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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)

 (RETIRED)
overall
98
93
style
Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 475   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Only available filtered and pasteurised in bottles.
Matured in wooden casks of Lagavulin Malt Whiskey, one of the most distinctive malt whisky from the island of Islay, characterized by the strong peaty notes which should blend with the Harvest Ale to give an explosion of flavors.
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.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JUL 22, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 3, 2008 2003 vintage.Pours a very nice dark amber color with a small white head. Very sweet malty aroma with caramel and almost a smoked whisky barrel aroma. Taste starts very thick and sweet, so thick it coats your mouth like syrup. Heavy caramel tastes, vanilla, and an aftertaste like a nice barrel aged brew should have. Very smooth rich mouthfeel that really stands this brew out from the crowd.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
stefanberggren (135) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 22, 2004
This ale commands attention and with a complexity that makes me feel like trying again. I really enjoyed the background whisky notes (albeit faint). The taste is sweet with jabs of caramel and intense malt. The alcohol is apparent, but hidden until the finish. Slight vanilla nose and entry. I like this better than the Calvados version

4
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - JUL 17, 2004
Clear shining amber. Nose simply marvelous, lightly sweet with a lovely smoky, peaty character, has a mild barleywine richness mixed with a rauchbier-esque smokiness. Whisky character very prominent in the flavor, bits of smoke, peat, and richness. Finishes sweet like the other Lees’ products. Transition from the earthiness to the sweet is a bit sudden, misses something in the middle. Still quite good.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 8, 2004
Of the four in this series I have waited to try this one with the most anticipation, you see I love Lagavulin, a very distinct and smokey whisky. Clear sparkling amber body with the lazy bubbles expected with such high gravity. Spotty small white head. The aroma is sweet with notes of the smokey peaty whisky. The first sip has tons of the whisky’s flavors, peaty, smoky, earthy. Unlike in the others I have tried in this series I think that the alcoholic burn and heavy presence works. It realy conjures the whisky, albeit in a much more subdued form. The sweetness ties things together nicely making it more than just a weak whisky. Full bodied. BY far the best in the series so far.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Aubrey (3453) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUL 5, 2004
Amber-copper in color. Big whiskey notes in the nose. Smooth, chewy, thick and syrupy mouthfeel. Very mild carbonation. Thick malts, with notes of peat, wet wood, sweet whiskey, molasses and maple syrup. Alcohol is hidden well, but a little hotness develops in the back of the throat. Nice hop aromas. Hints of flowers and honey. Bitterness creeps up a little in the finish, but sweetness really seems to rule. Overall, I enjoyed it ... albeit a little too sweet for me.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - JUN 27, 2004
This is a different and good Barley Wine. Sweet malt, peet, and smokey flavors. Finishes sweet, smokey, and sticky. I will get another bottle and let it sit for a while.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - JUN 24, 2004
This gets so close to being cloying, but is pulled back from the edge of that abyss by its wonderful Scotch peat flavor and alcohol. Both the aroma and flavor are complex, with the Lagavulin flavor wending its way nicely through that ton of fruity malt. Impressive.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
heemer77 (5109) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - JUN 24, 2004
I noticed this had more ratings than the other cask styles. I guess I am not the only one that thought that whiskey barrels would be superior. I may try the others later down the line. Pours with a light and bright copper color with no head. Has little carbonation. The aroma is whiskey, smoky pete, cherries and port wine. The taste is brown sugar and carmel. The mouthfeel was extremely thick. While the initial taste is too sweet, the finish is smoky. I would like to try this a few years from now.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - JUN 22, 2004
Tasting this beer along side of the port, sherry, and calvados. All three have about the same copper color and a thing head that went away quickly. This one seemed to have the most bubbles flow from the beer after the head is gone. There is a noticable smell of pete, typical of many types of whiskey (most commonly Irish) the first thing that came to mind on the flavor was, OH WOW. The beer has the semi-sweetness one would expect from a good barley wine, but has that hint of whiskeysmokeyness at the finish.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 22, 2004
Wow, this is it. Of the ones that I have had of this series this is the killer. The malts and alcohol just make this better than good. But when you throw the lagavulin in it is just a masterpiece. At first I was not entirely sold on this, sure it is aged and stuff. but later when I had a sample of the lagavulin I was totally sold. The taste in the beer is exactally that of the lagavulin. Again, I didnt believe this until I tried the lagavulin later in the night.Wow, what a winner.


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