J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)

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


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 421   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
Only available filtered and pasteurised in bottles.
Matured in wooden casks of Willoughbys Crusted Port to impart sweetness and a heavy vinous characteristic. The tradition of port is very English and many of the port houses proudly trace their ancestry back to the U.K. Portuguese wines were fortified with brandy to improve their keeping properties during shipment.
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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BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JAN 10, 2005
Bottle (duh): Pour a clear rich golden hue with a fizzy head which settles to a small ring and little to no lace. The aroma is indeed vinous with the port wood character at the forefront. Rich nose of honey, caramel, and earthy yeast as well. The taste is quite sweet, more than the normal JW Lees Harvest Ales. A lot of fruity components make for an interesting background but alas, can’t keep me from going "over-the-top" on this one. Salty, twangy undertone with a nice bitter kick upon the finish is the only reason I can even finish this right now. The alcohol fusel note is actually well masked all things considering. Perhaps it will improve with proper cellaring, but of all the Harvest Ales, this holds the least promise.

Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JAN 8, 2005
Medium to light amber, very slight head fades fast and complete. Aroma lightly of caramel, wood, and a touch of cough syrup. Light to medium caramel flavors fuse into an alcohol and wood heat. There is also a faint cough syrup flavor that almost reminds me of Jaeger. Interesting, but ultimately a bit harsh and disjointed.

rudolf (2360) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 7, 2005
Big ups to qwak for this one. Clear gold, no head. Nose is heavily laced with honey but still has the qualities of an English barleywine. The sweet honey is joined by rasins and some stick citrus and dark fruits, brown sugar. Not very complex but good.

RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 7, 2005
Amber in color. Very sweet, almost mead-like. High viscosity thick brew. Not my style, but very interesting nonetheless.

JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 31, 2004
UPDATED: APR 27, 2005 Bright golden amber and clear body. Soapy white head. Quite scotch-like in appearance after the head fades; maybe just a hint redder. Faint vinous raspberry sweet aroma. Sounds stupid, but but it tastes like J.W. Lees w/ a touch of port. Some say overly sweet, I say just a bit. Apple hints in finish. (7 / 4 / 8 / 4 / 15) 4/26/2005 - Sampled from a port cask at Spuyten Duyvil, 2oz port glass. I think the vintage was 2004. This is quite a different beer. My initial impression was that it would be overly porty, mainly due to the serving size. However, it wasn’t. It was a velvety perfectious blend of port and english barleywine. It was sweet, yes, but the port and BW sweetness just came together so well that it was meant to be. Alcohol was barely noticable. There was also a sweet woody chocolate character in the finish. (7 / 4 / 8 / 5 / 16)

Drew (2470) - Kent, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2004
The dark golden clear body with very little carbonation activity looked like some kind of liquor in my snifter, except for the razor thin off-white head floating on top. Sweet alcohol nose. Palate was awesome - almost thick, very very smooth - very vinous - sticky, coats the mouth with flavors. Taste was sweet fruits, I guess I tasted wine, a light bitterness at teh end and fairly dry. These 4 JW Lees are a nice treat every once in a while.

Darkover (1544) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 17, 2004
Clear dark golden color with a small beige head. Aroma is sweet, fruity, and some alcohol. Very sweet and syrupy, has some bitterness and alcohol in the flavor.

Jine (903) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - DEC 9, 2004
This is almost exactly like the regular JW Lees Harvest Ale, with a some interesting wine/cask/fun flavors thrown in the mix.

meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
275ml bottle with black text and a black cap. This one pours a clear deep amber orange color with a decent off white head that quickly falls to a collar. Leaves a sparse lacing around the glass as it is consumed. The aroma had a nice fruity sweetness and a bit of alcohol with the Port flavors present as well. There was also a buttery biscuit and yeasty notes mingling with the sweetness. The taste starts of with a bit of an alcohol bite that is quickly overcome by a huge sweetness, a little too much so in my opinion. There is also a strong buttery flavor to this with a slight nuttiness as well. Mouthfeel is very full and heavy with good carbonation. I feel the drinkability was hurt as the sweetness became too much even with the smaller sized bottle. Overall a good beer though and I shall pick another one up to lay down for a few years.

Dorwart (2609) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - NOV 29, 2004
Decent head with good carbonation for a barleywine. Head reduces slowly and leaves some nice lacing. Weaker aroma than I expected. Light alcohol nose with some sweetness and malts. Maybe a little wood. Color is a clear oraneg amber. Alcoholic flavor with some sweetness, a bit of fruit but very, very smooth flavor and easy drinking. Goes down way to easy. Finish is warming and creamy. Slight dry aftertaste. A good barleywine but not great.

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