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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

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RATINGS: 464   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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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 brewersí art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sammy (8552) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 25, 2006
A beverage of certain extremes. A so-so barleywine taste boosted by clear scotch whiskey and wood flavoring, an interest cloudy pour. An aroma that is at the same time beer as it is whiskey. A not so satisfying drinking experience yet smooth. Not a perfect show: Forget it, Jake, itís Chinatown.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
JoeMcPhee (8411) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 24, 2007
Served on gravity cask at Spuytin Duyvil. Deep dark garnet colour, completely still. Aroma is intensely oaky and smokey with more whisky character than Iíve ever tasted in any barrel-aged beer. Smells very alcoholic, but the flavour is sweet and soft. Caramel malt, honeyed sweetness and loads of sweet peaty and heathery character. Rich caramel butter sauce, demerara sugar and smokiness. Retronasally, there is still more smokiness, but this is cut short by a vineous sweetness. Itís a tasty brew, but it tends to get treacly sweet, even in this 4 oz sample.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT2 (8366) - San Diego County, California, USA - DEC 21, 2011
275mL thanks to Travlr.Pours a tepid, hazy, light amber with yeast chunkies. Oxidized red apple nose with muted smoky Islay Scotch and honey. Taste up front is warmer with Scotch heat and big honey moving to meat and mild BBQ smoke. That odd tannic apple skin I get in all of the JW Lees barleywines gets demolished thankfully by heavy rich honey and smoked Islay Scotch. Without dregs and yeast chunkies the pour is clear amber with mild legs like a decent Scotch. Not too sweet with nice saltwater/brine and smoke to balance. Very surprising.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Drake (8339) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - AUG 6, 2011
Bottle shared by BrewEngineer at Butters Slutfest 2.0, Richmond, VA, 4.23.11. 2009 vintage. Pours a hazy copper color with a thin creamy head. Decent head retention and lacing. Big smoky notes in the aroma along with some peat, fruity notes, caramel and tea. The taste is sweet caramel and fairly strong smoky notes. Comes across much like a honey barbecue sauce. A dry ashy finish. Medium-full bodied. Interesting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jtclockwork (8234) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 8, 2010
Dark pour. Aroma is strong whiskey malt. Very strong whiskey malt taste, caramel and light smoke. Rated 6/25/04

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Benzai (8127) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - AUG 30, 2012
275ml bottle shared by Joes. Hazy medium to dark orange color, no head. Smell malts, whisky, lightly peat and smoke. Taste malts, a lot of whiskey, some sweetness, alcohol. Heavy! Full body, medium carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7854) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 14, 2009
2006 Bottle thanks to mar. Pours with a hazed amber body and a small white head that fades. Aroma is smokey and peaty with scotch and a nutty, caramel character. Taste is smoke, scotch, peat, caramel, toffee and raisin. Syrupy mouthfeel and creamy, light carbonation.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
DocLock (7829) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 11, 2006
Bottle from Super Saver. Turbid coppery amber pour with minimal head. Aroma of oaky whiskey, dark figgy fruit, and honey. The flavor is sweet, with a nice smoky scotchy peaty taste, and a lot of cabernet and vinous fruits as it warms. This is my favorit by far of all the 4 barrel aged JW Lees varieties.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (7779) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
The Lure:
Luscious peat-smoked wood infusions hovering suggestively over the orange rinds and nascent alcohol. Definitively the most complex aroma of the 4 barrel-aged Harvest ales.

The Festivities:
A grassy hop bitterness nicely emerges from the prevalent peatiness and diversifies the usual alcohol and sweet caramel malt stickiness. An earthy soil can even be perceived under it all, to officially salvage, for me, this entire line of barrel-aged Harvest Ales. At least this one really worked.

Probably the only second-hand smoke Iíll ever love.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
chriso (7347) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 1, 2005
Bottle (courtesy Duff) at St Albans Beer Festival, October 2005. Silk seems to have got in all the ranting before me so Iíll largely confine myself to saying this is an ill-judged, gimmicky nonsense of a beer. Reddish colour. Medicinal, phenolic, loads of burnt rubber in the aroma. I love Lagavulin, but the combination here does nothing for either component and the integration is not harmonious at all.. Very sweet, with an unpleasant alcohol burn. Crude and borderline unpleasant. Not my thing at all. Its giving me indigestion.

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