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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

1,221 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,221
Reviews: 793
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 205
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
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: 1,221 | Reviews: 793 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chuckv
chuckv

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

03-08-2014 10:50:12 | More by chuckv
Photo of heysuz
heysuz

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

03-07-2014 23:09:59 | More by heysuz
Photo of brittanylicious
brittanylicious

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

03-07-2014 23:07:43 | More by brittanylicious
Photo of bulldogg915
bulldogg915

Wyoming

4.25/5  rDev 0%

03-06-2014 03:02:58 | More by bulldogg915
Photo of July2Nov
July2Nov

Hawaii

4.25/5  rDev 0%

03-05-2014 22:33:29 | More by July2Nov
Photo of Roy1586
Roy1586

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev 0%

03-05-2014 04:20:04 | More by Roy1586
Photo of davidwhatshisnam
davidwhatshisnam

New York

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

02-26-2014 00:48:00 | More by davidwhatshisnam
Photo of KevBot89
KevBot89

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 edition

Appearance: opaque copper/brown, large cream head that dissipates rather quickly

Smell: rich malt, woody/spicy hops

Taste: a lot of malt flavor. rich, dark fruits, light earthy tones. finishes with a caramel/biscuit flavor lingers at length afterwards

Mouthfeel: thick, heavy, moderate carbonation.

Overal: the aroma matches the taste for the most part. Picked up more earthy hops on the back of the palate that I couldn't detect with the scent. Nice bittersweet and caramel finish after beginning with tons of malt and dark fruit flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 01:29:02 | More by KevBot89
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.9%

02-20-2014 15:47:18 | More by tdm168
Photo of emilylee
emilylee

California

4.25/5  rDev 0%

02-17-2014 05:33:52 | More by emilylee
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev 0%

02-14-2014 16:09:45 | More by robwestcott
Photo of jeffwright
jeffwright

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

02-13-2014 01:20:06 | More by jeffwright
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev 0%

02-12-2014 04:16:09 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of lupercmda
lupercmda

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

02-10-2014 19:02:30 | More by lupercmda
Photo of wburch1967
wburch1967

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +17.6%

02-09-2014 19:26:01 | More by wburch1967
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012

I love the color in this Barleywine as it has a wine like texture and a cloudy rusty amber hue. Perhaps its the age but the head was virtually non-existent.

The aroma keeps in the barley vein as the barley maltiness is strongest but then a rich dried fruit scent becomes apparent. Date and fig seem more prevalent at the end.

The flavor is strongly malty, earthy and musty with caramel malt, a dry nutty and biscuity flavor. This ends with wine like alcohols and dried prunes.

This is very thick in feel with a bit of alcohol bite but no alcohol warmth.

This is my first try at this Barley wine and am interested in how it evolves from year to year.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 22:11:19 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Abrahammer
Abrahammer

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

02-03-2014 19:06:57 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of minterro
minterro

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 (approximately 3.5-4 years aged)

As a celebrating for cracking 1,000 beer karma (like I need a reason to drink good beer). Bought this gem just a few days ago at Little's Wine and Liquor store in Denver, CO. They have a great cellaring program and this is the oldest beer I've seen them put on the shelves. Poured into a snifter (after letting it sit and warm a bit). Paired with pretzels to cleanse the palate.

A&S: You can see a ton of unfiltered specks floating around the bottle (even when undisturbed) before opening the beer. After cracking this beer there is a immediate and powerful rush of sherry-like red wine tones, cherry fruitiness, very intense sweet. The beer is a semi-transparent murky burgundy color. Understandably not really much going on with the head, pours a fizzy off-white and drops to nothing in a few seconds. Globs of sediment settle to the bottom. As it warms you get whiffs of bitterness, but it is mostly overpowered by sweetness.

T&M: Initially similar to the aroma sherry-like, super sweet, some dark fruit raisin tones. Alcohol is present, but well hidden (but I can feel my face getting flush). But then BOOM surprisingly earthy (and not good earthy, it pretty much tastes like dirt), somewhat metallic tones kick in at anywhere from the mid-taste to the initial finish. The most likely corporate of the not so great taste is oxidation (but it is still hard to get over). Not getting a ton of complexities in the taste cause the flavor is cut so abruptly. The very, very finish is becomes very pleasant (still doesn't make up for the initial finish). Low carbonation, high body. Last sip was pretty good, some of the settled parts actually cut the oxidation characteristics.

Overall: I really have no idea what this beer is like fresh, but at this age I wasn't a huge fan (especially for the price). I trust that Little's cellared this beer properly so I don't think that is the issue. I wouldn't buy this beer again at its price (10$ for less than 10oz), but I'm still glad I experienced this old of a brew. To date this is the oldest aged beer I have ever tasted. After submitting (usually only check rating after reviewing) there seems to be a ton of pDev on this beer, probably due to pushing it past it's limits. Maybe this beer is only meant to be set aside for a couple of years and not a half to a whole decade... just my two cents. I guess I also questions J.W. Lees, I know brewing over seas is based more on tradition, but why not try waxing or corking a beer that everyone is so eager to age... again just my two cents. The smell and initial taste are great, the finish is not, which kinda spoils the beer, which is unfortunate cause I can imagine how awesome this beer could be.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 04:57:25 | More by minterro
Photo of threedaggers
threedaggers

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -5.9%

01-30-2014 03:05:07 | More by threedaggers
Photo of TCgoalie
TCgoalie

Michigan

4/5  rDev -5.9%

01-29-2014 02:25:59 | More by TCgoalie
Photo of Cyclone8
Cyclone8

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev 0%

01-28-2014 14:33:43 | More by Cyclone8
Photo of MrNate
MrNate

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

01-19-2014 23:58:04 | More by MrNate
Photo of hopsputin
hopsputin

California

4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch - drank January 2014

a: a mixture of golden amber, ruby red, brown, with a hit of crisp bright yellow. no real head - just some bubbles that collect around the side of the glass

s: tons of caramel and toffee here. alcohol. fresh bread. plums and raisins. hint of baking chocolate, fig, brown sugar, molasses. more sweet caramel. the aroma here is rich, and packing a lot into each sniff

t: flavor is just as rich as the aroma. this is a heavy beer, and a sipper. TONS of caramel and toffee malt flavors assault (in a good way) you up front. then maple syrup, brown sugar, figs, raisins, sweet berries. finish has a hint of alcohol

m: heavy, like syrup. almost no carbonation

o: great evening beer, use this as a nightcap to sip on. its rich and packed with a bunch of nice mellow sweet flavors

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 07:17:36 | More by hopsputin
Photo of AnchorsAndAxes
AnchorsAndAxes

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

01-18-2014 02:20:30 | More by AnchorsAndAxes
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,221 ratings.