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Harveys Elizabethan Ale - Harvey & Son Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harveys Elizabethan AleHarveys Elizabethan Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

120 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 120
Hads: 147
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 15.44%
Wants: 11
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 12-31-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Harveys Elizabethan Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 120 | Hads: 147
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 275ml bottle with a BB of March 2015. ABV is stated as 7.5%. Purchased a while back from the Harvey's shop in Lewes. The label mentions that this was originally brewed for the coronation in 1953 - a barley wine in the style of a 16th century 'October ale'.

A: Poured into a tulip. A deep amber hue with good clarity and medium carbonation. Yields a decent head of frothy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing.

S: Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of raisins, light sherry, a touch of apricot, dried fruit, sugar, subtle caramel, yeast esters and faint stewed leaves. Malt-dominant but quite nice.

T: Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with a mild, lingering finish. Notes of raisins, sherry, dried fruit, sugar, a hint of caramel, yeast esters and faint stewed leaves. Possesses a subtle vinous quality and a twinge of cardboard in the background. Little bitterness to speak of. Pretty sweet, followed by a lengthy fruitiness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and good body. Could be a shade thicker for the style. Mildly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of sweet fruity malt, yeast esters and subtle stewed leaves/cardboard.

O: Pretty good, though lacking in complexity. Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour are very sweet and fruity with a sherry-like character. No hop notes or bitterness. Body is OK but maybe a tad too thin. A nice strong ale but could be more rounded - it verges on cloying. Might also benefit from conditioning with live yeast. That said, it's a beer of character that deserves to be sampled.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Brilliant copper amber with a thin white wisp of a head.
S: Nutty toast, some sherry, fruit and earthiness.
T: Big caramel treacle flavors blended with nuts and light toast give way to a grapey, sherry finish. Hints of pear and other light fruit, traces iof tropical fruit and a hint of pineapple.
F: a little above medium on the body and below medium on the carbonation.
O: A very well made and easy to drink old ale.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
1.43/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Considering everyone else's reviews, I must have gotten a bad bottle. What was inside tasted and smelled more like an adjunct lager than a world-class old ale.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I've had my eye on this for awhile and now seems the time. 2008 version poured into a Boulevard tulip.
Sweet caramel, toffee and a bit of must. Deeper richer fruit, like figs and dates. Not overpowering but pleasant and calming.
Pours with no apparent carbonation, but a small thin head does appear and then settles out to a white ring. Garnet colored and glows like a gem.
Tastes very similar to the aroma. Yummy. Much like candied fruit all around, with just a hint of drying on the finish-that actually grows through the glass. The toffee and caramel are now more background.
A bit thin, but that is as much about the low carbonation as anything. Flavor fades on palate in time leaving me ready to place that joy producing elixir right back on there as soon as possible. I will fight those urges and make this wonderful glass of beer last. And I'm going to buy some more. Worth the price I paid.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A- slowly forming head of foam after the pour, at its max less than an inch and that fades quickly.

S- caramel malt, Port like nose, slight dark fruits.

T- caramel malt with again, Port like flavour, some butterscotch, hints of dark fruits.

M- medium to medium high body, no carbonation.

O- very tasty brew with the alcohol well hidden. I dig it.

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Photo of 7ate9
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With an aggressive pour this pops a quickly receding white head. Falls to a ring that sticks around. This bottle has no date on it so I can't be certain when it was born, but this has no small amount of years on it../ having any sort of head is impressive. Very nice dark mahogany color, Spot on.

Very complex smell of leather, raisin/tawny port/passito (which suggests a slight tart fruit note and touch of balsamic), prune, brown sugar...
a concentrated boozy molasses/rum-like flavor
Dried apricot
All very nice

Palate follows the nose. The age has hollowed out the mid-palate a bit but the finish kicks in big with leather, beef jerky, amaretto, and an unfortunate slight metallic taste that really takes away from it all.

Med body, dried out a bit with the age
Med-minus carbonation

Elizabethan is a great example of a tradional english old ale
Don't go into it thinking barleywine
Don't go into it thinking about old ales like Fruet or Fourth Dementia
It's a very complex, drinkable, moderate strength (but still pleasantly warming) beer that (except for the unfortunate slight metallic finish) is a joy to experience.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I am told this is the 1996 version 8.1% ABV - In a brown 275 ml bottle with “PLEASE RETURN” and three arrows circling the bottle and an “O.K.M” stamped on the gold bottle cap.

Pours a thin slightly murky dark root beer color that is headless. Tons of dark overly ripe fruits dominate the aroma with plenty of age (sherry notes) and some booziness comprise a great nose. First sip is surprisingly good and tasty. Similar to what the nose indicted, the taste is full of those lovely dark overly ripe fruits like plums and figs. It starts super sweet but quickly finishes with a bitter twist that really captures my attention sip after sip after sip. Though thin bodied and lacking some carbonation - I don’t care as this puppy has plenty to offer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed brown/chestnut with minimal cream colored head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, figs dates, raisins

T: Rich dark fruit, a touch of pears, & woody hops, plus a bit of toffee up front. Some treacle sweetness as this warms, leafy hops, pears & figs. Finishes very dry with woody hops & figs with jammy notes

MF: Zero carbonation & medium bodied, sticky, a little warming

This is good English Old Ale, a proto-type for the style

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear dark garnet in color; close inspection reveals a slight amount of carbonation and a few small particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with just a thick ring of large bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate to strong complex aromas of port wine, prunes and toffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some notes of oak and hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of warming from the alcohol in the finish. Some hints of syrupiness become noticeable as the beer warms up.
O: I found this to be a very interesting beer—it has the complex flavors that you would expect from a barleywine but is a little more drinkable because it doesn’t feel as heavy on the palate. The alcohol is also well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint Pours a medium red amber. Minimal off-white head and hints of lacing. Malty aroma, caramel, dark fruits. Nice mellow caramel and sweet malt, dark fruits, a port like element. Faint woody flavor, no hops. Very well integrated and balanced. An excellent old ale. This bottle had no bottling date, but has been stored refrigerated for a year.

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Photo of Samp01
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A ruby amber on the pour with a small short lived head. Aroma is very fruity, with a bouquet of dark fruits, plums, dates, some yeast, caramel malt, and sweet alcohol esters are present, almost like a brandy. Taste is caramel malt, yeast, dark fruits, plums, dates and some light bitterness. Palate is a full body with a rich creamy texture and soft carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, dates, plums, maybe some light chocolate notes, ending with some sweet slightly bitterness and a lingering alcohol presence, flavors become more pronounced as it warms up. Overall a good ale to sip on cold winter nights

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #2152, brewed in 1997. Poured into a Swiss wine snifter.

Upon popping the cap there is a slight hiss. When pouring into the glass no head is formed, but a light ring of foam clings to glass around the surface, and bubbles form all over the inside of the glass below the level of the beer. The color is a remarkable dirty ruby when held to light showing just a hint of haze. The fact that this beer retains those beautiful red hues after nearly 15 years is awesome.

The nose is strong, and displays heady notes of old port, oxidized red wine, dried dark fruits, and a slight savory quality that might be smoky and brings to mind dark meat.

The flavors are not nearly as brash as the nose indicated. Old dusty toffee with dried dates, figs, and maybe prunes is the central flavor. All the flavors present have been affected by oxidation (or caused by it). The savory flavor is present as well and manifests almost like chocolate in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly full for the age of this beer, but still shows some of the thinning and watery qualities to old age. There is obviously carbonation left, but very little of it is felt in the mouth.

Conclusion: For not being bottle conditioned, this has taken the years with surprising grace (although the pasteurization helped ensure it didn't end of a sour mess). It is certainly the best 20th century beer I have had (the other was Gale's millennium brew). I love old beer and will continue looking for older and older examples of beers that are known to age well.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exquisit ale that carries all the flavors, aromas, and appearances that are expected of classic English Barleywines, except with the lighter body and higher drinkability of Old Ales- It's a pleasure to see this shared bottle of '98 vintage, bottle #4287 in front of me.

A pour of dense tawny/rusty brown carries a lowly carbonated and visual weighted haze releases the faintest of delicate creme foa that struggles against the weight and infussed creaminess. No lace, no retention- this ale carries the stately appearances of cognacs and ports.

Bold and succulent aromas of fruity prunes, grapes, and raisons rise from the caramel and biscuity scent. Toffee richness, leathery, and raw tobacco all weave into the aromatic matrix. This in a seriously seductive scent.

Flavors deliver on the promises made by the nose- hearty malt sweetness and bread flavors weave into a port wine-like flavor that borrows complenting flavors of rum, sherry, walnut, brown sugar, soy sauce, brine, toffee, and tobacco. All of these contribute to the beer from either the sweetness of malt, the malliard reaction of boil, or the oxidation of dark grains. Delicious and succulent with only an herbal evidence of hops from underneath.

Full bodied and densely creamy, the fleeting carbonation quickly allows for the full weight of the beer to lay on the tongue and coat the palte for a lightly oily and coated feel somehow allows for a semi malty-dry finish compared to Barleywines.

This is a magical beer that rivals well aged J.W. Lees Harvest Ales and Gales Prized Old Ale in taste but becomed deceptively drinkable with its dryish body and finish.

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Photo of weizenbob
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This 275 ml bottle was purchased at Beertopia in Omaha, NE for $3.89. According to Harvey’s website this barley wine was originally brewed to mark the Queen's Coronation in 1953. The label states that this contains malted barley and oats, and at 8.1% ABV, I imagine a lot of it. No bottling information could be located, despite the label’s insistence that it should be on the bottle top. This bottle was served at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It was poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

An aggressive pour yields less than a finger of tan-colored head. Retention is poor, but at this gravity I’m not surprised. Lacing maintains the high water mark on the glass. The brew is a deep amber hue, with surprisingly little translucence.

As soon as the cap came off, this bottle was gushing with aroma. In the glass, this smells richly alcoholic with a high degree of malt complexity. Sweet aromas of caramel and toffee overload the senses while a healthy amount of alcohol quite literally tickles the nose hairs. The combination is mildly paint thinner-esque but not in a way that implies that I’ll be drinking chemicals (or getting high off fumes for that matter). I’m a sucker for big ales that bludgeon the senses. You can throw subtlety out the window; this is uniquely big.

It is also a very tasty brew. The dominant impression that I get from the first sip is that I’m chewing on rye bread. It is a literal bread flavor to a degree of which I have never tasted in any beer. Sweetness ensues, bringing along a complex range of fruity esthers. A mild but persistent woody character adds a nice subtlety. Alcohol is on the tongue but contains absolutely no harshness whatsoever. Hop bitterness is non-existent. It finishes as sweet as any beer I’ve tasted, yet not cloyingly so. I cannot believe how smooth this is. It’s like a big jelly sandwich in a glass.

In the mouth this feels fantastic! It is full bodied and quite heavy. The carbonation level is low. For 8.1% ABV it is not the least bit harsh. It is rich and smooth, yet in no way a burden to drink. I’ve not had a barley wine that was this close to perfection without any required extended cellaring. The price works out to about $5 per 12 ounce serving, and I concede that this is easily the best $5 barley wine that I have ever had the pleasure of imbibing. In this case the small 275 ml (9.3 ounce) bottle actually felt like an unnecessarily large serving. By the time that I was finished, it had warmed to room temperature and was no worse for the wear. This is world-class.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear amber with no head. There is not even the slightest hint of carbonation, but one does not exactly expect it in a beer this old.

S: Gorgeous and full on the nose with aromas of leather, tobacco, toffee, dates, figs, and prunes. This is one of the most aromatic beers I believe I've ever encountered.

T: Sweet and sticky on the palate with leather, toffee, molasses, tobacco, raisin, fig, prune, date, oak, and oxidized flavors in abundance. The finish is warming, mellow, and sweet with dried fruit, leather, and port-like characteristics.

M: Full-bodied, slick, oily, and a bit resinous. There is no carbonation, so this ale remains still in the mouth.

O: This is an excellent English old ale. It's a benchmark of the style and well deserving of its reputation as a classic.

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Photo of HopStoopid120
4.92/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1977 Vintage. Brewed for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Consumed on 8/4/2011. This is really an OLD Ale. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Pours witha very slight head. Am I seeing carbonation??? This is insane, seeing this beer is eight years older than I am. The carbonation pretty quckly dissapears as does the head. What your left with is a beautiful set of legs, graced over the ruby/brown body. This looks intense. Getting really stoked to get into this one.

This is fantastic. This is one of the best smelling beers ever. Yeah, its very old (34 years), so its a bit oxidized, but it works here. Leather, tobacco, tons of dark fruits, dates, figs, raisins. I can't get enough of this. I probably kept my nose buried in my glass for several minutes without even tasting it. Glorious.

Sweet, oxidized, dark fruits, even a touch of touch of wood. The taste is wonderful. No real bitterness to speak of, of course. This is so impressive. Tastes exactly like I want a 30+ year old barleywine or old ale to taste. The flavors just linger in the mouth.

This is pretty full in the mouth. Thick and slick. Yes. No carbonation, but who cares?

I have been very fortunate in the fact that I have tried many of the Jubilee ales. This has been one of the two best I have had. The other being Ansell's Strong Ale, but unfortunately that beer is not on here to be reviewed. I hope to someday get my hands on another of these, although I'm sure that is very unlikely. Now, I suppose, I should try some of the later vintages of this beer if I can track some down. Amazing stuff.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From 9.3oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/27/11
*From notes

I'm not sure of the vintage, as there was a big pricing sticker placed on the label.

A: Purple-amber in presentation, with a tiny .5 finger head and no lacing to speak of.

S: Malty prune juice. It's overly sweet and syrupy on the nose, making me pull away from the glass.

T: Hardcore prunes and raisins. Big time branflakes and rottting black fruit. It feels like this one was aged a bit too long at the brewery, as it's too cloyingly sweet.

M: Rough, like liquid sandpaper.

O: Harveys Elizabethan Ale misses the mark. It's too sweet and lacks any sort of balance. I will say that due to the prune juice like flavor profile, my Grandma would love it.

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Photo of MONKandTUCK
2.62/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Becoming interested in Strong Ales and Old Ales, which have, on this side of the Atlantic, taken a back seat to Barleywines, I had to pay the premium for this bottle when I saw it at a local beer-and-wine.

Bottled in '98 I hope it has been well-cared for and shows the finer character of long maturation.

A- Amber. Poured freely into a La Trappe chalice. No carbonation, no head. Just a Honey-looking beer.

A- musty. something like cheap old man cologne. some figgyness. alcohol fumes. woody. caramel.

T- alcohol, musk, slight caramel, prune syrup. Lots of syrup and alcohol. This tastes like molasses cookies soaked in ethanol. Then it becomes oily. I guess it has mellowed from something wilder, but after 12 years I assume it has even surpassed sufficient aging to become something blander, or off-flavored.

M- Too heavy for the lack of flavor. I dunno how it does both oily and sappy, and how people enjoy it... but here it is!

0- This beer actually tastes BIGGER and hotter than it actually is. Usually it's the sign of good brewing for a beer to mask it's alcoholic fortitude. Syrupy and tangy, I'm hoping this is just an off batch.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark ruby with an orange hue. Tiny, foamy, bubbly, off-white head. The head doesn't stick around very long leaving a thin lace.

S - Nice old ale aroma with burnt caramel, toffee and butterscotch. Also some spice, hints of dark fruit, berry, and apple. There is a slight alcohol aroma along with a very faint phenol aroma. There is some sherry/port aroma but it doesn't dominate for a 12-13 year old old ale.

T - Raisin, burnt caramel, toffee, and butterscotch are the biggest providers of the flavor. Some other faint dark fruit. A touch of alcohol as well. My major problem is that it doesn't last long enough. Fairly sweet with a slight spice kick.

M - Medium body with low carbonation (to be expected) and fairly slick, oily feel.

D - Goes down easy, and it is a nice drink. Not quite as full or big in flavors as I was expecting. Definitely wouldn't have more than one in a night, but it is nice.

Notes: Didn't see a date but I was told it was '98 and from other reviews that looks right. Decent old ale, but nothing to write home about. Sweet dark fruit and some alcohol provide the most flavor. Lacks a bit of the fullness and complexity that I would expect from a 12-13 year old ale. I liked it, and it had some regular old ale aspects, but it is nothing special and didn't show the complexity that can come with aging some old ales.

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Photo of bobsy
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little bottle from Buffalo.

Orange-brown pour with a small off-white head that laced well as it dropped to a film. Beautiful highlights. Big boozy, vinous nose has way too much going on to transcribe. Really reminiscent of a Hardys. Big fruit character, with lots of plum. Sherry-esque, brown sugar, booze, vinous notes. Lots of depth and complexity. Chewy, low-carb body.

I feel this one is under-rated on this site. It's a pretty traditional take on the style, but it's a good one. Tastes like history.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(no bottling/bb date - but must be well kept at the store that still has about a dozen more on the shelf)

Looks like they took their time with this one. Glows a clean, deep rouge/brown with tiny flecks of yeast in suspension. Low volume carb and just about head, just a few big bubbles.

What a lovely, vibrant nose busting out before you're done pouring. Scotch-ale-like (hmm!). Fruit-juicy: port, plum, prune... Definitely a barleywine profile matched with its malt foundation.

Terrific balance and interplay of flavors. Barleywine straight-up with a faint bit of smoky, tobacco tang. Filtering through that a rich port vinousness, follwed not long after by a sweet smooth brown sugar malt rush - not caramel in the least.

The aftertaste sports surprising contrast to what's up front - hoppy, aromatic, floral, with tiny old ale sour trailing from the middle on out. It drinks with notable weight - heavy syrupy/soupy, malty molasses smooth. Late, soft warming. No carb prickle.

This is grrreat - no real significant flaws to mention. Can i get some more? I need to double-, triple-check some things. (I know where to get more...)

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Photo of claspada
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of fresh port wine; really spectacular yet subtle. Tons of dark fruit (raisins and figs) followed by a musty earthy oakiness (but the dark fruits are much more predominant). As it warms you get more burnt/brown sugar sweet smells.

Taste is pretty good but a letdown overall. You get the figgy/raisiny dark fruits but you also get some molasses, smokiness and woody notes. Lacks that punch or dominant flavor. This hasn't been brewed for 2 years so maybe the age is catching up with this beer.

The main detractor is the lack of carbonation, I mean zero. It hinders the mouthfeel and makes it seem more syrupy and cloying that originally intended (just guessing).

As far as drinkability goes, I mean you cannot detect an ounce of alcohol but the syrupy texture indicates it's at least 7%.Taste isn't off-putting; I have already finished half of the beer just trying to get all the attributes in this review. Wish I would have found this a year or 2 ago to sample before it's removal from Harvey's normal line-up.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

to be had on the first brisk day of the year as a transition to so thicker drinks. Everything speaks malt honey. An aged but still existent head. Some stickiness of a nearl white head. Palate is chestnut warm, coated in dark sugars. I nice velvet that doesn't coat like a barley wine but carries the carbonation on the palate. For some old and english an exceptional feel. Would go great with mildly seasoned meat.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not sure on age on this beer as no freshness date is visible but I am certain it has at least a little age on it

Appearance- off the pour its an extremely dark brown with no light at all to be seen through it starts off almost looking flat but with few seconds its slowly slowly bubbles and creates very short lived thin white head that fades to white lacing,

Smell- malts, rum, raisins, malty nose but rather faint overall,

Taste- flavor is all very faint not sure if this could be product of too much age, slight faint malts and very almost gone bitterness on the back end, all the flavors are very faint and muted, slight alcohol flavor of almost a port or brandy, as it warmed the slight bitter hop tones on the finish became slightly more pronounced, also faint chocolate tones to be noticed, overall the flavor is not bad on this and not shot yet but probably getting there as finish of drying is now very faint, overall very mellowed flavor

Mouthfeel- very heavy thick and smooth with very little carbonation

Drinkability- at this point though the beers not horrible its not particular ally great, I have to be totally fair and say I have never had a fresher example of this beer and I guess never will, so cant totally rank this beer at all wouldn't be fair, at any rate this beer has shown it could handle age with out being spoiled, hmm wonder what this once was : )

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1996 vintage bottle purchased at Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a thin off-white head. The head quickly recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing - I chalk this up to the age on the bottle.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of booze-soaked fruits - apricots and golden raisins mostly. Hints of sherry waft out every now and then and as the beer warms deeper chocolate malt aromas kick in.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of medium fruit flavors. The fruit is leaning more toward darker varieties than the smell, golden raisins and plums with hints of lighter apricots. Midway through the sip a solid booze burn makes an appearance and carries through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was impressed with how well this beer held up and would bet that I like it more now than I would have 14 years ago. Worth a shot if you see one around.

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Harveys Elizabethan Ale from Harvey & Son Ltd.
88 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.