J.W. Lees Reviews




anfractuosity
3.9
J.W. Lees Moonraker (Bottle)
Had in bottle, but was 6.5% rather than 7.5%. Lovely roasty notes. Slightly like treacle toffee. Nice!
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Smithld1
3.2
J.W. Lees Manchester Pale Ale
Bottle in a hotel. Perfectly pleasant session ale. Not much about it but moderately tasty. A bit iron-y if I have to criticise.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

imdownthepub
2.7
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Draught at The Plasterers Arms, Norwich, Norfolk. Clouded amber with white head. This tasted quite thin, strained malts, berries then toffee / caramel hints. Quite bland overall really, not for me.
Monday, July 17, 2017

sjohnny
4.5
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)
Just a huge hit of peaty scotch. A little sweetness on the back end. Cloudy light brown orange Amber with a thin quickly fading off white head. Lots of Scotch. Lots of peat. Glassy smooth. Prune. Date. Fig. Sweet finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fin
3
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Keg at Grub, Mayfield, Manchester, Saturday 15th July 2017 Pours reddy amber with a slim off white head. Some caramel on the nose. It’s a bit thin and watery even allowing for 5%, yes not getting much, it’s a bit fruity but all in all a tad drab. A6 A3 T6 P3 Ov12 3.0
Saturday, July 15, 2017

cgarvieuk
3.3
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Cask at cellar bar Chester... Dark brown.. Thin white lacing... Soft sweet toffee fruit nose. Light dry toffee fruit malt.. Soft sweet toffee.. Light cheesy malts.. Light watery fruit
Monday, July 10, 2017

downender
3.2
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Cask-conditioned at the Otley Arms, Treforest 7/7/2017. Reddish-amber in colour, with a decent, off-white, head. Sweet, red berry fruits, slightly toasty malts, some caramel and dusty hops, before a moderately bitter finish. Fine.
Monday, July 10, 2017

electrophotic
2.8
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Cask pint @ The Cellar, Chester. I can only agree with ’minutemat’. I was quite disappointed, after supping many a pint of Lees and lots of Cloudwater I was expecting much better than this. It certainly tastes less than a 4%. The Cloudwater brand has been devalued.
Thursday, July 6, 2017

RichTheVillan
3
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Keg at Tilt Brum; clear chestnut brown pour with a frothy off white head, aroma has coffee, autumn leaves and a hint of chocolate, taste has sweet toffee, coffee and chocolate, quite autumnal, pretty basic red.
Sunday, July 2, 2017

minutemat
2.8
J.W. Lees / Cloudwater Red Ale
Cask Pint @ The Vaults, Shrewsbury. Pours a clear chestnut brown, small off-white head. Aroma has lightly sweet malts. Quite light bodied and light-flavoured, verging towards 3.5% bitter territory before some distant toffee just about rescues things into a red ale mould. It’s a Cloudwater collab but very much a JW Lees beer, keeping things sessionable, sensible and pintworthy but leaves you wondering how the last 2 years of Cloudwater innovation has seen them return to something as watery and forgettable as this.
Thursday, June 29, 2017

tombyars
2.4
J.W. Lees Dirty Dozen
Tasted this in the Salt Cot, Saltcoats (JDW) on the 11th May 2017. Cask, handpump dispense. Clear copper in colour with a thin white head. Very slight note of malt just about evident in a poor nose. Thin resiny mouthfeel and poor lacing. Mixed malts give a light biscuit base with dry currant fruit - notes of garibaldi biscuit. Dry grain husk leading into astringent hop resins for an intense bitter aftertaste. Malt finish with dry oak cask and grain husks still evident in the mouth. Very poor session bitter.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

mar
3.8
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale
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.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

anders37
2.9
J.W. Lees Cyclhops
Cask @ GBBF 2016. Pours a golden color with a small white head. Has a fruity malty grassy citrus hoppy aroma. Fruity malty grassy citrus hoppy flavor. Has a fruity malty citrus hoppy finish.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

zalfv
4.5
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)
Aroma of cocoa and caramel Pours a deep hazy brown with little head which does not linger. Taste is very well balanced, sherry notes throughout the entire sip. Caramelized oaky flavor. Good amount of malt. 2012 bottle ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Sunday, June 25, 2017

imdownthepub
3.6
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2008
Bottled, 275ml aged 8.5 years from Booths of Longton, Lancs. Reddish brown with thin white head. Spectacularly boozy from the off, peachy, apricot alcohol, nasal with a rich, smooth maltiness. Heavy palate with a whisky like character. Sipped whilst taking in the Chairman May Election disaster.
Friday, June 9, 2017

mar
4
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados)
Murky deep amber with a thin ring of cream head. Dough, caramel, chewy malts, light barrel notes. Chewy on the palate, caramel, toffee, light alcohol, hint of apple in the finish.
Sunday, June 4, 2017

6bottlepack
2.8
J.W. Lees Atomic
Can from Hops and Crafts Exeter. Pours clear Amber with a thick off white head. Aroma of caramel,some fruity,spicy hop & a metallic note. Taste is caramel ,metal ,slight burnt toast & good dryness . Light bodied,well carbonated the weak finish has more caramel,burnt toast ,metal & nice dryness & bitterness . A forgettable session bitter apart from the dryness & bitterness which does stand out.
Saturday, June 3, 2017

downender
3.2
J.W. Lees Dirty Dozen
Cask-conditioned at the Knights Templar (JDW), Bristol 30 May 2017. Amber in colour, with a slight, off-white, head. Hedgerow fruits, some leafy hops, cereal malts and a moderately bitter finish. Fine.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

gopherfan99
4.1
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale
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
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Grumbo
3.4
J.W. Lees Manchester Star Ale
Bottle from Sainsbury at Machester Piccadilly railway station. Poured dark brown with an average sized off-white to beige head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, light coffee, dark fruits and alcohol. Toward heavy sweetness, medium bitterness. Medium body, oily texture, average carbonation.
Saturday, May 20, 2017

imdownthepub
3.2
J.W. Lees Dirty Dozen
Cask conditioned at The White Hart, Headington, Oxford. Amber with white head. There is a twiggy bitterness to this from the start, some nuttiness, some dry caramel. Malt leads the way, there is a slight boiled vegetable note. Earthy bitterness in the close. It’s okay.
Saturday, May 20, 2017

SHIG
3.4
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)
Bottle. Poured an orange no head. Aroma is Sweet sticky booze. Taste is sweet with booze syrup caramel sugar finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Saturday, May 20, 2017

wombat23
3.2
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados)
9.3 oz. bottle. 2012 edition. Pours clear copper with a minimal white head. Aroma of sweet malt and brown sugar. Taste is malty, sweet, caramel, brown sugar, booze, almonds, green vegetable notes. Overrated. Did not finish.
Friday, May 19, 2017

GRM
2.3
Khukuri
Green bottle, 330 ml, drunk at Ashoka, trip to Swansea, Amsterdam and Paris with Louise, savoured on August 28 2016; eye: golden, clear, no effervescence, ring of white head that turns into a ring, light lacing; nose: malt, corn, caramel; mouth: malt, corn, caramel, acridness, finale in caramel with presence of acridness, light body, good carbonation, mildly sweet, slick texture; overall: correct

FRANÇAIS
Bouteille verte, 330 ml, bue chez Ashoka, voyage à Swansea, Amsterdam et Paris avec Louise, savourée le 28 août 2016; œil : dorée, limpide, pas d’effervescence, anneau de mousse blanche qui se transforme en un anneau, légère dentelle; nez : malt, maïs, caramel; bouche : malt, maïs, caramel, âcreté, finale en caramel avec présence d’âcreté, corps léger, bonne carbonatation, moyennement sucrée, texture coulante; en résumé : ordinaire

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Towey1989
3.2
J.W. Lees / Seven Bro7hers Two Tribes
Keg at The Seven Bro7hers Beerhouse, Manchester. A deep brown colour with a medium beige head. Aroma of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, some biscuit, slight chocolate, a little smoke and subtle vanilla. Taste of caramel, biscuity malts, some chocolate, slight coffee, a little roasted malts and subtle spicy hops. Medium bodied and soft carbonation. A bittersweet, chocolate, biscuity bitterness in the finish. Starts off promising but developed into more of a sweet brown ale with a hint of roasted coffee. But generic but ok.
Thursday, May 18, 2017

onceblind
4
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados)
Slightly hazy dark copper with a thin foamy white top. Big sugary dark Brandy nose. Big brash flavor that’s sweet and wheaty but also caramelly and loaded with cognac/Brandy/dark rum with a very full palate and malty toffee wheaty base with a warm finish.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Don2711
2.8
J.W. Lees Dirty Dozen
Amber appearance. Purple fruit taste with biscuit. Fair strength. Nothing exceptional.
Monday, May 15, 2017

fajry
3
J.W. Lees Dirty Dozen
Vycap Manchester Airport. Jantarova farba, biela husta pena. Vona ovocna, zemita. Chut sladova, jemne karamel, tmave ovocie, zemitost. Horka dochut.
Sunday, May 14, 2017

berkshirejohn
3.2
J.W. Lees Dirty Dozen
Cask at the Old Manor (JDW), Bracknell. A golden amber pour with a thin cream head; aroma of purple fruit; fruity taste, with a spicy bitterness; and a dry biscuity finish,
Friday, May 12, 2017

ManVsBeer
2.8
J.W. Lees Aura
Cask @ Rope & Anchor, Warrington. Golden with a creamy-frothy head. Malty bitter in an easy-drinking, but slightly thin texture. Light malts in its nose.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ctipping
3.5
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale
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.
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Homer321
3.9
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale
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.
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Homer321
2.7
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)
Bottle to snifter. Holy smokes. Such smoke. All smoke. Light rubber component to it. Light sharpie. Some alcohol noted too. Murky light brown pour. No head. Taste is all lagavulin. Chewy mouthfeel. Peppery alcohol finish with warming in the ears. Mouthfeel is fine but the lagavulin is just too overpowering.
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Homer321
3.5
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)
Bottle. 2007. Pour is completely flat, light brown with a murky appearance nose is a mix of paper and Sherry oxidation. Light grape and dried fruit esters. Visible alcohol legs. A chewy, lightly sweet mouthfeel. Light alcohol but very smooth. Vinous. For ten years this shit has held up nicely. My biggest knock is the lack of carbonation which hurts the beer a touch. Otherwise it is damn tasty.
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Davros IX
3.2
J.W. Lees Manchester Star Ale
An old ale with sweet stout flavours. Forward alcohol and a nice colour and head. However it really wasn’t my thing.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

ManVsBeer
2.8
J.W. Lees / Seven Bro7hers Two Tribes
Cask @ Seven Bro7hers Beerhouse, Manchester. Reddish-brown with a small bubbly head. Has some light coffee notes, but thinnish in this respect with a dark malt underbelly
Monday, May 1, 2017

HuskerTan
3.2
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados)
Bottle. A- Bread dough, wine grapes, molasses, subtle iron. A- Mahogany color, clear liquid, minimal head. T- Burnt sugar, medium sweetness, baked apples, grapes, slightly boozy. P- Full body, average texture, average carbonation, boozy finish. O- Bottle from 2013. Okay, but definitely heavy on the apple brandy. A bit sweet too. I can’t decide if I like it or not. It’s also got a odd tangy booziness to it. Definitely not worth the price at $12 for a 9 oz bottle. Not sure if I want to try other variants now or not...
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Villyzzz
1.8
Khukuri
Bottle at home. Pours golden with big white head. Aroma is mild hay and malt. Taste has mild citrus and hay. Basic pale lager.
Thursday, April 13, 2017

dfearnley
3.9
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2011: 25th Anniversary Version
I am a finite creature in a sea of infinite hoppiness. Lots of caramel and dark fruits in the aroma along with a hint of fermented apple. This is smokier and less sweet than the original and that’s fine by me.
Thursday, April 13, 2017

ContemplateBeer
3.6
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)
5.5 oz. mini snifter from HopCat (Louisville); purported to be "Sherry Cask" on their beer menu. Admins: Please move or delete as you see fit. Aroma: Pleasant semi-sweet raisin-like fruits with slightly lesser nutty/caramel malts. Appearance: Tinted copper with light carbonation and a ring of tan head. Flavor: Definite raisin and sweet fruits at the start; more base beer caramel nuttiness towards the finish, which lingers with alcohol heat. Palate: Light body, slick texture, soft carbonation, long finish. Overall: Definitely glad I had a small pour, would be quite rich otherwise. Still, a neat variation to try; would be fascinating to see the base with a less sweet/more complex Sherry, such as a Palo Cortado or Amontillado, even if they are more volatile.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

SamVimes21
2.9
J.W. Lees Manchester Pale Ale
Cask @ Burton beer festival , Burton- on-trent , amber wit a white head with a malty , hoppy taste leaving a good session ale .
Saturday, April 1, 2017

ManVsBeer
2.6
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2016
Manchester Beer Festival 2017. Extremely strong, very sweet, and not overly palatable in this respect.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

undercurrent25
3.1
J.W. Lees Aura
Pours a pale golden colour. Taste is quite light and well balanced. Decent enough blonde beer
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

ManVsBeer
2.7
J.W. Lees British Autumn Ale
Cask @ Beckett’s Bank, Leeds. Clear copper with a creamy head. Has a high bitterness and is malty, not unlike a lot of other ales in this brewer’s back catalogue.
Friday, March 17, 2017

gopherfan99
4
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)
Bottle (brewed in 2010); pours cloudy amber with a thin tan head; aroma of sherry, wood, dark fruits, and a hint of brown sugar; taste is sweet with sherry, dark fruits, brown sugar, and wood; finish is sweet and dry with some sherry notes
Monday, March 13, 2017

superspak
4.6
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2011: 25th Anniversary Version
750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/1/2011. Pours very hazy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of huge raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, cherry, berry, apricot, orange, apple, sherry, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, toasted oak, brown bread, leather, and tobacco; with lighter notes of vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, coffee, smoke, herbal, pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, oak, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, prune, fig, date, cherry, berry, apricot, orange, apple, sherry, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, toasted oak, brown bread, leather, and tobacco; with lighter notes of vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, coffee, smoke, and herbal, pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/peppery bitterness and oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, cherry, berry, apricot, orange, apple, sherry, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, toasted oak, brown bread, leather, tobacco, herbal, pepper, light chocolate/coffee, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, oak, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitter/spiciness and carbonation as well. High carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, fairly crisp, and lightly slick/sticky/tannic/prickly balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is well hidden with a mild warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an insane English barelywine! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, oak, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to sip on for the big ABV; thanks to the elevated carbonation. Pretty unique with the champagne yeast and resulting high carbonation; but still extremely rich, complex, and full bodied like the normal harvest ale; with nice added oak presence. A highly amazing offering all around.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

dnstone
3.8
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin)
Pours a golden-copper color with white head. Sweet malty aroma with hints of wood and whisky. Medium malt body, quite sweet with dull oak and scotch notes the complement but not overwhelm. Notes: On tap at Aces & Ales (Tenaya), Mar ’17
Friday, March 3, 2017

Bill Becker
4.1
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale
This is the 1998 vintage: I’ve 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 there’s 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 I’m 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 can’t even begin to describe accurately. There’s 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 I’m getting a great drinking experience here and for the price, I think it’s a damned good bargain. I highly recommend it!!!
Friday, March 3, 2017

ManVsBeer
2.7
J.W. Lees Atomic
Cask @ Rain Bar, Manchester. Clear copper-red with a creamy head. Light, slightly thin tasting malty bitter and sessionable.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

hman43
4.3
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry)
It pours a cloudy medium brown with little head retention. There is a slight tan head. It has aromas of toasted and breaded malts along with a strong sherry smell. It also has a nut aroma mixed in as well. There are hints of floral and spice hopes. There are also hints of plums. There sherry flavor is clearly present in the initial flavor with a sweetness to it and some wood flavors with toast and bready malts. There are nuts in the background. The hops are barely noticeable with some low fruit. It has a full body, but not quite chewy. There is very low carbonation with alcohol warmth that is pleasant. Overall this is a delightful barleywine that has a complex mixture of flavors.
Saturday, February 25, 2017