overall
99
97
style
Brewed by J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

Regional Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 1092   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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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ThisWangsChung's rating

3.7
ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2013
9.3 oz bottle into a snifter. 2009 vintage. A: Pours a rather murky dark brown color. Very little head is featured here, just a thin collar thatís white with big bubbles. Not to mention, further examination reveals some huge white-colored chunks of sediment. This is what we in the business call "ass-ugly". S: Wow. This is hugely sweet - almost like a barleywine thatís been distilled even further. Huge dark fruit and caramel sweetness abounds, with plenty of underlying chocolate. I also detect some toffee and some mellow earthiness. Fascinatingly rich, if perhaps a touch too sweet. T: Indeed, this is one sweet bitch. It opens with plenty of caramel maltiness and dark fruit esters. After the midpoint, the focus switches more to toffee, vanilla, tobacco, and chocolate. Alcohol is mildly prevalent on the back end, but takes on an excellent character, more similar to rum than vodka. After about 3 oz, it does transcend into the realm of "too sweet", with its strong toffee notes ultimately becoming the dominant flavor. Thereís good depth and complexity to compensate somewhat. M: The body does a decent job of keeping the sugary sweetness in check by slightly drying out on the finish, which has a side effect of intruding on the softness of the texture somewhat. Even with that, itís a heavy, smack-your-lips sweet brew, with almost no carbonation. O: Well, itís everything a dessert barleywine should be - big, rich, complex, and decadent. However, even at 9.3 oz, this is best split between two people due to how cloying it is. Compare that to, say, Sucaba, which I can finish a 750ml bottle of with little trouble. Absolutely worth trying...just donít drink it before dinner.


4.1
gopherfan99 (1774) - Minnesota, USA - MAY 20, 2017
Bottle; pours cloudy amber with a beige head; aroma of caramel, fruit, booze, and malt; taste is sweet with caramel, fruits, malt, and brown sugar hints; finish is dry and malty with some alcohol warming

3.5
ctipping (1914) - Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2017
1999 275 mL bottle. Pours deep amber and mostly clear. Remarkably few floaty bits and almost no sediment in the bottle. Smells of raisins, brown sugar, caramel, a little oxidation that comes off as sherry and cardboard. Tastes very sweet. Dampened by oxidation. Bitterness builds. Raisins and sherry, but cut again by cardboard bitterness. Heavy with low carbonation. This has held up remarkably well. Impressive for its age, but I donít know that itís objectively that great.

3.9
Homer321 (5006) - Melboring, Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2017
Bottle to snifter. Intense melanoidin aroma. Lots of Munich malt. Dusty. Lots of dark dried fruit. Light alcohol. Pours brown. Flat. Taste is like chewing raisins. Chewy. Thick. Viscous. Perfect example of an English barley wine and has held up phenomenally for 16 years (2001 bottle). Just wish it had a touch of carbonation. Very pleasant sipper for a night cap.

4.1
Bill Becker (1005) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - MAR 3, 2017
This is the 1998 vintage: Iíve had this bottle for about 3 years now so I decided now was the time to try it: It pours from 275ml bottle a clear very deep brown with lots of red highlights and when I hold my glass up to the light, I see no sediment. The foam whilst pouring looked like it was going to be non existant or at least, very small but when I put my glass down on the table thereís a nice 1" layer sitting there all pretty looking. Plenty of sticky lacing on the sides of my glass as well. Btw, the small head of foam stays around for the entire session. On to the smell and Iím greeted with a very strong nose of caramel malt along with some dark fruit like raisin, plum, and some fig. Nice. The taste is very sweet because of the huge caramel malt but as in the smell, I can taste some raisin, plum, sherry, molasses, some chocolate. and other flavours that I canít even begin to describe accurately. Thereís a decent warming during and after the swallow but at 11.50%abv, it comes as no surprise. The mouthfeel is really chewy and the carbonation is low and it finishes as sweet as it started out. What a sipper! What a Barleywine Style Ale! I *have* to pick up some more of these...any and all vintages I can find...because Iím getting a great drinking experience here and for the price, I think itís a damned good bargain. I highly recommend it!!!

3.8
BillKismet (4041) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 4, 2017
Labeled "Autumn Limited Edition" (2013). Orangish-maroon body, mightily carbonated, and with a light caramel colored head. Sherry and malt soak those, soon followed by heavy Marsala notes. This rolls over the palate in medium-viscous wavers. Wet Marsala flavors permeate the tongue, followed by crashing waves of sherry, and deep, aged maltiness.

3.8
john44 (3048) - SW London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 4, 2017
Cask Half Pint at White Horse, Parsons Green, London in Nov 2010 - Deep Reddish-Amber in colour. Very Malty; toasted malts, toffee, caramel, honey. Very Fruity; spiced fruit, raisins, dates. Rich, full-bodied, rather syrupy. Very sweet fruity malty; liquid fruitcake. Noticeable alcohol. One of those must try beers. Would be interesting to try a well aged bottle. Nice Barley Wine! (2010-11)

3.5
Parmenion777 (275) - Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 21, 2017
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2017 A hazy amber pour with a tiny head. A ripe fruity aroma, prunes, raisin, and some caramel. Syrupy sweet caramel, toffee, prunes and raisins with an alcohol warmth to the finish.

3.7
Bacterial (2986) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JAN 7, 2017
Dark amber pour with a slight white head. Very low carbonation. Tons of caramel butterscotch and toffee. Yum!

3.1
jackl (8013) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 7, 2017
2002 vintage. Thanks to whoever shared this. Deep amber pour with a small head. Nose is a bit knackered. Cardboard and plum preserve. Spiced apple and sweet grains. Flavor is similar. Hot raisin. Flabby. Very rich. Decent stuff thatís long in the tooth.

4.2
thomashall (984) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - JAN 7, 2017
12oz bottle shared at tasting. Caramel pour. Super sweet aroma with booze. Taste is really sweet, very smooth, love it. So well done!


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