jimmack (1222) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - AUG 16, 2004
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Orange/amber with a small white head
that quickly dissipated. Sweet malt aroma with a bit of wine-like sourness.
Extremely sweet taste of malt and dark
fruit. Very full bodied. Bottled in ’03. Will
probably mellow nicely in a couple of years but for now it is much too sweet for my taste.
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - AUG 11, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Seems highly underrated. Innocent looking orange, nice white head. Knockout aroma, nice mellow hops with a very thick mouthfeel. Sort of coats your palate in the finish. It’s almost like a tamer version of Jadwiga mead - like a cross between it and a good APA. Little bit of sourness.
notalush (4992) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 9, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Copper to strawberry blonde in color, with a heavy nose of syrup, caramel and a hint of the port - thick mouthfeel feels slick on the tongue - lots of cherry and strawberry - caramel and an alcohol burn that is pleasant, not overwhelming - I don’t sense much of an impact on the flavor from the port barrel aging - there is a slight vinous character, but it is far in the background, and I would hardly call it port-like in quality - grapes and slight bitterness in the finish - overall quite nice, but not as good as regular old JW Lees.
Aubrey (3451) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUL 12, 2004
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Really nice color, kind of copper-orange. Headless though. Mouthfeel was weighty and full; mild carbonation enough to play a significant role. Complex malts. Notes of maple syrup, honey, raisins, brown sugar, and apricot. Mild bitterness seems to blend with a dried fruit quality in the finish (and slightly tannic grape skins). Somewhat vinous. Sweetness is heavy (and kind of mead-like), but not as overwhelming as a couple of other J.W.s I’ve had. Overall, pleasant to drink.
egajdzis (5401) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 12, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a bubbly orange golden color with no head or lacing. Very sweet aroma, included dry, dark fruits, green grapes, melon and possibly a little alcohol too? Super sweet malt, some port, caramel, and burning alcohol. Another sticky sweet JW Lees vintage. I think these really need time to dry out, and that is what I will attempt to do with the rest that I have.
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 11, 2004
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
This is a ok Barley Wine. Sweet, fruity, and malt flavors. Finishes thick, syrupy, and creamy.
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - JUL 10, 2004
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pretty, shimmering orange-gold, very slight line of bubbles rise up from the middle of the glass. Nose much more restrained than most of the Lees I’ve had, bit sweet and sugary, just not much there. Strange flavor, no real toffee or butterscotch depth, just very sweet and sugary, mild maltiness on the backside. Sticky palate. Not nearly as good as the sherry version.
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 9, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Clear golden to amer color with a small dense white head. Sweet aromas of malt, caramelized sugar and light fruit. Hint of alcohol warms the nose. Thick, lightly silky feel. Sweet malt and hints of fortified wine. The least favorite of these limited editions.
argo0 (11635) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 8, 2004
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Sparkling amber body with white head. Aroma is medium sweet, alcohol, some herbal, corn. Taste is very sweet, some port, finishing with a big alcohol warming/slight burn. Syrupy, full body. This one is too sweet with too little else. This one pales in comparison to the sherry-aged version, the only other one I have sampled so far. Interesting how great the difference is between the two.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 5, 2004
2.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 8/20
2003 bottle. Pours a golden orange with some deep browns and dark red tints. Small off-white head. Smells fairly sweet (candied apples, sugary grape juice, extra sweet caramel) but otherwise just basically malty. Flavor is ridiculously sweet. It’s like eating candy. You’ve got the sweetness of Lee’s Harvest ale to begin with, full of caramel malt and sugar, and then toss in some extra sweet port and it’s just a mess of sugary candied sweetness. I find almost no vinous notes that I would expect from port aging, no real complexities for that matter. Body is at least smooth and drinkable, but wow, this is too much for me. J.W. Lee’s does not need to be made sweeter than it already is.