Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial Rye | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial RyeHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial Rye
Liked This Beer
3.79 w/ 78 ratings
Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial RyeHarpoon Leviathan - Imperial Rye

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

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brad007 on 07-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 41
Reviews by jbhollis1180:
Photo of jbhollis1180
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich bronze with a one finger fluffy slightly off white head atop,the head never really settled,a frothy 1/2 finger mass was there thru the duration of the glass.Sweet alcohol and some of that spicy rye in the nose,a smattering of herbal hops comes into play as well.Alcohol and sharp rye dominate the palate wich it probably should with the alcohol in this beer,the spice and hops provide spice and citric flavors and the alcohol and malt base give off sweetness.Its a solid rye ale,the rye and hops play well against the big alcohol and malty sweetness.

 564 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a glowing burgundy when held toward the light it lets a bit more ruby through, head is cream coated light khaki shade with a even lacing coating the sides of the glass.

Hops are definitely evident I'm a bit surprised I was expecting a malt monster especially with the addition of spicy rye. Pine/herbal hops fade to the background as a ripened dark fruit note peaks through.

Flavors run with a blend of semi sweet spiced rye/caramelized bready notes. Each sip seems a bit earthier and spicier than the next, a nice drying balanced aspect from the hops. Roasted caramel sugars surrounded by a spicy rye base play out nicely with the assertive English hop profile.

Mouthfeel has a slightly syrup textured flow going on with easy moving carbonation a bit warming with alcohol doesn't quite burn or take away from anything more or less it adds to the complexity.

Overall a decent big beer from Harpoon that will be stored away to see how the rest of the three offerings mature, it seems like a nice beer to experiment and age with. Although I did enjoy this bottle fresh just fine.

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

Undated bottle served at about recommended temperature (40F) in a Unibroue snifter. Some sediment at bottom of bottle added mid-taste.

Appearance: Copper-amber color with a light haze; Nice looking light brown head is rather short-lived but leaves some sticky lacing.

Smell: Rye and other malts with a good bit of aroma like that of red wine? (better than this may sound). A bit of yeasty/bread aroma. Hint of high ABV (becomes more obvious with warming) and earthy hops.

Taste: Spicy; with good balance of sweet and bitter, and a little tartness. Has a fruity, fermented grape trait. Some grapefruit bitter in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Near medium body seems a tad watery; medium-light carbonation; Some alcohol warming and tongue bite. Slightly dry finish.

Overall: Complex and interesting, if not terribly appealing. An unusual rye, for sure. Worth a try.

 878 characters

Photo of alesaram
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of socon67
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thnaks to CTSparky for bringing this one.

A - Brownish color with red hue. Tan foam circles the glass. Visible carbonation and slight lacing.

S - Smells of earthy spices and peppry rye. Really storng smell that almost could be considered pungent. Smell of caramel malt is present.

T - Flavor is true to the scent; spicy rye taste that has a mild sweetness. Sweet finish of caramel tempers the bite of rye grain. Really yummy for rye beer lovers, which I lately seem to be.

M - Depasite the awesomeness of the flavors I found it a bit heavy-handed and not easily able to have more than one glass. The robustness made this a tough beer to balance. Harpoon kept it in a tolerable range. Rich rye beer she is!

O - A must have for rye lovers. Went great with italian food. A good beer to pair with pizza or pasta.

 813 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of jmerloni
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - dark brown/ruby red, decent size white head. Very nice looking beer.

s - malt smells heavy on this one, which worries me a little. the fresh, rye aroma is there but it is somewhat overshadowed.

t - Malt is not as high as on the nose. Brown sugar malt backbone with a sizable rye profile, well-hopped, with some notes of chocolate in there. Interesting and delicious.

m - Solid mouthfeel. Booze hardly comes through at 9%. Well carbonated, full-bodied, but not syrupy.

d - Quite drinkable. I can see myself getting this again in the near future. A very good autumn brew!

 579 characters

Photo of Kinsman
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark but clear copper color. Small white head forms with some fluff but faded a bit too quick.

Malty sweet bread and biscuit notes upfront. Pine resin and some floralness from the hops while the the rye seems to add a soft spice note.

Taste is well balanced between the hops and grain. Biscuity and slight hint of caramel from the malts. Rye notes add a mild warming character while the hops show of some nice piney and slightly fruity notes and a good bit of bitterness.

Crisp medium body mouthfeel with a just a bit of dryness in the finish. Overall, Imperial Rye satisfies my love for Rye beers but nothing quite stands out. Solid beer and one I'll be sure to have again.

 688 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a nice huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of rye malt with light spicy notes and some warming alcohol is well balance and enjoyable. Taste is not the most complex but is quite enjoyable with good notes of rye malt with light sweetness and a spicy finish. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol though some warming notes can be felt. Simple and very much enjoyable.

 462 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a rich aroma with a hint of spice comes through on the nose right away. really nice blended notes of pine resin, warm malts, a nice touch of buttery middle and a touch of rye. really well done and this carries over to the flavor perfectly. smooth, effortless feel on this one delivers a light hoppy goodness with hints f spiced rye and buttery malts. nice clean finish

 368 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear deep amber, well carbonated, one finger head that leaves behind near perfect lacing.

S-Rye spiceness followed by some earthy hops.

T-Starts with rye, one of the more rye forward beers I've had, some spices end with some bitterness.

M-Medium bodied but less carbonation than the appearance suggested.

O-Not as good as the SN Ruthless Rye but another solid rye beer.

 376 characters

Photo of sgoro
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BGsWo22
1.5/5  rDev -60.4%

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Goodnight Irenes in Wildwood...
Appears a semi-transparent amber with a small, off white cap that slowly fades into a floating head of fluff. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of dark rye bread, ripe fruit, bing cherries, and red grapes.
Taste mimics the aromas with a punch of fruity yeast and a dryness of rye that slaps the tastebuds a few times.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, gummy, sweet, and bitter.

 448 characters

Photo of claspada
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From last summer's release I believe.

Pours a hazy dark red/borderline amber colored ale with glorious bright ruby highlights when held to the light. Khaki soapy/bubbly head which leaves a lot of sticky lacing, presumably from the intense amount of rye (adjuncts like oats, rye and wheat leave more head than barley typically).

Aromas begin with fruity citrus and floral hops. Once I get past the greenery I get some caramelized maltiness and light spicy rye. I am surprised I get more caramel and even pale toasty maltiness over the rye considering this is an Imperial Rye. Rye emerges more as it warms, however alleviating my initial worries, but I still honestly expected more.

The tastes begin with modestly bready and toasty maltiness balanced by decent rye graininess, though not particularly spicy or flavorful, as was the case with the aroma. Mild bite of dry caramel as well. The rye malt lingers a little on the palate and into the finish which adds a little dryness. Indiscernible hop flavors, moderately bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is lightly dry with mild amount of hops and rye in the finish but really not overwhelming or as much as I would like for the style. Not much alcohol is detectable at this point which is nice, so I am glad I waited 9+ months to consume.

Overall this is a nice attempt at an Imperial Rye ale but I have to say I prefer my Rye beers to be less ABV heavy if that makes sense. The large malt bill dilutes the quality spice and flavor profile of the rye malt. Too much sweetness, breadiness and light caramel flavors are masking the rye. Not a bad beer but not one I will revisit anytime soon, especially because they aren't making it this year.

 1,733 characters

Photo of david18
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I recently had a twelve ounce draft of this at my local bar. I like many of the Leviathan beers. Don't love any of them but I like them all. This one was another I enjoyed.

Appearance is a light copper, pretty clear for the style and a nice amount of carbonation.

Aroma was a good combination of rye, malt and hops. Very inviting and pretty much what they intended, I imagine.

Flavor was good. Some bitterness from the hops as well as some spiciness from the rye. A little hot on the alcohol but generally pretty well balanced.

I've had a number of these and will continue to enjoy them as long as they're available.

 621 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Harpoon Widsor brewery...in an adirondack chair...in the sun. God bless Vermont.

Pristine clear copper with a thin head. Head leaves a few lacey smatterings before collaring.

Aroma is spicy whole whole wheat bread, swampy English-ish hops and mild alchol. Rye spice is a turn on.

Tastes malty, spicy, big and bready. Some baked fruit (pear?) in there as well.

Makes me thing of a rye-centric, really well done ESB. Which I like.

 447 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/11/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, caramelized malts and floral hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel followed by a strong rye spiciness. The malt character is hearty. The hops presence is strong but subdues and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice flavorful strong beer to drink for a while.

 786 characters

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

Nice creamy head, very dark molasses brown color.

Nose dirty brown malts, earthy, creamy caramel, light roast and toasty malts, light spicy rye, hint of booze, some molasses.

Taste dark malts, molasses, sweet malts, caramel, touch of roast and chocolate, light rye, creamy malts, sweet and a bit bitter, hint of booze.

Mouth is med to heavier bodied, dec carb, bit of warming booze.

Overall nice, dark malts, molasses, a bit of rye although it could have used more IMO, touch of warming booze without the esters i was expecting.

 532 characters

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber to orange-ish color with a tan head. In the aroma, dry fruitiness, especially apples. In the taste, dry rye, fruity, apples and spice. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry fruitiness and small alcohol in the aftertaste. Nice rye and fruit presence, a bit boozy in the end and in the aftertaste.

 335 characters

Photo of Vylo
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of smcolw
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Modest head that settles to only a ring of bubbles. Nearly no lace--just some spots near the liquid line. Darker amber with a chill haze.

Earthy and semi-sweet caramel aroma. Light rye smell. Smells closer to a Barley Wine.

Flavor matches the smell profile with a touch of hop. Overall, this runs on the sweet side, which covers the alcohol until the swallow. Light warming aftertaste. Very rich body but it also has an above average level of carbonation. Borderline extreme with little rye to show for it.

 508 characters

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Harpoon Leviathan - Imperial Rye from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 70.5% out of 100 with 78 ratings
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