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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: 465   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.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
bobark (10) - - FEB 13, 2012
Wow. Brilliant combination - only a robust barleywine could handle Lagavulin.

4.9
   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.

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
rmeinert (7) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 19, 2007 does not count
The most unique beer I have ever tasted. Cellared for 3 years. I shared the bottle with a coworker and I’m not sure If I could drinking an entire one by myself. Not because it wasn’t good But because it was TOO good. With a beer like this it is just selfish to keep it all to yourself. I would highly recommend both aging it and waiting at least half an hour after pouring it before even taking a tiny sip. trust me, it’s worth the wait.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 21, 2004
Whoa! This one has it all. Pours a rich clear orange with a slight white head. Aroma is of candi, smoke, vanilla, malt, whisky, and fruit. and I am sure someone else would find more, even. Flavor is big and sticky. Sweet. Smoke. Hot. Some lingering hop bitterness in the finish. Whiskey. If this is why Alesmiths barrel aged beer is so highly rated....

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Ethereal (2417) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAR 15, 2008
2006 bottle from City Beer in San Francisco, shared with Mes, renffisch and tashi. Ok, this is amazing. The best aspects of Harvest Ale and Lagavulin, combined. If you see this on a shelf, don’t, don’t pass it by!

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
snakeoilpete (324) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 30, 2009
UPDATED: APR 2, 2009 Bottle. Whoa. I love Lagavulin and was excited about trying this. Not disappointed. Pours copper with minimal head and lots of sediment (if I had expected that much, I would have been more careful pouring). After it settled for a while, it was more of a golden amber color. Amazing heavy aroma of Lagavulin, with a honey/molasses/toffee sweetness and some grain. Wow, this tastes good. I’m surprised how well the smoky peat flavors mesh with the sweet malts of the beer. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, and the whiskey shows up in the finish with a warming but not a burn.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
sebletitje (6582) - Enghien, BELGIUM - MAY 2, 2009
Huge thanks to Tony @ OTH for this one. 2006 cask version. pours hazy straw, no head. Aroma was deliciously smoked with a strong nose of fermented apple and fruits. light sour in the nose and peat. Taste, barrel, lots of smoke goodness adding to a superb wood like palate. Some nutty malts, bacon, apple, brown sugar and peat, tad of whiskey seems to peek half way through. Mouthfeel is excellent, almost flat and very low carbonation. At 11.5% this one one amazingly good beer, very smooth, easy to drink. Full of complexity.

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Jamesthebrit (232) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 3, 2014
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2014 Sweet earthy fruity note. Woody. Looks amazing (on tap) Taste is complex like the smell. Woody earthy. Palate is sour. Smooth. Medium body. Overall an amazing beer. A must try... even tho its retired. It was 2011 on tap. :) so good. Ooooooo got a bottle from 2005. Opened and flat as a pancake. Super heavy. Super sweet. Like brandy. This is a sipping beer. Really I’m surprised it stayed so good being this old. Scotch note is very solid. But the sweetness takes away.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2006
) This beer has an aroma infused with the fragrances of dates, wood, and apricots and smoke can be detected in the background. It is a dark caramel color with a good cream colored head that lasts and leaves great lacing behind. This thick smooth beer fills the mouth with a rich smooth taste. A variety of flavors can be detected: caramel, malt, toffee, brown sugar, and dates. The flavor is sweet from the introduction to the swallow. The closing does produce a mild smoky wood taste that lingers mildly after the solution has been swallowed.

4.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Miguel (1181) - Saint-Ours, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 23, 2006
2004. Robe ambrée foncée très claire surmontée d’une mousse blanche mince. Arômes de caramel, de malt fumé, de whisky et de chêne. Saveurs de caramel, d’érable, de malt fumé, de whisky et de chêne. Houblon de soutien.


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