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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: 504   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75/5   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 brewersí art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - NOV 26, 2004
Clear gold, with a large off-white head. Strong nose of peaty scotch whisky. Sweet, with a strong smoaked peat scotch flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
shadey (2079) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 20, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 5, 2010 Amber color with no real head. Aroma is strong sweetness and alcohol. Flavor is carmel sweetness and maple syrup. Very easy to drink for the big 11.5%. 7/3/7/4/16

2006 bottle rated in 2010. Pours a deep amber with only a ring of large white bubbles around the edge of the glass. Aroma is sweet and caramelly, with some toffee and a real richness. The flavor is really something special, with smokiness and sweetness that is excitingly well developed and smooth. I think this only gets better with age, as there is no hint of oxidation. The body is chewy and smooth with a mouth-filling quality that lets you know you are drinking something substantial. I donít remember this being this good. I absolutely love the smokiness to the finish. 7/3/9/5/19

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pinnhead (93) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 26, 2005
musky and port like though not sweet. an excellent sipping brew in place of port, sherry or other. a bit overpowering with a meal but as a lead in or after itís on the mark.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
GonZoBeeR (3061) - ste-catherine, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 26, 2006
Bottle 2003..... Aroma:Oak,smoked,scotch..... Appearanc head.. Flavor:Wow,mixe of scotch,alcoholt,smoked,oak and caramel.........

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
WeeHeavySD (3380) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 17, 2006
2004 bottle. Purchased at the Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA. This is the last botlte in the JW Lees range that I have to rate. After drinking the other 3 and a 98 harvest Iím excited to rate the lagauvilin. After drinking these beers, porter, sherry, 98 harvest, calvados and now this, Iíve come to appreciate the refinements that barley wine style ales can have and how different they can be. Now to the good stuff. The brew porus a deep reddish amber with at first a small thin head, which has disappated into some foamy bubbles on the surface. The aroma is sweet and whiskey tinged, this brew has whiskey written all over it figuratively and lieterally. The taste is sweet and warm with a great deal of smooth whiskey flavors intermingling with the beer. Each taste seems better then the last, Iím going to have to drink this brew awfully slow or Iíll want another soon really bad. This is probably the best of the bunch, each of the 4 are different and unique and are standouts but this is pretty much heaven in a glass.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SSSteve (4006) - - NOV 19, 2006
2004. burnt caramel and wood aroma. dark brown /caramel colored with no head. syrupy thick pour. rich, smokey, burnt marshmallow flavors. full bodied with a thick, almost gel-like, palate. the body is a little too thick but the flavors are outstanding. this is excellent.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 15, 2007
Hands down the best of the J.W. Leeís cask aged harvest ales. Rich copper colored body with a few bubbles floating around, almost still. Rich fresh oak on the nose with sweet malts. Every so faint peat and smoke on the initial nose, but letting it sit and agitating it periodically for 30 minutes or so really released the Islay characteristics I was hoping for. Much more smoke and peat in the sweat malt body than in the initial nose. Unlike many barley wines, this one wasnít as cloyingly sweet as many.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
henrikb (1262) - Aarhus, DENMARK - MAR 6, 2008
Hazy red chestnut body with a creamy beige head; Very nice deep and interesting nose, lots of well hidden nuances that makes a quite masculine nose, all elements are well balanced and the lagavulin barrel is very well fitting; Incredible mouth full alive super present perfectly balanced full soft texture all elements are playing together and are present at different stages, the salty touch is perfect, fitted with a big bubbled soft carbonation; It smoothen out perfectly with a slightly smoke barrel soft tar burnt aroma, lasting and a great alcohol bite. Amazing present mature superbly composed and very man-like. A REAL BEER!!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 25, 2008
A Mes rate: Bottle during Mariaís 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 donít 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 couldnít drink much of this but as something to share with good friends itís close to unbeatable. Thanks Casper!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
shendrix (478) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 27, 2008
Wow. I popped the top on this beauty and got a whiff that made me think more of Scotland than Manchester. Peat, heather, and whiskey. The palate...ah, the palate. A soft, sweet whiskey smoothness mingling with smoky hard wood flavors, with toffee malts and an inspired alcohol warmth coming in at the finish. Donít pass this by when you see it on the shelf!

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