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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 CloudStrife
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. DOB 7/16/13.

A: Pours a clear copper amber with an average white head. Not a lot of visible carbonation. Leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Hoppiness is the first thing I notice as it has a nice piney aroma. Earthy quality as well. Malts come through to add a touch of carmel sweetness.

T: Starts off with a nice hop bitterness, then transitions into a medium malt body that is again overtaken by the bitter. Lingers in the aftertaste with hops and sweet malts. The hop is fairly high for the style but just barely overpowers the malts.

M: Somewhat low carbonation, resinous mouthfeel that is a bit sticky upon finish. Warming quality to it.

Overall quite an extreme ESB that lingers in IPA territory. I'm a hophead so thats no issue for me.

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Photo of kimbo33
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite southern tier offerings. Whenever this is on tap somewhere that I am, I am getting it. Perfect malty flavor you would expect in a harvest beer. Nice bitterness for the style, comes across very nicely and not overpowering. The malt flavor is what keeps me coming back...nice and roasty, but not smokey.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of 57md
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper in color with a nice hoppy nose. The flavor profile and body are a bit thin, however.

This is very sessionable but the key to an ESB for me is the mutual co-existence between the malt and hop flavors. There is not enough of a malt backbone here to make me happy.

Update September 2015: I'm not sure if ST tweaked this recipe in recent years but it is much more full-flavored now with a body worthy of a high-end ESB.

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Photo of UnderPressure
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden copper colored beer. Decent he's retention.

Strong citrusy hop aroma. Very striking and surprising. Some roasted malt aroma.

Very citrusy, Very tea-like flavor. Very different than I thought it would be.

Light to medium bodied mouthfeel with a very dry, bitter finish.

Overall, a very odd beer for me. Not sure really what style to compare it to. There is a lot going on. Very complex beer.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on date reads 07/31/2012. Poured into a Boulevard tulip glass.

A - Pours a coppery orange color with a fair amount of bubbles and a nice one finger of white foam head. Some nice lacing on the glass on the way down.

S - Smells like what I'd imagine a hopped up spiced pumpkin beer might smell like. Some pine hops. Dry malts. Vague fresh cinnamon. Some gourd. Some other kind of spice which I'm not sure about.

T - Nice hop bitterness in the foreground, with a dry malty finish. Green apples. Maybe some pear. Nicely balanced, but I was hoping for a little bit stronger of a hop bite. With 4 hops and 2 malts (as the bottle says) I still feel this beer is more forward on the malts.

M - Mouth feel is good, the beer is very dry though which isn't my favorite. Not resinous, but still sticky and bitter tasting hops lingering around.

Overall, a decent beer from Southern Tier. They usually don't disappoint, and this was above what I was expecting for sure. Got this 6 pack from my local beer store for $2.99 also, so I don't really see how you could go wrong with that deal.

Southern Tier Harvest Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of caulfield
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- golden
Smell-floral hops, a small tiny bit of pine, an earthiness
Taste- A nice blend of hops with malts. There a slight caramel taste.
Mouthfeel- true to style, a nice bite
Overall- A great ESB which will please hopheads, but is balanced an smooth. A well blended beer. I'd pick it up again.

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Photo of SerialHiker
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden brown to medium copper, very little action on the inside…light tanned head formed, but quickly dissipated…(2.75/5)

Smell: Floral hops, bitter tones…grassy malts…smells nice, but sort of narrow in aroma…mild pine somewhere in there…(2.75/5)

Taste: Very malty, balanced and easy to drink…cereal, sweet, citrus and grassy flavors…floral hops balance out the malt beginning and actually linger longer than any other flavor…bitter aftertaste that does last…(3.25/5)

Mouthfeel: Bitter…little carbonation explosion in my mouth…kinda feels like a cheaper beer…a very flavored water (if that makes sense)…bitter aftertaste…(2/5)

Overall: This is a beer I would take to a fire on a cool evening and totally enjoy…the malt and hops balance each other very well creating a flavorful beer without being too robust and only for the microbrew lover…a good tasting, commercial beer…(3/5)

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

Poured this into a standard pint from a 12 oz bottle. This is a review from notes from a few days back.

Appearance: A nice orange ale with an awesome head that lasted a good while and left a nice lacing all along the glass as I drank.

Smell: A kind of musty earthy smell with a floral touch to it. Fairly strong and not offensive.

Taste: Largely floral flavor with pine-y hops and a nice light malt flavor to it. Not actually particularly bitter all things considered.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light actually. Almost too light. Smooth going down with moderate carbonation.

I rather enjoyed this beer, it was surprisingly light (for better or for worse, in this instance I actually preferred it light but I could see it being a put off) and pretty well balanced. This was a presumably slightly older bottle as "Harvest" is pretty out now but it was still good. Was surprised to see that this was an ESB for a Fall seasonal calling itself Harvest. Guess I missed that "Special Ale" above.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A russet orange beer with a murky glow when held to the light. The thin, off white head quickly drops from rocky to creamy while leaving rings of lace on the tulip glass.

Earthy and caramel with tea and a background of toasted white bread. Some floral hops, pineapple and a hint of grapefruit can also be found.

Biscuity up front with pine hop bitterness in the middle, lingering through to the finish. Reminiscent of sun tea and overall earthy with a well-balanced profile.

The alcohol is surprisingly higher than expected in this full-bodied beer with a cottony texture and light carbonation.

An easy drinking beer as a wind-down from a day of work. This one is just right for a cool, wet autumn evening.

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Photo of Robalypse
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque, copper body with a light, wet, bubbly, cream colored head.

Smells very “clean,” almost soapy like Fels-Naptha, with a strong scent of grapefruit, hops, and bit of peach. Powerful and unusual but pleasant.

Light and fresh, mild carbonation.

In line with the smell, there’s a potent taste of wheat and grapefruit up front, strong, quality hops and light malt on the back end. A floral bitterness that lingers a long time after a gulp.

This is definitely a quality beer, but the powerful and distinct flavor is ALMOST too much for my pallet. The flavor doesn’t seem quite in line with what I would expect from the name. Rather than being a fall/seasonal beer, it has more of a spring or summer vibe. It is quite refreshing which would make it a great beer for a warm summer night. That said, I bought a six pack and took weeks to get through it because it just wasn’t something I wanted to taste regularly. Skirts the novelty realm a little too closely to make it something I would want to revisit often, but it is definitely worth picking up a bottle.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass

Appearance- A hazy yellowish red color with a half finger of white head that dissipates to a thin surface layer. A decent amount of carbonation streaming from the bottom to the top.

Smell- A huge wheat malt backbone with that sour Souther Tier hops smell.

Taste- A smoked wheat/corn flavor hits the front of the tounge followed by the tart(grapefruit/pine) dry hop finish. The smokey flavor lingers.

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation that makes it a pretty drinkable mouthfeel.

Overall- The cloying smoke flavor is not for me, but it is an average to above average beer depending on how much you like some smoke in your beer.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/17/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 1-2 finger dense off white head with excellent retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, grapefruit, orange zest, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, floral, grass, and light herbal spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity. Taste of caramel, grapefruit, orange zest, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pine, floral, grass, and herbal spiciness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, citrus, pine, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, floral, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor complexity and balance; with a great malt/hop bitterness balance; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent ESB! Great malt/hop flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to drink for the ABV level. Definitely one of the best ESBs I have had. Highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

i reckon this is far better on tap than in the bottle, but nevertheless, it pours a mostly clear pumpkin ale color with a khaki head thick as hell and about an inch tall. the nose is a little bland, maybe my bottle is a little older than is optimal, but it smells like wheat and pale malt, with fresh hops on the floral side. the flavor is a little sweet, caramely from the malt but still a little bitter and fruity from some generous hop additions. a little light on the carbonation i thought, but with a nice round medium body and a smooth feel from start to finish. this is a highly drinkable fall beer, despite its higer abv, id gladly down a 6er. its somehow filling and refreshing at the same time, everything a fall beer should be, and nothing that it shouldnt. much prefered on tap though.

edit: this ages pretty well, just had a bottle from a year ago, and its a lot more developed, honey notes and still the hops are good. not a bad one to let sit a little while.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a hazy bright copper color with a frothy white head with good retention and a bit of good lace

S- bright citrusy hops combined with a bit of fruitiness, biscuity malt, and a bit of grassy woodsy smell

T- great balance of citrus/floral hops and bready sweet malt, a bit of caramel and sweet fruitiness, finishes somewhat dry with a bit of cracker crispness

M- medium body, low carbonation, slightly creamy finish

O- this one had some great balance and was very drinkable, just solid overall

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Cross between golden and amber colored body with a sticky slightly off-white head. Great retention with a ton of lacing.

S- Nice mix of hops and malt. Actually smells closer to an IPA than a bitter with the hop presence. Malt smells fresh and almost like wheat.

T- Very interesting taste. Almost tastes like a reverse IPA. Big malt presence with a bitter hoppy backbone. The bready malt is the focus with the bitterness in the middle followed by a malty finish. I know ESBs are not supposed to have much of a hop presence, but it sure seems like a lot of bitterness and flavor is coming from the hops.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, very good.

O- No complaints here, this is a good one. Subtle differences make this a distinct ESB for me.

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Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear copper color with a half finger of fluffy off white head that fades away quickly leaving just a ring around the pour.

Smell: The malt is the first thing I notices. Just a bit bready with a hint of caramel. There is a mild but very nice citrus hop component to the smell as well.

Taste: The taste is well balanced as well, just like the smell. The hops are the dominant flavor, but there is plenty of malt to even things out. Citrus peel hops with a bready caramel malt undertone. The finish is bitter from the citrus peel hops.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a lot of fluffy, smooth carbonation and a finish that is quite dry.

Overall: This one is really easy to drink. The balance between the malt and hops is very well done. I'd definitely have more in the future.

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Photo of stxp
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: orangy warm color, good head, lacing- foamy/thin

smell: floral, earthy, a little fuity, wintery/piney

taste: light, sweet in the beginning, smooths out to more or a woodsy floral

mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, a little thick


(bethany's review)

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

Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a hazy orange with a 1.2 inch of white head. Head disappears instantly leaving wisps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is a nice blend of pine and citrus hops with relatively strong caramel malt character. Malt doesn't overtake the nose, stronger than anticipated though.

T: Taste starts with with the caramel malt flavoring with a burst of piney, earthy tones to even out the malt. Malt presence retains through the middle of the beer, mingled with a bit of a fruity flavoring - perhaps pineapple?. Finish finds a good deal of malt presence with a bit of lemon rind citrus notes.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, dry at first, a bit prickly with an oily finish.

O: Goes down easy, tasty, somewhat filling, nice kick, ok representation of style. I could easily enjoy a few pints of this brew.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours a light orange color with an amber tint and a thin, creamy, off-white head.

S: Aroma is of hops and citrus that is blended with a slight caramel sweetness.

T: Pine and citrus dominate that flavor up front followed by traces of honey, cramel malts and finishes with a dry-bread mouth.

M: Sort of an IPA feel, which is unusual for a harvest beer, but since its my first, im cool with that. Mouth is tart, yet sweet.

O: Nice off-twist on a seasonal beer, was expecting this to be a brown ale or pumpkin type, but definitely comes off like an IPA. During a season of pumpkin beers, this fall IPA takes the cake as innovators of its class!

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Photo of MadScientist
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A light golden color with excellent clarity. The head is long lasting, white and very thin.

S: Pine and citrus hops are in the front at a moderate level with a moderate malt aroma that is somewhat caramel and biscuit. There is a light fruity ester and some grassy notes.

T: Moderately strong hops bitterness and moderate hops flavor which is pineapple and citrus. The mat is supportive but not a strong player with moderately-light malt flavors. The balance is bitter and the finish medium-dry with some hops bitterness lingering into the after taste.

M: A crisp, medium-light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: An clearly American take on the ESB while staying fairly true to style. A bit more malt flavor would be needed for the style but I don't care I like it just the way it is.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Girlfriend brought this home to try; split into tulips.

A tarnished gold body with very little white, bubbly head. Not a whole lot of retention or lacing, and somewhat uninteresting. Aroma is of earthen hops (even a few months out), caramel malt, and a hint of allspice. Some other muddled grain and a bit of lemon citrus in there as well. Tastes of lemon, orange, a bit of corriander, caramel, cardamom, allspice, wheat, and some earthen hops. Theres a strange, almost gritty bitterness to it that resembles unintegrated spices more than alpha acids. Mouthfeel is relatively crisp and finishes clean save for some lingering flavors (mostly the cardamom). Overall, a decent beer that's refreshing enough. I'd drink more of it, but wouldn't exactly seek it out.

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

12 oz bottle into SAVOR tulip. DOB 07/31/12.

A: a light orange hue. bright white, very bubbly head. retention is good. spotted lacing.

S: a very floral hop aroma jumps out at me. i think i smell rye. a little fruity. lots going on here.

T: chewy and grainy. a little bit of black pepper. hints of vanilla. a lot of bitterness behind this grain. solid complexity.

M: moderate carbonation on a medium body.

D: diverse flavors and aromas makes this pretty enjoyable. nice to have a fall seasonal that isnt an oktoberfest. the hop presence is significant, as is the malt diversity.

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Photo of magine
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker.

Pours a clear light amber color with an off white head. Head settles to a finger width thick. Layer of lace remains, with minimal patching.

Brew smells of a variety of hops and a biscuity malt backbone. Good nose.

Brew is crisp and has a nice peppery feel up front and finishes slighty bitter. Good hops here; grapefruit, spiciness and barley as well. Good solid rounded mouthfeel. Very nice session brew here. Good umph to it. Lots of english flavor here. Nice hops and a subtle malt noticed.

This is a very good, hoppy, sessionable brew here. A perfect brew to have on a fall evening.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$1.99 for a 12oz bottle @ Bevco. Brewed with "Ale yeast, four varieties of hops, two types of malts" in the ESB style. 6.7% ABV

Pours out to a clear dark golden, forming a mthin white head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation, ~2.3 carbs. The nose is full of fresh american hops...I'm guessing centennial, cascade, with a touch of skunk....Not English style at all...underlying this is some nice fruity yeast esters, a clean fermentation, and some nice malt character. The mouthfeel is bright, with a hoppy acidity, a medium-dense body, and a soft carbonation. The taste opens with the aforementioned citrus hops, followed by the suggestion of orange with a touch of toast and grass, followed by a pleasant well-balanced bitterness and an aftertaste of pineapple and mango from the hops. The bitterness lingers in the aftertaste for quite a while. Peculiar water profile almost has a salty character...not chalky like gypsum, but more like calcium chloride, and the sodium accentuates the sharp hoppiness.

Well, this is a well-brewed beer, but it's not an ESB. It's more like an IPA for all practical purposes. Quite a bit different than what I was expecting. Not good enough for me to buy again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice 12oz bottle poured into 9oz Pilsener glass. Poured a light coppery-amber color with just a thin cap of off-white head that had low retention and lacing.

Noticeable hoppiness hit the nose first, then a nice grainy malt scent wafted in. The hops were also the prominent feature on the tongue, but the malts were there to provide support and balance.

The body was crisp and smooth with the hops lingering on the back for bit. Drinkability was good, you could too easily drink several of these. Overall, a pretty good brew, certainly worth trying if you see it.

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