J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) - J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
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Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
4.61/5 rDev +17.3%
(poured into a balloon)
A: russet-colored liquid, extremely hazy... some head starts to form on the pour, but all but disappears in short time... not so much as a collar left
S: light-moderate smoke from the barrel... dark, chewy caramel... oxidized, somewhat port or sherry aroma - close to it... the combo of the smoke and the caramel create a barbeque wood coal scent... underlying, but truly dominant foundation of ripe and dried fruit, including fresh fig, maybe date... only a fine hint of ester-drenched booze... overall, explosive aromas
T: the smokiness starts off more phenolic-like then quickly opens up a bit, displaying tones of ash against grain alcohol... the bold fruit aromas carrying over onto the palate are complimented and balanced with the introduction of roasted nut (almond? hazelnut?), tobacco, and delicate herbal flavors, adding some color and depth to the overall taste... the alcohol is quite well tempered by the full, rich malt foundation and/or studious brewing practices
M: approaches a syrupy viscosity on the intake, but the body seems enveloped in an aura of mellow spirits... only a (relatively) delicate, concentrated slow flare of boozy warmth... ultimately fantastic attenuation and dryness
O: this was one of the most fantastic ales in memory when I first had it in Oct 2012 - had it on tap then at the bar in which I worked... the product from this bottle, for whatever of a variety of possible reasons, is showing signs of falling apart - the fresh intensity of its original flavors dying off or in transition... still, for fans of the Harvest Ale and Islay whiskey, this is a dream of a brew
08-02-2014 05:16:52 | More by Bouleboubier
3/5 rDev -23.7%
Beer 400! Let's do this.
Found this in Raleigh last year at Tasty Beverage Co (still some on the shelf!) And have been sitting on it for almost a year. Wanted to wait until the 10 year mark, but gave in.
The bottle opened with a barely audible hiss. Even though I poured wih caution, I still got tons of sediment. There was no head whatsoever. Looks like dark whiskey in the low lighting of the house.
The smell is (obviously) super sweet for a big barleywine like this. Underneath the sweet you get some smoke, earthy, and woody notes.
Taste and texture? Syrupy in mouthfeel, with a heavy consistency. The taste is similar to light maple syrup, medicinal peat tones in the aftertaste. I've had several whiskies, but not Lagavulin, so I can't say if I get any of the Lagavulin characteristics.
Have to say that I was cautiously optimistic about this one, but ultimately was let down.
Final verdict: novel idea that doesn't work well in this older vintage. The company website says that some bottles have gone for $60, but I'm not seeing it at this point. May have to try some of the other vintages and varieties to get a better representation of Harvest Ale.
07-20-2014 02:05:57 | More by jerefreakinmiah
District of Columbia
4.78/5 rDev +21.6%
$10.99 at Arrow Wine. Poured into a chalice. Batch L2413 11:51
A one of a kind beer. Unique in the 900+ beers I have rated on BA. I am not a single malt fan, but I LOVE this beer. Definitely a sipper, but one I could have often. A beer that is greater than the sum of its individual characteristics. 5
A – Pours a cloudy rusty brown with a small off-white head that dissipates immediately. 4.25
S – A very distinctive whiskey aroma. Beautiful! A bit of a syrupy aroma as well. Medicinal in a good way. Smokey, molasses, oak. 4.75
T – A malty barleywine with smoke and oak. 4.75
MF –A smooth medium-bodied ale with a semi-dry finish. Warming in the belly. Low carbonation. 4.75
05-27-2014 20:07:35 | More by Sludgeman
3.46/5 rDev -12%
A- deep copper witho head to speak of, a small amount sediment
A- the slightest peatiness gives way to dates and raisins, slowly evolving to leather, with a slight woody finish
T-very sweet caramel up front, followed by the leather/ wood taste, followed by a bit of green apple. The alchohal comes finishes the sip drying out the mouth slightly.
M- viscous, creamy and sweet. Once again the finish is dry, leaving a mild stickiness at the back of the throat.
O- remarkably drinkable for its age, the slight hint of green apple and lack of smokiness make this beer slightly less enjoyable than expected but it has held up and still has a bouquet of aromas and flavors
05-26-2014 22:28:30 | More by Theseanlewis
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.