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Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

584 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 584
Hads: 1,624
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 19.95%
Wants: 52
Gots: 208 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 584 | Hads: 1,624
Photo of williamherbert
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried this beer in 2006 I really disliked it, but I'm gonna give it another go'round.

The look is a bright, clear golden color. (Not orange or pumpkiny.) Minor white head. The chill of the glass leaves a haze. Looks light and thirst-quenching. Only a little lace leaves its mark on the glass.

The smell is a nice, mild wet hop aroma with a bitter pilsnerish malt. Hops are of a woody, bitter sort. Malt is bitter with slight roasted-ness. It is flowery and fragrant, with a hint of sour apple.

The taste is a very pleasant burnt and bitter malt flavor dominating the brew, like a kolsch or German beer. But that is combined with a top layer of flowery and woody hops. The malt is really really bitter; the hops are very fresh and moist. The balance is outstanding.

The feel is watery but with a minor bitter bite. Smooth finish, buttery but not oily. Overall it's very bitter, yet flowery. Incredibly drinkable. A fine, fine autumnal harvest ale.

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Photo of Kendo
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2007 bottle looks slightly different than the older one pictured here -- it's all orange with no yellow around the name of the beer, which is in black lettering now.

A: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is lighter in color than expected: golden honey, with a small white head that settles quickly to leave a smidgeon of film on top. Plenty of bubbles continue to rise throughout, but there's very little lacing left behind.

S: First impression is grassy wet hops and a strong presence of pine -- sap or resin, even. There's something sweet too -- reminds me a bit of that JuicyFruit gum smell, but also citrus rind, especially lemon.

T: Dominated by juicy, resiny pine sap and grassy hops, but it's not overwhelmingly bitter --some malt seems to provide balance or a foundation for the hops. A slightly lemony and grassy flavor lingers in the aftertaste for quite awhile. Finishes very dry, crisp and clean -- all in all it's almost pilsner-like in that regard, but for the juicy hops that initiate the taste. I was surprised to see from their website that they use Amarillos in both the kettle and for dry hopping. Given that finish, I would have thought that Noble hops were used to finish it off, as it's got a bit of zesty spiciness to it and didn't remind me of what I think of as Amarillo hops -- not that that's a bad thing, it just surprised me a little. . . .

M: Well-carbonated but in a slightly prickly or spritzy way, so it's not obnoxious, and it helps to leave a dry, clean finish despite an oily coating of the mouth with hop juice. Body is light-to-medium in heft.

D: Very good. This one goes down easily.

Notes: Not sure about the style on this one. BA lists it as an APA; Southern Tier's website calls it a "Classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order" (I think it's too hopped up to be called "English style," however); and it reminded me in many ways of a pilsner (not sure whether that's a German or Czech pilsner). Whatever it is, I like it. Could make a great Fall session beer for hopheads. Another success story from Southern Tier. . . .

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Photo of Stimack
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured to a golden color with a slight haze to it, and had a large slight off white head with lager bubbles, which had fair retention and left some lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma screams hops, pine to be exact and has a scent that seems to have a fresh feel about it. Also I picked up some biscuit and grass like smells mulling in the background. The taste is dominated by an in your face hop flavor, that has a strong pine feel. Per the website the hops present are Amarillo, Chinook and Columbus which really give of a potent hop punch with this brew. Some malt flavors are there but they seem to waif in and out. In some of my last reviews I stated that I was getting a little tired of all the large hop brews but this one is well done, has some nice character to it and was an easy drinker. Over all I feel that this is a great local seasonal offering, once again a great effort by Southern Tier.

Edit: I am really noticing more of a citrus hop taste and scent than the pine I originally experienced with an earlier beer from the pack I picked up. Also when I first poured this last beer I noticed a clear pineapple smell which was a little difficult to pinpoint, I just could not figure it out. Not sure why I am picking up the different flavors and scents now. Still a very interesting brew in my book!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - has a golden straw color with good clarity. A solid finger of head forms up, creamy with some cratering and good good sticky lace.

Aroma - the fresh pine jumps out of the bottle and glass. Resiny, intense, and very appealing.

Taste - the biscuity malt is tasty albeit slightly lacking in depth. The hops have a light b.o. element and a good piny dimension as in the nose. Not a whole bunch else. A medicinal taste begins to build but gets diluted on the way. Instead, there is just a good, simple but fairly intense, fruity hop flavor from start to finish. Ends with a nice malt/hop balance.

Mouthfeel - crisply carbonated, slightly thin body.

Drinkability - a tasty ale, a little much for extended sessions but worth a sixer.

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Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear straw colored with a close-cropped but durable white cap.
Whiffs of biscuit malts, wet hay, and lemon rinds, then comes the deeper- rooted, unmistakable, resin-drenched reefer and spruce and ruby grapefruit and lime leaf scents of Amarillo.
Enters with a firm pale maltiness, built from English muffins. Only the vaguest glints of stewed pear provide any sort of fruitiness. Brisk through the middle, with a near-lager like persona, except for that sweet cream and doughy yeast influx. The hops hit full of dried grass and lime juice. The British accent of the Goldings cede to the Amarillos, who are still the star, but their leafy resinous and smoky ganja notions are fairly subdued, even if still the featured article.
It packaged in a light body with a steady, but gentle bead. This is built as a hop-forward quaffer. And it succeeds wholly.
Don't put too much emphasis on the label's claim of "quadrupulus humulus lupulus", that isn't what it's about. Fans of Amarillos, (as this instantly reminds of Tyranena's Bitter Woman), or hoppy session brews (like Rogue's Youngers Special Bitter or FFF Pride and Joy) will find a kindred spirit here.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one took me by surprise. I was expecting an Oktober fest brew of sorts. This one, however was packed full of delicious hops, mostly of the citrus variety. The harvest element of this brew comes through in a spicy malt character that follows the hop bitterness. Not an overly complex brew, which is not always a bad thing. Overall a great harvest brew that I will definitely get again.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.52/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - pale straw yellow, with more than a finger of frothy pure white head held aloft by several streams of carbonation

S - a light and airy aroma that at first hits me as citrine, however a deeper whiff puts it more accurately at spiced malts, not quite as sharp as coriander, but perhaps nutmeg/ginger/clove, or other autumn-esque spices and these rest atop the sweet, wheaty, malty profile

T - the palate is far hoppier than i had expected plus a non-hop spicy bitterness that neither compliments the hops or succeds well on its own. unfortunately this bitterness drowns out any flavors that would be there

M&D - drinkable a bit colder than i tried it at, just too non-hoppy bitter for me, i love southern tier stuff, to me this is just a miss, not bad flavors, just to bitter for me, esp for a harvest ale

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear, golden straw color with a small white head that vanishes. Very minor lacing on the glass.

Aroma is largely citrusy hops, although a crisp malt backbone comes through. Smells quite fresh.

Taste is crisp and malty upfront leading right into a fresh citrusy hop flavor and medium bitterness. Finishes quite dry with a lingering hop taste and bitterness. Decently balanced.

Light body, mild carbonation.

Overall, a nice rendition of an APA that drinks with ease. The hop profile actually reminds me of Hop Wallop, just on a lesser scale. Recommended.

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Photo of shroompod
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz poured into pint glass. Very clear golden hue, decent head, some lacing.

Smell is hoppy, grapefruit, citrus, not detecting much else.

Taste is initially all hoppy, then sweetness out with a bubblegum sweetness that reminds me of Gumballhead.

Mouthfeel is medium, decent carbonation.

I can see knocking about about 12 of these without much problem.

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Photo of funkengruven
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as this style of beer goes, this stuff is great!

This poured a nice strawy yellow with a slight bit of head lingering on the top. Smell is inmistakably hoppy. The hops in the flavor of this brew are interesting, they have a very grapefruit like aroma to them and the aftertaste has a sweet finish which I really liked. Remarkably smooth and easy to drink as well.

As far as APAs go, this one's a beauty.

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Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Southern Tier brew via BeerTruth.

A: Nice light hay yellow color with a big head that dies down to next to nothing. A steady stream of bubbles rise to the top to keep what's left of the head hanging around

S: Wow I have mentioned before and I will say it again next to 3 Floyd's Southern Tier has gone hop crazy. This is a very hopped fall brew. Immediately you can smell the floral hops. There is underlying bisciuty maltiness, but the hops are straightforward. Can't wait to taste.

T: Wow wonderful fall brew. I am not typically a big fan of fall brews, but this one is done right. Surprisingly the malt is up front here where it needs to be. Nice toasty, biscuity malt right at the start. It doesn’t hang around long though before being overtaken by the hops. Nice light citrus and hay hops. Very nice! One of the most complex fall brews I have ever consumed.

M: Light and Sparkling just like you would expect it to be.

D: Yeah, it was a 12 ouncer, but they could bottle this one by the bomber.

Overall: I am sooo impressed with Southern Tier. I was introduced to them thru the Jah-Va which I adored. I told my boy BeerTruth to send me more, and send more he did. He went out of his way to put together a great package of ST brews. I have had several already and have a few to go. All of which have been wonderful. He is in search of a few more for me, once those babies have been shipped I will feel as though I have taken the tour of the best ST has to offer, and believe me I am very impressed.

Bravo ST, for going above and beyond what you would expect a beer to be.

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Photo of edchicma
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must admit..I found this in my fridge and it had been there awhile. I guessed that because it was refrigerated, I would give it a try. It poured a dark lemon with a small head. The smell was a burst of citrus hops, with a faint malt undertone. Taste was more that of an IPA with a very strong citrus hop presence with a decnt enough malt backbone. Mouthfeel was medium with a nice bitter aftertaste from the hops. OK on drinkability but a couple would be my max.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not normally a fan of Autumn seasonals, but I'm not really sure if this would fall into that category. Harvest Ale pours a rich copper color with a pale white head that dies down within minutes. Smell is zesty/citrusy/piney all together with a mild hop taste with a malted barley background that balances well. Very drinkable brew and probably one of my favorite "Autumn Seasonals".

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Photo of EPICAC
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really felt like a beer after getting home from lab tonight. It came in the same mixed six-pack that I got Phin & Matts Extraordinary Ale in. I let it warm to around 40º F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: This looks very similar to Phin and Matt's Extraordinary Ale. It pours a lightly hazy golden-copper that's perhaps a shade lighter. The off-white head is thick and frothy and fades to a sudsy layer leaving patches of lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is much stronger than Phin and Matt's. There are light citrus and fruit aromas along with a sweet maltiness that hit the nose before the hop aroma that is resiny and grassy.

Taste: Sweet malts upfront that become toasty with a lingering residual sweetness that lasts through to the finish. A strong hop bitterness appears in the finish, it's citrusy and grassy with a little bit of resiny character. The aftertaste is a nice lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a slick oiliness.

Drinkability: Tasty, hoppy and well-balanced.

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Photo of mcallister
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I initially was going to give this brew a 3 for appearance but after letting the head settle and the teriffic lace that was left behind; it was deserving of a 3.5. It pours what looked like my urine this morning after a night of margaritas. Yellow and clear. Head is a brilliant white with again great thick sticky lace holding retention second to none.

Hints of lemon, pale malt, slight floral hop, and a tad of cotton candy bubble gum.

Basically the same flavors as are aromas. The lemon is has more of a fresh zest quality, hops aren't overwhelming but blend with the malt without a hitch. Fruity finish and light mouthfeel with good carbonation make this a session beer worth sessioning.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

well, this is certainly a southern tier beer.

it pours a cascading color wheel from light straw to vibrant orange, and is a joyous rainbow to behold in my imperial pint glass. the head is seriously sticky, and the lacing is a webby, dotted mess all over the glass. the beer certainly appeals to the visual senses.

this beer has the typical ST one-note aromatic citrus bomb. almost like smelling a glass of sunny delight... although here i can actually detect the possibility of fresh hop usage due to a slight bitter twang of green, green botanicals.. fresh-picked vines and all. slightly vegetal even, and a strange salty aroma wafts with warmth. like the ocean. weird.

tastes alright though, despite a slightly metallic finish. fruity hops like sugar-doused grapefruit, some tangerine sorbet and resinous sweetness in the final moments pre-swallow. the malt aspect here is somewhat veiled, but the body holds up well enough to the extreme lupulin content. it's both airy and light without feeling too fizzy. the mouthfeel presents a bitter tinge in the end which is really not too distracting.. just perfect.

there are some things here that could use improvement, and i would prefer that this beer be a bit more subtle and fresher than their p&m and ipa, but its a bit too similar for me to absolutely LOVE. the real achievement here is the way they've balanced that trademark ST hoppiness with a smooth texture.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid it a nice bright orangish amber with nice carbonation. The head is 2 fingers white and leaves nice lace.

The smell is nice but common to pale ales. Nothing more notable then a woodsy pine taste.

The taste follows fresh pine taste, caramel note and a nice hopy bitter finish. Very nice and pleasantly refreshing.

The mouthfeel is good a nice medium body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is good but nothing about this beer was notable other then it is an easy drink, good tasting and with out notable defects.

Prosit MK

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Photo of bjohnson
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very clear amber straw like color with an initial frothy half finger white head. Dissipates quickly leaving a film on top. Frost-like lace left on the glass.
S: Citrus and floral hops, mostly orange peel, lemon zest, and grapefruit. Grassyness in the hops also.
T/M: Decent jolt of grapefruit and orange peel flavored hops right from the outset. Mild malt notes fall in behind but only support the hop flavors. Strong bitterness strikes the tastebuds and lingers in the aftertaste. Leafy hop notes sting the tongue. Nutty malt with a slightly buttery mouthfeel. Nice dry finish leaves the tongue parched. Very smooth and thirst quenching. Lightish body
D: Another winner from Southern Tier—seemed bitterer than the IPA—must be those fresh harvested hops. I’d purchase this again if I saw it at the store. Great example of a hopped up pale ale.

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Photo of Viggo
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden, small off white head forms, goes pretty quick but leaves some lacing on the glass. Smell is apples and pears, some pine, spices, alcohol, little bit of caramel. Taste is sweet, almost cidery, caramel and pine, some funk, strange. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, has a little bit of warmth to it. Very odd, wasn't quite sure what to think. Thanks for sharing biegaman!

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served from a 12oz brown bottle twist-off cap into a pint glass.

Clear deep golden color,1" thick head,retentive, lacing the glass.
Hop assertive nose citrus rinds,grassy a bit spicy,the malteness is hidden by the hop aroma, just a sweet caramel aroma present.
Strong hop flavors, very citrusy,grassy, grapefruity.A very sugary carmell taste.Finishes with a sharp citrusy bitterness,followed by a pleasing spicy feel.
The mouthfeel was light to medium a bit cloying, prickley on the tounge, yet a very smooth feel to it also.
Refreshing,mouthwatering,very drinkable,could drink this beer all night.
A session hop lovers beer,hop sensations of an IPA.
Will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of johnniemarg
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a straw color with a 1-finger offwhite head and streams of visible carbonation.

Smells of tons of hops. Flowery, grassy hops, maybe some pine. Just a hint of malt sweetness.

Taste is basically in line with the smell. A touch of sweetness on the tip of the tongue is followed by a huge flowery hop kick through the middle and long, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is slcik and on the lighter side.

This is a decent beer. The one thing I don't like about it is the long bitter finish, which doesn't bring along the fresh, flowery hop flavor- It just carries the bitterness.

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Photo of tempest
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is all hops, all the time. Its light-gold color looks almost macro-like and while there isnt much head, there is some lacing. Strong earthy and floral aroma that matches the taste. Not too much bitterness in the bite, but enough for a dry, grassy finish. Reminds me a bit of a lighter Hazed and Infuzed with a different hop profile. Not a heavy beer, but all the hops kind of get to you. The easiest way to describe this beer is as "hop-juice."

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this one up at a Southern Tier tasting that I attended last night, courtesy of Mike & Co. over at Nikki's Liquors in N. Providence.

It pours a nice, clear, pale golden color with a great off-white creamy head that tends to linger around, decorating the glass with lacing as the beer dwindles down to nothing. Aroma is of fresh, citrusy, fruity hops...smells VERY clean. Taste is more hops. The flavor, however, is more piney than citrusy/fruity as the smell indicates. Very light malts, but the hops take center stage bigtime, along with a grainy flavor. Very much like an easy drinking IPA. I could easily imagine myself enjoying this beer all weekend out in the hot New England summer weather. Very crisp, nice bite, and ends pretty dry but not too astringent. Drinkable? Abso-frickin-lutely...A fine fine example of an APA.

Southern Tier continues to impress.

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Photo of javenbohall
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very interesting beer. On first glance, it looks no different than most mainstream, boring offerings. Pours light, almost no head, seems like there's not much to it. At first sniff, it almost seems like it might be a bit skunked. Fellow Advocate williamherbert, whom I greatly respect, recommended it with some reservation. I've worked my way (with some help) through two six packs now, and I only realized how much I enjoyed it when I was craving hops and was overjoyed to find this among the choices available. A very different pale that works for me. In between a pale and an IPA, with a very dry, almost grassy finish.

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Photo of drugsbunny
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is great finding these seasonal beers in your local store. You know you are getting a fresh beer, and with the harvest type ales, that is paramount. The beer poured with a full head, more than most APAs. Lighter in color than the typical pale ale. It was hoppy in aroma, but subtle. The taste was full flavored hops. A stong pine taste dominated the hop flavor profile, with fruity hints. The malt presence was stong with a slight nutty taste. A great tasting beer that was easy to drink, with its mellower APA hop character, rather than an overwhelming hoppy IPA. But as a harvest ale... it had plenty of hops. A must buy when you see it available.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.