beer a wild success, as it seems to me that it combines the best of not only porters, but perhaps barleywines as well, with a little port wine thrown in for good measure. Definitely worth trying.

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

poured from a 12oz. bottle at cellar temp into my stella artois glass. pours nearly opaque black, but when held up to the light reveals some rubiness. a little less than 2 fingers of head that has some pretty good retention as well as some pretty good lacing. a lot of sediment visible, lots like some big chunks of green hops.

very nice aroma primarily of milk chocolate, roasted malts and some fruit. some dates, figs, plums, maybe even a little rasberry. a touch of alcohol detectable in the aroma.

wonderful taste. lots of chocolate, slightly sweet roasted malts, and dark fruits such as plums, figs, and im stil sticking with a slight rasberry taste. maybe chocolate covered rasberries. finishs with a lingering bitter fruity/chocolate sensation. only a touch of alcohol in the taste.

medium to heavy body, nice amount of carbonation. creamy velvety mouthfeel. one of these a day is enough for me. harpoon makes some great beers, and this leviathan series is definately some of there best stuff. definately seek this out, exspecially if you enjoy chocolatey beers.

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Photo of far333
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Minimal head despite a vigorous pour. Ruddy brown colored and opaque with yeast particles moving around.

Aroma of darkly roasted malt, some cocoa and port.

Rich flavors of dark malt, espresso, burnt oak, cocoa, fig, roasted marshmallow and bourbon. Hints of molasses and sharp currant poke through. Seems off style, maybe more like a strong ale or old ale.

Even mouthfeel with medium to low carbonation, finishes a bit puckery and dry. Slight warming and cheek numbness from the ABV. Decent drinkability.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured awhile back at Bocktown, served a bit too cold but I did let it warm up to open it up a bit. Pours a pitch black body that absolutely eats up all visible light waves, creamy tan colored head. Aromatics offer up dark fruits soaked in a bit of booze, with some cocoa/strong coffee and mild molasses with more of an herbal hop presence in the back end. Flavor forms a cohseion of caramel/cocoa/ripened fruit plums/a touch of cherry. A slight sherry finish, very smooth dark roasted malts blend with a mild booze finish. Herbal hops for balance this beer just works. Mouthfeel is full bodied evenly carbonated big brash but full of finesse, this is well planned out and excecuted. Nice to see the Levithan series ruling in both quality and consistency, a great brew that I will reach for the next time I see it around. I will throw a couple in the cellar with my Triticus and Bigfoots.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2012 12 oz bottle poured opaque with red-brown edges. The small, weak head soon reduced to a ring but left lacing nonetheless.

Aroma: Dark fruits, alcohol esters and a touch of smoke.

Flavor: Fruity and boozy for style.

Feel: Full body with low carbonation.

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Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this from Norica - much obliged!

Pours black with the faintest amount of light getting through on the edges, turning the beer dark brown. The head is one-finger of tan foam tha recedes into a wispy layer of bubbles on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of unsweetened chocolate with underlying hints of roasted malt. Reminds of Brooklyn's BCS.

Tastes more complex than it smells. Equal parts unsweetened chocolate and roasted malts hit the palate at the same time. Midway through the sip a dark fruit residual sweetness comes in right before a good deal of bitterness that rounds out the sip. The alcohol isn't noticeable in the taste, but there is a warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with soft carbonation that goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. This isn't the easiest drinking Baltic Porter I've had, but it is certainly in the same ballpark.

Overall this is a tasty beer, although sometimes the warming sensation is a bit stronger than it should be. Other than that, this beer has a lot going right for it - worth a shot.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic) bottled on 11/13/09
A- This beer has a jet black body with a thin bubbly tan film that fades to a thin ring. It is too dense to see any carbonation.
S- The roasted chocolate malt notes have a very light vinous and buttery notes with some soft coffee notes that grow as the beer warms. The finish has a flint note to the dark currant aroma.
T- The dark roasted black malt is without bitterness and has some dried fruit notes. As the beer warms there is a watery taste and and the finish has a light roasted note that lingers for just a moment.
M- his beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a clean tight fizz in the finish. No alcohol heat or astringency is noted.
D- This beer was a bit thin and it would have been nice to taste a bit more of the malt flavor or have some depth to it. Some soft alcohol warmth might have been nice too.

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Photo of degerbah
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a ton of eggshell colored head. Lacing sticks to the edge of the glass so thickly I think I'm going to have to sand it off the glass when I'm finshed. Smells slightly smokey with a hint of malt. Not nearly the nose that I expected of such a big style.

The taste is mostly of smokey malt with a hefty alcohol bight. It almost tastes like it burns the tongue when I tried a big gulp. Almosts taste like I'm chasing it with vodka. In my opinion it adds to the complexity, but at the expense of drinkability.

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Photo of racer2k
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Thick black pour with coffee like consistency. Good off white foam on top. Nice looking jet black color in my glass.

S - Coffee, chocolate, a bit of fruit and a light scent of alcohol but not overwhelming given the 9.5% ABV.

T - The alcohol is present but not overwhelming on the palate. Coffee, toasted malts and a nice sweet chocolate finish with some earthy hops in tow. Complex indeed!

M- Very smooth and creamy with a medium to full body.

D- Nice beer with plenty of complexity. You would never know that this is a high powered 9.5% ABV beer until it hits you.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A void of color, severe darkness, opaque, heavy look with short but very fluffy, well-retained tan color head. A constant foamy covering sticks around at all times.

The aroma is very strong, heavy roastie malt, dark wheat and oats with a balance of earthiness with musty herbs, black pepper, brown sugar, musty caramel sweetness and many black fruit aroma's.

The malty complexity is staggering here, sweet caramel and chocolate malt sweetness is harnessed by a grounding of oats and wheat, earthy black pepper lager yeast, very hearty after the chunky, yummy, malt flavor subsides. Huge dark fruits pop out with blackberry jam all over your face! The yeast is hearty with earthiness galore and the heat rides in pretty gentle and perfectly balanced.

The feel is just about perfect, it's not heavy and lazy it's a big brute, full-bodied feel that can move it's ass, much like a NFL Linebacker, it's huge, but it can move!! A luxurious feel, zippy at first with a huge smoothness that is never too heavy or flat.

A Supreme beast, Huge flavor and complexity with a quoff of something much more gentle. This is easily the best beer Harpoon is Brewing right now.

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Photo of BrewMaven
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours what appears to be black, but is extremely dark ruby at the base of the glass. Short head that drops to a ring soon after the pour.

Coffee and chocolate scents are noticed after a swirling of the glass.

Tastes of dark chocolate, dark roast coffee with hints of dark fruit sweetness on the tip of my tongue. An occasional touch of alcohol at the somewhat dry finish.

A bit less than full bodied and finely carbonated.

Eerily similar to the excellent Okocim Porter..Too bad neither is an easy find anywhere near me.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very drinkable baltic porter. A bit of the BP edge, but mostly tastes closer to a RIS with chocolate malting. A little roast. Smooth and good drinkability. Pours dark, smells malty. Something I would keep several in the fridge if I could.Sweetish yet balanced.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of ShogoKawada - thanks! Bottled 11/13/2009.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Dark auburn body with faint lava highlights which glimmer when held up to a strong light. An active beige head fizzes down to a steady collar and bubbly finger-print in the center of the glass.

A deep whiff immediately draws diacetyl (brown butter) up into my nostrils. Not too strong, but unwelcome none the less. Hm. Dark malt, hay, old paper, and a hint of coffee join hands with the off-notes.

Flavors of cooked prunes and apricots, though a bit dusty. A touch of milk chocolate and an increasing depth of toasted malt mid-palate as the beer warms. The finish is bready and dry, though I don't get any spice.

Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. A touch oily but not slick. The ABV is well integrated.

All in all, diacetyl or no, this lacks the pungent full bodied assertive flavors of the best examples of the style - I wouldn't go so far as to call it wimpy, but I don't think I'd pick this up if I had the opportunity.

Thanks again to ShogoKawada - I had been curious about this beer.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark for a porter. Excellent creamy head with lots and lots of small bubbles. A little sediment throughout the body of the beer.
Coffee, a little alcohol and dark fruit make up the smell.
Tastes of coffee, plum, alcohol and a bitter finish from both the hops and the roasted character of this beer.
Not to much carbonation but very silky mouthfeel that more than compensates.
A great Baltic Porter that I will have again in the near future.

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Photo of mempath
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

stellar pour....deep rouge cola with massive head that clings and lingers and clingers on and on. honeycomb pancake batter lacing to the extreme.

nice malty nutty roasty coffee-ish nose making this definitely better than just 'good'....subtle (sort of) and complex (most certainly)..actually another whiff reveals toasted sesame...amazing

who says this is all ALCOHOL and WATER? not here....this is perfect perfect....instead of a shock blast of over-roastedness, this is a complex, masochistic punch to the face subliminal message. wow. i don't know what just hit me, but i like it. i thought i was a hophead. jeez, another swallow and i am at a loss for words. sweet nutty toasty roasty smooth wallop etc

the mouthfeel is simply integrated into the taste as a unit making this too drinkable and too perfect. not even my favorite style (though sentimentally, being part Latvian, i want to like the style). i can find no fault, no wrong turn, no subtle mis-take...

the best Baltic Porter ever. by far. no, further...

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Leviathan - Baltic Porter from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 365 ratings