Harpoon Leviathan - Quad | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

291 Ratings
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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 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 jjayjaye
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow I'm really enjoying this one! Pours a hazy mahogany tinted dark amber color with an absolutely huge stiff light tan head that decomposes slowly like an ice cream float. Sheets of lacing...wow, i'm really surprised. The smell is really good...classic earthy Belgian yeast, notes of figs over lighter harvest fruits. The mouth feel is tangy from the alcohol, lightly carbonated and full bodied. Full flavored, and complex...there is a strong earthy taste, pears and apples carried over nicely from the nose and a great spicy character over a caramel-like sweetness. It has a nice warming creamy smooth drinkability. This one is scoring BIG points for imagination and complexity. Highly recommended. Its interesting that previous reviews are using words of praise yet the scores aren't there...i don't understand. If it kicks your a$$ you must ACQUIT... : ) Peace...Go Team Harpoon!!

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Photo of jjchristiano
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say that I think I give this beer a very high rating because I had a great beer and food pairing experience with it. Took 2 bottles to our favorite Italian Restaurant. My wife drank red wine and I had these two bottles of Quad. Never tasted it before. Ordered rack of lamb crusted with parmesan cheese with a brown cognac gravy.
This beer matched with that entree was outstanding. The food and beer were perfectly complimentary and overall added to an excellent night. This is a quadrupel belgian style that for me is a 1 for 1 fine wine replacement. Being $10 for a 4-pack you can't drink it all the time but it is a nice treat for special occasions.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby amber color with a foamy white head.

Scent of dark fruit, sugars, yeast, grain, and banana. A great scent, well balanced, strong and the alcohol is hidden very well. Doesn't have all the qualities a good Quad scent should, but it excellent nonetheless.

Taste of yeast, dark fruits, sugars, banana, and clove. Alcohol is hidden very well. Strong and balanced flavor, replicates one of my favorite styles very well, this has surpassed my expectations.

Mouthfeel medium heavy bodied with strong carbonation.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tan head builds slowly after a vigourous pour. Didn't think it was going to amount to much at first, then it kept growing and almost overtook the rim of the glass before starting to settle. Hazy red brew with a small amount of sediment falling to the bottom.

Scent is sweet and fruity, banana, candied cherry, raisin, vanilla and oak. Taste is much the same, well rounded and well balanced. Thick and sweet, but not overly so, which undoubtedly helps to mask the EtOH. Alcohol is warming to the face but undetectable on the palate, very well hidden.

Overall very enjoyable and well made. Will definitely seek it out again. Highly recommended.

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Photo of bsend
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a deep dark brown/amber color. Hazy complex appearance. A proper pour yields a 1 finger mahogany head.

Smell: Strong mix of spice, dried fruit (raisin, plum, pear), sugar, and alcohol.

Taste: I love this. Good sipping beer. Starts out sweet with the dried fruit, especially raisin. Definite sugar syrup, that leads into some wine like flavors before finishing with strong alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Dry, syrupy, and thick bodied.

Drinkability: I have no problem going through one or two of these slowly. Not something you would finish a 4 pack of, but I definitely could enjoy a sipping session with this.

Final Thoughts - I seem to be one of the few on this site, but I am really loving this beer. Great sipping beer that provides a largely complex blend of various flavors that are harmonious rather than clashing. Leviathan is a great addition to Harpoon and I really hope they expand and keep it going.

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Photo of Jaguar
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

At 11.75 abv, this is a knock you on your ass beer from the word go. heavy everything. Belgian candy, yeast, alcohol and sweet malt are all right in your face, but it all comes together and works well.I had my head up my ass and the first bottle I tried was right out of the refrigerator, and while it was good,it was too cold and dulled the flavors. I let the second sit @ room temperature for while, and had one of those 'WOW' experiences. If you like big Belgian Style Ales this is a must try.
I'm going to buy a four pack for the cellar and see how this is with a little age on it.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark ruby color, almost looks brown until the light hits it. topped with a very nice frothy tan head.

S: Big BIG dark fruits here. Plum, cherry, fig, date, and raisin dominate all equally.

T: Big, delicious, malty beer. All the scents are present in the taste with the added sweetness of brown sugar and molasses.

M: Heavy-bodied with generous carbonation, maybe too much, defiantly a sipping beer.

D: Very low, its just too heavy and thick to have a lot.

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Photo of wofat
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Somewhere between brown and garnet, with a beautiful tan, nearly everlasting head.

S: Heavy on the belgian. Raisins, caramel, with a tinge of tart fruit.

T: I really find this brew to be DENSE with flavor. Sweet caramel and dark fruit dominate. "Special B" is prodominate. Not overly complex, but simple and very flavorful. Slight bitterness in the finish. Not alcoholic as I'd expect... no burn.

M: Smoooth. Moderately thick and silky as a good quad should be.

D: Very drinkable, but certainly not a session beer. I like these 1 at a time, thank you.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a very dark brown color with a tiny bit of a purplish hue. Off white head with some nice lacing as it makes its way down. Really nice lacing. The nose is dark fruits with plum, fig, dates, and a tiny touch of light caramel. A nice yeasty character throughout. Taste isn't quite as complex and the tastes blend together for some moderate malt and a dark-fruit presence. Feel is really nice and creamy with a touch of booze. A really nice American take on this brew.

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Photo of mixylplik3
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Billy at Den Rock for this.

A: Pours a deep and dark reddish-brown with light clingy lace in my Westvleteren chalice.

S: Bite of alcohol with a mellow but prominent candi sweetness.

T: Dark fruits, hint of spice with obvious alcohol bite which doesn't linger too long.

M: Medium body with smooth effervescence, similar to what you find in any good Belgian. The alcohol overpowers what might otherwise be a heavier mouthfeel.

D: My beer preference is definitely on the heavier side, so this quad is right at home. It's boozy but smooth on the tongue. Will be nice to get some of this fresh but I think with some age it will take it to another level.

I have been a big fan of the Leviathan series. This is definitely another winner and I'm thoroughly enjoying the whole series so far.

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Photo of strengthdoc
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a single of this at Liquor Depot in Avon, CT. The color was a very deep amber. The aroma was very sweet and fruity. You smell the belgian yeast. The mouthfeel was very thick and there was a fruity plum taste from the first sip. There was a buttery feel of alcohol on the lips which provided a good amount of alcohol warmth in the finish. Even though Belgian is not one of my favorite styles, I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the brewing co this beer was a copper/amber color. The khaki colored, two-finger head displayed excellent retention and lacing in semi-sticky bands. The aroma was of Belgian yeast, candy sugar, caramel and toffee, floral hops and a touch of alcohol heat. The flavors were spot-on for the style, but not as yeast dominated as a true Belgian. At first candy sugar and caramel came forward followed by alcohol heat in the middle, wood, Belgian yeast and an herbal, bitter finish. It had a nice flavor arc of malt to yeast to hops with all the elements well-defined. The mouthfeel was soft, the body medium and the carbonation perfect. Well worth tracking down and another success in this series.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a BIG plum tinted amber brown, with a nice light tan head forming thick with fine Belgian style lacing speckled down my Piraat chalice.

Quite the malt monster like any great Quad, big alcohol fruit soaked plum brandy notes with Belgian yeast spiciness and sweet candi sugar additions. A sharp poignant tart fruit note blares through my nares with raisins and tart cherries.

Flavor is huge complex layers of dry spicy yeast and soothing alcohol with almost too much sweetness grabbing ahold of the palate. Cherry skin earthiness with tart alcohol soaked fruit layers, that 11.75% abv is kickin' and it may be tamed with some time. However, I love Harpoon's new edge taking on all of these big bold beers from the Baltic Porter to the Big Bohemian Pils they are just releasing.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy carbonation surpisingly carries it all well, a nice feel to it with some signs of effervescent Belgian like bottled conditioning. Of course the alcohol and sweet syrupy malt layers lay heavy and wouldn't allow or make you desire multiple bottles of this brew in one setting.

Drinkability overall is good for the style I've had much worse from American brewers and I must say this is one of the best on the market in some time. A beefy beer that will get you through many mid summer nights or hold to a couple until this coming winter rolls around and light a nice cigar and enjoy the combo.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into goblet. Dark, brown/amber color...kind of looks like a cherry cola (with less carbonation). Nice release of carbonation with the pour though. Instant smell of cherry and fig, with hints of caramel. The high ABV isn't obvious in the smell at all.

Very nice smooth feeling. Great warming cherry notes; malty and toffee as well.
Again, the high ABV is not noticeable in the taste, which can be dangerous!

Overall, a great beer to have on a cold day; its warming and pleasant. I am very impressed and will buy again.

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Photo of SkipWeathers
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm BANANAS over this...that's the major flavor, banana, maybe just a bit too much. In this way it's one-dimensional. But I still like it.

A - claret in color, no head

S - like a bunch of over-ripened bananas soaked in alcohol, very robust

T - sweet and sour - tropical fruit-like, wheat, like a liquid bananas foster

M - oily and viscous; alcohol heavy

O - like I wrote, a little one-dimensional, hard to get past the primary flavor, but that 11.75% really does you nicely. Not subtle, more of an in your face quad.

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Photo of reknirdsuomynona
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the 4-pack. Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Beautiful deep red in color, closer to chestnut than an amber. No head to speak of due to the high alcohol content. A thin wisp remains around the edges of the glass.

S - Reminiscent of a Trappist style fruitcake. Candied raisins and spice. The alcohol slightly tingles the sinuses. Very nice aroma.

T - Spice and phenols. The high gravity is evident and it warms you nicely while traveling up to your nose. The aftertaste is a slight bitter ginger spice with a somewhat off-putting metallic quality.

M - Medium-heavy body. The oiliness helps it coat your mouth nicely. Carbonation is somewhat harsh at first but the alcohol content numbs you slightly and it eventually becomes a non-factor.

Overall, this is one of the better offerings in the Harpoon Leviathan line. A very solid American quadrupel.

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Photo of JayNH
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear deep burgundy color with a small foamy head.

S- Sweet and boozy, Fruity notes of figs, raisins, dates, and cherries. A bit of diacetly mixed in there too....

T- A dry sweetness fades to grassy hoppiness in the finish. Definitely boozy, some dry fruityness...

M- Very dry, moderately carbonated, boozy but not hot. Has that Belgian yeasty, musty, funkiness to it.

D- Very, very drinkable for this style. At 11.75% ABV the alcohol is very smooth on the palate. Also a nice dryness to the brew. Perhaps slightly overhopped.... Overall a fine brew from Harpoon!

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Photo of PhageLab
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - Brownish colored brew with a deep ruby hue. Made a thin bit of head that settled to a ring around the outer edge. Laced surprisingly well, though.

S - Sweet nectar of honey, brown sugar, and cherries. It's worth taking a few minutes to really enjoy this aroma.

T - Slightly boozy, but the palate numbs up to this quickly, and I'm treated with a rich flavour of molasses. Toffee notes and some dark fruits are also present.

M - Full bodied with a low carbonation level. Finishes nice and dry.

D - Very nice sipper. The second of the Leviathan series I've had so far, and the second one I've thoroughly enjoyed. Would give this one a second date anytime.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice deep brown color with some slightly brown head. Very spotty lacing.

S: Nice nose. Big booze right up front. Then comes the dark fruit. Reminded me of a weizenbock almost in how the dark fruit presented itself. Figs, raisins, and just a touch of apple.

T: Boozy right up front. Nice sweetness right after that then it goes into the dark fruit. They said it is a blend of two different trappist yeast and you can pick up the complexity.

M: Full bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel.

D: I liked it. Yes it is boozy but it is a fresh Quad. The thing about American quads is they are almost all like this. It is part of the flavor. Saying a quad is boozy is like saying you don't like Chocolate and then reviewing Choklat. If you want a smooth quad go to Belgium. This is a good American quad.

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Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle pulled cold right off the line on bottling day :)

A - Dark caramel walnut color with a hint of red and a nice deep tan head and good lacing

S - Fruit, banana, clove, sweet. The 2 yeast strains seem to be battling it out for the nose.

T - Very subtle, sweet again, alcohol is obvious, but helps cut down on the "chewiness"

M - Definitely full bodied, coats the tongue but stops short of being syrupy, which the taste and smell would lead you to expect.

D - Good sipping beer on a snowy afternoon in Vermont.

Overall - another solid beer from the Leviathan series by Harpoon. I will say that the DIPA was probably our favorite so far, but this is worth picking up and giving a try.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber to brown in color, with a small light tan head. In the aroma, fruity and a hint of licorice. In the taste. dark fruit, raisin, fig, plum and a alcohol note. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry licorice like aftertaste. Not a boozy as expected, big and nice.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into an Old Engine Oil tulip.

A: Clear, radiant magenta body with a finger of fine tan foam. Average retention and spotty lace. Gorgeous color and clarity.

S: Bold, intense mixture of molasses + toffee malts, as well as candied prunes and other dark fruits. Big, sweet, and only slightly boozy.

T: Follows the nose precisely: dark sugary and fruity malts leading to a fruity alcohol finish. Huge, yet balanced and complex Quite nice indeed.

M: Slick medium body that explodes with soft, fine effervescence. Fun.

D: It's a sipper for sure, but a very tasty one.

Notes: I've been a fan of this beer for a couple years now; for the price it's hard to beat such a gigantic beer that also delivers a well-balanced array of flavors. Definitely a malt-forward example of the style, it doesn't really have any yeast character to speak of, but that's not much of complaint. I'll drink this any time.


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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark pecan brown that becomes dark reddish orange with sunlight behind the snifter. A huge amount of downward drifting yeast is buffeted by a huge amount of upward rushing carbonation, while a chunky slice of pale caramel colored foam looks pretty good up top.

The aroma is more caramel-malted American barelywine... or Imperial Oktoberfest... or American strong ale than quadrupel. Where are the Belgian yeast esters? An appealing fruitiness and no alcohol are positives. Note: warming improves things quite a bit and brings out more quadness. Quadicity?

Like each and every member of the Harpoon Leviathan series that I've reviewed to date, Quad is delicious beer. It doesn't seriously compete with the best Belgian quads, but then it wasn't expected to. The brewery has done a fine job connecting most of the style dots and filling them in with something that has just enough depth and complexity.

Specific flavors include brown bread toast covered with caramel-toffee sauce, fig jam, orange marmalade, anise seed and black pepper. Oh, and the bubblegum-like yeast esters have now been located. Warming is opening things up verrry nicely.

Not overly sweet... just bitter enough... lingering finish that expands the flavor palette even more... all solid-as-a-rock reasons that 4.5 overall is an easy call. Rarely has 11.75% been masked this well. Kudos to Harpoon on multiple levels.

The mouthfeel hangs right in there and even manages to impress. Each sip starts out incredibly velvety smooth, falters a little, but holds on incredibly well through the finish. Obviously, well-calibrated carbonation is one of the major keys to success.

Quad is second only to the amazing Imperial Red Ale when it comes to my most favored members of the Leviathan series. There might be better American quadrupels out there, but there aren't many. If this isn't a year-round (or seasonal) release, it sure as hell should be.

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Photo of flexabull
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind courtesy of neorunner, thanks again!

Last 12 ounce blind. Here goes...

Pours a deep copper/brown color with a small off white head.

Aromas are bready, with some banana, bubble gum, and spicy yeast. I'm digging smelling this one.

Taste is super dry and malty up front. Some spicy banana bread flavors, cloves, light booze and oak as well. Finish is warm, with some mineral hop flavors and spicy bubble gum like yeast notes. Very complex with big bold flavors. Maybe a little bit strong at the moment.

Mouthfeel is good, very full, with good carbonation, and plenty of body.

Overall this is good. It's a powerhouse of flavors, and a little on the strong side and the moment, buts it's still quite nice. I'll just have to take little sips...

Ok, so I'm thinking a Belgian Quad, and I'm thinking 10+ ABV as well.

Tearing the wrapper off reveals... Harpoon Leviathan Quad, 11.75% ABV. Wow! I was pretty on for this one. I really dig it, but I this wasn't blind, or if I some how come across more of this, I would let it sit for at least a year. It's really big and bold at the moment.

Thanks again neorunner!

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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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