Harveys Christmas Ale - Harvey & Son Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harveys Christmas AleHarveys Christmas Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

169 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 169
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 15.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fx20736
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Premiere Gourmet, December 2014. Poured cool into a St Bernardus chalice.

Look: Sharp and clear dark amber with a Tawny Port hue. Minimal head disappears quickly. No lacing.

Smell: winey over some thinnish toasted malt. More complex than that but I can't define it.

Taste: rich nutty malt is overlaid with young raisins and toffee.Dark fruit finish.

Feel: clean and soft, minimal carbonation.

Overall: The sum is greater than its' parts. Barleywinish. Very good.

Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of seedyone
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

01/11/14 From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Smooth, rich, prunes, thick. Not sweet nor too hoppy or dry. Lovely perfume for an aroma. 8% and you'd never know it. Liked this a lot but can get pricey. Reminds me of a very good sherry or light port. Not meaning to sound gauche, but did I mention rich?

Photo of irishpride
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of NilocRellim
2.79/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle.

The beer poured with very little carbonation.

It was hazy and auburn in colour.

The beer smelled strongly of figs and spices.

The taste was like drinking alcoholic raisin/prune juice with a few spices. It was also a bit slimy on the tongue.

Would I buy it again? No. I just do not care for those types of flavours.

Photo of kaufmaal
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one sloshed out of the bottle, virtually no carbonation other than some off-white bubbles around the edges. Undated bottle, so perhaps an old one. It has the color of iced tea. Smells like Coca-Cola: sweet, some ripened fruit, raisins, vanilla. The taste is a real let-down: sweet, a bit malty, some more vanilla. The alcohol is well hidden, but it tastes like flat coke mixed with some orange soda. I'm willing to try it again as this may be an old bottle.

Photo of BraveUlysses
2.3/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Truly a let down. After seeing the high reviews on BA, I had very high expectations for this brew. It poured with little to no head (maybe due to a bad pour) and the color was fine, but nothing particularly appealing. I drank this out of a Perfect Pint glass, but didn't really experience much nose on the beer after pouring (related to my imperfect pour, perhaps?) But the taste was the biggest disappointment - I can only compare it to flat soda. Sweet, with little carbonation and just a mediocre sugary taste. Couldn't even finish it.

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of brentk56
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy ice tea brown color; the head is a mass of large bubbles that quickly fade away, leaving a salting of lace on the tulip glass

Smell: Burnt brown sugar, leather, cream sherry and a hint of soy

Taste: Soy sauce infused toffee, on the front end, with leather and caramel apple flavors in the mid-palate; the finish is somewhat boozy, with cream sherry notes; a touch of lactic sourness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation; a bit of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Though I bought this bottle the other day, I have no idea how old it was; given the price mark-down, I am sure it was not this year's edition and it may not have been last year's either; as I look through the previous reviews there is a distinct downward trend and reduced number of reviews over the last few years so it would not surprise me if this beer hasn't been imported for a while; trying to account for all this, I find that there are some pleasing aspects to the beer but the soy sauce, in particular, really detracts from the overall enjoyment

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of matjack85
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Body is dark reddish brown, head dissipates rapidly.

Smells malty sweet, raisins and honey, a little fresh tobacco.

Tastes very malty sweet, with notes of raisins, prunes, and other dark fruit, a little coffee. Has a slightly bitter finish.

Body is medium and carbonation is low, not quite flat but close.

This is a winter warmer that is very malty, fruity, and pretty sweet, but not very spicy. It is just OK and lacks complexity. It doesn't hold my interest and I would not have another glass of this.

Photo of brez8791
1.5/5  rDev -60.4%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a somewhat cloudy dark, ruddy brown amber. Very slight head formation on pouring that disappears quickly, little carbonation. Aroma of dark fruit and sweet malt. Flavor is moderate dark and dried fruit and sweet malt with light holiday spicing. Medium body. Pleasant, but nothing to bring me back next year. Kind of wanted to like this a bit more. No date on the bottle, from the source, it could have been an older bottle.

Photo of Archemedies
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy brownish amber in color. It poured with a very thin head that quickly dissipated, leaving lacing on the surface and a thick ring of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of port wine in the nose, which become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of port wine along with notes of figs and a bit of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink compared to others in the style because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. It almost seems to taste more like port wine instead of beer.

Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Suds
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is flatter than normal...a still-ish amber liquid with a nearly non-existent head. A ring of white suds. The aroma is all fruit and malt. Cherry, grist-mill, apricot, grape-skin, and lightly toasted bread. The flavor is now what was expected...intense sweetness to begin with (nearly sugary), followed with a bit of booze and enough balance to even things out. Some gristy, malty characteristics. English hops. This is a traditional strong English ale all the way (over the top, really). Full body. To be enjoyed in sips, not a gulps. I enjoyed this beer more than expected.

Photo of warnerry
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure when this was bottled. Label says there is a best by date on the cap, but I don't see one.

A - Pours a clear amber/copper with almost zero head.

S - Lots of caramel malt, a bit of fruit, mostly apple, and a bit of candi sugar. Pretty nice.

T - Alcohol is quite noticeable, along with sweet caramel malt, some sugar and brown sugar, and some tart fruit. Has a very faint burnt flavor, and some spices leading to a dry finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel s initially quite syrupy, but finishes dry and with some bitterness.

O - A pretty good winter warmer, but not one I would go back to.

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Harveys Christmas Ale from Harvey & Son Ltd.
85 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.