Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
239 Reviews
Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic PorterHarpoon Leviathan - 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.

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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 364
Photo of mempath
5/5  rDev +25.6%
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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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
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 vmspicex
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, mahogany in color, almost completely opaque and a creamy beige head.

S - Smells magnificent with strong molasses, dark fruit and brown sugar notes.

T/M - The taste is huge! Lots of sweet malty character with a thick and rich mouthfeel. You really taste molasses up front with a sweet over ripened plum taste following. Some woody notes but very subtle. Just an awesome hearty Baltic Porter!

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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 gpcollen1
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant surprise upon entering Stew's = no IIPA festering but cases of the Baltic Porter ready for consumption.

This pours brilliantly dark - yet lets a bit of light shine on in and through for a dark ruby/brown tint. Head gets up a bit on the pour but I took it easy while using the Sam Adams glass.

Aroma is light and amok with chocolate - not over the top. Taste follows the nose - lighter beer feel yet bog and bold flavors. Starts with a light tingle of carbonation, yields to the chocolate and rides to sticky sweetness - light cottonmouth dryness. Mouthfeel on this one is exceptional - hard to say but just perfect body with a light scrub of carbonation and a very nice dry a bitter feel to it.

This one is nice but I am on the fence about how sweet it seems - but somehow seems to make it more drinkable. Very nice job by Harpoon and better than the IIPA me thinks thought that was nice.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So very glad to have tried this one. Thanks Liquid Town

Pours a crystal clear deep deep almost black, but with accents of ruby red. Has a medium sized creamy ivory colored head that boasts awesome retention and lacing.

Aroma of chocolate and toffee fills the air as I cracked open this gem. The smell is very complex. Also a very sweet almost burned caramel. Some alcohol and faint black licorice. Beautiful aroma for sure.

And in the flavor, it seems to get better. Tons of bitter sweet chocolate up front, then comes the toffee and caramel and sweet toffee notes along with a hefty amount of hop bitterness to balance this beast.

This truly is a beast as far as mouthfeel goes. It boasts a huge creamy, sweet body, with a bittersweet chocolate note that lasts forever. preeetty nice.

and it is oh so smooth going down. there is a slight alcohol bite, but it's not very fusal. maybe a little bit. but that'll go away with age I'm sure. Highly recommend this beast.

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Photo of nebula1999
4.51/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is amazing. Almost black with very little head retention. Aroma of malt and a little smoke. A bold, bright taste for a porter, but with rich malty overtones full of dark fruit and woodsy goodness. Alcoholic, but not overblown. A beer like none other that I have ever experienced. Fantastic mouth feel makes you want another sip, but be careful.

Harpoon Brewery's interesting "100-Barrel Series" was the beginning of their experimentation with brewing. However, the "Leviathan Series" is a bold new step for Harpoon, and Baltic Porter is the supreme showpiece, in particular.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who wants an otherworldly beer experience. If you see it in a store, buy it. Even if you don't like porters, get it for a friend that does. Just amazing.

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Photo of edchicma
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Whoa..this is one fine brew. Pours a dark chocolate with a small head..very enticing. Smell is deep and rich..smooth malts waft the nostrils very nicely. Taste is roasted dark malt that lingers on the palate with a very nice sticky presence...alcohol is hidden very nicely. A hop presence is there on the finish...well done. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy with a slight bitter finish..exceptional. This is a definite sipper, but the lack of harsh alcohol presence puts this one in the exceptional category.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown. In a pint glass, it might come off as pitch black. Thinner creme head. Nose is precisely what I expect a Baltic Porter to be. That highly fruity sweet tone with molasses like malts. Flavor is very nice. Mildly bitter sweet tone that carries a highly robust overall tone and a fairly long lasting character. Feel is quite smooth on liquid and the carbonation backs it up remaining low and just right. This is an excellent version of this style. I have had a chance to try numerous versions of Baltic Porters from Eastern Europe and this is as good and better than most. A must try for those familiar with the style and those looking to learn. Excellent.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a decent inital 1 finger head with a dark brown color. Lacing fades half way through. Appearance is not a huge deal to me, so I adjust

Smell is of chocolate malts with hints of cocoa and coffee and a bit of licorice.

The taste is outstanding. Very chocolatey and smooth, any roastiness is perceived as smooth on the palate. Low bitternes, no harshness. Caramel malts balance ou the chocolate malts and minimal roast exquisitely.

Smooth, slick mouthfeel.

This is outstanding for the style. The richness of dark malts with a backing caramel malt sweetness and a slick mouthfeel makes for one hell of a beer. I would have never guess in a million years that the abv was so high.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick dark brown with a ruby tint in the middle of near opaque beer, solid sampling of brown head on top.
Smell is thick with malts, some chestnuts, some roasted coffee aroma.
Taste is highly complex, there is coffee first with great roasted malts transitioning the flavor to a bitterish taste, maybe some chocolate there.
Finish is near dry with some hints of bitter that petters out slowly.
Drinks great, there is some booze here as this beer was clearly ramped up but it's a great choice.

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Photo of JasonA
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
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 djeucalyptus
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

once again a big thanks to jstilwell for the hookup on this one.

poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. A chestnut brown pour builds to a near-black mahogany in the glass with some raisin and plum showing through up to a light. An average pour yielded a half-finger head of a mocha color that surprisingly quickly dissipated, leaving behind minimal lacing.

wow. aroma is balticy. Rich dark fruit mixed with chocolate and a hint of stale coffee beans (in the best way!). plums, raisin, dried sour cherries, and a hint of brandy mix with a heavily roasted malt and a good bit of cocoa and a hint of chocolate. fruit-infused Kahlua. deliciously enticing.

Again, wow. The fruit really comes through as does the roasted malts. The cocoa, chocolate, and coffee all take a back seat to the richly complex fruit flavors. Cherries, plums and black currants mix with heavily roasted malt. There's an alcoholic presence, but more of a brandy/cognac than a bourbon - which is incredibly delicious. Hints of bittersweet cocoa and coffee beans show through, but the rich sweet fruit baltic characters dominate.

mouthfeel is full and creamy with a unique smoothness combining slightly drying roasty notes with a lightly slick sweetness to make a pleasantly rich experience.

A truly impressive baltic porter. This is what an American iteration of a Baltic should be. Rich and vibrant, strong emphasis on the fruitiness and the sweetness with a good deal of depth and complexity of flavors. The alcohol isn't overwhelming or overly woody/bourbony/aged tasting. Everything works harmoniously together to create something beautiful - and true to style.

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Photo of lou50rp
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown appearance with tan head which dissipates quickly.
Smell is fruity with dark chocolate. A smell which promises much and the taste delivers.
Taste is fruity with dark chocolate and molasses.
Mouthfeel is syrupy, but expected in this type of brew.
Drinkability is very good, but with 9.5 ABV I will not drink many.
I will keep an eye out for it,as it is definitely good for a bottle or two.

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Photo of nas5755
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Baltic Porter.

A- A very dark beer with a deep reddish-brown hue. The beer poured out very dark and I was surprised by the light color of the head. The head was nice and lacing remained around the rim of the glass.

S- Roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, sweet cherries, figs, raisins.

T- Roasted malts, some cocoa and coffee there are some dark fruits a crisp sorta bite that leads into a very smooth and creamy finish with some spice at the end.

M- Carbonation levels are pleasant on the medium to medium low level, pleasant for this beer.

O-I really enjoyed this beer, it reminded me alot of a big stout but in the initial flavor profile but where the stout goes right on the palate the Baltic porter goes left. The left hand turn showed me what a different style yeast can do to a different style beer and I look forward to ticking this style.

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Photo of Berthold
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured at SRM30+ dark brown with ruby red when backlit and a thin, tan head. Rich malty aroma with chocolate, toffee and licorace complex notes.Deeply roasted but not burnt. Thick rich dark maltiness with a slight 'juniper' taste. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. Clean finish with warming from alcohol. The flavor profile changes complexity as the beer warms slightly. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass and produced a nice looking near-black beverage with a nice inch high head. Decent retention and lacing.

Aroma of dark chocolate, malty and sweet, and slightly roasted dark malts. A lot of cooked caramel aroma in that sweetness, like when you're making caramel apples... No hop aroma.

Flavor parallels the aroma. Dark chocolate bitterness, a little bourbon sweetness and boozey licorice flavor at the end.

Medium/full bodied, light carbonation which is great for the style, feels thick on the palate. Lingering flavor of that sweet booze.

Despite the high abv, I would probably have more than one. Good flavor and apperance. Not the best, but a damn good representation of its style. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of alexgash
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Bottled on 11/13/09.

Very dark maple syrup brown. Index finger of creamy, dense, dark sandy brown head. Some lacing. Nose full of caramel, milk chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, licorice, Tootsie rolls, and almost a sweet blackberry twang.

Roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate flavors lead things off nicely. Malted milk, charred smoky malts, and rummy dark fruit sweetness follow. Herbal, woody hop bitterness kicks in as the warming alcohol and fruit sweetness peak. Dark chocolate notes sail on through a long, bittersweet finish. Full-bodied, creamy, luxurious feel. A pleasure to drink. Very nice!

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm putting my feud with Harpoon on hiatus to try this one. That's big of me, I know.

Black with dark brown highlights when held to light. Large beige head with minimal retention and one big lace ring at the top.

Smells awesome. Molasses, brown sugar, coffee beans, husky dark malt and chocolate whey protein powder.

First thing I noticed was the mouthfeel: creamy and chewy like a frappe. Tastes like cold hot chocolate, molasses, brown sugar and dark fruity alcohol. Dark, heavy, and decadent this is like a pastry shop beer. So good I had to take a nap afterwards.

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Photo of JayNH
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a thick black color with a foamy tan head.

S- A note of alcohol but not overwhelming. Very fruity smelling for a Porter. A very pleasant sweet chocolate scent.

T- The alcohol stands out but is very pleasant on the palate. A hint of coffee but finishes with a nice sweet cocoa/chocolate taste and a well balanced grassy hoppiness.

M- smooth, creamy and full bodied.

D- Excellent! This is good beer, well worth a try.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
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 dragonWhale
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged a few months on this one, thanks, Bill.
This lovely brew pours cocoa with a light spot of head upon the brim. Upon opening the bottle, chocolate, alcohol and dates permeate my living quarters, leaving my nethers aquiver. This will be a delight.
The flavor does not disappoint, chocolate bringing A game without totally dominating the flavor, allowing the subtle
alcohol flavor to mingle with the dates in the background, a formidable front. The lager yeast makes for a smooth finish, the flavors linger the longer the glass remains wet.
Now that I am empty, they still hang like warnings to those who would dare to trespass again. I wasn't sold until now, whilst I behold these stalactital flavors.

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Photo of hreb
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cold 12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Beer pours a cola brown color and forms a medium-sized chestnut head. Very dark color in the glass. Aroma is of nuts, caramel, but faint, even as it warms.

First sip is very 'smooth' and flavorful. Feels like a high-gravity beer. I would not have guessed that this is such a high alcohol brew, though, nor that it's a lager, given the full-bodied character of the thing. Hops come out in the aftertaste, in a fresh kind of way, counteracting what must be a pretty heavy grain bill. There's only a very faint sweetness through the middle of the beer, more caramel than molasses/treacle, but very dilute. Carbonation is fine and not overly sharp. Finish is just dry enough to make it not cloying at all.

Overall, an excellent balance, and a very good beer. For an 'exotic' beer it's pretty subdued: there are no extreme, pronounced flavors in the beer, and it doesn't smell like much. The flavor is very simply roasted barley. Otherwise, anything more and it would be a truly great beer.

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Photo of Kromes
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear black with some ruby edges. The tan head is a finger width.

S: A simple aroma of roasted malt, alcohol, and fruity hop.

T: It starts out with sweet roasted malt with a touch of coffee, caramel and chocolate. There is a fruitiness to the beer and the alcohol shows up and lingers after the finish. The finish has a nice caramel and chocolate lingering flavor.

M: Nice heavy, full mouthfeel. very smooth. There is an acidic bitterness along with the peppery alcohol warmth.

D: Although you can sense the alcohol, it is surprisingly easy to drink. Very tasty and smooth.

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Photo of david18
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a great fan of this series of beers because they tend to be too strong tasting for the styles they represent. However, this beer is one of the best porter's i've had. a little strong for a porter but very well balanced between alcohol, hops and the great smokey malt flavor and aroma.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.98 out of 5 based on 364 ratings.
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