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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,284 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,284
Reviews: 798
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 221
Gots: 184 | 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
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Ratings: 1,284 | Reviews: 798 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mpyle
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage provided by my coworker Tom.

App - Didn't recognize that it was bottle conditioned, so clouded it up with the yeast. Poured a tiny head that didn't last. Moderate amber color.

Aroma - Buttery alcohol and malt. Some taffy. Almost like a slightly medicinal malt aroma.

Taste - Huge malt flavor tempered just barely by the alcohol. Definitely sweet, and verging on overly so, but retains a semblance of balance. Hints of bread and wood - some earthiness. Transition to the finish is smooth, and maltiness carries into the finish, but the alcohol helps to dry it out a bit.

MF - Fully body, and low carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol warming is evident, but is smooth and pleasant.

Overall - A true malt bomb. The flavor and mouthfeel are superb. Definitely one to enjoy slowly in front of a fire.

Photo of jeremiahoden
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BBP
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage

Pours a toffee chestnut hue with decent head. No lacing to speak of however.

The aroma is intensely sweet. It gives a very blatant prelude to the taste. There's caramel, toffee, candied sugars, and perhaps the faintest traces of spicy hops.

The taste is at first far too sweet. When it warmed up it improved greatly though. The sweetness took on a lot more depth and became tolerable first, and then enjoyable.

The taste is like the aroma, but surprisingly, it's far more elaborate. Caramel, spicy hops, and more caramel form the foundation for this. On top of that there's some candy and a decent amount of fruit like figs and dates. It has a bit of a scotch ale element to it as well, with some peat like flavor, and some very rich malt coming through.

The body is medium thick and medium light in weight. The finish is dry and sticky. Carbonation seems to be a little faded, but there's still a good amount. I could see this aging for about 10 years before it would be a problem.

Overall, it didn't impress me one bit at first, but as it warmed up an incredible amount of depth came up. It really gets quite a bit more drinkable at cellar temperature. The alcohol really blends seamlessly and the sweetness seems under control at that point. I'm curious to try older and newer versions of this to see the contrast, though I expect it gets closer to it's prime with a touch more age.

Photo of thewimperoo
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Dope
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 vintage, my first time drinking a JW Lees...

A: A very dark ruby red pour. Thick and syrupy pour. Tiny little offwhite head that fades almost instantly, leaving just a scant little ring around the glass. No lacing.

S: Can smell this before I even bring the glass near my face. Big, sweet caramel with little bit of toffee and maybe molasses? Super strong, sweet and boozy dark fruits. Raisin, cherries, fig primarily I would say. Maybe even some honey? There's a lot going on here.

T: Super sweet and cloying. Like drinking watered down caramel (almost the same consistency too). Molasses, toffee and honey from the nose join in. Dark fruits are there a bit as well, figs mainly but I'm getting a touch of cherry in the aftertaste. Almost no alcohol except for the warming sensation in your belly.

M: Wow, thick and syrupy. It's 75% of the way to maple syrup, no joke. Low carbonation.

O: Wow (I've used this word twice in a review), this is a sipper for sure. Sweet and decadent syrup. It's got to be the top of the style for me. If you like ridiculously syrupy and sweet beers this one is for you.

Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Toddv29424
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark malty brown color with no head, and there appears to be little particles floating around. The smell is very earthy, but does not allude at all to how big this beer is gonna be. The taste is very large, and the lack of any carbonation really lets it sit and develop on the tongue. The consistency is almost like molasses, and you can tell that there is not much more in this beer than extract and water. Very little hop character, but the sheer size of the malt seem to provide a sufficient size for the whole tongue. Also there is absolutely no alcohol taste, which means this beer goes down fast and creeps up on you. I'm not sure about the lack of carbonation, but the taste is terrific.

Photo of AOShabaz
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,284 ratings.