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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)

 (RETIRED)
overall
98
94
style
Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 357   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   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 Cream Sherry to impart sweet and nutty flavors. Traditionally many fine malt whiskeys have been matured in sherry casks for the enhancement of both flavor and color.
This fully fermented ale has been brewed by JW Lees as a celebration of the brewersí art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (8852) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 28, 2004
2003 Vintage. Poured a shade of amber with a very small head. Vinous, grape aromas and tastes. Alcohol makes itself known. Sweet - hints of brown sugar. My 1st J.W Lees. Not a bad beer but nothing that completely knocked by socks off.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DYCSoccer17 (3306) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 23, 2004
2003 Bottle Vertical tasting with the port and calvados. Of the 3, this was the my least favorite. A rather pleasant vinous aroma with sweet honey notes in the nose. Very sugary sweet start giving way to some tangy maltiness turning more sweet in the finish. Ethanol well hidden, but cloyingly sweet. transparent copper with a small white head.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2004
Yellowish color with no head to speak of. The aroma and taste are very similar in the fact that itís sweet and sherry. This along with my ratings of all of the BA JW Leeís, is that it needs more time. Drinkable yeah, but way too young.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (5302) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2004
Poured a dark copper color wih a medium sized off white head that left sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma was dry and vinous, a pungency of dark fruits, grapes, and plums. The taste was also very vinous more grapes, very spicy, almost a cinnamon taste with an alcohol burn at the end.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hotstuff (4069) - Indiana, USA - SEP 6, 2004
Bottle. Medium off-white head and fine-medium sized bubbles that mostly dissipated. Transparent, very little carbonation and an orange-brown hue. Nose was malty, caramel, sweet, sherry and alcohol. Flavor was sweet, syrupy, sherry, malt, and alcohol from start to finish. Mouthfeel was tingly and alcohol. Full bodied barley wine with sparse lacing.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thedm (4935) - Fort Wayne, USA - SEP 6, 2004
This bottled brew poured a medium head of fine to medium sized mostly lasting off-white colored bubbles that left behind a fair lacing. The body contained average carbonation, was transparent and caramel brown in color. Its aroma contained notes of malt and hops. Its mouth feel is initially tingly vinous caramel with a lingering slightly tingly harsh palate and a vinous hop caramel malt aftertaste. Its flavor contained vinuous bitter malty caramel hoppy notes and was very tasty. It was quite strong and vinous with some port like qualities.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 31, 2004
2003 bottle. Orange/pink-hued amber body. Short-lived white head. Warm rasin bread aroma with alcoholic sherry notes. Bit of a sour woodiness at the end of the aroma. Above-average amount of sweetness in the flavor - plums seeped in sherry with wood and hoppy bitterness to balance it out. Thereís a little too much tingly carbonation, but it does help cut down on the sweetness. An enjoyable barleywine - the flavor doesnít go as "deep" as some other examples but itís well-balanced with unique flavors.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ernest (6187) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 26, 2004
Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly lasting. Body is dark yellow. Aroma is heavily malty (toasted bread, molasses, caramel), lightly hoppy (flowers), with notes of sherry/cardboard, cask wood, butterscotch, and alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Full body, creamy/velvety texture, soft carbonation, moderately alcoholic. The most distinctive (aromatically) of the three cask Harvest Ales Iíve had so far (havenít tried the Calvados). The Port and Lagavulin actually seemed to *lose* some character upon aging, but not so with this one. Iím not a big fan of that oxidized sherry-like aroma, but itís very light and rustic here (rather than smelling harshly of *oxidation*, it just smells...well...antique). Definitely an introspective fireside kind of beer. Nicely balanced for a British barleywine. Very rich malt on display.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerguy101 (5278) - Newark, California, USA - AUG 24, 2004
Orange amber color. Small head. Aroma is fruity, (apricots and peaches), touch of oak and sherry. A full bodied barley wine. Malts are fruity and sweet. Oak and sherry flavors dominate. Fairly sweet tasting, honey and maple. Touches of floral hops. Very smooth. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with a touch of alcohol bite.

3.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dorwart (2370) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - AUG 22, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 13, 2008 Decent chunky head. Thin foam lasts the duration with light carbonation. Generous head redevelops upon swirling. Sweet, malty aroma with some earth, wood, a hint of alcohol and bit of vanilla. Color is great, clear, medium amber. Sweet, malty flavor with a sourness that I did not expect. Hint of butterscotch. Flavor is slightly unsettling in the stomach. Acidic also. Alcohol stings the tongue and seems to mask some of the flavor unlike the calvados varsion. Finish is think and coating with a nice alcohol warming. A decent barlelwine but I expected better and not as good as some of the other versions.

Well now, back to see how this one has aged. This bottle is from the first bottling of this brew back in 2003. Has been aging "expertly" in my basement these past 5 years. Amazing carbonation for a 5 year old brew. About a 2 inch thick head and lots of carbonation. Head recedes slowly and is kind of sloppy but still impressive. Sweet sherry aroma with lots of caramel, cherries and sweet sugary malts. Color is a bright orange brown. Flavor is loaded with caramel and toffee. Lots of brown sugar, alcohol and sweetness. This certainly has mellowed out a bit but is still super sweet and hot. Unfortunately the flavors have mellowed and the sweetness and alcohol have not. Slick and oily mouthfeel but super smooth. Finishes hot and sweet. Still a good bw but has not really improved with 5 years under her belt.


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