Harpoon Brewing Company - Leviathan
- ABV: 10%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 80
- Serving Temperature: 47-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Briess Caramel 120
- Hops: Chinook, Amarillo, Apollo, Cascade, Centennial
Pouring a medium amber with a fluffy head of light beige foam, Leviathan looks good in the glass, but on looks alone there's not much to hint at the power this brew wields. Take a sniff and things begin to come into focus. Densely packed aromas of candied citrus evoke grapefruit, orange, and even a bit of lemon-lime, while a sturdy baseline note of caramel props it all up nicely. Flavor-wise, it's intense as soon as it hits the palate. Harpoon absolutely packs this double IPA with malt, which ferments out to a commensurately huge 10% ABV while offering structure and a thread of residual sweetness to present some measure of balance to the impressive amount of hops. Speaking of which, look for bold, resinous notes of citrus fruit, with some tropical impressions and a touch of pine, alongside very firm bitterness and a noticeable note of vinous, fruity alcohol. Surprisingly round and smooth on the palate, Leviathan evokes the metaphorical brass knuckles in a velvet glove. Enjoy this brew a la carte as a nightcap, or pair with food bold enough to stand up to it, including fattier dishes for which the beer's acidity and booziness can cut through and provide balance. Oven-roasted pork belly, burgers topped with bacon and aged cheddar, or barbecued ribs are a good call. Cheers!
Harpoon Brewing Company was founded in 1986, quite early in the US microbrew renaissance. Before starting the brewery, the founding team of Dan Kenary and Rich Doyle traveled throughout Europe in search of various beer and brewery styles upon which they would model their own ("product research" we think they called it). Upon returning, they partnered with George Ligeti and hired brewer Russ Heissner, and by 1987 their first beer was sold as the brewery debuted on the Boston waterfront.
Harpoon has always been focused on positively impacting their local community. This is an important component of the brewery and pub lifestyle that the founders witnessed while experiencing European traditions abroad. As they say on their website, "We learned to appreciate how much local brewers meant to their communities. They were not just manufacturers of a product; they were part of the social fabric. We asked each other, 'Why not do that in New England?'" The result of this initial desire has won them overwhelming approval from the locals and beyond. In fact, in 2000 they purchased a second brewery in Windsor, Vermont, to keep up with demand. In 2014, Harpoon became an employee-owned company with the introduction of an employee stock ownership plan. Way to go, guys! For more information about the brewery or scheduled tours, call 617-456-2322, or visit their website at www.harpoonbrewery.com.
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