Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,548 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,548
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 52
Gots: 170 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John on 10-19-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,548 | Reviews: 578
Photo of Kris440
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Crisp and clean with a robust but balanced flavor. My favorite beer of all time.

Photo of TopherBreski
2.87/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Probably the best smelling beer I've ever sniffed but too dry and bitter for me.

Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Forced to make notes due to an outlier rating:

Bready and buttery, with not much going on hop-wise and a lackluster balance. Shallow and simple. Some might even call it plain.

There's no harmony of texture to taste and it's not a gestalt beer, nor does it boast any intricacy, nuance, or subtlety of note. Drinkable but underwhelming.


Photo of hophead123
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very pleasant ESB, great fall seasonal

Photo of konigstiger
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely balanced and very drinkable, I'll have to remember this one.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, 2013 edition, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden amber color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered almost the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very hoppy. Some notes of malt and freshly baked bread, but the predominate aroma is hops which makes sense as the label says that this beer is brewed with four (4) varieties of hops.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer tastes predominately of hops, even to the point of being overpoweringly hoppy. There is quite a bit of caramel-like sweetness to try to keep the hops in check, but for my palate, it falls a little short. There’s also hardly any malt flavor to this beer, which makes me not a fan.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’m not too much of a fan of this beer. I’m not a hop head, far from it in fact, and for me this beer is too far in the hops side of the scale for me to enjoy. Hop heads should love it however.

12 oz bottle, 2014 edition, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden amber color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered almost the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very hoppy. Some notes of malt and freshly baked bread, but the predominate aroma is hops which makes sense as the label says that this beer is brewed with four (4) varieties of hops.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer tastes predominately of hops, but there is quite a bit of caramel-like sweetness to try to keep the hops in check. Assisting the hops is a good amount of bready, toasted malt which imparts flavors of whole wheat crackers and toasted 7-grain bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What a difference a year makes! Either Southern Tier has changed the recipe for this beer and amped up the malt presence while dialing down the hops, which I doubt, or my palate has really grown over the past year to be much more tolerant of hops, as I found this year’s edition to be really, really tasty!

Photo of 716gibbs
4.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

bitter and hoppy with a clean and dry finish. Very enjoyable

Photo of mchegash
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - 3.8/5
A quite clear amber color. NO carbonation is to be seen rising up in this beer...ok, well there are a few bubbles, but very little. Two fingers of head upon initial pour, and the head retention is decent, and there is some nice lacing.

Smell - 3.25/5
Pine-citrus hops. Not really what I was expecting with this beer.

Taste - 3.3/5
A sweet and creamy pine-citrus hop flavor. Maybe a tiny hint of malts. Overall, the taste is okay, but it basically tastes like a standard quality IPA.

Mouthfeel - 3/5
Medium-bodied, creamy, light carbonation.

Overall - 3.25/5
I picked up this beer because I saw in some random Internet article that this was one of "10 beers you need to have this fall". Well, that article was totally wrong. There is nothing special about this beer. It tastes just like a standard IPA, even though I don't think it's classified as such. I was disappointed by this beer.

Photo of Taybeh
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%

A: bright pumpkin orange, 1 1/2 finger puffy white head
S: citrus (grapefruit, lemon, tart pineapple) and some caramel malt
T: like the nose, the caramel/toffee malt tones are there throughout, but this is pretty hoppy for the style; also some mineral/earthy notes on the edges and at the very end, and I can't figure out whether I like them or not.
M: pretty dry and bitter; a lot more lively and crisp than the typical round and mellow tones of most ESBs.
Overall: kind of an oddball, but enjoyable quaff taken on its own.

Photo of redearth329
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Draft in a pint glass.

Dim bar, hard to see, but head is really sticky and rings the glass permanently. Clear amber color.

Smells of grapefruit and some light herbal hops.

Solid malt backbone with a sort of oat-y note mid-palate. Lots of hop bitterness. Sort of like a hoppy Yuengling lager....

Medium to full-bodied. Light carbonation. Long finish.

Another solid offering from S.T., but nothing spectacular.

Photo of mnrider
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Brown Bottle.

A: Pours a murky dark copper color. Medium sized head. Thin but bubbly retention with little lacing. Still the color is very nice.

S: Cool and crisp with bitter hops. After the beer has sat for a bit sweet fruity malts come out. Also spicy with a bready aroma.

T/M: Biscuity. Smooth. Creamy. Sweet. Cool. Hops are earthy and bitter. Sugar with some sweetness. Medium bodied. Earthy bitter aftertaste. Very good taste overall.

O: I quite enjoyed Harvest Ale. Nice bitter taste with a balancing of malt sweetness, but not too much that it kills the hops.


Photo of thedoubler55
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

A: Pours a tannish orange color with good transparency, not much of a head but mostly a nice off white ring around the top that left some nice lacing around the glass.

S: Smells like a lighter pumpkin beer from this brewery"pumking" some pumpkin in the nose and some hops as well, and slight lemon zest on the tail end.

T: Similiar to the nose with some fresh fruit going around as well, green apples and pears came to mind, pumpkin is there throughout the drink.

M: Medium bodied, high carbonation and a little dry.

O: Not a bad beer at all, simple drinker, and a more simple beer from this brewery which tends to make phenomenal brews, good taste and refreshing.

Photo of DuffDaddy
2.25/5  rDev -41.4%

mixed six from ABC - i was expected more maltiness from this autum beer. very hop forward...

Photo of SPChurilla
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Great harvest!

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased while in Buffalo. 450th full review. Looking forward to this one, while watching game 7 of the World Series.

Appearance - clear, orangey, yellow color. Topped by a finger or so of fluffy white head. Good retention even without a great deal of lacing. A couple foamy swarthy stay around on the sides of the glass.

Smell - citrusy mostly, a bit of lemon and pineapple. A floral earthy quality too. Inviting and pungent aroma.

Taste - good dose of hops and earthy bitterness which lingers throughout the tasting. A bit of a flowery taste as well.

Mouthfeel - smooth, light bodied, wet in the mouth that has a nice drying feel in the mouth after the fact. Moderate carbonation.

Overall - a fine bitter that is certain plenty delicious and enjoyable and the alcohol here is remarkably well hidden. A fine review for my 450th review.

Photo of allengarvin
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: 4.0 - Slightly hazy reddish amber with medium-height, dense head.
S: 4.0 - Intense piney hoppiness. Sure this is an ESB and not a DIPA?
T: 3.75 - Bracingly bitter flavor with a load of grassy, piny hops, concluding in a very dry finish. I was hoping for malt to put in at least a slight appearance. Really, this is totally a double IPA.
M: 3.75 - Soft creamy texture, medium carbonation
O: 3.75 - Decent hoppy beer. Not what I was looking for from the description.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a copper color with some chill haze. The head is around a finger high, with an eggshell shade. It has a very foamy texture that leaves behind a nice ring of lacing on the glass, though the retention isn't impressive. (3.25)

Smell: Hoppier than the average ESB, and thank cripes for that. Gentle notes of grapefruit, pine, and flowers helps balance out the caramel-and-toffee laden malts decent. But even better (or worse, because I don't like ESBs - must...be...objective...), it still retains its ESB-ness. This smells like a mediocre IPA - and that means it smells like a solid ESB. (3.25)

Taste: The flavor profile is even hoppier than the aroma suggested. It starts off biting the palate with grapefruit and apricot - and immediately, I have a nitpick. The hoppiness is too acidic and biting, coming off slightly dishsoapy. On the otherhand, it finishes with a subtle upsurge of caramel malt, and even an estery touch. I'm even picking up some tobacco flavor on occasion. The whole time I'm sipping it, I'm glad its imbalanced favoring the hops, rather than the other way around (a problem that plagues a quite a few ESBs). Cut out the slight detergent flavor, and I'd score it even higher. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Very crisp for the style, and - despite the prevalent malt backbone - dry too. It's bigger than many in the style, and yet more drinkable as well. Though it should be said, carbonation is above average. I don't really care, however. (3.5)

Overall: There are quite a few IPAs on the market that come off like weak amber/ESB ales - this one is the opposite. ST could have called this a fall IPA and I wouldn't be too hard on it. I'd gladly drink it again, and I don't even like ESBs. (3.5)

3.44/5: Why aren't more ESBs this hoppy?

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Hop-forward ale with just enough toasted malt with touches of caramel in the back-end to give it some foundation. Drinks like an IPA.

Photo of JohnFatAss
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%

A nice hoppy beer with a biter finish.
Reminded me of an IPA.
Not a pumpkin ale or an Oktoberfest, so not your typical fall seasonal.

Photo of ereid197
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Awesome from October until december

Photo of bubseymour
4.3/5  rDev +12%

Nice dark copper clear body with small head. Very sweet and hoppy scents. Not of the citrus variety though. Taste is very flavorful and give quite a pow. Nice sweet malt balance to the hop flavorings. Hops lean towards pine. Slight bitter finish but really fairly subtle and ok by my preference. Very high ABV for an ESP variety beer but this works just fine. Definitely would revisit if presented opportunity.

Photo of CraftyViki
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Harvest Ale is my favorite of all of the autumn beers. It is not too spicey, and is quite refreshing.

Photo of tillmac62
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%

Clear medium amber pour coupled with a dash of dark ruby and with a good head. Retention is normal, lacing is above normal. Very nice nose of blended hops (citric, tropical and a touch of dank pine) over a light biscuit. Light medium body with a smooth texture. Slightly above normal carbonation with a nice effervescent finish. Very nice balanced flavor profile that is complex. It begins with a rush of hop flavor - the citric and tropicals lead then flow into a dank note that is much more prevalent than suggested in the nose. The middle is a mild bitterness over biscuit, with a touch of caramel, light sweetness. The finish somewhat dry, but leaves you with the classic English ESB flavors and bitterness over a fading light biscuit. The 6.7% alcohol is completely hidden in this outstanding ESB.

Photo of Naugled
4/5  rDev +4.2%

This was a surprisingly good beer, expecting a malty harvest brew, but got a nicely balanced hoppy beer. Very drinkable and satisfiying

Photo of Cylinsier
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%

12 oz.

Pours a deep clear golden, eggshell film for a head retains very well.

Smells of rich caramel malts and a floral hoppiness.

Flavor is of biscuit malt and some lightly floral hoppiness.

Medium body with tingly carbonation tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is a disappointment by Southern Tier standards. It's just not as good as a lot of their other stuff. That said, it's still Southern Tier, so it's still very good and definitely worth trying. It's just not on par with their admittedly high standards.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,548 ratings.