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 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 beeragent
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a deep copper, forming a very thin head which faded quickly.

S - Dark fruits and alcohol!

T - Nice thick smooth malt body coats the palate with the dark fruit flavors being the most pronounced. A kiss of alcohol is present in the finish.

M - Heavy bodied, very smooth, with low carbonation.

D - The appearance is less than spectacular, but the flavor and aroma make up for it. Very delcious flavor and aroma. Maybe not as complex as a quad should be, but still very full. I would buy this again!

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown-red color with a finger of frothy tan-brown head on top. The head fades slowly to a ring around the glass leaving behind some spots of lace.

S - Aroma is full of lots of sweet fruit (light and dark) and some booze smells. There is some malt and hops that come out, but they are really in the background.

T - Starts off with some sweet cherry/raspberry flavors and some roasted caramel malts. There is a bit of bread and spices in the background. Through the middle some more roasted flavors and a bit of pepper come out. The finish is a mix of dark fruit sweetness and booze that lingers.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. It is very syrupy and rich. It is very sweet and tart. There is a pretty decent amount of booze in the flavor and it warms the mouth a bit.

D - Pretty drinkable. The amount of alcohol in there beer is not too high, but is quite present in the nose and taste. Otherwise, the flavors are nice and rich.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured at cellar temp. in a snifter

A: deep, dark ruby red; very little head;
S: raspberry, sweet, bottle fermentation
T: outstanding flavor; perhaps not exactly what I expect in a quad; strong, complex, bold belgian-style ale with prominent streaks of cherry, berry; toffee and caramel flavors enter too; this beer aims toward the flavor profile of a port

I liked this beer very much, overall; although it is quad-style, don't expect it to try to reach the quad prototype; quaddish is probably a better name, and you'll enjoy it all the more.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a brandy snifter @ the Corner in Litchfield, Conn.

A: Deep, ruby, amber colored with a thin head of creamy, off-white foam which settles out quickly, leaving no lacing. Looks like a glass of port after a few minutes.

S: Rich, complex, fruity malt aroma with whiffs of alcohol and spicy hops. Phenol alcohol stings the nose as raspberries, plums and raisins dance in the nose. Spicy, alcoholic and vinous smelling.

T: Very sweet, robust, fruity malts throw flavors of candied berries, cherry, apple and raisin on top of a spicy, rich caramel roasted taste. The sweetness is cut slightly by a spicy, peppery hop bite before washing down sweet, a little sticky, and stinging with some alcoholic burn.

M: Full-bodied, rich, sticky-sweet and cloying in some parts while stinging and hot with alcohol and hops in others.

O: A pretty unbalanced and decidedly American take on a Belgian Quad, Harpoon's Leviathan is a rich, fruity malt bomb with uncontrolled alcohol and somewhat poorly integrated hops. The near 12% ABV is not well-masked, leaving the majority of your brew feeling like a glass of liquor rather than a beer.

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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 bucklemyshoe
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 50 degrees into a Chimay chalice.

A: It pours a very dark brown and purple with no head or lace to speak of. It is depressing to look at its murky qualities.

S: Sweet and super-ripe dark fruits, a bit of yeasy spice, and a touch of booze. Even after warming, this does not really change.

T: Currant, fig, date, and plum puree mixed with some peppery, earthy spice. It is incredibly boring and lacks complexity.

M: The body is medium-thick with very low carbonation and a sticky finish.

O: This is too simple; American versions all seem to be similar to this; strong dark fruits, a lack of complexity and carbonation, but well-hidden alcohol. I'm still searching for a decent American-made Quad.

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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 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 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 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 tbrown4
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottled date stamped "026" (2011-01-26) -> giant snifter at room temperature.

This is my first experience with this beer. I picked up a four pack at the Perfect Pour in Columbia, MD a few weeks back.

A - Dark cherry red, some light getting through, little head, a few tiny carb streams, loose lacing

S - Black licorice, chewy root beer candy, unsweetened bubble gum, tart dry cherries, anise, strong alcohol

T - Dark toasted pumpernickel, raisins, dried figs, dark cherries, almost too-dark toffee, alcohol

M - Medium to medium heavy in body, lots of alcohol warmth.

O - This is a huge chewy beer. One 12 oz. bottle could easily be split between two serving. I have a feeling that a fresh tasting would not even compare to a vintage tasting. I imagine that the strong alcohol aroma, flavors and warmth will mellow over time letting all these earthy fruity aromas and flavors come to the foreground.

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Photo of evilkalla
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving: Bottle into a large snifter.

A: Reddish-copper-brown. Poured with the slightest hint of a head which dissipated pretty quickly. Not a lot of carbonation visible in the class.

S: Smells of dark malt, candy sugar, dates and raisins. Very good.

T: Has a sort of sharp, dry toffee flavor up-front that goes away fairly quickly. Hints of candy sugar and belgian yeast, as well as some other spicy notes. Some burnt fig and caramel notes in there as well. Not the best quad I've ever had, but not bad.

M: Feels a little fizzy although its appearance belies that fact. Fairly warm and boozy. Thick.

O: Okay quad, although the flavor is a little on the harsh side right now. This might go away with some extended aging though, so I'll put a couple away.

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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 Kinsman
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby red and brown colored body with a light tan colored head, just shy of 2 fingers thick to start.

Malt and spicy notes with a touch of alcohol greets the nose. Dark fruits such as raisins and figs add a bit of a fruity aspect to the aroma.

A wide array of flavors, from fruity and caramel maltiness to a nice yeasty clove spice. A bit of a warm alcohol flavor comes along too.

Warm and a bit chewy full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, a plenty drinkable quad but it doesn't quite stand up with the best of them.

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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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Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date though I am sure this beer will cellar well in cool temps.

Crackle ... snap ... there goes the head other than a thin ring of lace. Somewhat expected with a higher alcohol brew. The chestnut darkness still lets a good amount of light through. Booze soaked raisins, beef broth, overripe brown apples and some caramel make up the aroma. Creamy slick full body. Alcohol hits the palate right away, overripe fruit and booze. Caramel sweetness and a nutty toasted biscuit flavor kick in middle to end. Kiss of herbal / medicinal phenols. Plums and alcohol in the boozy sweet finish.

Not as fine tuned as the original Quads, alcohol seems to cloud the palate and there is some loss of depth. Aside from that this would do well with some age.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep mahogany in color into my snifter with only about one finger of head for a very aggressive pour; dissipates quickly with little lacing.

S - Deep caramel malts, candied sugar, molasses, raisins, banana, clove, bubblegum and alcohol.

T - Starts off pretty nice with the dark malts and sweet candy sugar, then moves into some darker fruit - raisins, plums, figs, as well as banana and clove. But, what remains on the palate is a very artificial fruity medicinal alcohol combination that is not all that pleasant.

M - Really think and syrupy, rather astringent.

D - It's not a bad beer, and the only thing I really dislike is the lingering cough medicine finish on the palate. Other than that I could and probably will drink a few of them.

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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 raszputini
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from a belgian style glass. This is a decent version of a Quad. Nose is dominated by citrus fruitiness, phenols and alcohol. Coriander and belgian yeast and sugars round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is moderate, with substantial carbonation. i enjoyed this quite a bit and will look for it again

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Very small head for a quad; even after a strong pour there was only 1/2 finger and that dissipated almost immediately. Dark garnet color, but crystal clear when held to the light.

Smells nice and fruity with rich malt and a bit of alcohol to perk up the nose hairs, but 11.75% is not obvious.

Dark fruits dominate (raisin, black cherries, plum), bready malts and wine-like alcohol. Just a touch of spiciness from the yeast in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and the overall body lacks some substance due to the disappointingly low carbonation.

Still, the flavor is good, but it could use a bit more balance. This is just a bit too sweet and the lack of carbonation doesn't help that at all. I would say the overall B rating is pretty accurate.

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Photo of avalon07
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a brownish color with ruby tints and a slightly hazy consistency. There was no head at all. No lacing either.

S: A decent aroma of yeast, malt and some fruit.

T: Tasted of malt, Belgian yeast, apples, pepper and some other spices. A solid flavor, but it never really jumps out at you.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium- bodied.

D: On the whole, this is decent beer, though not at exactly the quadrupel I've ever had. Drinkable, though.

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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 jzeilinger
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very deep dark cherry color. When I poured this, there was some head for a minute or so,but died down to absolutely nothing on top. Carbonation is almost non-existant.

S - Boozy, phenolic, Belgian spices, dark candy sugar, dark fruit.

T - Taste is very sweet, unlike all the others in the Leviathan Series, however, for a Quad, it is hoppy. Taste stays even throughout, no complexity, no layers, just straight forward booze mixed in candy sugar and dark fruit/ fruit. Plums and white grapes are the first fruits that come to mind. There's some bready, yeast-like character in the taste also. There's an alcohol warming on the way down and the mouth is left with a coating of dark fruit sugar and some pepper bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is quite velvet smooth, heavy, heavier side of medium body, yet still a little thin in the middle.

D - Decent.

For a Quad, it's definitely hoppy but in the Leviathan Series, this one doesn't work so well for me. It's a booze bomb and so far to date, it's the biggest beer in the series coming out of Harpoon. The Imperial IPA remains my most favorite in the series and a regular resident in my beer fridge whenever I can find it.

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