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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

1,236 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,236
Reviews: 794
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 209
Gots: 179 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,236 | Reviews: 794 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHickman
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Harvest Ale 2000 review:

Pours cloudy mahogany reddish in color with a small beige head; spotty lacing on the snifter.

Smells like raisin, rum, syrup, molasses and some sweet malts; quite pungent and very fruity. Wow, smells like a box of raisins or a port wine.

Tastes like raisins, rum, sweet malt, caramel, syrup, molasses, brown sugar, honey, a hint of cinnamon and the alcohol esters that are not offensive but rather quite tasty. Considering how strong the raisin and rum-like sweetness is present, this is reasonably well balanced and got better as it warmed.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy, with an overall sweet taste, zero carbonation and a medium body. The alcohol presence is there throughout this beer, and while it has kick to it, it is not overpowering or offensive. This is a definite sipper.

A little too sweet for my liking, but a very interesting and tasty beer. Steep price tag at $19 per bottle at Blue Smoke in NYC, but there was a level of sophistication achieved while savoring this beer.

CHickman, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of Deuane
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I can remember back in the day waiting every year to enjoy the J.W. Lee's cask offerings at KClinger's Tavern in Hanover, PA. Ahh...the tastes and aromas of the Calvados aged Harvest and the richness of the Lagavulin aged and the sharp dryness of the Sherry version. Back then I simply "enjoyed" beer and didn't take detailed notes. I finally got the chance to try the "regular" Harvest Ale served on cask, what memories!

A-Hazy, golden orange copper with a thin, wispy white head that reduced to a minuscule ring of retention and left very spotty flecks of lace.

S-Powerful alcohol vapors give a ride to rich, sweet vanilla, astringent oak, deep caramel malt sweetness, some apple/pear noted and toffee.

T-Much like the aroma. Massive, sweet caramel malt base takes the center stage. Along the edges an array of characters form an impressive supporting cast. Toffee, turbinado, black strap molasses and fructose sweetness adds amazing depth. Oak dryness and and alcohol burn in the finish add to the ensemble.

M-Medium-heavy, soft and silky smooth. Rich and luscious with a syrupy viscosity.

D-Rich and bold with a boatload of flavour, what is not to like? A slow sipper for sure and this unfortunately detracts from its drinkibility. I love to have one and maybe two snifters but more---no thank you.

Deuane, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of Murchmac
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lagerdeer for opening this puppy from 2000.

I cant say I remember much about this beers look, or smell. But this had legs and tasted as good as the Southern summer is warm.

Even though it wasn't barrel aged, I thought it was in sherry or something. Great overall mouthfeel, warm, candied earthy notes to it. A warm delicious treat if you can get it.

Murchmac, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2006. Really glad to be reviewing this beer. It seems to be one of the standard, traditional English Barleywines. Im making this my 200th review!

A- Nearly flat. A rough pour got barely any head. Some air bubbles but thats just because I started pouring so roughly. I decanted so all those big chunks of sediment I saw in the other cask aged versions stayed in the bottle. The result is a clear deep amber beer. It looks like a spirit more than a beer. No head, no carbonation, no lacing.

S- Very powerful scent. Vanilla extract, darker fruits like prunes and lots of alcohol. Its a spicy alcohol like that of a spiced rum or a scotch.

T- Very deep and caramel-y. Some oak, vanilla, toasted malts and nuttiness. Lots of alcohol, no hops in the taste at all. This is a very sweet beer. Nearly cloying at times.

M- Like the apperance would suggest there is next to no carbonation. The beer is thick as hell and chewy. Not really all that sticky but it remains on the palate because of its sheer thickness.

D- Big, powerful, sweet and almost cloying. A real sipper. This is a good ale, but I dont think it quite lives up to its name.

MbpBugeye, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

275 mL bottle, 2001 Vintage, brewed when I was a senior in high school,

A: Pours a dark brown with a light head that doesn't last too long. Not murky.

S: Sweet nose with caramel, raisin, maple syrup and Pedro Ximenez sherry. Hints of fig and apricot, very mild oxidation character. Great nose.

T: Caramel, brown sugar syrup and dark fruit for the main flavour. Delicious, still has plenty of residual sugar left. Great note of cocoa on the finish. The ultimate beer for malt lovers.

M: Thick, viscous and chewy. Has a really similar feel to a Port wine on the tongue. Mild carbonation works wonders here. Nice amount of warming alcohol in the tummy and going down.

D: An easy sipper for an after dinner drink. Even at 9 years old this is still drinking very young and I could see it lasting another 10-30 years simply because of the sugar content, liken it to a vintage Port, Sauternes, Tokaji - classic dessert wines. The '99 I had of this a few years back was one of the best beers I've ever had; that beer had a little more complexity and oxidation character, but this '01 is still a damn fine beverage.

Halcyondays, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of mcann2pu
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 Vintage bottle. My 40th review!

Appearance: Poured into my DFH Signature glass a luscious dark rust color, almost brown at first glance, clear looking brew no detectable sediment or "floaties" although a small amount of compact sediment did remain in the bottom of the bottle when I poured, not much in the way of head, but had an impressively strong lace forming a ring around the inside of the glass.

Smell: First on the nose is an appealing heavy dark fruit aroma, with a detectable toffee-like malt smell as well.

Taste: Rich, delicious, the first taste I get is a malty dark fruit taste, like an aged fig or a prune, this is followed by a sweet molasses-like caramel flavor that gives way to a vanilla / wood finish. Great taste, seems like this one cellared quite well.

Mouthfeel: Great, very appropriate for this type of beer, it's a little syrupy, but I think that is to be expected in an aged beer of this style.

Drinkability: The sweetness of the brew might effect the drinkability for some, but I think that it's a good sipping ale with a lot of fairly complex flavors, I can't wait to see how this one continues to age.

mcann2pu, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 - why let it age.

Beer poured into a snifter. Beer is dark yellow to brown and forms no head. Leaves very little lacing on the glass and carbonation is low. Beer is really hazy. I should have checked for sediment.

Sweet sweet caramel. This beer is really sweet smelling. Raisins and plums. Smells like a homebrew I made a while ago.

Beer is sweet with kind of an odd earthy flavor to it. I'm not really feeling this beer. Caramel note with some forward sweetness and no real bitterness. Beer finishes slightly dry. Drinkability not good. I don't think I'll be able to finish the whole thing. Maybe the aged versions are better or with another 10 years on it it will improve. Right now, not my favorite.

drabmuh, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am reviewing the 2002 vintage that has been in my fridge for at least a couple years, so this could be interesting.

Appearance: Pours a very clear dark garnet color with a small head of tan bubbles that faded quickly back into the beer. After 45 seconds or so, there is no detectable head on the beer.

Aroma: My first impression of the aroma was of sweet aged dark fruit along with a noticeable alcohol presence adding spice to the whole ensemble. Some toasty notes from the obviously British malts are one of the biggest players in the aroma. Lots of caramel is there when the beer is cold, and it is becoming even more of a big player in the aroma as the beer warms. By this point, I am only getting very reserved hops.

Taste: The flavor of the beer is much more complex than I even imagined from the aroma. I get tons of malty sweetness that is derived from caramel and toasty malts along with dark carmelized sugar and thick syrupy malts to sneak up on the back of the throat and linger there until the alcohol decides to make an appearance and keep you warm and fuzzy until late after the sip. There are chocolate notes along with some licorice and overall the residual flavor is like you just ate some fine candy.

Opinion: This beer is incredible! This particular example I would guess is in its prime as the complexity is there and any contribution from Oxygen is helping. I would drink this beer regularly if able to, but it does give one something to strive for in homebrew. Man, this is a nice beer and I would highly recommend it.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 vintage. Easily the oldest beer I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

275mL brown bottle with golden-yellow label and black cap.

Served cool into a Belgian globe, Vintage Harvest Ale has a deep redish brown color with good clarity when held to the light. The head is creamy and dense but pretty short-lived.

Aroma is sweet and pungent. It's so full of greatness here - all sort of dark and dried fruits - raisins, plums, prunes, figs, cherries, and so on. The alcohol is evident here too but it's pleasant like a port wine.

Flavor is equally amazing and really strengthens the port similarities. Strong in the dark fruits again, especially cherries and figs. There is a hint of toasted malts and some gentle bitterness but any bit of sharpness has been rounded off over the past 10+ years. Raisins, caramel, chocolate... the depth of flavor is amazing.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body with soft carbonation that just keeps it above being flat.

What a beer. This isn't what I was prepared for but I'm so glad I finally got to try it. Just fantastic from start to finish.

GilGarp, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2000.

A: The beer pours a reddish brown with a nice head and lingering lace. It appears to be going strong after ten years.

S: Sweet malt, raisins, alcohol, buttery toffee

T: A splendid example of English Barleywine. This beer is still sweet, but ten years has mellowed this beer out quite nicely. There is a buttery, caramel sweetness that could become cloying, but for now it's delicious. There is definitely an alcohol presence that I'm guessing will not go away regardless of how long the beer is aged.

M: Low carbonation, sweet, sticky, alcohol finish. Pleasant lingering aftertaste of caramels, dark fruit, toffee.

D: A small serving is plenty for me. If I'm in the mood for an English Barleywine, this is the first beer that comes to mind.

Huhzubendah, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of 05Harley
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2005

Purchased @ Julio's liqours, Mass

Price - $7.49

Appearance: Pours headless with a dark orange/copper hue. A thin white ring appears on the edge of the glass and remains throughout the experience. Sediment visible both in suspension as well as on the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Heavy sweetness. Candy sugar and caramel come to mind. A hint of alcohol in the backround.

Taste: A strong sweetness hits first followed by a mild warming sensation. Flavors of brown sugar toffee and molasses. Alcohol is well hidden for 11.5%.

Mouthfeel: Quite viscous with no carbonation what's so ever.

Drinkability: A little on the sweet side for my taste. A bottle split amongst friends is perfect.

05Harley, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of jacobseyb
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 Vintage

Poured cloudy brown with ruby hints. Virtually no head. Great aromas of malty sweetness, very little if any hop aromas. Malty aromas are dark fruits. Definite alcohol in the aroma as well. Taste is very sweet, with some fig, raisin type fruity flavor as well. Alcohol doesn't really appear until the end, pretty well masked. Feel is smooth, syrupy and has very little carbonation. Overall a very good Barleywine with great characteristics. Really enjoyed the beer.

jacobseyb, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of PBoegel
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage

First JW Lees Harvest Ale, with just over 7 years in the bottle.

Nice pop of carbonation from this well aged bottle, poured into a Brooklyn brewery Snifter. Deep amber to reddish brown hues. No head forms whatsoever.

Aromas are incredibly rich maple, honey, faint woody oak like characteristics, but not at all like beer aged in oak, think more of when you cut wood. There are no hops left in this beer, it is all malt. Very reminiscent of port wine character. Faint alcohol, well masked in the nose.

The flavor profile is equally rich, very nuanced with layers of maple, vanilla, faint hints of tobacco. Again very similar to quality ports with an obvious differenc being the lack of grape characteristic. But very similar sweetness and texture.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, with very faint carbonation and absolutely a bare minimum remaingin bitterness which is slightly detectable before a bit, very small bit of dryign from the alcohol. The latter is beyond well masked at this point. Very sweet from start to finish.

A beer worth gathering vintages, cellaring and sampling over the years. Drinkable but it is a night cap, not a beer that is going to mix in with a night of others by any stretch.

PBoegel, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.1/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

275ml bottle, 199 vintage poured into a tulip.

Pours a very ruddy/cloudy red with a very thin off white head, almost none, but for an 11 year old bottle it's ok. Nose is still very boozy, theres some sweet maltiness as well.

Taste is not quite as boozy as I thought, it's full and sweet with a strong malt backbone. Really can't get any hops here at all. Son't seem to be any off flavors but it's a bit cloying on the finish.

kingcrowing, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of HappyBivouac
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. 9.3oz bottle into an Ommegang Chalice.

a- pours an amber orange with a minimal off-white head that goes away fast. very little lacing on the glass.

s- deep, rich caramel, a heavy done of bready, sweet malts, prunes, figs, tart cherries, and honey all fill the nose. A very sweet, caramelly, bright, and fruity aroma.

t- The first impression is an extremely sweet beer, very much like this was actually brewed with thick caramel. It's almost hard to get past this sweetness as it really dominates, but it's so damn delicious. Whole wheat bread comes though, and a faint tartness like cherries enters in late along with the unexpected but distinct taste of florida oranges, lingering on in the finish. Heat is there to a perfect level; I suspect being masked by the intense sweetness. There is but a faint grapefruit bitterness throughout that intensifies long after the beer goes down. Will the sweetness of this beer be tamed in several years? I have no idea, but I'd like to grab a couple more bottles and find out.

m- Thick, syrupy, chewy. Carbonation is just a faint tickle on the center of the tongue.

d- My overall impression is this is a great, complex beer. There are a lot of flavors in there, but it can be hard to find them underneath the cloying, overpowering caramel sweetness. I have to sip this one really slowly, which is I guess what was intended. Very high quality stuff, and this fresh bottle just screams that it was meant to be aged a long time.

HappyBivouac, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this 1999 version from a 12oz bottle into a Chimay glass.

The beer pours a medium brown with a light tan head that comes about only a quarter of a finger and is gone right away. Lacing is medium, much stronger than I thought with such a weak head.

The aroma starts off pretty malty light toffee but then overwhelms you with a ton of yeasty bread. At the end you get the lightest whiff of alcohol and vanilla.

The taste starts off pretty malty, pretty bready and yeasty with a bitter alcohol finish.

The feel is medium, semi lasting finish, pretty smooth.

The drinkablility is good for 11.5 abv.

Overall, this is a pretty great bw, can't wait to buy some to age for a long time.

jrallen34, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2000. Sampled on 2/15/10.

Bottle received from BDLbrewster in a trade awhile back. Thanks!

Poured into a snifter. Pours a thick, syrupy mahogany with a thin tan head on top. This disappears to just a ring around the edge. Little spotty lace. Scents of toffee, molasses, syrup, and wet wood.

The body still retains a good amount of carbonation, but the finish is extremely smooth and warming. This is a very sweet beer after all these years. Big toffee and caramel notes. Sugary syrup finish. Sort of a chalky mouth on the back end. This is almost too sweet for me. It's definitely a slow-sipper. Not a bad bottle to split among friends, and enjoy by the fire.

Onenote81, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opened a vintage 1999 on Valentine's Day with my girl...

A: Not too bad. Murky looking brownish color. Sort of like an iced tea look with a tiny white head that forms a lace on the top of the glass.

S: I love the smell of this. Perfect blent of malt with fruit, sugar, and hints of alcohol on the backend. Awesome!

T: Very, very good! Sugars, caramel, maple, and booziness upfront. Slight bitter hop on the backend. The sweetness might be just a hair too much, but aside from that it's perfect.

M: Perfect amount of carbonation. Syrupy and leaves a very good taste on your tastebuds.

D: Not the easiest to drink due to the heavy sweet sugars and upfront boozy flavor. If you ike sweet and boozy like me, it's not too hard to get down.

All in all, this one is fantastic. Think Papier with heavier sweet sugars upfront. I definitely recommend trying this beers if you're look for an awesomely complex sweet brew. You will not be disappointed.

steve8robin, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1998 Vintage

A-extremely dark ruby red beer with a creamy light kahki colored head leaving some light lacing.

S-the nose is huge and brings a ton of dark fruits. those fruits include plum, raisin, and dark cherries. there is also a whiff of candied fruit and brown sugar.

T/M-extremely full bodied and quite syrupy. very smooth on the palate and a low level of carbonation that I actually very much enjoy. the taste is also huge and very sweet. tons of candied and dark fruits. a light note of caramel malt, tons of plum and raisin. there is some cherry taste in there as well. notes of molasses and brown sugar towards the back. a hint of alcohol comes in at the finish; but not much at all.

D-this is actually going down extremely easy and I have to catch myself to drink slowly. huge alc content is hidden nicely, although after about 11 years you would expect that. tons of sweetness, almost more than i can handle; but so tasty. wouldn't want to drink it all night; but I do wish I had another.

cpetrone84, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of Lldeegan
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at dba in NY. Pours a copper, amber in color.
This beer has a nose of raisins, and sweet dark fruit. Mostly fig.
sweet and vinous on the palate. and was a very good drink. warming boozy feel, great to have in the wintertime. Enjoyable to have and sip after dinner.

Lldeegan, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of tkarsies
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 Vintage

Served cool in my Westy chalice. Allowed to warm over about an hour while drinking.

A: Dark brown, murky. Thin tan head. Can't see carbonation. Like a barleywine should look.

S: Smells rich, sweet, malty. Maybe a hint of alcohol in the nose but this is masked well by the other aromas. I have read reviews talking about leather and tobacco aromas/flavors with skepticism, but I'm pretty sure I can pick up these as I sniff. Very nice. Makes me want to dive in.

T: Wow. Again, the word "rich" comes to mind. Very malt forward, with brown sugar and fruits such as plums and raisins. Slight bitterness from the hops but this is not prominent at all. Don't know how this was new but this is currently complex malty goodness.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth. Minimal carbonation at this age.

D: A good sipper. Don't notice any alcohol although I feel it a bit near the end. This bottle must have been stored well because it is aged to perfection. Great nightcap. Great beer experience. Great example of how beer can have the complexity and aging potential of wine. A real treat and something I will have to try again, both this vintage as well as others.

tkarsies, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Shumista
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 275 mL bottle into a pint glass. 2000 vintage, I think it's about time someone drank this bottle of beer.

A- Dark mahogany brown with a small light brown head.
S- Sweet smell. Caramelly, with dark candied fruit and a little bit of alcohol.
T- Very complex. Sweet and dark fruity. Super caramelly. The finish is earthy with a slight bitterness.
M- Excellent. The 10 years of age have turned this into a mellow pleasant sipping beer that still packs a punch.
D- I'm very sad this is the only bottle I have. Can't wait to try some other vintages.

Shumista, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Pecorasc
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1999. Split two ways and poured into a Leffe glass.

A- Medium to deep amber in color with swirls of thin film and some streamers of lacing thrown up the sides of the glass. Swirling or tipping the glass to the side move the lacing around and show that this beer has quite a bit of viscosity. The beer is clean, but not polished and shows no noticeable signs of carbonation. A very nice looking English Barleywine that looks more red than other examples of the style.

S- Dominated by a pleasant dust and cardboard-like oxidation. Those aromas are complemented by a cherry and pear sweetness. Some woodiness is present in the background and there is only a slight amount of alcohol. Very unique, somewhat confusing, but certainly a 5.0.

T + M- Right away, this beer distinguishes itself with a thick and creamy mouthfeel that makes it drink like a stout. Wonderful flavors of cherry liqueur, wood, and cardboard. Think grenadine soaked cardboard; sounds gross, but tastes amazing. Transitions to heavier wood and alcohol on top of the malt and cherry flavors and finishes sweet and smooth with very little alcohol burn.

D- Fantastic drinkability on an 11.5% barleywine. No alcohol burn, but the big body makes this a fuller beer that falls between a sipper and a beer with average drinkability. This could make a classic pairing with so many cheeses and cigars. This beer was surely made with an eye to aging.

Pecorasc, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 vintage sampled on January 21, 2010.
Poured a hazy deep orangish brown color with good carbonation and a dirty white head. Nose is tons of honey and brown sugar, caramel and maybe some dark fruits. Very complex.
Taste was a punch of sweetness,burnt brown sugar, molasses, alcohol, sweet malts, wood, raisin, prune. Motuhfeel is sweet.
///

1998 vintage sampled on August 5 2008. Heavy oxidation,dried fruits,malts and subdued hops. Ten years is to much for me. Bigger dried fruits here, caramel, molasses burnt brown sugar.

barleywinefiend, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of natelocc787
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1999 vintage.

Amazing appearance. Dark mahogany body, a frothy head the color of french vanilla coffee that lasts, tilt the snifter and the whole 3 finger head moves with it and the cascading effect when tilted looks like whitewater rapids in slow motion, like the bottom of a crashing waterfall. The nose was shocking being it contains a very hefty peppermint aroma. It warms you when smelled, like a minty honey liquor. Very tasty stuff, very complex, no mint in the taste but you still get a whiff every time you raise the glass. Brown sugar, caramel, honey drizzled pralines, white raisin insides and butterscotch all beg to be savored with each sip. Man I wish I had more. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and silky. One of if not THE smoothest mouthfeel I've come across. Very understated carbonation almost like it isn't carbonated, just enough bubbles to sniff perfection. The very best of English Barleywines.

natelocc787, Jan 21, 2010
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,236 ratings.