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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

387 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 17.56%
Wants: 29
Gots: 62 | 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: 387 | Reviews: 244 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

275ml bottle poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass. Bottle generously provided by thagr81us as an extra, thanks a lot Calton!

2005 vintage.

A - Pours a dark copper color, almost like a rusted pipe. It is completely still and the only notions of carbonation are the smallest of bubbles that surround the edge of the glass as it lies precariously silent. The bottle had a lot of sediment at the bottom, but a careful pour led to only a hazy appearance with no noticeable floaties. No lacing at all besides the slight cap from the bubbles, but a ton of alcohol legs. It resembles the scotch in which barrels it sat it quite well.

S - I'm really surprised as to the extent that the Lagavulin overpowers the otherwise sweet malts that J.W. Lees Harvest normally has. It is actually the first thing I notice about the nose, bringing a lot of peat smoke and then the malts come next, bringing toffee, caramel, raisins, and sugar. A bit of alcohol in the finish. As it warms, the sweetness definitely comes through stronger.

T - This is my second Islay barrel-aged beer I've had this week, the other being the Mikkeller Islay Scotch Black, and although the Black was a 17.50% behemoth of an imperial stout, I can really draw the comparisons of the barrel treatment between the styles. The peat begins the taste, lending some smokiness that helps cut down that sugary sweetness of the malts, while at the same time aiding in complexity. Additonally, there's some sea-spray salt and seaweed that gives it a unique flavor. Once these flavors dim, the malts do come through, delivering the signature raisin-bread taste of the base beer. Caramel and alcohol-soaked fruits round out the flavors.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with almost no carbonation. Feels a bit lifeless, despite the sweetness which I thought would be heavy and syrupy, so I'm torn here. It takes on the mouthfeel of whisky but in a beer.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. I would probably rate this as slightly better than the 2000 vintage of the Harvest ale I had recently. The Lagavulin cask really helps to cut the sweetness while adding much more diverse flavors. This is definitely a sipper, but I enjoyed every drop of this beer. I will be seeking out the other cask versions of this beer for sure!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 22:30:17 | More by nhindian
More User Reviews:
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ToddHolder

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

07-21-2014 01:44:45 | More by ToddHolder
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Howlader

Alberta (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

07-20-2014 05:56:57 | More by Howlader
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jerefreakinmiah

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2014 02:05:57 | More by jerefreakinmiah
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KAF

Iowa

4/5  rDev +1.8%

07-13-2014 20:00:32 | More by KAF
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Jeffrey2310

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

07-09-2014 14:33:12 | More by Jeffrey2310
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qazeqaz

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

07-03-2014 13:26:33 | More by qazeqaz
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djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%

06-29-2014 04:58:39 | More by djrn2
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CasanovaCummins

Nevada

3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

06-28-2014 21:09:18 | More by CasanovaCummins
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amano_h

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%

06-10-2014 03:07:43 | More by amano_h
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randylangford

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

06-07-2014 14:57:22 | More by randylangford
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rab53

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

06-03-2014 17:59:11 | More by rab53
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Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

05-27-2014 20:07:35 | More by Sludgeman
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Theseanlewis

Ohio

3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottling
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
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psoriasaurus

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

05-20-2014 21:19:42 | More by psoriasaurus
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psumjl269

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

05-02-2014 23:37:09 | More by psumjl269
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Belittle

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-29-2014 15:55:28 | More by Belittle
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OregonGrown7

Nebraska

4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

04-28-2014 00:40:57 | More by OregonGrown7
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Herky21

Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

04-24-2014 16:23:08 | More by Herky21
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D-18V

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

04-16-2014 22:15:51 | More by D-18V
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TheSleepyMonkey

Tennessee

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

04-16-2014 18:49:15 | More by TheSleepyMonkey
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LumpkinBrews

Washington

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-12-2014 15:50:31 | More by LumpkinBrews
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astronautjones

Michigan

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-03-2014 23:45:46 | More by astronautjones
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BMMillsy

Florida

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | 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
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kushlash23

Georgia

4/5  rDev +1.8%

03-29-2014 15:06:49 | More by kushlash23
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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 387 ratings.