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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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Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, but with an unusual non-glossy, pink-tinted label. weird...

tasted in mid/late may 2009.

1-finger creamy. sudsy head, fades to wisps and sudsy ring. almost no lace.

less fruity aroma than the 05. maple syrup notes? malty, woody. metallic hint?

taste is also less fruity than 05, but still malty sweet, w those apple brandy notes. woody and almost... earthy?

not as good as 2005, but still ok. man, i miss the '03.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

2005 vintage. tasted in early/mid may 2009. poured into small tulip.

deep orangey amber. almost clear except for a few particles. (this thing is hard to decant, even if you're careful.) sudsy white head fades to sudsy wisps and ring. minimal dots of "lace" here and there.

aroma: fruity apple, dark rum and brandy tones with caramel, though not as rich as the 2003. wood hint, with grassy english hops. trace of diacetyl.

taste: apple brandy and dark rum tones again, with caramel (though again not as rich as 2003) and mild to moderate english hops with mild bitterness. sweet, both throughout and into the finish.

very gentle carbonation is there to compliment and give lift to the flavors. smooth, medium body, almost syrupy. very, very smooth.

not as stellar as the 2003 vintage, but great nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 08:27:16 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

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

Chilled bottle of 2006 vintage into a glass. Purchased at Monument in Concord.

A: Pours a murky mahogany color with a magnificent amber glow when held to the light. The head is fairly limpid, even with a vigorous pour, but it makes up for it by being substantially open to frothing when swirled. Leaves some trickles of lacing down the glass.

S: Oh, so good. Toffee, butterscotch, molasses, peanut brittle, grapes, oak, and apple. Lots and lots of apple. I had the pleasure of trying the regular 2006 some time ago, and found it too sweet in both smell and taste, and I was happy to see that the smell was substantially balanced with the Calvados aging.

T: Follows the nose very well. You get most of the nutty, caramel, and toffee sweetness out of the way first. The mid-taste is mostly molasses with a touch of peanut brittle pulling through, but it morphs into a fruit-based flavor where the grapes and apple really begin to shine as the oak backs them up. This is still on the sweet side, and I'd love to see some oxidation temper the sugars, but on the whole it is better than the 2006 base beer.

M: Full-bodied, but low carbonation that makes it very creamy and demands sipping. Still boozy though.

D: This tasted fantastic even relatively young (as compared to the regular 2006, which I found cloying and sweet). The Calvados cask aging does wonders for this one. I'd love to see how it ages with an older vintage.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 07:00:10 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

9.3 oz bottle, brewed in 2006

A: Deep, rusty brown under a small off white. No lace, no retention.

S: Very sweet, caramel, toffee, a bit vinous, calvados is apparent, some toasted malt. Complex but very balanced.

T: Calvados apparent again as well as wood character, sweet, caramel again, maybe some molasses, toasted malt, mild bitterness, apple. Nice taste, very unique for me.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is low, alcohol character is minimal but there. Drinkability is fine, a big beer that I can enjoy a few of. Very good beer from top to bottom.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 00:49:55 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

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

9.3oz. Bottle
2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a very nice cloudy light brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, sweet, with some nice oaky notes. The taste is sweet, malty, with some oak notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is one fine brew, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2009 00:42:08 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

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

From a 2007 vintage bottle. Poured into a snifter.

A: Hazy deep amber with a lot of particulates. A steady stream of fine bubbles eminates from the bottom of the glass. The thin cream head sticks around as a thin film. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Vinous and powerful. Grapes and oak are joined by a bit of pepper and a strong dose of nose tingling alcohol.

T: Definitely a sipping beer. Grapes, raisins and pears provide a fruit sweetness that lingers through the experience. Balance is provided by an alcohol warmth that permeates the system. Yeast adds a slight sourness. Finishes sweet and warm.

M: The heavy body is syrupy and thick. Carbonation is subdued.

D: As I said before, this is a sipping beer. Finishing a full bottle is a slow experience to be savored. All in all, a great barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 04:44:06 | More by Rayek
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

done as a side by side tasting with the Lagavulin Whisky and Sherry, 2006 vintage

A - this ale is a dark brown, gobs of suspended sediment, a thin ring of white lacy forth around the rim of the glass

S - typical barleywine aromas, the dark fruit, raisisn, figs, molasses, rich roasted malts, a very sweet aroma with strong oaky notes

T - the initial dark fruit flavors are only for an instant and are taken over by rich sweet caramel, super sweet, through the whole sip, at the end, as the sweetness fades away, i can discern a appley sweetness, the kind of heavier sweetness like a overripe softer apple would taste like

M&D - amazingly smooth, like liquid velvet, no harshness, the high ABV is hidden well, its not overly/sickly sweet, just in all ways absolutely amazing

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 21:06:13 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed this bottle when I was in florida. A 2007 vintage it was still a bit fresh but this one was drinking wonderfully. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter this one was consumed on 04/23/09.

The pour was very nice and pretty spot on for the style I have to admit. Rich caramel in color with great clarity and a smooth soft and creamy head of white. Rich toffee and caramel just dominated the aroma. Huge sweetness here with a touch of light fruit notes that came up as it warmed. Rich flavor as well. Very sweet with loads of caramel, toffee, and sweet candied sugar notes. Alcohol was very mellow even at this young age.

Overall a very solid beer and one of the best representations od the style I have had. I will be picking this up whenever I run into it for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 02:35:16 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

03/22/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 9.3oz bottle, vinatge 2004 poured into my JW Lees glass.

Appearance- Lighter colored caramel colored pour. 1/4 inch head with a light rim of foam. Light lace patches left behind.

Smell- The norm of dark fruits, raisins and figs. Sugary spice, a touch of alcohol and some caramel of course.

Taste- Really similar to the sherry cask one I had last night. Only a bit if barrel flavoring was the difference..and that was minimal. Strong sweet caramel flavor with dark fruits mingling around. Light alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel- Nice and thick, very smooth and dessert-like. Creamy as well. Lowest carbonation of the bunch.

Drinkability- The best of the bunch I have had so far. Overall the smoothest and best flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 04:01:41 | More by GClarkage
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

2003 vintage. Polished apricot that is as clear as the proverbial bell. A vigorous pour has produced a good-sized crown of firm creaminess that is midway between ecru and ivory. Very little lace isn't surprising and doesn't detract too much.

It's probably nothing more than an overactive imagination, but the apple quality of the Calvados is appreciated in the aroma (Calvados is an apple brandy from the Normandy region of France). The beer also smells sweet and a trifle woody. For some reason, the noses on these cask-aged versions never really knock me out.

The flavor is another matter entirely. I don't care what sort of barrels or casks you age it in, this is a fantastic English barleywine... that I need to review again because I probably didn't give it (the standard Harvest Ale) a fair shake.

While newer vintages are all over the place, don't worry a bit about the '03 if that's all you see. It's still fantastic and should last several more years at least. Time has smoothed and shaped and melded and done all sorts of good things that are evident with each eagerly anticipated sip.

Be prepared for some sugary sweetness. It's easily tolerated, though, especially since the bottle only holds 275 ml. That isn't much beer for $6.99, but it's worth it for an occasional treat, especially when the beer is this incredibly delicious. Which one you buy depends on whether you prefer sherry, port, brandy or Scotch whiskey. What the hell... try them all!

This is one of the fruitiest barleywines you'll ever drink. Specifics: apricots, peaches and apples swimming in candi sugar syrup. There's some amount of countering bitterness and the alcohol cuts through the sugars nicely as well. Butter caramel and wood make me think of an aged bourbon, although the beer tastes nothing like that particular spirit.

As always, the mouthfeel is all kinds of glorious, especially if you like them full and chewy. It could hardly be otherwise with so much malt and so many sugars. The bubbles, even though few and far between, keep the beer inflated and expansive in the mouth rather than flat and sticky.

J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) is the third member of this barrel-aged series that I've reviewed, and is the third gobsmacker of an English barleywine. Despite the expense, multiple bottles are purchased whenever I see them. They're incredibly good and they hold up ridiculously well. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 15:00:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BierFan
BierFan

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 9.3 ounce bottle into a flute. Brewed in 2007.

Appearance: Small off-white head, about the same color as the tan label. Dull and cloudy apple cider colored body.

Smell: I'll agree with other reviewers on this and say that "caramel apple" is a pretty good way of describing the aroma.

Taste: Very sweet. Brown sugar and apples are present. Little bit of alcohol bite on the finish. Too much apple and not enough barleywine in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 22:34:44 | More by BierFan
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange-gold with virtually no head. Nose is richly sweet with apricots, apple, and honeydew. Palate is syrupy in texture, somewhat cider-like but thicker, with a very warm alcoholic cough medicine like finish. Interesting experimental ale, not sure if it is worth seeking to try, however.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 04:11:32 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9.3oz bottle of the 2005 vintage purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane some months ago for $8.99.

Poured an apricot-like color into a St.Bernardus goblet, with virtually no head (not suprising, given this beer's potency). Despite some deliberate attempts at agitation, none formed afterwards. Some sediment can be seen floating about the glass when held up to the light.

Apples and booze was the first impression made upon me when I first smelled this beer. There's also caramel in addition to the fruity esters - as others have said, this smells like a big, alcoholic caramel apple. Doesn't seem like an English barleywine so much as a Belgian boozebomb.

The taste starts off with a massive sugary fruit blast to the tastebuds. A big, spicy, brandyish booze flavor quickly matches it. The aging in Calvados casks definitely leaves it's mark. The balance between sweetness and booziness is better in the taste than in the nose. Hops are conspicuous by their absence beyond providing balance.

Little carbonation, with a sticky, coating mouthfeel. Like with the lack of head, it's not surprising, given it's strength.

A fantastic dessert beer, which is what I'm using it as after a delicious meal. While one can gripe about it's small size versus it's price, I think a larger bottle of this beer might be too much of a good thing. I only wish I had an older bottle to compare it to, as I'm curious how more time would treat it.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 06:08:15 | More by woemad
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

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

Another treat thanks to JoeySchlitz's Christmas gift.

A: As with the whiskey-aged version, this is chock full o' chunks, so points are docked. Otherwise, it's cider colored with minimal head.

S/T: Sweet brown sugar, toffee, caramel, apples. Maybe a liquid caramel apple? An afternoon delight.

M: Thick, sticky, sweet, with light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 06:22:27 | More by waltonc
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

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

2004 vintage. Pours oily copper with no head, only a ring of sparse bubbles. No lacing. Perfume and alcoholic aroma, very floral with a heap of honey. Lots of oak and berries, not as vinuous as expected. Super-sweet taste. Sugary and fruity; white grapes, raisins, plums, and boysenberries. A fair amount of dark rum flavor to go with the oak. Didn't really get the spice others were finding. Long finish. Denser mouthfeel with the minimal carbonation, kind of sticky towards the end. Drank more like a dessert wine/appertif than a beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 17:57:19 | More by magictrokini
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this one in a trade with vwcraig. thanks craig!

330ml bottle, 2004 vintage. sampled dec 28/08.

pours slightly hazy red-brown with a thin dense tan head. drops almost immediately and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. vanilla and raw oak. lots of fruit - raisin, date, fig, dried cherry and cranberry. alcohol. touch of dark chocolate. whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. apple. bit of apricot. lots of fruit going on in this one. burnt toffee. bit of caramel. loads of honey, reminding me of a braggot.

taste is sweet, much more so than i expected from the aroma. honey, caramel, toffee, lightly sweet fruit. bit of alcohol. vanilla. bit of cracker and wheat bread, but for the most part the sweetness seems to dominate. apple.

mouthfeel is ok. fairly low carbonation level. big sweet body.

drinkability is ok. i feel like i'm drinking pure honey or something barely diluted with beer. there's just so much sweetness here that it doesn't even feel like it's had 4-ish years to mellow out. the aroma is really nice but the taste is just like being hit over the head with sticky sweet caramel and fruit - too much for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 02:06:17 | More by grub
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Slightly clouded reddish amber, nice red hue, medium, thick light tan head form, drops a ton of lace spots on the glass, and settles to a thick ring and light layer, looks nice. Smell is sweet, lots of toffee and molasses, oak, dark fruits, raisins, rum, alcohol, figs, very rich, apples, Calvados comes through a bit soft. Taste is similar, sweet toffee and brown sugar, very malty, lots of sweetness, light bit of oak, some Calvados, but mostly a fruity sweetness, some oak, rum and raisins, not bad, alcohol is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost syrupy with low carbonation, smooth and drinkable if on the sweet side. Sugary, wouldn't be able to drink a lot of but its a nice sipper, thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 02:05:49 | More by Viggo
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged in calvados casks.

A: Pours a dark amber red with bright orange hues around the edges when held up to the light.

S: sweet honey and whiskey aroma.

T: The taste was equally as sweet with a huge sugary flavor with tons of brown sugar and molasses. There was a big caramelized malting with hardly any hopping to balance out the sweetness. Alcohol is spicy and sweet as well. This is truly a beer that should be sipped and savored. Overall a highly unique flavor but find it hard to consider this a barleywine with exception of the alcohol content.

M: thick , viscose, sweet, with a syrupy texture on the tongue with some honey sweetness.

D: Could not imagine drinking more then one at a time. A slow sweet sipper probably best suited to be shared due to its overwhelming sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 13:33:46 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of cvfish
cvfish

Louisiana

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a cloudy brown color that produced a slight white head that disappeared quickly after it was poured

S - Complex scents, spices, fruit (possibly apples) and caramel

T - Wow, a mix of caramel and spices, light fruits and sutle bitterness

M - Heavy bodied, light carbonation but very filling

D - A beer like this was made to be savored, and if you slowly enjoy, it is great

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 01:36:22 | More by cvfish
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a rich brown with a thin tan head. The nose has dark fruits, sweet malts, delicate hops, whiskey, oak and alcohol. More of the same in the nose. A well balanced, super complex beer. One of the finest ales in the world. A bit young and not as good as the standard version. Should age well for many many years.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 02:48:18 | More by rye726
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage

A - A clear, dark brown body topped by a minimal, brownish white head that disappears immediately after being poured.

S - Earthy, fruity notes of apples and toffee with caramel, figs, plums, cinnamon, allspice, and a hint of licorice.

T - Sweet toffee and spice cake. There is a rich caramel note and the distinct syrupy complexity of dark navy rum. The finish is sweet, but not cloyingly so, and is pleasantly reminiscent of a caramel apple.

M - Low carbonation, a thick, syrupy body, and a sweet finish.

D - I am pleasantly surprised by the drinkability of this beer. I was hesitant to buy it because I usually dislike any and all apple flavors in beer, but I went ahead with it because I have always been so impressed by JW Lee's beer and once again they have not let me down. I feared that the apple might make the sweetness of the beer cloying, but it does he opposite. The apple character really only comes out as it would in a brandy with a rich complexity rather than an excessive apple bite and it combines wonderfully with the caramel notes inherent in the harvest beer. I can't say that I want a whole case of this, but it is an exceptional and unique beer and I am very happy to have had the chance to enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 05:44:36 | More by nickfl
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
BigMcLargeHuge

Arizona

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

2005 Vintage consumed Dec. 2007. Pours clear copper with weak off white head. Without any effort a bold sweet malty and fruity aroma is offered up out of the glass. Upon further investigation sweet plums, prunes and figs are noticed backed up by molasses, wood, a hint of caramel candy and booze. The taste experience begins with an initial medium bodied mouth feel that grows thick and viscous into the finish. The fluid ushers in some wood and malty sweetness first before the dark fruity esters take over with sugar coated plums, figs, prunes and stewed raisins. About midway the fruitiness becomes more sweet boysenberry like. The malts seem to go from the initial sugary malt sweetness to caramel candy, mildly roasted malts and then toward molasses and maple syrup. Toward the finish the wood, maple syrup and sweet caramel malts mix with a sense of booze. I get a lingering sense of all the flavors going deep into the after taste. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 23:15:15 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle poured into my Delirium snifter, the Calvados Cask Harvest Ale is a murky bronze with decent sized floaties and a small off-white head that quickly settles to a bubbly collar and faint skim that even the etching in the glass struggled to support with much aplomb. While that is to be expected (in fact I half expected it to have not head at all), the chunks are not.

Smell is heavy on the apple brandy, and a little bit of buttery diacetyl, prickly alcohol vapors. I'm really digging the apples.

Taste is super rich and sweet, but not cloying, with less alcohol then the nose a hint of charred wood on the finish. The apple is still there, but nicely blended with the intense malt, and it's got way less diacetyl then I remember the regular version having.

Mouthfeel is pretty sugary but not as thick as I remember regular Harvest Ale, a bit tannic.

Drinkability is pretty good if you like English Barleywines, whose intensity is obviously not for everyone. Still, it's expensive and hard to come buy, a slooow sipper for sure, but an enjoyable one. I just bought the one bottle to see what I thought of it, but am really impressed, and will pick up some more for cellaring if they're still available. 3 years old, I'll bet this sucker has barely budged and can go another 7 easily.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 22:19:04 | More by ccrida
Photo of PatrickJR
PatrickJR

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 9.3 oz bottle into oversized snifter. 2006 vintage.

A - Murky, orangish brown. No head or lace, and there shouldn't be.

S - Beer doesn't smell any better than this. Cider is the main aroma; the pleasant smell of nearly rotten apples. Other fruits are hiding as well, pear, peach, fig, and prune come to mind. A distinct herbal quality floats gently on top, and there's a smoky/earthy aroma lurking in the background.

T - The mushy, overripe presence of apples and pears dominates the flavor. A huge sugary sweetness accompanies with hints of brown sugar and honey. Vanilla, almond, and mild dark fruits begin the transition into smoky, aged character. The brew dries out somewhat to reveal a complimentary but not overwhelming note of smoke and wood. Both carry through the finish with just a touch of the monstrous ABV.

M - Silky, full bodied, and just a smidge of carbonation.

D - As with the other JW Lee's Harvest Ales I've had, this is a top notch beer. While I easily picked up on the barrel-aged character, the Calvados specifically wasn't apparent to me; the huge cider-like qualities of this beer are a result of the malt. It is still fantastic stuff; I'll need to snatch up another bottle and hunt down another Lagavulin cask and compare.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 05:36:08 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: amber body with a big white head. nice retention.

s: a malty nose with strong apple brandy (Calvados) notes: mmmm...

t: the sweet malt of an English barleywine forms the backbone, but as with the lagavulin version, the cask aging has added more than a subtle hint of calvados. this beer is what I imagine a barleywine/calvados cocktail might taste like. apple notes for sure with some big brandy too. a complex and delicious brew.

m: full body, creamy and smooth.

d: this beer was one of the hits of my beer tasting last weekend. depth of flavor, creamy full body, this is good stuff.
now if only it were cheaper...

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 20:27:12 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottle from Rivers Bend W&S.
Pours brown in color with some slight ruby highlights. Smell is typical JW Lees Harvest Ale. Not really picking up any of the Calvados Cask flavor at all. Surprisingly, the same thing is present in the taste. Same Harvest Ale flavor, but the Calvados Cask aging is very, very subtle. Did I say subtle. You really have to search for it to find it. This is a good beer, but not the same barrel aging comes through as in the Sherry cask version. Which is phenomonal.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 02:38:24 | More by FtownThrowDown
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
91 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.