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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)

 (RETIRED)
overall
97
91
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: 406   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   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 Willoughbys Crusted Port to impart sweetness and a heavy vinous characteristic. The tradition of port is very English and many of the port houses proudly trace their ancestry back to the U.K. Portuguese wines were fortified with brandy to improve their keeping properties during shipment.
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.


4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
superspak (3327) - Michigan, USA - JUN 14, 2015
275ml bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours hazy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, prune, fig, apple, date, brown sugar, molasses, brown bread, toffee, toast, leather, tobacco, red wine, oak, light vanilla, and oak/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and wine barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of huge caramel, raisin, prune, fig, apple, date, brown sugar, molasses, brown bread, toffee, toast, leather, tobacco, red wine, oak, light vanilla, and oak/toasted earthiness. Slight spicy oak/herbal hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, dark fruit, brown sugar, brown bread, toffee, toast, leather, tobacco, red wine, oak, light vanilla, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible robustness, complexity, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and wine barrel flavors; with a great malt/oak balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, fairly slick/syrupy, and slightly tannic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome English barleywine. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, and wine barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rodenbach99 (3515) - Longueuil, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 31, 2015
Petite bouteille, 2014. Une robe dorée foncée, avec mousse qui pétille. Un nez sucré, légèrement portesque. Une bouche de sucre d’orge intense, de cendrier, de caramel brulé, Cidre de pomme de glace, longue et majestueuse. Un bière difficile à décrire mais fort agréable.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
djd07 (5894) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 11, 2015
2011 bottle thanks to Paul. Pours a cloudy orange with small off white head. The aroma is strong port and wood. Medium mouth, vanilla, strong port, wood, nice sweetness, very good.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpringsLicker (3251) - Tennessee, USA - NOV 29, 2014
Bottled in 2003 from my cellar. Clear medium brown with little to no head. Aromatic and sweet. dried fruits, molasses. The flavor is sweet, not as complex as I have come to know J. W. Lees harvest Ale. Certainly not bad, but no Port, little depth of flavor for what I have come to expect from this brewer.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
zvikar (4000) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - NOV 22, 2014
Bottle shared at a tasting at Beer Market Jaffa. Pours slightly hazy orange with a medium head, aroma of honey, caramel, wax, wood, fruits, flavor of honey, fruits, wine, wax, wood, toffee, medium to full bodied.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
slowrunner77 (6925) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 14, 2014
"i don’t know if it has to do with the age or vintage year, but several of the other reviews pointed the the hard to find or non-existent port characteristics. I sampled the 2007 today, and that was absolutely not the case. i’ve never had the regular Lees Harvest to compare this to, so to me, the port/woody notes reallt stod out. knowing it was an English Barleywine makes you think much of the sweet notes in the nose & flavor were from the malt, but the fig/raisin/oak/grapes really were in the forefront...more so in the flavor than the aroma, which was a little muddled and confusing. The aroma was hoppier, and you could tell it was a beer, while the flavor, if not for the slight carbonation, could have very well been mistaken for a port wine. Hoppy-ish in the finish, but mostly a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. Full, thick body. The ridiculous amounts of sediment prevented us from enjoying the full bottle, so we poured and sampled 90% of it, then poured the rest...but all that yeast was a bit much, and somwhat of a mess. It was good enough to make we wamt to try all the others, but I’m in no rush to do so. I can’t imagine someone liking this vintage if they don’t care for port, but I can’t imagine not liking it if you do like a good port."

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bill Becker (538) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - SEP 14, 2014
It pours close to a pitch black. good tannish head of foam, near a finger’s worth. The nose is sweet Port. Just as intended, I suspect. The taste is very much of the Port, strictly....Port. Meant to be, eh? Maybe a tad too sweet as my rating will reflect. Never the less, a grand brew. Full bodied, light carbonation. Superb mouth feel. My first variant of the JW Lees Harvest Ales. A winner.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
knickskicks (879) - - SEP 5, 2014
Dark red pour. Nose is sulphur, grilled meat, candi sugar. Taste is candy, ash, more ash, cardboard, ugh. Such a great base beer, terrible barrel aged versions that all taste the same.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kerenmk (3206) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - SEP 5, 2014
Bottle sample at a tasting at Beer Market Jaffa. Thanks zvikar. Hazy amber. Wood and sweet candy and date and ink aroma, date, caramel and very sweet taste. Full body, sticky syrupy mouthfeel and no carbonation.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
tomer (2133) - Rishon Le Zion, ISRAEL - SEP 3, 2014
At a tasting, thanks zvikar, no head, hazy deep orange colour, aroma of caramel, dates and butterscotch, flavour of dried fruits, toffee and candy with a woody hint, slightly oily palete. Nice but not too exciting.


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