Looks can be deceiving
A Review of Leviathan Imperial IPA by Harpoon Brewery
Posted on 7/13/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
Allow me to take a moment to start this review and tell you what Harpoon says about their Leviathan series. From their website, they state that ''The Leviathan Series is a way for us to experiment with stronger flavors and bigger beers.'' Well ok then! Sign me up! I mean they are pretty much saying ''Here is our Imperial line, and you have been warned!'' I love it! Now what I am hoping for as a reviewer, and as a drinker in general, is that they live up to this proclamation, but manage to do so while achieving that one important word when it comes to bigger and stronger: Balance.

To start off with, I was slightly perplexed when I poured it into the glass. It was a lot lighter than I'm used to seeing when it comes to an Imperial IPA. It was almost like looking at a glass of apple juice. It was crystal clear and there was about 2 fingers of bright, foamy white head that had some decent retention and lacing. While observing it, the beer itself decided to remind me that it was indeed an Imperial by climbing out of the glass and slapping me in the face with some very prominent piney hops smells that were bright and crisp. Once I was snapped back to attention, I got in there and could pick up on a very fruity presence. Pineapple was right up front, with some orange dancing around in the background. And back there with the orange, I even noticed a very nice malty layer coming through.

When you go in for that first taste, be prepared for a battle in your mouth, with your tongue being the war field. This beer is packed full of flavors and all of them are wanting your attention. Luckily, they do a good job of shining through individually, as well as in combination with each other. Right off, there is a huge grapefruit explosion that is unmistakable. Its sweet, and tangy, and very floral. Then, just a few seconds later, the malts start to come forward. There's a layered, bready feel to it, but then a caramel sweetness takes over. You get a bit of an alcohol taste in the middle, but at 10% ABV its to be expected. And the very end is what I would describe more as a tangy hop bite as opposed to the more common bitter hop bite.

The mouthfeel on this one is one of its best qualities. It has more carbonation than most Imperial IPAs, but in this instance, it's a good thing. It helps this beer have a very crisp and clean finish, that boarders on dry. There is no sticky feel to it, and all you are left with is a hops after taste that is fresh and bright. It may sound cliche, but you do find yourself simply wanting more.

To recommend this beer to everyone would be unfair. Don't get me wrong. This is a fantastic beer. Harpoon has one to be very proud of here. Without question, they lived up to the stronger and bigger statement. And even more important, they maintained a great overall balance in this beer while doing so. But I can't in good faith tell beginners to go out and try this one. It's a lot to handle for an untrained palate. There's your warning. I mean, I WANT everyone to eventually experience a great quality Imperial IPA such as this, but doing so too early will only do more harm than good. One day my friends, one day. Take your time and work up to this one. Now, to all the drinkers that are a little further down the beer drinking road, I will make this very easy on you. If you are able to get your hands on one of these, do it. You won't be sorry. This can be one of those beers that you buy or order somewhere, and when you drink it, you can say to yourself ''Man, he was right. This beer is great. That guy is pretty awesome.'' And you would be correct. On all three statements.

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Leviathan Imperial IPA by Harpoon Brewery
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