J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) - J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

Not Rated.
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

397 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 397
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 13.58%
Wants: 28
Gots: 75 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rhoadsrage on 06-23-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of randylangford
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Almost no head. Light murky brown

S - Raisins, sour grapes, whiskey, smoke, Carmel.

T - Sweet, smokey, whiskey, sour, vanilla, oak...

O - Great beer. Glad some of my BA friends.got me to start trying more Barleywines and other strong\old ales. Prost!

Photo of psoriasaurus
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of hilgart1
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of tbone64
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of amalburg
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of psumjl269
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of artoolemomo
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Received with a finger's worth of head which looks to have good retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a hazy (almost chunky) pale to medium amber that appears as a pale amber in the light. No lacing is left behind.

Nose- Started off with a good amount of peaches and other fruit notes (light citrus, other stone fruits) and some white grapes. Not exactly what I expect from an English Barleywine but this was aged on Calvados casks and I certainly get that. Some apple to the nose as well. Some toffee, caramel, and vanilla starts to appear in the background as the fruit esters begin to fade. However, the fruit (especially stone fruits) make a comeback later.

Taste- Starts off with a mouthful of the fruit notes of the nose and moves into caramel and toffee which then transition into pine and resin and hints of smoke. Not your typical English Barleywine but this definitely an interesting beer with a good amount of complexity. Lots of apple that seems to coat the entire flavor profile. Nice oak from the cask on the finish. Not as heavy as a lot of English Barleywines; it seems a bit like a barrel aged quad that doesn't have an over insistence on lemon. The Calvados is definitely a good touch to such an iconic barleywine as it takes it in a different direction that is equally enjoyable. Lots of white grape gives this a vinosity that promotes its accessibility and drinkability. Notes of honey, caramel, and toffee blend in perfectly with the fruit esters and the slight kiss of oak gives a smokiness which is the perfect finish for this beer. I think age has done a lot for this beer as its integration is astounding. I prefer more traditional English Barleywines but this is incredibly enjoyable nonetheless. Really good to great beer with an inclination toward being a great beer. This seems to be worthy of the price that I'm sure its vintage commands. Maybe a little sweet- could be a great desert beer. Has tendencies toward a liqueur. This beer almost cleans up in each department and falls just short of being great in my mind.

Mouthfeel- A little more than medium bodied with light carbonation that makes it seem even thicker. Perfect compliment to the flavor profile.

Drinkability- This is a scary beer. I really don't get any of the 11.5%- maybe a little bit on the finish but not really. 5 bucks for a 6 oz pour might seem steep but the prices in the bottle seem higher. I would get this again at this price.

Overall- Almost a great beer. I love the way the Calvados pervades every aspect of this beer but still allows the subtle complexity of the other notes to come through. Definitely worth a try and something I would buy again.

Photo of KJ2013
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage on tap at APEX bar, Portland.

A - Glows golden orange. Could almost be sherry occupying my glass. Head vanishes, leaving no trace.

S - Apple infused brandy on the nose. Apricot and peach accompany. Sweet and surprisingly fruity. Heather honey and a little apple juice sourness.

T - Sweet caramelised apples underpinned by a thin layer of malt. Delicious flavours, if fairly straightforward. Not much dark fruit or wood characteristic.

M - Lightly carbonated. Syrupy but it's not in your face. Dangerously drinkable; 11.5% is nowhere to be seen.

O - This beer comes together excellently and I consider it greater than the sum of its parts. Lovely, sweet and smooth.

Photo of ScottP
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Adavar
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of anteater
2/5  rDev -50.6%

Photo of Jordy777
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Samp01
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

9.3oz bottle. Pours a brownish burnt caramel with a small slowly fading white head with some lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, yeast, light citrus notes up front that give way to a sweet dark fruit and figs and a sweet alcohol essence. Taste is sweet caramel malt, yeast, dark fruit, figs, brown sugar with some barrel aged woody and calvados notes and mild bitterness. A medium bodied. smooth and slightly creamy mouth feel on the palate with light carbonation. Finished with a sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, figs, brown sugar, ending has a lingering sweet caramel, figs and aged woody flavor. This is not an overly sweet and cloying drink.Overall a fairly smooth, flavorful, palatable and enjoyable after dinner drink.

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of polishkaz
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of brianmandell
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of kwkurdziel
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of nosavingsaccount
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mweso2000
4/5  rDev -1.2%

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
90 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.