Sammy (8027) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 25, 2006
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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, it’s Chinatown.
Drake (7846) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - AUG 6, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
BMan1113VR (7773) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 14, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
GT2 (7720) - Carlsbad, California, USA - DEC 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
MartinT (7482) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
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 I’ll ever love.
DocLock (7437) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 11, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
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.
chriso (7344) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 1, 2005
2.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle (courtesy Duff) at St Albans Beer Festival, October 2005. Silk seems to have got in all the ranting before me so I’ll 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.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a bright copper bronze with light fizzy carbonation and a thin, lightly-lacing coating of cream-colored head. Rich sweet caramel butterscotch around with a touch of peat and whisky. Body starts thick and syrupy with lots of sticky caramel, turning more dry, smoky, and woody toward a charcoal finish. Alcohol is fairly well masked. Enjoyable and well done. This will age quite nicely.
MesandSim (7119) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 25, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A Mes rate: Bottle during Maria’s Ton Up Tasting.
2006 bottle and I must say a big thanks to Casper for allowing us the opportunity to try these three variations side by side. This was by far the best of the lot. The first three words in my notes are "Jesus!". The beautiful sweetness of the regular Harvest Ale is offset wonderfully by the big peaty whiskey. Damn. I don’t really need to embellish these notes too much. Suffice to say this is one of my favourite beers... with KNOBS on. The whiskey works so well and it is not even close to being overdone. Such finesse is such a big burley beer! I couldn’t drink much of this but as something to share with good friends it’s close to unbeatable. Thanks Casper!
Ughsmash (6969) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 18, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 bottling. Poured clear orangey-amber with a light ring and swirls of off-white head. The aroma was strong, yet soft, and I think time did a great job of mellowing out the alcohol.. darker fruits, vanilla, and smoky whiskey blended expertly together.. a touch of alcohol astringency was apparent, but it never got in the way.. molasses and some brown sugar waft through intermittently.. really good! The flavor was a touch too sweet, but still quite enjoyable overall.. sticky, aged caramel, dark fruits, and vanilla sweetness form the base with an overall toasty complexion.. the whiskey was more subdued than expected, primarily coming in at the back of the palate on the sides.. more smoky peat rises from the finish through about 5 seconds after the finish, along with brown sugar and more caramel. Syrupy on the palate with lower carbonation.. alcohol warmth showed on the back on the mouth, but never transcended a tingly, warm sensation.. sticky finish.. a hair too sweet, but otherwise delightful!