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Harvest Ale - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

588 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 588
Hads: 1,659
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 20.2%
Wants: 53
Gots: 230 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 588 | Hads: 1,659
Photo of dsa7783
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

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

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).

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of TonyT
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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...

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Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright clear straw gold color with a nice white head and spotty lacing every where down my glass.

S- Some nice hops and a definte pepper spice. Not at all what I was expecting but I like it.

T- Nice and hoppy. A bit of citrus, spice and hops all of which are balanced by some malts.

M- Medium body and good carbonation.

D- A nice hoppy brew and enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of corey0212
4.69/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly-clear golden/yellow color, smallish soapy white head fades out really quickly, leaves a ring of various sized bubbles around the glass, a few patches of lacing. Smell is wayyyy hoppy! Juicy grapefruit on the nose, some pineapple, and a soft doughy sweetness. Very hop-forward taste, but it isn't quite as explosive as the nose would suggest, and that's a good thing. Slight piney taste, and all very expertly balanced with the sweet malt. Medium-bodied, slightly creamy, and a just-right amount of lingering hop bitterness. 5.20 ABV?!! Fantastic drinkability here. I'm picking up a case of this, without a doubt. This is the kind of beer you'd want to drink outside, leaves burning, with the hot and sticky summer just a distant memory. Love this!

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Fairly pale yellow color. Poured with a finger of white head. Spotty lacing. Looks kind of like a macro.

S: Fresh hops. Is this really an ESB? This is almost like an IPA light.The hops smell so good what else do you need.

T: Starts off with a nice mix of hops and grains. The taste really reminds me of brewday and I love that. So I love this. In fact if you homebrew take the taste and smell in the air and this is that beer. Really great. Don't know about ESB though.

M: Medium body. Very crisp.

D: This beer is great. Tons of taste and low ABV. This is the kind of beer I want to have a keg of. Really well done by southern tier. I know they have a reputation for their big beers but this one is worth trying.

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

Hazy deep golden yellow color. The aroma is something I wouldn't normally expect from a beer dubbed "harvest ale"... it is very hop forward. True to style it is not, but I love the nose on this beer. Some mild spice is hidden beneath the hop characteristics. A huge hop pungency hits at the onset of the taste followed by a very smooth malt sweetness across the middle. The hops finish on the tail end with the bitterness. Some good spice characteristics are also mixed subtly throughout. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with an easy drinkability and it feels like it would fill me up after a few of them.

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Photo of UA8
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive decided to review this beer after drinking it straight from the bottle rather than from a glass. The bottle seems to keep the flavors and fragrances of the beer more concentrated for some reason here it very noticeable. although i know this maybe somewhat of a faux pas oh well.

On first consumption out of a glass I found the beer to be a tad overly bitter and lacking in complexity of flavors. After having one from the bottle Im happy to say the beer is quite tasty. it has a real fresh from the fields fall "harvest" taste to it. The flavors that I found most prevalent were citrus followed by some cantaloupe and finishing with a nice bitter hop.

I have to say i really enjoy this beer and would recommend it to others. I would describe it as medium hoped refreshing and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Part of the New Trader BIF. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy, straw, yellow color. A smooth pour increadibly, produced two and half fingers of pure white, frothy head, that hung around forever, and left huge rings of thick lace.

A: Nice grassy hops and earthy malts. Spicey, not as hoppy as I expected, but somewhat balanced.

T: Just a little dissapointing here. Grassy hops at first with a touch of lemon. Than the sweet, earthy malts took over. A little metallic. Finishes bitter and spicy.

M&D: Light body. High amount of carbonation makes for a tingley mouthfeel. 5.2% ABV and the light nature of the beer make for a good drinkability. Overall, I could have a few of these out in the yard, but just ok for the style. Skal.

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Photo of getalife2k5
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

straw colored with a nice think head that just floats on top with ring around the glass that firmly hangs on. smells fruity; apple, pineapple, orange & papaya with a hint of pine. grapefruit citrusy and very smooth. there's some kind of malty sweetness that gives it a nice, well-rounded body. some nice bitterness that lingers momentarily. i've had this on tap and it was much more bitter. surprisingly flavorful and hoppy for the light color. proof that you can't judge a beer by it's appearance.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Miketd. Thanks!
Pours yellowish gold with a lasting white head. Lighter than expected and looks much like a lager. Smell is grassy, earthy hoppiness, and mildly so. Taste is somewhat mild, and not very "green" or spicy like I like fresh hop beers. Melon and tea flavored hops mostly with some earthiness and mild bitterness. A bit watery and muted flavorwise, but this is very drinkable with no offensive qualities. Decent Pale.

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Photo of BBeerL
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden yellow color with average carbonation.

Upfront clean smooth malt. Followed and aggressive bright hop finish

The hops are piney and citrusy, and go very well will the light esb features of this beer. A great beer overall to bad it is a seasonal thing.

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

Nice clear, golden yellow color with a decent stark-white head. Flowery hop aromas and then a floral taste as well. Some maltiness in the back, bitterness, nice beer. I wouldn't have suspected this is an ESB. Thanks to vwcraig for including this on a recent trade.

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

Pale yellow gold body, good clarity, fine carbonation, topped by a level three finger thick slab of off-white micro bubbles. Good lacing.

Assertive but not overpowering aroma of pine and citrus.

Nice solid malt foundation lays across the tongue. Agressive hops quickly converge and seize control. Heavy on pine, juicy citrus there but taking a backseat. Finishes relatively clean for the agressiveness of the hop attack.

Somewhat smooth, somewhat prickly, overall a good mouthfeel. Excellent drinkability.

Bitter yes, though I'm not sure I'd call this an ESB. IPA aspects as well. Possibly akin to Troegs Hopback Amber ? Whatever, ST Harvest Ale made a solid everyday beer for me between the Octoberfests of Sept. and Oct. and Thanksgiving (when SNCA took over).

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Jerc: Poured a deep hazy dirty yellow color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aromas of green hops are dominating with some nice floral notes. Taste is also dominated by some bitter green hops with some floral notes. Body is full with some limited filtration and great carbonation. Very well done for the style and something that I wish was available more readily around me.

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

Anything by Southern Tier that I have not had a chance to try yet is an immediate purchase for me at this point. After being blown away by their imperial series and impressed by everything else (except the raspberry brew), I am all for trying another production.

Pours a crystal clear straw gold with a nice white head that has some staying power. Nose is perfumed floral hops in abundance, but not shoving it all down, errr...up your nose. Flavor has a nice balance to it, though it is a bit hop forward. Mild bitter tone there. More than mild, but not overly pronounced leafy character as well. Feel has a pretty full carbonation to it and a decent liquid body. A definite fall time brew. Even though it is still summer weather, I drink this on and feel like fall is almost on me. Another good one by ST.

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

Poured clear pale gold with a big coarse white head that laced the glass nicely. Aroma is hoppy in a fresh and inviting way. Taste is fresh and invigorating, with just enough hops for me, and a nice bracingly bitter finish.

I have a feeling this one might not age or travel well. But here in Upstate NY it tastes really good.

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

A-nice straw yellow color crystal clear. Stark white head. Struggled to get a i inch head form an aggressive pour. But decent retention

S-citrus hops, tengerine, grapefruit, biscuit malt very nice

T-Very nice bitterness up front. grapefruit and tangerine from the nose. Biscuit malt, a touch of sweetness, like simple syrup. A really nice apa

M-Medium body, great mouth coatingquality. Seems like a,little wheat malt malt ahs added some body here.

D- great I wish I had more

Overall-An apa that drinks like a little America ipa. Fantastic freah hops throughout. Top nothc brew

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow color with a white head. Aromas that are hoppy, with a small grapefruity presence. In the taste, a fresh hop taste, and a nice malty backing. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry, hoppy aftertaste. Nice fresh hop, yet looks like a pilsner. A good crossover from summer to fall.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy gold color, with some orange tint. Rocky white substantial head. Great head retention, and eventually some great patches of lace.

Citrusy and floral hops in the nose, not overwhelming, but present. A bit of a candy smell.

Very pale malt character, followed by a bit of bitter grapefruit, and floral hops. Slight sour flavor is present.

Light body, carbonation seems low. Pretty tame at both ends. Not as juicy as I was expecting. Worth trying.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 6-pack of the 2007 offering purchased at The Village Pump, College Park MD for $8.99

A: A crystal clear yellowish-orange brew that looks fairly light, steady stream of carbonation contributing to a thick, beautiful head that leaves a nice lace as it subsides slowly

S: Hops. This is my first wet hop beer and i think i can tell the difference between a "regular" hop and a wet hopped beer. There's a fairly strong citrus aroma but with a twist - there's some grassy notes in there

T: The balance is in favor of the hops but the grassy characteristics do add to the brew. This is a *very* tasty beer, difficult to put down

M: The carbonation feels good but the stand-out part is the thick, persistent, resiny taste. Thoroughly enjoyable

D: Excellent. I find it difficult to put the glass down. A thirst quencher that doubles up as a sipper, depending on what you are in the mood for.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.89/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got about a finger of bone-white head with low retention from the pour. The color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow. The nose was spicy and citrusy, specifically, cinnamon and orange zest and I was put in mind of potpourri, plus my mouth started watering. The mouthfeel was medium, approaching full and I got a really tangy orange flavor in the mouth. The finish was more piney and lingeringly hoppy. Shazam! Boy, was this a good beer. I really recommend it.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a pleasant surprise! My first experience with Southern Tier is a great one...

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a nonic style glass. Had a slightly hazy, pale yellow color, with a solid two-finger head.

Wow, what a terrific aroma - I'm not that keen on picking up intricate scents in beer, but this one hits you with a wonderfully sweet orange smell, and some cinnamon as well.

The taste then surprised me a little - sweet, juicy grapefruit with just a touch of ripe pineapple, and balanced nicely with a hint of malt.

Mouthfeel was very nice as well, with tight carbonation.

Excellent drinkability - just sharp enough to make this beer refreshing AND fulfilling at the same time. Could easily work through a few of these in a night.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.