1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,218 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,218
Reviews: 793
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 200
Gots: 171 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,218 | Reviews: 793 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hefewiseman
Hefewiseman

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

07-12-2013 22:16:23 | More by Hefewiseman
Photo of Supergenious
Supergenious

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

06-15-2013 16:21:08 | More by Supergenious
Photo of Abrahammer
Abrahammer

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

02-06-2014 09:02:38 | More by Abrahammer
Photo of kwakwhore
kwakwhore

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 vintage pours into a snifter with almost no head. Smells are uniquely complex, dates, candied fruit, some alcohol. Syrupy sweet flavors coat the tongue and last forever. Some hop bitterness lingers on the tongue in the finish, but sweet malt predominates all the way through. Alcohol warmth all the way down into the stomach. Syrupy mouthfeel matches the flavors. It's amazing how well this beer has held up after nine years. I have another one from the same year which I'll keep for a year or two to see if it's any different. For such a high abv this is a perilously easy beer to drink. This is an excellent nightcap, a beer to be sipped and savored. $5.65 a bottle and worth every penny.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2007 02:51:49 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of MaseFace
MaseFace

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

06-29-2014 01:59:21 | More by MaseFace
Photo of jtmcgraw
jtmcgraw

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

12-22-2011 01:19:22 | More by jtmcgraw
Photo of geuze_gone_wild
geuze_gone_wild

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

08-25-2013 06:22:57 | More by geuze_gone_wild
Photo of dctriman
dctriman

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

06-01-2013 23:20:41 | More by dctriman
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

11-14-2011 18:20:50 | More by JRod1969
Photo of Docrock
Docrock

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

12-28-2013 22:14:52 | More by Docrock
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

07-11-2013 23:31:03 | More by jaxon53
Photo of ManekiNeko
ManekiNeko

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at the closest I could get to cellar temperature in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown liquid, clear, with a short-lived khaki head. A small ring of foam remains at the edge of the glass throughout. The appearance of the bottled version is clear and redder than the casked version.

Smell: Sour molasses aroma with cherry, tawny port, and prune overtones. The fruity aromas are much more prominent in bottle than on cask and without the woodiness.

Taste: Tart, sugary-sweet caramel taste that gives way to intense fruit flavors of raisins, prunes, plums, and cherries. Lightly peppery. Again, the fruitiness is more prominent in bottle than on cask.

Mouthfeel: Precious little carbonation makes this oh-so thick in body, almost syrupy... but that's how barleywine be. Besides, it lets the intense flavors have their way with your taste buds. The flavors are ones that need time to process.

Drinkability: Too bad I only have 2 more bottles if this vintage. So glad there's plenty of 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 at the store. Until Thomas Hardy's hits the market again and is given time to age, I suspect this will be the exemplar barleywine to have.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 04:14:41 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

05-07-2013 23:53:10 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1999 Vintage. This brew pours a cloudy dark amber color. The head is large, creamy and off-white. The lacing is thorough. The aroma is very hoppy. The taste is a bit more balanced than the aroma. It is still hoppy, and there is a distinguishable malt backbone. The mouthfeel full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a fine barleywine; one of the best I have had to date.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 00:30:48 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of mikeincharleston
mikeincharleston

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

05-22-2013 01:12:57 | More by mikeincharleston
Photo of seanwhite
seanwhite

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

01-20-2013 04:36:54 | More by seanwhite
Photo of 6demonbag
6demonbag

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

10-27-2012 02:58:46 | More by 6demonbag
Photo of leitmotif
leitmotif

Romania

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

11-03-2013 20:26:43 | More by leitmotif
Photo of raffy313
raffy313

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

05-18-2013 00:05:31 | More by raffy313
Photo of hAle2theWort
hAle2theWort

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

10-15-2013 01:33:38 | More by hAle2theWort
Photo of jabocu
jabocu

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 Edition

This has been laid back since 2000 and WOW. Pours a amber/copper color with a nice 2 finger cap. Lots of floral and fruity esters in the aroma with sweet molasses, caramel, and figs. Flavor was full and sweet. Lots of fruit of raisins, figs, and a viscous quality. Very smooth and not very bitter, but just enough to tone done the sweetness. Rich and smooth is the best way to describe this beer. Too bad that was my last.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2006 01:15:01 | More by jabocu
Photo of Zach136
Zach136

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

01-10-2013 01:21:51 | More by Zach136
Photo of jabo134
jabo134

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

01-01-2012 04:26:20 | More by jabo134
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 vintage from Super Market Liquors in Ft. Collins. $9.50. 275ml bottle into my Odell flute glass.

A: Pours a mellow brown color with a sand colored head about a quarter of an inch thick or so that has receded to a ring of bubbles around the edges and a thin cap in the middle. Surprisingly clear. Lots of amber colored accents towards the edges of the glass. Looks stellar.

S: Caramel malt profile and a very pronounced sweetness, smells almost syrupy, maybe molasses, there are also some over ripe fruit smells, I get cherries, and just a hint of alcohol as well. Overall very complex, and not as ragingly boozey as I have heard this beer can be. Smell is complex and welcoming. Excellent.

T: Wow, this is incredible. The malt profile of this beer is insanely deep. So many layers, the initial caramel and brown sugar, some notes of molasses, I get some notes of oatmeal raisin cookies as well. Has a slightly rum like quality to it as well. The flavors of golden raisins really lingers on the tongue. Absolutely spectacular. The last 11 years have treated this exceptionally, and there is almost no alcohol presence in the flavor. Fantastic beer.

M: Thick with a velvety smooth carbonation, slightly warm alcohol on the way down, and a nice bit of dryness from the alcohol in the mouth.

D: Well, the alcohol note definitely is not there for such a high abv beer, and the flavors are phenomenal. I would have a hard time saying no to a second, or third serving of this. An absolutely phenomenal beer. Highly recommended. I'm glad I have a few more different vintages of this, and I am excited to let them mature past the 11 year mark. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 21:20:55 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of SuperCutePanda
SuperCutePanda

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

03-12-2013 18:48:10 | More by SuperCutePanda
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.