Jan 18, 2011

Harpoon Leviathan Barleywine

Harpoon Leviathan Barleywine label

I’ve only had the opportunity to enjoy one other beer in the Harpoon’s Leviathan Series. The Imperial IPA was a big hit in my household, with my wife constantly stealing my own freshly poured brewed (sometimes before I was even able to get a single sip).

Brewed with Chinook and Tettnang hops, this 10% ABV English Barleywine has a surprising amount of hop character throughout the drinking experience. It’s not the hoppiest barleywine I’ve had, but it’s definitely got more of a hop punch than most of the barleywines I’ve had this Winter season.


Orangish amber in color, the brew sits in the glass with an off-white head that faded to a thin patch work of lace.


Loads of spicy, piny hops fill the nose quickly as a decent bit of booziness joins in right after. There’s a light malt toast in the background that helps balance out the 65 IBUs this beer brings to the table.


While the brew doesn’t come across quite as hoppy on the tongue as the nose may have indicated, it’s still got a welcome resinous and piny character. The full, syrupy mouthfeel is perfect for a higher alcohol brew like this as it coats the tongue with additional toasted, caramel malt to cut into the hop presence. The finish is warming and lingers nicely.


This brew may be a little young at the moment, but I feel that with a year or two under it’s belt it will come into its own nicely. Hopefully, I can wait that long before consuming the other couple of bottles I have. On a bit of a style note, the amount of hops in this brew make it feel more like an American Barleywine than its English cousin. Perhaps that time in the cellar will round it out more to meet the style.

Rating: 3.75/5

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