1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,507 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,507
Reviews: 567
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 46
Gots: 139 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 10-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,507 | Reviews: 567 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fitwitchik
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pub glass.

Luscious rusty colour

Smells hoppy yet a touch of surprising sweetness

Straight up bitter front with a slight malty finish.

Plenty of carbonation. Nice.

Not much experienice in tasting ESBs but found this brew to be pretty nice. Better than some of the pumpkin flavoured harvest beers that seem to fall off the shelf this time of year. Disappointed I only purchase a single bottle.

Fitwitchik, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ESB is a very descriptor for this beer. I don't know why their ESB is called Harvest. You would expect seasoning and caramel in a autumn beer.

The coloring is decent. You get a very light brown to it.

Off the top there is a little bit of sweetness. You get a lot of bitterness in the body.

The flavor is enjoyable, but it is a little muted.

I recommend this beer for the style.

ummswimmin, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of scootny
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Nice alternative to the myriad of fall browns and pumpkins. a clear pale orange with a white head that fades to a thin covering and light lacing. Smell is rich with bready malt, light fruitiness and and earthy hoppiness. Taste is smooth and full of bread and toasted grains. Finish is clean and dry with crisp hops that yield a bit of grapefruit and mild brown bread. Not overly hopped and well balanced. As it warms the flavors get bigger and the malt blossoms. Feel is a light crisp signature with a smooth carbonation and medium weight. A nice fall beer with wonderful drinkability and character.

scootny, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of StlHopHead77
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours out a clear amber/copper color that supports 1 1/2 fingers worth of soft,eggshell white foam.Moderate retention with stringy but gummy lacing on the glass.

S-Not much here.Mostly muted,dull,earthy hops with
only a slight citrus character peaking through.Some straightforward caramelized grains and a very soft pine note to finish.

T-Mediocre,fleeting flavors of whole grain toast,brown sugar,watery pine,Hen House oj and some grassy hops.

M-Light bodied with a transient flavor profile and no real substance to speak of.


StlHopHead77, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of mralphabet
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a clean clear copper color.. about a fingers worth of head that settles to a nice layer with good lacing from start to finish.

S: Wow lots going on here... First thing I'm getting is a nice herbal hops, Little piney and a hint of grapefruit... and that is just the hops I'm smelling.... Then there is a layer of sweet malt maybe a little caramel and spice.

T: Sweet malt right up front.. Caramel leading the way.. Followed my a big hit of hops... little piney and herbal.. Everything is very balanced here... finish is clean.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, with a little stickiness... but very clean.

O: Very drinkable beer, good flavors, nicely balance.. little high on the ABV but working looking for.

Southern Tier makes another good beer.

mralphabet, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of schlimenhaumer
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a bit different from the picture (which, from top to bottom, reads: Special Ale Harvest Seasonal) into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a clear copper color with a minimal foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves some spotty lacing.

S: Sweet malts with a citrus peel background. Very nice in this regard.

T: Starts off with some caramel malts, but then all the other flavors are overpowered by very bitter piney resins that stay on the tongue far too long. No balance whatsoever.

M: Medium-bodied with a slick mouthfeel and a bit of carbonation.

D: Not sure if Southern Tier changed the recipe on this, but the bottle I had was grossly unbalanced. They have plenty of better beers to choose from in my opinion.

schlimenhaumer, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Cresant
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle in a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was a deep apricot color with a tan head that left a film and splotchy lace.

The smell was leafy fall crispness that was surprisingly minty at the end.

The taste was lightly bitter, a copper penny taste. Husky hops and light apple flavors. A strong "Americanized" ESB. Modest crackery malts, but not too sweet like some Southern Tier beers.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a light carbonation and some alcohol sizzle. Easy to drink despite the ABV (for an ESB).

Cresant, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear amber orange with lots of bubbles. Solid three fingers of white foamy head with good retention and lots of lacing.

Smell: Bready caramel malts with a huge presence of citrus orange marmalade and grapefruit. Also has a solid aroma of floral and piney hops that add some spice to the fruit. Kind of smells like orange juice with hops.

Taste: Biscuit caramel malts with a big taste of orange and hints of grapefruit. The sweet oranges are followed by a big hop presence with lots of pine resin and floral hops. Starts fruity and moderately sweet and finishes pretty bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Very tangy and chewy. Hops prickle the tongue. Finishes bitter and dry.

Overall: A very interesting and tasty brew. Starts like a traditional English Bitter and finishes like an American IPA. It almost is like a Mimosa with a IPA replacing the champagne.

MattyG85, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of jbertsch
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

orange amber in color. Off white leaved a tiny bit of lace on the glass.

Arom gives grassy hops along with a caramel malt and a spicey character. Definitely smells of grassy dry hopping.

Its taste had a grassy hop bite with accompanying bitterness and a little spiciness. Malt backbone has biscuit and faint caramel.

Smooth body with average carbonation.

Not bad at all. Quite enjoyable. I'd had this before in a bottle but it must not have been as fresh as this because a fresh hop aroma really shined in the draft version.

jbertsch, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of bum732
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Bready maltiness, with prominent citrus hoppiness. Some grassiness.

L: Clear burnt orange, creamy white head that dissipates.

T: Deep bready maltiness with lots of herbal hoppiness. Fairly sweet toasty malt follows the medium bitterness. Finishes quite malty with a touch of earthy hoppiness. Semi-dry.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Not bad, missing that depth in ESB's and a bit too hoppy, but not bad.

bum732, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Siciliano's Specialty Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a clear amber hue with a thick ring of eggshell white foam and a few dots of lacing on the tulip. Solid appearance.

Smell is pine resin (dank), orange marmalade, jujube candy, perfume, floral, zesty and citrusy hops, red grapefruit, bready and grainy malts, mild doughy aroma, and a faint mineral note. Love the nose on this one.

Taste is orange jujube and marmalade, caramel, bread crust, Clementine zest, slight sweetness, piney and oily hops, moderate red grapefruit bitterness with some orange peel on the cough. Hoppy as hell, but the IBUs are kept in check by a strong malt presence. Bang on for an American Extra Special Bitter.

Mouthfeel is lush and juicy, medium bodied, a little oily through the middle, balanced bitterness transitions to a bone dry finish.

Overall, this is one of the best US-style ESBs that I’ve sampled. While it's not quite up there with Lord Admiral Nelson, it's certainly comparable to Goose Island Harvest Ale, Charlevoix Vache Folle ESB, and C’est What? Al’s Cask Ale. A fantastic drinker.

cratez, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass from bottle

A: Clear light amber color, 2 finger off white head fell rather quickly. Frothy ring sticking around edges of glass.

S: Smells like a blend of north american hops and german hops, with slight hints of biscuity malts. Piney, grassy, herbal, not to mention an almost patchouli'esque funk.

T: Piney hops up front blending with a good amount of bready malt and some grassy hops. Finishes slightly dry with a lingering taste of north american hops.

M: Light-medium body, good amount of bite, and just a bit high on the carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: Not bad, very unique for sure. I could drink this again, just nothing TOO special.

ReelBigwigFish, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a two finger white head that fades slow and leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is clean with biscuit notes, a touch of caramel, grassy elements and a touch of citrus.

The taste follows the nose with lots of grassy elements and a little citrus on a biscuit background with caramel notes.

Medium bodied, crisp, and refreshing

Overall, an easy drinking, good tasting, balanced beer.

JayS2629, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of McNealc31
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inviting copper color with a sticky, if thin, head. Caramel and apricots in the nose. Wheat, dried apricots, caramel, and a dry finish. Some lingering banana, too. The hops provide a late, but pronounced character.

Pretty tasty. I wouldn't say it's as outstanding as others from Southern Tier like Pumking and Creme Brulee Stout, though

McNealc31, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of olympicgatorade
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: brownish amber, hardly any head. Looks very much like an oktoberfest.

S: like an Oktoberfest but with a faint hoppiness and spring water aroma.

T: it's strongest suite. Tastes like a pale ale with a decent helping of Oktoberfest malt. Nice balance, a good domestic version of the ESB.

M: a bit more carbonated than expected, but nice. Very crisp.

O: a nice drinking beer, alcohol hardly noticeable. Nothing stands out here especially, and here this is a strength.

olympicgatorade, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Morey
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap @ Six Pack House of Beers (West) in Erie, Pa.

From notes...

Copper-orange in color with very little head. This place has their tap lines set so that the beer comes out VERY slowly. Nice clarity with decent head retention.

Somewhat mild and clean aroma, but there's a good mix of grassy hops and toasted malt in the nose.

Taste is where this beer really shines. Hops tingle the tongue up front. Malt body is quick to follow helping round things out. Bitterness doesn't really linger too much on the finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

An enjoyable and sessionable fall seasonal from ST.

Morey's Bottom Line: This beer is a bit more hoppy on-tap and I like it just a bit better than this year's bottles. Very nice.

Morey, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of wingman14
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker orange with yellow highlights and a small off white head. Smell is mostly citrus hops and sweet notes, some malty tones in there as well. Taste starts with the hops up front the malt comes through in the middle and a semi sweet citrus comes in at the end with the hops lingering in the aftertaste. Not much bitter going on, but nice flavor overall. A nice medium body, good carbonation, always nice to get one fresh off the tap. Overall a good beer, good flavor that won't overpower, could easily have a few of these in one sitting.

wingman14, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of abraxel
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours crystal clear golden orange, with lots of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. There's a finger or two of off-white head that looks pretty substantial.

S - Some light, earthy and citrusy hops. A touch of caramelly malt. Nice, but nothing special.

T - A solid base of nice, caramel malts, with earthy and citrusy hops. A good, relatively low level of bitterness, balanced well by the malt. I enjoy this beer.

M - There's too much carbonation, though. Other than that, the mouthfeel is pretty good, but the carbonation is distracting.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer. I'd drink it again. If I didn't have better options, I might even buy it again. There are almost always better options, though.

abraxel, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Apellonious
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- golden orange, clear, one finger head, moves to a thin lace and hangs on the side of the glass

S- Berries, grass, cascade hops

T - Balance of malts and hops, not overly complex,bitter. As it warms, we get..some biscuit tastes and more bitterness. No hint of the fruit from the initial smell.

M- mouthfeel is slightly sharp, watery, carbonation is level and consistent

O - Overall, a decent beer, but could use more in the taste department other than the bitterness.

Apellonious, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Consume, devour,exploit. Reap the dead harvest." - This Ending, Dead Harvest

Not often that one sees a fall seasonal with more hop varieties than malt varieties. Clear orangey amber with a thin white head that's quick to collar.

Aroma is prickly pear citrus, bread crust, Lush Grass scented bodywash and fishtank water which I'm guessing comes from the English hops.

Grassy with zesty citrus spice over a swampy hop tea background. Tastes like an American & English marriage of Cascade & UK Goldings - the prominent hop of each of these 2 fine brewing countries. Bread crust with mild caramel edges.

Unique and great, makes me think of a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale combined with an Oktoberfest.

donkeyrunner, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of ajaxivan
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: nice light caramel color, one finger head
S: bready malt, hint of hops
T: great balance of malt and hops
M: medium, perfect for this style
O: for what it is, this beer is one of my favorites, great balance of malt and hops. If this was a year round beer, it would be in my fridge all the time. Recommend picking it up of you haven't had it.

ajaxivan, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - copper/golden body, fading white head. A pretty color.

S - bitter and pungent balancing with caramel malts. Pretty nice stuff. A touch of vegetal.

T - Sweet malts primarily, light in flavor, some light bitterness on the back. Not as good as the nose.

M - medium body, smoothish.

O - a decent malty beer. Nothing to write home about, but worth a try.

ColdPoncho, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of greybeardloon
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

DOB 8/4/12

A: Amber.

S: Bready malt and herbal, cirtric (?) hops.

T: Sweat, bready malt that tastsy sticky as it warms, and herbal and slightly grapefruity hops. There is actually good balance, but somehow the flavors don't come together.

M: Medium.

O: not a particularly interesting beer, and having one doesn't interest me in another. The abv doesn't come through, but the flavor doesn't at all justify the abv either. I expect a 6.7% beer to have a much more robust flavor.

greybeardloon, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Siegmund
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams PP

A - Light amber, up through an almost pinkish yellow at the bottom of the glass. I poured a little to gentle, so the head was a bit thin, fading to a thin lace on top.

S - Some citrusy, hop notes. I'm reminded of a good, fruity IPA on the nose.

T - The taste follows the smell. Again I'm reminded of an IPA. More balanced though. After the hop hit, there is a great malt base behind. Great lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - A bit more carbonated than I usually like, but nothing out of control.

O - Very good beer. This is a beer I could see myself drinking a few of at a party or ballgame.

Siegmund, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of zeledonia
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4 August 2011.

Pours coppery and clear, with one finger of cream-colored head. Head sticks around long enough for me to get a few sniffs in, then it's gone, leaving a ring of foam around the surface. Not much lacing.

Smell - this has fresh English hops, so says the ST website. But to me they smell just like non-fresh English hops - hay, some vegetable stems, and a light bitterness. Despite being a "wet hop" beer, this feels more malty than hoppy. Bready and light grain.

Taste - a balance of grassy, lightly bitter hops and some filling-out malts. Everything here is playing a role, and while a team of role-players may be solid, it doesn't wow you. It's smooth and well-balanced, but that's most of what I have to say about it.

Mouthfeel - medium-light body, but with a chewy rich feeling. Carbonation is medium-low, as it should be. Mouthfeel is right on.

It's partly the style, but I find this beer to be rather, well, meh. It's balanced, and it tastes fine, but nothing's jumping out at me. It's not super flavorful, or full of subtle complexity, or refreshing, or anything else.

zeledonia, Oct 04, 2011
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,507 ratings.