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: 1090   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   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
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
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 that’s 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 that’s 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. There’s 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, it’s a heavy, smack-your-lips sweet brew, with almost no carbonation. O: Well, it’s 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 don’t drink it before dinner.


3.3
jjgmd (2275) - Coral Springs, Florida, USA - DEC 13, 2017
Bottle 2008. Pours a dark rusty colored pour with no head. Nose is fruity with strong whiskey. Taste is apple brandy with strong alcohol whiskey notes. Finishes on the strong fruity alcoholic notes. Quaff Score 6 / 10
Not impressive , might not have held up !

3.8
brigg (712) - New York, USA - NOV 17, 2017
(Bottle) Honey-colored, cloudy, minimal beige head. Aroma is very sweet; honey, lightly floral, touch of bourbon. Flavor is sweet, strong honey, a little musty, whiskey; sweetness mostly hides the alcohol, but a warming aftertaste. Texture is smooth and oily.

4.5
MetalNHopHead (2223) - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - NOV 15, 2017
I enjoyed the 2014 vintage of this classic English brew. My other experiences with the various barrel-aged varieties were from that same happy year. The pour revealed the iconic golden color of the Lees Harvest Ale Barleywine. Big, malty nose. Dark fruit, molasses, vanilla, and toffee flavors. Lots of sweetness, but there's nothing overbearing. Thick, full-bodied texture. An easy-to-appreciate sipper that likes to be warm.

3.7
trapped (3677) - New York, TURKEY - NOV 13, 2017
Bottle, 2014 edition. Pours hazy dark orange with very small frothy beige head that disappears fast, woody acidic aroma, low carbonation, sweet woodsy malt taste with alcohol undertones, small body, long sweet woodsy finish. Like a port wine, sweet and rich.

4.2
Benters (100) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 2, 2017
2015 vintage. Pours a slightly hazy amber-red colour with minimal head and low carbonation. Aroma is rich, fruity, alcoholic, almost Christmas-cake-like. Taste is sweet, chewy, a complex blend of molasses, dark fruits, caramel and a sherry-like warmth. Fruit and malt dominate the palate. Finish is dominated by dry, syrupy sweetness. A really enjoyable beer, great for savouring and one which whilst strong does hide its 11.5% ABV fairly well!

4.3
ebone1988 (2177) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - SEP 11, 2017
Bottle from Merchants, for the book. 2013 Vintage. Aroma is caramel, toffee, sweet, fruity, bready, woody, butterscotch, slight peat maybe, really nice stuff. Appearance is brownish reddish, minimal light brown head, murky. Taste is sweet, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, woody, smooth as fuck, rich, decadent, slight booze, complex and delicious. It reminds me a lot of 4D. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy body, light carbonation, decadent dessert and woody boozy aftertaste. Overall, hot damn I regret waiting for this one.

4.5
DiarmaidBHK (5963) - Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 28, 2017
Taster at the Birch. Pours brown with a khaki head. Leaves trace lacing in the glass. Solid peat notes on the tongue. Big scotch action on the tongue. Hides it’s booze well. Nice!

3.8
mar (5446) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUN 27, 2017
2012 bottle. Hazy, deep amber with no head. Thick malts, chewy toffee, caramel and dough. Heavy palate, oxidation, caramel, sweet, toffee pudding in the back, light alcohol in finish.

4.1
gopherfan99 (2012) - 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 (2252) - 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 don’t know that it’s objectively that great.


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