Harpoon Brewing in Boston churns out more new product than any brewer I can think of. This is in part fueled by their highly successful 100 Barrel Series, UFO and Leviathan product lines. Leviathan is the vehicle for Harpoon’s big beers – Baltic Porters, IIPAs and other gems. The latest release for the Leviathan is a Barleywine.
Harpoon has twice in my memory release this style of highly sought after ale. Once as a one off release of the 100 Barrel Series and years later the same recipe was release as a 100 Barrel Encore. Harpoon is quick to point out this is not the same recipe.
Harpoon Leviathan Barleywine pays homage to the classic English-style barleywines. The massive amount of pale malt coupled with the long boil in the kettle yields a deep garnet color and a strong malt backbone. Complex aromas and flavors of dark fruit, pepper, vanilla, and caramel derived from caramel- ized sugars complement the unique combination of Chinook and Tettnang hops.
This carefully selected blend of ingredients is enhanced by Harpoon’s proprietary house yeast, which gives this beer a clean finish and rich body characteristic of barley- wines. Enjoy this strong ale in a wide mouth glass (goblet, red wine glass) at cellar temperature to allow the complex aromatics to reach their full potential. Interesting, different flavors and aromas of this beer may take shape if aged for up to 5 years—if you can wait that long.
The ale has a deep brown color with maybe a hint of rust crowned with a thin white head. The aroma is of alcohol and citrusy pine like hops. There is also a nice malty presence in the nose. The flavor of this beer is of dried fruits and caramel – apple like tones play off of the citrus qualities in the hops. The beer has a thick finish that is balanced by the sweetness of the malt and the 65 IBUs on hops.
This is the perfect beer for Super Bowl Sunday. The 10% ABV will keep you parking lot tailgaters warm and toasty. The spiciness of the hops is a perfect compliment for your buffalo wings or a pizza with crushed red pepper. Harpoon Brewing once again delivers a perfect 10 with this new addition to its Leviathan line.