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: 507   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   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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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (9765) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2005
The Lure:
Luscious peat-smoked wood infusions hovering suggestively over the orange rinds and nascent alcohol. Definitively the most complex aroma of the 4 barrel-aged Harvest ales.

The Festivities:
A grassy hop bitterness nicely emerges from the prevalent peatiness and diversifies the usual alcohol and sweet caramel malt stickiness. An earthy soil can even be perceived under it all, to officially salvage, for me, this entire line of barrel-aged Harvest Ales. At least this one really worked.

Probably the only second-hand smoke Ill ever love.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 16, 2005
Clear orange, a shade darker than the others apparently, not much head, but at least it tries. Deeply peaty aroma. Finally one of those BA JW Lees lets some uniqueness of character shines through. The vegetal tones Ive met in the others is there as well, but more subdued amongst the smooth earthy scotch-like profile. Sweet leather and almost cheesy hints adds to the richness. More leather and caramel on the tongue. Very earthy and peaty, smoky even with plenty of iodine medicinal character. Like the others, it remains very syrupy, oily and alcoholic, though perhaps not as stale. Flavourful beer without a doubt.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ungstrup (36929) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JAN 16, 2005
A dark orange beer with a disappearing beige head. The aroma is slightly smoked and with notes of whiskey. The flavor is sweet with notes of whiskey and peach and with hints of smoke. The end is slightly woody and the alcohol burns the tongue slightly.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JAN 13, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2005 9.3 ounce bottle: This poured a deep, rich amber color with more of a tan "film" than a head. Beneath it small bubbles slowly drifted to the top during the entire drink. Theres a bit of smokiness blended into this sweet and fruity aroma. I didnt really notice the high abv until the ale entered my mouth. Very smooth. Theres a sweet, smokey malt flavor with hints of juicy fruits, spices, and alcohol. The finish is smooth, sticky, sweet, and alcoholic. A very warming drink.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
madsberg (11761) - Sborg, DENMARK - JAN 12, 2005
Bottled: Deep clear golden almost orange coloured. Small beige head. Wood, alcohol, fruit in the aroma. Quite smooth. Reminds me a lot of Lagavulin Scotch (We took a bottle and sniffed!!!). Flavour is fruity, light smoked, has light notes of alcohol and spice. In the end the thoughts again goes to of the Lagavulin barrels. Nice one

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JAN 9, 2005
Interesting. Someone poured a little barley wine in with my scotch to cut it. Orange in color, perfectly clear, very faint head fades completely. Faint aroma of caramel is overwhelmed by the familiar scent of Lagavulin (a favorite Scotch of mine). The whiskey notes are marked by wood, iodine, salt, and seaweed. When cooler, the whiskey component completely overwhelms the rest of the beer. When this sipper eventually reaches room temperature, the caramel notes come through, wrapping sweetly around the ocean tinged peat flavors of the Scotch. Amazing how much of the character of Lagavulin carries through cleanly in this experiment. Long lingering flavor. As fascinating as this beer was, however, I didnt like it as well as either the normal J.W. Lees Harvest Ale or normal Lagavulin. Though a balance was achieved between the distinct flavors, the two companions never seem entirely at ease with each other. I guess Im partial to the flavors of bourbon when it comes to aging a beer in whiskey casks.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JAN 8, 2005
01.07.05 11oz or so bottle, I forgot to look. Copperish honey pour is clear as glass beneath a thin off-white head. Aromas of leather, peat-smoke, wood, light loive brine(?), white grape. Whiskey notes are evident across the palate and very pleasant as honey, oak, tanned leather, tobacco (lots of tobacco), and a dry sweetness all highlight themselves and meld cleanly. Of all the JW Lees in the wood, this I can see being the least appealing to those with disdain for whiskey as those characteristics are most evident. I think its a fascinating brew, although tiresome to drink the whole glass with any expediency.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 18, 2004
Bottle and tasted in a smaller Great Lakes snifter: Glowing amber hue with a fading head and very good lace. The aroma has notes of caramlized malting, peat, sea salt, ripened apple, white pepper, juniper berries, sublime oak, floral and aromatic hops and moderate phenols. The taste starts with a noticeable sweet malt and burnt sugar character before the rush of whisky cleans the palate. The use of the scotch is well done and doesnt overpower the beer basic nature. Subdued fruity tones appear every so often to add depth of palate. The finish does display a woody undertone, a bit smoky and some has some twangy bitters. The feel is aggressive yet not so much to not want you to take another sip, very mild alcohol warming. I like this a cant wait to see how a few years of aging will do to this unique beer. Recommended.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - NOV 26, 2004
Clear gold, with a large off-white head. Strong nose of peaty scotch whisky. Sweet, with a strong smoaked peat scotch flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hotstuff (5113) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 10, 2004
Bottle. Poured a small white head with virtually no lacing, very little carbonation, transparent and an orange hue. Aroma was malty, sweet, whiskey, caramel, and alcohol. Flavor was malty, whiskey, caramel, and vinuous. Mouthfeel was vinuous and a slight burning sensation.

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