Harvey's Christmas Ale | Harvey & Son Ltd.

Harvey's Christmas AleHarvey's Christmas Ale
BA SCORE
3.8/5
199 Ratings
Harvey's Christmas AleHarvey's Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd.
England, United Kingdom
harveys.org.uk

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A traditional barley wine. The biscuit malt and vinous fruit palate is balanced by a strong hop bitterness. It is warming and reflects the spirit of Christmas. Recipient of Finland’s Olutseura Olviretki award for ‘excellently’ fulfilling “The Christmas Beer Regulation” described in Aleksis Kivi’s novel ‘Seven Brothers’.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#16,025
Reviews:
165
Ratings:
199
pDev:
15.53%
Bros Score:
4.47
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
5
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 199 |  Reviews: 165
Photo of Korbynlehr
1.39/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

HORRIBLE

8 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Brilliant chestnut under a very thin white film of foam. S: An array of dark dried fruit and spice. T: Yeast esters, dark dried fruit, fig, and big malt flavors. F: Chewy and low carbonation.

 194 characters

Photo of sgregory
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 275ml bottle with a BB of May 2015. ABV is stated as 7.5%. Purchased a little while back from the Harvey's brewery shop. Bring on the Christmas!

A: Poured into a cervoise. A clear coppery-brown hue with medium carbonation. Yields a small head of frothy beige foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding and disappearing.

S: Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of prunes, dried fruit, port/sherry, fruitcake, caramel, mild brown sugar, yeast esters, faint stewed leaves and just a twinge of sourness in the background. Not particularly assertive but pretty good.

T: Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with a lingering yeasty finish. Notes of prunes, dried fruit, port/sherry, caramel, brown sugar, mild toasted grain, fruity yeast esters, stewed leaves and a touch of cardboard. Possesses a subtle vinous quality that adds depth, along with a hint of booze. Quite sweet, followed by a leafy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and decent body for the style. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of sweet, fruity malt, twiggy bitterness and stewed leaves/cardboard.

O: OK if not outstanding. Looks a tad lacklustre, while the aroma and flavour supply a reasonably interesting blend of rich, fruity malt notes and yeast esters. Sweet and slightly vinous, though the bitterness jars a little. Body is alright. Decent but not the greatest Xmas brew ever. Try it if you stumble across it.

 1,457 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a clear dark copper with a tiny head of foam that shrinks quickly to just a ring around the glass.

The smell is malty, sweet like Port, with a slight bitter note or two.

Yummy the taste is.Besides the Port like character, which I almost always dig, I get some nice nutty tones and more than a bit of bitterness.

Medium body goes well with the light carbonation.

A real treat of a beer for me and my palate.

 426 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.46/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Premiere Gourmet, December 2014. Poured cool into a St Bernardus chalice.

Look: Sharp and clear dark amber with a Tawny Port hue. Minimal head disappears quickly. No lacing.

Smell: winey over some thinnish toasted malt. More complex than that but I can't define it.

Taste: rich nutty malt is overlaid with young raisins and toffee.Dark fruit finish.

Feel: clean and soft, minimal carbonation.

Overall: The sum is greater than its' parts. Barleywinish. Very good.

 480 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of seedyone
4.75/5  rDev +25%

01/11/14 From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Smooth, rich, prunes, thick. Not sweet nor too hoppy or dry. Lovely perfume for an aroma. 8% and you'd never know it. Liked this a lot but can get pricey. Reminds me of a very good sherry or light port. Not meaning to sound gauche, but did I mention rich?

 298 characters

Photo of irishpride
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of NilocRellim
2.82/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle.

The beer poured with very little carbonation.

It was hazy and auburn in colour.

The beer smelled strongly of figs and spices.

The taste was like drinking alcoholic raisin/prune juice with a few spices. It was also a bit slimy on the tongue.

Would I buy it again? No. I just do not care for those types of flavours.

 343 characters

Photo of kaufmaal
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one sloshed out of the bottle, virtually no carbonation other than some off-white bubbles around the edges. Undated bottle, so perhaps an old one. It has the color of iced tea. Smells like Coca-Cola: sweet, some ripened fruit, raisins, vanilla. The taste is a real let-down: sweet, a bit malty, some more vanilla. The alcohol is well hidden, but it tastes like flat coke mixed with some orange soda. I'm willing to try it again as this may be an old bottle.

 462 characters

Photo of BraveUlysses
2.35/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Truly a let down. After seeing the high reviews on BA, I had very high expectations for this brew. It poured with little to no head (maybe due to a bad pour) and the color was fine, but nothing particularly appealing. I drank this out of a Perfect Pint glass, but didn't really experience much nose on the beer after pouring (related to my imperfect pour, perhaps?) But the taste was the biggest disappointment - I can only compare it to flat soda. Sweet, with little carbonation and just a mediocre sugary taste. Couldn't even finish it.

 538 characters

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy ice tea brown color; the head is a mass of large bubbles that quickly fade away, leaving a salting of lace on the tulip glass

Smell: Burnt brown sugar, leather, cream sherry and a hint of soy

Taste: Soy sauce infused toffee, on the front end, with leather and caramel apple flavors in the mid-palate; the finish is somewhat boozy, with cream sherry notes; a touch of lactic sourness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation; a bit of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Though I bought this bottle the other day, I have no idea how old it was; given the price mark-down, I am sure it was not this year's edition and it may not have been last year's either; as I look through the previous reviews there is a distinct downward trend and reduced number of reviews over the last few years so it would not surprise me if this beer hasn't been imported for a while; trying to account for all this, I find that there are some pleasing aspects to the beer but the soy sauce, in particular, really detracts from the overall enjoyment

 1,076 characters

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of matjack85
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Body is dark reddish brown, head dissipates rapidly.

Smells malty sweet, raisins and honey, a little fresh tobacco.

Tastes very malty sweet, with notes of raisins, prunes, and other dark fruit, a little coffee. Has a slightly bitter finish.

Body is medium and carbonation is low, not quite flat but close.

This is a winter warmer that is very malty, fruity, and pretty sweet, but not very spicy. It is just OK and lacks complexity. It doesn't hold my interest and I would not have another glass of this.

 511 characters

Photo of brez8791
1.5/5  rDev -60.5%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 1/2010 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a somewhat cloudy dark, ruddy brown amber. Very slight head formation on pouring that disappears quickly, little carbonation. Aroma of dark fruit and sweet malt. Flavor is moderate dark and dried fruit and sweet malt with light holiday spicing. Medium body. Pleasant, but nothing to bring me back next year. Kind of wanted to like this a bit more. No date on the bottle, from the source, it could have been an older bottle.

 493 characters

Harvey's Christmas Ale from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 199 ratings
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