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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: 456   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.78/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
steview (1037) - Petaluma, California, USA - MAR 24, 2005
2003 / oily amber pour, nearly clear orange ambery body with thick, lasting white head; slightly active. malty; fruity, caramel aroma. fruity, fig, grape, wine flavor; caramel; liquor. oily, slightly fizzy palate. too full for me, too fruity, a bit harsh for me.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - MAR 14, 2005
Brilliant deep golden. Sweet alcoholic aroma. Touches of brandy. Hint of apple. Medium to full bodied. Fairly rich malt character, with plenty of alcohol and some appley brandy character. Fine, but not anything exciting. Cask character is mellow compared to lavagulin cask version.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrnkMcDermott (2972) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2005
Sampled from bottle, vintage not mentioned. Definite apple and mead smell hits the nose. This is a younger brew, full of sweet and toasty malts. Hops do come out to assert themselves after a few seconds, then the apple comes back again. Chewy and syrupy, a big brandy character, too.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dixen (1465) - Flagstaff, Arizona, USA - FEB 20, 2005
Sweeeet aroma. Pretty similar to the other ones, except for the lagavulin version. Copper body, no head. Sweet and smooth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bu11zeye (12549) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 11, 2005
(Bottle) Pours a clear amber body with a medium-sized white head. Aroma of sweet malt and caramel. Flavor of malt, caramel, and apples.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - FEB 5, 2005
Pours a clear bright copper bronze with a thick frothy and lightly-lacing white head. Intense richly caramel butterscotch sweet aroma with a touch of fruity green apple tartness. Starts with the normal rich, syrupy candy-like sweetness revealing a touch of wood and apples. NIce carbonation throughout leading to a mildly dry, sticky, oaky finish that hides the alcohol quite nicely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
heemer77 (5235) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - FEB 5, 2005
Poured a surprisingly lighter amber color with plenty of carbonation. A thin white head. Aroma of a lighter stilton cheese. Hints of oak and fall leaves. Also alcohol is certainly noticed. The taste is A rather straightforward taste of oak and some buttery wine. The aftertaste has that stilton character again. This is not nearly as sweet as the older versions of the Harvest Ale I have had before. Bready mouthfeel. Nice, but not worth the price tag.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nuffield (3953) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2005
The color is inbetween the Sherry cask Lees (darker amber) and the Lagavulin (lighter yellow); bits of head make an appearance. Vintage aroma with suggestions of sourness, though the overall character is close to the Sherry. Slightly more plastic quality, staying on the sweeter side of the barleywines. Decent palate, smooth and somewhat vivacious on the tongue.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (4125) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 21, 2005
2003 Vintage, Sampled January 2005
Pours a brilliantly clear full copper color, it is topped by a very thin pale head and is actually fairly well carbonated. The aroma is thick with alcohol as well as notes of thick chewy malt, and perhaps a hint of cidery apple in the finish. Actually the apple aroma slowly builds over time. This is a thick viscous brew, it is lightly sweet up front and almost light as it first hits the tip of my tongue. As it flows across my mouth it becomes quite full and thick. The apple notes from the calvados cask are certainly here, though they are a bit restrained, and really become full in the finish. This beer is quite malty as well, almost caramel-like in its malty sweetness. There is a certain soft butteriness to this beer, perhaps some hints of vanilla, and a soft hop bitterness in the finish, which helps to make the sweetness more palatable. This is a pretty tasty beer, though the Calvados casks are not overwhelming, and if I did not now in advance of it, I would have assumed that the apple notes were just a normal part of this beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 19, 2005
Jan 2005, 2x275 ml (2003 vintage): The Great Montreal Barley Wine Blowout with asheft, beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, tiggmtl, Rastacouere and Yowie, #9. Bright clear copper, very very sweet and somewhat simple caramel-maple nose...baked sour apples, caramel in the flavor, also much more bitterness than in the regular Lees, a bit of metal late...somewhat syrupy. Quality is still there, but definitely not close to the "original."

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