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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: 504   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dorwart (2542) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - OCT 11, 2004
Decent light beige head with amazing carbonation. Head lingers for a while. Bubbles are formed at the bottom and very slowly rise to the top of the glass. Very weird how slow they rise but oh so seductive. Rich, sweet aroma with peat, loads of malts, caramel and a distinct whisky kick. Bit of smoke also. Color is a dark orange/brown. Wow is this stuff smooth. Strong alcohol presence and a nice whisky bite. Little sweet. More malts and caramel and smoke. Not overly complex. Soft in the mouth. Finish is smooth and warming with a lingering alcohol sting on the tongue. A top qualtiy barleywine and one that should be enjoyed slowly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - SEP 24, 2004
Sweet syrup alcoholic caramel, whiskey barrel on the nose, oaky roughness on the tongue; especially at the end. Disturbingly smooth, but feel the carbonation softly on the roof of your mouth. Burnt sugar in the midde of the taste followed by a nice woody hop edge and long sweet finish. I enjoyed this more as it warmed up.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ernest (7351) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 26, 2004
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is medium yellow. Aroma is moderately malty (toasted bread, molasses, caramel), lightly hoppy (flowers), with light notes of smoke, cask wood, butterscotch, and alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Full body, creamy/velvety texture, soft carbonation, moderately alcoholic. Good stuff, as is the plain Harvest, but I don’t think the whisky barrel greatly improved the character of the base barleywine much...its effects are small.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - AUG 26, 2004
Orange gold color. Small head. Aroma is fruity and sweet, touch of oak and whisky. A full bodied barley wine. Malts are carmely, fruity and sweet. Touches of oak and a very slight touch of whisky. Its there but rather subdued. Nice sipping beer. Very smooth. Nice finish, oaky and sweet with a big alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with a alcohol bite.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aracauna (3511) - Georgia, USA - AUG 23, 2004
I was expecting more whiskey in the nose and the flavor here, but this lightly carbonated, sweet honey-colored brew uses the whiskey as more of a note than a blare. The alcohol aroma could easily be coming from the beers own substantial ABV. Honey, sweet caramel malt and alcohol dominate the aroma and flavor with a bit of a clean bitterness finishing up the flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - AUG 5, 2004
Strong sweet alcohol aroma. Light brown body full of carbonation. Taste is dominated by sweetness. Body is syrupy and carbonated with alcohol burn on the way down. Way too sweet for my tastes, got difficult to finish. Overall, a dissapointment, especially considering the 7 dollar price and it isnt even a 12 oz bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JPDIPSO (5670) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 31, 2004
Amber color with a few islands of bubbles adrift atop. Sweet malt and alcohol aromas, mild peat and caramel in the backdrop. Actually sampled with Lagavulin on the side. Quite calm next to the peat wildness of the Islay inbibiment. Still sweet and full. To be enjoyed after a fine meal a few ounces at a time. I look forward to trting this again in 5 or 10 years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (13316) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 28, 2004
(2003 bottle) Sparkling clear amber topped by medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet, butterscotch, some whisky, light oak. Taste is quite sweet, butterscotch, some peat/smoke. The finish is the highlight, with its light smoky alcohol burn. Syrupy full body. Clearly a sipping beer, but a bit too sweet for my taste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUL 26, 2004
9.3 oz bottle (Brewed in 2003, Sampled summer 2004): Great pour: fluffy white froth that grows nicely before settling in around the edges…clear ruby-gold. Outrageously complex aroma, heavily burnt oak covered in roasted peat, muddy earth, sweet smoke and a strange bit of grapefruit. I also get a sense of ocean salt…the carbonation tingles the lips but isn’t completely developed and doesn’t transfer to the palate (the tingle may just come from the alcohol). Initially salty peat flavours show the alcohol on the tongue, but some interesting flavours do develop: charred buttered toast, honey-whiskey and super sweet raisins all on a creamy mouth feel. A complex treat that leave me warm with alcohol and thirsty for some scotch whiskey…

   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.

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