24 September 2009
Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA
During my time in Boston, Harpoon IPA was my real standby beer: very nice balance between hop and malt, crisp and refreshing with a solid copper body. Good local brew, and recently available here in NC – but it doesn't quite stack up to the West Coast IPAs in terms of pop, and Harpoon clearly knows it. So last summer they cranked up the Leviathan series, including the Imperial IPA, a Saison Royale, Big Bohemian Pilsner, Quad (a Belgian blend of yeasts), and Baltic Porter. All clock in at above 9%ABV, with the Quad at 11.75%. And I look forward to the others, because Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA is a real winner. Starting with a dynamite, sweet hoppy nose, it has a terrifically complex and balanced body: hoppy but not floral-through-the-nose, just enough malt to balance, a bit syrupy but not in an overly alcoholic way (you don't really taste the 10%ABV at all), and a great balanced finish with a bit of spice. One of the best little suprises recently: highly recommended.