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

Not Rated.
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

383 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 383
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 17.56%
Wants: 29
Gots: 61 | FT: 5
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 08-01-2005)
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Ratings: 383 | Reviews: 243 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hustlesworth:
Photo of hustlesworth
hustlesworth

Ohio

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage.

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
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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.
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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
88 out of 100 based on 383 ratings.