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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
available

on tap
unknown

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 371   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   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 brewers’ art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.


soulgrowl's rating

3.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
soulgrowl (52) - Kitakyushu-shi, - JUN 1, 2008
Aroma: Woody pipe tobacco wreathed around a ripe, fruity essence: baked apples, pears, prunes, a touch of peach and some raisins, sweetened by a hint of maple syrup and dark rum, shine their way through a curtain of velvety, earthy, oaky, resiny notes from the hops and sherry casks. Alcohol comes through only slightly, mingling with the dry-yet-robust pome fruit scents to lend the impression of Calvados. (I wonder what the Calvados cask version smells like...) Appearance: Deep, plummy chestnut brown with a bright ruby shine to it. Head is blanched almond-colored, smooth but volatile, and surprisingly large and stalwart - not huge, but big for the style and the ABV. Flavor: Sweet as hell but full of fruity barleywine goodness and woody, nutty, resiny sherry flavor. Gushingly sweet flavors of white sugar, apple juice, honey, and sponge cake dominate, but the varnishy, walnutty tweak of sherry offers a pleasant distraction. This beer does not have what I would call depth or complexity, but it isn’t boring. I must say, though, it is too sweet. Palate: Suitably thick, with subdued carbonation. And yet it’s also quite dry - the finish, though sweet, is surprisingly not syrupy. Overall: I do like the sherry flavor, but unfortunately it doesn’t really do enough to buoy the leaden sugars that overwhelm this beer - nor is it interesting enough to warrant those sugars, or the big ABV, for that matter. I suppose this deserves some points for its totally undetectable alcohol, but then again, a little spicy heat might help to fence in its out-of-whack sweetness.


3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
czar (5364) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 5, 2015
pours clear golden orange with a nice reviving off-white cap, nice lacing. candied golden raisins, honey and barley sugars - cloying; lightly smoked and salty maltiness, charred wood, umami hint. light to low carbonation, medium-full body - oily and syrupy; cloying spicy-smoky finish. alcohol is well integrated but smokiness is almost embarrassing. then again, perhaps sherry casks also held a scotch? tasting regular harvest proved to also be smoky. mysterious.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
johnnymusky (488) - Minnesota, USA - APR 19, 2015
bottle from dusty...2012 vintage...crazy good beer...Brian the regular gives it 5 stiffees...one of the best beers i have ever tried....wow!...(#455)

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tmoreau (2826) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - APR 2, 2015
Shared 9.3 oz. 2008 bottle poured to snifters, showing a cloudy, brown tone, with a light, quickly diminishing layer of tan foam, light dots, and a lightly viscous, leggy film on the glass. The nose was toffee, caramel sweetness, some dried fruit, and a hint of smoky ham. The taste was similar, adding some alcohol/sherry warmth, and syrupy sweetness to the palate. A mellowed but tasty sipper.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
djd07 (5342) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 11, 2015
2011 bottle thanks to Paul. Pours a pale orange with small beige head that diminishes to nothing. The aroma is strong sherry and smoke. Medium mouth, nice booze, sweet malts, wood, light dryness, very nice.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
BeerViking (2990) - Brentford, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 29, 2014
The tail end of a shared bottle, hazy brown with a small head, musty alcoholic palate, gunky.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton (13541) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 29, 2014
Bottle shared at CBC Clerkenwell - thanks to the Cad. Pours clear orange with a frothy, off-white head. Interesting nose with pale wood, white bread, honey, aged fruits, marmalade. Medium to big sweet, subtly peaty, with some honey and caramel, yeast, pale bread. Full bodied, lightly oily, with fine carbonation. Warming finish with creamy, ripe citrus fruits, peach, further peat notes. Incredibly drinkable.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tillmac62 (377) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - DEC 18, 2014
BOD 2013. Pours a hazy medium amber with a dark ruby hue. Above average head volume, exceptional lacing and retention. Light nose of sweet fruit (plum), caramel and toasted brown sugar over a light sherry alcohol note. Medium body with a texture that approaches creamy. Below normal carbonation with just a hint of effervescence in the finish. The flavor profile is very intense, very complex and somewhat balanced considering the intensity. It begins with a malt bomb assault of sweetness that is caramel and toasted brown sugar. As the sweetness subsides (it never really leaves) notes of plum emerge over a slight note of nuts. The middle is where the alcohol predominates with a sherry undertone over a sweetness that is honey like. The finish is a slow fade of sherry like alcohol over a honey like sweetness. The lack of balance is what holds this one back from being outstanding.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
GothGargoyle (1598) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 8, 2014
Cloudy brown with a small pale head. Aroma is raisins, sherry, dates, honey. Medium-full bodied, slightly sticky mouthfeel, sweet and lightly fruity on the palate. Taste is sherry, raisins, honey, dried apricots, gooseberries.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dnstone (2350) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 5, 2014
Amber brown in color with quite a bit of sediment. Boozy, sweet, syrupy aroma. Thick and sweet; barley forward with sweet fruity edges and walnut and wood notes. Notes: Brewed in 2005, opened Dec ’14

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Fritz123 (1274) - Boca Raton, Florida, USA - NOV 11, 2014
Bottle shared by Dan. 2005 vintage. Small snifters at home. Pours a muddy brown with a slight head that lasted 10 seconds. The aroma is heavy malts, toffee, caramel, vanilla, sweet sugars, and oak. The taste was really solid with the malts, caramels, toffees, dark fruits, and cream. Sweet, but not cloying. Finish is slight booze, sweet, and rather dry.


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