Holiday Red | John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

10 Ratings
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of smcolw
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep ruby-red amber and crystal clear. Nearly light brown. Moderate bar poured head. Little lace--a couple of small spots.

Malty and dark. Slightly sweet with a brown sugar nose. Light alcohol.

The taste mimics the smell--a bit cloy with a carmelized sugar initial flavor. This lasts through the swallow, which adds a touch of hops. The aftertaste, though, remains thoroughly sweet. There's a hint of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) in the background. The body is rich with a low carbonation.

 505 characters

Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear red-brown color with a finger of frothy white head atop. Fades down fairly slowly with some good lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich slightly toasted caramel malt with a bit of bready malt as well. Some nice holiday spices with some ginger and a touch of Belgian yeast.

T - Starts off with some sweet toasted caramel and bready malt with some light holiday spices. Through the middle, some more ginger, coriander, and orange with Belgian dark fruit yeast flavor coming through. Finish is a mix of fruity Belgian yeast, light spices, and sweet caramel malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a lightly warming dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balance of spices and other flavors with a nice touch added by the Belgian yeast.

 772 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at JH. Pours a clear deep brown/red with a thick, foamy tan head. Aroma of light spices, light fruits, and melon rind. Flavor of bitter melon rind and orange peel initially but becomes more malty as you drink. A nice blend of malt and spices that you do not typically see in a Belgian ale. A tasty, unique beer.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

 337 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very deep amber hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light caramel malt with mild yeast esters and a hint of clove.

The taste consisted of a spicy Belgian yeast, coriander and a bit of orange zest. A medium caramel malt sweetness as well. Generally speaking, weak flavors.

The mouthfeel was on the light side and a bit chalky, with a dry finish.

Overall and easy to drink ale. Needs more body however.

 486 characters

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

This beer poured a wonderful cloudy, dark amber color with a small off-white head. The smell was of sweet malts, and some spices.

This is a very solid beer. There is a nice malt character, with notes of corriander and oranges as well. Hops are at a bare minimum in this brew, but they aren't missed too much. Mouthfeel is clean, medium-bodied. A fairly impressive amber from John Harvard's. Reccomended.

 407 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

any help, not sure if i got the style right. maybe just a Red Ale?

A - this holiday ale arrives a dark red light borwnish color with a flat light tan head, with scant lazy bubbles of carbonation trailing to the surface

S - big malty first, bit not roasted, a nice sweet smell with a fruity undertone, a unplaceable barely discernible fruitiness, maybe cranberry, the whole time lingereing as if floating in space is a llight and faint spiciness

T - one of those beers that mirrors the taste in the aroma, nice warm malts and a spicy kick that reminds you of the month without a calendar, the fruitiness is subdued and still unplaceable but noticeable, and the spiciness has emboldened, maybe ginger?

M&D - smooth and refreshing, a great holiday warmer for these cold New England months, nice and satisfying, i hop they keep this on tap all winter

 858 characters

Photo of stirgy
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as part of a sampler tray at their brewpub. Poured a cherry amber reddish color with a thin head of foam. There’s a decent and steady stream of fine bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. I detect a slight graininess in the aroma and not much else. There’s some malt texture in the body and has a well balanced bitterness from the hops. Not bad, very drinkable and somewhat tasty.

 395 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Springlfield, PA location on 12/14/03. Listed as a Vienna lager; apparently different locations can brew different beers under this 'generic' holiday title.

The pint was served without a head, as were all of the beers I saw served that day. Sometimes a bartender takes it upon him or herself to serve beers this way. Why? I'm not sure. However, I was able to stir up a short lived cap of lightly creamy white froth above its clear amber body once I'd taken a few sips from the glass and had some room to swirl it. It didn't leave any lace, but it kept a thin collar. The nose was clean; distinctly malty and toasty. The body was decidedly medium; and it's fine carbonation left it just lightly crisp in the mouth before becoming somewhat creamy. The flavor offered toasty Vienna malts with just an accent of floral hops; balanced by a firm bitterness. Despite its full maltiness, it finished dry with just some lingering toasty, and even nutty, malt. A well-brewed, clean and full-flavored malty lager that makes an excellent holiday beer.

 1,042 characters

Photo of scottum
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served a red with a short head in Cambridge, MA. Malts are nice, sweet, and smooth. Hops add the necessary balance, but do not hit hard. Not an overly complex beer. This red keeps it simple, perhaps only offset by a touch of tasty yeast and a short sweet spot which is quickly held back. A decent brew.

 302 characters

Holiday Red from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
3.6 out of 5 based on 10 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.