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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)

Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 403   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - AUG 16, 2004
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - AUG 11, 2004
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
notalush (5070) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 9, 2004
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Aubrey (3454) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUL 12, 2004
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (5435) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 12, 2004
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.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 11, 2004
This is a ok Barley Wine. Sweet, fruity, and malt flavors. Finishes thick, syrupy, and creamy.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - JUL 10, 2004
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 9, 2004
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.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
argo0 (11725) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 8, 2004
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 8/20
ClarkVV (3893) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 5, 2004
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.

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