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Hale's O'Brien's Harvest Ale - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Not Rated.
Hale's O'Brien's Harvest AleHale's O'Brien's Harvest Ale

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BA SCORE
84
good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hale's Ales has crafted a mighty fine concoction with O'Brien's Harvest Ale. This drink is an all-around charmer, brimming with a robust, full flavor. The appearance is a soft but dark golden-red. The first smell I gather is reminiscent of fruit leather, namely berry. It also has hints of a chypre note as well as a floral dimension...very different and very pleasant. There is a medium bitterness level that works in tandem with the overall flavor and maltiness of the beer itself. The finish is fairly smooth and the general composition lingers in the palate for a while...making it a great drink for slow sipping.


This beer is a great compliment for a dinner of roasted poultry/game of any sorts and root veggies...a great autumn feast. (I'm having a stew of lentils and garlic chicken made with wild rice, cream, dark rum and carrots. I've also used various herbs in this recipes, primarily sage and oregano.) I cannot see why one couldn't have a properly grilled steak with this either. Vegetarians might fancy a sauteed potato and leek medley and served over a bed rice.


All and all, O'Brien's Harvest Ale is a good bet, hands down. If you could bottle the essence of the Pacific Northwest, this is what it would taste like.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Clear orange in color with a tint of brown and a beautiful, frothing head that went down slowly and laced my Ruination glass.

Smell – Light but appealing aroma of floral hops and a sweet malt base. The malt smells like it has some caramel to it.

Taste – Yes, the sweetness of the malt comes out more in the taste. The caramel is very light and covered by mostly refined sugar and maybe some maple. The floral hops are a bit stronger, though, keeping this one true to the style.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied and very dry. This one has a touch of bitterness to it as well.

Drinkability – This one went down well enough. I thought it was a little boring but there’s really nothing wrong with it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whoa, if that ain't the brownest, darkest harvest ale I've ever come across. Seriously, looks like a brown ale or a porter. Further surprising me, that this is classified as an apa. . . nothing pale about this one. Aroma actually was some peat and cocao just as much as hop bitterness.

A decent amount of hops here, as far as wet or fresh hops go, this one doesn't really have much of a green hoppy vibe going for it, but that could be substantially covered up by the generous amount of brown and/or chocolate malt, not to mention the toffee and caramel presence. Really walks the line between a black and brown ale that is on hop roids.

Bits of peat feel, make it further convuluted as like a fresh hop scotch ale. For the a little bit of everything approach, it kinda works, far from a abject failure of a beer, its kind of a off the beaten path type of harvest ale. Worth checking out.

Photo of dsauter
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of richkrull
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of apaltrineri
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber, almost orange-red luminosity. Pale white head from tap, with some distinct lacing.

Smell - Hearty, fruity yeast aroma (melon, kiwi!) with notes of sweet hops. Last smell has earthy finish, with malty aromas and vaguely pumpkin-ish notes. Fantastic!

Taste - This is a seasonal ale with a lot of heart. Plenty of hop freshness balanced well with malt and aforementioned fruity flavors up front. Bitterness comes out at end, with hops and tubers coming out.

Mouthfeel - Plenty light in the mouth, without much effort it finds all the taste buds.

Drinkability - A very tasty amber ale, but the comlex aroma stands out for sure! NOT for autumn consumption only.

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Muddy,opaque burnt peach colored. The quick tan head is runny and short-lived though it leaves steaks of lace.
The nose is both bright and dark. Big amount of pine and grapefruit, with more tropical notions of guava and pineapple teasing out with closer inspection. It's also full of bark, wood chips, and lawn clippings, as well as toasty, almost rum-like brown sugary maltiness. I appreciate the balance, as the fruity and pine traits carry the day, and everything else is there for support or simply background noise.
The malt brings toasted biscuits and toffee, and then jabs towards things more burnt, but doesn't actually connect. Earthy through the middle with various pine tree parts: bark, roots, stems, needles, resin. Bitterness is moderate to high, but it's offset. Some fruitiness shines through (though less than the aroma hints at) with pineapple and grapefruit. It carries a pulpy orange juice bitterness and earthy counterpart long into the finish.
Medium bodied, feeling a touch fuller with its fleecy, thorough carbonation.
The brightness of fresh-hopping is parried by its dirtier characteristics. It's as close to a Brown Ale as it is a Pale. It gets a bit of leeway there, as I'd rate it a 3.75 in taste and mouthfeel, but I can't, so I round up.
I like it still, but probably a tick less then the numbers show.

Photo of ElGordo
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a dark amber hue with some garnet highlights, crowned by a small, creamy white head that quickly recedes to a thin halo. Aroma is mainly sweet, rich malt, with notes of brown sugar and dark fruit (maybe a hint of fig). The palate is a bit more balanced, with a good dose of mildly bitter hops evening out the sweet dose of malt. The finish is again sweet, but with just the slightest hint of black pepper. Body is thin and just a touch creamy, about right on for the style. An interesting take on the harvest ale style for the northwest, as they didn't go for an all-out hop bomb. Still, this is a tasty brew that's a nice change of pace from the usual fall offerings in this part of the world.

Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-hazed copper/brown with a finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, earthy & piney hops

T: Much breadyness, earthy hops & grapefruit & caramel up front. Grainyness, earthy hops & more grapefruit as this warms. Finishes with earthy hops, caramel & breadyness

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, great balance

Great drinkability, this is kind of heavy handed as an APA, but works well as a harvest ale, good pickup from bottletrek!

Photo of DOCRW
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Gobblegon
3.96/5  rDev +7%

Photo of marcobrau
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This appears to be in better shape than the Hale's I previously sampled and has a pleasant citrus/pine aroma. Looks good, too, with a head that falls to a persistent layer of foam and some lace. Pleasant hoppy and fruity flavor mixes with almost too much caramel malt flavor then slides into a fairly assertive bitter finish. Not bad. Definitely an English yeast at work here contributing the fruity flavors. Enjoyed this more than the Red Menace.

Photo of rfreed
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of akorsak
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A stubby 12 oz bottle from Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is much darker than most any pale ale that I've come across. The hue is reddish, cherry wood with a haziness throughout. Two fingers of head are clinging in thick clumps.

S: The aroma doesn't quite match that of a harvest ale, throwing off a lot of syrupy caramel and butter.

T: The caramel and darker malts make their impression from the first sip, imparting a fuller malt sweetness. Behind the sweetness is a level of hops. They aren't strong or lasting, rather they peek up, hit with a minor burst and disappear. More of a brown ale than a pale ale.

M: The mouthfeel is malt-centric, content to let the caramel malts run wild. Hops tend to disappear quickly, if they even show at all.

D: One and done.

Photo of Spikester
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber with one finger head, plenty of lace.

Floral hop aroma.

Rich roasted malts with caramel and some spice. Hops are bold yet are less citrus than most from this area.

The light carbonation leads to an easy drinkability with abv well disguised.

Probably best when fresh. Would like to enjoy this on tap sometime.

Photo of Hopmodium
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of compass40204
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I think Harvest beer, I think of hops. This beer certainly has that in its plan. Fragrant but not flowery. Earthy, slight pine. Head rather thin, but very persistent lacing. Medium to light body. Flavor is nearly all hop. Resiny mouthfeel after the sip. Enjoyable, but not something I crave. But then I'm not a hophead.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.40.... Very much enjoyed from my standard red wine glass. Still listening to John Kelley; High Desert Soundsystem.

Not very pale (not a minus) ... dark amber slowly poured to leave quite a bit of yeast and other stuff in the bottle. Little lite tan head and no lacing.

This is a big nose hoppy brew. Citrus and pine hop aromas with earthy and appropriate garden dirt. Wow... actually very complex for a simple APA. Floral notes mix perfectly with toasty bready malts.

Flavor is the same, but with a bracing/balanced and lingering bitterness.. I am really liking this one. Oily hoppiness sticks to the inside of my mouth. Standard palate for a APA leaning toward a nice creaminess that cleans itself with a nice carbonation.

I have no idea why there are not more people who've rated this .... it is great and it would throwdown with any other PNW fresh hop beer. I still have 1 SN Harvest ale and can get Deschutes Hop Trip ... while I like both, this one would win by a head in a tasting. That being said, I have been thinking; I've really liked all Hale's beers I've had over the years... The Koelsch was a great example, Mongoose is a great PNW IPA, and the RIS was fantastic (I really wish this one was still available in Boise). I've got to give Hales more respect and pick them up more often when I am just looking for a "fridge 6'er".

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium reddish bronze amber with a thin off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Rich aroma of caramel malt, fruity with light citrus and grassy hops. Flavor is caramel malt with light biscuit, citrus and piney hops, light rye flavor and slight sourness; finishes with good piney hop bitterness supported by deep malt with hints of citrus. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Not sure this is properly a pale ale, it is dark and reddish in color, and the heavy malt body and hopping appear to be dead center in the red ale category. I'm reviewing it as a red ale, as that is a closer style to the intent of this ale (sold as a "harvest ale"). Nice rich malt and flavorful hop bill. A pleasant fall ale.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. poured an almost-clear rich and dark amber with orange and yellow highlights and a thin light copper-apricot head that faded fairly quickly leaving spotty lacing. Looked viscous in the pour.

s. hops of the floral and slightly citrus variety, with a definite malt presence. An earthy and woody malt more than a sweet and caramel malt. Aroma was earthy, floral, and green on the whole, nearing vegetables and autumn forest, with some definite strong hop notes. Very nice and pleasantly different.

t. beautiful earthy floral hops. An incredibly complex brew for an amber/pale/whatever category this one falls into. Woody, nutty, crisp, fruity and citrus notes. Very even yet complex. Not overly hop bitter, yet some nice hop flavor... something relatively uncommon on the west coast.

m. smooth and rich. carbonation is spot on, and there's just a subtle slickness that reminds the tongue of the hop characteristics. Fresh and crisp feeling with neither an overwhelming sweet feel or a dominant bitter feel.

d. wow. I'm pretty impressed. Smooth and mellow yet complex and full of flavor, this one definitely hits the spot. One of my favorite fall seasonals. Well balanced with some impressive hop notes, yet a pleasant and earthy malt character. Not a taste-bud obliterator by any means, but a pretty impressive brew with just enough flavor to keep things amply interesting. Definitely going to be buying a few more sixers of this one.

Photo of teamwiggum
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of GABrew
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of warpedrevolution
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jnoelani
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of ScreamForMe
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While not my normal Fall beer of choice, I decided to give it a go a few weeks ago when out in the Ballard area.

The pint glass arrived with a decent smell of hops (something I expected but don't care for).

Amber color with an inch head on it.

Hop to the taste - again expected - but quite drinkable. Not my style but it was a solid brew.

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Hale's O'Brien's Harvest Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.