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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: 449   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 16/20
ContemplateBeer (1719) - 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 (2685) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dr_MedievAle (199) - Alabama, USA - NOV 18, 2013
Brewed in 2010. Appearance: dark apple juice. Creamy off white head. Aroma: milk chocolate, caramel/candied apple, oak and calvados/whiskey. Quite an amazing aroma, actually. Taste:sweet chocolate and sweet apple. No balance. Palate: thin, little carb. Finishes dry with a stale bread aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
SanfordBrewer (1406) - Sanford, Florida, USA - OCT 10, 2013
translucent dark copper with a thin beige head and minimal effervescence. full body, but with enough alcohol to cut it, and low carbonation.

aroma: lots of brown malt, a bit of roasted malt, burnt wood, smooth alcohol. no hop or yeast character.

flavor: raw russet potato skins, bread crust, apple brandy, warming alcohol, woody tannins.

wonderful calvados character, but certain aspects of the beer are unpleasant. it is unique and has a "picturesque" character that takes my mind to far-away countrysides i wish i could visit.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
kermis (6866) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - OCT 5, 2013
Draft sampled at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont. Pours hazy orange with barely any head. Aroma of caramel, very sweet and boozy, wood, earth, raisins, toffee and alcohol. Flavour is heavy sweet and light bitter. Full bodied with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nate (3806) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 4, 2013
2012 vintage, on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle). Apple cider tartness with alcohol vapors and fruity esters, light sour Bretty funk and some oaky quality. Medium amber hazy with no head. Heavy body with medium carbonation and alcohol warming. Starts medium sweet with tart apple funk notes and hint of apple brandy, macerated apples. Sweet rich fruity finish with sweet lingering apple after. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
S_Side_Smitty (578) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - OCT 4, 2013
2010 vintage. Pours cloudy brown with a minimal off white head. Aroma is very unlike a barley wine with the apple brandy aroma, oaky wood and some light malts. Taste is truely interesting with the wood up front going quickly to a sweet brandy flavor that does some strange things with the palate - almost giving it a smoke-like flavor. Not real familiar with Calvados, so this one is hard to explain. There are some barley flavors, but they are masked by the initial shock afforded by the (I?m guessing) Calvados. Drink this one a little warmer. It starts to make sense as it warms.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
superspak (3331) - Michigan, USA - SEP 19, 2013
275 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2007 vintage. Pours very cloudy orange copper color with a small off white head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin lace ring. Minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, apple, fig, prune, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, light pepper, brown bread, brandy, vanilla, oak, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, cask, and fruity notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, apple, fig, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brandy, brown bread, vanilla, oak, light pepper, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, apple, fig, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brandy, oak, vanilla, light pepper, brown bread, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt, cask, and fruity flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Minimal carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very slick, creamy, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a really excellent English barelywine style. Great balance and complexity of malt and cask flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SamP01 (622) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 29, 2013
9.3oz bottle. Pours a brownish burnt caramel with a small slowly fading white head with some lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, yeast, light citrus notes up front that give way to a sweet dark fruit and figs and a sweet alcohol essence. Taste is sweet caramel malt, yeast, dark fruit, figs, brown sugar with some barrel aged woody and calvados notes and mild bitterness. A medium bodied. smooth and slightly creamy mouth feel on the palate with light carbonation. Finished with a sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, figs, brown sugar, ending has a lingering sweet caramel, figs and aged woody flavor. This is not an overly sweet and cloying drink.Overall a fairly smooth, flavorful, palatable and enjoyable after dinner drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BMMillsy (1750) - Florida, USA - JUL 28, 2013
Bottle that says "Brewed in 2006." Pours brownish reddish toffee color with no head and lots of sediment floating around. Aroma of biscuits, toffee, caramel, vanilla, licorice, some chocolate. Nice. Flavor is sweet up front like whoah, then fades into an intense praline nuttiness and vanilla cream. The nutty flavor lingers a good while and is very pleasant--probably the best part of this beer. The up front super cloying maple sweet makes it tough to drink at start, but otherwise a nicely layered bunch of flavors. Brown sugar, figs, and chocolate begin to show. Calvados and butterscotch come out as it warms. Thick and viscous. Heavy, decadent dessert beer for sure. Maybe a bit much, but definitely had the depth of flavor. The palate improves as I go, and overall one to try for barleywine lovers. One of the most complex flavor profiles I have come across since BB4D. (Appearance is keeping this from the 4.0 range).

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