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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1089   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   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.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChazyRPh (583) - Chazy, New York, USA - APR 3, 2004
bottle...vintage 1988. Pours a cloudy brown, kinda like hudson river water. No head. Smells like wine, definate alcohol on the nose also. Astringent, alcoholic hints of plums, pears and apricots. Sweetness in the beginning, alcoholic burn to finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DYCSoccer17 (3668) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 3, 2004
1988 vintage. Pours an opaque mahogany with no head at all. Aroma is very wine-ish and sweet. Brown sugar, raisins, plums are in the nose for sure. Start is very sweet. Middle is quite smokey and finish just tastes kind of musty. A different brew. It's decent, but unfortunately has lost some carbonation over the years. I was 8 when this was bottled. Ha.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - APR 3, 2004
1998 version. Not bad. Liked Bigfoot Barleywine 2003 better myself. Chocolaty flavor and is roasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAR 28, 2004
99. Pours with almost no head. Aroma is of heavy molasses and alcohol. Flavor is of molasses, vanilla, grape, and alcohol. The sweetness although very strong is balanced well by the bitterness and alcohol. Palate is viscous but not to thick. Very nice beer to sip on like port.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAR 21, 2004
UPDATED: APR 2, 2004 1998 bottle. Really good beer. Nice copper color. Aroma of raisins and maple syrup. Good beer. 2002 bottle. Tastes like maple syrup. Nice crystal orange color. Aroma is maple raisin like. Goes well with irish soda bread. Really good. Enjoyable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAR 21, 2004
2002 bottle. Pours an awesome crystal clear orange with a nice orangish white head. Aroma is a mix of alcohol and maple-raisin. Flavor is similar, with a dominant maple-alcohol warming flavor, with hints of raisin. Goes great with Irish soda bread. Sweetness of maple syrup lingers on the palate. Delicious!.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MartinT (9617) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 19, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2009 (1999 bottle in March 2004; 2000 bottle in January 2005, 2001 bottle in January 2005) : Wet cigar notes emanate from the sensuous and damp caramel steam bathMaple syrup vapor, perfumed with pure berries, induces imminent wellbeing and creamy lasciviousnessSweet chocolate is diffused throughout the room, as flowers emerge from the beneficial, muddy soilA little alcohol then relieves all remaining tension and the whole metabolism feels stimulated beyond imaginationThe Fountain of Youth is going through my pores

A 2002 bottle in April 2005 had all of the same delectable components, but added a strange apple ester and alcohol burn which was a tad unpleasant at first. Dont know if its the vintage, but this bottle would not have scored as high as the other ones. A 2002 bottle in December 2007 did not have these apples though. Just lots of residual sugars, as usual. Decadence personified.

A 1997 bottle in 2009 was absolutely gorgeous. A 2003 at the same tasting was nowhere near though.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
happy4hops (376) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAR 17, 2004
Bottled 12-01-02.This one should have sat for another five years or so but oh well.Not very good tasting barley-wine.Smells very sweet,sesame seeds,toffee,caramel(port wine was the only redeming quality(Thick and concentrated!)With every small sip I was bombarded by a sickeningly sticky sweet raw malt character reminiscent of my forth-grade Malta Goya drinking days.Glad this was a gimmie or I'd be a little shaken by a 5.99 $tag for 9.3 long ounces.I need a 6-8 year old vintage?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rastacouere (6174) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 15, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2005 99 vintage in march 2004 Clear deep copper with a generous diminishing off-white head. Aroma is deeply malty, complex and sweet. Honey interplays with smoked maple, plain barley and light golding hops. Definitely have a balance bending to the sweet side: big molasses and caramel flirts brown chocolate and vanilla flavours, like a french pancake with a light smoked note and a slight flower character. Syrupy medium-full palate with a nice carbonation. Tons of maple syrup, rather cloying creamy clover honey, herbal, buttery, grassy. Basically a werthers original palate with tons of little complexities. Very interesting and rich classic english barley wine.
2001: This is the dark lord of barleywines, decadently sweet, thick, syrupy, yet a pleasure to sip on and a total landmark. Incredibly complex malt profile.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ukoolaid (580) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 13, 2004
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2006 On cask. This was the 96 vintage. Beautiful ruby red color with almost no head. Cherry and alcohol aroma. Sweet and smooth with cherry and malt. This is very much like a port. Hard to rate with other beers, but its good. Note: Just found out that the Moan and Dove adds a "very good" scotch to this cask which kicks up the alcohol to 17%. That explains the intense alcohol aroma. Second rating: 1997 vintage. Dark redish brown color with a medium tan head. Sweet malt raisin aroma. Creamy molasses, raisin, fig flavor. I raised my original rating of 4.0 to 4.3

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