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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
available

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 465   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   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
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - JUN 21, 2004
Nice amber body with small white head. Aroma supports the fact of being aged in Lagavulin casks. Smoke, wood, whiskey nose. Some caramel. Good full body and mouthfeel. Syrupy. Flavor was warm and alcoholic and some earthiness and potency. This series of Harvest Ales will age in awesome fashion if one could stay away from them long enough to give them the chance. I doubt I can.

2
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 9/20
jaymobrown (1647) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 20, 2004
UGH!!! Pure alcohol nose. Overwhelming alcohol in taste. Some sweet maltish flavors and sugars, but c’mon this alcohol thickness is way out of control. Perhaps laid down it would mellow out, but as of now it is just unbearable.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JoeM500 (1902) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - JUN 17, 2004
Bright amber with a thin pure-white head. Overly sweet and alcoholic. Thick and unforgiving! Much more peatiness and earthiness in this one. Alcoholic burn is way upfront in this whole series.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (5168) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUN 16, 2004
Pours a golden orange with a small, and quickly dissipating white head. Aroma is smoky and woody. Some fruit and grain as well. Taste is strong with alcohol and huge amounts of smoked wood and peaty flavors. Strong sweetness as well. Smoky sweet with strong notes of alcohol would sum this up well. I personally think the smoky flavors are a bit overdone. However, I’ll bet that as this ages, it mellows A LOT. The palate is silky smooth and it glides over your tongue and down the throat. Sort of sticky, though and it leaves a mild residue behind. Finish is sweet and more smoke. Good beer, but I’ll state again that this will be better with age.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MrRomero (1974) - Nolanville, USA - JUN 16, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 2, 2004 Poured a clear light orange with a medium cream colored head. Has a big fruity, cereal, grain aroma. Not until I tasted it did I realize what the aroma was. The taste is, to me, like sweet BBQ. Smoky sweet flavor. Interesting but definitely a sipper.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
5000 (6184) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUN 16, 2004
Bottle pours an amazingly transparent orangish amber, small fizzly white head, soft carbonation, with respectable lacing.   Aroma is slightly woody, but heavy on the alcohol.   It has a slight medicinal aroma which I hope doesn’t show on the tongue.   WOW!   This is amazingly smooth... the 11.5% ABV is not dectable at all!   Woody notes dominate this one.   Slightly sweet, slightly malty, with hints of honey, caramel, salted butter, and squash.   Soft, velvetly mouthfeel.   Finish is quick and crisp.   This can be dangerously too easy to drink quickly.   I’m still amazed as to how smooth this one is.   Big thanks to jeffc666 for the trade!


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 15, 2004
Viscous pour and deep golden body with lethargic carbonation and a sudsy white head. Nose of honey, grain, oak, whiskey, smoke, and alcohol. Strong elements of smoke in the flavor plus some soy qualities, honey and kerosene. This would make a good meat rub. Syrupy mouthfeel. Interesting, unique and complex but I wouldn’t go out of my way for this (or spend $8 for a 9 oz. bottle). Thanks to MR548.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 12, 2004
Pours a bright deep copper color. It pours with not head, but when roused it forms a tan head. This is quite thick, as I hold it up to the light you can see that the carbonation bubbles are visibly slowed by this viscous substance in my glass. The smell is of salt, scotch, thick malts, alcohol, and butter. I was expecting some smoked peat malt aromas, but I don’t detect any. The taste is thick and sweet, with a heartiness and something like a saltiness, which gives this beer a full figured mouthfeel. This is definitely quite tasty, and is a beer that demands to be sipped.

The beer is quite fruity, with notes of concentrated apple, and perhaps a hint of apricot as well. You can taste the alcohol in the finish as well as a bit of tannin, which is probably from the cask conditioning. If I had to guess, I would say that the Scotch adds a heartiness to this beer that compliments it quite well. I really wish I had been able to get more of these so I could age a few and see how they change over time. This is a very well integrated strong ale, just incredibly malty with a nice kiss of hops.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - JUN 9, 2004
Clear golden color with a small white head. The aroma was dominated by whiskey tones. The flavor was missing that huge sweetness found in the other Harvest Ales. Instead, there were some very distinctive leather, smoke, and soil tones with a large whiskey aftertaste. The feel was thick, syrupy, and sticky. My least favorite of the varieties.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - JUN 8, 2004
Clear apricot color with a medium white head. Smokey caramel, malt and sugar aroma. Strong smoke, leather and beef jerkey flavors dominate, with some sweet caramel, malt, raisin and alcohol. Not my favorite version.


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