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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: 490   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   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 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
DewBrewer (295) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 22, 2005
9.3 oz bottle shared with Humulone Red. THe color is golden/orange with a small head. It is very clear. The aroma is LAGAVULIN!! Go figure! I must confess I love this scotch so the rating is affected by this fact. I can live with it though. :-) The flavoris very malty with caramel, pretty sweet and of course, it definitely tasted peaty like Lagavulin. Try some if you can, great stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Davinci (295) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 22, 2008
deep orange pour with slight off white head. Lagavulin shows through nicely on the nosesomewhat smokey and woody, deep sweetness. Flavor is full sweetness, vanilla, molasses, mild whiskey and wood with the whiskey really shining through toward the end of the sip. Whiskey is really becoming more pronounced as it warms up and it is really nice. I do love lagavulin though. Ends woody and with a nice syrupy coating. While I dont normally enjoy this level of syrupy body, it is really working for me in this case. I can’t stop sipping this. I only think this will get better with age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
SamuraiArtist (292) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 14, 2007
Bottle at Portland International Beerfest: Poursa deep orange with a few bubbles but not really a head. Aroma is of tons of carmel malt and alcohol and wood. Flavor is very thick and syrupy, moderately sweet and very carmelly and toffee like, finish is of wood, slight peatyness and spicyness and lots of alcohol. Its full of flavor and coats your mouth, like a thick cognac.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
harmfuldrunk (288) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 18, 2006
2004. ron burgundy would dig this one. man you can taste that whiskey. it has class smoked taste to it, also some caramel, very rich and very sweet. The warmer it gets the better it gets. sip slow embrace this one player.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
waltersrj (280) - Washington, USA - MAY 14, 2010
12 oz bottle, 2008 Vintage. Pour is a deep, dark reddish brown with a bit of a golden reflective hue. No head, no lacing, and little carbonation. The nose is scotch, sweet caramel malt, peat, smoke, burnt brown sugared ham, and wood. The taste is sweet caramel barley malt, burnt brown sugared ham, campfire smoke, peat, smooth rounded wood, and a wonderful amount of islay scotch. This is truly a wonderful aged BW. Very enjoyable. Rebuy yes.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
mastabass666 (277) - California, USA - DEC 27, 2009
By far the most complex of the different barrel aged versions of this beer I’ve had. Smoke really cuts and complicates the already sweet and complex flavor of the standard. Tons of charred fruit , tar, huge Islay presence. Crazy. v.2008

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - SEP 29, 2005
2004 bottle. Nice dark copper color with little head. Aromas of malt, whisky, peat, smoke, wet grass, toffee, butterscotch, alcohol, leather and maple syrup. Flavor was exqusite sweet caramelly malt, island scotch, chocolate, sweet wine, ripe dark fruits, candy corn, butterscotch, toast, and a hint of yeast. No hops to be found, save in the slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel was syrupy thick and velvety smooth. This barleywine is sweet but not cloyingly so. The whisky barrel aging adds a marvelous peaty/smoky character. To me there’s also the sweet alcohol bite of a good bourbon as well. Finally there’s a note of fine cognac -- warm and sweetly fruity -- that makes a great barleywine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 26, 2006
STRONG whisky color. A little darker than the others. VERY smoky, definate hint of whisky. A friend says it tastes like bacon.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - MAY 7, 2005
Pours out amber with about an inch and a half of off white head. It shrinks down but manages to keep a small head through the consumption of this brew. Scatterings of lace were left as well on the glass. Strong smells of smoke rise from the glass accompanied by a malty sweetness and a bit of a woody scent. The alcohol and smoke really start to stand out as this warms. Taste is similar to the aroma as the smokiness and sweetness make up the majority of the flavor. There are notes of alcohol as well, this is quite the warming brew good for a cold rainy day. The sweetness is not cloying here like some of the other cask JW’s. Aftertaste is sweet with a slight bite of alcohol. Mouthfeel is syrupy and full. Drinkability was pretty good at first but once it warmed the smokiness and the alcohol were a bit too much. Overall a good brew though.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - OCT 30, 2010
9.3 oz Bottle. 2007 Vintage. Let me start by saying that this is easily the most well balanced Scotch aged beer that I have ever tried. Pours a fairly unappealing murky cider color with zero head and prominent yeast debris. Aside from the lackluster appearance everything else about this one pretty much rules. Can’t imagine a much better nose, soft, peaty with a touch of green apple. The whiskey flavor is heavy at the onset but is balanced nicely with flavors of toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar and maple syrup. The carbonation is minimal, but the palate is dead on with a nice softness and impressive depth without being like syrup in a bottle. The peat from the Lagavulin cask creeps back in on the finish and provides a little warmth and smokiness on the back end. I’m definitely going to make this beer a fixture of my beer cellar.

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