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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados)

Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 447   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.78   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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Only available filtered and pasteurised in bottles.
Matured in wooden Etienne Dupont Calvados casks from the end of October until mid March.
This fully fermented ale has been brewed by JW Lees as a celebration of the brewers’ art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
weaselkenievil (1608) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - APR 25, 2014
Bottle at home, in a run of three with the sherry and whiskey versions, from Beer Emporium, Sandbach. Murky red brown amber with a thin off white yellowed head. Aroma has some sweet malts, toffee apple, sugar, brandy. Flavour is caramel and more toffee apple, brandy. Surprisingly smooth palate. Sweet. A little woody.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nocturne (1074) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - APR 5, 2014
2010 bottle. Clear orange shade with a small ring of head. Aroma of wet wood, apple strudel, slight herbalness, maybe a bit medicinal too. Up front taste of apple brandy with maltiness behind. Very sweet, definite medicinal twang to the malt again, just as in the aroma. I don’t rate the base beer in the top echelon but I think the barrel really transformed this into something very good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Slipstream (2192) - USA - MAR 16, 2014
Wow! On tap at Torst. It is hard to imagine a richer, more complex, more interesting beer than this. Actually it doesn’t seem like beer at all, it seems like a different kind of beverage that should be in its own category somehow. There is an aroma of brandy, fresh fruit, lemon, and brett. A wide range of flavors plays along the palate - brandy, lemon, lime, maple syrup, cranberry, punch - wow. It sounds like it might be a mess, but it all clicks. The only weakness is that it is a touch syrupy. This series is one of my all time favorites for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Corrinado711 (80) - - MAR 15, 2014
Bottle to snifter pours a translucent deep orange with very little white head. Aroma of light, sweet brandy and malt. Taste is similar to the aroma with a very light, well balanced boozy finish with acidic fruit. Very interesting palate with a light Mouthfeel with almost no carbination. Very unique.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
olr1984 (1249) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 15, 2013
11.2oz bottle pours a dark golden wheat with zero head very slow pour but still a lot of sediment. Sweet malt and barrel aroma. Sweet malt apple light fruit oak taste.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
dfearnley (1164) - Alberta, CANADA - DEC 11, 2013
2003 bottle to mason jar...yep, needs must and plastic cup just wouldn’t do. Oak, caramel, lactose, brandy, and apple. Beautiful clear deep red with a thin creamy white head. Full on brandy, caramel, lactose, and orange. I must say, it’s a little thin, but slick, oily, and incredibly well balanced for an 11.5% barley wine. Congratulations on an amazing beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ferris (7011) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 11, 2013
Bottle - Vintage 2003 - Prunes, cherry, brown sugar, vinous and oak. Very clear maroon with a thin beige head. Tons of brown sugar, raisin, touch of oak and alcohol. Finish is boozey with some dark fruit again. Held up well for its age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
matty (241) - Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2013
9.3 oz. bottle. Pours a muddy brown color with plenty of sediment. No head. Aroma of toffee, earthy notes, wood, reminiscent of sherry, and some sour wine. Lighter in body with a thick, sticky mouth feel. Taste of wood, sweet malt, brandy/sherry with some warming alcohol in the finish. Good ale, but will take some time to finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ContemplateBeer (1677) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - NOV 24, 2013
2011 bottle; thanks to my friend Isaac Fox for this unexpected treat! Aroma: No question about the Calvados (apple brandy) presence here; it’s the prevalent theme no doubt. Otherwise, there’s some toffee/ nougat, oak and tobacco. Appearance: Hazy tinted copper/amber pour with a light ring of white head. Flavor: Really nicely balanced between the Calvados and the base beer; a little sweeter than Calvados, but still rather nice. Could have used a couple more years, but very good now as well. Palate: Light body, slick texture, flat carbonation, abrupt finish. Overall: Nicely done treatment, an improvement on the base beer IMO.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
BOSSbrewer (2507) - Arkansas, USA - NOV 21, 2013
On tap at Of Love and Regret in Baltimore. 2011 version. Really nice. Pours golden with no head. Very sweet. Almost sherry like. Just wonderful.

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