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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1070   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.

ThisWangsChung's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2013
9.3 oz bottle into a snifter. 2009 vintage. A: Pours a rather murky dark brown color. Very little head is featured here, just a thin collar thatís white with big bubbles. Not to mention, further examination reveals some huge white-colored chunks of sediment. This is what we in the business call "ass-ugly". S: Wow. This is hugely sweet - almost like a barleywine thatís been distilled even further. Huge dark fruit and caramel sweetness abounds, with plenty of underlying chocolate. I also detect some toffee and some mellow earthiness. Fascinatingly rich, if perhaps a touch too sweet. T: Indeed, this is one sweet bitch. It opens with plenty of caramel maltiness and dark fruit esters. After the midpoint, the focus switches more to toffee, vanilla, tobacco, and chocolate. Alcohol is mildly prevalent on the back end, but takes on an excellent character, more similar to rum than vodka. After about 3 oz, it does transcend into the realm of "too sweet", with its strong toffee notes ultimately becoming the dominant flavor. Thereís good depth and complexity to compensate somewhat. M: The body does a decent job of keeping the sugary sweetness in check by slightly drying out on the finish, which has a side effect of intruding on the softness of the texture somewhat. Even with that, itís a heavy, smack-your-lips sweet brew, with almost no carbonation. O: Well, itís everything a dessert barleywine should be - big, rich, complex, and decadent. However, even at 9.3 oz, this is best split between two people due to how cloying it is. Compare that to, say, Sucaba, which I can finish a 750ml bottle of with little trouble. Absolutely worth trying...just donít drink it before dinner.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
tia (1732) - Sandston, Virginia, USA - SEP 27, 2016
Bottle ca. 2000 courtesy of Kinz. Copper with tan head. Smells like salted caramel, dark fruit, play-doh, cordials. Very sweet. Definitely "dusty" but we still enjoyedit.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Aggiebob (763) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - SEP 17, 2016
UPDATED: SEP 17, 2016 Bottle. It poured a rust brown color with little head. The aroma contained dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel and yeast notes. The tastes is sweet malts. Not one of my favorites.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
RamyG4 (324) - , New Jersey, USA - SEP 3, 2016
1986 bottle (my birthyear). Smells of oxidation, honey. Tastes of the same. I havenít rated in a while, leave me alone.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 3/20
rekvium (422) - Odense C, DENMARK - AUG 13, 2016
From bottle, thanks to Madsnp. Vintage 2008. Pours hazy brown/red with a small off white head. Aroma of vanilla, oak, sweet caramel, alcohol, light toast, heavy veggies. Taste is, well, hard to describe... And not in a good way... Heavy prune juice, oxidized as f*ck, old potatoe water, wauw this is horrible, heavy caramel, vanilla, heavy corn. The worst birthday gift ever!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Desverger (8293) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 31, 2016
Bottle@Himmeriget, Copenhagen (29/07/2016) - (2001 Vintage) Amber brown pour with off white head. Sweet malty with notes of dried fruit, treacle, some spices, currants, nutty, fruitcake, showing its age somewhat but still a satsifying enjoyable brew overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
minutemat (4275) - Shrewsbury, Shropshire, ENGLAND - JUL 13, 2016
2001 version @ monthly tasting at Chez Sophie, July 16, this slug-eaten rusty relic brought by Mike. Many thanks. Pours dark. Taste unfortunately is overshadowed by a few cobwebs and dust, but its syrupy christmas pudding and dark fruits character is lurking underneath. Reminds me to finally crack open my non-rusty 1999 bottle for comparison.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mR_fr0g (9220) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - JUN 19, 2016
Huge thanks to Paul for providing this vertical.

86: 537414 jammy oxidised paper, oily fruit burnt toffee

87: 637314 oily toffee, paper,

88: 637415 Dr pepper, cola toffee, caramel. Toffee

89: 537214 stale grains, oxidised soy, cola, dull palate

91: 638314 woody toffee apple jammy, earthy, strawberry cherry cola

92: 637414 oily burnt toffee mint paper, toffee, caramel

93: 534210 stale grains, toffee, oxidised, dull, lifeless, meh

94: 545312 airy old cardboard toffee, oxo, dull sweet palate.

01: 547314 oxidised burnt toffee, sweet, sticky really sweet sticky.

02: 635313 stale grains, toffee, apple dull, straw.

06: 527312 sticky toffee, brown sugars banana, chunky

07: 536411 chewy toffee,

09: 547415 tangy toffee orange, caramel, caramel, coconut

10: 638415 peanut coconut toffee, caramel, Good.

12: 647414 big toffee, burnt toffee oily, jammy sticky sweet

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
WingmanWillis (136) - Surrey, ENGLAND - JUN 16, 2016
Vertical at Chez Soapy. Big thanks to Scopey for the 20 different vintages. Pours toffee brown with somw thin head. A good mix with the 86 a little soupy but still has the aroma of fruit cake, a little honey. The 91 was a little marmite twiglet. Taste holds up pretty well with differences in sweetness across the range. Plenty of fruit cake action with honey and booze. The 2008 has a distinct spiciness to it. A good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
gephross100 (312) - Bellaire, Texas, USA - JUN 9, 2016
2002 bottle caramel, bread, nuts, leather, butterscotch, vanilla, clawingly sweet. Slight oxidation. Muddy brown color.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ahuth (317) - - MAY 19, 2016
Bottled. 2013. Huge nutty smell. Pours a ugly brown but the taste makes up for it. Huge upfront taste. Sweet nutty grainy. Nice sticky palate. This is. Great beer.

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