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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

1,352 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,352
Reviews: 557
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 41
Gots: 92 | 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: 1,352 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ffejherb
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Al's of Hampden on 9/18/09.

A - Clear golden/amber body with moderate carbonation and one-finger creamy off-white cap that reduced to a quarter inch ring of retention and left some spotty lace around the glass.

S - Fresh wet hops with plenty of citrus notes and a hint of floral characteristics. Malt character suggests sweet caramel and toasted grans. Subtle alcohol notes also enter into the mix as the liquid warmed up a bit. Quite a zesty aroma overall.

T - Melange of fresh, oily hops with a bold citrus character as well as a backing of sappy pine and some floral attributes. This got quite sappy as the liquid reached room temperature.

M - Wet and sticky with a light oily texture and medium body. Carbonation is moderate overall. Subtle alcohol warmth on the palate. Finishes with lingering bitterness on the tongue.

D - This is one flavorful Harvest Ale, especially fresh on tap. It also produced some tasty hop burps. One of the best of its kind for sure.

ffejherb, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of bbeane
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... golden color with 1/4 inch white head that almost recedes completely, not leaving much lacing

S- After a couple swirls of the glass, a hint of sweet citrus, but mostly strong smell of hops

T- Good, but not all that complex... very little sweetness, mostly just a hoppy

M- Light bodied and pretty light carbonation. Hoppy flavor lingers in your mouth, clinging to your palate

D- Very drinkable and tasty, though IMO, it isn't the typical fall beer, nor does it in anyway taste like it should be called harvest


bbeane, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of jaxon53
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorites from Southern Tier that isn't in a twenty two ounce bottle. Served this chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Harvest ale pours out a golden straw color that has great clarity. A hard pour resulted in a finger and a half of bright white fluffy head. Head faded rather quickly into almost nothing. Very little lace was left behind. Noticed some small bubbles floating to the top of the glass.

Smell: Quite hoppy. Plenty of citrus fruit in the nose. Maybe a bit of pineapple in the background. Slight pine notes as well. Malt is all but hidden behind the hop aromas.

Taste: Again, big hops shine through first. Citrus fruit, pine, it's all in there with some floral undertones. Malt almost stands up to the hops but falls short. Bready and dry. Slightly spicy, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium. Smooth and slick with some bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability: Great drinkability thanks to the 5.7 percent ABV.

jaxon53, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at Big Z beverage in Huntington, NY and served in a standard pint glass.

Clear golden yellow color with a fluffy white head of foam that left a sheet of lacing all down the glass.
The smell is grassy/piney hops.
The taste starts out with a citrus sweetness, similar to a tangerine, before a dry bitterness finishes things off.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Moderate abv and good taste makes this brew very drinkable.

JoeyBeerBelly, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into pint glass with a small head that split after a little bit.looks okay.alot of citrus hop aroma in the nose,a little bit of biscuity sweetness.nice balance between the citrus/piney hops and malt sweetness.very clean finish

mouthfeel is medium bodied,very easy drinking.really nice fall release that strays from the pumpkin ale/oktoberfest norm.

wyattshotmaker, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of Gmann
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a wispy pure white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of nice juicy hops, nice citrus profile, very fresh aroma. Pretty much all hops. The taste is more of the same. A good grapefruit citrus hop flavor, some lemon and pine, and a barely noticable malt body however it does a good job balancing out the hops. The brew has a moderate feel, tingly carbonation and only finishes slightly bitter which is surprising considering all of the hop flavor. This is a very enjoyable brew, probably a bit hoppy for the style but it works well. Recommended.

Gmann, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of DawnL
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden/light amber in color with sticky lacing.

Citrus hops on nose with a slight pine tingle.

Piney on the palate, but not overly - till has a good amount of citrus and some chewy oat. A little spice kick to the brew. As it warms, definite, integrated pine notes come through the citrus nicely.

Oaty mouthfeel.

This beer is a little one noted for my taste. It lacks some complexity. It would make for a very nice session beer.

DawnL, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be "bright." That may make you think it is light on flavor but that would be far from the truth. This will sound silly but the mouthfeel on this just makes you happy. There are strong hop flavors but they are balanced out by a crisp, clean flavor that makes this a superior beer. Once you drink it you will know exactly what I mean. Try it for sure.

Wheelinb, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of batty
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: light yellow-golden with white head. pretty minimal head and only after a pretty vigorous pour. some nice lacing.

S: malt and hops. more specifically, a bit of flowery hop and maybe some munich or vienna? and a touch of rye.

T: taste follows smell pretty well. not my favorite, but well done i suppose.. wouldn't classify it as a ESB by any means, but i suppose it does have more of those characteristics than any other style, hm. definitely touch of sweet front, followed by a pumpkin ale-reminiscent flavor (the pumpkin, not the spices). Get a definite rye-type flavor in the middle and grain huskiness, which blends very well into the floral/spice hop medium-long ending.

M: good, but not incredible. smooth, but a bit thin.

D: quite refreshing, clearly made to be able to session. quite crisp, but not over-carbonated by any means.

good for what they were going for, and pretty unique in general. smooth and drinkable, tasty but not too special. i was looking for more of an marzen-type beer (style is not mentioned on the bottle), but obviously well-made.

edit: upon reading other's reviews, I must say I'm a bit confused - but I stick to my review (it's the last of a sixer, and all have tasted the same, so no palette-problems on this one). I'll have to check this out again sometime to see if it's the batch or if my taste buds really are that different from others!

batty, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of NoahSYGG
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent beer. It is super citrusy hoppy. It is slightly cloudy. It has a great hop aroma. It has a nice 2 finger head with nice lacing. It is nice and sweet to balance the hoppy overtones. This is a wonderful beer for any hop head. It focuses on my favorite aspect of the hop,flavor and aroma. If you come across this beer, pick it up.

NoahSYGG, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of quincyships
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is whack. No, it's wiggety-whack. Smooth, smooth, smooth ESB body with very light color draws you in (unless you're tipped off by the drippin' fresh hop aroma) and the hop bite throws you off the bridge, until the smooth finish makes you realize you're on an awesome beer bungee. The only logical reaction is to climb back up and jump again.

Appearance: crystal clear, almost too-light looking

Aroma: Am I in the hop field?

Taste: In spite of what you saw and smelled, this beer has an awesome balance. It's wicked hoppy but not over the top. I want to make this.

quincyships, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of jmalex
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A fresh hop ESB? I can't imagine Southern Tier doing anything restrained and English, but we'll see.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Sam Adams glass a clear light golden color with a one-finger white head on top. It drops to a nearly full cap with a large collar.

SMELL: It's certainly dominated by the hops which are citrusy and herbal with a raw grassiness. The malt bare is able to cut through it and is pale and sweet with a mild ester profile tying it all together. It actually does seem fairly English.

TASTE: Still quite hoppy, especially initially, with the same flavors as the aroma. The malt really does come up to meet it though and forms a fantastic base sweetness that lasts to the finish. Much more nearly balanced than the aroma, but still a little aggressive for an ESB.

MOUTHFEEL: Light bodied and dry. Really nice there. The carbonation is at an average level which may be a little high.

DRINKABILITY: Superb. The dryness is fantastic, it's reasonably balanced, and the flavors are vibrant and clean. It can't get much better than this.

A damn nice beer from Southern Tier, but it's sure an interesting take on an ESB. Styles be damned though, this is a nice beer and worth trying for sure.

jmalex, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of kels
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beer pours a sunny, straw yellow shade with a short, frothy white head that manages to retain at a watery skim. Bubbly lacing hangs around the walls of the glass at the surface of the liquid. Beer is mostly clear with just the slightest haze, and tons of carbonation rises throughout.

Smell: Really light and pleasant aromas in this beer. Subtle, lemony citrus hops are present along with a dry, biscuity malt. Smells very refreshing - not what I'd necessarily expect form the beer's name, but definitely from the style.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The hops repeat the citrusy theme in the taste, with an added dimension of sticky, dank pine. The malts are dry and slightly sweet. Feel in the mouth is definitely bright, well-carbonated and refreshing, while the aftertaste leaves a sticky film along the palate.

Drinkability: Really high. I've been looking for a good ESB to replace a discontinued favorite, and this one could be a decent stand-in. It is bright, refreshing and flavorfully balanced. I really enjoy Southern Tier's seasonals, and this is great transition from Hop Sun in the summer to the fall.

kels, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of cincodm
4.93/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Sam Adams pint glasses...

A-Looks like beer, so I assume it is.

S-HOPS!!! Oh boy, I am going to drink the sh*t out of this.

t-In a word...Fantabulously Awesome!!! I love me some hops and this one has just the right amount. Very similar to Nugget Nectar in flavor, and similarly to NN, it tastes more like an IPA than the intended style. I taste citrusy hops up front and a touch of sweetness at the end, with a subtle alcohol flavor. I reviewed another beer on here that was too thin but had good flavor so I gave it a "like it but don't love it rating" because of the mouthfeel, but this one tastes so good I love it. I was only going to have one, but this 6'er is gone.

m-Not great, too thin, but the taste more than makes up for it. You can actually swish it around and release more flavor and get little foam because it is so thin.

d-I am seriously going to drink all 6, and I am not inviting anyone over to share with. I am so sick of Marzens and Pumpkin beers at this point that this is a welcome departure for the season.

I would 100% recommend this to anyone, even non-hopheads.

cincodm, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of mckajd03
4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I think my first words were, "Oh, man that's good!" This is one crazy drinkable beer. I could easily have three without blinking. I have no idea where they get off classifying it as an ESB, because it's nothing like any ESB I've ever had. It's more like a pale ale or even IPA. The hops are so floral and citrusy- a nice hint of clementine. But there's also this sweetness that is what makes it so drinkable. It is in no way overpowering, but it's what makes it a bit harder to categorize. I'm not sure if they changed the recipe from last year, but judging by the comments, it seems a lot of people like this season's batch.

mckajd03, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of Deuane
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Al's of Hampden--nice to have this on tap, for when fresh it is the best harvest ale out there.

A-Brilliant, light golden yellow with a medium bright white head that reduces slightly and deposits spotty lace.

S-FRESH citrus hop smack up front--but not overwhelming. Light touch of spiciness in the background. All of this hop goodness is nicely suppported by a light, but present sweet biscuit aroma.

T-Mmmm, mmmm....FRESH, citrus hops with a touch of spice. Light biscuit malt base simply comes along for the ride. This one is all about the freshness of whole hops!

M-Medium-light to maybe even light bodied. This is fine with me as it is super sharp and crisp with LONG lingering hop bitterness that never becomes annoying as it quickly fades between sips only to be established again with the next quaff!

D-Without a doubt my most favorite harvest ale out there. Fairly low ABV and that sharp citrus hop zing that I love. There must be Amarillo hops in here....my number one hop variety! Simply outstanding and a brew I look forward to enjoying every fall!

Deuane, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of LeftyBWS
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Golden yellowy-orange colored brew that pours with a huge bubbly white head (1.5 inches or so) and lots of fast-rising carbonation.
S: Citrusy hops (mostly lemon, hint of orange), dry wheat and grain, and some piney hops.
T: Mild hops throughout, mostly pine and a tingle of orange zest, plus some soft wheatiness. Pleasant, but kinda bland. This one must be "subtle."
M: Nice and soft and satisfying, but missing a strong nippy hop bite that I usually like in bitters.
D: Pretty good, one of the easier-to-drink bitters out there.

LeftyBWS, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of number1bum
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark golden color, or maybe a very light copper. Produces only about one finger of off-white head, and keeps a thin lace with a bit of stick.

Smells of juicy, citrusy hops, with tangerine and grapefruit in particular. Also some bready malt and sweet caramel - the sweetness and the citrus combine to form a sort of candied fruit aroma.

Taste also has a healthy dose of citrus hops, along with the same bready, caramel malt base that was in the nose. There is more grain on the palate, however, and along with some hop bitterness it makes for a slightly astringent bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of a medium body, with crisp carbonation and a decent smoothness. The bite in the finish makes it a touch harsh.

This isn't too bad, and a nice change of pace from the oktoberfests that dominate the fall scene. It's a solid ESB, although it's somewhat unique for that style, as well. Not a bad brew. Worth picking up.

number1bum, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of vinneef
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent fall beer.Never had a esb quite like this one.Taste like amarillo hops,which I love, mixed with the taste of fall.This is my favorite fall beer.Better than any pumpkin or oktoberfest for my taste.Don't expect a esb when you try it.Nothing like an esb I have tasted.Much better.

vinneef, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Even though I've got a bottle of this in the fridge, I managed to get it on tap last night at Fries Cafe. Pour is from the tap to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a pale lemony yellow and comes with a short 1/2 finger head that fades immediately to a faint skim; body is clear and shows very light carbonation; spotty lacing holds to the sides.

Smell: A very nice hoppy presence that is especially pine driven with some back notes of citrus; smells almost "sappy."

Taste: Very similar to the smell - very piney with a firm backing of bitter citrus-like lemony peel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thin; carbonation is moderate; a bit of an oily layer/film is left on the mouth - not necessarily sticky, but slick...

Drinkability: Moderately high - the bitterness is nice and it's fairly refreshing; the ABV doesn't feel too high and this would be a nice warm weather beer.

bamadog, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of drpimento
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yummm-ooo!!! Wow, great beer! Poured with a big, foamy, frothy, thick, white head and good lace. Color is 18 k yellow gold. Aroma is very fresh, citrus hop. Flavor is super fresh hop but not so citrus, more earthy & chewy hop, some malt, and bread. Body is good, a little soft. Carbonation is good. Finish is excellent. Satisfying yet leaves me with a yearning for more, and more, and....

drpimento, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of lbkornlb14
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

If you are thinking this beer is going to be an octoberfest or pumpkin type beer, you are wrong. But you can see how one would make a mistake, being as it is grouped in the fall styles, and at my particular beer distributor in the pumpkin/ofests. I really enjoyed this beer. It has a nice sweet taste on the back of your tongue and a nice hop aroma of citrus and sweet pine almost like pine needles sprayed with some maple syrup. it pours orangey light yellow, just about a gold. a nice head with obvious lacing. mouthfeel is light-medium to medium, drinkability is really nice, i bought a six last week and again this week, I rarely do that. bottom line is in the great season of pumpkin beers and octoberfests, it is a welcome change up for the hop craving thats not over the top. a must try for all "harvest type" lovers.

Thank you Southern Tier.

lbkornlb14, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: hops and citrus

Taste: mild malt start, earth, hops, pine, and tangerine

Mouthfeel:smooth, light body, a mixed semi-sweet start followed by a bitter body that becomes more bitter as you drink it.

Drinkability: I found myself liking this beer more and more after the initial shock of the hops. I do like the hoppiness and the slight fruit taste. I could have two or so but certainly not a six. Very enjoyable for the style.

tigg924, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of wnh
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright clear gold with a foamy light cream head.
Aromas of fresh orange juice on top of spicy grain. Leafy hops up front on the palate, with lightly bitter citrus, all on top of a layered grain backbone. Light to medium bodied, crisp but still just rounded enough.
Harvest is fresh and clean on the whole, and a beer I'll gladly pick up again.

wnh, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of jsh420
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours bright golden yellow with a 2 finger head that coats the glass with lacing

smells of citrus hops - has ipa all over not esb

taste - wow... this is by far ST's best beer the offer in a 12oz (too bad its a seasonal) - to me it seems like hopsun with more citrus/lemon hops

mouthfeel is light crisp and refreshing - what more could you ask for

drinkability is outstanding - i will be going back to the store for more

jsh420, Sep 09, 2009
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,352 ratings.