knickskicks (552) - - APR 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2011 on draft. Orange, white head. Nose is big port and sherry, sweet malts, apple. Taste is near spoiled fruit, banana, port, sherry, rotten apple, barrel. Medium, sticky mouthfeel.
Glouglouburp (5867) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 2, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Common rating for all four Lees Harvest barrel variations. Fun side-by-side comparison I did with all four Lees Harvest barrel variants as well as regular base beer. Separate rating for regular version because just too different from the barrel variations.
In short: Rich, sweet and woody amber ales and a pleasant fruitiness that was the main variable. Mostly good beers.
How: Bottle 275ml, side-by-side comparison of Lees Harvest and all 4 barrel variants. All bottle aged a couple of years.
The look: Mostly clear dark amber body topped by a small beige head. All four variants had sediments. Calvados version had a little more head. Lagavulin version was a little darker.
In long: Nose has plenty of wood barrels (old wet wood sensation) and fruity esters. Taste is very rich, plenty of caramel, sweet apple pie, pastry, wood barrels, light nutty notes. All barrel variants were very sweet but less sticky-syrupy than the regular base beer. The alcohol was a bit apparent in all four barrel version while it has plenty of places to hide in the uber-thick body of the base beer. Carbonation was on the soft side in all barrel variations. All four beers proposed a very sweet attack leading to a somewhat astringent woody finish.
Calvados barrel (8-4-8-4-16 = 4.0): Somehow the most richly caramelized of the bunch. Rich maltiness more prominent but still some refreshing fruity notes. Wood barrels better integrated. Less astringent finish. My favourite of the bunch.
Lagavulin barrel (6-3-6-4-13 = 3.2): More woody and therefore a bit more astringent. More earthy/peaty, borderline smoky. Presence of phenols phenolic I didn’t get from other barrel variations and alcohol a bit more apparent than in other variations. Might be something wrong with this particular bottle but it was my least favorite bar far.
Port barrel (7-3-8-4-14 = 3.6): More of a fruity dessert character. Somewhat similar to Sherry variant but with fruity flavors less of the “refreshing” kind.
Sherry barrel (8-3-8-4-15 = 3.8): More refreshing fruity flavors (light color tropical fruits and others..) and a mild tartness. Somewhat very similar to Port version except with more refreshing fruitiness.
Bottom line: I was surprised at how similar all four barrel variants were, there are obviously some differences but less than I expected. The Lagavulin had a few off flavors but I a bottle in poor shape. Also I just couldn’t recognize the regular Lees Harvest in any of them, all four barrel variations were totally different from the regular Lees Harvest but similar to each other. A comparison between the four barrel variations is a fun thing to do but adding the base beer to this experience is useless and will just get you more drunk, like I did. Doing this side-by-side comparison was a fun scientific experiment, and my only real regret in donating my body to science is I won’t be there to see the doctor exclaims “what the fuck is that?!?” when he sees my liver.
callmemickey (1835) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 28, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2011. Dark amber body, thin pale tan head, minimal lacing. Caramel, apple, booze, toffee. A bit sweet. Medium bodied, soft carbonation, a little heat. A bit much for my liking.
arone12 (892) - Maryland, USA - MAR 25, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beer smells like lucky charms and frozen yogurt! Weird, I know. Also has some wood in the flavor. Kinda oaky. Very good beer. Probably my favorite of the night.
conway (896) - - MAR 18, 2013
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Uploading old ratings that were missing comments. Delicious caramel and toffee malt notes with a lot apple coming from the Calvados.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
mnoud (230) - Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA - MAR 11, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2013.03.11 - J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados) - 9.3oz bottle in mini goblet glass. 2006 Vintage.
Aroma: very similar to North Coast Old Stock Ale; a bit raisiny fruit, a bit candy sugar or caramel sweetness, starchiness.
Appearance: Pours around 20 on SRM scale. A very nice caramel brown. Pretty much no head/carbonation at this point, not sure if that’s normal or down to abv and age.
Taste: Pretty much follows nose, similar to many barley wines and Old Stock Ale in particular. Sweetness dominates. This has a bit of heat on the back end. Not alcohol warmth but like pepper heat almost. Less vanilla oaky taste, and more this pepper spice heat.
Palate/Mouthfeel: Very clear and fairly light but there’s a good bit of sweetness so it is a bit creamy and full.
Aroma 8/10, Appearance 4/5, Taste 7/10, Palate 4/5, Overall 16/20
ajnepple (1036) - Clear Creek County, Colorado, USA - FEB 25, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
ON TAP at Black Bottle Brewery. Orange-red and hazy. The aroma and flavor is caramel, sweet malts, toffee, wood, fruity wine and alcohol. Pretty sweet with very little bitterness. Smooth and creamy with great feel and aroma. A rich, strong and sweet English barley wine.
DrSilverworm (3985) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 24, 2013
1.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
9.3oz bottle, 2010 vintage. Dark red / orange color. Completely cloudy, with lots of large chunks of yeast inside. Thin khaki head, some loose dots of lace. Everything I hated about the vintage standard JW Lees Harvest, is evident here too, just marginally more complex. Very sweet flavor over all. Cloying, for me. Booze flavor is there, no burn or heat though. I have to take very small sips, hard not too with that ultra cloying sweet flavor. Earthy, wet paper aroma and flavor. Big sweet caramel malt. Never had fresh JW, but wondering if this is oxidized... A lot of people swear this stuff ages fantastically, so that’s confusing for me. Bigger body. Very light carbonation. No lingering stickiness, though not what I’d call dry. Kind of peaty, vegetal aroma. Big caramel malt. Earthy. Little baked apple. Some sweet molasses type flavors. Man, these Harvest ales really don’t agree with me.. Something must be wrong with the bottles I’m getting. Oxidized, most likely. Drain pour.
bmerz (587) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - JAN 24, 2013
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught at Breukelen Bier Merchants. This has a lovely red and orange gold glow though no head at all. The aroma is a really lovely play of fresh yeast, very ripe sweet apple and malt, mild oxidation, The flavor is at first very sweet and fruity but then veers tannic, spicy, creeping hot, and to an herbal finish. The MF is fairly sticky with minimal carbonation but it has a nice woody and drying spicy runout. Great beer. Will update with the age if I can find it.
Niko100 (1663) - Illinois, USA - JAN 15, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy amber/orange color; Medium creamy body; Aroma of sweet malt, caramel/toffee, & fruit; Flavor of sweet malt, toffee, molasses/syrup, spicy hops, and fruit (notably apples); Warm finish with some acidity; Nicely balanced; Quite good.