Harpoon Leviathan - Quad | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon Leviathan - QuadHarpoon Leviathan - Quad

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Leviathan Quad was fermented with a blend of two traditional Trappist yeasts. A mixture of two-row pale malts, caramel malts, and special aromatic malts gives the Quad its richness and texture. The subtle hop flavor imparted from Brewer’s Gold hops lingers in the background and provides just enough bitterness to balance the malt sweetness. The addition of imported Belgian Dark Candi Syrup rounds out the beer, giving the Quad its full body and deep auburn color. Expect notes of honeyed dry fruit with peppery phenols in the aroma, a velvet-like mouthfeel, and a superbly drinkable beer.

44 IBU

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 291
Photo of JayQue
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good Quad. I have held on to this one for a few years. I'm sure the mellowness and lack of an alcohol burn are a result of aging. Poured an almost clear mahogany brown color into my Chimay goblet. Small tan head that fades fast and no lacing. Typical of a high abv beer, better head than some. Lots of light coming through the sides of the glass. Good Quad aromas, dark fruit (Plums, figs and raisins), some Belgian yeast, and candi sugar. Taste is more of the same, sweet malt, candi sugar, dark fruit and yeast. Mouthfeel is rich and strong. The alcohol provides a warming effect and the rich sweet malt helps this go down real easy. There are better, more complex Quads out there, but this one touches all the bases and is quite solid.

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Photo of stakem
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle pulled from the cellar with a couple years of age. It appears a dark copper to brown color with khaki colored head.

It smells sugary like candied oranges and then goes to all medicinal booziness.

This tastes boozy with slight yeastiness, herbal hops and solvent alcohol. Lacking in the expected yeasty phenolics and malt backbone.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Kinda hard to put down, would not get again.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from 2009.

Pours dark amber with a thick head of beige. Dense lacing and a solid skim coat on the surface for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with grape candies, rum-soaked raisins, bubblegum, and a hint of booze.

On the thick side of medium bodied with a sticky, somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.

Sweet malt with grape lollipops on the palate. Rummy and sweet with dark fruits.

Finishes with a lingering sweetness and warming on the throat.

A big version of the style and too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, 12 oz bottle.

appears almost clear, just a bit hazy. medium brown in color, no head. rich malty aroma, raisins, plum, a touch boozy. similar flavors in the taste. thinner body, lower carbonation.

overall it's decent, but not quite the level of the true Belgian versions.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a murky dark brown color with a small foamy light tan head, short retention that fizzes out, leaving just a ring of lace

S-lots if dark fruit, dark licorice, some herbal-medicinal notes, sweet caramel malt and some alcohol burn in the aroma

T- the medicinal flavors follow the aroma, lots of dark fig and licorice, herbal hop, toasted bready malt with sweet caramel-toffee flavors, sweet finish with alcohol on the finish

M- thick, viscous and syrupy mouthfeel, low carbonation, sticky finish as it seems to coat the tongue, alcohol heat on the finish.

O- huge flavors with some nice dark fruity notes, wasn't a fan of the mouthfeel but a worthy American example of the style.

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Photo of Anker13
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

1/31/12 Harpoon Brewery | 2012 Leviathan Quad | 12oz Bottle

Appearance- light brown, chestnut, thin off white head, slight haze

Aroma- spicy, not too much Belgian yeast action, but there is a little clove. Peppery, piney, woody, “forest floor”, boozey, not as fruity as I’d expect

Mouthfeel- moderate/high co2, surprisingly medium in body, slight astringency

Taste- Belgian spice, dark fruit, molasses, alcohol is definitely a component, much more subdued with a year of age though, candy syrup

Residual- flavor kind of cuts off quickly, doesn’t linger too long at all, a little sweetness

Overall- Not Harpoon’s best offering. Although… It is still significantly better than it was fresh. The alcohol has mellowed and it has become a pretty decent sipping beer. There was no real front or back to the beer. You had a big burst of flavor and then it cut off

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: 2012 pours a clear, deep mahogany color with a bubbly two-finger tan head that settles out quickly.
S: Molasses, dried plums, light vanilla, and brown bread make out the sweeter aromas. There is some peppery aromas and other spicy notes from the hops and yeast characteristics.
T: Buttery caramel and molasses envelop the tongue with a brown bread and candi sugar sweetness. Hints of dried plums, sherry and peppery hops in the background. A bit boozy for this style.
M: Medium to full body with a buttery texture and light, crisp carbonation. Alcohol warmth is a bit too much at times.
O: Harpoon gives this style a decent effort but it is a bit hot in the alcohol presence and it may need to rest a few years to mellow. Decent fruit esters and nice peppery bite give the drink some good interest.

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Photo of rodlavers
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 vintage poured into a snifter, super thin light tan head, no lacing, dark ruby/brown color, relatively clear, bubbly. Smell is easy, dark fruits mostly, hints of malt, some sweetness. Taste is similar, but also with a little spice. Not exactly what I am used to recently with other quads. Mouthfeel is average; carbonated, not particularly smooth. Overall not a huge fan, but not surprised.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(3.5) A: Pours a clear and dark ruby red when held up to light. A fingers worth of foam quickly recedes to a faint ring.

(4.0) S: Dark fruits (cherries & plums), dried fruit (dates & figs), brown sugar, nutmeg, and gingerbread. A healthy and varied batch of aromas that are very pleasing, albeit fairly sweet.

(3.5) T: First thing that comes to mind is cherry cough syrup- not a necessarily bad taste but quite dominant. Must be the brown sugar and cherry flavours combined with the noticeable alcohol feel. I can also pick out some nutty elements, dried fruits, and raisins. Generally speaking, I do like the strong cherry flavour (almost like a pile of Nibs in your mouth) but the brown sugar is a bit too dominant for me.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. Very syrupy and sticky with a warming finish.

(3.5) D: Likely not something I would pick up again considering the whole cherry cough syrup thing. A little disappointed considering my enjoyment of the other Leviathan line offerings :(

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Photo of Raime
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark ruby red with almost no head. Leaves no lacing.

S - Sweet malt, raisins, plums, dry figs, alcohol, slight hops, and the slightest caramel malt ever.

T - Very sweet burnt malt up front with sweet fresh raisins in the middle and a dark plum finish. Alcohol makes it's presence known as well. Good for almost 12%.

M - Mouthfeel adds some additional alcohol flavor with almost no carbonation and an extremely heavy body.

O - Overall, this is a very interesting beer, and the first quad I have ever had. If this is considered to be a bad quad, I cannot wait for Rochefort 10!.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at the Green Growler Grocery, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Pours darker brown, tan head quickly goes from 2 inches to nothing. No film, no collar and no lacing.

Light malt and light chocolate sniff

Malty brew with chocolate, minty chocolate brownies/chocolate chip cookies and waves of caramel notes.

Alcohol present but not really intruding onto the enjoyment of this flavorful, bold and flavorful offering.

Happy to enjoy a growler fill, as a lot of the reviews from bottled samples are middling to downright negative.

Not the worlds greatest quad, but I found this to be a fairly drinkable and pretty tasty take on the style.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

One and a half finger head, poured dense and foamy yellow-brown. Brew is dark purple with lots of reds. No lacing. Nice clarity.

Heavy, sugary, and tons of raisins. Prunes, figs, and sweet. Kinda smells like my kitchen trash can..

Large amount of bite. Heat strikes in a bad way, nothing refreshing about this on a hot day. Bitter and rough. Heavy carbonation too. Thick raisin-y suagr without any smooth flavors.

A mess of a brew.. I was very disappointed with this brew! It's becoming more and more rare to find a good quad, maybe I should give them up. This one didn't end up in the drain, but it's not recommended.

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Photo of superspak
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into chalice, 2012 vintage. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a small light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin ring of lace. Minimal lacing clings to the glass, with a small amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of plum, prune, molasses, caramel, cherry, toast, biscuit, banana, allspice, cinnamon, clove, and a bit of alcohol. Some pretty nice and quite unique Quadrupel aromas; with good balance and complexity. Taste of prune, cherry, toast, raisin, biscuit, allspice, banana, clove, and alcohol. Lingering notes of dark fruit, toast, spices, clove, banana, molasses, caramel, and biscuit on the finish for a good bit. Flavors are pretty good, but it is a bit boozy and not as complex as I was hoping. No cloying sweetness. Medium-low carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a fairly slick and thick mouthfeel that is decent. Alcohol presence is quite noticeable with a large lasting warming on the finish. Overall this is an ok quad. Decent flavor balance and complexity; and pretty smooth to sip on slowly.

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Photo of Celtics76
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Dark red in color with a plum-like aroma. Taste is overwhelmingly boozy, enough to almost completely offset the flavors. I generally don't mind "boozy" beers, as long as it is balanced out with strong flavors. Not the case here.

I always have high expectations for Harpoon Leviathan beers, and this one does not meet them.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear ruby, not much carbonation, one finger head, very light tan two finger head.

S-Dark fruits, plums, vanilla, alcohol makes its way into the nose.

T-Lots of dark fruits, plums, raisins, not much bitterness, but the alcohol is still present present.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation, alcohol heat is present.

O-Maybe with some aging, the alcohol will calm down. Because this beer has to much alcohol.

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Photo of Pdiddey3d
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle

A nice dark chestnut color with hints of burgundy. About half a finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Zero lacing but some alcohol feet as you drink.Smell is subdued, initially I thought it might be too cold to get a good scent but as I let it come up in temp the booze was the thing that jumped out the most. Sweet malty character, some cherry and banana in there. Somewhat pleasant but the booze kills it a bit. Taste is similar to the nose. Boozy at first, lots of pepper, very malty. Hints of date and cherry but the pepperiness is the dominant flavor.
Overall a decent quad but a bit too boozy in the nose and taste for me.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a chestnut/mahogany tone with ruby highlights; a quarter inch of tan head quickly dissipates into a collar around the glass... moderate lacing.

bold nose offers a lot of sweet malt. notes of dark fruit, banana, and spice. not bad; not great. flavor starts off with a fruity, sweet maltiness and some spice characters present. opens up a bit more mid-palate, but to me the finish is subpar: not an undoing per se, just comes across as astringent and boozy.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation. holds its own as a serviceable american-made quad, just keep your expectations in check.

originally reviewed: 02-22-2011

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of cherries and plums, as well as some bread and brown sugar. The alcohol is also quite present. The flavor is similar. The beer is very boozy, but the dark fruit, candy sugar and Belgian yeast notes also are strong. The beer is very fruity overall, with a lot of cherries and figs in the flavor. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes on 03/16/12:
Dated 2012; Poured in a snifter.

A - One inch of very light tan, creamy head with nice retention; Dark garnet/mahogany in color with a nice maroon glow, especially when held to the light; No lacing left behind

S - Notes of buttered toast, sweet cherry candies, grapes, dark fruits, and a good bit of alcohol

T - Quite a bit of alcohol taste here with some accompanying heat; Behind the alcohol, I taste dark plum-like fruits, cherry cough syrup-like flavor, pepper, caramel, buttered toast, and grape, though the flavors don't seem to be meshing together well; Alcohol and semi-sweet cough syrup flavors linger, making the aftertaste fairly unpleasant; Alcohol does seem to mellow just a bit once the beer approaches room temperature

M - Below moderate, prickly carbonation; Between medium and full bodied; Mouthfeel seems smooth with a semi-dry finish, but it's overshadowed by the sting and heat of the alcohol

O - I gave this beer a legitimate shot, but it just didn't bring much enjoyment for me. I'm not against a big presence of alcohol, but in this case, it took away from accompanying flavors instead of enhancing them. I might try this beer again down the road, but only a bottle with significant age in hopes of mellowing out the heat and a more harmonious flavor.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11 ounce pour - $8.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Surprisingly clear, golden-amber body with a slim head comprised of near-white foam.

Smell: A nose of pale malted barley grains, spirits, stone fruits, Oregon cherries, banana, and hints of sugar and spice, though nothing really standing out and all of it kind of mild.

Taste: Simple syrup washed barley grains with caramel in the flavor, but, yeah, mainly just the simple syrup. Fairly sweet throughout. Ripe cherries, tart-ish pears, and green bananas. As the graininess ramps up the alcohol drops in bringing about a noted hotness. Sweetish finish, quite warm, with some late-breaking spicy phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. It's almost sticky. Almost.

Overall: It's big, sweet, and Belgian-esque, but it doesn't hold a candle to the principal Belgian quads (or even many of the domestic American renditions).

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Photo of DavidST
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, 2012 edition. This pours a darkish brown color with a long lasting massive tan head. The smells are of yeast esters, some ripe bananas, brown sugar a little caramel. The feel is medium to slightly thick. The taste is of brown sugar, ripe fruit and alcohol.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brewed with "a mixture of two-row pale malts, caramel malts, and special aromatic malts" as well as Belgian Dark Candi syrup, hopped with Brewer’s Gold, and fermented with a trappist yeast strain (I'm guessing 3787, the Westmalle strain).
OG=26.2, 11.75% ABV, 44 IBU, 74 EBC per the website. I paid $12.99 for a 4-pack of 12oz bottles.

Pours out to a very clear dark mahogany, forming a small, but very creamy yellow head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Mild carbonation (not true to style, but I prefer my quads this way). The aroma is very nice...browning bananas and banana bread, suggestion of toasted pecans, carob and the complex aromatics of dark candi syrup. Mouthfeel is pillowy soft with a dense syrupy body. The taste is a recap of the aroma, as it should be...lovely browning bananas, carob, and candi syrup. No perceptible off-flavors or aromas. Sweet and syrupy, with a mild herbal bitterness. The bittering hops is a bit off style, taking on a decidely English character that is appreciable even had I not know they were using an English variety. Despite this, it's still a really tasty standout brew.

I haven't liked the other 3 or 4 harpoon beers I've tried because I think their house yeast strain is awful, so knowing that they brewed this with a trappist yeast strain is why I tried this one. This is a really good, if not great, American version of a Belgian quad, better than many other American brewed Belgian quads. Up there with Allagash and Avery. I would definitely buy it again and highly recommend you try it.

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Photo of Sweasty
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Harpoon tackles one of my favorite styles. The Leviathan Quad pours a dark reddish mahogany. Things are topped of by a fingers worth of light khaki head. Head quickly dissipates leaving some lace in its wake.

The aroma is packed full of complexities. Caramel soaked fruitiness hits first. Raisins and dried figs pop next. As things warm up more classic Belgian esters start to show. Some medicinal notes show up. That's followed by some bubblegum. Some light peppery notes round things out.

Taste follows the nose. Caramel notes hit first. Lightly sweet caramel fades into dried fruits. Raisins and dried figs show up mid palate. Bubblegum and the barest hint of chocolate pop next. Some light peppery alcohol notes hit in the dryish finish.

Leviatham Quad falls on the light side of medium bodied. Carbonation is adequate but not quite boisterous enough.

All in all Harpoon has made a tasty beer. The alcohol is as hidden as it can be in a beer of this strength. Barley wine like flavors start things off. More traditional quad flavors start to pop as things warm up. This quad may not quite measure up with the best of the best. Its still a tasty Belgian inspired brew.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark and strong beer. Despite this, there is the subtle flavor of citrus, hops and chocolate behind the big and bold taste of alcohol.

The aroma has notes of chocolate which mask the strong ABV. Very drinkable for this style of beer, which could be dangerous in the long run.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09 vintage, 12/11.

A: Pours a murky, sludgy brown, a touch gold. Medium tan head sits on top, quickly dissipating. Minimal lacing. Sediment ranging from grains of sand to clumps.

S: Lots of dark fruit, whiskey soaked raisins, cherry sauce, smoky raked leaves, maple syrup. Very sweet, good dose of spices.

T: Matches up with the nose quite well. Tart cherries and sweet raisins. Mellowed out nicely, booze factor is rather subtle for a nearly 12% ABV beer. Has some Belgian yeast characteristics, clove, cinnamon; kind of festive. Sweet, robust, malty.

M: Lost a little carbonation, medium body for the ABV, medium to low alcohol burn.

O/D: Much better aged, the booze has calmed down, sweeter flavors have made there way up front. Overall, a good American version of a Quad.

A: Very nice darkish bright brown. Sediment floating around, assuming because of it being unfiltered. A good two finger tan head. A little lacing.

S: Not too much going on. Smells boozy, spices are prevalent. Maybe some grape smells too.

T: Nice bold spice flavor. Dark fruity taste and a definite boozy aftertaste.

M: Really nice combination of carbonation and smoothness.

D: Low. It tastes good, but can take a while to drink.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Quad from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.68 out of 5 based on 291 ratings.
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