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 | website

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 Duhast500
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice.

The color is a hard/burnt maroon with a thin wisp of head and very little lacing left on the glass.

The smell is dark cherries and raspberry with a slight boozy aroma coming out in the nose. There is a slight Belgian character there in the aroma as well.

The taste is a bit syrupy with some nice cherry flavor. There is a nice malty flavor that comes out with some sweet sugary flavor. It sits there as some raspberry and some sourness is there in the very back of the throat.

The feel of this beer is big with two hands. There is nice bold flavors and big feel that is boozy but sweet. A nice heavy beer that does not seem too big.

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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 aorloski
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours an incredibly dark purple/brown hue. Light carbonation, pretty thick.
a not in a pleasant way, its like i just put my nose into a bag of sugar.

Smell - Candied fruits, more on the candy side than fruit side. Incredibly sweet smelling with the fruits in the background.

Taste - Again, wayyy too sweet. Sugar forward, fruit afterwards. I can see what they were trying to do here but this one is way to sweet. The good thing i can say about it is that it hides the nearly 12%alcohol nicely.

Mouthfeel - Pretty decent, coats the mouth, sticks to your cheeks, thick and moderately carbonated.

Overall - Kind of disrespectful to the style. This is so amazingly over sweetened with little depth to it at all. Booze soaked fruits are dominant and COMPLETELY dominant. If you want to get drunk, buy this beer, if you want to enjoy a beer, dont.

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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 GratefulBeerGuy
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A reddish hued amber, totally clear with a quick to recede, off-white head and a wee bit flat look.

Darl cherries, red and dark fruity, dates and figs, hot heat tingle, syruppy sweet malt, strong, bold and brash aroma.

Well, the high heat is pretty strong and pops out right off. Ripe dark berries are sweet with sour, musky yeast, not huge complexity as far as the style goes. The flavor's don't gel togather in the amazing harmony that some authentic Trappist versions do. flavor's are bold but seem seperate, almost competing with eachother instead of working together.

Dry, crisp bite, earthy effect from the hops in the feel, not very smooth or lush like some great quads can deliver. Too much heat bite throws it all off, oak and vanilla sweetness as it warms up a bit, earthy dry medium feel, mostly juicy and hot. The yeast doesn't pack a very complex punch like you would want to see from this style of brew.

Sip this slow, 11.75% is hot with too little yeastie complexity.

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Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Clear garnet brown body. Almost two fingers of roiling, thick, khaki head. Some lacing up the glass of the tulip. Heady aroma of banana bread, rum, maple syrup, miscellaneous tropical fruits, and generous portions of caramel.

Toasted marshmallow malts up front. Warming notes of tropical fruits and rum come on heavy and fast. Ripe bananas, caramelized fruits, caramel, and boozy maple syrup round out the palate. Brown sugar and toasted marshmallow fill out the finish. Some faint herbal hop notes throughout, but they get very lost in the malt and booze of this big boy. Full-bodied, syrupy feel. This one will warm you up and give you your fill of rummy fruit. A definite sipper!

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

Given that this is a quadruple Belgian, it comes as no surprise that even the aroma is thick and heady, combining syrupy oranges (reminiscent of Cointreau in their heaviness), ripe bananas, caramelized brown sugars/molasses/honey, and not-so-subtle hints of cloves and coriander. The "peppery phenols" noted by the brewer didn't come across for me quite so much in the nose.

They did appear strongly in the flavor, however--that is, after the immediate wash of huge fruity esters, including all of the fruits and sugars noted above. The brew borders on cloyingly sweet because of such potent sugars, but they are balanced by the aforementioned peppery phenols, which temper the brew by providing a bitter sting that leaves the tongue and soft palate slightly buzzing (helped along by the 44 IBU's).

Quad reminded me of a cross between a Unibroue beer and Samuel Adams' Imperial White, the only drawback being that, unlike in those brews, Harpoon didn't quite manage to hide the strong alcohol flavor as well, leaving a bitterness to the aftertaste that didn't match the rest of the mouthful. Mouthfeel is indeed velvety, as noted in the brewer's blurb, and while I (mostly) agree that this is a "superbly drinkable beer," I would also caution that this is not one for chugging. In fact, it should probably be savored like a glass of port.

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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 jrenihan
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a very dark red-brown colour. A fairly vigorous pour results in a small tan head that dissipates quite quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell is quite sweet. Brown sugar, plum and raisin. The smell is nice but a little thin, especially compared to some of the great quads. Comes off as a little artificial.

Lots of alcohol in the taste- certainly rather hot. That is the dominant flavour. The raisin and plum from the nose are present as well, but are not particularly deep. Aftertaste is slightly peppery. The high alcohol presence gives it a flavour somewhat reminiscent of port.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style, and the alcohol is hot. Carbonation is minimal.

Overall, an OK beer but not a particularly great example of the style. I'm not sure when this beer was bottled, but perhaps the booze would calm down a bit with some more age.

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Photo of cbutova
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours with a red-brown body into my Chimay goblet. A nice creamy tan head forms with good size but fizzes out quickly.

S- Faint strength for a quadrupel. Mostly what I get is a blend of buttery brown sugar, dark fruits, banana and yeast bread.

T- Raisin, fig, banana, esters and brown sugar coat the palate upon sipping. The finish opens up more dark fruit, yeast bread, spice and slight alcohol flavors. Dark fruit has a somewhat medicinal feel, not enough to really take away enjoyment.

MF- Moderate body with a high amount of fizzy carbonation and a silky feel. Warmth and time allow the alcohol to heat up the palate.

Really not bad for an American made quad. A bit medicinal but not too bad, better than some of the other Leviathan series beers.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Good dark ruby color. Very large dark tan head. Dissipated very quickly.

S: Lots of dark fruits and bananas. Definitely some raisins.

T: Sweet, raisins, perhaps a hint of wheat.

M: Suprising light despite the color and the ABV. You might have to watch out if your drinking a couple.

O: My first Quad so I don't have a direct comparison. When I'm in the mood for dark this can play.

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Photo of bamojr
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber with a tanish frothy head.
very floral in the nose with some coriander and malt background.
I can smell a hint of chocolate I believe.
A bit of a metallic flavor with a good bit of alcohol coming through as well in the flavor. A bit on the bitter side but it still has a very aromatic and flowery flavor.
Finishes with an almost thick coffee taste left on the tongue.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $2.49 for a single 12oz bottle at Total Wine.

Served at 42 degrees and poured aggressively into a chalice. This gave a beige 1 finger head which quickly receded to an island which quickly disappeared as well. No retention or lacing.

It was a dark brown color with ruby red highlights in the light.

The smell was sweet fruits, prune aromas, fig, candied cherries.

The flavors were mostly of raisins, fig newtons. Not particularly complex.

The alcohol was strong and evident from beginning to end of finish. Could feel the alcohol warmth down through the esophagus. Very boozy which overpowered some of the flavors that may have been present. As it warmed to 48 degrees it seemed like some black pepper came through.

A definite sipper and liquor type beer with Port-like qualities. There are other high alcohol beers that hide the alcohol better (e.g. Night Tripper).

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of brown sugar and dry raisins is enjoyable. Taste is a nice enough mix between some brown sugar notes with some notes of dry fruits. Body is not completely full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall with nice drinkability factor but lacking some complexity for the style.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours red-amber, with limited carbonation and no discernible lacing.

Nose is strong -- fruity, yeasty, grapes, alcohol, peppery spice. Complex, for sure.

Taste is fruity, with a bold and well-blended spiciness.

Definite strong alcohol presence at the finish, no doubt about it, making this one a slow sipper.

A solid and strong Belgian-style Imperial quad here, definitely worth enjoying again.

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Photo of dzni
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - Dark brown with no head.

S - Cherries, chocolate, some sour notes, general funkiness. The smell reminds me of a barleywine.

T - Chocolate covered cherries, maltiness, every slight tartness, a little hops, and some oakiness.

M - Medium bodied, almost a little syrupy.

O - I liked this. There's some complexity and a lot of flavor. At the same time, at 11.75% ABV, it's not a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of obrike
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting beer to say the least. My buddy brought me one to sample.

A very dark ruby color. Head does not last too long on a hard pour...gone before my second sip. A thin tiny tan ring remains along the drink.

Wow...take a whiff of that! Super strong bananas and dark fruits...some sweet caramel maybe, followed by Beligian yeast. Certainly grabs your attention.

I got the belgian yeast and bananas immediately, but not much substance after that. Alcohol creep-in after each sip hindered the enjoyment.

Mouthfeel was thin...way thin. I did not think this one masked the booze as much as it could have.

An interesting take on a Quad...but lacking some complexity, and just a bit too hot for me.

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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 dougofthefuture
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed blind as part of the Blind BIF #5.

A. Muddy caramel brown, 1 finger of creamy head with a fair amount of lacing. This looks pretty thick. 4

S. Rum-like sugar sweetness. Just a bit of spice coming through. Maybe a bit of mustiness. 3.5

T&M. Oh man, is that good. This is a really creamy dessert-like beer. I am thinking belgian strong dark. The mouthfeel is just awesome. Plenty of rich fruity maltiness and well balanced but not overpowering spices blend well with the warming finish. I'm guessing maybe 8.5%? I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bit higher... Perhaps just a bit harsh (tannic?) at the end, but still really delicious. 4/4.5.

O. This is really nice as on a dreary rainy day - rich and comforting. It is hitting me hard, so a sipper for sure. 4

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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 brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - reddish caramel amber pour, a good solid finger of light mocha head that holds up well. Due to some aging time at play, the sediment 'chunked' up and part of it got in the glass. Little flakes are floating in the glass, which I'm not a big fan of, but it looks pretty nice besides.

Aroma - has a slightly hot breathy element to it, with lots of heavy sweet fruitiness. Fig, syrupy orange, rum.

Taste - big caramelly malts, some toastiness evolving as the raisiny fruit comes on. It's a good blend, enhanced by some warming abv on the swallow. A touch of spicy heat on the finish along with some Belgian yeast; pretty smooth overall.

Mouthfeel - properly smooth and big bodied, lots of carbonation too.

Drinkability - a pretty good bottle of beer in my book.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown/crimson w/ a sliver of a brown head which goes away very quickly. Lacing is below average. This looks very similar to a barleywine, not a quad.

S- Whoa Nelly! I think I burned my sniffer. This smells like a port. Caramel, dates, toast, figs, fruit, alcohol. Very strong smelling beer, but nice. Smells a lot like a barleywine as well, which happens to be one of my favorite styles. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at almost 12% ABV.

T- First sip, and my insides just warmed up- nice side effect. Very sweet, w/ all the smells coming through into the taste. Pretty smooth overall. No yeast flavor, which I'm surprised at. No alcohol burn in the aftertaste, which is pretty amazing. I would like a little more alcohol burn though. Nice beer.

M- Very smooth, and very sweet, w/ a slightly bitter aftertaste. It's like drinking a port. Not too bad, just not in the best of this style.

O- Nice beer- but definitely not what I was expecting for a quad. Still, this is worth seeking out if you haven't tried it. Cheers.

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

A - Super dark, ruby brown, barely any light getting through. No head ontop. Just a faint lacing from the pour.

S - Smells of sweet candy sugar and caramel. Some dark sugar and tangy yeast with a backdrop of alcohol mixed in.

T - Tastes sweet and tangy. Dark bitter fruit rind. Some tangy Belgian yeast present. Dark fruit sugars and tart-sweet alcohol. Malt sweetness and toffee notes too.

M - Pretty well balanced quad, the alcohol isnt too pungent even at almost 12%. Clean, semi dry finish.

O - Not bad but seems a bit young and not completely harmonious.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle simply marked 026. Sampled on May 7, 2011. The pour is a handsome reddish-brown with little to no head and good clarity. The aroma is powerful with its malts and slight alcohol note. The body is between light and medium. The taste is full of sweet malty notes and a dry hop bite at the end. It is a reasonable take on the style.

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