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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1092   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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heemer77 (5355) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - APR 9, 2004
UPDATED: FEB 17, 2005 Rerate. The 1988 vintage in 2004. Aroma is rich with chocolate, cherries and vanilla. It also has a great hint of oak. The flavors are amazingly sweet and subtle. Fruity with some apples, white grapes and a touch of cinnamon. As it warms it also picks up some maple. No carbonation. While excellent, probably a little past it’s prime. 1998 Vintage Rating follows. Drank in 2004. Aroma has port, waltnuts and some chocolate. Poured with very little head. Has a very dark, slightly red coloring. Flavor has all kinds of things going on. Port, honey, glazed dounts, apples. A little malt, but this is awful sweet. Don’t think I will spend the money on the 1988.

flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - APR 5, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2004 1997 Vintage
Sampled in 2004: Very dark mahogany color with a medium tan head. Rich sweet raisin, wood, and wine aroma. Rich molasses, raisin, plum and wood flavors. Very smooth feel. Yummy!
2000 Vintage
Sampled in 2004: This year had a lighter mahogany color. Sharper aroma, with lots of brown sugar and some pine that I didn't get before. Similar, but more suggary and less wine-like. Still very enjoyable, but the '97 is my favorite.

Wrath (362) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - APR 5, 2004
Pours out dark mahogany in color with no head. Smells like port.Sweet chocolate raisin flavor.88 vintage has strong alcohol flavor. Finishes very strong.

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.

DYCSoccer17 (3691) - 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.

Falconseye8 (542) - Evans, Colorado, USA - APR 3, 2004
1998 version. Not bad. Liked Bigfoot Barleywine 2003 better myself. Chocolaty flavor and is roasty.

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.

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.

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!.

MartinT (9852) - 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 bath…Maple syrup vapor, perfumed with pure berries, induces imminent wellbeing and creamy lasciviousness…Sweet chocolate is diffused throughout the room, as flowers emerge from the beneficial, muddy soil…A little alcohol then relieves all remaining tension and the whole metabolism feels stimulated beyond imagination…The 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. Don’t know if it’s 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.

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