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

Not Rated.
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port Cask)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

320 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 198
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 14.08%
Wants: 41
Gots: 66 | 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: 320 | Reviews: 198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice aroma of a barleywine, pleasant appearance with lace. Alcohol, sweetish, some Rum, figs, Vanilla.Full mouthfeel. Would go well late in a meal. I am encouraged to try the other barrels. Thanks Tim (IPFreely) for sharing. I am still tasting it a day later.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 15:44:32 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

11-19-2012 13:51:07 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Served in a snifter.

Pours an insanely cloudy light turdish color. This seriously looked like dirty dishwater. It was really disgusting looking. After I got past that, it was decent, but not all that good. The nose had some nice port notes along with plenty of oak and a bit of oxidation. The flavor was more port and some sweetness with a bit too much oxidation, leading to a bit of cardboard. Medium body and close to flat. Sweetness and a bit of cardboard dryness. Really disgusting to look at, and an okay beer after that.

Serving type: cask

02-25-2012 01:29:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage. Perfect pumpkin orange topped by a compact beige crown that doesn't come anywhere near the top edge of the snifter. These 275 ml bottles barely wet my whistle. The foam has some creaminess, and a few shards of lace reach the glass, but the appearance is more good than impressive.

The same can be said for the nose. It's starting out on the chilly side, so let's see what happens once it gains a few degrees. The beer smells moderately caramel malty and is wonderfully fruity. Too bad the port cask aging isn't immediately obvious.

Good old J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale never lets me down. Forgot appearance, forget aroma, it's flavor that matters most. This version delivers just like the Sherry Cask version did. I'm not sure how long these classic English barleywines hold up, but 5 years of rest has done wonders for this little beauty.

Such a riot of flavor! Each sip is a muted explosion of deliciousness that is hard to fully wrap one's taste buds around before the finish of the finish arrives. The flavor profile includes toffee pudding, golden brown sugar, candied figs, candied cherries, raisins, sugared pecans and a splash of tawny port. Just like an aged Christmas fruitcake.

The concentrated vinousness of the port is unmistakable on the palate and is what sets this beautiful sipping ale apart. Aging their Harvest Ale in various casks was a stroke of genius. A hint of oxidation lends authenticity and adds much more than it detracts. If there is any beer worth more than 75 cents per ounce, this one is.

The mouthfeel (as with much barrel-aged beer of a certain age) lacks a little fullness. It makes up for it, though, by being velvety, silky smooth and wonderfully sticky on the finish. The understated carbonation is damn near perfect.

Of the four wines and spirits that J.W. Lee's chose to accent their outstanding Harvest Ale, my favorites are (from least to most) sherry, port, Calvados and Lagavulin Scotch. Sherry Cask and Port Cask are spectacular, so the final two should be out of this world.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 16:32:19 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy amber in color and lots of yeast particles are visible floating in suspension. It poured with a thin layer of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are aromas of brown sugar, figs and raisins in the nose along with some notes of port.
T: The taste generally follows the smell, but flavors of port are stronger, but not overpowering. The finish is rather sweet and fruity with some hints of oak and bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
D: This is a good beer to sip with dessert; there's no way that I could have more than one of these at a time due to the alcohol content and amount of sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 03:19:40 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2004; tasted in 2010

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a prodigious, thick head that coats the glass with lace

Smell: Caramel with grape and cherry tones and a touch of wood

Taste: Starts with a toffee flavor that builds into rich butterscotch, grape and cherry tones; after the swallow the wood and port flavors kick in to mellow out the sweet flavors; long-lasting finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation and some warmth down the gullet

Drinkability: Perhaps a tad sweet but nevertheless a very nice English barleywine; my second favorite in the series after the Sherry casks

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 04:12:07 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy amber color ale with loads of floaters and a small head with minimal retention and light lacing. Aroma consists of sweet malt with some light dry fruits also discernable. Taste is also a mix between some sweet English style malt with some notes of dry fruits such as figs and raisins. I was expecting port to be more prominent but it was very subtle. Full body with limited filtration and some low to medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done overall even thought port was not overly discernable.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 19:53:21 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About as good as a beverage can get. A serious winter warmer that has tons of flavor, texture, and complexity. Shows much more port characteristics up front than beer. Very sweet, rich aromas of grape, brandy, heavy malts, plumbs, prunes, figs, dates, and raisons. Folows up with a vineous alcohol with the sweet brandy hotness. Looks a typical low carbonated, hazy rust color with slight head retention and more legging than lacing. Tastes teeth-hurting sweet with a rich grape, vineous-brandy flavor and strength. Back-up characters found in the aroma are reinforced in the flavor. The power in these flavors are as strong as will be found in any beer, yet very smooth and delicate. The feel is a mouth-numbing alcohol with a light prickle from the carbonation. A late astringency keeps this beer from perfection. This bite might come from the unexpected bittering hops, grain hulls, wood barrels, or wine tannins. This beer is almost as perfect as a beer can get.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2006 18:12:59 | More by BEERchitect
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kjkinsey

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

12-06-2011 18:42:22 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep ruby-colored body with a thin, wispy white head.

Smell: Aroma of caramel blended with honey and tossed with candied raisins. Port scents along with a hint of wood and some slight oxidative notes in there, too.

Taste: Rich, expletive-worthy caramel and honey sweetness. Full raisin flavor with a further fruitiness provided by the port. Mild notes of wood. There's a layer of earthy bitterness underneath, nearly obscured by the luscious sweetness. The alcohol on the palate is quite potent though complimentary (and dare I say, necessary) to the final flavor of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Syrupy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Though still admittedly quite excellent, the overall flavor doesn't seem too far removed from the original J.W. Lees Harvest Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 04:15:35 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -9%

04-07-2012 21:35:44 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4/5  rDev -2.9%

12-03-2013 04:13:22 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -15%

02-05-2012 16:17:37 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.9%

01-14-2013 04:33:31 | More by spycow
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: no head on a deep brown murky body with lots of debris/precipitate floating in it.

S: port and red wine, sour cherry, tart fruit, and yes, A1 sauce.

T: very very sweet. I was expected sour or tart and though this one has a subtle tartness, it is mostly cherry and strawberry fruit sweetness. This one really took on the character of the port. It is the lead flavor as oppose to a "note". caramel and brown sugar notes.

M: light to medium body and very light carbonation.

Overall: all of these are hard to drink for me. Either too sweet or strong. This is a "sipping" beer and definitley worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 01:15:53 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours out as a copperish orange color with a very minimal head on top that fades quickly. The smell of the beer is sweet, malty, a little smokey and has some light wooden aromas coming off of it. The taste of the beer had a faint tart flavor in there with a big syrupy sweetness overlapping the tongue. The mouthfeel is slick and creamy feeling. Overall this beer is pretty good, Much like the others it's something that needs to be enjoyed over a period of time and probably best split with a friend.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 00:50:20 | More by Knapp85
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -9%

11-12-2013 04:41:11 | More by GRG1313
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

11-16-2011 17:13:35 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stunning! It's crystal-clear golden-orange body resembles a glass of Cognac - and the flavor's not too far from the same. It's almost completely headless, but some bubbles are visible, slowly rising from the base of the glass. The nose is rich with honeyish malt; lightly grassy and floral hops; and a slap of alcohol. In the mouth it's creamy and exceptionally smooth with a full body and lightly tingly,restrained carbonation (but it's not bottle conditioned). Lush, juicy, dripping honeyish malt is accented by low-level notes of grassy hops; and peppered with spicy notes of alcohol. Notes of Port are discernable, but quite restrained. Some woodiness does come through, however; yet it's far from overdone, and it just lends enough character to give it a little life while also helping it to dry out in the finish. It's not overtly complex, but it is exceptionally rich and satiating. Superb!

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 18:10:23 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev -2.9%

01-14-2013 18:51:06 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage

A - Amber-orange body with a half finger of white foam floating on top. The foam settles quickly and leaves a thick film of bubbles on the surface of the beer. The body is hazy and contains a few large chunks of yeast.

S - Rich, dark fruit aroma with notes of plums, figs, and raisins. A slight woody note is hiding behind huge chocolate, caramel, and toffee aromas.

T - Thick, rich fruity notes of raisins and dates, backed by a lot of chocolate and caramel. A spicy note of hops is lingering in the background along with some mild roasted grain and smooth alcohol warmth that lasts through the finish.

M - Thick, syrupy body, low carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a wonderfully drinkable sipping beer. Complex and delicious, the port flavors work beautifully with the base beer, especially in the outstanding aroma.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 04:44:26 | More by nickfl
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours foggy brown. Nose is mildly sweet. Flavor is extremely smooth. Firm sweet tones. Just unbelievably smooth. Feel is smooth as well with tiny bubbles of carbonation caressing the tongue. This is just a magnificent beer. Well worth the coin. I would drink this every day if there weren’t so many other things to try.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 07:13:51 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Goebbels in Wichita

Pours a semi-hazed brown with finger of sand colored head into my duvel tulip. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Lovely oak & port notes, raisins & other dark fruits

T: Dark fruits by the bushel, brown sugar, dryness up front. Some leafy hops as this warms, a touch of boozeyness, some cinnamon, brown sugar oranges & plums. Finishes dry, plummy with candi sugar, rich toffee, & a little more booze; a little more depth & this would've pulled 5.0

MF: Chewy, slick, low carbonation, some booze warmth

Drinks easy, but I could feel the booze grabbing me from the get-go. Super English Barley Wine from a great English brewery! About a buck an ounce, but a nice indulgence

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 05:27:58 | More by russpowell
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 03/25/11 notes.

a - Pours a clear amber color with less than one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet fruit, grain, bready malts, oak, and wine.

t - Tastes of sweet fruit, molasses, light wine, and alcohol.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - A pretty good variation of JW Lees, but not my favorite. A sipper for sure and one to share with some friends.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 02:37:10 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich copper color that is brilliantly clear. It is fairly well carbonated and is topped by a frothy light tan colored head. The aroma is predominantly one of rich concentrated malt and hops, but at the end there is an aroma of concord grapes and tannic red grape skins. The grape aromas seem to meld with the hop notes. The taste is sweet and finishes with a port like finish. This beer has a definite port note to it, it doesn't quite meld with the beer aspect though. The other cask aged versions where better integrated though. The malty notes of this beer remind me of caramel, lightly toasted biscuits. There is a nice bitterness here in the finish that melds with a slight tannic. There also seems to be some subtle hop notes of pine and a hint of citrus. This is still good, just not quite as good a combination as the other beers in this series.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2005 04:56:36 | More by Gueuzedude
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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
92 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.