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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1039   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88   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.

olie's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
olie (22) - Greater London, - NOV 15, 2012
2006 vintage, decanted from cask, at the Butchers Arms, Herne. I’ve never tried anything else like this, astonishing... This is to beer what a fine port is to wine. Aroma of raisins, brandy, berries, taste more of those, plus treacle, hint of petrol (that sounds horrible but it was delicious). Warming, intense, thick and sweet but not cloying. Pretty amazing stuff...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (10105) - 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 (4748) - 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 I’m not sure anymore... Anyways, this is the 2007 version, and I’m 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 (1278) - 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 (1071) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Swamp_Thing (45) - Florida, USA - AUG 3, 2015
2013 vintage. Sweet apple on the nose. Caramel, toffee, on the sweet side but well balanced with alcohol. An excellent dessert beer instead of a port, but only then due to the sweetness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
ManVsBeer (6217) - Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, ENGLAND - JUL 1, 2015
Bottle from Manchester Xmas markets. Orange-bronze with next to no head. Extremely strong tasting, although you’ll notice this first in its nose. Has a sticky sweetness with a lingering alcohol aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GTAEgeek (1532) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 25, 2015
2010 vintage on tap at the Brick Store, for their 18th anniversary. Poured into a teku glass, with a hazy, dark orange color and a medium, beige, off-white head. Nose is heavy caramel, vanilla, orange peel, pine, and uncharred oak. The finish has a distinct quinine character. Sweet and malty flavor, with a surprising amount of bitterness for the age. Heavy body, syrupy, and a little sharp and sugary. This is a very effervescent and wonderfully aromatic beer, with a well balanced flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Tonkun (1296) - New Jersey, USA - JUN 5, 2015
Bottle. 2007 vintage. Copper pour with no head. Oak, syrup, caramel, toffee. A bit of medicine. Dessert wine like syrupy pour and body. Aged well but could have easily aged for several years. Nice

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jayb0 (1103) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - JUN 3, 2015
1999, tasted 2015. Obviously super old but it aged well, pours a liquid dessert, all toffee, caramel, butterscotch. But just enough alcohol burn to balance it out, keeping from being cloying. Very pleasant and fun to have a 16 yo beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
koleminer20 (1254) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAY 26, 2015
Enjoyed at an all barley wine tasting at Travis’s house on February 21. We did a side-by-side of 1999 and 2005 vintages. I liked the 1999 better, so that’s what my rating is based on. The pour is a clear bright orange-ish gold with a thin off white head and no real lace as it falls down. There is an absolute ton of butterscotch on this one that I love on the nose. There are lots of malts as well, accompanying a light fruit presence. There is a touch of oxidization, but it’s not bad at all, considering it’s 16 ish years old. The flavor is very similar. There is a good sweetness, and a touch of booze, but nothing overly dominating. They meld together beautifully. The mouth feel is thick and syrupy with a nice carbonation and a lingeringly sweet, caramel, malty aftertaste. Really good.

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