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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1059   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.

hackleo's rating

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hackleo (11) - Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 6, 2002
1987 Vintage is a close to a perfect beer as I’ve ever had. Too many flavors to describe - maple, oak, raisin, plum, chocolate, toffee, on and on...Can’t remember everything...During the hour or so we took to savor this beer, it opened up and changed from great to out-of-this world. 1994 Vintage was a bit thinner, lighter in color and body, but quite impressive in its own right. Maple and oak mostly, with a hint of chocolate and more drinkable than the 1987. I’d give this one about a 17/20.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mbgrayson (688) - Anaconda, Montana, USA - APR 8, 2016
Brewed in 2014, in a 275 ml bottle. Pours a cloudy amber, with a thin tan head. Aroma of malts and wood. Taste is rich and thick, with notes of whiskey, wood, and sugared malts. A very nice wood aged ale. Thumbs up.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
ImportBeerMan (11) - Pintsville, Ohio, USA - APR 4, 2016
2015 vintage 275ml poured into a sniffer. Appearance: Hazy copper orange with minimal head. Nose: Sweet, Boozy . Mouth/Feel: Syrupy, low carbonation. Taste: Really Sweet with a port finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
wombat23 (294) - Texas, USA - APR 1, 2016
Shared 9.3 oz. bottle. 2013 vintage. Pours a hazy amber with a short-lived off-white head. Nose is a cross between fresh-baked pecan pie and a nutty fruit cake. Taste is malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, and some alcohol. Starts off with a solid malty base then finishes with an almost overwhelming sweetness. Very unique.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 3/20
darbeer75 (252) - Round Rock, Texas, USA - APR 1, 2016
Aroma: heavy and sweet with an initial impression of Parmesan cheese (disputed by husband); Appearance: dark amber, hazy, with thin, white head that dissipates quickly; Taste: extreme sweetness, like drinking jam; pretty unbearable; Palate: heavy bodied with long, sweet finish; Overall: drain pour.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
weihenweizen (2830) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - MAR 25, 2016
Refrigerated 2013 275 ml brown bottle poured into a glass. Hazy brownish orange with small beige head. Aroma is fruit, medium body, low carbonation, and little lacing. Taste is rich caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, and hints of alcohol. Complex, rich, top of the line barley wine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
stevoj (3531) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 22, 2016
2015 vintage on tap at Churchkey. Dark copper with small airy head. Malt with tons of brown sugar sweetness, maple, caramel, toffee. Sweetness distracts from the 11.5% ABV, which delivers some latent heat. Like a big alcoholic Sugar Daddy. (I love Sugar Daddies)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MrTipple (2817) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 17, 2016
2015 vintage. Aroma: intense molasses, caramel, dark, ripe fruits, prunes. Appearance: hazy, brown, hardly any head. Taste: heavy sweet. Palate: sticky texture, caramel, molasses, becomes super heavy sweet, overripe, dark fruits, long, heavy finish. Overall: excellent Barley Wine, maybe a touch on the sweet side, yet very complex throughout. Pint at Proletariat, Manhattan.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
JulienHuxley (5417) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 2, 2016
Bottle, 1992 vintage. Hazy amber pour with no head. Aroma is super dusty, cardboard. Taste is dusty, oxidized, cardboard. Palate is med bodied with very light carbonation.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
migwell (271) - Northampton, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 26, 2016
I’m 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 I’ve been misinformed (as I rarely am at the Foundry) the blending of Lee’s 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, Lee’s!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
chinchill (3777) - 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.

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