Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

BA SCORE
89
very good
365 Ratings
Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic PorterHarpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
365
Reviews:
240
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
9.55%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
14
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 |  Reviews: 240
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Black with a beige head that thinned out and still left rings of lacing.
Wow, what a great smelling BP, roasted coffee beans and semi-sweet chocolate, 2 things that I like a lot.
After the smell the taste was not all I expected, roasted coffee upfront and then the bitter semi-sweet chocolate hits only to finish with a bit of booziness. It's tatsy but I would have prefered a different (bittersweet) finish.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Take your time and enjoy.

 517 characters

Photo of jhoban19
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: deep, dark brown, almost black but not quite. Can see through the glass just a little, and only when held to the light (I can see the light fixture I'm holding the beer up to). Ruby hues when held to the light. A solid tan head, about a finger and a half, is comprised of tons of tiny bubbles and is fluffy on the top. The foam holds up quite well and settles into a better than average ring with excellent lacing that holds its place on the glass to start, but becomes thin and runny as I reach the middle of the pint.

S: initial aromas of highly roasted malts, followed up by dark fruits (mostly raisins) and a subtle hint of floral hops. Aromas of chocolate covered cherries and a very subtle hint of bourbon are present as it warms. Toward the end of the pint I pick up some toffee/caramel notes.

T: dark cherries and chocolate, along with a bit of roasted coffee flavor. Finishes with a pleasant bitterness that balances out the sweetness of the cherries and chocolate.

M: Smooth and creamy, with a buttery finish akin to a piece of soft caramel candy melting in your mouth. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation that balances out the smoothness and plays well with the combination of sweet and bitter flavors. A mild hop resin leaves a stickiness on the lips as well.

D: even at 9.5% this is a highly drinkable porter- a good choice for a cold Chicago night in the middle of January. At no point do I detect an overwhelming amount of alcohol on the nose or in the taste. This brew is well balanced, smooth and complex enough to hold your interest all the way through a pint. I find myself having to think about drinking this one slowly so that I don't miss out on any additional elements that might present themselves as the beer warms. At the same time I can easily see myself taking a couple of big chugs and this sucker would be gone. Thankfully I have exhibited the patience to opt for the former. This bottle was #2 in a four-pack and I'm planning to cellar the other 2 to see how they age- I just hope I can wait a year or two before drinking the others!

 2,131 characters

Photo of degerbah
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
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 soccerman7
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams PP glass

A - Very dark mahogany with a thin head and ring. Good carbonation.

S - Very clean, dark fruits, and almost burnt toast. Leather.

T - Very intense dark fruit. Really nice balance with the heavy roasted malt and hops. Coffee after taste. Very interesting. more of a light imperial stout than a baltic porter. There is a lot going on.

M - Rather dry on the finish. Fairly smooth overall.

D - A seasonal favorite. Great for when the weather drops. One of Harpoons better beers.

 516 characters

Photo of Goldfish19
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~ Purchased this 12 oz bottle from Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY. This beer pours a nice reddish brown with a small tan head. The aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits. The taste is similar to its smell. This porter is smooth and able-bodied. At 9.5% ABV, it's very easy to drink.

Good stuff! ~

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Photo of jrallen34
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer is black with a light tan 2 finger high head that is gone in about a minute leaving only head around the rim of the glass. The lacing is pretty decent.

The aroma is strong and mostly you get a roastiness from it. Its roasted coffee with some dark fruits.

The taste is a huge disappointment. The biggest thing you get is all 9.5% of that alcohol just bursting at the seems. You also get some coffee but it is just drowned out.

The feel is way to light for a bp.

Overall, this is a pretty poor effort. Its way to much alcohol and water in the feel. Very sad.

 629 characters

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark chestnut brown with dark mahogany edges and a one finger light beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.

Roasted malt aroma with lots of bitter dark chocolate, toffee, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and slight dark fruit. There is also an earthy hoppy character in the nose.

Softly carbonated deep roasty body with a somewhat viscous silky chocolate maltiness and a dry earthy hoppy finish. Very well balanced with the perfect amount of sweet chocolate maltiness countering the roasted coffee bean/burnt toast that's prominent up front. Hints of caramel, toffee and dark fruit with a slight nut presence. Roasty and sweet with a subtle dry finish. Very good.

 702 characters

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black with very minimal head, aroma coming off this is quite strong and boozy. Smells pretty strong of raisins and dark fruits. Taste has a nice malt backbone. I'm getting some caramel and some raisin with some hotness of the alcohol. Nice and sweet like a porter with a kick. Fairly drinkable, might benefit from a little age to balance the hotness out. Solid baltic porter.

 380 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown in color, nearly black. A little bit of a bubbly white head in spots.
Smell is heavily roasted malts and a little bit of licorice.
Taste is much roasty and smokey. This is not your typical baltic porter. A little tough to get used to.
This is more like a roasted coffee, chocolate porter. Flavor is getting better as it warms. A little thin in the mouthfeel, but very good carbonation.
Easy drinking and enjoyable.

 436 characters

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 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.

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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 gford217
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark, dark brown that's nearly black in the glass underneath a big creamy tan head that shows very good retention and lacing.

The aroma is dominated by dark roasted malts and lots of milk chocolate. It's pretty sweet for the style and has hints of roasted coffee. It smells almost like a mocha with a shot of espresso.

The taste is also dominated by the roasted dark malts and has a little more coffee than the aroma. There are definitely hints of lactose and milk chocolate.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated and it's fairly smooth and less roasty than I was expecting in the finish.

This is a very good beer from Harpoon but it's not at the top of my list of porters as the lactose is a little out of place in the taste and the body probably doesn't stack up to the best in the style. Still, a good beer.

 869 characters

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 tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
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 Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served at 48 degrees in my New Belgium Globe glass. No freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured two shades shy of black with a loose, half inch, khaki-colored head. Head eventually recedes into a broken skim. Some thick bands of lacing revealed during the tasting with decent adhesion. Big chocolate nose and dark fruit. Taste follows nose, but also a bit of lactose in the mix and some acidity that comes out at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a somewhat lively carbonation level - lactose gives it a slightly creamy texture. Really tasty, with a well-hidden abv. I'm usually not big on the style, but I'm loving this one. Another outstanding brew from the Leviathan series.

 709 characters

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

A - Pours pretty darned black, not much head, leaves of white ring.

S - Cocoa, mostly, sharp notes on finish.

T - Nice muted cocoa, chocolate milk, cookies and some coffee.

M - Good carb and balance, aggressive enough to keep interest.

D - A nice brew.

 258 characters

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

Had one last bottle of this sitting around from last winter and decided I should give it a review.

Poured this fairly aggressively and produced a nice tan head. The color is dark and murky, with maybe the slightest red tinge to it.

Mmmm, the aroma is chocolatey, roasted malts mingled with some wood notes. Reminds me of walking through a pine forest in the middle of winter, accompanied by a warm crackling fire. The smell of wood and some smoke. There is also something sweet there as well. Possibly fruit, cherries.

The flavor is strong roasted and smoked malts. Followed by some chocolate malts and a little bit of fruit. The finish is intertwined with a bit of warming alcohol and licorice. Overall, roasty and dark. I remember there being more of a cherry presence when I drank a couple of these last winter, but I'm not getting too much of that flavor now. I wonder if that flavor is only good while the bottles are fresh off the line.

In conclusion, this is a nicely done baltic porter and a good addition to the Leviathan series. Hoping Harpoon produces more of this for the coming winter. At 9.5% ABV it warms you up nicely.

 1,138 characters

Photo of abuliarose
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a rounded goblet, revealing a dark opaque body with an appealingly thick tan head. Lacing slips down the inside of the bowl. It doesn't appear very viscous. Smells roasty, savory and upon swirling hints of candied cherry are released.

Tastes roasted and chocolaty with a fine carbonation and pleasantly bitter finish. The alcohol vapor is laced with rich red cherry undertones. Quite warming. Medium-bodied thickness with a smooth but dry mouthfeel. The dryness makes this one more of a sipper after awhile, otherwise it tastes great.

This one would be fun to age, I imagine. Quite an enjoyable brew is this; one of my favorites from Harpoon.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A: Hazy, dark brown, very dark. The pour only produced about a half finger of kahki head that quickly receeded and left no lace.

A: Rich, dark chocolate, and coffee. Nice aroma from the roasted malts. Some light dried fruit, grassy hops, and alcohol are present as well.

T: Chocolate, coffee, and roasty nutty flavor. I get a little sourness from the dried fruit, but not as much of an earthy taste as I would prefer. Beer finishes dry with some alcohol heat.

M: Aggresive carbonation delivers the flavor nicely. Medium body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is just slightly above average here. Overall, this is a fine beer. Nothing I'm gonna go ga ga over, but I'm enjoying this as it warms to room temp. Worth the try, but nothing I'll go out of my way to get. Skal.

 826 characters

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.

 395 characters

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice deep brown cola color with just enough head to get by.

S: Light licorice smell with a touch of what I call "baltic-ness". A touch of sweetness in the malt too.

M: Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Not too shabby here. Very drinkable in the way of how it is a beer. Not my favorite Baltic Porter but still a very good beer.

 352 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

Photo of mikereaser
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a pitch black with ruby highlights when held up to the light with no foam to speak of

S - roasted malt aroma with some sweet dark fruit thrown in

T - roasted malt backbone with some bitter chocolate, sweet dark fruit flavor as well

M/D - nice mouthfeel and flavor, it was almost too sweet for me, something to sip on

 329 characters

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

Nice one Harpoon!

appearance: deep dark black, pure ebony, loaded head and creamy froth.

smell: no hops, and slight chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, sweet aftertaste and pleasant, goes great with dark bitter chocolate

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: One of the top imperial porters out there. Loved and will drink again

 427 characters

Harpoon Leviathan - Baltic Porter from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.98 out of 5 based on 365 ratings.
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