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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)

 (RETIRED)
overall
98
93
style
Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 464   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Uriel (146) - San Jose, California, USA - MAR 28, 2006
I wasn’t as fond of this one. It tasted very strongly of whiskey, highly pungent and alcoholic, antiseptic feel-taste. I’m not a whiskey person, so this one didn’t go over as well.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Indulgence (141) - Ajo, Arizona, USA - AUG 7, 2008
2006: Intense in every catagory, reeks of smoke, peat, moss, salt, ashes and oak, with some candied apricots and peaches thrown in, alchohol is just right for the type of product and is well covered and very drinkable. This is a very complex beer. Although, I enjoyed this beer, I like the port version best.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
stefanberggren (135) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 22, 2004
This ale commands attention and with a complexity that makes me feel like trying again. I really enjoyed the background whisky notes (albeit faint). The taste is sweet with jabs of caramel and intense malt. The alcohol is apparent, but hidden until the finish. Slight vanilla nose and entry. I like this better than the Calvados version

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ajwilliams (132) - , Indiana, USA - AUG 12, 2009
Pours amber with really no head at all. Sweet barleywine aroma, with hints of smoke and booze. Flavor is huge, with the brown sugar and alcohol of a barleywine, but also the complexities and smokiness of the whiskey, as well as the oak from the barrels. Great.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
donteatpoop (127) - Youngstown, Ohio, USA - APR 11, 2008
An orangy color with virtually no head, slight lace along the surface edges. Smells strongly of the whiskey cask. Smoke and toffee as well. Very very sweet and tangy. Almost too sweet. Being as sweet as it is, it is only natural that it left my mouth a bit dry after I had been drinking it for a while. I could still very much taste the whiskey cask, the smokiness, and hints of raisins. Felt very syrupy and thick in the mouth, virtually no carbonation (as was to be expected.) Not a bad beer at all, certainly different than what I normally drink. All in all, I don’t think I’d be willing to spend seven bucks on this bottle again, but I’m glad I tried it. Serving type: bottle

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bw1982 (113) - , Arizona, USA - JAN 23, 2009
Small bottle, 2006 vintage. The color is a vibrant copper with a very small (and very short lived) white head. The aromas more than made up for the lack of head, with the peaty true scotch wafting up immediately upon being poured. The flavor was actually quite sweet, the only thing I would say against this is that it might be a little bit too sweet, but there is so much deep smokiness that after a few sips the sweetness is no longer off-putting. Fantastic beer.

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
tturner (111) - , Washington, USA - DEC 11, 2008
Heavy apple juice on the nose. probably from a mix of barley, yeast and peated malt. a very subdued lagavulin flavor, intense sweet barely on the front of the tongue slight bitter rings on the center and sides and a malty sweet finish with fruit overtones. extremely unique. large mouthfuls go down very easy. This should age well.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
snowtiger (106) - Brighton, Colorado, USA - MAY 28, 2004
Crystal clear and very light in color with almost no head. Smells like Scotch. Really interesting flavor, tastes like Scotch mixed with beer, but not overpowering.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerbiere (101) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 23, 2006
Pours like corn syrup, even has a color close to it with a minimal head quiklcy dissipating. Aroma of smoke, oak, vanilla and caramel and a touch fruity (orange?). Flavor was at first disconcerting for there were two distincts taste, the smoke and the sweetness, but they initially did not blend. As the beer warmed, the flavor slowly but surely mixed which was very pleasing with a hint of bitterness and a finish reminsicent of cognac. As for the body, I cannot think of any beer more round than this one and it is very sirupy. A true digestive beer, very eclectic.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
nj_BierMaven (98) - Flemington, New Jersey, USA - SEP 12, 2012
On tap at Somerset Hills Tap Room in NJ. Thank you to Kevin the manager and his management for supporting him in putting amazing off-the-mainstream brews like this on the rotating draft list. Pours a beautiful cloudy amber, with a nose that clearly announces its Scotch barrel ancestry. Mild carbonation does not interfere with the peaty, smoky character that defines this barley wine. Was too cold upon delivery from the tap, but the maltiness revealed itself upon warming, balancing out the smokiness. Not for the faint of heart, but for barley wine and Scotch lovers a reward worth pursuing. I don’t taste the alcohol notes others described, just a malty smoky complexity that defies description.


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