I wish I could give you a long and detailed back story about the purchase of this bottle of Harpoon’s Leviathan Baltic Porter, but since this was one of Limpd’s purchases, I don’t have much information to give you this time around. Thankfully, he bought more than one bottle and was kind enough to send one my way. (Limpd: Actually, I had gone in search of the Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout over at Kress liquors. Sadly, they had no Narwhal but they did have the Leviathan and as I have a penchant for brown ales, stout and porters, this was right in my wheelhouse)
Here is a bit more information about Harpoon’s Leviathan Baltic Porter which was taken directly from their website:
It didn’t take long for the idea of a Baltic Porter to surface as part of the Leviathan series. Leviathan Baltic Porter’s complexity makes it as hard to brew as it is pleasant to drink – balancing rich malt with a smooth (not roasted) character, high-gravity brewing, and a unique fermentation process lend this beer a warming smoothness that pairs perfectly with a cold winter night.
Brewed with a highly alcohol-tolerant strain of lager yeast, Leviathan Baltic Porter has a smooth, full flavor with dark fruit and licorice notes in the aroma. De-husked roasted malt lends a dark chocolate character, while raw sugar and dark crystal malt provide some raisin and molasses notes. Ease into winter with this rich, complex beer – or set some aside for extended cellaring.
And now for our impressions of this beer…
G-LO’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Pitch black with little to no head or lacing.
- Aroma: Surprisingly mellow nose with hints of molasses, raisins, bittersweet chocolate, and just a bit of piney hops.
- Taste: Medium bodied. Lightly carbonated. The nose carries through to the palate with a dark chocolate bitterness and some dried fruit sweetness. The flavors are pretty consistent from beginning to end. Dry, bittersweet finish.
- ABV: 9.5%
Conclusion: When I first pulled the Harpoon Leviathan Baltic Porter out of the fridge, it was way too cold to evaluate properly. Both the nose and the palate were very muted, so I was initially disappointed. After douching it up with the camera and letting this beer come up to room temperature, I finally sat down to evaluate it properly. Once this beer warmed and opened up, all of the aromas and flavors emerged. This is a definite sipper that will warm you up on a cold winter night just as the brewer intended, and for a beer with such a high ABV, it goes down very very easy. My advice: drink it slow and don’t have more than two in a row. You have been warned.
Limpd’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: A ruby tinged, chocolate brown with a little tan foam.
- Aroma: Roasted malt, dried fruit (raisins, dates and figs) and hops.
- Taste: Slightly sweet with a dark chocolate/lightly roasted coffee bitterness followed by just the slightest hoppy tang.
- ABV: 9.5%
Conclusion: Like G-Lo, I had it right out of the fridge and found that as it opened up it lost some of the sweetness as the coffee flavors intensified. I found that while this is no Kopi Luwak fest (which for me is a good thing) it had just enough of the sweetness and bitterness to be both interesting and drinkable. And, G-Lo is not kidding; this went down way to fast to not be at least a little afraid of the ABV sneaking up on you.