RateBeer
overall
99
97
style
Brewed by J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1059   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Available filtered and pasteurised in 275ml dark glass bottles. Has appeared occasionally in cask.
This fully fermented strong ale has been brewed by J.W. Lees as a celebration of the brewers art since 1985. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a vintage wine for enjoyment in years to come.


4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MikeF (538) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 13, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2003 1999 Bottle. Great malty and fruity aroma. This is one beer I really feel like I am eating and not drinking. Very sweet and malty flavor. Hoppy finish. Very Very full bodied. At Buckey Brewing I tried both port conditioned and calvados conditioned versions of this brew. Both were excellent.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - JAN 8, 2003
2001 Vin. Nice amber color,aroma is that of malt and slightly alcohol.Head there really isnít any.Flavor is sweet malty almost a cereal like taste in some wayísthe alcohol is very well hidden just get very lite hintís of it.The sweetness seems to tame it quite a bit.it has a full feel to it kind of thick almost.All around iíd have to say itís very well made and with some more age it will really stand out.Glad i have 4 more to age.Sweet after taste with some carmel notes as well as that warm alcohol feeling coming from itís 11.5% nice very nice.if you havenít tried one yet you have to.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
rauchbier (3732) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - JAN 2, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2005 Bottled. Chestnut red, slight sediment, some head but thin and good condition. Incredible sherry aromas with some marzipan, thick and chewy sweet malt like a liqueur and mouthcoatingly luscious finish that lingers long on the lips and round the back of your teeth.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nuffield (3953) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 25, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2006 1997 vintage. There are some very nice elements here. Produced a bit of head, to my surprise, then completely dissipating. Starts out like a Fullers Vintage on steroids, decent body despite a very heavy, stickiness. Flavors are in better balance than at first blush; I thought I was drinking a rum-raisin sauce at one point. Warming alcohol, mostly smooth, though burdened by its sweetness. A nice beer for Christmas Day 2002. Original rating: 7-4-9-3-15. // Re-rate in Jan. 2006, also 1997 vintage. Substantial head (uncharacteristic?), very dark for style. Sweet chocolate edge, most definitely, beautifully, like walking into a Leonidas shop in Belgium. Chocolate mint, too. Soy sauce issue emerges but who the hell cares when so much is going well? (10-4-8-4-18). Rating is a blend.

3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 20, 2002
1997.Has an interesting smell that I canít quite place...ah, smells like a bag of horse feed that has gotten wet, and that someone poured just a touch of chardonnay on. Full--too full--of rabidly overbent burnt sugars flavors combined with rum-soaked raisins. Interestingly, I find the aftertaste much finer and more complex than the beer itself. Interesting, but not very appealing. The same can be said for the entire beer. I can pick up vanilla and spice and other things nice, but this beer could never be appealing to me because of its overwhelming sweetness.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - DEC 20, 2002
UPDATED: APR 27, 2004 1997: Very very sweet, smells like a sugary pastry. I'd love to taste the various brews to compare year-by-year. A lovely special occasion brew. Port-aged version has a very creamy, mellow finish. Brigh aroma of crushed grapes coated with caramel. Port and tannin undertones. Mild date and wood add fullness to the body.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
khayman70 (153) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 19, 2002
Chewy and sweet. Itís like cake in a bottle. The vanilla flavor is slight but very good. Another brew that has turned out to be in my top 20 list.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - DEC 18, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2003 1998 Vintage: Pours a very dark amber color with a medium sized, off-white head that rapidly disappears. Strong aroma of malts, raisons, vanilla, rum, and alcohol. Wow! What a wonderful flavor! Low carbonation with hints of vanilla, molasses, malts, and alcohol. Man, this beer is like eating a cake, fucking marvelous.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Aubrey (3508) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2002
1998: Huge, aromatic bouquet, oaken-alcohol nose; high volume smells. Deep, earthy, woodsy, maple-syrup/molasses flavors swirl and dance in the mouth; deeply complex. Heavy, silken texture; soft carbonation. Many dark fruit notes followed by sweet sherry flavors. Port-like flavors linger in the aftertaste. Only complaint is its intense sweetness -- gotta sip it, and I wouldnít want more than one at a time. But otherwise, quite a fantastic brew!

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2002
I tried the 2000 vintage. Very good. Nice deep red/auburn color, virtually no head, wine/sherry taste. I have a 1986 and a 1987 to try as well. These notes will be updated upon trying them. 12-1-02 I tried the 1987 and it makes it exactly 15 years old. WOW! Totally flat and very smooth. The rating will stay the same for this beauty.


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