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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)

Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 492   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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.

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Aubrey (3501) - 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.

   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.

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
heemer77 (5210) - 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.

   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.

   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.

   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.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 9/20
jaymobrown (1784) - 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JoeM500 (1908) - 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.

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