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

Not Rated.
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest AleJ.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,219 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,219
Reviews: 793
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 14.08%
Wants: 204
Gots: 172 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 12-18-2000)
View: Beers (19) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,219 | Reviews: 793 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by merlin48:
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Limited Edition, first bottling of December 1, 1999. Served at cellar temperature into a snifter on October 20, 2004. Bottle cap opens with a mild pop, indicating some carbonation. Indeed, a two finger tightlyknit, beige head forms atop a clear, ruby chestnut body that is effervescant with atomic sized, bubbles rushing to the surface. The attractive head is longlasting, eventually falling into film and collar lace that is tightknit and easily aroused into sheet lace on the sides of the snifter with a gentle twirl. The appearance is absolutely stunning.
The aroma is appropriately complex, and sinfully inviting. Molasses, toffee, burnt brown sugar, and some fresh fruitcake aromas are initially noted. Coffee, tobacco, rum, prunes, and a vinous note of port wine are also picked up. Some smoky, peat rounds out the exceptional nose. Wow! This is a serious undertaking.
Mouthfeel is effervescent, with a mild carbonation that is ideal. A presence of strong alcohol quickly appears and kickstarts a vinous character that reminds you that this has an abv of 11.5 %.
The taste yields an extraordinary, sweet malt character that is exceptionally complex, and complicated by a mild, alcohol burning sensation. Molasses, maple syrup, dark honey, tobacco, and freshly tanned leather comprise the dominant flavors. Pithy, dark fruits are also evident with essences of figs and raisins. This Harvest Ale becomes heavy and syrupy toward the finish, but is never cloying. The taste, overall, has a definite sherry character that compliments the malt complexities.
This is an exceptional example of British craftmanship at its best. At its current age of five years, I can't imagine how this can be better, but I'm definitely curious how this will age. I suggest buying as many bottles as you can afford, and laying down a few for aging. My only complaint is the size of the tiny, 9.6 oz bottle, but this is being greedy.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 11:19:52 | More by merlin48
More User Reviews:
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jcugafsu

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

07-26-2014 01:11:17 | More by jcugafsu
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Kuaff

Alaska

4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harvest Ale 2012, cellar temperature in a snifter.

This barley wine has a modest one-finger white head of foam which subsides unhurriedly. The color is a marvelous brownish, brackish, deep amber orange that looks clear and gem-like, though it isn't totally translucent.

The aroma is a superb one, filled with vanilla, caramel, toffee, ripe red apples, butterscotch, raisins, cider, and lemon zest. There may be a subtle earthy, leathury oak note too. Truly a pleasure to take in.

I taste sweet fruits at first; the sweet, juicy apple mixes with dark red cherries and, surprisingly, a grape flavor that bursts more in the middle, right before the finish sets in, which is something quite special: caramel, smoky leather, and earth abound, lingering prominently with some wonderful toasted nuttiness. And all the while those sweet fruits remain light in the background.

The feel is full, substantial, and a bit sticky.

A brilliant British barley wine with distinctive fruity and nutty traits.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2014 06:58:19 | More by Kuaff
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Bilco

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

07-01-2014 02:45:48 | More by Bilco
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MaseFace

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

06-29-2014 01:59:21 | More by MaseFace
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Hellpop65

Kansas

2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

06-21-2014 23:52:22 | More by Hellpop65
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sia478

Washington

2.25/5  rDev -47.2%

06-19-2014 21:57:14 | More by sia478
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Syracuse12

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

06-18-2014 19:26:49 | More by Syracuse12
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amalburg

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

06-15-2014 00:38:17 | More by amalburg
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monketeeth

Florida

5/5  rDev +17.4%

06-13-2014 02:46:34 | More by monketeeth
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22Blue

Kansas

4/5  rDev -6.1%

06-13-2014 01:06:25 | More by 22Blue
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woodenbones

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

06-10-2014 08:50:13 | More by woodenbones
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emalc

Michigan

2/5  rDev -53.1%

06-01-2014 20:27:02 | More by emalc
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006, finally! I could not wait more, but anyway it should be excellent by now. Let's see if it holds true against my expectations...
Brown ochre color with an almost inexistent head, so far no sediments. Almost showing some lacrima effect falling down the glass.
Wonderful aroma of Port wine, lots of high grade cocoa chocolate, licorice, molasses, oak, dry fruits, a hint of cinnamon and plums. I could mistake this by a chocolate panettone. I cannot get tire of sniffing this.
Surprisingly, flavor doesn’t entirely follow nose. Some new slightly smoked notes of charred wood or even tobacco. Also, molasses, very subtle earthy English hops, Port Wine, walnut, coconut, figs, cinnamon, prunes, apple juice, pears, licorice and maple syrup. Maybe some pleasant musty. Dry and sticky aftertaste with residual notes that mutates a bit.
Liquorish body with a very low carbonation, but it is still there. Alcohol of 11.5% abv is much better hidden than a bottle of wine given its malty body.
Extraordinaire beer, a sweet malty sipper with great complexity. Bold but still mellow. Highly recommended if you are into Barley Wines. This was in perfect condition after roughly eight years, I can’t wait trying one much younger and another one older.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2014 01:10:28 | More by FLima
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OregonGrown7

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

05-27-2014 17:35:12 | More by OregonGrown7
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unclekeith

Alaska

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

05-24-2014 03:24:23 | More by unclekeith
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SnifterLifter

New York

4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2000 Vintage. 275 ml bottle poured into snifter, very excited to try this one.

Pours dark reddish brown, no murkiness, very little sediment. Leaves lacing and has a very quickly dissipating pinky sized head.

Nose is strongly of sherry, very very slight alcohol presence. I think there would be more to say, but I have a poor sense of smell.

Up front is the butterscotchy sherry flavor, dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar. Possibly a slight tobacco note in there that I didn't expect.

Mouthfeel is not particularly thick, leaves a coating of flavor on your tongue and lips which is pleasant.

This is a wonderful beer. I spent 8.50 on it and I was satisfied. Definitely a sweet sipper for a special occasion. I haven't had this before now but I suspect the age did this beer wonders. Very satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2014 21:52:55 | More by SnifterLifter
Photo of DerelictPI
DerelictPI

New York

4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage.

Look: A beautiful reddish orange color. Almost like a honey color. I poured it straight out and it developed a nice head that went away immediately.

Smell: Sweet, dried fruit.

Taste: Follows the smell. I've been sipping on this 750 ml for about an hour and a half, so it has changed as it has warmed (and as I have warmed). Rich malty sweetness that is in line with dried fruits. The booze is well hidden. This is not a terribly carbonated beer but it does go down easy. I am glad I bought two more bottles to age!

Overall: If you like sweeter barleywines, quads and dopplebocks, do yourself a favor and grab this!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2014 00:50:21 | More by DerelictPI
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cultclassic89

Texas

3/5  rDev -29.6%

05-15-2014 04:30:18 | More by cultclassic89
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seangibbs60

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

05-12-2014 05:04:32 | More by seangibbs60
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kybeerdrinker

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -12%

05-11-2014 18:37:09 | More by kybeerdrinker
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iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

05-11-2014 01:24:37 | More by iL0VEbeer
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Dougwillhike

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

05-07-2014 16:38:31 | More by Dougwillhike
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morebeergood

Massachusetts

2.29/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Purchased three bottles: 2008, 2007, 2006 a couple years back and have aged them in my proper beer cellar since then. Cracked them all open last night. All three were flat, overly sweet, and metallic tasting. They did not age well at all. I bought them at a decent price, so no big loss. But I expected more since this was a beer that the label says can be laid down for years.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2014 13:58:32 | More by morebeergood
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InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

05-05-2014 13:10:55 | More by InspectorBob
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J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.