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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 364
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 260 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice deep brown color with a thin tan head on top. The smell of roasted malts and hints of chocolate on the nose. The taste of the beer was also full of rich roasted flavors and a good bitter dark finish. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad but it could have been just a little thicker I think. Overall this wasn't a bad Baltic but there are better out there.

 378 characters

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is close to jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark malts and licorice in the nose.
T: The taste isn’t that complex and has flavors of dark malts and notes of chocolate with hints of licorice.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a bit thin for the style with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink compared to other beers in the style because it’s a little lighter in body and you can’t taste any of the alcohol.

 612 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, this is the second time I've tried something from the Harpoon Leviathon series and the second time I immensely enjoyed it.

A great dark beer.. nice and hearty with tons of lacing and a beautiful dark color. Taste is of roasted malts with some dark fruit undertones... blended together amazingly with a nice zing of alcohol on the tongue. Very drinkable for the high ABV and really warms you up.. try this one out.

 418 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with ruby highlights; the thick tan cap retains well but only leaves a few strands

Smell: Rum-soaked prunes, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of soy

Taste: Opens with a fruity chocolate character that moves in a fusel alcohol direction by mid-palate, with burnt charcoal elements appearing underneath; after the swallow, the dark fruit takes center stage, though the rougher flavors linger underneath

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A bit too rough around the edges to compete with some of the better Baltic Porters (think Smuttynose, for example) but still a decent enough beer

 689 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color porter with a huge light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aromas of black chocolate and roasted malt are well balanced and quite enjoyable. Taste is also a well balance mix between some lightly bitter roasted malt notes with some dry black chocolate. Body is a bit thin with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. A fuller body and more chocolate notes would have made this a pretty perfect Baltic Porter but this is very good nonetheless.

 500 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a very, very dark brown that is almost entirely opaque unless it's held up to the light. Pretty good tan head with a tiny bit of lacing. The nose is roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and some small amount of dark fruits. The taste is roast and chocolate for the most part with some light caramel and date flavors. Good, full body. Not the best baltic porter I've had, but quite nice.

 440 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of light brown head on an opaque black body with some minor, ruby highlights. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Light chocolate and toffee with a dominant espresso note. Some caramel in the background and a hint of alcohol.

T - Coffee flavors up front with moderate malt bitterness. Sweet caramel in the middle with some spicy alcohol notes and dark chocolate. Strange interplay of sweet and bitter in the finish with an odd cherry note.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - The flavors are quite syrupy and a combination of excessively hot alcohol and a weird, cloying flavor in the finish makes for low drinkability. The big Harpoon beers seem to be pretty hit or miss and aside from the aroma this one is a boozy, sticky mess.

 808 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into CCB snifter.

Color is a dark ruby hued bronze. Pours a small layer of beige head.

Aroma: Rich dark fruits. Plums and raisins. Big malty profile. Sweet toffee and caramel. A touch of heat on the nose.

Taste: Rich and malty. Huge malt profile with dark dried fruits. Plums and raisins again are present. More toffee than caramel malt flavors here. Not to bad. Roasted malt in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a bit crisp, and refreshing. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends malty and dry.

Overall, a decent baltic porter. Nice flavors all around, but nothing to strong. It is drinkable as well. As it warms I get a lot more roasted malt flavors. Glad I got a chance to try it.

 715 characters

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 634 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Typical. Black body with brown highlights when held to the light. Creamy tan head. Average retention. Minor lacing.

Aroma: Dark malts with a bit of very dark, almost-burnt sugar and suggestions of roastiness and chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate.

Flavor: It's fruity with sweet red berries, a thread of anise, and soft underlying notes of delicate chocolate. Coffee-like roasted-hints frame it around the edges... but it's mainly creamy, sugary coffee at this point. Mmmmm... coffee can be fruity too. Not that this flavor is coming from coffee, because it's not, but it is reminiscent... (I'm not a big enough coffee afficianado to try to suggest what beans or where might give that). It seems sweet up front, and perhaps a bit in the finish, yet across the middle its perfectly balanced. The sweetness in the finish is short-lived as well, and gives way to a bit of dark malt acidity that's more like black coffee, but it's still infused with notes of sweetish red berries.

Mouthfeel: As appropriate. Medium leaning heavily on dextrins towards medium full, and moderately carbonated for smoothness.

Drinkability: Overall this beer fits the style and, once warmed a bit, becomes nicely rounded. But I think the fruitiness is a bit overdone (perhaps personal preference). Beyond that, I think it's nicely put together, and a fairly impressive pint. I like the way that it's sweetish at first, but that I can find myself with some leafy hops and soft caramel lingering long after it's been gone.

 1,509 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

 263 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/31/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with strong flavors of dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted coffee. Then there's a mild hops presence that comes in and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, not the best Baltic Porter that I've had, but a good strong darker beer to drink for a while.

 773 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a kind trade for this bottle. I had been wanting to polish off the other half of the series and this bottle could not have landed in my hands soon enough. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, thos one was consumed on 02.18.2009.

The pour was very nice, rich dark brown and essentially completely opaque as I look at it. A nice head of light tan about a half inch in height comes up and over the top, settling down nicely into a thin film that coated the inside of the glass very nicely. Rich aroma here of dark fruits, touches of molasses and rich dark chocolate. A touch of bitterness or sour as it warms up and gets even thicker. The flavor was excellent, classic for the style indeed. Rich notes of burnt chocolate, dark prune like fruits, a touch of sour cherries and sweet molasses coat the tongue as the full and rich body on this one leave you looking for another smooth sip right after the first. The alcohol was very well hidden and that made this one a really fine sipper that I cannot argue against. This was a real highlight for me and top notch beer for sure.

 1,095 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at the Brewery store after the tasting in Boston MA.
Poured chilled into a goblet

A - Deep walnut brown w/ a 2 finger rocky sandstone head. The head is comprised of pin-sized bubbles. The beer is attractive w/ a translucent garnet hue. The lace clings and forms like sunspots w/ a rising tan flame pattern on the rim of the glass

S - A rich caramel, nut and chocolate nose w/ a big yeasty, roasty aroma. The smell is woody, slightly tobacco-like and has hints of smoke

M - A med carbonated creamy, slighty dry at first and then mildly sweet w/ a spicy warm finish. A nice smoothness is achieved in the feel from the lager yeast coinciding with mild malt roastiness

T - Almost immediate fruit and nutty flavors pop out w/ cherry like fruit and nuts from the malt. The hops are both spicy and earthy and the flavors from the malt and yeast meld in the plum like sweet taste w/ a mild tangy flavor. The alcohol is noted in the flavor w/ a mild cocoa note, but the taste has a smoothness that is indicative of baltic porters fermented with lager yeast

D - One of my favorite styles and this is an excellent example of the style w/ high drinkability. This beer left me wanting more an uncommon quality usually. This is a very satisfying baltic porter-Kudos Harpoon

 1,283 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chunky head with good ring lace. Deep ruby brown where light only shows through on the edge.

Slightly sour aroma; otherwise, a chaulky mocha smell.

Creamy latte flavor, with the emphasis on the coffee. Moderate body with a low level of carbonation. A very light sweetness to the brew.

 286 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with a short lived off-white head. Nice nose on this. Dark chocolate and fruit give a pleasant balanced sweetness. A bit of roasted malt and a touch of spice. The flavor offers a nice chocolate character and a touch of roast. Dark fruits, especially raisins and plums, and a touch of spice. Just a touch of roast to give some bitterness.

 357 characters

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.

 888 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights when held to light. Stingy beige head dissipates quickly. Smells of brown sugar, alcohol, a bit of roast, some faint dark fruit. Tastes of dark fruit and alcohol followed by some light roast, and leaving a lingering chocolate/coffee. Mouthfeel is creamy body is medium to thick, carbonation is ample. Decent brew, definitely not my favorite Baltic porter, and definitely a sipper. Alcohol is bit to evident for me.

 477 characters

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.

 675 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Wasatch for this one!

Pours dark garnet with ruby hues. A slim head doesn't make it for the duration.

The smell is of dark fruit, licorice, and a hint of chocolate. Ashy.

The taste is of charcoal-ish ash, alcohol and a general sweetness.

The carbonation is on the aggressive side, cutting into the body a bit.

Drinks okay considering abv shows.

 359 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +8%
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.

 455 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra, but can't exactly remember from whom. Thank you, whomever you are! Served in my Pisgah pint glass.

A - A half finger of late-rising tan foam with some big bubbles. Dissipates to a ring and a bit of haze after a minute or so. Not much in the way of lacing. Transparent when held to the light, displaying a bit of suspended sediment, and a nice deep mahogany color. Wish there had been a little more head volume and retention.

S - Potent nose of dark roasted malts, smokiness, some espresso, a bit of baker's chocolate, and a note of dark fruit. It's a little bit no frills in the world of hoppy/coffee/barrel-aged/chocolate-infused porters, but it's still quite pleasant.

T - Taste is very similar - with more of a dark chocolate vibe and less of the smokiness found in the nose. There are some dark fruit elements and a touch of caramel in the mix as well. The finish is full of roasty and espresso type bitterness that lingers for a while.

M - Carbonation is fairly active - a little more than I prefer but not totally off-base for the style. Thick, viscous, full-body that is quite oily and smooth. Fairly sticky finish with a bit of heat building after a half-bottle.

D - This is a pretty solid "plain jane" Baltic Porter - one of the better brews I've tried in the Leviathan series. It was pretty easy to consume the whole 12oz bottle and I'd consider having it again.

 1,399 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gift from Thorpe, thanks. Poured into a RR wine glass. Beer is brown dark and forms a thin off white / tan head of small bubbles that cling to the glass leaving lace lines. Looks good.

Aroma is very very weak and a little soapy.

Beer is medium to light in body and finishes really dry. Forward its a little sweet and it finishes OK. There is some alcohol in the forward palate and some bitterness at the back. Its OK, I've had better Baltic Porters.

 451 characters

Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from Abe's Cold Beer for a couple bucks. Appeared black with a light tan head in my glass. I though it made a great dessert beer and was a pretty good recreation of the style. I'd like to try is side-by-side with some of the classic baltic porters. The flavor was a mix of dry cocoa with dark fruit that come off closer to a cola taste to me. Still, it hits the marks (and hits them well) of being a relatively drinkable strong lager with both chocolate and fruit flavors. Very tasty and worth a try if you can find it.

 538 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.98 out of 5 based on 364 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.