Leviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Leviathan - Big Bohemian PilsnerLeviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner
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151 Ratings
Leviathan - Big Bohemian PilsnerLeviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner

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

Style: American 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 120
Reviews by mtbbaboon:
Photo of mtbbaboon
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Color is a clear golden yellow. Huge frothy head that leaves plenty of lacing. Settles into a thin soapy layer. Smells of hops and spice. No hint of alcohol in the aroma. The taste is big on hops and malty sweet. Not as much spice in the taste as in the smell. A touch of bitterness comes through. Light to medium mouthfeel. Rather dry and leaves some stick. A good amount of burpy carbonation. An easily drinkable 9% beer. I admit that I don't know a whole lot about this style so I can only judge this based on my general taste in beer. This is a very tasty beer that I'm sure I'll buy more of.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a pilsner glass, this is a great looking beer. Golden yellow, thick white whipped cream head, nice lacing. Sweet malt and boozy aroma. Big malt taste, not much in the hops. A bit unbalanced. The alcohol is not noticeable while drinking it, but if you drink more than one, you will definitely feel it.

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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 Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness/bottling info. Pours bright, light golden and crisply clear. White fluffy head, then a thick collar and leaving ample fine lace. Peppery, with lime and flower infused hops in the nose. Crisp, bold, flavorful. More lime, grassy hops, soapy notes. Alcohol warming the mouth. Wow, a alot going on here. not for the faint of heart or palate. I like it, well worth a try for those who enjoy an assertive, over the top version of an old world classic.

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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 racer2k
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pilsner glass

A: Light golden yellow with significant carbonation action in the glass. Small finger of white head with moderate lacing.

S: Grassy, earthy, hoppy smell with a hint of sweet malt.

T: Very earthy grassy taste with overtones of grain and sweet bread. Crisp light taste that has a dry clean finish.

M: Medium body with good carbonation

D: Very drinkable and would be a great session beer but with a 9% ABV you need to be careful...Excellent beer for summer!

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Like most Harpoon brews this one is totally clear, bright gold color, swirrling carbonation with a three-finger deep. fuzzy-white head and sticky clumps to boot!! nice.

Oh boy! the aroma is really big for this one. a magical aromatic current of deep, sweet fruits, tropical and red! which becomes balanced by a herbal and slightly spicey scented yeast. Crisp but sweet malt aroma under that. Musty leaves with a constant aromatic flow of heady fruits like, pineapple, grapefruit and even watermellon. slight soapy undertones as well.

Wow, a bit bite of bitter heat hits first, cringe face is in full effect! ouch. bitter heat upfront is usually not wicked pleasant. Grain alcohol heat and grapefruit and then is finally mellowed by the sweet-fruity aspect. Afterall of that bitter heat and hops flavor's subside, the pilsner yeast flavor's pop out, only much too subtle for my taste. Pilsner's really live and die by the quality of the yeast, and this one is there, it's just muted. Dry herbs, and white pepper in the back but once again, all too subtle. The feels is crispy with snappy bite and dry finish, the malt comes through as thick and keeps this one from achieving a true lively feel. The hops are intense and so is the heat, giving us too much harshness upfront.

This one is pretty complex, but I'm simply not a big fan of this style, it seems the high heat and big hops just mute the true beauty of the Pilsner style. The 9% abv feels more like 25% in feel and head-buzz. Watch out!

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Photo of emsroth
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

App: HUGE 3 finger pils head that's the slightest bit off white. Light gold with perfect clarity.

Smell: Fruity saaz hops dominate with a clean malt undertone.

Taste: Thick malt that is rather sweet. A little too sweet for my liking. Ends with a moderate spicy bitterness that grows after swallow. As it warms the sweetness subsides and the flavor becomes much more palatable.

Decently drinkable but I can't say I'm a fan.

Definitely a FULL body, but it retains some of the clean, crisp, and refreshing qualities of a pils.

I love pilseners, and making one BIG makes an interesting beer. But being BIG it loses what I love about the style. Almost reminds me of a strong hellesbock but not as good.

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Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A different DIPA that hits you with Saaz hop bitterness up front. Dangerously drinkable, alcohol well hidden, spearmint leaf, and green tea-flavour. Above average aroma and mouthfeel. Good double pilsner, despite that I am not always a fan of Saaz. Tad of sweet fruit.

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Photo of hreb
2.67/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Cold 12oz bottle poured into weizen glass. Beer pours an ultra-pale yellow gold color with a thick, bright white head. Aroma of bright, citrusy hops.

First sip is intensely sharp: immediate hop profile like an IPA, with the carbonation to back it up. The flavor stays sharp and crisp, but eventually yields to a bitter grainy aftertaste. There's a little bit of chalk in the finish. What's that? Earwax?

I was really looking forward to this one, because the Leviathan series has been really interesting so far (at least, the Baltic porter, and the Triticus, obviously), and because the Bohemian Pilsner was a real standout of the 100 barrel series, and seriously underrated, in my estimation. But this is a disappointment. It's bitter in almost a chemically kind of way. A pilsner doesn't need to be this strong. I almost want to say the quality that makes pilsner so good is that its light, delicate flavors define the low-gravity experience. But then I remember how much I enjoyed Dogfish Head's Golden Era (nee Shower). sigh.

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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 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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Photo of mikey711
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Real quick review

A very light straw color pours out of the bottle leaving a two finger lacey head. Not as much aroma as I expected. Very light pine notes. Some citrus. Very light body in the sip. A little soapy, but some clean pine notes come through. The mouthfeel is decent. Definately drinkable for a 9%. I think i could easily put down a four pack of this

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Photo of Kegatron
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold with 2 big fingers of off-white foamy head. Retains via a big creamy dollop of froth and sticks around with nearly a finger to boot, leaving a strong sticky latticework of lace back. The aroma is spicy and floral, with a backing of citric notes and a heavier feeling sweet grainy character. This is overall coming through as a bit thin. I can concede that there might have been some hop fade going on but not really enough to impact it to this point.

The taste has a good bit of thick grainy sweetness to it, with fruity citric character giving it a tangy edge. Spicy hops jazz this up nicely but aren't overly aggressive, pulling up the rear with a pithy and earthy bitterness that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth crispness to it but I'm getting a bit too much warm stickiness in the back of the swallow. This actually handles it's 9% ABV fairly well for the most part but the alcohol does start to wear on the palate after a while.

This wasn't too bad. As a Pils, beyond the shallowness of the aroma, I really enjoyed the tight malt and hop character that this brought to the table. The only problem is that they didn't necessarily go well with such a beefy body. I'm typically not a huge fan of these Imperial Pilsners but this one handled its business pretty well.

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Photo of Apex
4/5  rDev +5%

4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slight hazed pale yellow. Big bubbly snow white head. Nice thick bubbly frosted laces.

Lemon, orange, spicy herbal hops. yeast esters. light crackery malts.

Big hop character. Lots of lemon, orange peel, and spicy herbal hops give her a crisp bite. Banana fruity yeast esters. Light cracker, pilsner malts that hold up to the hops and complement them in this style. Nice sour lemon peel and spicy herbal bitterness. refreshing. alcohol is well masked.

light and crisp, well carbonated, dry

Very drinkable and refreshing. No trace of 9%. Great big hoppy pilsner. Normally not a huge pilsner fan, but this one gets good points all around for the style since I love big hoppy refreshing beers.

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Photo of u2carew
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
A) Pours with a two finger head - white, creamy, and thin bubbled. Lacing is sticky. Color is straw and transparent. Visible upward carbonation.
S) Mellow black pepper. Citrus notes - orange, lemon. A bit of caramel sweetness.
T) Malt forward - caramel, toffee. Light notes of citrus fruit - orange. Some grain flavors. A hop bite lingers in the finish and aftertaste.
M) Medium bodied. Slightly dry. Some grittiness. Some pucker factor from the hops.
D) A well crafted brew. An enjoyable drink - slow and easy.

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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 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 ZorPrime
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on August 14, 2009. Brought back from my vacation from wells, ME.

A: Pale yellow, very clear. Little head but sticky head. Pilsner looking beer.

S: Floral hops + malts notes. Not great but typical pilsner again.

T: Dry, crisp... don't laugh... pilsner like! The bitterness is a little bit punchy, if you allow me.

M: Round and medium body.

D: Hides well the alcohol and very refreshing for a 9.0% ABV beer!

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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 tclapper
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jmarvin4189
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light golden yellow with about a finger of head.

Smell - a very floral aroma, not any extra smells from spices.

Taste - its sweet but the alcohol shows up in the first few sips but goes away and leaves a very nice crisp hoppy beer.

Mouthfeel - very crisp, but also has a little burn from the high abv. it doesn't ruin anything though. all in all it is very smooth and crisp and is nice for a summer day since it isn't a dark malty beer, which most 9% i've tried are.

Drinkability - After the first few sips i really enjoyed it since the alcohol taste went down and you could really taste the flavor of the beer. it is a nice beer to relax with on a summer day and i could probably drink the whole 4 pack.

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Photo of tzieser
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of fostwal
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a surprisingly tasty brew. There is a nice malt flavor and slight hop bite that I wouldn't expect from a Pilsner beer. The taste lingers where other Pils vanish after you swallow. The appearance is very clean and clear light golden. The smell is light and has some hop notes. Light to average carbonation. Overall, this is a nice beer for those looking for a Pils with a little extra.

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Leviathan - Big Bohemian Pilsner from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 151 ratings