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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1044   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   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.

kchampagne's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kchampagne (112) - Jacksonville, Florida, USA - NOV 30, 2011
Purchased a bottle from Redlight Redlightís vintage bottle list. My particular bottle was a 1999 vintage. The aroma was very malty and sweet. The appearance was dark brown with very little head. Taste was amazingly complex. The closest and simplest way to describe it was sweet caramel. Overall an amazing beer that I am glad I tried.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Lukaduke (2793) - 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 (1375) - 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 (2989) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jamesie1857 (1769) - Sheffield, South Yorkshire, ENGLAND - OCT 9, 2015
275ml bottle - 2013 Vintage - from Beers of Europe - Cloudy amber body, thin white head. Nose is so strong. Sweet figs, loads of spirit, boozy alcohol, barley sugar sweets, caramel, toffee, the lot. Taste is sweet, loads of warmth, boozy, indulgent. Nice thick mouthfeel, sublime. And to think Iíve been putting this one off.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
worldbeertaste (1779) - West Midlands, ENGLAND - OCT 6, 2015
2009 bottle drank in October 2015. 11.5%. Deep chestnut brown with a red tint and a fizzy white disappearing head. Lots of floaties: it looks like a snowglobe. Deep smell of wood, caramel, figs and other dried fruit, nuts, cranberries, with incredible deep heavy malt. Initial taste of soft roast and light nuts with a lingering sweet caramel and moves to a peppery sweet finish. Amazing taste with a full silky body. This beer moves beyond what can normally be categorized as beer and into pure malt sweetness. Not even a hint of alcohol. This one has aged very well. This is rich roasty candy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dfearnley (1416) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 6, 2015
Bottle to pint glass (2013 Autumn limited edition) Iíve tried the BA versions (loved the Calvados) but never have I had the standard barley wine. This smells of orange, toffee, apple, red bell pepper, whiskey, and a mild peatiness. Cloudy amber with a thin white head and very little carbonation and retention. Taste is caramel, toffee, treacle, pepper, apple, and ending with a sweet bitterness. A little to sweet for me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (10285) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 21, 2015
Bottle. 2012 Vintage, Autumn edition. Poured a cloudy amber color with an off white head. Dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and fruity. Sweeter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
kraddel (4989) - some beerplace, BELGIUM - SEP 15, 2015
If memory serves me right, I got this bottle in a trade. I believe it even might have been an awesome extra, but Iím not sure anymore... Anyways, this is the 2007 version, and Iím pretty excited about this one. Pours Very dark amber / muddy brown. Small (or even none) white head. Clearly some sediment-flakes, but they luckely sink pretty easy. Smell is boozy, walnutty. Taste is sharp, clearly some portorisation went on and holy smokes those walnuts become amazingly intense ! Notes of madeira, and complex, other aspects of this oxidation. Still sweet, but in a very subtile way. Very interesting, intense and complex ale ! Fruit-forward as well ( raisins ) All in a balanced whole.Carbonation is present but not overwhelming. A beer to be savored, not drank. A beer to enjoy by a fire, with a good book. I love it ! I am glad I opened this now since the age clearly has brought this up -as far as my taste is concerned- but I feel like this might be breaking down in the next few years ( AKA turn wattery etc )

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 11/20
TorbenJensen (1396) - Valby, DENMARK - SEP 10, 2015
Immediately it is a barley wine with relatively much foam in relation to the type. The superior flavor of indeterminate fruit as well as clear notes of port wine and dark grapes. A little almond hiding in the amount of flavorings, and it is very promising everything together. The flavor is sweet and has a richness as dessert with predominantly sweet grapes and a sweet vinous flavor more reminiscent of madeira than Port (as flavor revealed). A little distress is represented in the finish. Normally, I like when a barley hide alcohol slightly fruity flavors, but in this case I miss an alcohol that can step on the field and correct sweetness of its ascendancy. In my opinion it is too sweet, even for use as dessert beer. It serves no purpose to save it in a long time, it appeals not really with some character that will evolve over time. However, if you are a real sweet tooth is certainly good, but even for barley wine-drinkers is not a beer I would recommend.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
McWorta (1136) - LUXEMBOURG - SEP 9, 2015
Clear dark amber with a pillowy beige head and good lacings. Aromas of caramel, hay, herbs, lightly burnt toffee and sweet bread develops with noticeable notes of caramelised dates and dried prunes/raisins. Faintly carbonated with a slick-velvety texture and a full body. Sweet throughout with flavours offering caramelised fruit-bread, pretty alcohol aromatic, offers a very light bitter herbal stinge on the back of the palate. Lasting sweet velvety finish.

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