So far I’ve had a lot of fun with the Leviathan series from Harpoon. Honestly, Harpoon does some nice session ales (I am especially a fan of their “Winter Warmer”) but these are really high-quality brews available in four packs- a nice “step up” from their typical lineup. They tend to have more depth of flavor and character, and I always like exploring that.
This one is a “dark wheat-wine style ale” according to the label. Triticus is Latin for wheat. It pours out a nice dark color – light barely gets through but just a little red peeks through when held up to a bright light. The smell is at first very boozy – but this rings in at about 11% ABV so it’s nothing too extreme. There’s a little raisin smell underneath the alcohol aroma, but it’s kind of hard to pick out.
The taste is very pleasing – with lots of depth. It starts out with a nice plum and raisin flavors, but is then eclipsed by the almost whisky-like alcohol notes. I like this one, but it seems to erase itself on the tongue. I don’t mean that it doesn’t have flavor – it does – but that after each sip the alcohol cleanses your palate and makes you forget the last sip, leading you to take another. It’s an odd thing to have to describe.
I enjoyed this very much, and I think I will continue to look forward to the rest of the series. If you’r looking for something with warmth, a little bit of alcohol character but also some depth and complexity, this one is for you. Not overwhelmingly boozy or hoppy, this one strikes a pretty nice balance. I’d love to try this with some cheese, and it would make a great beer to curl up with after a filling holiday meal.