bu11zeye (11942) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(Bottle, ’03 vintage) Pours a clear amber body with a small white head. Aroma of whisky, wood, and caramel. Has a mild whisky and caramel flavor. Warm alcohol presence. Enjoyable!
Nuffield (3671) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 2, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I’ve just walked into a pizza kitchen, and having a sip of whisky with my pepperoni, I am warmed and comforted. Very dry, malty, with good life. Smooth, giving so many indicators of the whisky. Beautiful aroma and flavor, easily the best of the three cask Lees (haven’t had the Port yet). Thanks Bu11zeye!
TChrome (1418) - Bedford, Texas, USA - FEB 1, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beer pours amber in color with a small dissipating head. Interesting aroma of peat and whisky. Full flavor of wood and whisky. Enjoyable beverage.
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a bright copper bronze with light fizzy carbonation and a thin, lightly-lacing coating of cream-colored head. Rich sweet caramel butterscotch around with a touch of peat and whisky. Body starts thick and syrupy with lots of sticky caramel, turning more dry, smoky, and woody toward a charcoal finish. Alcohol is fairly well masked. Enjoyable and well done. This will age quite nicely.
asheft (2509) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 20, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bright light orange with little head that quickly becomes a wispy film, leaving some lace. Pete really obvious in the aroma that dominates but doesn’t completely hide the spicy malt. The flavour is also dominated by pete which is in an interesting balance with the high alcohol taste and feel and the thick sweetness, though a lot of the pumpernickely malt is hidden by the smoke. The pete flavour also lingers on the tongue. A bit salty up front, full bodied, medium to low carbonation. The best of the cask aged series but still inferior to the regular Harvest (2001).
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 19, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Jan 2005, 2x275 ml (2003 vintage): The Great Montreal Barley Wine Blowout with asheft, beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, tiggmtl, Rastacouere and Yowie, #12. Darker and a bit thicker looking than the other BA versions, with a fairly powerful smoky/earthy nose and some underlying sugar...in the flavor, whiskey, vanilla sweetness, peppery earthiness, with still a touch of unpleasant metallic bitterness, but overall by far the best of the series.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear copper color with no head. Aroma of smoked malt, caramel and alcohol. Flavor of smoked malt, caramel and alcohol. Medium body, liquorous texture, very soft carbonation. This is my favorite cask aged Harvest Ale, of course it helps that I love scotch, especially scotches from Islay.
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Intense peat, nutty malts strong dark fruitiness, incredible sweetness and some alcohol in the aroma. Clear, dark orange-copper with thin but lasting tan head. Smoked flavour is a pleasant counterpoint to the underlying thick maple sweetness. This was was fairly heavy in the mouth and still and sticky. There we go! Sampled last in a comparison of the regular harvest ale followed by the four barrel aged versions. This one has character. Bottle sampled with asheft, beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, muzzlehatch, Rastacouere and Yowie. Thanks, Dorwart!
MartinT (7811) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Luscious peat-smoked wood infusions hovering suggestively over the orange rinds and nascent alcohol. Definitively the most complex aroma of the 4 barrel-aged Harvest ales.
A grassy hop bitterness nicely emerges from the prevalent peatiness and diversifies the usual alcohol and sweet caramel malt stickiness. An earthy soil can even be perceived under it all, to officially salvage, for me, this entire line of barrel-aged Harvest Ales. At least this one really worked.
Probably the only second-hand smoke I’ll ever love.
Rastacouere (6129) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 16, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear orange, a shade darker than the others apparently, not much head, but at least it tries. Deeply peaty aroma. Finally one of those BA JW Lees lets some uniqueness of character shines through. The vegetal tones I’ve met in the others is there as well, but more subdued amongst the smooth earthy scotch-like profile. Sweet leather and almost cheesy hints adds to the richness. More leather and caramel on the tongue. Very earthy and peaty, smoky even with plenty of iodine medicinal character. Like the others, it remains very syrupy, oily and alcoholic, though perhaps not as stale. Flavourful beer without a doubt.