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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)

 (RETIRED)
overall
97
90
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: 410   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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.


BobbyW3363's rating

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BobbyW3363 (154) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 29, 2008
2006 vintage. Pours a deep amber mahogany color with a nice off-white head. Complex aroma of dark fruits, caramel, bread, and alcohol. Very sweet flavor of caramel and alcohol, with the flavor of port being very noticeable on the finish. Syrupy mouthfeel. Overall, this is enjoyable but not worth the $10 I paid for one 9.3 oz bottle.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Desverger (4402) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - AUG 23, 2015
Bottle@RBESG2015, Copenhagen - Orange pour with white head. Aroma and taste is sweet malty, with some nice dark fruity notes, some port infused wooden notes, sweet finish. Very nice.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Borup (8325) - Albertslund, DENMARK - AUG 23, 2015
33 cl. bottle.,hazy amber colour with an off-white head. Aroma and flavour of malt, dried fruit, aclohol, spice, caramel and yeast.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
joergen (23865) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - AUG 23, 2015
Bottle. Hazy orange colored with a small white head. Sweet and fruity aroma of caramel and dried fruits with oxidized notes. Sweet and fruity flavor of caramel and dried fruits with notes of alcohol. Sweet finish.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
dfearnley (1303) - Alberta, CANADA - AUG 18, 2015
Bottle to large taster - so happy to have found some of these Sherry, oak, rum, toffee, pepper, orange peel. Clear, deep amber, with a tiny white head. Taste is toffee, rum, oak, orange peel, and pepper. Mouthfeel is silky and oily with a slight but sharp alcohol burn. IMO, this is good, but it sits behind the Calvados version.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
superspak (3509) - 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 (3619) - 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 (6275) - 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 (3254) - 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 (4070) - 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 (7284) - 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."


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