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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.

1,235 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,235
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: 1,235 | Reviews: 794 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KarlHungus
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

KarlHungus, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of mikeincharleston
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

mikeincharleston, May 22, 2013
Photo of seanwhite
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

seanwhite, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of 6demonbag
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

6demonbag, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of leitmotif
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

leitmotif, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of raffy313
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

raffy313, May 18, 2013
Photo of hAle2theWort
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

hAle2theWort, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of jabocu
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

jabocu, May 15, 2006
Photo of Zach136
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Zach136, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of jabo134
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

jabo134, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

pokesbeerdude, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of SuperCutePanda
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

SuperCutePanda, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of tkarsies
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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 budare
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

budare, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

thebouch01, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of beerpadawan
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

beerpadawan, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of brycevolk
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

brycevolk, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of jcugafsu
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

jcugafsu, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of heff316
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

heff316, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

2000 vintage. Wonderful dark amber with a thin head. Smell is heavy with malt and a touch of soy. Overripe fruit and a whiff of earming alcohol. The flavor is rich with sugars and warming alcohol and rich malt. No hint of soy in the flavor,just big brandyish fruit flavors and honeyed malt. Utterly delicious and meant for a snifter after dinner. Very rich and creamy mouthfeel, but not sticky at all- floats on the palate. Dry and drinkable by this point, but big and rich as well.

Georgiabeer, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of Casterbridge
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Casterbridge, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of millelacsmark
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

millelacsmark, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MikeytotheB
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

MikeytotheB, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Slatetank, May 13, 2013
Photo of DerBayer
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Finally a close competitor for the mighty Aventinus Eisbock albeit different in style. I like the complex malt profile with lots of fruity and mild bitter notes.

The brew is syroupy but not cloying and surprisingly refreshing on the palate. The aftertaste of alcohol is there but not penetrant and the drinkability is very high for such a strong brew.

DerBayer, Oct 06, 2009
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 1,235 ratings.