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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: 436   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - DEC 8, 2004
Very, very clear honey gold color with thin color. Big full sweet malth and a light roast aroma. Sits quite thick in the nose. It has a very smooth and warm honey flavor and good malt sweetness along with a bit of a creamy feeling that seems to match the thickness that was present in the aroma.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
275ml bottle with a green cap. This poured very similar to the standard Harvest Ale. It has a bright amber body with a slight off white head that goes to bubbles shortly after leaving sparse lacing about the glass. The smell is rich and malty with lots of notes of fruit mainly apple being present. Taste reminds me of a caramel apple and alcohol with a slight smokiness to it. There is a lot of malt sweetness going on with this beer. Not much of a brandy drinker I could not specifically discern where the brandy had its effects. It finished smoothly and has quite the warming effect due to the 11.4% alcohol. Mouthfeel is sweet and creamy with good carbonation. This has fairly good drinkability a little less than the standard though. Overall a good beer that I would like to age and see how it turns out. I look forward to trying the other three cask versions for comparison.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aracauna (3146) - Georgia, USA - NOV 9, 2004
I’m still not getting much difference between the beers regardless of the type of cask they were aged in. They’re all a beautiful, glowing amber with low carbonation. They’re full of alcohol, sugary sweetness and raisins, but I get little or no difference between the different aged versions. They’re all good, though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 8, 2004
10/31/04: Bottle.
Aromas of sweet raisen, malt and alcohol. Light brown to orange body. Fruit and caramel flavors. Alcohol more pronounced as the beer warms. Extremely smooth. I definitely need to cellar a few of these! 2003 bottle

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - OCT 12, 2004
Coppery orange sheen. Tightly woven foam subsides to an ivory ring. Honey drizzled malt, iron, and perfumey alcohol nose. Subtle notes of fresh oak, mashed apples, dates, and sweet graham. Dense, viscoud body. Stinging carbonation infusion. Meaty alcohol and multilayered malts collide with a disharmony of dried apricots and sharp, rubbery alcohol astringency. Slightly metallic center with a twang reminiscent of overripe plums. Tingly alcohol numbs the tongue as the zesty carbonation tries to slice its way through the unrelenting datelike sweetness and glazed Maris Otter. Alcohol pretty much pummels the subtleties of the oak and esters. Nonexistent hop presence, due to the unrestrained sweetness. Honeylike viscosity coats the roof of the mouth and sets the stage for the dry woody harshness and peaty aftertaste. Other than making the alcohol more noticeable, the Calvados fails to offer any bright appley character to offset the underattenuated malt immensity. Presently, it could stand to be less sloppy, as it’s rather sharp, raw, and metallic. Should develop nicely in the cellar.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (11666) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 3, 2004
Big beige head atop sparkling golden body. Aroma is moderately sweet, apple, honey, syrupy, liqueur. Taste is quite sweet, apple, alcohol, honey, mango, hint of vanilla. Mellows and rounds as it warms -- room temperature might be the way to go here. Full body with mild carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DYCSoccer17 (3357) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 23, 2004
2003 Bottle Vertical tasting with Port and Sherry. This was my favorite of the three. The nose on this was slightly sweet with some honey notes. There are also notes of some apple and green pepper in the nose as well. Mild sweetness to start. Middle is a little peppery with green pappers and earthy. Nice tangy apple notes in the finish. Malty and good. Transparent copper with a small white head.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2004
To me, it’s like to regular JW Lee’s with a touch of apple flavor. I suppose thats what it supposed to be. Like the other Lee’s stuff, this stuff needs time to mature and I am sure this will be outstanding. I believe each are unique though and I love the concept. Barrel ageing is the hit of the year.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (5409) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2004
Poured a dark gold with a very small white head and no lacing. Aroma of vanilla, sweet calvados, moldy apples, and spice. Taste was totally sweet of caramel maltiness, toast, some alcohol and there certainly was a calvados angle present here. Nice, though like all these other BA Harvests, I feel this will be better in 5 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ernest (6356) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 10, 2004
Head is initially small, fizzy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is light amber. Aroma is moderately malty (cookie, caramel, molasses), with notes of cask wood, orange, apple, whisky, honey, alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Full body, creamy/syrupy texture, soft carbonation, moderately alcoholic. The fruity character in this one makes the aroma quite pleasant. Fairly similar to the other casked Harvest Ales otherwise. Great winter sipper.

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