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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.

1,236 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,236
Reviews: 794
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 208
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 fredmugs
4.25/5  rDev 0%

fredmugs, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of Pete27lax
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Pete27lax, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev 0%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of bbrown12
4.25/5  rDev 0%

bbrown12, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Benjiehorn
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Benjiehorn, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of pmarlowe
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 vintage. Tulip glass.

Pours light mahogany with a cap of off-white foam. Pretty good lacing. Aroma is toast and honey, sherry with dark fruit like black currant and fig. Smells good with nice complexity. Taste is... wow, blast of sweetness which hits you up front and then fades into a nice, long honey finish. Honey and sherry are dominant flavors. Full bodied, a minimal carbonation which is fitting for the style, slight acidity which provides some nice structure. Overall, this is a very nice slow sipper for those with a sweet tooth.

pmarlowe, May 17, 2011
Photo of DRBiser
4.25/5  rDev 0%

DRBiser, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of sludgegnome
4.25/5  rDev 0%

sludgegnome, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.25/5  rDev 0%

DarthGuitarHero, Jul 26, 2012
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

savagepm, Nov 23, 2013
4.25/5  rDev 0%

BUNZILLA, Oct 01, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Cubatobaco, Jul 27, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

mjw1200, Mar 28, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Sparky44, Mar 24, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

derkfromwi, Feb 11, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

lucas1801, Jul 23, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

schopenhauerale, Jan 04, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev 0%

ipas-for-life, May 12, 2013
Photo of Backer2004
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review #500

Vintage 1999, first time trying one.

Found at Brawley's beverage a few years ago, drinking it for a special occassion. Smells of brandy, plums, fruits. Pours nice head that dissipates in two minutes (impressed with the carbonation after 9 years). Garnet hues, lacing sticks to the glass.

Whoa, very smooth and rich, no hops left, all malt. chocolate, some alcohol but not overwhelming. As it warms a bit, begins to be syrupy and too sweet for my tastebuds.

Backer2004, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of jsanford
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Churchkey in D.C. 2010 Vintage.

Poured a clear amber with a soapy white head that settles to a nice ring and haze. Sweet, sticky malt aromas of caramel and toffee with a touch of toasted grain and a whole lot of oak. Taste is dominated by more big, malty flavors of baked grains, caramel, oatmeal, candied orange peel, and oak. Mouthfeel is sticky yet smooth, with a fairly full body and low carbonation. Overall an excellent Barleywine, there's a reason it's considered such a high water-mark!

jsanford, Dec 16, 2011
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 TastyTaste
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1997 Vintage. 8 years old at time of sampling.

Appearance: Deep scarlet colored on the pour, 3/4" good retention, visible carbonation through the depths of the beer.

Smell: Sweet toffee, figs, raisins, and honey.

Taste: Very sweet, rich, with honey, lots of coffee, and chocolate, also slightly smokey. Rich, with many different flavors that nake this a complex beer. My only complaint is the intensely sweet taste.

Mouthfeel: Slick then sticky, good.

Drinkability: Very interesting, a unique and sippable English barleywine, not my favorite, but very good.

TastyTaste, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of beavers
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 1998.
From a 9.6 ounce bottle into a snifter. Pours an opaque mahogony with a thin tan head that lines the edge of the glass but otherwise dissipates into a fairy nonexistent covering. Little lacing is left behind, which makes sense to the 11.5% ABV. Unbelievably rich, malty aroma of sweet pumpernickel, rum soaked dark fruits (dates?), rising dough, and an alcohol note that is reminiscent of tripel sec, sweet cognacs. Taste of sweet doughy bread, with rum soaked raisins and oak chips and a lingering brown sugar and molasses finish. It tastes like a holiday bread...with booze. You can smell the alcohol in the air, but is it entirely undistinguishable in the taste. This is most definitely a long sipper, not because of the booziness but because of how rich the malt profile is. I now know what a true english barleywine is, and I'm not going to say I dislike, but its quite a different exercise for the palette. A very interesting beer, and I can clearly see how the aging process works after this brew

beavers, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of Bunnyhop
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1997 (1st December 1997). A slightly hazy, very slightly brownish red Barley Wine with a smallish, creamy, brownish-tan, clingy head. The smell is nutty, oaky, and raisin-like. The smell continues when the alcohol kicks in, ironically reminding me of Worcestershire sauce. The taste is a mix of raisin and plum, along with an oakness. The sweetness remains on the back of my tongue, and a pepperiness lingers in the middle. The body is resiny and oily in my mouth. Overall, a very tasty Barley Wine, but not for the faint of heart.

(source: PremierGourmet; Buffalo, NY)

Bunnyhop, Feb 25, 2003
Photo of Derek
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2003.

A: Orangy-brown with a white head. Not much retention, clings to the glass more like a leg than a lace. The Burgundy of Britain?

S: Nice British fruityness.

T: Wow. Very sherry-like, some nice apricot fruit flavour. Balance is slightly tipped to the sweet side. Quality British pale malt in the background, but the yeast really produces the flavours here. I'm not always a fan of the fruity British ales, but this is REALLY nice.

M: Moderate body and carbonation. Very light for its strength (well attenuated).

D: This is a very nice sipper. At 11.5%, you're not looking at a session brew. The taste is easily approachable.

Thanks Kevin... Really, thanks a lot!

Derek, Nov 27, 2005
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,236 ratings.