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Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

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

1,258 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,258
Reviews: 546
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 37
Gots: 59 | 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
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Ratings: 1,258 | Reviews: 546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rohrbachsfan

New York

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

Appearance: Crystal clear golden yellow with low head but good lacing.

Smell: Malt and strong citrus.

Taste: Bitter malt and notes of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: Very nice beer. On the hoppy/bitter side but has a wonderful citrus smell and graoefruit taste. I liked it and would drink it again.

09-29-2008 01:14:24 | More by rohrbachsfan
Photo of Gambrinus1184


3.33/5  rDev -13.7%

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a plastic pint glass.

A: Poured a golden, amber yellow with a chilled haze and a one-finger head of white foam which left minimal lacing.

S: Smells a bit like citrus fruits with faint, herbal hop aromas.

T: Taste is a bit tart, with a noticeable flavor of mellow, grainy malts, dominated mid-palate by sticky, grapefruit hops before finishing with a wash of pine and yeasty malt.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a bit o a prickly feel.

D: Only a little bitter, not really reminding mee of autumn, and more or less a creamier American IPA. The drinkability isn't great, and given the supposed style, there're a lot better options out there.

A fall seasonal beer that's more or less a tweaked IPA, and not a spectacular one at that. I'd be reluctant to get this one again, just because there are far better year-round IPAs available out there.

09-29-2008 00:55:14 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of prototypic


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

Appearance: It pours a very clear, golden color. There's a very minute amount of particles swimming around. It's capped with a foamy white head that's roughly a finger and a half deep. Retention leaned toward the short side, but a pretty impressive amount of lace clung to the glass.

Smell: The nose is very impressive. Loads of citrus sweetness rolls out of the glass. Nice mix of grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. Really impressive. Hops are very vibrant. I have no clue what the hop bill is, but it's very citric and smells delicious. There's a noteable amount of caramel malt that smells sweet. A slight note of earthiness/graininess is noteable on the tail.

Taste: The flavor profile isn't quite as good as the nose, but it's very good. There is indeed citrus orange, grapefruit, and pineapple up front. It's not quite as prominent here, but flavorful nonetheless. Caramel malts are sweet and give it a nice base. But, they're really overcome by the hop flavor. The hops are citric and have a nice, bitter bite. Again, I don't know the hop bill, but it's delicious. No way the malts are keeping up here. It is a little earthy and grainy on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, leaning medium. It's nice and smooth. Carbonation is active. For the style (more on that later), the feel is pretty impressive. Drinkability is very high. It's smooth and the abv is just right for drinking quite a few of these. It's been a pleasure.

Southern Tier's crafted a rather unique "harvest" ale. It's not exactly what you'd expect from a release this time of year. I question the style classification here. This is much more of an APA than an ESB. In any event, it's a really good beer that's worth checking out.

09-27-2008 18:40:57 | More by prototypic
Photo of nasty15108

New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Gloden with slight orange hues. The pour produced a head of thick white foam and lots of sticky lacing.

S - Grapefruit, with hints of pine and black tea.

T - More of the same. Big grapefruit taste up front mixed in with a little pine and some flowers. Finished off slightly dry.

MF&D - Good carbonation and a slick oily mouthfeel. Although I would hardly consider this ale an ESB, I really enjoyed it. Reminded me a litte of Nugget Nectar.

09-25-2008 23:21:00 | More by nasty15108
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, piney hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with burst of pale and grassy hops up front. Then some mildly sweet flavors of citrus and caramel come in to provide a good balance. The malt character is hearty but a bit on the light side for the style. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, there are better hoppy beers out there but this is still a decent beer to drink for a while.

09-24-2008 01:59:11 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

A: Poured a lucid pale orange with a thin ½ finger sandy-beige colored head that quickly fell to a sparse, whispy covering with no visible lacing. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: fresh grapefruit, oranges with a beautiful bright fresh citrusy nature.

T: very bitter, flowery with some dried grapefruit and pale oranges. A light grassiness is also detected as well some light dried toasted grains. The finish finds a bitter citric and grassy hopping on the fade that lingered about for a few seconds before fading every so slightly. Overall a massively hopped ale, but was slight on complexity.

M: light, oily slicky, bitter and dry.

D: Overall a light bodied but heavily hopped beer that be limited in multiples unless you are a major hophead. Liked it, but not one I would consider session material.

09-23-2008 23:20:00 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Golden in color with spotty lacing and solid white head.

Smell: Big spiny and fresh hops with a nice rootiness and some resin in the back. Citrus sourness and some malt sweetness and diacetyl back there with biscuits.

Taste: Nice and hoppy with more of a freshness to the hops, so as not to turn off the folks who aren't looking for something super bitter, because this is not. Buttery biscuits and mild caramel malt flavors in the mix, and some background sweetness. The freshest hops I've tasted since the newish Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest.

Mouthfeel: Seemingly more medium-bodied and sticky, but very nice, along with good carbonation levels.

Drinkability: Seemed almost more like a Pale Ale than an ESB, but I could easily put down a few of these, as the freshness of the hops are pretty striking. Southern Tier's climbing their way out of a hole they'd dug for me after the last few brews I've had from them.

09-23-2008 18:11:57 | More by asabreed
Photo of IBUnit63


4.3/5  rDev +11.4%

From a 12 oz. into Alpine mug...

Very light and sunny. Mostly lean with sparse carbonation. 1/2-finger, thin head that sticks around a little bit.

Beautiful floral hops with a lot of grapefruit in there against mild malt - a little pine, too. With warmth the citrus hop scent mellows quickly.

This has a very powerful yet light IPA feel. Grapefruit rind is bountiful with more pulp and floral hops. Slightly viscous malt backbone. Maybe a slight nutty malt presence and a little grass. Very good!

Mouthfeel is nutty, sweet and citrusy all at once - maybe a little salty even. Finish is short and tight with no aftertaste - all about the hops.

This drinks like a lighter IPA. Powerful and fulfilling yet extremely clean. Awesome stuff!

09-23-2008 09:33:47 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of jwc215


3.1/5  rDev -19.7%

Pours golden with a thin white head that vanishes, but leaves spots of lacing.

The smell is of mild pine and citrus, with that ST house character (which happens to be nice).

The taste is of mild pine and citrus with mild malt/husk that becomes a bit soapy. The malt backbone diminishes, leaving a bitterness that lost the flavor-part. Not quite enough there to round out the bitterness.

It is on the thinnish side with fairly aggressive carbonation.

This just didn't "do it" for me. I was left with an almost aspirin-y bitterness without much else. The flavor started out fine but slipped to almost soap-ish and aspiriny.

09-23-2008 03:11:30 | More by jwc215
Photo of Proteus93


4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

A: A shimmering golden blonde, with a finger-tall creamy white head that retains fairly well and leaves a nice sticky sheet of lacing behind

S: Fresh grapefruit, grass clippings, hints of pine, and a touch of caramel.

T + M: A big citrus profile, mostly a grapefruit flavour like in the aroma. Nice and juicy flavouring. Some hints of caramel... smooth and slightly sweet, with a little sparkle of carbonation. Good stuff.

D: I was pleasantly surprised by this one... I don't know if I would say it makes me think of Oktoberfest, but that's quite alright. A very tasty brew that I'll be sure to pick up more of.

09-21-2008 00:36:07 | More by Proteus93
Photo of brantadid

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured a darkish yellow color with no head. Some thin lacing was left behind.

Smell was of faint hops. Some slight sweetness in the nose. Nice pine and citrus rind aromas.

Taste had a nice underlying maltiness with a well balanced bittering hop overlay. A very well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is nice. Light without being thin and rich without being heavy.

One very drinkable beer.

09-20-2008 02:00:30 | More by brantadid
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice golden color with a light frothy head that leaves a light lace.

Huge aroma of grapefruit and citrus and then some toasty malt makes its way through.

The grapefruit and the biscuit like taste dominates the taste. Their is a nice balance in the taste with the hops not overpowering the malt. The beer also finishes nice with a clean hop bite.

Their is a nice creaminess to this beer with moderate carbonation that helps makes this beer a decent session beer. This is not my favorite beer style but this is a nice ESB.

09-19-2008 01:53:20 | More by Hokies
Photo of GbVDave


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a crystal-clear, pale-golden color that's capped by a bubbly/frothy, slightly off-white head that seems to retain for ages. As the glass drains, ropey sheets of sticky lace are left behind.

S: Greeted immediately by strong grapefruit/lemon aromas which is followed closely by some toasted and slightly sweet malt. Biscuits. Aroma also contains elements of pine and cut grass. Was expecting mild ESB aromas and was caught off guard by the level of hops coming from this.

T: See above. All of the aforementioned hop qualities are present here (grapefruit, pine, lemon, fresh cut grass...) and the toasted, sweet, and bready malt keeps everything in proper order.

M: Starts off very sticky and oily. The middle takes on a slightly thick and rounded maltiness that seagues into a dry, spicy, and bitter hoppy finish.

D: What a nice surprise. The listed style of ESB had me expecting one thing and this delivered something completely different. I like surprises!

09-17-2008 22:56:33 | More by GbVDave
Photo of oneeye


3.63/5  rDev -6%

Pours a golden yellow with lots of carbonation. A small white fluffy head that recedes slowly until it fades away leaving minimal lace.

The aroma of pine needles and citrusy hops. The hops dominate this Harvest Ale. A blend of floral and citrusy hops. A little bit of caramel malts fighting to break through.

Grapefruit citrusy hops along with piney hops that make a tasty mixture of hop goodness. Biscuity malts follow but not as dominant. Bitter upfront and ends bitter as well. At the end this beer finishes dry with lingering hops.

The mouthfeel is dry and creamy. A bit thin and lacking in body.

Drinkability is great at the begining of this Ale. As the beer warms the flavours lack and become even more unbalanced. Overall a fine Harvest Ale to drink on any given day.

09-17-2008 19:09:54 | More by oneeye
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

This harvest beer pours a clear and clean light amber with a full half inch head of egg shell colored foam. Plenty of tiny bubbles of carbonation can be seen racing to the top. There are some nice webs of lacing left behind.

Smells of rich resinous piney hops. Some sweet caramel smelling malt in the background, but its largely dominated by the big hop presence.

Taste is full out hops up front and combine the citrus and pine aspects well. Hops seem to fade a bit midway through and there is a moderate bitterness on the finish, but a more substantial malt bill to balance things out would probably have aided a fuller taste on the finish and somewhat in the feel.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet sharp of medium build. As noted above the feel does seem to thin out midway through. Makes for an enjoyable and very quaffable beer.

09-16-2008 22:44:01 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of kmeves


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Pours a very clear light copper color with a small white head. Aroma is medium sweet, light grapefruit and malty. Flavor is grapefruit, light caramel, light spice and bready. Medium dry finish. Light-medium body, light sticky texture. A very nice ESB with American hops.

09-15-2008 15:36:35 | More by kmeves
Photo of kkosmoski

New York

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Served at 50F into a Dogfish off-centered pint glass. A very clear light golden color in the glass with an airy white head of about two fingers after a vigorous pour. Foam clings to the side of the glass as it settles down. Smell is of sweet taffey, light toast, and pungeant earthy hops with some citrus mixed in. Flavors start of with a pithy, citrus bitterness along with some sweetness - maybe candied orange peel, and remain on the sweet side until the finish. It ends with a subdued grapefruit bitterness coupled with a very delicate grainy touch. Mouthfeel is quite full and sticky with a relaxed carbonation. Drinkability is very good with a great balance between malt and hops and a moderate abv. A very nice fall brew from Southern Tier that displays very fresh ingredients from the recent harvest.

09-14-2008 22:33:04 | More by kkosmoski
Photo of Kraken


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Beer merchant tossed me this as a freebie, Thanks Brian!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Robust pour yields a bright white fluffy head 2 fingers in size. Head has great staying power and leaves a very a nice lace on the glass.

Nose- Wow nose me surprised. I am greeted by a bounty of Grapefruit and citrus hops. Not what I was expecting.

Taste- yum. Very impressive. Mellow carbonation for the size of the head. Bitter almost from the get-go followed by a nice whack of grapefruit and citrus hops, leading into a more pronounced hop astringency. Very minimal malt profile. Long dry finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation adds an initial creaminess to the beer. Slightly oily.

Drinkability- Very high. This packs a ton flavor into a light ridiculously sessionable beer.

Unfortunately this one sample beer I was provided with is the last of it breed at the bottle shop. Seek out, very nice.

09-12-2008 23:16:42 | More by Kraken
Photo of Slynger


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

Bright, clear, golden-orange harvest color with a fuzzy lid of fine white.

Lightly sweet biscuity malts accompany a solid load of hops. It brings some light, fresh lemony citrus, with a bunch of grassy-earthiness and bitter, rindy-pinyness. Really nice feel to this one (I would've thought Great Lakes if I didn't know better); it's medium bodied and has a light oily slickness to it. Goes down very smooth with a perfect amount of lightly sharp, crisp, and tingly carbonation.

This is a damn solid beer. One of the best non-imperial offering's I've had from ST.

09-11-2008 02:15:19 | More by Slynger
Photo of dedrinker


4.13/5  rDev +7%

A golden brew whose light color took me by surprise as I had expected something amber/orange-ish. Thin white head but with decent structure and lace. There is a distinct yet mild hop aroma - a bit citrusy, and a bit tea-like by turns. I also catch a faint and pleasant whiff of autumn leaves, perhaps just a fancy. The flavors are much the same with a nice creamy mouth feel and light-to-medium body. This beer has October written all over it - September if you live up north.

09-08-2008 03:36:13 | More by dedrinker
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Single, 12-ounce bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield... Been searching for this one for a while, glad to have finally found it...
Appearance: A hefty pour yielded a light-golden hue with a minimal head that soon receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Sensational aroma, strong and assertive, bursting with hops and grains..
Taste: Strong, hoppy taste... This one borders an ESB and an APA, strongly resembling anything brewed from Sierra Nevada... A slight bitterness in the end is tempered with an overwhelming display of hops up front...
Great stuff... Recommended...

09-07-2008 21:19:00 | More by dsa7783
Photo of John_M


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

How I wish ST would make more beers with this level of alcohol. Their high gravity beers just wear me out, but as this beer clearly shows, they are quite capable of making very good lower alcohol ales.

The beer pours a surprisingly lighter gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get the anticipated citrus with some underlying sweet malt. On the palate this beer is absolutely delicious. The beer is remarkably well balanced, with very nice use of the wet hops IMO. Not only does the beer have a nice hoppy bitterness, but the wet hops give the beer an extra added dimension of flavor as well. In addition to the citrus, there's some underlying earthiness as well that is quite nice. The beer is slightly sweet from the malt, but that sweetness is nicely countered by the hoppy bitterness. This beer is medium bodied and is a joy to drink. It's the kind of beer I could see myself just gulping down if I wasn't careful.

This beer was very popular at Mahaffey's last night and I can see why. Just an excellent harvest ale from ST.

Edit from 9/7/12. Tried again, and was reminded quite vividly that this beer differs from year to year. The current version is decent, but pales in comparison to the beer I sampled back in 2008 (unfortunately).

09-06-2008 14:11:47 | More by John_M
Photo of scruffwhor


3.23/5  rDev -16.3%

Pours a clear, golden amber hue with some small yet steady bubble. Very faint foam that sticks around for just a little bit . The aroma is a mix of herbal and citrus hops and some toasted caramel breads. The taste starts with lots of orange zest that slowly gives way to soft English caramels and toffee. Just o be overtaken by the herbal and orange hoppy finish. The start is hoppy, then mixes a little with the malt bill. Then finishes hoppy again. The hops are a little too bright, almost metallic tasting. But still a nice Amrican version of an ESB.

09-06-2008 05:28:25 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Poured into a standard shaker pint glass. Color was a light golden amber with a white one finger head. Aroma was slightly sweet, but yet bitter. Sometimes I could smell creamy or vanilla, and sometimes a bit of berry fruit, but usually bitterness. Taste was bitter, reminded me of pine but not over poweringly so. Felt reasonably good in the mouth, coated nicely and not excess carbonation to deal with. Very easy to drink, could do a few in a sitting.

09-04-2008 23:30:59 | More by mountdew1
Photo of TonyT


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured into a Pint Glass
Purchased a six pack from Southern Tier Brewery

A- A nice gold color with one finger head. Very little lacing.

S- Nice moderate hoppy smell with hints of grapefruit. The floral smell is more prevalent than the malts. An ESB that reminds me of a Calli IPA.

T- Very crisp, with a hoppy and citrus taste coming through. The hops don't blow you away, but have a hoppy IPA dryness character. Not over malted, allowing the hops to linger. The hop taste still stays with you, the farther down the beer.

M- Hops hit in the front and continue throughout the finish as the malts come through, allowing for a surprising smooth finish.

D- With the 5.2% ABV and the crispness, this is definitely a drinkable beer.

I should have bought a case of this, when I was at the brewery...

09-03-2008 02:12:40 | More by TonyT
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,258 ratings.