bytemesis (2135) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 24, 2013
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle. I like scotch, I like harvest ale, whats not to like about the two of them together? Plenty. Instead of a match made in heaven, their offspring is more like a deformed leper than anything else. Turns out I should have been able to figure that out for myself. What goes will with a nice peaty scotch? Oh yes - a super sweet desert! Not. The flavors donít mix, and should never have been asked to. Miss. Oh, and chock full of floaties. I thought this was filtered and pasteurized?
heykevin (1272) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - JUN 4, 2004
2.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bright golden with a wispy head. Alcohol, perfume, and a touch of peat in the aroma. Some dusty sweetness as well. Sticky sweet, which is not unexpected, with honey notes, but the tandem peat/medicinal blast renders this near drain pour. Yeeesh! If this is ever going to come together, it isnít going to be anytime soon.
chriso (7306) - 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 Iíll 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.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 7, 2006
2.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 8/20
Caramel malt and spicy notes int he aroma along with hints of dark fruit. Caramel in color as well with a wispy white slick of a head. Fore is a foul chemical tasting bitterness followed by loads of tainted caramel malt and a big kick of chemically treated wood and whiskey. Flavor is so discordant I literally can not drink it.
SilkTork (5012) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - OCT 3, 2005
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Duff kept me waiting for this one. Bastard. Heíd shown it to me earlier in the day and was dismayed by my lack of enthusiasm for a pasteurised beer which had been left to go stale in a cask washed out with a few bottles of whiskey. But he knew I had to try it. I had fussed and moaned about this beer so much in the past that I was actually very curious to try it. The history is that the American importer B. United tried selling batches of Lees Harvest Ale infused with Port back in 2001. This is occasionally done with some strong British winter ales. The experiment was not popular. In 2003, B. United shipped a large quantity of pasteurised Harvest Ale to Dupontís facility in Normandy where Dupont stored them for 6 months in wooden casks which had previously held whiskey, or port or sherry. When they were released in the spring of 2004 they came out at the height of the oak-aged fashion. People fell over themselves to get hold of the bottles. And people fell over themselves in praising the beers. B. United have commissioned more. This time J.W. Lees have made up the storage barrels themselves, seasoning the wood with a few bottles of port or whiskey swirled around for a few weeks. My unhappiness with the beers stems from the obvious falseness of the approach. A pasteurised beer will not "mature". The casks are not Lagavulin casks, but casks in which a few bottles of Langavulin have been poured to season the oak. I donít mind the experiment, but I do mind the deceit that has accompanied it. Expressions such as "fully fermented" to conceal the fact that this is a filtered and pasteurised beer makes me angry. And a 11.5% beer does not need filtering! It is one of the daftest things a brewery can do. Godís teeth - it makes me mad that brewers are allowed to get away with such behaviour - and WORSE - that supposedly knowledgeable drinkers fall over themselves to buy the beer, thus encouraging brewers to filter and boil other strong beers rather than leave them to mature and develop naturally. Just imagine what these beers would have tasted had they not been killed. So, we have pasteurised beers slowly going stale in oak barrels. Big deal. And the taste of this one? Well, the strength of the alcohol provides most of the flavour - ugly burnt rubber from the fusel alcohol; and smokey bacon and a dead quality. A lifelessness in the mouthfeel. It tastes like stale beer. (What a surprise!). Itís a heavy unpleasant beer. I had found the standard Harvest Ale to have provided sufficient interest in its very strength and clarity of malt to overcome some of the obvious faults from its crude, undeveloped strength (let the bloody beer develop on the yeast!) - but this stuff just offends me.
crossovert (5627) - Illinois, USA - AUG 11, 2012
2.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
Nice smoky smell, big peatiness and almost burnt rubber. The flavor is smoky but also vegetal with a sweet pea flavor.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUN 22, 2005
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Light copper, much lighter in color than regular Harvest. The aroma, though multi-dimensional, is pretty gentle and wimpy overall with light oak, peaty hints, saffron, cigarette ashtray, caramel and scotch hints. Engaging, but unrefined barrel contribution. Smoky and alcoholic with caramel and scotch flavors. Heavy feel with a lightly creamy texture. Not enjoyable at all and an honest drainpour for me. Harvest and Lagavulin is not a good idea.
bigrond (1408) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 13, 2005
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
this was a shot of whiskey - wasnít like a beer at all. It wasnít good at all. To bitter and to strong
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - JAN 30, 2006
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
9.3oz bottle, 2004 vintage.
Pours a clear deep ruby-auburn with modest white head. Aroma of malt, some alcohol and lots of peaty smoky scotch. Flavor an even more intense version of the aroma -- VERY scotch-like with a strange medicinal taste. Nice full mouthfeel with thick, slighly oily palate but that scotch lingers on in the aftertaste forever. This stuff is alarmingly gross. It probably doesnít help that I donít like scotch much, but even so, the scotch aspects are extremely prominent, almost overwhelming any beer characteristics. The Lagavulin flavor profile integrates poorly with beer. Basically a 23-proof scotch. Blech. As one previous reveiwer put it, "a very expensive drainpour."
jaymobrown (1586) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 20, 2004
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
UGH!!! Pure alcohol nose. Overwhelming alcohol in taste. Some sweet maltish flavors and sugars, but címon this alcohol thickness is way out of control. Perhaps laid down it would mellow out, but as of now it is just unbearable.