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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,309 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,309
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 14.15%
Wants: 230
Gots: 186 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 12-18-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,309 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of laituegonflable
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange, turbid colour. Head is a thin film, with nice clingy lace. Nice haze, looks alright, not great.

Smells quite intense. Liqueury sweet with apricot, almonds, some licorice as well, marmalade and a slight tartness. Slight edge of smoke as well, just subtly underlying. Very syrupy. Intriguing, but not too excited by it.

Taste is a wham-pack whallop of flavour in the gullet. Huge syrupy liqueury flavour with loads of nutty character - almonds, walnuts and pistachio with rich complex jammy sweetness, lots of apricot and pear. Fair hit of cinnamon as well, and some burnt orange flavour coming through towards the late-mid. What an intriguing palate, it's heavy and massively potent, but finish is very pleasant and just trails off gently leaving you with a big hearty warm smile.

Very syrupy and viscous on the feel, as one would expect. Nice body that suits the style and the palate. The whole thing is just like a dessert wine.

Very sippable beer, but not much more. There isn't any heat though from the alcohol which is wonderful. Nice beer, well handled. Not over the top which would have been such an easy trap into which to fall.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 served on cask.

A: It was an extremely orange color and a bit hazy. Did not have a head when it arrived at my table.

S: Smells very sweet with a ton of a caramel and brandied plums. There was also a fig aroma the was present.

T: Tons of caramel with a solid backing of fruits. I mean this was almost painfully sweet. The fruits seemed like plums with a bit of apple as well.

M: Full bodied without a lot of carbonation, which made the beer a bit syrupy.

D: The mouthfeel made this is a sipper and the sweetness really made it difficult to drink. I was expecting a bit more from this beer. I thought it was going to be mind blowing, especially on cask; however, that did not happen. The sweetness was too much and I ended up cutting the last bit of my glass of this with a sour beer to make it more palatable.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 1999.
Pretty hazy sunburst orange color with a lasting head.
Aroma is spices such as nutmeg and pumpkin, caramel and apricots. the Apricot aroma is really strong the more i nose into this. The flavors are on the sweet fruit side with some alcohol showing lightly, very smooth and full bodied and syrupy, but it's really too much sweetness for me, a bit outside the balanced range. A good beer that someone with a sweet tooth would enjoy, as it is a decent beer.

Photo of tbrown4
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this bottle with my buddy Greg to celebrate a special occasion

1999 Vintage. Duvel tulip.

A - Ruby red, murky, light tan head, thin lacing

S - Peppermint, mild earthy, menthol/alcohol, black licorice

T - Tastes of rooty mint, mild chewy fruit juicy goodness, malty fruit, black licorice

M - Medium bodied, no alcohol warmth (due to 12 year nap).

O - Very enjoyable and unique. This vintage is quite different than the others I've had. Peppermint and menthol feel sets it apart.

2002 vintage bottle -> snifter

Split this bottle with a buddy of mine last night. We've built up a nice collection of these between the two of us dating back to some '99 vintage bottles.

Pours deep bronze, thin scanting head. Immediate aroma is of caramelized brown sugar and dark fruits. Secondary aromas (I guess that's how you'd describe it) are of fresh baked bread.

Taste is expectedly sweet. Notes of dark cherries and complex maltiness. Very smooth. This is a great sipping beer, perfect for the recent freezing temperatures. I only wish I had a fire going.

We'll be tapping into a '99 bottle and an '04 in the coming weeks.

Photo of toledobeer
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 vintage poured into a snifter.
pours with no head a deep bronze color.
Smells strongly of prunes,raisons and carameled sugar with some alcohol.
The taste is along the same lines as the smell without the alcohol but with hints of hops in the finish.
Very sugary surapy mouthfeel one of these at a time is great after that would be a bit much.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage, purchased in the USA and brought back to Australia to drink with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder. Served alongside the 2005 Vintage Calvados Cask version to compare.

Pours a hazed deep orange-gold colour, with a fine-bubbled if filmy head of slightly tenuous yellow-white. Lacing is suprisingly good for the gravity of the brew, and it has some crackling large bubbles to it. The colour is divine, however, and the haziness makes it glow. It's a lovely looking brew.

Nose is pungent with booze and a ripe mandarin orange acidity, which underpins a profound and syrupy sweetness. It's very deep and extremely rich, but surprisingly stays away from the huge malt backbone I expected. Instead, the phenolic notes and the acidity drag it into an unusual lightness, which is welcome, and very appealing.

Taste is ripe with an amazing blend of light citrus on the front - the mandarin makes its presence felt - before delving into this amazing almond nuttiness that gives off all the malt sweetness without the heaviness. Indeed, it balances extremely well between these flavours, lending light grain organics, crushed tea tannins and candied citrus to the syrupy body. The feel, from the syrupy body to the bite of light acidity, is divine, and it makes an absolutely impeccable companion to the flavour.

This is a bloody amazing beer - one which both refines and expands the brewer's art. Such fantastic flavours, such a depth of character, and so well balanced. It's an artisanal item; something to be cherished. Truly remarkable, and one of the very best beer experiences it has been my pleasure to have.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 Vintage poured into a snifter

Pours murky mahogany with frothy light khaki colored head that will NOT disappear.

Aroma is like brandied cherries or plum. Lots of big caramel notes, but the fruity notes (above along with figs or dates) dominate. This is just fantastic.

Taste is similar to the aroma. No huge surprises. Tons of sweet caramel and fermented fruits. This drinks almost like a brandy or even a fruit liqueur. However, it is not cloyingly sweet. There is a great bitter finish that helps maintain some semblance of balance.

Mouthfeel is incredibly full-bodied with some big buttery coating left on the roof of the mouth. Light carbonation, but expected for the style and age.

Overall, this is certainly a sipper, but an incredibly complex sipper. So many different fruit and sweet flavors come out as it warms. Fantastic beer.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful cask serving, 2009 vintage.

Presentation: 10 oz cask serving. Menu notes offers a succinct description of the brew, and Alc. by Vol. (11.5%) Served into a snifter.

A - Rich deep amber to amber brown pour with a nice frothy head, good retention and fair lacing.

S - Sweet malt caramel nose with faint notes of dark dried fruits with a light earthy sense.

T - Caramel, caramel, with a nicely integrated earthy sense, musty even that works in great sync. Classic syrupy range over its malty base. The long sweetness is broken by a dash that feels a bit more musty than earthy, compared to the 99 vintage, but working again very well.

M - Medium to full body with small but fair carbonation, light stickiness over the syrupy memory.

D - Nice sipper rich without a dash of boredom. The highlight of the day.

Notes: Remembers me of some nuances of the 99 vintage that I had bottled not too long ago, and compares very well to the 06 vintage I´ve tried on tap before. All in all the J.W. Lees Harvest Ale remains a classic work trying, comparing and enjoying.

Photo of oregone
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 botlle poured into tulip.

A: Intense sediment. Seriously chunky. Was handled carefully and stored undisturbed , but even with a delicate pour this was murky and full of debris. Girlfriend was definitly put off by it. Otherwise a fine amber tone with decent head that isnt too active.
S: Rotten apples are the dominant note. Some fig and dates are there too, alongwith some lioght molasses and some serious caramel. The rotten apple aspect was not attractive to me though.
T: Is much better. Very caramelly, with alot of dried fruit. Dates are predominant. A strong sweetness which plays into the dried fruit and caramel. Certainly a sloooow sipper from concentration and style.
M: Highest points. Rich, thick, slightly sticky and very silky-smooth. Hefty, but to good end.
D: I could see slowly working my way through a couple of these over an evening. The style encourages slow consumption so the drinkability is raised even with the high abv.

I'm a big fan of old ales, but this one just wasn't fantastic to me. Enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to the '01 and assorted barrel aged versions sleeping in my cellar, but this one won't be sought out again, particularly given the price.

Photo of tewaris
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle (1999 vintage) poured into a 25 oz snifter on November 23, 2010 at room temperature.

Opened with a hiss! Pours clear and deep ruby-garnet, with a big bubbly light tan head with good head retention and some lacing. Even after 11 years in the bottle, it looks just fine. That's something considering many (other) beers from 2005 or later have the been reported to have the most gross looking sediment at this point. I have had this beer and its other versions before and have seen some floating chunks but this particular bottle had none. Regardless, looks wise it's a 5/5.

The aroma of this beer is like none other in terms of strength. The most prominent notes are of figs, dates and raisins, and of dark caramel, toffee and brown sugar, with some alcohol in the background. This is a familiar aroma, or at least the notes are if not their exact combination, but it is the strength of this intense malty and dried, dark fruity aroma that makes this ale exceptional! The dark sweetness practically jumps out of the glass and keeps inviting to take a sip.

The taste has notes identical to smell, just stronger. Although there were no hops whatsoever in the aroma, there's a nice cleansing bitterness that comes from hops but feels similar to the slight bitterness and slight astringency of dates and figs. Starts quite sweet followed by the said bitterness and some vinous character in the middle and finishes exceptionally clean for its sweetness. The finish is long with an excellent dried fruit flavor. Overall very well rounded and complex. The body is medium with low carbonation and excellent drinkability! This ale offers a great flavor experience and its taste meets and exceeds the expectations set by aroma.

One of my favorites and one of the best I ever had, this ale was an eye opener for me that showed me the level of complexity and deliciousness a malt forward beer could achieve without losing its balance.

Photo of kellyst
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 vintage. Pours a cloudy light brown with a thick tan head. Aroma is a standout of caramel, toffee, and sweet grains. The flavor does not dissapoint: caramel, toffee, molasses,sherry, some dark fruit and sweet grains all meld into one terrifically balanced barleywine. Bitterness is not noticeably present, but the beer is not cloying and perfectly balanced. There is some slight oxidation which probably improves this beer. Mouthfeel is spot on for a barleywine, and drinkability is impressive for a beer this big. This is my favorite barleywine to date, and a real treat that I drank to celebrate the birth of my first daughter.

Photo of Richardberg
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - 2001 vintage poured into a tulip. Viscous, hazy caramel, no perceptible head by the time I saw it. Sticky lace when swirled.

S - intense, complex aromas poured out as soon as it was uncorked. Raisin, date, toffee, and sweet syrupy booze dominate. Sour apple, bread, and yeast aren't far behind.

T - pretty much everything from the smell and more. So long as you don't mind sweet beers (or consider a hint of aged vinegar to be an adequate balance to the malt explosion), this is pretty much the pinnacle of its style.

M - smooth and rich. Having it served on tap (or nitro?!) would make it exceptional, but sadly that's not the subject of this review.

D - way too easy. Dangerous. Sinful. And delish.

Photo of brystmar
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 vintage. Pours a hazy caramel color with sediment and almost zero head. Beady, clear lace (similar to port or even Utopias) streams down the glass.

Sweet malts are out in force! Also caramel, candied sugars, some fruit, and hints of aged booze.

Not super complex, but what's here is excellent. Sweet/malty with oak, vanilla, burnt / candied sugar, and alcoholic warmth to finish things off. Really reminds me of good flan. The sweetness turns bitter as it goes down and the warmth sets in. Supremely enjoyable.

Full-bodied w/mild carbonation; syrupy, sticky, and perfect. Far too easy to drink given its serving size and ABV. Glad my brother shared this 275mL bottle with me, but now I need one of my own...

Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy honey-golden color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet medium and dark fruits with large amounts of sticky sweet caramel malts. Also present are slight amounts of toffee and even slighter amounts of oxidation (the cask was about six hours old).

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Very sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of sugar-coated pear flavors. Midway through the sip faint amounts of darker fruit flavors - plums mostly - make a brief appearance before giving way to caramel malts and hints of toffee that carry through to a decidedly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without too much of a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I found this beer to be on the sweet side from the bottle and the cask version - even though it's the 2009 version and doesn't have much age on it - is overly sweet. It reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the British guy tells Lisa and Bart that "our sweets are different than those across the pond" and then they proceed to go into an LSD-like trip after eating the candy. Very sweet, but if you're a malt-head this may be right up your alley.

Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2001 vintage. Poured from a 275ml bottle to a snifter. My pre-birthday beer.

A: No surprises here-deep caramel color with a very small head that dissipates quickly. Leaves a very thin lacing and if you swirl it, it even has legs.

S: Holy crap that's strong! In a good way, though. Toasted nuts, alcohol, toffee, caramel, figs, dates. In the past two days, I've had two of the most wonderful smelling beers of my life. This is definitely one of them.

T: Follows the nose, but with a bit of oxidation. Kinda like a cross between a fine tawny port and a barleywine. Toffee and caramel are the most prominent flavors. Nuttiness is far more subdued than in the nose. The dates and figs are there, but there is a slightly more tart fruitiness there too, like cherries and raisins.

M: Could have used some carbonation, but I can't say the lack thereof is a surprise from a nearly 10 year old beer. Very thick and viscous.

D: The prominence of the alcohol, the viscosity, the lack of carbonation, and the rich sweetness create a beer that is best sampled in small doses. Even this 9.3 oz bottle might be a bit much for me. But hey, it's not meant to be a session beer, and for what it is, it does it's job well. This is definitely a special occasion beer, and I'd probably be inclined to share my next bottle, but I'm planning to pick up a couple more while the shop has 'em in stock! Overall a wonderful beer and very unique. The only thing I've had that comes even close to it in character is Cherry Adam on the Wood.

Photo of DannyS
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage. Poured into a bodum double-walled glass.

A - A thick, rich, semi-translucent honey brown that looks positively syrupy, with a thick off-white head that leaves loose, falling spots of lacing.

S - Whoa. The fruity alcohol wafts up and hits you right in the nose, attacking your senses with sweet, sugary, fruity, malty, hoppy power. It'll catch you off guard if you're not careful.

T - Once again, a powerhouse of a brew. Slight bitter coffee notes detected amongst the upfront dried fruit and molasses of the malt. At bit of an odd aftertaste, but very varied and intense in its flavors.

M - Oh so smooth and heavy on the palate, with very gentle carbonation. Just the kind of thick mouthfeel you'd expect from such a strong beer.

D - 11.5% alcohol, heavy mouthfeel, strong flavors...yeah, this is a sipper.

Overall - Crack it open when you want something rich and strong, like a cognac. It almost kind of drinks like utopias, except obviously not as strong or nuanced. Either way, let it age before cracking it open.

Photo of Swill5786
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage. Pours a yeast-speckled murky brown. Not a hint of head from aggressive pour. No trace of carbonation. Smell is magnificent. Mystical combo of dark fruit, cherries, apples. Hint of alcohol drifts in and out with yeastiness. Overtly sweet start, then bread drives the rest. Visible yeast content hints this should be the case. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Drinkability? Just one. Quite cloying.

Photo of Patrick999
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1999 vintage. Wow, nice gunsmoke upon opening the bottle. Dark pour and even plenty of foam! When they say these beers age well, they aren't kidding!

Aroma is actually kind of a letdown. It smells like alcoholic raisins and not too much else. Port. I was expecting thicker aroma.

Well holy crap. To say this beer aged well is an understatement. The flavor here goes on and on. Maple, whiskey molasses up front, a lot of pipe tobacco, mint and black licorice in the middle, and I'll be damned, a fair bit of earthy hop bitterness in the end after all these years. This is nice. NO f'ing alcohol burn at all! At 11.5%! A sweet, awesome barleywine. Deserves its rating.

Mouthfeel is thick and luxurious with just the right amount of carbonation. Exceptional to say the least.

Awesome. If you have 1999s, check in. I don't see how they could possibly drink any better. I tend to be an aged-beer skeptic, but this is pretty impressive.

Photo of wordemupg
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1999 poured into chalice oct20 2010

A hazy brownish amber with a thin film that sits there for some time leaving no lace

S licorice with big notes of brown sugar and molasses with a little earthy wet wood, pretty nice smell going on here

T all I smell but with the darkest toffee you can imagine and the brown sugars a little burnt and there's even more of a earthy flavor and its pretty sweet but not over the top

M very thick, silky, and syrupy pretty much perfect for the style so smooth and zero booze burn and considering the strength that's pretty impressive

D very easy to drink and I wish this one came in a bigger bottle because this little servings just not enough

probably the oldest beer I've ever had and I'm amazed how well it's holding up. one of those beers everybody should try and I need to thank MasterSki for my chance

Photo of EricCioe
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1999 Vintage into a Delirium snifter.

It pours a dark black with a one finger off-white head that fades first to a ring and island and then nothing at all. On the nose the two predominant notes are a very distinct mint and biscuit. On the tongue there is a huge malt sweetness. It's not overpowering by any means, just huge. At the end there is a note of alcohol, not surprising given the content here. In the mouth this beer is syrupy and cloying, pretty large. The alcohol content and price conspire to make this one not something to drink lots of, but it paired wonderfully with a rare ribeye tonight and for that sort of purpose it's a great drink.

Photo of bruachan
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i have 2006, 2007 and 2008 in front of me. i'm not sure if this is frowned upon, seeing as i'm not reviewing a single beer. but i'll be sure to note where the vintages differ

very attractive ruby hue, with an amber highlight. age had a deteriorating effect on foam retention. not much, regardless

deeply fruity (apple cider?) aromas with caramel and buttersctoch. 2008 was the most pungent. vinous and sugary in all vintages

sweet and plentifully nutty. the nuttiness seemed to fade with age. roastiness, on the other hand, grew with age. the 2006 was actually a little overbearing

bodyfeel was at its robustest in the '06 and '08 was next (some inconsistency, i suppose)

heat is most apparent in 2007

hop deterioration is evident: older vintages are noticeably sweeter. 2008 is the only one i can smell/taste hops in

Photo of Beejay
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harvest Ale 2002 Limited Edition

A: A very murky deep brown with a little bit of ruby in the edges. Not a lot of head, but what is there is tan with large bubbles.

S: Huge caramel sweetness. A bit cloying with a syrupy malty scent. There is a bit of roasting in this, as well as a very strong caramelized aroma.

T: Holy cloying barleywine batman! Sweet with notes of caramel, oak, toffee, and burnt sugar. This walks up to the line of 'too sweet' but only puts a toe across the border. Very enjoyable, though in small sips.

M: Thick and oily. Very little carbonation at all. Almost a pillowy feel after you have swallowed. One hell of a sipper.

D: Overall a very enjoyable beer. Rich caramelized flavors, and a wonderful boldness that hides the considerable amount of booze.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Anno 1999.

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown, nearly aubergine, with golden highlights and a slim fizzy head upon the hard pour. A bit still.

Smell -- Lots of fig, brandy-soaked prunes, raisin, toffee, bread pudding. Sweet, syrupy, and decadent; on par for the style.

Taste -- An abundance of figs, raisin, prune, light molasses, and brandy. Well-basted bread pudding and challah. Gentle spiciness. Mild herbal bitterness in the finish along with a little bit of mustiness. Alcohol is perceptible, but not remotely sharp and stands as a nice contrast to the rich malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Very full body, quite slick, with a very mild carbonation lending to a very sm.oth feel. In a word: decadent.

Drinkability -- This is incredible, probably the best English Barleywine I've had to date. This truly is the standard bearer of the style. So rich, and with such depth of flavor and velvety body it's hard to see how people could find error in this beer. While not a beer for all occasions, I can't think of a better after-dinner beer. An incredible pleasure to drink, strongly suggested.

Photo of Manoftyr
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1999 vintage

Apperance-Pours a rich, dark and cloudy amber-red with resplendent ruby highlights, no real head or lace but hard to detract for that when it's 11.5%abv and over ten years old. Looks lovely to me.

Aroma-Wow, what an overpoweringly tangy aroma; I smell a load of dried and candied syrup-drenched fruits all mingling together in a single aroma making it difficult to pick out individual smells. I definitely smell dates in there though. Some toffee.

Taste-The taste is rather more complex than the aroma and the aforementioned candied fruits are more apparent and distinct. I get dates, plums and raisins most prominently, maybe some figs in there too; extremely sweet. Maybe the faintest hint of chocolate and winter spices towards the back of the middle and some alcohol way, way, WAAAAY in the back end and so faint it's barely worth noting. Delicious.

Mouthfeel-Low-carbonation, thick, syrupy-smooth; perfect for an English Barleywine.

Drinkability-Although this beer has no real alcohol presence it has no shortage of enormous flavors and alcoholic 'weight.' It's a sipper, but not necessarily a very slow one and at this ABV I've gotta rank that high.

Notes/final thoughts-This beer is awesome, didn't expect to like it so much and I'm beginning to suspect I strongly prefer the English interpretations of Barleywines to the hoppy DIPA-like American ones I've been mostly exposed to.

Photo of Axic10
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1999 Vintage poured from 275ml bottle into a snifter. As of today, this 11 year old beer is the oldest I've ever had.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with hints of ruby red and no head at all.

Smell: Raisin, plum, sweet malt, dark candied fruits and some toffee. Nice smelling barleywiine.

Taste: Sweet raisins and other candied fruits, heavy caramel. Very sweet but also very complex.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and extremely smooth.

Drinkability: I have a few more vintages of this, and if they are anything like this I am in for a treat. I think I'm going to pick up some more 1999 vintages when I see them. Very very enjoyable.

J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
94 out of 100 based on 1,309 ratings.