Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA

This will likely be my last beer review from the Great State of Texas. I am moving back to New York after six months of sampling some stellar brews down in Dallas. So, while my last beer in Texas is not a Texas beer, I thought it fitting to review a big beer, since everything is bigger in Texas.

Harpoon Brewery
Boston, MA/Windsor, VT
Leviathan Imperial IPA

The pour is pugnacious – a dense orange-tinged head detonates and rests for a while at an inch before descending to a rocky half-inch. The color is polished copper with beautiful clarity and very nice orange tones. The effervescence is lively, with serpentine strands of fine bubbles gyrating up the glass.

The nose is floral and piney as expected, but not too aggressively so. A fine grapefruit aroma sifts its way in there as well. There is a gentle malty smell – like saltwater taffy – behind all the hoppiness.

The mouthfeel is excellent. It is not nearly as gummy and cloying as I thought it might be. There is a wonderful sere quality to it which provides a clean look at the flavors without pulling a Popeye pucker. Warm alcohol notes are certainly prevalent – there is no denying the 10%ABV tag that this beer carries – but there is also a creaminess to the brew that most IIPAs don’t have. Certainly, the hops are bitter and citric and piney, but even non-hopheads might appreciate the initial softness of each sip.

This is a big-ass beer, to be sure, and hopheads are sure to salivate between every saliva-sapping sip; at 122 IBUs, it’s off the charts. However, it’s not just a hopheader, this beer is worth a try. Also, that creamsicle head leaves a wonderfully craggy lacing.


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