Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 26, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear, amber body with almost no head. Strong, alcoholic nose with lots of sweet, fruity malts. Raisin, apples, wood and warming licorice alcohol. I mean, literally, the nose is just assaulted with alcohol. The body is interesting as sometimes it seems thin, but isnít, and nor is it thick. Really interesting flavors and where the Lagavulin peaks its nose out. Salty as all get out. I donít remember having a barrel-aged beer that took on as much character from the previous liquid, as does this one. A bit peaty, but really it seems more like a sweet, alcoholic beer mixed with salt water. A slow sipper that really takes time to appreciate and analyze. Not outstanding, but interesting nonetheless. Iíd like to see what some time will do to this one.
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAY 26, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Lots of phenols, peat, vanilla on the nose. The nose reminds me of pinotage. The palate is smoky with flavors of bacon fruit, and olive oil. Long sweet smokey finish.
jeffin7 (612) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAY 25, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours with a thin white head that fades. Aroma is of dough, alcohol, and a hint of smoke. The flavor is of heavy smoke and leather with a sweet honey-biscuit maltyness. The smoke and leather calm down a bit as the beer warms. I really did not like this one much at all until the beer hit room tempature when the malt backing becomes noticable enough to balance the smoke making a pretty interesting beer. If I was more of a whiskey lover I think I would like this one a lot.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAY 25, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2004 Poured an almost gold color with a very small head. Aroma of light smokiness and believe it or not, Lavavulin. The taste was like other JW Lees Harvests with the same smokiness of the aroma, in the taste. Warm and smooth. I had to try it alongside the scotch, as I have a bottle on hand. Although young, worth drinking now and once matured. A true gem.
zathrus13 (1684) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - MAY 22, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2004 Pours orange/gold. Aroma is like none Iíve ever smelled in a beer before. Itís smoky, reminds me of a smoked ham. Taste is also like smoked ham , cloves, vanilla and a bit of malt. Mostly sweet, with some subtle hops. Mouthfeel is full, body is thick and heavy. The smokiness goes a long way, but a definite must try due to it limited status and unique aromas and flavors.
mkobes (2138) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAY 22, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Wow. Bottle. Limited edition beer. Pours clear orange in color with a white head. Aroma of vanilla, malt and fruit. There is some smoke in the aroma too. Very nice. Sweet flavors. Some bitterness. Excellent.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 21, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Whoa! This one has it all. Pours a rich clear orange with a slight white head. Aroma is of candi, smoke, vanilla, malt, whisky, and fruit. and I am sure someone else would find more, even. Flavor is big and sticky. Sweet. Smoke. Hot. Some lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Whiskey. If this is why Alesmiths barrel aged beer is so highly rated....
ClarkVV (3761) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 20, 2004
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2006 AOBF 04, Lagavulin Cask aged.
This is the best example Iíve tried of using whiskey cask aging to improve a beer. The naturally highly sweet nature of this beer is cut perfectly by the rich, smokey, dry, alcoholic single malt. Complex and stupendous tasting. Pours a lovely amber-auburn with some darker mahogany tinges, smaller head than the regular version due to the single malt no doubt, but still good looking. I just canít say enough about this one. Itís like milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, thelma and louise, etc. . . Perfect match that seems made for each other. Wonderfully complex, powerful and has the typical leeís harvest ale smooth, creamy mouthfeel. This is pretty close to perfect, but I want to try a larger sample again and then rerate. I think the small sample size may have contributed to my very high rating, as I think this beer may get very overpowering in large quantities. Big downside is that these are highly pasteurised; there is no sediment whatsoever in the bottle. Rerate, finally. The finish is still divine, with a perfect lagavulin flavor rounding it out, but the problem (and the problem with the regular Leeís Harvest, IMHO) is that it is just too damned sweet, cloying, and a bit too lacking in complexities due to the heavy filtration and pasteurisation. A wonderful combo here, though, I just wish you could taste the lagavulin more throughout the body, not just on the end. I canít say I find this beer to be a worldbeater; the lagavulin is spectacular, but the beer, not so much.