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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: 443   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (8351) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
The Lure:
A filtered orange colour emits a prominent Calvados waft and some sweetened oranges.

The Festivities:
A sweet fruity syrup borders on candy origins. Mouthfeel is slick and much thinner than the regular JW Lee’s Harvest, and promotes more alcohol flavors. Still a salient sipper, but somehow it seems like the source ale is Scroogier.

A learned aristocrat proudly buffs his nostrils but at the size of the inflated price tag.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Rastacouere (6154) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 16, 2005
Amber, totally clear. Interesting aroma with appealing apple notes, honey and wood. It’s overall quite warming, but bears nowhere the charm of a regular JW Lees, has nowhere near the malt richness, depth. On the palate, it feels thick, buttery with a harsh syrupy apple juice component. Complex notes of honey, earth, peach and a much stronger bitterness than the non-barrel aged version. Medium carbonation level, full bodied, very sweet. Unmemorable, but perhaps the second best of the lot to me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ungstrup (29988) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JAN 16, 2005
An amber beer with a disappearing beige head. The aroma has notes of oranges, apples as well as alcohol. The flavor is deliciously fruity with notes of wood, lots of alcohol and hints of apples and prunes. The cask has lent a little wood to the beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
madsberg (10597) - Søborg, DENMARK - JAN 12, 2005
Bottled: Deep clear golden almost orange coloured. Small beige head. Apple aroma. Sweet with alcoholnotes. Flavour is sweet and light fruty. Alcholnotes. Is quite smooth and full-bodied. The last of the four caskaged J.W. Lees tried side by side. The calvados cask does have a notible impact on the aromas and flavour, without getting dominant. Quite plesant brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 26, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2004 9.3 oz bottle: pours with a full, fluffy white head, but it diminishes just as the others of this series have. Even the etched Chimay glass does little to help the carbonation…Deep, clear copper – like a copper drainpipe on a sunny day. Slightly alcoholic aroma with dull white grapes, vanilla and soft leather. Palate is a bit thin and contains the expected onslaught of alcohol, but it burns less than the Lagavulin. With the alcohol taking the front seat it takes time to figure out the subtleties…light tannins, malted honey and candy sugar and most noticeable to me. Not as distinctive as the others, but a little more drinkable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JorisPPattyn (8228) - Ursel, BELGIUM - DEC 12, 2004
Typical cognac colour - poured in a cognac balloon -, just a little rim of head. Brandy, sweet nose and - on the risk of being called mad - the smell of paella.... saffron? Sweet, liqueurish, grapey taste, and a bit of sulphur. Slick, oily quite fiery alcoholburn. More than nice, but I seem to prefer the "ordinary" Harvest ale. I cannot detect apples nor calva. Thanks Bill and Warren!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jine (896) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - DEC 9, 2004
Still kind of very much the same as the original Lees Harvest. I can’t tell much between all the different cask aged special versions, although I enjoy them all. Each does kind of its own thing going on, I’m just not good enough at this stage in the game to point them out

   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 (3187) - 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.

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