Harpoon Leviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
120 Reviews
Harpoon Leviathan - Big Bohemian PilsnerHarpoon Leviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 03-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 151
Photo of BostonHops
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in SA perfect pint glass.

pours a rich, clear golden yellow with two fingers of head, good retention and lacing. accidentally poured some on the floor while examining the latter. super smooth beer reviewer here.

nose is fairly subdued, maybe because i'm used to imperial stouts and quads. there are some muted hoppy characters, maybe a touch of lemon. flavor likewise offers muted hoppy notes coupled with some maltiness, lemon and maybe honey in there, plus the alcohol. definitely opens up as it warms, flavors become more pronouced. hmm... not bad... medium-heavy on the palate, moderate to highly carbed. not my personal style perference but i could be talked into another.

original review on: 08-13-2010

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Photo of smakawhat
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Pilsner style glass.

A very good creamy to foamy type head with some retention, off white, sits on a cloudy looking unfiltered lemon yellow body. Some cola like bubbles sticking to the side of the glass, and some rising carbonation. Looks ok.

Faint apple on the nose, some slight bready malts, kind of mushy, some faint crispness, not too bad.

Nice mix of thick malt, some faint dough on the palate. Crisp body is a bit lost and there's a bit of noticeable residual sugar and alcohol. A bit noticeably boozy and syrupy.

Overall it's just above average just slightly, not really gravitating to this one very much.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazed gold with 2 fingers of tight-laced white head leaving behind an excellent amount of fluffy lacing. Some slight debris dance around. Moderate carbonation.

N: Big pilsner malts, caramel apple and light notes of dank hops.

T: Pilsner malts, caramel, green tea and slightly grassy hops upfront. Dank hops slowly arrive with hints of light citrus and maybe even a little barnyard. Finishes with malts and dank earthy hops.

M: Full bodied, slightly sticky and dry with a slight bitterness.

O: Very earthy and herbal tasting Imperial Pilsner. Fairly balanced with a slight bitterness and pretty easy drinking. Doesn't stack up against some other Imperial Pilsners but Harpoon's Big Bohemian is very unique in it own way. Definitely word a try for the Pilsner fan.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harpoon's Leviathan series has pushed the company's vision and brewing expertise to new levels, each beer in the series being an explosion of delicious taste and smell. The Big Bohemian Pilsner seems, from the smell, to follow in the footsteps of the previous Leviathan releases, being ripe with grapefruit-bitter hops and strong, sugary malts.

On the tongue, there's an immediate burst of grapefruity hops that is far more reminiscent of a strong IPA than a pilsner--in fact, at 75 IBUs, the Big Bohemian carries almost twice the bitterness of Harpoon IPA (a scant 42). Some of this bitterness is tempered by the large quantities of malt, which bring sugary caramels and fruit esters to the brew; notes of apricot and orange are especially present. By and large, however, the hops win out throughout the mouthful, and even dominate the aftertaste, making the beer seem just a little out of balance.

Were there a better equality between malts and hops, this would be a great pilsner--as it is, though, this "pilsner" seems misnamed, and works far better as an Imperial IPA.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was nice, darker then I would have expected with a nice cap of white hanging over the top of the glass. Nice rich looking head of foam on the top of the glass here now as well, nicely done I have to say. Aroma immediately is a bit boozy with hints of grass, touches of hops, and a light fruit note that seems to pick up the warmer it gets. Interesting flavor profile as well here. Not at all what I was expecting. Hints of grapefruit, a touch of herbal, floral notes and a really nice and well laid out malty background. Quite nicely done I have to admit. Warming seems to bring out touches of pear and apricot and a definite grape flavor finishes it off rather nicely.

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

- Pours a bright slightly hazy golden-yellow color with a finger of white super frothy head. The head slowly fades to a thin ring around the glass leaving behind some lace spots.

S - Aroma is a mix of some pine hops and some grains. There is also a touch of citrus hanging out in the background.

T - Starts off with some citrus (orange peel) flavors and some light hops. There is also some grain that acts as a backbone. Through the middle some sweeter fruit flavors and some stronger hops come through. The finish is a bit sweet with a touch of bitterness and a bit of spices that linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate lively carbonation. Feels full of flavor but still not overly filling and still very crisp and refreshing.

D - Very drinkable. Very nice flavors and well balanced. The full flavors compared to many other pilsenrs, and it is very good.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into dimpled mug. Golden yellow pour with a small white head. Aroma is toasted malt, some graininess, caramel, and a slight hop bitterness. Flavor is sweet light sugar malt, sweet citrus, and a mild bitterness. Palate is full for the style- smooth finishing resinously.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly chill-hazed pale golden color with a two fingered head that leaves a few clumps of lace

Smell: The Saaz hops leave their telltale scent but there is a lot of sugary malt on the nose as well

Taste: With the hops clearly faded after a year and a half, the malts are dominant from the outset; I can imagine the grassy Saaz hops balanced the malt out nicely at one point and I will knock up the core a bit to reflect what might have been rather than what is; still, there is quite a bit of sweetness and I have never liked the austere Germanic malts challenged by the hops in such a way

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate, but crisp, carbonation

Drinkability: The sweetness is just a bit overwhelming in this one, and perhaps more-so now that it has a bit too much age on it

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike, drank this last night while watching Dexter with the wife.

Beer is yellow with a slight haze, moderate carbonation, nice white head. Lots of lacing, looks good.

Much much hoppier than I was expecting. Smells good.

Beer is medium bodied and mildly sweet up front with a nice hop presence in the midpalate and lots of bitterness in the back. Tastes good, I like this beer, its easy drinking and for a big pilsner and I would have it again, for sure.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to Drew and Jen for the bottle.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours golden with a white head and a bit of lacing as the beer goes down. The nose is lightly hoppy with a floral character. A lot of malty grain and a bit of bread. The taste is malty, bready, and a bit spicy with a bit of booze. Feel is pretty crisp with nice carbonation. A good beer, but a bit too much.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.28/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer pours a cloudy, gold color with no foam or lacing. It's got a strange aroma, possibly pine with a large hop presence. It doesn't have a single characteristic standing out. The flavor is possibly sour grapes with a nasty, overwhelming hop bitterness that leads to a very unpleasant, bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light and the drinkability is low due to the taste. However, it's not a filling beer. Not recommended!!

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

Appearance: Blond in color with half inch white head.

Aroma: Sweet malt with a little bit of mild aromatic hops.

Taste: Malty and grainy with some subtle hop essence. Flavors are well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: An easy drinking beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle review. This beer is clear and kind of brilliant yellow colored, with a finger of wet looking foam. It has a nice bready lager aroma, unfortunately I had just about the perfect German lager last night (Mönchsambacher) and this beer has trouble matching it, but still nice and
malty. Same with the taste, mostly sweet upfront and only slightly bitter in aftertaste, this beer competes well against most USA attempts at German lagers, big exception being Victory Lager.

Heavy bodied for a lager, still it matches the (now becoming) overwhelming sweetness. Good, tasty, maybe difficult to drink more than one as it feels high in ABV and sort of saturating in sweetness.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is clear yellow orange with a really impressive head. not enormous but sticky tight bubbles of about 2 fingers in a pint glass. nose is carmalized apple and a hint of pilsner straw. palate is that with a syrupy quality that doesn't left the beer expand much besides the fact that its so intensely packed with hops and malt. this is not the feel or taste of an imperial IPA and i'm not comparing the two styles what so ever. this is more so like a interesting halfway point between a maibock and a double IPA. the palate is nothing but that caramelization. some apple notes and a briskness of hop on the palate. but the brisk is quite brief. its replace by an intense hope for more. this beer is a lot but it lacks a lot of latitude.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Bright golden hue with a moderate head that leaves a good deal of lacing. Not bad.

S: Big malt characteristic, followed by a hops background. A bit surprising.

T: I wasn't expecting this one to be so sweet, but that's okay. This one doesn't seem to be the same as it's little brother. I never really liked pilsners, but this one could change that. Granted, it is a bit too sweet for my liking, but it's much more drinkable than regular pilsners. I noticed pilsners normally have no malt background, and are mostly floral and bitter. This one is sweet, thick, rich and mildly bitter. Pretty good.

M: Syurpy and thick. Strange for a pilsner. That's why this one is more than a pilsner. It's a pilsner on steroids. Good carbonation as well.

D: Decent drinakbility; I expect to drink two of these now. But it's still a pretty potent brew. It's also changed my mind regarding pilsners; I intend to try others. A good choice for someone who likes big beers but isn't a fan of pilsners.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

A strong recommendation from my former Whole Foods beer manager Jeff. It pours a clear pale straw topped by about a finger of white foam. The nose comprises wheat, thick corn syrup, and some steadfast florals. The taste keeps the ramped up florals and adds a decidedly stronger malty sweetness, mostly akin to an IPA's caramel backbone. Honestly, I didn't see that coming. Behind it all a slight bite of mint slices through. The Body is a seemingly heavy light, with a light carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a strong pils, nothing too overpowering, but still not the kind and fluffy beer your daddy used to grab at the local biergarten. Nice suggestion, Jeff!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Pilsner glass. This bottle indicates it's best by 10/15/10, so we're in good shape.

Appearance: light golden hue with a touch of haze. Head is three fingers of creamy white foam with pretty good retention. Nice!

Smell: rich malty aroma with a bit of alcohol spice. Aroma is also musty and dusty with some earthy hops present; not bad, but not precisely my cup of tea.

Taste: again, a rich sweet malt flavor with some mustiness and tartness. Hops are good and earthy and provide an adequate bitterness. Actually, this beer is pretty tasty; I think I like some of these compounds better as flavors than as aromas.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a lot of rough carbonation. Not bad, but it's not terribly interesting.

Drinkability: again, not bad at all; still, this beer is definitely a sipper. I'd definitely have this again.

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Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden bodied with a fat, creamy bone colored head that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. Untoasted grain and a huge spicy saaz hop notes in the aroma. Leafy, herbaceous hop flavor with lemon peel and spearmint flavors balanced with a hefty, sweetish malt backbone. Full bodied with a slippery hop oily mouthfeel and prickly carbonation. Finishes with a touch of alcoholic warmth. One of the best "extreme" pils beers ever, this one begs to be sipped at 9% ABV.

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Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fluffy and pasty white 1.5 finger head rises up and fades slowly, leaving a very slight lacing on the glass. It's a very clear golden wheat color.

Nose is pretty pilsner like, with some wheat, light pale malts, some crisp and toasty lager aromas, some sweetness, and they added a nice noble aromatic and grassy hop addition to it. Some light golden pilsner malts there as well.

The taste comes at me with some flavor, more than expected. A lot of wheat bombards initially, with quite a bit of malts and sweetness, fairly sweet with some toasty malts as well, and a big time lager taste. The yeast also seems to add a little fruit and juicy flavors, as well as a little bit of a tea flavor. A light bitterness but a nice hop flavor, with more noble hops and light grassy and fruity hop addition.

The mouth is a medium to lighter body with decent carbonation.

It finishes pretty dry actually, with just a touch of lingering malty sweetness. It gets a little more bitter too on the finish, more spicy hops start to take over here, with the subtle noble and grassy hops blended. A little wheat comes through but is mostly overpowered by the other finishing flavors. At this point a touch of tingly and warming booze comes through, but otherwise it drinks well for 9%.

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Photo of fastsrt
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle in a pint

A: golden, thick fluffy head

S: pilsner malts, smells pilsner

T: taste is that of a pils but the booze is a bit over powering maybe not a beer to be made this "big"

M: good

D: drain poured the other 3, too big for the style.

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Photo of Todd
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rich golden, plenty of big bubble carbonation action, yielding a creamy, think white head w/ some legs; creamy lacing lasts until the very end.

Nose is all about the Noble hops; soft, herbal, spicy, smack of lemon rinds. Some fresh pale malts beneath.

Smooth and a bit syrupy on the palate. Creamy. Malty, sweet, bready, nice dollop of honey. Toasty. A bit fruity too; stone fruits. Higher alcohol heat warms the mouth, throat, and eventually the cheeks and brain. Peppery. Citric rind snap and spicy hops provide balance and depth. Finishes a bready and sweet, but eventually dries up w/ some residual hop spice.

A bit too sweet for my liking, but not enough to keep me away. This is a brew I'd definitely go back to. Not only to sip and savor, but pairing w/ aged cheeses or baking some fish.

Overall I dig this stab at taking the classic Bohemian Pils style and making it bigger.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in SA perfect pint glass.

pours a rich, clear golden yellow with two fingers of head, good retention and lacing. accidentally poured some on the floor while checking for the latter. super smooth beer reviewer right here. nose is light, maybe because i'm used to imperial stouts and quads. hops, maybe a touch of lemon. flavor is a subdued hoppy one with some malts, lemon and maybe honey in there, plus the alcohol. definitely opens up as it warms, flavors become more pronouced. hmm... not bad... not bad at all. heavy mouthfeel, moderate to highly carbed. not my personal style perference but i could be talked into another.

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Photo of bamojr
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the 4th I have had in the Leviathan series from Harpoon. It pours with a very light gold, and has minuscule head, and very limited retention. It has the appearance and smell of a typical Pilsner. However, knowing the Leviathan series as I do , I knew it would pack a powerful flavor. I was not let down, for a pilsner, this brew holds a good bit a flavor but still maintains its great drinkability.

This probably my least favorite in the Leviathan series, but still maintains what I have come to expect from it.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a .3L Stiegl Pils glass

A - Nice clear dark yellow color with a nice big white head on top

S - Nice crisp aroma with a big whiff of the pilsner malt profile. A hint of noble hops lies in there as well.

T - Typical flavor from a pilsner but a bit more malt and some warming alcohol flavor flavor as well. Some hoppy bitterness in there as well. The alcohol flavor is a little too present in this for my taste.

M - medium body, pretty smooth with a decent amount of carbonation

D - a little too much alcohol flavor for me. It makes it a little bit harder to drink this than most beers. Also the flavor doesn't have that nice crisp flavor that I love in Pilsners. All in all this is a decent beer but I'm not the biggest fan and probably won't have this again.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at state & lake in Chicago

appearance: served in a large snifter - clear golden body, light foamy white crest

smell: earthy saaz hops, syrupy peach and nectarine, grassy, herbal tea

taste: enjoyable pilz from harpoon, especially on a muggy summer day. its a little overly sweet taking on a syrupy consistency at times. the saaz hops provide a nice grassy zest and the alcohol plays behind the scenes

mouthfeel: on the fuller side of the spectrum for the style

drinkability: good

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Harpoon Leviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.81 out of 5 based on 151 ratings.
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