Beer Review: Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA

This was given to me, by Kevin at the Liquor Outlet in Boonton NJ.  He said he hadn’t tried it, but knowing I’m a hop head, he thought I could kick the tires on this beer.  And Kick I will! The Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA is one of five beers in Harpoon’s Leviathan series, which include a Saison Royale, Big Bohemian Pils, Quad and a Baltic Porter.  harpoon_IIPA2

Appearance:

harpoon_IIPA

Harpoon Leviathan IPA Clarity

Holy Clarity, Batman!  This beer has to be the clearest beer I’ve seen, especially from a dry-hopped IPA.  It pours a crystal clear copper color with a moderate head.  Unfortunately the head quickly dissipates to a thin collar.  I think IPA, especially American and American Imperial IPA’s need to retain the head to continue to release the wonderful hop aromas.

Aroma:

I dig this aroma, at first it just had a sweet candy aroma. As you take in a couple more whiffs, it has this interesting  earthy / pineapple / citrus / fruity aroma with a hint of alcohol.

harpoon_IIPA3

Harpoon Leviathan IPA

Taste:

The Leviathans mouthfeel is a bit thinner then I thought it would be, which is not a bad thing, I just had a notion in my head of what I thought the beer would taste like based on the aroma. This beer has 122 IBU’s and you can taste them all.  It is a very hop heavy beer, but surprisingly not a very bitter beer.  This beer has a good bit of malt sweetness (my initial sense from the aroma) and a very nice transition of several flavors from the hops.  Unfortunately for this beer the Alcohol is a dominate player in the flavor unlike Harpoons Big Bohemian Pils at 9% which had no noticeable alcohol presence.

Overall Impression:

The alcohol plus the sweetness really gives this beer a rum aftertaste, if you like that, you’ll love this beer, if you don’t you won’t.  This is a 9.3% abv beer, so a bit of alcohol should not be surprising, but with this beer it really factors into the flavor.   I liked the  the well balanced bitterness, (especially with 122 IBU’s),  the unique aroma, but for me the slight rum aftertaste didn’t fit into this beer.

Glassware: Tulip

Calories: starting at 22°Plato and an ABV of 9.3% would put the final gravity around 5.5° Plato resulting in about 316 calories per 12oz..

Simply Beer Rating: 86, give it a try and let the world know what you think!

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5 Responses to “Beer Review: Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA”

  1. Mike - MikeLovesBeer.com Says:

    I would really like to try this. I know we get Harpoon down here but haven’t seen any of this series.

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    I also had the Bohemian Pils on Thursday as part of last weeks Beer Brawl, which I’ll be posting in a couple of hours. It was really good.

  3. Daniel Sroka Says:

    I’ve been seeing this at Gary’s Wines for a few weeks now, and have been curious about it. Thank you for the timely review!

  4. Simply Beer Says:

    Daniel, glad you liked the review, go try it and let us know what you think of it. I love hearing other opinions on beer!

  5. Mark Says:

    I tried this beer on tap during Syracuse beer week last Novemeber and was very impressed. Just bought a 4 pack for about $10 at wegmans, and I can definitely see what I enjoyed so much. There is a lot of hop flavor without a ton of bitterness. There definitely is a limited alcohol taste, which seems more pronouced with the bottles compared to the draft last year. But overall this is a great smooth IIPA that I will be trying again.


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