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: 3.87/5   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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egajdzis (6730) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2004
1999... Poured a bubbly ruby red color with a thick and creamy off white head that left nice lacing. Sweet (caramel) and spicy (clove, cardamom). Sweet taste, some chocolate, fruits (raisins, plums) and a nice alcohol finish. Sweet and sticky. A nice vintage.

SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - MAY 14, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 29, 2010 Vintage 1999. We had this at my Barleywine tasting of May 2004. Such a floral nose! Very rootbeer-like- smooth and sweet. In fact, so sweet that everyone began comparisons to after dinner liquers and rieslings. The discussion progressed (devolved) into getiing high on mexican cough syrup in Tijuana. I cannot imagine taking this beer to a frat mixer. Please: buy a bottle and try it. One of the most unusual and memorable barleywine experiences you’ll have. You might not love it, but you will remember it. UPDATE: In the bottle at my 2006 Barleywine tasting. The 2002 vintage: Reddish amber in color with a quick white head. Heavy aroma of single malt aged in a sherry cask. Big sweetness to this beer. Great honey flavors. Palate is very long. Finish is a burn to the esophagus. Very thick and very good, this vintage is a 4.4 this year. The 1999 vintage: Way darker than the 2002 in appearance. Dark tan head. Alcohol nose again, but no cask aroma at all. Still chewy, but this beer may have reached its peak already as I remember it being awesome two years ago. 4.1 UPDATE: The 2008 Vintage. caramel butterscotch aroma. No oxidation. So intensely sweet that you taste salt. Thick as a brick.

3fourths (9358) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 14, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2004 1998 - murky brown with little head. Aroma of brown malts, maple, butter and milk. Very smooth palate, silky, butterscotch flavor, lots of sweet and mild malts. Little alcohol noticed in the finish, but just barely. Good stuff.

darkerdabetter (255) - Michigan, USA - MAY 6, 2004
1998 vintage- Poured well, beautiful color, with little head to it. The aroma was strong, but not as strong as the taste. This was far too sweet and winey for me, as was the alcohol content. Tasted like rum was poured into a lambic.

DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - MAY 5, 2004
I am absolutely digging this. This was the 2000 vintage. It pours a mild reddish brown color with hints of cremeish head which died quickly. The aroma was pure toffee with hints of caramel malts, candy sugar and wood...very entrancing. The flavor is about as perfect as I could possibly expect from a barleywine. A huge array of sweetness. Caramels, brown sugar, sugar candy, and a slight hint of woodiness make up this beer. Nice palate feel, a tad dry with very little hint of alcohol presence if any. Overall, I have to say that I’m extremely impressed. I look forward to trying my 1998 vintage very soon. Bring it on!!!

VAYankee (353) - Virginia, USA - APR 16, 2004
1999 vintage. Reddish brown body with cream colored head. Strong, vinuous aroma - sweet, sugary, and alcoholic. Tastes syrupy, fruity(raisin), faintly alcoholic with an aftertaste that is more of the same but something seems just a little off.

cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - APR 10, 2004
4/9/04. Poured out of 275 mL bottle, purchased at Liquorama in Upland, CA in 2003. 1997 Vintage. Pours hazy, deep copper-brown with thin, dark tan head that disappears completely. Very active carbonation lining the glass at first (considering the beer's age), but it calms to a more predictable lumpy boil shortly thereafter. Delicious, surprisingly vinous nose, resinous with hints of dark malt, burnt sugar, and a touch of treacle and alcohol. Initial taste reveals a tremendously rich blend of flavors-- burnt sugar again, resin blanketing the tongue, and an almost acrid dark malt and mouth-watering (but somewhat harsh) peppery alcohol sting. A bit like a port wine, but not even as balanced as many of the ports I've had. Full, almost syrupy mouthfeel with a wave of heat washing over the tongue. Subtle hints of yeast on the finish, very long-lasting and rich, dark caramel malt with hints of burnt walnuts and pecan. A bit overwhelming overall. Definitely could go a lot longer (like another 5-10 years, easily), but it's not bad right now. Just not balanced. I seem to remember another vintage I had ('99 or '00, I believe) being more drinkable right now. Needs a little something to offset its power-- I bet this would go great with starchy vegetables and meat or a good whole wheat bread.

heemer77 (5360) - 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.

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