Brewed by J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1071   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
migwell (277) - Northampton, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 26, 2016
Im not a fan of barley wine, but my friend Jun sprang for a bottle of this at the Foundry and shared it, not sure of the vintage but it was billed as a Calvados blend, and was quite a wonderful blend of flavors,. Apple and pears up front, creating a strong and surprising aroma. Some sweetness, lots of alcohol, very full bodied and pleasantly complex. Unless Ive been misinformed (as I rarely am at the Foundry) the blending of Lees Harvest Ale includes different adjuncts each time it is brewed, so that each years product can differ markedly from any others. Definitely a keeper, and an extraordinary addition to the diversity of global brewing. Good on you, Lees!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
chinchill (4270) - South Carolina, USA - JAN 23, 2016
From a cask of 2015 vintage at the 2016 Atlanta Cask Ale Festival. Sweet and near cloying but acceptable given style and ABV. High ABV is not hidden but the ale is not hot. Complex aroma is better than the flavor which would probably benefit from some aging.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Theydon_Bois (16879) - Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - JAN 23, 2016
Bottle at home, 23/01/16. Lightly hazed orange amber with a decent off white covering. Nose is light spice, caramel fudge, dried fruits, dates. Taste comprises sticky toffee pudding, caramelised brown sugar, figs, sweet licks, earthy stewed fruits, treacle toffee pie. Full bodied, fine carbonation, semi drying close, warming alcohol in a boost fuelled curtain call. Good boost for bucke affair.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
solidfunk (7627) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - JAN 16, 2016
Some caramel and some molasses. Candied apple and tangerine. Hazy maroon pour without much head. Very Sweet finish. Some plum and booze. Cask at churchkey.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beersiveknown (5053) - NORTHERN IRELAND - JAN 11, 2016
2012 bottle at home from ales by mail
rich, honey, molasses, sweet, full bodied, multi-layered complex rich sweet maltiness whilst not heavy, a true dessert barley wine. Have a second bottle Ill keep another few years

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SG111 (1267) - New York, USA - DEC 22, 2015
2015 vintage. On tap at Station House, Forest Hills. Pours malty golden, fairly dark, large head confiding the abv. Aroma is malt, caramel, booze, oak, toffee. Not bad. Flavor is boozy, oaky, caramel, and just so much English malt. Slightly bitter hop finish but not much. English Barleywine to the max here.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mansquito (5341) - Nueva York, New York, USA - DEC 2, 2015
Adelphi Wine and Spirits, East Brunswick New Jersey bottle: I got the limited edition 2003 version in a bottle that looks different than your standard JW Lees, so I am guessing that this is something that they had aging at the brewery and rebottled or redistributed it recently. In any case, this pours a very murky brown with almost no head and a lot of sediment... As expected. Aroma is dark fruits... Basically got your raisins and prunes in there. Liquer and booze also are in there. Taste is quite sweet with a bit of the hop character still noticable deep in the background. The booze is covered by the immense amounts of sugar. Bodyis quite heavy. There isba definite woodiness to it. Taking a large sip makes the flavor nearly overwhelming. Quitw large. Or as British drum and bass DJs say: massive. I do not think I would want to drink more than one of these. Makes the skin tingle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Lukaduke (3016) - Gray, Maine, USA - NOV 29, 2015
Pours a medium copper color with a finger of white foam. Lots of sweet caramel, honey, sugar cookies, toffee, some wet leaves and earthy bitterness linger in the finish. A bit sweet and one note here but alcohol is hidden nicely and with the right pairing I could see this one shining a bit better.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocJitsu (1688) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - NOV 13, 2015
Pours a completely murky peach caramel color with a cream colored, well-retaining head. Caramel and fermenting apple on the nose. Thick with some fine carbonation. Rich caramel flavor with moderately tart red apple, sherry coming through prominently.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Reynolds314 (3315) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 25, 2015
Flattish cola looking clear brown. Aroma is vanilla, raisin, plum, brown sugar, and wheat bread. Taste is insanely sweet. Tastes like they sauteed a caramilized loaf od wheat bread with some pennies in a skillet with sherry wine. Undrinkably sweet... Pass.

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