J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)

Formerly brewed at J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 508   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
Only available filtered and pasteurised in bottles.
Matured in wooden casks of Lagavulin Malt Whiskey, one of the most distinctive malt whisky from the island of Islay, characterized by the strong peaty notes which should blend with the Harvest Ale to give an explosion of flavors.
This fully fermented ale has been brewed by JW Lees as a celebration of the brewers’ art. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a fine wine for enjoyment to come.

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hippie4beer (162) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - FEB 20, 2006
Bottle. 2004. Pours a light ruby pink color with a very little head that faded as quick as it came. Aroma of fine sherry, oak, caramel, old grapes, and light hints of chocolate. Flavor is very sweet and smokey. Alcohol notes are predominant, but not harsh. Very smooth. Notes of caramel in the finish. This is medium bodied, and very slick. Nice beer, good for sipping. The more I drank it, the less I liked it honestly. I found it almost undrinkable at one point and refused to drink it anymore. There is too much charred oak taste for me. Good beer, just not my thing. Reminds me of SA Triple Bock.

kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 6, 2006
275 ml bottle 2003: Coppery amber w/o a head. Thick & syrupy on the pour and what little head welled up quickly disappeared. Sherry & toasty malt, brown sugar and a bit of caramel apple. Hints of whiskey gets stronger as it warms. Very light wisps of vanilla w/ oak wood smoke and alcohol in the form of butane lighter fluid. Whiskey flavor is up front from chilled to warm, but not overwhelming; Balanced to malty sweet, but not as sweet as the previous 2. Caramel and toasty malt w/ hints of raisins, w/ a sweet finish that is slightly syrupy. Aftertaste is of oaky wood and toasted malt. Thick and syrupy m/f, but lightly dry as well w/ some astringency, low carb., light alcohol warmth. A bit less sweet than the last 2, but it’s not saying much. I’m not a big fan of whiskey, so this wasn’t much to my taste. A well made beer though.

Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 2, 2006
Pours with an amber body topped by a medium thick head with little lacing. It tastes and smells like steak sauce mixed with cough syrup...yuck. Medium bodied, smooth and warming.

TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - JAN 30, 2006
9.3oz bottle, 2004 vintage.
Pours a clear deep ruby-auburn with modest white head. Aroma of malt, some alcohol and lots of peaty smoky scotch. Flavor an even more intense version of the aroma -- VERY scotch-like with a strange medicinal taste. Nice full mouthfeel with thick, slighly oily palate but that scotch lingers on in the aftertaste forever. This stuff is alarmingly gross. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t like scotch much, but even so, the scotch aspects are extremely prominent, almost overwhelming any beer characteristics. The Lagavulin flavor profile integrates poorly with beer. Basically a 23-proof scotch. Blech. As one previous reveiwer put it, "a very expensive drainpour."

ABUSEDGOAT (2760) - California, USA - JAN 28, 2006
2004: Cloudy dark orange body with a small head. Aroma is extremely malt dominated (mostly pale(r)) with Whiskey and alcohol, hints of smoke. Flavor is the same, this is is really sweet. If you like over the top sweet beers like me, you’ll love this. Really tasty, but a bit too much alcohol and a weak nose prevented me from scoring it higher.

SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - JAN 11, 2006
2004. Clear amber. Insignificant off white head. Looks very nice. Fuckin intense aroma of smoke, peat, and malt. I should mention that Lagavulin is one of my favorite whiskies. It’s smokin. Flavor of the brew is less smoke and more malt and peat, much sweeter than expected by the aroma. Full, syrupy body. Light carbonation, very heavy brew. Flavor and palate were a let down after the awesome aroma, still pretty good. Would pair nice with a fine cigar. I’d like to try one of these about 10 years from now.

thedm (6186) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 26, 2005
This bottled brew from 2003 poured a small sized head of frothy fine to large sized mostly diminishing off-white colored bubbles that left behind a fair lacing. The body contained average carbonation, was transparent and caramel brown in color. Its aroma contained notes of mild whisky comes though from the cask . Its mouth feel is very tingly strongly vinous with a palate and a aftertaste. Its flavor contained very noticible alcohol very strong caramel malt whisky notes. Very stong with lots of noticible whisky in it.

Kevin (2199) - Montana, USA - DEC 20, 2005
smells like wild turkey and coke, but without much coke. pours a ruddy brown with a cream head. scothc notes are there in the nose too. this is rough. whiskey smokey flavor that bites. raIsin chocolate pine flavors are there. alcohol dry finish. a nice sipper that really opens up as it warms. gets smoother and the whiskey that was forefront melds a bit better. luscious sweetness emerges. a vanilla quality emerges to say hi and brings it’s friend toffee. yummy. i’ve done a 180 on this. at first taste i did not like it and thought, "oh christwagons here we go with another failed barrel aged beer welcome to 1.8 territory." but no, this is good, real good.

badgerben (5187) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - DEC 13, 2005
Bottled 2003 Vintage; Tasted December 11, 2005: Copper color with no head. Sweet aroma of grains and malt, coupled with a peat hit. Take a sip... holy crap... did somebody pour my Lagavulin 16 into my JW Harvest? The sweet malt of an English barley wine is still there, but man does the Lag overpower it. Lagavulin happens to be my favorite Scotch, but it needs to balance and round out the beer, not kill it.

robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Burnt Orange Coloring with No Head. If You’re in the Same Room as This, You Know EXACTLY what is Being Sampled. The Peaty Smoke Aroma is an Explosion That is Completely Devastating....in a Very Good Way if You Like Islay Malts..Otherwise This One is Probably Too Harsh. This Extremely Strong Aroma Carries Right into the Flavor and is the Dominate Presence of the Entire Tasting Experience. It Really Tends to Overwhelm the Barley Wine All Together but One Might Argue that It Takes a Solidily Great Barley Wine to Hoist Up Such Cask Finished Flavors in the First Place. Overall Quite Amazing for a Fan of Single Malt Whisky and Beer.

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