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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: 463   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 brewersí art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Kinz (3737) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUN 16, 2005
Surprised I managed to hold out on trying this for as long as I have. Glad I waited, as it finally seems these beers are coming together. Pours a light orange, traces of a head attempt to form at the edge of the glass but fail to pull it off. Big bready aroma, with loads of caramel and toffee, touch of fig. Massive mouthfull of thick toffee, vanilla, plum,and caramel, with a hint of nutty wood on the lingering finish. Didnít find a single trace of apple here personally, but that may just be my palate. I often donít detect but the faintest trace of apple in Calvados itself. Interestingly enough, after this has sit for a while in the snifter, this beer looks almost exactly like Calvados. Great, thick, clinging mouthfeel too. Good stuff, suspect it will be magnificent in about five years.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
eboats (1082) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JUN 2, 2005
Orange with white lacing where the head should have been. Huge malt aroma: caramel, vanilla, nuts, honey, maybe a hint of chocolate, cherry, and some plum. Flavor is fruity, malty, and caramel. Other flavors present, but I canít pick them out. This stuff clings to the back of my throat. Nuttiness comes through at the end.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DewBrewer (295) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 25, 2005
9.3 oz bottle at Lucky Baldwinís in Pasadena (great bar!). It is amber & golden colored with a medium head. The aroma is incredible with honey, malt, and oak. The flavor is malty, sweet, oak, vanilla, caramel, and nutty (especially walnuts). This is full of flavors and is worthy of its price. What a beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (6427) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Bottle: Sweet aroma and like the Port version, mead-like. Vinous aroma with lots of apple, honey, and some caramel. Pours a transparent golden-orange with a white head (vigorous pour is needed to create a head) that diminishes within a minute or so. Flavor has lots of caramel and honey. Apple presence is pretty significant too. I donít remember any woodiness in the port version, but it makes itís presence known in the finish of this one. A touch of alcohol is noticeable in the finish as well as a slight warming affect. Very syrupy and sticky mouthfeel. This is only the second barrel aged version Iíve had and I prefer the Port version.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - MAY 8, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2005 Orange golden colored with a foamy off-white head. Sweet and sticky fruity aroma with alcoholic tones. Rather tart with some orange notes also. Sweet flavor, bready and fruity with apple notes and some hops. Thick and sticky mouthfeel and warming from the alcohol. Didnít find the Calvados in there, but then again, Iím not really a Calvados expert.....

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 24, 2005
Bottle and enjoyed in my ratebeer tulip: Pours a beautiful rich golden hue with an initial moderate fizzy head which lasts and produced some lace. The aroma has notes of honey, bready and caramelized malting, moderate bitters, cardamom and yep, calvados apple brandy. The taste starts sweet and fruity, the apple shines through, yummy! Also detected a nice dose of bitters and moderate spice qualities. A slow sipper for sure, but really enjoyable. I must resist and allow my other bottles to age because this is gonna be a great beer in a few years. I would get some ASAP if you have the means, it is quite choice. I am shocked that I like this as much as the Lagavulin imbuded version! Wow, that apple really works here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - APR 2, 2005
2003: Clear golden amber hue, steady carbonation. Creamy, thick, lasting beige head, leaving nice thick lace. Fruity, toffee/butterscotch, molasses, spicy alcohol nose, rum, faintly apple. Slightly oily/slippery body. Starts with chewy fruity wood, apples, brandy, calvados, raisons, finishing with sweet wood, and a peppery alcohol bite. Delcious. This will certainly age well.

   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 (3009) - 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.

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