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 rolle
1.82/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wife and I saw this, and liking high-abv ales decided to give this 4-pack a go.

Nothing wrong with the pour or look, as a cloudy brownish brew, things start off well.. some sediment, store standing up. Head is acceptable.

S: meh...a little sweet & medicinal.

T: Admittedly I have been spoiled with drinking some excellent US Belgian craft/experimental ales. Still this frankly is hard to wash down and not very appetizing. Sweet raison, prune...and alcohol combined with a nasty slightly burnt bitter taste....that just doesn't fade.

What flavors are found are liberaly brushed with a bitter alcohol medicinal flavor. There's not that much else here. Four bottles rarely have lasted so long.

Medium bodied, syrupy, fizzy.

A sipper at best. Now I know, but would not buy again knowing there are so many high abv, but excellent tasting brews.

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Photo of frothyhead
2.54/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a medium-dark cherry brown with a good 2+ finger off-white head into a tulip. Moderate lacing.

Nose is Belgian yeast, bread, banana esters and sweet with candy sugar and a lot of dark fruit - pomegranate and raisin. Some minor barnyard-like funk seems to be present. Some earthy and citrusy hops. A solid alcohol bite forms the backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Sticky and sweet with a dry, alcoholic finish.

Taste is sweet, bitter, and alcoholic - all in extreme ways. Yeasty breadiness forms the platform with a dark fruit sweetness up front. Way too much bitter hop flavor in the back and an overall alcohol bite that burns all the way through. Bitter alcohol lingers on the tongue. This is a palate killer.

Drinkability suffers quite a bit from way too much alcohol and bitterness that I don't believe should be present in the style.

Overall, this is a solid miss for Harpoon. I have had two other Leviathan series brews - the DIPA in bottles and on tap, and the Triticus wheat wine on tap, both of which I loved, so I had high hopes for this. Unfortunately, this is just all over the place and not well balanced in any respect. Maybe some aging would do this good.

I feel obligated to note here that I am rating this beer a little more "on style" than I normally would, because the Belgian Quad is one of my favorite styles. This beer and all the American attempts at Belgians that I have had before it makes me wonder if there should be a new category for American Quad and perhaps even American Tripel. Although some come closer than others (this being solidly in the "others" category), we clearly can't get the Belgians quite right.

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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 superdedooperboy
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12-ounce brown bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, clear burgundy-mahogany with a smallish head of bubbly beige foam that fades rapidly and leaves behind no speck of its past life on the walls of the glass. Rather disappointing in the looks department.

Raisin, fig, plum and spice cake in the nose, along with a hint of anise and boozy alcohol.

Medium-full body possesses a faint level of carbonation, adding a bit to the overall weight of the brew, though it isn't quite heavy. Things open up with a bit of dark brown sugar and molasses in the front, along with a bit of burnt caramel. Rum-soaked raisin follows, with a boozy, peppery, slightly bitter character filling out the middle and drying the palate immensely. Spicy phenols carry through well into the finish, lending more peppery notes and a powerful dryness, with a touch of fig and a dusting of clove lingering afterward.

A bit too boozy and unbalanced, with a disappointing body and appearance and a high price tag to boot, this is one of those examples of an American craft brewery's mostly failed attempt at recreating a Belgian specialty. Though not undrinkable, this is a passable effort and one of the weaker points in the Leviathan series.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.77/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured in a fancy glass.

Pours with a ruby/amber color with very little head or lacing. Smell is not too great, it's very sharp and alcoholic. Spicy and complex, but hard to move past the booze.

Wow. taste is very boozy as well. Raisins, vanilla, sweet fruits, very complex, slightly syrupy so you could age this for a few years without issue. A lot going on here. I like it but it's a bit too much to drink too often. I'd go for their IIPA or Imperial Pilsner over this.

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Photo of bwd110
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter

A: Pours a light mahogany. Not quite as dark as a lot of big Belgian quads, not nearly the carbonation I'm used to for the style as well. A careful pour yields a smallish tan head that dissipates quickly due to the high abv.

S: Dark fruit, some hops and alcohol phenols. Banana is also detected, I'm a little worried about the booziness of this one.

T: Fair. Weird clash between the malt and hops. More hop bitterness than I'd expect from a quad. Malt wants to run rampant but can't. Too much banana for my taste. Alcohol definitely present.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body. Kind of washes over the palate and disappears.

D: Very limited due to the high abv and banana qualities

Overall, not a bad attempt at a quad, just not my first option. Don't think I'll go back to this one too soon.

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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 TimDudley
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a cloudy caramel with almost no head. It appears to be unfiltered or/and bottle conditioned. I was unable to find any real info on the brewing, but there's definitely some sediment floating around in there. There's barely a smell, which came as a slight disappointment.

The taste is bold and fairly complex. Bitter cherries, a strong raisin quality, and dark chocolate. Slight hops at the end. Noticeable alcohol presence, much more than other Leviathans I've had. There's also the same characteristic hoppy aftertaste that I've noticed in almost all Harpoon beers - which is definitely not a good thing. Some interesting yeast complexity, but it doesn't save the beer.

Full article: http://timdudley.net/beer/?p=99

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I recently had the Double IPA and wasn't impressed. I saw this one and decided to give it a go. Here is the review:

A: Pours a cloudy brownish red. No sediment, just cloudy. Head is tan and leaves light lacing.

S: Smells like banana, spice, and bread. Smells a little medicinal.

T: I may be spoiled by some of the Belgian ales I have had recently as this is not very appetizing. Lots of banana, yeast, earthy undertones, and alcohol. All of these flavors are topped on a medicinal current that flows through the beer. I don't get any dark fruit or rich malt flavors that are common in these types of beers. Just not my type of beer.

M: Medium to heavy bodied. Somewhat syrupy. A little fizzy. Alcohol is pretty prominent.

D: This is a sipper, even if you like the flavor here. If you don't, this might end up down the drain. Its kind of a waste drinking such a high ABV beer if you don't like the flavor. I am speaking on personal accounts, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Not the best. Tastes way too medicinal and leaves an almost dirt like aftertaste. It does taste a little better as it goes, but still nothing to change the way you think about Belgian Quads. Not recommended unless you really love Belgian ales and want to try something different.

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Photo of YouSkeete
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Thick reddish oak wood color, very dark red. Virtually no head whatsoever, with only a small amount of lacing.

S: Heavy on the yeast and bread-like malts from the aroma. Candied dark fruits including plums and dates, honey, licorice, and some hints of vanilla. Very boozy on the nose as well.

T: Extreme candied fruitiness. Fruits definitely include plums, dates, figs, and grapes. The amount of yeast and malt character makes this brew drink more like a doppelbock. Overwhelming sweetness, fruitiness and malt doesn't mask, or balance the 11.75%. Peppery and spicy on the palate. Wheat grain and bread aftertaste. Mildly hopped, and in turn, mildly dry in the finish.

M: So fruity it is almost 'tart'. Sticky, and sweet. Medium body, medium carbonation.

D: The flavor itself is simply more aggressive, strong and powerful than it is balanced, complex or centered. Not one of my favorite Harpoons.

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Photo of damienblack
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very hazy dark amber, almost dark pink. Massive head shoots to the top. That so familiar very candy sugar, malty sweet smell punctuated by dark fruit like cherry. Little bit hoppy smell in there too.

Tempered sweetness throughout, most prominent up front. Quickly has a spicy twist to it that opens up a huge raisiny sour bitterness. Towards the end, a decent hoppy kick (for something like this) comes in, and the bitternesses mingle into something leaving almost an acrid trail down my throat, yet it's all slightly sweet. Not at all what I was expecting. Complex in a different way than I was expecting. Definitely not a normal-style quad. I'm really torn. I hate the bitterness, but somehow it all seems OK at the end. Still not my favorite flavor, though. Mouthfeel is bold, exciting, different. Drinkability suffers bigtime between the high ABV and the sour kicks. The alcohol doesn't really burn a lot, but it is very evident in the finish. For me, this is nice to try, but I think that's all it will be.

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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 Casey10
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had to drink this aged I felt that fair because when I got this it was new and fresh. I let it age and I am now reviewing.

This beer is very tart and is strong in a bad way to get to the alcohol.

I know this is a quad and I have had abt 12 from st berardus. I have had a westy 12.

This does not meet those beers. Not even close.

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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 champ103
2.97/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark red, kind of purple color. A two finger beige head forms, but fades to nothing in a second. No lace is left behind.
S: Tons of sweet malt and raisins. I have never come across so much bubblegum in a beer.
T: Cloying sweetness is the word. Sweet malt, raisins, bubblegum. Hard candy like. To much sweetness for me, and I like sweet beers.
M/D: A medium body with lighter carbonation. A bit to thin for me. Lots of burning alcohol which makes this harder to sip on than I would like.

There are several Leviathan beers that I really enjoy. This is not one of them. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of TheDinger
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Let me start by saying this is not one of my favorite styles. Poured a medium to deep brown/red with a nice 2 finger tan head, adequate lacing. Went downhill from here. Smell was intense booze and over the top sweet with fruits/malts (oranges, cloves, cointreau). Taste was melted carmel with carbonation. Heavy sugar taste, almost syrup. Way too sweet for my palate. Felt thick and heavy on the tongue, almost hot. Does not hide the 11.75% ABV very well. Letdown by the sweetness and over the top booze. Would not track this down for a 2nd try-

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Photo of TommyW
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark brown with reddish orange tints. Thin tan head that fades quickly.

S- Rock sugar and alcohol pretty much dominate the nose.

T- Some nicer caramel malts are quickly covered by rock sugar and a few notes of dark fruit. Hops aren't really present but the high alcohol creates a dryer finish.

M- Rather thin overall with an average carbonation.

D- Definitely a sipper. There are a lot of quads out there that I prefer over this one.

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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 jbphoto88
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A clear reddish brown brew with a lackluster head. The color is nice but it's a very sad looking Belgian quad with no head. It doesn't make me look forward to drinking it.

The nose is almost as disappointing with very little of what makes this style great. There is a sweet malt nose that is sugary but not candied or toasted like you would expect. The yeast fragrance is also stale and not as good or distinctly Belgian as it could be. On the other hand there is a nice dark fruit nose that slightly makes up for the poor showing on the other fronts.

This one tastes just like it smells. The sweet is processed sugar sweet and not very palatable. Malts are stale and not great but like the nose a nice candied dark fruit flavor makes up a little ground. The yeast also perks up the flavor but isn't the best.

Mouthfeel is ok but again far from great. It has a nice dry finish but the sweet lasts too long and doesn't really compliment the other flavors in the finish. The carbonation is nice and sharp but the beer overall is syrupy and just not great. A poor attempt at a quad and close to undrinkable.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, hazy red with a decent head of tan foam. Rich, yeasty, fruity aromas with vanilla, apple and dark fruit. Also some bread, light toffee, mango and pineapple. Flavour is rich and bitter. Lots of malt, fruit and solventy alcohol. A bit too heavy for my taste. Lots of Belgian spiciness and a hefty caramel and malty complexity. Could use some mellowing with age maybe, but atm too over the top. Thick body and moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: deep maroon/chestnut brown. brownish fluffy head dies a little too fast and is not leaving any lacing behind. actually leaving a little bit of alcohol legs. through the darkness, i would actually say this one is clear.

S: caramel, banana bread. strong fruity esters. raisins and plums. alcohol is actually pretty intense.

T: same sweet caramel. more of a spicy clove than banana bread on the palate. pretty hot. finishes sort of dry/slightly sweet.

M: pretty moderate carbonation on a full body.

D: just not super impressed by this one. it's big and boozy more than big and complex. a decent attempt at the style, but not really worth seeking out.

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Photo of jwc215
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this!

Poured into glass chalice:

Pours rubyish crimson/mahogany with an off-white head that soon descends to wisps. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of a berry-like sweetness and caramel.

The taste leans sweet - caramel and fruity - berries and bananas. Alcohol is obvious, in a black pepper way, and dries out the sweetness in the finish.

It is thickish and syrupy. There is carbonation, but not quite "effervescent".

It is sweet/malty and boozy - a bit harsh/astringent. It's a "big" attempt at a quad, that doesn't really impress me. Doesn't have the complexities I was hoping for, and the aftertaste doesn't "thrill" me. It's a slow sipper...

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12z bottle into a st. bernardus chalice late at night...

A- Dark chestnut ruddy reddish/brown in color that brings forth just a centimeter of off white/tannish foam that leaves just as quickly. Becomes still and leaves no evidence.

S- Leviathan Quad has a American twist to it, the residual sugar that is prevalent in Belgian quads is barely a whimper here. This one is a dark fruit bomb with plum at the center backed by somwe chocolate and hot alcohol.

T- Pretty straight forward, plum fruits with hints of apple, also some grapes giving off somewhat vinious notes if you can imagine it. Rye bread, The sweet sugars (turbinado) reminiscent of St Bernie 12 etc is not here. Alcohol, almost 12 percent is noted and felt.

M- Hot, very hot, not really masked, feel is a big medium approaching full for the style. A light carb going for it. The fruit and alcohol reminds me of a very watered down bum wine.

D- I drank it to help me sleep, which helped, but I won't help myself to more of this. Sure some age may tame this beast in terms of alcohol, but I don't see it tasting any better.

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

Hazy amber in color, nice head on top with good retention, left behind a good deal of lacing along the sides and the bottom of the glass

Aroma was ok...light fruit notes, grapes, dates, perhaps some prunes at first come through. Lots of grain notes and a touch of alcohol as well. Not really very complex and overall a touch light for my tastes, but no matter we push on. Average here, perfect word. Not the most complex thing I have ever run across in my lifetime to say the least, this seemed to be amped up enough as the abv was quite apparent, but the rich fruit notes and complex taste were lacking. Lots of bland flavor that really did not go anywhere for me.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Murky brownish, red with a thin tan head that leaves a little layer of foam behind.

S - Clove and banana. I get some nutty, cola aromas as it warms that remind me of Jack and Coke. Brown sugar, sweet caramel, hints of dried fruit and alcohol.

T - Rum soaked raisins, boozy alcohol, candi sugar, dried fruits and even more alcohol sweetness.

M - Big and slightly chewy with light carbonation, a slight slickness and numbing alcohol.

D - Too sweet and boozy to enjoy.

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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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