Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Having spent six or so years in Boston in the late '90s/early '00s, I certainly drank my fair share of Harpoon products. It's nice to be able go back to them from time to time here in New Jersey, but we usually only seem to get the staples from the brewery: Harpoon IPA, UFO Hefeweizen and whatever the current seasonal is. So it's good to see the Leviathan Series making it's way out of New England and into stores around here. I believe of the four releases thus far from the series, the only one I didn't see at some point was the initial offering, which was a Baltic Porter.

For this go around I was able to grab a bottle of the Quad. It looks nice, pouring a murky brownish amber color with a thin head that settles in nicely atop the liquid.

I want to like the aroma but something is holding me back a bit: there's a nice blend of both dark berry and banana, pepper and caramel here along with subtle earth notes, but I think the alcohol presence may be a touch heavy-handed here, taking away from the other aromas instead of complimenting them.

Thankfully, the alcohol is scaled back somewhat in the flavor. It's still there for sure as this one is absolutely boozy, but it gives way a bit to those berry flavors, some candy sweetness toward the middle and also to the earth notes picked up in the aroma. I think the alcohol plays much better with the pepper flavor here as well, as you are hit you with a sharp pepper bite in each sip and then a nice warming effect from the alcohol.

This is a big beer for sure and at 11.75% ABV, a single twelve ounce bottle will do you just fine for the evening. I enjoyed it in the middle of the summer but think it'd be spot on sitting by the fire in the dead of winter. A good beer as it stands and one that could be even better with some taming of the alcohol in the aroma.

Hopback, beer, Harpoon, Leviathan, Boston, Quad