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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

1,184 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,184
Reviews: 544
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 32
Gots: 31 | 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: 1,184 | Reviews: 544 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of begforme4484


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coloring is definitely made for autumn. Pours a dead foliage orangeish brown. Decent amount of white head that laces well on the glass.

You instantly smell hops. Bam! Nice earthy smelling hops. Also a bit of sweetness in the smell. Floral aroma. Raisins? Something of that sort.

A great earthy heartiness to this beer. Floral aroma transcends into sweet backbone. Very good harvest ale, nice and hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 23:51:05 | More by begforme4484
Photo of gopens44


4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A relatively demure head developed after pouring this into a pint glass. Head dissipated shortly thereafter, leaving behind faint, gentle lacing and remnants of a creamy head that receded into a thin layer of cream colored roofing. The coppery color was both alluring and comforting.

S - Some hoppiness jumped out and said hello while bringing along it's friend, the fruity smell that carried a special freshness. Couldn't detect too much malt scents, but there was a fine amount nonetheless.

T - Not as bitter as you would imagine from an ESB, probably more in line with a heavier IPA. Don't let that deter you though, as this was a pleasure to drink. In addition to the relaxed hoppy nature of this brew, as with the smell, there was some amount of carmalized malt happening as well. I noticed a completely different taste which I can only describe as pear? Not necessarily heavy in the pear detection, but it's the way I can explain the supporting taste.

M - This one felt pretty carbonated and really light on the tongue.

D - I shall look forward to this release for years to come. Damn nifty, if I do say so myself!

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 12:35:05 | More by gopens44
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden brown color and a mostly clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, hoppy, malty aroma. Different than I expected.

T: Tasted of hops, malt, resin, and possibly a little citrus. Not a classical ESB flavor - more hops than you'd expect - but a nice flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick, oily finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: A solid, drinkable version of an ESB.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 12:09:59 | More by avalon07
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The picture on BA for this beer is different than the bottle I have, which says only "Harvest Special Ale," but that's probably because they changed the label since last year.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice 1 finger ivory head formed, which settled into a nice light froth and some decent lacing on the way down. Golden amber in color with good bubbles, and a slight haze.

Smell is hoppy and bright with some resin notes and a touch of flowers. It smells like a nice IPA.

Earthy flavors of sap and roots work on the palate. This has a nice dry bitterness right off the bat with a copper, metallic finish.

The mouthfeel is substantial enough, if a tad thin, and the hollow feel left in your mouth on the swallow is less than ideal.

This beer is great alternative to the more malty altbiers that are typically offered in the autumn, but one or two should suffice on a nice autumn afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 20:43:25 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of TheHoppiest


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a honey-orange with a white, bubbly fluffy head that reduces unevenly.

Has a fresh citrus smell, floral notes, and mild hops.

Tastes nicely bitter with fresh citrus taste with sweet malt. Crisp and clean tasting, it is an excellent fall session beer.

Mouthfeel is clean and light.

Highly drnikable, one of my favorites thus far this fall.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 22:19:02 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of smcolw


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest head that leaves some ring/spotty lace on the glass; relatively clear with a copper amber color.

Strong hoppy, bitter smell--very floral.

Very good entry as an ESB: Lots of bitterness, good starting malt flavors. Spot on body but with a lower level of a carbonation. Long lasting aftertaste of peppery hop bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 19:12:39 | More by smcolw
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

2.35/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light golden color, with only a small ring of lacing and a small off-white head worth mentioning.
Aromas are lacking indeed; a faint amount of fresh hops with a hint of light, breaded malt. Left me flat and not expecting much for the taste
Flavor consists of a lightly toasted malt and a light floral hop with a fairly bitter finish. Followed the nose as I feared; quite a let down as I expect greatness from ST, maybe too high of expectations on my part. There is also a bit of tangy in the mouth. Smooth but forgettable.
As mentioned several times above, very light in its characteristics. Certainly more could have been done with this recipe. An unfortunately average offering from an otherwise excellent brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 13:01:19 | More by claspada
Photo of CHADMC3


3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper body with a charitable off white head that leaves random lacing around the glass.

Hop aromas waft from the glass including floral and pine or grass. There is just a touch of malt, mainly bread-like.

Floral and woody hop aroma flavors with a decent malt touch, more biscuit than sweet, but it's always back to the IPA like hops in this beer.

This brew has a very unique mouthfeel. I would describe both the body and carbonation as medium, but it starts with a nice hop bite, but ends almost creamy.

Great beer to drink, very pleasant flavors, nice body and just all around enjoyable. Tough to judge in the ESB category, but great in general.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 03:01:55 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of zeff80


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a two-finger, head of khaki colored foam. It was very bubbly and left some nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled very floral. There were some mild caramel aromas, but not much else.

T - Interesting flavor. Starts like an IPA and ends like an ESB. Good burnt toast maltiness with a caramel kick. It had a bitter hop bite with a citrusy flavor.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A medium bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is an interesting brew. Again, it tastes like an IPA but by the end it tastes like an ESB.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 01:40:18 | More by zeff80
Photo of vtfan77


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear gold with a nice white head that sticks around for quite some time.

S- Soft strawberry aroma with a sharp, citrusy edge. Some grassy and herbal smells also with just a hint of biscuity malt. Very nice and extremely appetizing.

T- Hops hit right away with an earthy, herbal edge, followed by a subtle berry fruitiness. The malt is relegated to a background flavor, but it's a pleasant, cracker-like background. The bitterness level is rather low considering the amount of hop flavor.

M- Smooth and almost creamy with soft carbonation. Medium body. Given how smooth this is out of the bottle, I'd love to try it on cask.

D- The alcohol level limits this a bit, but otherwise, it's quite good. I'd have another.

This is a very good beer and a great effort by Southern Tier. I don't really know anything about this beer, I just saw it at Total Wine and figured I'd pick it up. It's extremely flavorful and a nice showcase for some tasty hops. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 02:14:56 | More by vtfan77
Photo of Spider889


4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, I had just finished my first Pumking and seeing as how my palate has been blown away with flavor, I wasn't expecting much out of this seemingly innocent and ordinary-looking "harvest ale." To be honest I was expecting a bland Oktoberfest style if anything.

I was wrong!

Poured golden straw yellow with a pillowy white head.

The smell was fantastic! ESB? autumn seasonal "harvest" ale? Whatever you want to call it doesn't come close to what this smelled like: a Belgian IPA. Hoppy as hell. Full of soapy farmhouse funkiness. Bitter, sweet, funky... a recipe for delicious.

Taste is of Belgian yeast, lots of juicy sweet hops and plenty of bitterness. Very floral and mildly dry.

There is a sweetness to the alcohol, and a very mild warmth from it. The finish is sweet, almost of jasmine.

Overall a delicious surprise from an otherwise dull and uninviting style. ST - yet another great brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 07:27:21 | More by Spider889
Photo of THORN


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into pint glass. Served around 45 f.
A: Hazel brown with random CO2 bubbles releasing from bottom of pint. Thin splotchy white head retained. Leaves splotchy lace around pint.
S: Lemon peel and nutty malts.
T: Bright citrus hops, nutty malts, and sweet bitter linger.
M: Medium to medium light on tongue.
D: Good flavor with no alcohol noticeable. Pretty light on tongue, but refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 02:31:47 | More by THORN
Photo of glid02


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with huge amounts of citrus hop aromas. Also present are solid amounts of floral and earthy notes from the hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light pale malt flavors kick things off and are quickly joined by large amounts of citrus and earthy hop flavors. The hop flavors fade out just a bit midway through the sip allowing the malt flavors to gain more purchase, then carrying through to a moderately bitter finish. The hops have a robust "wet" flavor and there is very little dryness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was impressed with this beer and this leads me to believe the bottle I had earlier was not all that fresh or the batch variations are quite large. Either way, this is definitely worth a shot if you see it on-tap or in the bottle near the release date, a very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2010 01:35:40 | More by glid02
Photo of droomyster


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a small head that smells quite hoppy. Zesty aromas are stronger than the toasty malt aromas, but the taste is more balanced. Citrusy and earthy hops dominate the front palate and finish, but toasty and lightly sweet malts shine through on the middle and make the overall experience much rounder. A pleasantly bold seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 01:02:19 | More by droomyster
Photo of drinkiusmaximus

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a fingers width head.

smells of peppery/spicy hops with just a hint of citrous and some malts subdued by the spiciness.

sweet malts with a smooth peppery hop kick.

mouth feel is light to medium.

Drinkability is great, as we round into fall and things are starting to cool i can imagine myself with a few of these to chase the fall chill away.


Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 04:58:25 | More by drinkiusmaximus
Photo of NCSUdo


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Clear copper body under a medium sized white head. Not a lot of lace, good retention.

S: Good dose of pine hops and some caramel malt. Aroma leans towards the hops but overall good balance.

T: Some toasted malt, caramel and then the pine hops. Bitterness is medium, not too heavy. Again, pretty good balance.

M/D: Carbonation is slightly prickly, medium bodied. Drinkability is very good. A very balanced beer, very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 23:42:57 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of Tone


3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, hops, and a hint of spice. Fits the style of an Extra Special / Strong Bitter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of floral hops, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight yeast, and a hint of spice. Overall, decent aroma, body, and blend.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 14:14:38 | More by Tone
Photo of Docer


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a couple of 12oz. bottles to try at the beermongers...

- Dark clear... crystal clear copper... light colored white head... quickly only leaves a ring... light dusting around the basis.

- Bitter hops up front... tea-like qualities... caramel malt, and a wet-hop-like aroma and pine presence... interesting and subtle. I am thinking this brew is burying the scents...

- Wow... great caramel malt backbone... simple malting.. light wheat, tea.... hops galore.. fresh green pine and floral hops... very well balanced and hop forward brew.

- Med. to light bodied... slightly drying, and a tad chewy..

- Overall this is a killer brew... a fresh hop brew? Or just a killer amber with some bad ass hops? I don't know... but it is full of hop flavors... and I like them.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 02:09:37 | More by Docer
Photo of GRPunk


4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a nonic pint

A- A moderate pour left a 1-finger, khaki head that drops fairly quickly to a full film. Light carbonation shows through a clean, copper body. Good sticky spots create a nice web.

S- Really nice. Initially, grassy/herbal hops outweigh sweet, caramel malt just a touch. Something says "fresh." Sweetness is upped with a little warmth.

T- Much as the aroma would suggest. Very refreshing at first. Initial jolt of grassy hops are followed by caramel-like malts that edge toward roasted grain. Seems like it's ready to finish slightly sweet before the hops rebound to clean things up.

M- Moderate carbonation paired with significant hopping provides a solid bite. Hops dry the finish.

D- It's a really good drinker. Refreshing, yet full flavored. It's well balanced and makes for a very solid, early fall beer. Fresh, hoppy qualities really say "harvest beer" to me.

Edit: I just came across some notes from a previous tasting (likely last fall), and had very similar comments. However my scores were a little lower A-3-3.5, S-4, T-3.5, M-3.5, D-3.5-4

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 18:47:54 | More by GRPunk
Photo of HitokiriNate85


4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Somewhere between gold and orange in color. Great clarity with just a few bubbles drifting here and there. Thick, creamy white head that looks to be sticking to the glass immediately. Leaves behind rings of lace so thick it's practically a wall.

S - Orange citrus, earthy/woody notes against a grainy, bready malt background. It's hard to keep my nose out of the glass.

T - It's something you can see coming when the smell is so clean and inviting. It would be difficult for the taste to be any more similar to the aroma. Light grainy notes and some bready sweetness mixed with earthy/spicy and orange hop notes. It's a short description, but this is what it is. Really, really tasty. Moderate bitterness that lingers without overwhelming.

MF - Medium bodied and finishes on the dry side. Leaves a light coating in the mouth.

D - 6.4% isn't all that high, but I wouldn't have guessed it. I would love to have this beer around all the time. Easy drinking and flat out delicious. My favorite beer from Southern Tier. If you can find this while it's in season, don't pass it up.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 00:00:54 | More by HitokiriNate85
Photo of ksimons

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-poured into a chalice, is a clear golden orange with a thin layer of lacing around the top

S-a pine hop smell with a bit of malts and spice

T-taste starts off pretty bitter and then sort of mellows out due to the malts.

M-light refreshing body, moderate carbonation, with a smooth dry finish

D-I can see this being very drinkable, not my favorite style, but not bad either

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 21:35:56 | More by ksimons
Photo of r0nyn

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with fellow BA infi. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is pale, really transparent orange. I can watch TV through this brew, it's that clear. There's a moderate sized head that quickly dissipates and leaves flecks of slippery lacing. Not too many bubbles can be seen. Smell is full of grapefruit and hops, pretty grassy with a lot of citrus. Bit intimidating for someone like me who prefers his beers on the milder side of hoppy.

Bitter and hoptastic opening bite, with the citrus fruitness from the nose. Mellows out quickly into a solid malty backbone that is remarkably pleasing. The finish is full of roasted barley, some yeast and a slight tinge of breadiness. The hoppy bitterness lingers into the aftertaste, but isn't overwhelming. The taste is very well-balanced, which is a pleasant surprise. The brew is medium-bodied and goes down smooth, which adds to the overall enjoyment.

This is surprisingly drinkable, I have to say, even for someone who doesn't particularly care for hops. Thanks to the balanced taste and pleasing mouthfeel, my first ESB experience was an enjoyable one. Might actually have to give some more of these a shot!

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 05:35:28 | More by r0nyn
Photo of infi

New York

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, courtesy of BA r0nyn.

Poured into a nonic pint.

Pour is a dark-golden liquid amber with a sizable foamy white head with little retention and low amounts of lacing. Average at best. Smell is considerably and legitimately hoppy. Nothing else is detectable, regardless of what is written on the label. Can't find any malt or barley presence. Overall, very piney and full of grapefruit citrus character.

Taste is actually very surprising; a complete mind explosion in regards to the smell. Initially, the flavor profile begins with a big bready malt backbone and then transitions into a beautiful barley phase- very grainy and nutty in taste. This all ends on a nice humming bitterness that is calm on the tongue and essentially an afterthought. The whole taste experience took me aback and left me amazed.

Mouthfeel is generously carbonated and light-bodied, with the drinkability being deservingly high. Basically, this beer is not as bitter as one might expect and fulfills the flavor responsibility quite nicely. Bravo Southern Tier!

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 05:34:09 | More by infi
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice straight foreword copper color with a white .5 inch head that recedes quick and leaves some lacing and a nice film.

S - Aroma is delicious of some grassy hops and roses. Slight spices as well as some bready and grainy malt. Aroma is very pleasant and inviting. The nose has some slight grapefruit and pineapple. Love the cascade hops.

T - Taste starts off with a dry hoped grassy flavor. Nice slight citrus notes. Then is quickly mellowed out by a very nice malty flavor with great toasty and fresh baked bread flavors. I would say this is more of an American IPA takes on an ESB because the hops tend to be more prominent but they don't overwhelm or kick you in the teeth like some IPAs do (BTW I love this). This beer is still very solid with some slight caramel that is well off-set by the hops but good enough balance that could be used as a gateway beer. Definitely wish this wasn't a seasonal.

M & D - Nice and light-medium body with a good tasty and spicy mouthfeel that is very appropriate for the season yet not bad for warmer hours of the day. Drinkability is very high. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2010 23:52:29 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of FuzzyGuy84


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange-copper color, a little lighter than a typical Octoberfest style, for comparison. Fluffy head with staying power and serious bubbles. Light in body and nearly translucent.

S - Mid smell overall. Pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg balance with some floral hops.

T - I was expecting more "Harvest" taste from this, whatever that means, but overall it's a pleasant beer. Balanced hops with some roasted malt undertone, it's certainly appropriate for fall weather. Not getting the spices on the tongue that I was able to smell.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 18:22:33 | More by FuzzyGuy84
Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,184 ratings.