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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

379 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 379
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 23
Gots: 69 | FT: 2
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)
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Ratings: 379 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 275ml/9.3 fl.oz. bottle, kept for months in the fridge's 'special shelf' at the base of the door. Brewed in 2007, poured to a snifter in 2010.

A: A most cautious pour, but the floating yeast chunks couldn't be contained; I could see them drifting aimlessly throughout the bottle and there was just no hope (save a strainer) to keep them out of the glass. Oh well... but for a million mostly bottom-settling flecks of aged gunk, it's actually a lovely beer: a vibrant auburn/copper with the finest (microscopic) carbonation dodging the floaties. Slim head that fades quickly, holding as a pencil-thin ring.

S: Appropriately fruit-filled, sweet and malt-enriched. Apples and pears and sweet cherries and raisins, plus -yes- a woody brandy. It's an intriguing, albeit sugar-filled, noseful.

T: An orchard in a glass, caramel/toffee notes wrapped around spiced apple. Honey pears, drunken sweet cherries. Oaky smoke and more spice, a brief touch of green mint. A little earthy/powdered medicine bitterness in the end to avoid over-sweetness. Wasn't as impressed initially, but repeated sipping really allowed this to develop and show its subtleties. Yum.

M: Suitably mellow for a 3+ year old ale, fine carbonation and a velvety coating. A slimmer body, but a weight that builds a tongue-numbing warmth (but not the least bit 'hot'). Really nice, my favorite feature.

D: Quite a treat, but an evening-ending sipper for certain. A fine one to try, not really an 'occasion' beer unless that occasion is the end of a weekend spent camping and tasting fresh-hopped beers, leading into another work week. Woo hoo!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 05:08:47 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Apple cider is the way to describe this stuff. That color, with a nice head (for the style) that vanishes shortly after pouring.

The nose is just an amazing mix of fruits, apples, pears, grapes, and well just a fruit basket with some hop/alcohol esters, maybe a touch of rum that seems to control it all the better.

There isn't a huge difference in this and the regulars beer. I'm not honestly sure what Calvados is, but there is certainly a woody flavor in this. Clearly the same raises, purines and dark fruits int he flavor. It also has apples which I don't recall from before. (looked up Calvados and it turns out it's an apple brandy...seems my palette is working).

Still a wonderful sipper and just right for that. i will say this has a touch less alcohol that the normal version but I'm not sure that in this case it really matters.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 03:48:28 | More by bobhits
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle vintage 2006 thanks to alfrantzell.

Pours a mostly clear medium amber color with a small off-white head.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, calvados, sherry, and spice.

Flavor is very sweet with caramel and toffee malt notes, oak, spice, calvados, and sherry-like oxidative notes.

Slick on the mouthfeel with medium body and soft carbonation.

Very enjoyable, as JW Lees beers tend to be.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 17:19:23 | More by nickd717
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Brewed in 2006; tasted in 2010

Appearance: Pours a rather hazy caramel color with neither head nor carbonation

Smell: Caramel and a bowl of mixed fruit - apricots, pears and, of course, apples

Taste: The caramel and fruit flavors blend together from the start, though the wood and the apple brandy elements take over at mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a depth of earthy, tobacco-like character that joins the fruit flavor to keep the sweetness in check; serious apple cider elements in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but flat

Drinkability: More like a liqueur than a beer, this is an interesting beer but the lack of carbonation reduces it to a sipper that is hard to finish (As the other beers in this series have been much more rewarding, I will need to re-visit this one with a bottle procured from another source.)

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 01:15:54 | More by brentk56
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark gold colour with orange highlights and no head. The nose was full of apples and vanilla coupled with hops. I felt a little let down by the finish of the beer as it was a little sweet and the apple notes kinda clashed with the hops. I would put this one down for a good 5 years to see what develops as it seems unbalanced right now

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 18:52:54 | More by canucklehead
Photo of fairdinkum2
fairdinkum2

Georgia

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this from a cask at the Brick Store in Decatur. Poured in to a small tulip glass (6 oz?)

This is certainly a unique style in my experience.

When it arrived at our table, the ale had no discernible head or carbonation. Kind of a brick red color with some haze.

Sweet candy and dried apples on the noise. However, this doesn't really prepare you for how this ale tastes.

Quite sweet with an almost syrupy mouth feel. Carbonation, if any, is almost undetectable. Almost a mead like quality. Very rich. This richness disguises the ABV which is way up there.

Not something you could drink lots of, but a great experience

Serving type: cask

06-11-2010 21:34:17 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from cask into a snifter at The Brick Store 6/9/10

Appearance was a tawny brown shade with no head. Aroma had some light vinegar, apple, brandy and caramel, most of which were reflected in the flavor (minus the vinegar). This was a very sweet BW, lacking any hop presence and was very smooth. Abv covered impressively well. There was a slight spice in the flavor, which gave it somewhat of an apple pie character. I was also pleased catch the woody character the beer picked up from the barrel. Feel was smooth, but pretty dead as expected.

Overall, one of the sweetest beers I've ever had, which would probably limit me to sipping 1-2 glasses. Still a very tasty beer with plenty of depth that is worth having anytime the opportunity presents.

Serving type: cask

06-10-2010 18:56:49 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of everetends
everetends

Alabama

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

88
Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
3/3 10/12 18/20 4/5 9/10 2008


My buddy and I got a little carried away on Vintage Night at the Brick Store Pub in Atlanta. We started ordering off the vintage menu, but a lot of them had already gone dry so we turned our attention to the J.W. Lees Cask Series. The bottle was served up in a glass I am not familiar with. It could be tulip but the bulb is much more squat and the lip is very exaggerated. 2008 vintage that ran $15 a bottle (yikes!).

A: Pouring the bottle into the glass, it builds a body that is honey in color, giving off light browns and darker yellows/oranges in color. The body is crystal clear. Bit of a surprise, wonder if it was filtered? It bubbled up a little, and thin line of foam that barely covered the top of the body. It was gone rather quickly, but it was somewhat expected since this is an aged BW.

S: Smells like a damned fine BW. The most prevalent aroma was one from my youth and it took me forever to figure out what it was. Candied apples is what finally came to mind. Caramel presence as well. Good amount of wood and and some honey as well. Alcohol brings a bit of heat to the aroma but a pleasant and complimenting one. Smells great.

T: Just more goodness if you ask me. Just a nice caramel/candied apple flavor comes across first and foremost. It isn't crazy sweet like a caramel apple but it has a wonderful richness and sweetness about it. The wood character mixed with the alcohol, kind of brings out a very light whiskey/bourbon presence at times. Caramel malts are in full effect here but the apple brandy Calvados notes (I had no fuggin idea what Calvados was before this beer) really do a great job of cutting the sweetness somehow. Touch of spice rounds things off, I imagine stemming from the hops. Just fantastic.

M: Just what you expect from a J.W. Lee's BW. Full bodied with a wonderful creaminess, viscosity, and thickness. It coats the mouth wonderfully. Carbonation is incredibly light and the ABV just brings a light, slow burn at times. Aftertaste is that wonderful caramel apple flavor.

D: Uh . . . this is probably the easiest drinking really sweet beer I have ever had. It just has this incredible smoothness to it for a beer that has these wonderfully good sweet notes to it. It was impressive from start to finish and I would love to see what some age would do to this beer. Damned nice and so happy I decide to blow a stupid amount of money on this little beer. :) Get you some.

Serving Type: Other Vessel Type: Tulip Price:$15.00

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 22:52:41 | More by everetends
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mud puddle brown color with some honey highlights, little to no head. The aroma is sweet and bready. Big toffee aromas with heavy prune and light black pepper. Wow, the taste is quite different than the aroma. Big sweetness but more from the apple brandy aging. Nice sweet apple flavors, candied cherries with some brown sugar, vinous, some prunes and honey. There is a woodsy bitterness that keeps the brew in check. This is definitely a sipper. The feel borders on syrupy, just not quite. There is the slightest of tingly caronbation. Definitely sweet on the palate but the 9.3oz bottle should stay not cloying. A very tasty brew. Honestly very good for the style but I am just not that big of a fan. Feel free to raise a letter grade for style.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 03:26:51 | More by Gmann
Photo of ShadesOfGray
ShadesOfGray

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 9.3oz bottle into my Koningshoeven snifter glass. Bottle reads brewed in 2007. Pours a pale, light, caramel color. Fills the glass slightly warmer in color then the pour. A very small creamy white head forms, but disapears extremely quick. Beer looks like it's flat. TONS of setiment fill the glass.

Aroma is pretty strong and sweet. Apparently calvados is an apple brandy, and with that said...brandy is indeed noticable/boozy. Malty and raisin notes.

Flavor is similar to the other JW Lee Harvest beers. Full bodied, very sweet, slightly boozy and warm. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel and malty. Carbonation is mild, but just enough to not hurt the overall experience. The sweet flavors are full of candy and over-ripe fruit...raisins, dates, etc. Overall, another solid beer in JW Lees line up of BA Harvest series.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 01:33:04 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz, 2006. Rather hazy orange/amber pour. Some yeast particles, though I tried to pour slowly. Some off white bubbles at first, then just some whisps left on top. Does leave some legs on the glass reminiscent of a wine.

Aroma has plenty of malt, brown sugar, toffee and yellow raisin. This is pungent, similar to the regular Harvest, you can set it on the counter and smell it all no problem.

Taste is an extreamly smooth malty blend of the aroma. Malt, caramel, candied fruit, raisin, yellow raisin. There is a very dry woody oak tone that is really interesting in the middle. Maybe even a bit tobacco-y. Really dried it out to me and made the finish much more truncated, with a smokey sweetness. Kind of like tasting what a barbeque smoker smells like. I have no idea what Calvados tastes like, so not sure if this is due to that barrel or not.

There is just enough lively carbonation that is in there, even though it does not look like it. This, along with the ash, keep the mouthfeel nice and not overly sticky or syrupy. Though is does coat the mouth well.

The smoothness lends to a real nice drinkability, but the sweetness brings it back a bit. Not as sweet as the regular though. The oak char balances it out better, along with the carbonation.

An interesting English BW. I liked it better than the regular just slightly.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 03:03:35 | More by Bung
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very rich and enjoyable sipper, not as profound as some of the other vintage offerings from J.W. Lees but remarkable nevertheless.

Presentation: 275 ml brown bottle. Simple and classic design with a light cream background green and gold fonts. Notes limited edition, one line description, and ability to be enjoyed now or being cellared for future enjoyment. Shows Alc. by Vol. (11.5%) and brewing date (2006). Poured into a snifter.

A - Medium amber copper pour with minimal head that fades in a blink, leaving no lacing and a faint surface ring.

S - Sweet malt with a boozy sense, and a touch of minimal fruit.

T - Nice rich range of flavors, dominated by a sweet range, a couple of small fruity notes over a malty sense, and a hefty and rich alcohol/brandy sense coating it.

M - Medium body, very smooth, with little carbonation, and a small sweet and dry finish.

D - Nice sipper, worth the attention and care.

Notes: I'm not sure how the Calvados comes across, it has been a long while since I had any so I need to revisit it. But it is a rather nice touch to the Harvest Ale. Overtly sweet and boozy but a pleasing sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 00:49:30 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of goldbot
goldbot

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby brown color with basically no head and minimal lacing. Hazy, with a few floaties.

Complex aroma of bold caramel malts with hints of chocolate. A slight raisin fruitiness towards the end before a strong alcohol aroma kicks in, with woody, earthy notes.

Intensely sweet up front with fruity notes of raisin and apple. Some chocolate malt turning to a strong caramel or butterscotch flavor. Finishes with more caramel and a lingering nutty flavor. The alcohol is surprisingly subtle through out.

Full-bodied, very viscous. This is about as complex a beer as I've encountered before. Extremely tasty, the flavors are noticeably separate but still seemingly blended well. Definitely a sipper, but I will be on the lookout to buy more.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 20:14:54 | More by goldbot
Photo of sisuspeed
sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage served at cellar temperature.

Poured into a snifter. Golden, honey-orange in color with essentially no head. Held up to a light it reminds me of amber-orange maple syrup.

Brandy apple pie on the nose. Ripe fruits, grapes, cherries. Sweet, sugary figs mixed with lightly toasted malts. Some apple cider notes at times. Similar to the regular Harvest, but lots of apple notes thrown into the mixture. This is a great one to nose for awhile. Complex and intriguing.

The flavor starts off with warming apples. Caramel notes with bready and biscuity malts. Green apple skins, brandy and apple cider mixed with sweet sugared candies. Bits of honey. As this barleywine warms the wood notes from the barrel become more pronounced. Sip this one slowly to truly appreciate.

Mouthfeel is smooth, syrupy and thick. Your typical J.W. Lees. A fairly viscous body with warming alcohol. ABV feels more than it tastes.

Drinkability is good. A sipper for sure, but an enjoyable one. It's easy to drift off while enjoying this beer. Splitting a bottle is about perfect. Great for a cool autumn night.

Overall, this is a great addition to the already excellent Harvest Ale. Lots of apple notes. I'd love to find some older vintages of this or a few more '07's to lay down for another 5-15 years.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2010 23:05:21 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9.3 fl. oz. bottle served at 50 degrees in my North Coast snifter. Brewed in 2005 indicated on the label. Poured a slightly hazy, dark caramel with clusters of tiny bubbles adhering to the glass. No head to speak of. Nose reveals boozy apple liqueur, sweet, malty, raisins, figs and maple syrup. Taste consistent with nose; however, apple quality is a bit masked by the syrup and figs. This is truly sweet and decadent. It's like drinking liquid fig newtons and maple syrup. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, fairly still and a bit viscous. Wow, this is an amazing sipper, perhaps better served a little cooler so it could be allowed to warm, but a truly wonderful and warming experience. Can't wait to try more from J.W. Lees.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 01:14:40 | More by Jwale73
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok so...I found my new favorite beer. Here it is. J.W. Lees Harvest Ale Matured in Calvados Casks. I must admit, after purchasing the bottle I had to look up what "Calvados" was. I had my reservations about this one but was blown away and needless to say, plesantly surprised.

12 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

A- Beautiful glowing amber tan color. Creamy succulent rich head. When swirled around in my glass a beautiful blanket coats my beer perfectly.

S- Sweet apple cider. Oak and vanilla. Maybe some maple syrup. Sugary sweet and tart nose.

T- Lucious. Pruney. Fresh vanilla. Tart applie. Caramel. Sugar. Dark fruits. All wrapped into one, not missing a beat.

M- Velvety smooth, savory, and so beautiful. Nice body. Very appropriate.

D- D is for dangerous in this instance. I want more, NOW. And I want some cheese to go with it. This is heaven in a bottle. Absolutely in love with this beer. Big time winner.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 03:31:05 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage:
This is a good tasting beer, but only because, I think, of the Calvados aging. Upon pouring it the floaties were dense and a plenty. I let it set for a minute to begin drinking. The off copper color was challenged by a caramel goodness. A quick 2 finger head fell silently to a film, never to return.
Subtle sweet caramel and browned apples in the nose. Soft vanilla and a wee bit of alcohol. Nothing complicated or easy, just in the middle. I would like to say the nose contained more, but it's a bit weak.
Taste follows nose. A quick hit of alcohol, then a nice caramel, cooking apple mush, and vanilla, then not much of anything. It is very smooth and the alcohol is hidden quite nicely. Yet, it's just a bit odd to me. If they hadn't used Calvados barrels, I think this beer would be average at best.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 08:28:19 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

9.3 oz. bottle, 2008 Edition

A: Pours brown with a soft white head, nice looking, nothing special.

S: Sweet English malt, caramel and apple cider. Like the best apple pie you ever smelled.

T: Delicious, simply delicious. Caramel malt, good amount of residual sugar in there. Maple syrup type notes, hints of wood and the true green apple/Calvados just brings it all together. The flavours are just beautifully integrated, this is why I love English Barleywine.

M: Gorgeous full-bodied mouthfeel, silky easy smoothness, soft carbonation.

D: If one can not tell already, I loved this beer. Everything came together on this one. Wish I had more to age, but I don't think I'd be able to keep my hands off them. Grab a wedge of Stilton and go to heaven.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 05:07:39 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A 2007 bottle

A: Pours a very cloudy copper/orange color. A bubbly white head rises to a little over one finger, and recedes in minute. Light lace is left behind,
S: Malty and sweet. Caramel, and light chocolate. Lots of fruity aromas. Melons, pears, and apples. Dry wood lingers.
T: Moldy dry wood is up front and center, and detracts a lot. Some sweet caramel malt flavors. Some fruity flavors that follow the nose.
M/D: A full body that is sticky and syrupy. Low on the carbonation. A little to dry. The alcohol is really strong. Much harder to drink than I would like.

This might be a little young, and did not do it for me. The bottle seems a little off to me for some reason? Worth a try, but not nearly as good as the Harvest Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 04:05:28 | More by champ103
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark caramel with a small fizzy head. Large chunks of sediment floating around.

S: Caramel, molasses, and a strong cider aroma.

T: Tons of earthy oak flavor up front followed by some sweetness with a carmael apple taste, and finally some smoke. This one is certainly a roller coaster.

M: Full-bodied, chew, and sticky with quite a bit of carbonation for a barleywine of this ABV.

D: Undeniably good and unique, but for me, the barrel aging is a bit too much in front of the flavor of a barleywine that is really good by itself.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 04:05:44 | More by klewis
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This is the 2006 Vintage.

Appearance: The beer as poured is a slightly hazy brownish dark orange color with a ¼" off-white head with large bubbles that recedes fairly soon leaving behind a ring of foam and patch of foam on the surface. Sipping initially leaves minimal patches and speckled lacing along with lines of tiny bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is subtle and filled with fruity and sweet malt traces along with some traces of earthy hops mingled with toffee, honey and a bit of alcohol. The fruit seems to be both apples and pears.

Taste: As with the other versions of this beer, the flavor is almost liqueur-like from the rich malt. And it is is subtle and complex, with several things going on at once. There is a slight tang of apple and pear from the barrel. This is mingled with the sweetness of the malt that seems to have almost equal parts of honey and light toffee touched with a hint of alcohol,

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is full-bodied, smooth and silky, almost oily, and has a soft tickle of light but persistent carbonation. The finish is long and begins with the sweet malt and honey flavors, tapering off to a slight but persistent tartness.

Drinkability: As with the other versions of this ale I've tried (the regular Harvest Ale, the Sherry aged and the Port aged, the sweetness borders on being too much and there are times when sipping this beer is almost like sipping syrup. What saves this one is its complexity and its slightly tart fruity flavor which would seem to come from the apple brandy. This is definitely a one a night beer, both because of its ABV and its sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 02:14:41 | More by drtth
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving light lacing but decent legs.

Smells of sweet (almost too sweet) caramel malts with hints of vanilla and medium fruit undertones.

Tastes good. Sweet and sticky caramel malt flavors up front run the show and are joined periodically by medium fruit flavors. Also underlying it all is a mild earthiness that keeps the malt sweetness from being over the top. The ending is decidedly sweet.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I split the bottle but could polish one off myself.

Overall I have to be honest and say I didn't know what Calvados was and couldn't tell 100% from the beer however now it makes perfect sense. The third one I've had (besides Laguvalin and Port) and my least favorite, but even so it's still a good beer and worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 05:46:03 | More by glid02
Photo of RedBrewer83
RedBrewer83

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into goblet...05' vintage.

A: Pours a golden orange amber hue with minimal head that falls quickly to a thin soap-like foam on top.

S: Smells like calvados! Huge apple caramelized apple aroma with hints of brandy and vanilla. A little spiciness also detected along with faint hints of oak.

T: This is a heavy beer and incredibly unique! Wow...huge caramel apple, molasses, maple syrup and lots of sweetness upfront. After that comes a very nice apple flavor backed up by just a hint of oak. Slight booziness comes through as well that only adds to the complexity. What a beer...reminds me a lot of DFH 120 without the hops...crazy!

M: Heavy and incredibly smooth with just a hint of carbonation. Pretty solid for this style and a sipper for sure.

D: For a bw at 11.5% this thing is dangerously smooth but the heaviness and booze make this a sipper. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2009 05:34:27 | More by RedBrewer83
Photo of ClevoPiwo
ClevoPiwo

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

'06 bottle poured into a snifter. The color is a nice deep, rich amber with a visible amount of sediment (I might need a spoon). The head only manifests itself as a touch of white foam that quickly settles in a thin ring around the edge - not much carbonation here.

The smell is big, fruity and sweet, with huge notes of raisin, apple and caramel. Not being versed in wine, I cannot comment on whether or not the Calvados is pronounced in either the smell or the taste) Overall, a very sweet and warm aroma.

The taste is similar to the smell, very sweet and vinous with a huge chewy mouth feel. Some of the oak comes through in the aftertaste and mildly in the background, but is largely overshadowed by the initial vinous sweetness.

While I'm not the biggest fan of hyper-hopped Barley wines, I thought this one could have used a little more dimension to its flavor as it was overmuch sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 02:15:25 | More by ClevoPiwo
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JordanChabot

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in 2007 bottle. Poured into large wine glass @ around 50 Deg.

A - Rich golden honey color with little head. Speckled lacing with some dense remnants of foam amongst a soapy looking layer.

S - the smell is of rich concentrated fruit, slight maple and an oaky vanilla background. Definitely a lot of carmalized and some tart apple ripping through the overall soft presence.

t- Sweet but lightly coated with hints of green pepper, caramel, earth, toasted marshmallow and dark resinous wood.

M - Soft and viscous. very little carbonation. The most welcoming barleywine mouthfeel I've had to date. Warming, mellow, and a surprisingly clean finish.

D - Dangerously drinkable for a brew of its potency. Drink with care and appreciation.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 18:30:03 | More by JordanChabot
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
91 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.