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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)

 
overall
98
93
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: 383   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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.


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 isnít boring. I must say, though, it is too sweet. Palate: Suitably thick, with subdued carbonation. And yet itís also quite dry - the finish, though sweet, is surprisingly not syrupy. Overall: I do like the sherry flavor, but unfortunately it doesnít 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
slowrunner77 (10112) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 27, 2016
2008. A little over the top sweet with lots of grain and caramel coming through the port like character. Not bad but not great. Smooth for 11%.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
superspak (4669) - Michigan, USA - AUG 30, 2016
275 ml bottle into tulip glass; 2012 vintage, bottled on 5/23/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, golden raisin, plum, fig, apricot, apple, white grape, toasted biscuit, and oak; with lighter notes of leather, tobacco, nuttiness, vanilla, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of bready malt, fruity yeast, sherry barrel, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, golden raisin, plum, fig, apricot, apple, white grape, toasted biscuit, and oak; with lighter notes of leather, tobacco, nuttiness, vanilla, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, golden raisin, plum, fig, apricot, apple, white grape, toasted biscuit, oak, leather, tobacco, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of bready malt, fruity yeast, sherry barrel, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/slick, and lightly syrupy/grainy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden minimal warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English barleywine. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of bready malt, fruity yeast, sherry barrel, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

2.7
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
mike5326 (1624) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - JUN 15, 2016
Poured from a bottle. Hazy copper color, small white head. Musky grain aroma. Medium body with a sweet port flavor and a sweet finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Luvystypotables (1651) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - JUN 15, 2016
A grape like aroma, with a hint of sherry and malt. Pours a hazy caramel. Sweet sherry like taste with a medium body and a sweet boozy finish.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Bulk_Carrier (3722) - Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA - DEC 30, 2015
2010 bottle. This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a nice looking hazy burnt brown color with no head or lacing. Donít let the appearance fool you, as the smell takes in the normal qualities of an English Barleywine. Tobacco, vanilla, caramel, toffee and cocoa blend to be a really nice sweet and dry aromatic quality. The flavor is sticky sweet carrying it into the finish. Less vanilla displays all around. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. Carbonation runs extremely light but Iím guessing thatís due to the age of the beer, so no hit from me. Overall, as an aged barleywine, this is absolutely awesome and would love to have again.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Lukaduke (3011) - Gray, Maine, USA - NOV 29, 2015
Pours a medium copper color with a finger of white foam. Sweet toffee, rich honey and layers of maple, nutty, soft prune and dried fruit. A bit sticky and less cohesive than some of the other variants.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
drpimento (3126) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 6, 2015
Very rich and delicious. The best parts are the aroma and taste with very volatile bold bursting components. The sherry characteristics match perfectly with those of this beer - fruits, toffee, caramels, oak. Excellent body too.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeTheYounger (1182) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - SEP 7, 2015
2012 bottle. Solid orange pour with no head. Aroma is sweet brown sugars and toasted nuts. Taste is very earthy, woody, and very sweet... Like cloying sweet. Very low carbonation. Having a hard time finishing because of the sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden. Would love to try different versions. Itís probably the sherry making it too sweet for my liking.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bill Becker (807) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - JUL 15, 2015
Surprisingly good head of foam for this 2012 bottle. Pretty long lasting too and it even has a bit of lacing. The brew itself is a a clear copper. The smell is of big caramel malt that is sure to bring the sweet in the taste. But, its more of a maple syrup like sweetness and I can dig that. Some of the ample alcohol gets through as well. The taste follows through where the smell left off. Sweet maple that coats my tongue without going overboard. Hints of some kind of nut and a mild woody fruity taste that I find totally enjoyable. Booze is there and I think it compliments rather than detracts. As full as medium bodied can get with a subtle level of carbonation. This is very good. $10.15 I do not regret paying.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jackl (7063) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 10, 2015
Bottle split @ Clerko. Thanks to whoever shared this. Amber pour with a tiny white head. Nose is full of banana nut bread. Toasted buttered nuts. Some sweet/tart plum skin and baked apple pile. General woodiness shows in the flavor that wasnít so apparent in the nose. A touch of black pepper. More banana nut bread and sweet plums. Pretty hot and approaching cloying sweetness, which brings down the experience a bit. Thick and oily. Pretty interesting to try.


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