Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Beer Review: Harpoon Leviathan Quad
This is my first experience with this beer. I picked up a four pack at the Perfect Pour in Columbia, MD a few weeks back. I plan to set a few of these aside for a while. This is my "baseline" tasting.
Belgian Quads are typically very dark and very strong. I treat these as I do barley wines and imperial stouts. Keep it at room temperature so all the flavors and aromas can shine. The American versions tend to be more bitter. Some quads that cane be found on shelves include Weyerbacher Quad, Ommegang's Three Philosophers, St. Bernardus Abt 12 and the holy grail of beer, the Westie 12. Trappist Westvleteren 12.
Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle date stamped "026" (2011-01-26) -> giant snifter at room temperature. Appears dark cherry red only allowing some light through, very little head with a few tiny carbonation streams. Leaves a fairly loose lacing, not really much. The aroma is quite startling. Strong black licorice, chewy root beer candy, unsweetened bubble gum, tart dry cherries, anise and strong alcohol. Complex.
The flavors are a bit different. I picked up dark toasted pumpernickel, raisins, dried figs, dark cherries, almost too-dark toffee and strong alcohol. It felt medium to medium heavy in body with lots of alcohol warmth.
This is a huge chewy beer. One 12 oz. bottle could easily be split between two servings. I have a feeling that a fresh tasting would not even compare to a vintage tasting. I imagine that the strong alcohol aroma, flavors and warmth will mellow over time letting all these earthy fruity aromas and flavors come to the foreground.