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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados)

 (RETIRED)
overall
98
94
style
Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 447   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.78   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


fidelis83's rating

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
fidelis83 (2136) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - OCT 10, 2012
2011 Bottle. Pours murky burnt orange with a thin beige head. Aroma is full of woody and vinous notes, autumn leaves, caramel, floral planty and light citrus hops, yeasty bread baking, sweet apple skins, sweet malt, dark fruit and mixed nuts. Flavor is sweet malt, dark fruit and sweet tobacco up front, some light, buttery oak notes, lots of apple flavors, some dark fruit, caramel, light toffee, bready yeast, earthy, spicy hops, honey suckle nectar, autumn leaves and a hint of salinity and nuttiness in the finish. Palate is pretty heavy in body, has a great, full and creamy, somewhat chewy/stick mouthfeel and light carbonaiton, great match to the aroma and flavor. Fantastic beer overall, it almost seems impossible for it to be nearly 12% abv. So rich and complex, but not too heavy or boozy despite the fact that it obviously is both of those things.


2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
cpetrone84 (1658) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 22, 2015
2006 bottle drank Jan of ’14. Pour is an extremely murky dark rusted brown with virtually no head. Nose has light hints of oxidation with just a touch if the cask. Very rich malt complexity, brown sugar and a hint of soy with some chocolate malt notes. Taste is more oxidized, a fair bit of cardboard and wet paper. Malt is rich and a bit sweet, some residual sugars. Chocolate and brown sugar mix with notes of the sweet cask. Full bodied and chewy with moderate carbonation and a hint granule.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Theydon_Bois (12067) - Tourist Town (West), Berkshire, ENGLAND - MAY 16, 2015
Bottle split at the sleepy-rapping tasting at Ronny & Alex’s pad, CBC fine tuner, 30/04/15 picked this one up from the Charleston Beer Exchange. Hazed orange amber with a moderate beige covering. Nose is rich toffe, spice, toffee apple, malt, caramel, Calvados strokes. Taste comprises rich malt, fruit cake, light spice, apple pie, ripe fruit rinds, light wood. Full bodied, fine carbonation, sweet licks and Calvados warming notes in the close. Solid BA BW.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Desverger (3178) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - APR 30, 2015
Bottle@Ronny and Alex pre cbc tasting #2 - Amber pour with no head. Sweet malty aroma and taste, caramel, toffee, sweet dried fruits, spices throughout. Top stuff. ---Sent via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rlgk (12831) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - APR 30, 2015
Bottle at the pre-CBC tasting in Copenhagen 150430. Hazy orange/golden beer with a small offwhite head. Malty fruity aroma, calvados, raisins, figs, vinous, overripe apples, caramel, some dades. Malty fruity flavor, caramel, raisins, figs, biscuits, banana notes, warming alcohol, some grapes and peach. Quite nice.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
alliance100 (932) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - APR 13, 2015
9.3oz bottle - 2012 vintage - at Hopcat GR - pours a hazy orange . Strong aroma of dark fruit, caramel and hints of Apple with some alcohol. Thick and syrupy ( in a good way ) toffee notes and bits of apple skin on the finish . Overall pretty tasty , would revisit . ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
DSG (8101) - Tel Aviv, - MAR 16, 2015
[3/1/15] Draught at The Beer Junction in Seattle. Clear orange-amber. Kinda vinous aroma with fruitiness, oak, a peaty touch and a sourish hint. Sweet flavor with caramel, calvados, oak, a peaty touch, a sourish note and alcohol. Mouthfeel is a bit oily. A bit too much calvados and alcohol. Had better versions of JW Lees Harvest Ale.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
johnnymusky (487) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 23, 2015
2012 vintage....thanks dusty....nose is all butterscotch....mouth is the same with a dash of pear and booze...really nice!

2.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
czar (5352) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 11, 2015
pours almost clear bright orange-red, little to no head, no lacing - calvados-like appearance. sweet fruity caramel, barley sugar, cotton candy sugars - cloying sweetness, cigarette buts, toasted cardboard, pepper, english yeast. very light carbonation, full body - thick and heavy; cloying easrthy-ashy-grassy-spicy finish. funfair flavors (!), cigarettes, cotton-candy, etc., which is unpleasant. DP.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
tom10101 (3670) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 5, 2015
Bottle (275 ml). 2011 vintage. Split 3-ways with czar and the drain. Shared by czar.

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper/amber with a small ring of beige foam.

Aroma: Massive green apples upfront, certainly from the calvados but I think there’s also some off green apples notes from the base beer. There’s also a lot of caamel along alcohol and cardboard.

Taste: Green apples, caramel, alcohol, cardboard, ashes and light acidity.

Palate: Medium to full body. Soft carbonation. A tad liquorous mouthfeel. Lingering ashy and green apples finish.

Overall: Unbalanced, not cohesive at all an completely lack of depth. A lot of things are "off" in this one. The J.W. Lees I have tried recently has been hit or miss, and more often on the "miss" side.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
luttonm (2908) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 26, 2015
Draft at Beer Junction during Barrel Junction days. Slight hazed golden brown, still and thick. Hits of apple leather. Sweet, relatively still. Sweet pulpy pear, woody finish, with some tart cherry. Lovely beer.


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