J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) - J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 383 | Reviews: 243 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hustlesworth:
4.14/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A- pours into a snifter a hazed reddish amber with a liquory shimmer. There's almost no head except for a thin ring of foam and some swirls on the surface. Sparse bubbles rise and since I can smell it already, I'm prepared to treat this one like scotch.
S- the nose isn't overwhelingly peaty, not yet at least but I'm sure it will open up as it warms. At this temperature, mineral water and definite salty seaweed aromas blend with the touch of smoke and bold sweet wood. There's also a heavy amount of malt sweetness, very fruity in character with notes of apple, pear, and cherry. After letting it sit for a while, the smoke begins to rise. Thought not as smoky as the mighty Lagavulin 16 which I'm assuming previously occupied the barrel.
T- enourmously sweet and warm. There's plenty of smoke flavor but it doesn't come through in the same manner as it does in the scotch itself. Here it's more astringent, woodsy, and quite frankly tastes like leftover smoke. I don't wanna use the word "stale" but it is, and that's ok, because that's what's gonna happen when the barrel absorbs the smoke flavor from the whisky and spits it back out into the beer. The sweetness is akin to some sort of smoked-over brandied caramel vanilla dessert with seemingly no hop presence to balance it out. Oak and earth flavors erupt as the smoke and sweetness slowly fade and the finish is a beautiful mingling of grain, charred oak, and loads of tannins. Alcohol flavor is rather prominent and there's a touch of bitterness to the smoke.
MF- very tannic and absurdly dry, this one has the mouth numbing smoky feel of Lagavulin with the voluptuous body of Laphroaig. Carbonation is seriously toned down and only felt as some zip on the center of the tongue and in the throat. Although the sweetness in the taste stops just short of cloying, the malt sugars wreck shop on the palate and along with the high level of tannins and smoky astringency, my mouth doesn't even know what's going on. It's a very complex feel but not exactly awesome.
D- if I could make three wishes for this beer, they would be more peat, more seaweed, more "fresh" smoke. The oceanic pungency that I love about Islay scotch is all but lost in the malt sweetness. The scotches themselves are plenty sweet, but still retain a balance. This one sadly does not. This is a great beer and very monsterous and a must try for anyone that loves this type of scotch, but be aware that the taste is of smoked wood, not smoked barley. Like you over-smoked your BBQ by adding too much oak. I'm glad I found this bottle but I don't think I'll ever buy another one.
Serving type: bottle
02-20-2013 01:18:55 | More by hustlesworth
More User Reviews:
3.46/5 rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
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
Serving type: bottle
05-26-2014 22:28:30 | More by Theseanlewis
4.55/5 rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2012 Bottle from a trip to Hoboken. Shared with beastmaster. Pours orange, mostly clear, with pretty much no head. Aroma is big peaty scotch smells, a bit of the signature nutty JW Lees in the backdrop. But really big smokey peat. Flavor is massive smokey peat, leather, tobacco, very light dry nuts, more peat, a hint of sweet caramel to balance. Whoah. This is like scotch, but without any of the booze burn. Very mellow. Medium plus mouthfeel with more carbonation than I got from the other BA versions of this. This might be my favorite variant, and it is bordering on incredible.
Serving type: bottle
03-30-2014 02:32:34 | More by BMMillsy
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 383 ratings.