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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

301 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 301
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 39
Gots: 56 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: Dantes on 05-07-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 301 | Reviews: 178
Photo of putnam
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed after 24 hours open at room temperature, this "beer" really starts to show what it's got. It can be left open for weeks at room temperature. This is a densely sweet beer with a deeply toasted, burned sugar bitterness. It is peach-tinted brass in color. There is - of course - no "head." It is an unattenuated, high gravity, pure malt, resinated, viscous, aromatic, intensely flavored, orange-colored liquid.
Scorched pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts on the nose fold into concentrated butter, maple and pound cake aromas. On the palate it is sweet and fabulously rich in a viscous, oily-textured way that is not quite accounted for by its evident residual sugar, nor any flavor of alcohol. On the finish it is supported by seed oil-flavored bitterness reminiscent of arsenic-laden apricot and peach pits.

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

275 ml bottle
Poured into a port wine glass.
Pours an almost rosy golden color, with a beautiful, small head. Lacing is very nice as well. Carbonation is very nice for such a high abv. I can hardly find words to describe the way this looks. This is perhaps the best looking beer I have ever seen.

Smell is heavenly: sherry dominates, of course. There are notes of sweetness, fruity esters, and alcohol. With a brew this big, it is no wonder that alcohol is a component, but I would have expected it to be more prominent than it is. There are also some nutty notes that I was not expecting, but are apperently quite common with the Harvest Ales.

Taste is extremely complex. Notes of sherry sweetness, and that certain nutty quality that doesn't so much go over well with me, but is interesting nonetheless. The alcohol warming and lingering sweetness make the finish of this beer quite nice.

I was actually expecting this brew to be a lot sweeter than it was. However, I do think that the flavors marry quite nicely and I would love to let this one sit for a few years and see how it tastes. The complexities as they stand now are amazing, I can only imagine them becoming more intense as time passes.

Overall a stupendous beer. I have 2 of each of these fellows and look forward to trying each of the others to compare. Really the only "gripe" (and I hesitate to call it a gripe), I have with this beer is that nuttiness that I was not expecting.

Photo of Dantes
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Package:275 ml brown, crowned bottle, much like a 7/8ths scale longneck. Parchment-like, cream-colored label with burgundy lettering. Boldly labelled “Harvest Ale 2003" and “Sherry.”

Cost: NA

Presentation: Riedel Port glass at ~50°

Appearance: I expected this to be darker from the sherry, but it poured a leathery, reddish-brown with a dense, beige head, which decayed slowly. Not remarkably different from older vintages of J.W. Lees. Head is nice and sticky.

Smell: The sherry is quite noticeable on the nose, buoyed by the classic Harvest Ale nutty maltiness. The sherry blends nicely with the full, “beery” aroma.

Taste: The first sip is quite sweet, with the expected Sherry component. However, the nuttiness and yeasty tang quickly blend in the mouth, alleviating some of the syrupy qualities. Still young and a bit less-integrated than I would like. The talk on the BA forums compelled me to open these a bit earlier than I had thought I would. The finish is long, sweet, and warming. I expect that this will improve greatly in years to come.

Mouthfeel: Extremely full-bodied and syrupy. The carbonation is fine-grained, light, but persistent. It should survive for some time. A bit cloying and sweet, but promising great things to come. The Alcohol is noticeable, but warming and well-integrated.

Drinkability: This is a beer to savor, slowly and comtemplatively. Again, I would have loved to have a great corona gorda with this, but refrained. A bit young and sweet, this can be filling, so the smaller bottle is just about perfect.

Backwash: When VENOM first posted these upcoming arrivals, I hustled to the local store that carries a good range of B. United’s products. It took some wheedling, but they eventually got it in. Now that I’ve opened one (I bought 2 of each variety), I’ll have to find more. I’d love to find a place that offered this on draught, from the wooden casks.

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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
90 out of 100 based on 301 ratings.