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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)

 (RETIRED)
overall
98
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: 405   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   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.


2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
jaymobrown (1723) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 20, 2004
This was perhaps my most favorite out of the four wooden cask series. Had more of a sweet plum nose and the harsh alcohol was more balanced by a sugar sweetness. Very dry end with a grape/wine-like finish. Most mellow of the four.

2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
JoeM500 (1907) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - JUN 17, 2004
Bright amber with a thin pure-white head. Worst of the series for me, sweet to the point of gagging me, overly alcoholic in the taste, burning away any complexity. Winey flavor is apparent at the finish, way too sweet underneath and firey upfront. Drain pour.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (5497) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUN 17, 2004
Reddish bronze body with almost no head. Aroma is very rich and creamy. Alcohol, huge amounts of honey, dark fruits, and brown sugar. The taste is toffee, alcohol, fruit, and honey, but it VERY sweet. Faint taste of port wine. Body is syrupy, thick and smooth. Sticky sweet finish with alcohol and sugar. Nice beer, but I liked the sherry a bit better.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 15, 2004
Clear copper with a thin, white head. Sweet, malty aroma of caramel, port wine, honey, spicy alcohol and a little graininess. The body is what I’ve come to expect from these Harvest Ales--not very thick, but smooth and creamy with a subdued alcohol burn. The flavors show more intense sweetness. The toffee/caramel, grape and residual sweetness just take over and make these too much for me to handle. Maybe it’s because I like chicken and never got used to egg, but I can see how brewers started brewing Barley Wines with such intense hop character. The sweetness is so out of balance that it is tough for me to take any more. Maybe time will help dry out these special barrel-aged Harvest Ales, otherwise, I will have made a poor investment. I’m glad I tried them, but man, it’s too sweet for me. However, this is either my favorite of the four, or the sweetness has just grown on me. Still, I’m not sold on these beers.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 15, 2004
Clear pinkish-amber body with lots of little columns of bubbles. Not much head, just a ring of large white bubbles. The aroma is smooth and sweet, resembling a grape jam with white wine added. Rich mouthfeel with a mild alcohol bite. Sweet, sticky winey start, like they took some sweet white wine and boiled off most of the alcohol and water. Finishes with some bitter, grassy hops. I think the beer’s sweetness tends to overpower whatever else might be in it. Sure, there’s a nicely bitter aftertaste, but otherwise it’s a bit much.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - JUN 8, 2004
Clear apricot color with a small white head. Sweet caramel, malt, pine and sugar aroma. Very rich sweet caramel, malt, raisin and alcohol flavors, with heavy pine hops and a little barnyard in the finish.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - JUN 8, 2004
Very clear deep golden color with a small white head. The bubbles are risen ever so slowly...must be the thickness of the beer slowing them down. The aroma had an initial barnyard character to it...musty, honey, sharp piney hops. The flavor was quite sweet...honey, pine, alcohol, grapes (wine), and some slight barnyard in the aftertaste. Thick, syrupy feel...sticky, wet finish.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JCW (1276) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 2, 2004
Translusent, almost glass like, golden with a moderate white head. Aroma is sweet, vineous and slightly fruit. I didn’t pick up much from the port cask aging. Flavor is over the top sweet and the mouthfeel is like syrup. The finish is guess what, ah, sweet, very sweet. I guess I miss the boat with sweet beers and with this one I watched it cross the horizon just as I showed up to board.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopscotch (9996) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUN 2, 2004
Sparkling clear, golden ale with a fruity, vineous, woodsy aroma. Very malty and sweet with plenty of warm alcohol and fruit of the vine. Full-bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel. Lengthy, sweet finish.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
zathrus13 (1734) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - MAY 31, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2007 Orange/yellow head, with aromas of wine, malt, and maybe a bit of honey. Taste is malty, more hops than expected, and some wine/port.


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