Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

very good
103 Reviews
Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style AleHarpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 233
Photo of thepenguin
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 3/21/12

L: A nice color; deep burgundy. Off-white head with lots of suspended sediment.

S: Caramel mingling with dark fruits and licorice. Pretty malty but some hop aroma is perceptible. Alcohol is present. Also bisquity. Pretty nice.

T: More dark fruits, caramel, and toffee. A maltiness that is both bready and bisquity, with a good deal of hop bitterness; more than I had anticipated. Pretty malty upfront . Alcohol also has a presence in the taste.

F: Medium-full, slick mouthfeel. Low carbonation. A good deal of alcoholic heat, which I’m not welcoming at the moment.

Overall: A decent English barleywine. This one packed a bit of heat; some time in the cellar would do well to curb the hotness as well as let some of the hoppiness fade, which is a little much for the style. But not bad at the end of the day.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours orange tinted amber with 2.5” off-white foam collarthat grips the side of the glass.
S: Resiny, citrusy hops, sweet malt, dried fruit.
T: Begins with sweet malt, some light caramel notes, light fruit and a hint of dried apricot.
F: This is a full bodied luscious, chewy beer with medium carbonation
O: The big malt and hops mask the alcohol making for a deceptively drinkable beer.

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Photo of colts9016
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes...
Poured into a snifter at 55 degrees. The year of the beer is 2010.

Appearance: A light tan head that is one finger and half finger thick. The head is foamy, creamy and poor retention. The head did leave some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is medium amber color with copper hues. The clarity of the beer is fairly clear with some yeast present. The beer presented with some carbonation bubbles. A very good showing for a barley wine beer.

Nose: A very nice toasted malts with caramel like aromas. The hop profile is still standing after three years in the cellar. The hops is citrus, pine, and floral. The beer had a slight port note, yeasty, bread, molasses, and fruitiness.

Taste: A very firm malt base with caramel, bread, and yeast notes on the forefront. The hop profile is a little more muted, but floral, citrus, and pine abound on the palate. The beer has a port note with molasses, fruitiness, and alcohol.

The mouth feel of the beer is chewy, astringent, coating, and warming.

Overall: This is a very tasty barley wine, I think that it could have stayed in the cellar for another year or two. However, the beer presents well on the palate and very drinkable. A good English Barleywine.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2010 batch stamped #316. Uncellared and sampled on June 16, 2013.

The pour is a handsome looking copper-amber with reddish hues sparkling along the edges when held to the light. Moderate tan head that sticks around until the end. Great clarity.

Sweet barley malts and caramel greet me on first whiff with a notable pear or apple fruitiness tearing up the rear. The hop bitterness is distant and there is no boozy aroma.

The body is medium and the texture is smooth.

While the taste entertains me with a solid sweet and caramel malt character, the hop makes itself much more pronounced at the end. Slightly boozy taste but not on the nose. Still, not something that makes me shun this one - rather it makes me enjoy it even more.

Here is a barleywine that has aged remarkably. I only wish I had another.

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Photo of SABERG
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 dated, poured into modified tulip.

A - Deep copper, slow carbonation (maybe to cold) great lacing.

S - Toffee, cinamon, fig, hint of vanilla. warm bread also.

T - Toast, vanilla, some light spice. This has mellowed some, muted alcohol , hints of dried fruit.

M - Soft and luscious, long finish with an even coating.

O - What a nicely done offering from Harpoon. I sincerely hope they continue making this.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts with flavors of fruit, caramel and brown sugar. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in followed by a hearty malt character to create a good balance. There’s a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are better alternatives in the style, this is a solid stronger beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage
I tried this fresh and thought it was a bit hot so I held on to a couple of bottles to see how they developed. Pours a deep copper color with a decent off white head that shows moderate retention and lace. Smells of bready caramel and toffee with a bit of earth and alcohol. The flavor is sweet with bready caramel and toffee with a bit of ethanol to cut through the sweetness. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet sticky mouthfeel. After two years the alcohol is still a bit hot, but that is the only thing providing any balance against a really sweet syrupy maltiness. OK barleywine, definitely a sipper.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger off white head on a clear copper and crimson body. Aroma of candied orange, caramel malts, a little boozy and brown sugar. Carmel malts and sugars dominate the flavor which is slightly more boozy than average for the style. Toffee and oak woody notes. Fairly sweet. Creamy body and light to moderate carbonation. Overall I felt this one was a touch more boozy than other barleywines BUT still very drinkable and smooth. No one quality in the flavor stood out.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation along with some small particles floating in suspension. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down and left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has aromas of caramel, raisins and other dark fruits. Notes of alcohol become apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but seems to be slightly more complex with notes of toffee, vanilla, malty sweetness and a light mount of bitterness.
M: It feels slightly more than medium-bodied and a bit smooth and sticky on the palate, coating your mouth with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: Considering its strength, this beer is quite drinkable because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste, although the taste is complex enough for it to be slowly sipped while still keeping the interest of your taste buds.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a mostly clear, deep amber/ruddy copper tone with a finger of beige head that almost immediately lapses into a collar around the glass; spotty lacing.

appealing nose offers lot of sweet malt with a strong candied fruit and brown sugar presence and some spice notes, yet doesn't suggest a cloying sweetness. flavor confirms the aroma. sweet, malty, carmelized sugary presence out front, followed by a few subdued hoppy characters... some boozy warmth to the finish. very tasty barleywine.

medium bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. pretty drinkable considering a 10% ABV. triticus is my personal favorite from the leviathan series, but this is up there.

originally reviewed: 11-30-2010

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 04/16/12 notes. Thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this one. 2011 vintage, 12 oz. bottle poured into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown-copper color with one inch of off white head and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sugar, dark fruits, molasses, toffee, and some toasted malts. Very nice nose; ton of caramel and no alcohol at all.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, sugar, toasted malts, and light alcohol. Still nice, tohugh alcohol comes through a tiny bit in the taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy. Awesome mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good barleywine. Not sure how it is fresh but very good with a year on it. Lots of caramel and great mouthfeel, would have it again.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: ruby mahogany beer with quickly thinning head, followed by clingy lace

S: sweet malt, some toffee, some citrus and pine

T: lightly sweet, notes of oak wood, caramel toffee, and piney citrus - malt and hops vie for supremacy

M: a little sticky, medium body, some alcoholic atringency

O: tonight is barleywine night apparently, as this is my 2nd of a possible 3 (let's see how I feel after this one's gone, eh?) - this is an excellent barleywine, being directly compared to Uinta's Anniversary Barleywine Ale - I'd say the Harpoon Leviathan is a tad sweeter and lacks the barrel-aged oakiness, but presents a more sweet malt character with some more notes of flavor (the pine and citrus, for example) - Harpoon's is more similar to other barleywines I've had, but still establishes a dry character that I especially enjoy. This is a good night for barleywine in my house.

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Photo of fvernon
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle poured into a Deschutes snifter.

It's a clear copper color with about 3/4" of head and good lacing as it works down into a comfortable film. Aromas of raisins, burnt sugar, sassafras, and spice bush dominate - it's a really nice blend that, while not exactly a 'deep' aroma is very enticing.

The burnt sugar and raisin come through on the taste, and bring along with them a bit of cardamom, mellow but floral hops, rye toast, and a flavor that I'm struggling to place (although it feels familiar)... it's a spice that I would add to a good Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, but feels at home here on the exhale. Perhaps a mellow cinnamon?

It's not too sweet, but it is a sticky, resinous beer with a solid body to it... I could see this being a hint thicker while dryer around the edges for less of a coat. Still, a very enjoyable barleywine that would pair well with any number of robust dishes (I'm just enjoying this with some aged local cheddar).

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a beautiful shade of red with a white colored head on top. There were some specks of stuff floating in this one but it didn't bother me at all. The smell of the beer is sweet and a little on the boozy side. The taste of the beer has some nice sharp bitter hops in there with some big amounts of malt. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's got some weight to it but it's not overly thick at all. Overall this beer was pretty tasty i thought. I enjoyed having it.

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Photo of TheBigE5
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass. Minimal to no head. Has a very warm rich amber color.

S - A balance of sweet malts and hops. Notes of alcohol.

T - Has an immediate sharp and hoppy taste. Not much malt. Finishes with warm alcohol.

M - Seems a little overcarbonated and leaves a tingle on your tongue. Definitely warms you up.

O - A good barleywine. I wish there was more of a malt presence in the nose and taste. Drinks pretty smooth and easy for a double digit ABV.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks great, nice bronze color, two finger white head, great clarity, strings of carbonation are apparent in the beer.

Smell is hoppy and sweet, cherry, brown sugar notes. Nothing is really distinct, seems a little muddled.

Hops are there, kinda floral, little bits of dark fruit, again seems muddled.

Smooth, heavy in body, light carbonation.

Overall, quite drinkable but not really very good. I like the flavors in the beer but nothing really stands out for me and that puts it in pretty low standing

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Photo of neckbracesub
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My father and I each bought this in a mix-and-match six pack because we are on a mission to try as many barleywine ales as possible ever since we both fell in love with them a few years back when we tried the insatiable Old Curmudgeon from Founder’s. If you asked him, he would tell you that this one - Harpoon’s Leviathan - ranks in the bottom rung of his barleywine chart, but I liked it considerably more than he did.

Other than a small bite in the aftertaste (which is not big enough to enough discount the beer too much) this is a solid barleywine with the classic strong aroma you come to expect from the brew. I can’t say that it ranks with the best of the bunch in its kind, but I enjoyed all 12 oz. of the bottle I purchased the other night.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, stamped 2011

appears a dark amber color with ruby highlights. little head. rich malt aroma - caramel, toffee, some herbal spice. taste is not as sweet as smell. but fairly complex. no alcohol taste. medium to thick body, a bit syrupy. lower carbonation, okay for the style.

overall - nice and tasty.

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Photo of oberon
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first review on the newer updated BA.Poured into an imperial nonic a rich clear amber bronze with a 1/2 finger head atop that left a a broken ring of lace as it settled pretty quickly.Deeply fruity in the nose along with caramle malts,alot of sweet alcohol as well.Sweeter and alcoholic on the palate,somewhat hot it takes a little while to get used to,after awhile some fruity notes and leather-like flavors com in to play but it's still an acoholic monster.It looks great,feels great,and has alot going for it but it's hot and on the sweet side for my taste.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another beer that has been on the tick list for some time. Grabbed a bottle for around 3-3.50

A - Pours of a dark amber brown very clear with a 1/4 inch of sticky opaque colored head. Expected murky brown but this beer looks great.

S - Smell isn't really that great but it's sweet an a bit of everything from apples and pears to sweet sugars. Even some toffee or caramel sweetness comes to mind.

T - Like everyone said it's balanced in fact one of the better Barleywines I ever had. Sure you get hops, malts, and yeasts but the flavor is different ever sip with all noted smells.

M - Unreal it drinks way under the 10. I would guess 7 maybe 8 tops. Has a nice creamy body too.

Overall I am glad I tried this and even like it. It's a fair price too since it's a better value than most Barleywines in a bombers with a nice 12oz size for a one and done sitting. Good beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear well carbonated amber orange, two finger head with some lacing.

S-Hops and malt with some earthy tones.

T-Strong malt backbone, ends with a mild bitterness however they blend together well.

M-Medium bodied, smooth but little carbonation.

O-A decent barleywine, nothing too offputing however the flavors could be stronger but it is well balanced.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle from fvernon; thank you! 2011 batch, poured into a tulip glass...

Pours a clear garnet/ruby color with some dark brown, mahogany hues. About an inch of light tan head develops, leaving minimal lacing upon dissolution. The aroma is of grape juice, faint plum, some raisin, a bit of toffee, some english malt, and faint vanilla. A strange “Capri Sun” essence to the nose that also carries over into the taste. More grape greets the tongue along with some alcohol bite, caramel, toffee, and faint vanilla. Grape and alcohol dominate. Mouthfeel is average; amply carbonated, but an alcohol bite predominates. Overall, a barleywine with potential, but there are improvements to be made.

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Photo of JayAre46
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the leviathan series, can't wait to see the behemoth series...alright a very deep ruby amber that gave a 1 finger head that faded to a thin layer with a ring around the edges and this one shows decent lace. the aroma is of dark fruits, caramel and fresh barley, wait is that vanilla? what?!?!?! the taste is of plums, a little red box that contained raisins, maybe some cherries but the black guys with a caramel malt, and vanilla. there has to be vanilla in this beer i need to talk to someone important from harpoon asap! i love vanilla it is my kryptonite when done right and its like i have a fucking tractor beam. you like apples?!?!?! there is definite alcohol in the end some hops. i don't get much of an english presence at all, maybe because this isn't my first brew i dunno nor do i care. anyway the mouth feel is heavy and carbonated a bit more than i would prefer but on a micro scale. this is a big beer and its not here to quench your thirst michael! go get some lemon-lime, YA KIKE! overall i enjoyed this brew and much more than the dipa. its well done a bit rough right now but has some serious underrated potential. its the carbonation and bermuda triangle storm but i can see through that nonsense and im going to age some of this and its going to turn out fanfuckingtastic! i know this. drink it ya kike!

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Photo of thagr81us
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wheat, and corn. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wheat, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. The aroma on this one really didn't do much for me. I honestly had the wheat and corn aroma you would expect off of an adjunct lager. However, the flavor didn't follow suit here and went to a more traditional and solid barleywine. A definite must try if you are a fan of the barleywine or curious alike.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. dark brown bottle. No freshness date. Served in a Piraat goblet.
Pours a ruby-hued amber with a 2” off-white creamy head and some patchy and spotty lacing.
A rummy and sweet malty smell vie for quick attention. Smells of citrusy and resinous hops flow forward, as does some peppery spice and prune juice.
Tastes of toffee and sweet malt are upfront. Flavors of orange zest, rum, tobacco and peppery spices come in right behind. A white rum heat is well masked within the spiciness and hop bitterness, but can be tasted in the breath ½ way through.
This is a bit on the thin side for a Barley malt, but not in a negative way. It’s just not as slick and only as many within the style range.

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Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.79 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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