Thursday, February 10, 2011

Harpoon Brewery Leviathan Imperial India Pale Ale

In 1986, Harpoon Brewery opened its doors in Boston, Massachusetts and, for many years, it was known for the Harpoon IPA.  The beer is very good for an IPA; however, in my opinion, it is Harpoon's Leviathan series that truly pique my interest.  The Leviathan series are the brewery's big beers, like a Barleywine, an Imperial Rye and an Imperial India Pale Ale.

I bought a four pack of the Imperial India Pale Ale.  The beer is extremely bitter and very hoppy in taste, primarily due to the use of a lot of hops.  Harpoon uses Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo hops.  The brewery also uses its own proprietary yeast during the production of this beer. The result is a beer that has a whopping 10% ABV.

The Leviathan Imperial India Pale Ale has an amber color as it is poured into a glass.   The hops in the beer are very present in the nose of the beer, which is something you expect from this style.  The aromatic elements also include some pine.

With regard to taste, this beer is also not for lightweights.  If you do not like hoppy or bitter beers,  then this beer -- and, for that matter, any Imperial India Pale Ale, is not the beer for you.  But, for people like me, who really like hoppy beers, this beer is a good example of an Imperial India Pale Ale.  The taste of the beer is full of hops, which are not only up front, but also in the finish. The hoppiness of the beer also makes it fairly dry.

The intense hop flavor of this beer makes it a little difficult to pair with food.  However, in his book The Brewmaster's Table, brewmaster Garrett Oliver suggests that regular India Pale Ales can be paired with a wide array of ingredients and food, such as chili relleno, chorizo, fajitas, jambalaya, gumbo, and Thai food.

The beer sells for about $9.99 for a four pack and is available in stores like Whole Foods and Rodmans.


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