Harveys Elizabethan Ale | Harvey & Son Ltd.

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Harveys Elizabethan AleHarveys Elizabethan Ale
Very Good
166 Ratings
Harveys Elizabethan AleHarveys Elizabethan Ale

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

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 12-31-2001

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 |  Reviews: 128
Reviews by stoutman:
Photo of stoutman
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very nice example of a strong English Ale with outstanding color, aroma, and flavor. Exceptional whiskey flavors are reminicent of a Thomas Hardys Collector Ale and make drinkability factors low. Good for a night cap due to its heaviness your highness ;0).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 1998 pours a deep chesnut brown with a few reddish tints but pretty murky looking,caramelly sweet aroma along with perhaps some dried fruit with a light whisky note,very appetizing.Nice subtle sweetness but not overpowering with some oaky flavors with brown sugar flavor in the finish and aftertaste,the alcohol becomes nice and warming after awhile as well.A nightcap beer for sure very very nice.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The dark brown body looks like sugar syrup. It’s gorgeous and very inviting. The head though was non-existent.

Smell – Strong woody/alcohol notes kick things off here. This is followed by big, dynamic sugars of every kind. There are the overripe fruits such as apricots, dates, cherries, browned (sugared) pears, maybe some green apples, and lots of raisins. Chewing tobacco comes to mind as well. These overripe, darkened fruits are soaked in a bath of brown and white table sugar. There’s some toasted malt in there as well but it’s cowering somewhere towards the bottom of the glass.

Taste – The tartness really comes out in the taste. I’m getting a significant increase in the apple characteristic here. Everything else from the nose finds their way to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Chewy and full in the mouth with a significant alcohol aftertaste. It tastes likes it’s a 10 or 12 ABV instead of the advertised 8.1.

Drinkability – Definitely a winter warmer. This was a nice experience.

Comments – I thought this ale was on the edge of greatness but a few things got in the way. The alcohol flavor was way too much for an 8.1 ABV, and the taste was too tart for my preferences. Otherwise, this was a phenomenal bottle (although a measly 275 ml).

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Photo of sgoodship
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Looked for information on the bottle cap as indicated - nothing there. I'm not alone! Would love to hear the trivia behind this.

A: 275ml bottle. No head to speak of - kinda expected that. Murky, dark chocolate brown. Some lacing and spottiness on the glass.

S: I definitely got the alcohol - Sherry. There is also a strong sweetness like a diacetyl butter scotch. Maybe some licorice, vinegary and some nuttiness. Very complex smell.

T: The strength came through pretty quickly. The taste follows the smell pretty closely which seems impossible but it's not.

M: Nice full bodied drink. Very smooth. Finish is very strong alcohol.

D: I get the feeling that this beer can be polarizing to the BA's who sample it. I personally do not like Sherry, so even though I appreciated what a work of art this brew was, I just couldn't enjoy it like I wanted to.

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Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1999 bottle # 3975.

Appearance: Mildly hazed profound brownish amber thin tan bubbly and patchy lace from a hard pouring, sediment is well compacted and stayed at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: The aroma is of lemon pound cake, alcohol soaked raisins and the maltiness flexes with caramel and again that cake like aroma. As it warms up more there is a mild solvent and woody smell to the brew.

Taste: Full bodied with a smooth and creamy mouth feel off of a light carbonation. A woody flavour wants to be first but everything else crowds in with it. Big cookie maltiness with caramel and honey coming through next. Sweetness is big but the woody and nutty yeast flavour tame it a bit. Alcohol has a big hand in both sides to balance with big fruity esters and a slight spicy undertone. Hops are a faded memory but still seem to put in a touch of bitterness. In the finish there is a good share of residuals but not in an excessive way, the warmth of the alcohol comes through stronger in the finish also but in a balance level with the sweetness.

Notes: This beer is as close as you can get to beer heaven, the beer gods have blessed this brew as well as me for I have partaken of such a special brew. Three years is a nice ripe age for this vintage. I have a few more of the same but feel now is a good time to partake.

1996, bottle # 0298.

Appearance: Slightly hazed deep brownish amber with a creamy yet patchy off white lace from the hard pour, sediment was well compacted and did not get stirred up while decanting.

Smell: Hearty alcoholic fruit aromas, pungent and tropical in smell with a mild tart twang in the nose. Vodka soaked raisins and pineapple can be picked out with an undertone of caramel.

Taste: Exceptional creamy mouth feel with a somewhat heavy syrupy malt palate, carbonation is minimal and adds to the smoothness. Ripe pear fruitiness, hints of pineapple and caramel with a vague hop bitterness and flavour that gives an earthy flavour. Hops have faded significantly though have not degraded and have added to the complexity. Alcohol is deceiving though starts to warm more and more towards the bottom of the glass. Handful of residual sweetness helps the fruitiness linger, husk of the grain and remnants of hop bitterness bring up the slack in the finish.

Notes: Big and chewy, a serious beer for all you beer geeks out there. Fours year later and this brew still has held up very well, oxidation is not noticeable. The time is now, this beer is ripe and ready for full enjoyment!

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Photo of merlin48
2.42/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle cap has three letters which are the key to brewing date, according to the label. No idea how to decipher the code.
Pours a dirty brown body with no head, but a persistent beige film. No lacing at all.
Aroma is malty with toffee, molasses, and rum.
Mouthfeel is very vinous, full bodied, and lacking in carbonation.
Taste features caramel and toffee, and a raw alcohol presence of soured apple cider. Some hop bitterness is apparent, but the raw alcohol is overwhelming and one dimensional.
Must be an inferior bottle, based on the rating. This one is not very drinkable.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1998 vintage. Bottle #1010.

Sadly, with the purging of the beermails within the last few months, I lost the e-mail from the wonderful BA who sent me this beer as part of a trade some time ago. Rest assured, somehow I will thank him.

A: Poured into my Duvel tulip glass (thanks AKSmokedPorter!), H's EA is a mesmerizing blood-tinged deep copper color. Very thick and impressively sticky layer of bone-white lace billowed up on the pour and settled slowly to a respectable finger-thin height, all the while leaving a trail of lace on the glass.

S: Notes of ripened dark fruit, mixed with lots of sweetness. Caramelized sugar and hints of medicinal alcohol. As it warmed, fresh honey shows up.

T: Immediate fresh-from-the-hive honey flavor assaults the palate. Tart apple juice flows in next, mixing with a brown sugar sweetness. Finish sees just the barest hint of warming from the ABV, and the aftertaste is a combination of a drying bitterness mixed with a chco-toffee-covered apple and drizzled with fresh honey. Complex? You betcha. Enjoyable? Umm....yes.

M: I expected a bigger, fuller....more "chewy" mouthfeel from this one. Slightly on the thin side, but still does an impressive job of coating the palate.

D: This was a beer I really savored. It took forever to consume and was an excellent sipping beer. Nothing out-of-whack anywhere and a joy to experience as the flavors change during the tasting profile. A complex tapestry of aromas and flavors that mesh into one unforgettable beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Brilliant copper amber with a thin white wisp of a head.
S: Nutty toast, some sherry, fruit and earthiness.
T: Big caramel treacle flavors blended with nuts and light toast give way to a grapey, sherry finish. Hints of pear and other light fruit, traces iof tropical fruit and a hint of pineapple.
F: a little above medium on the body and below medium on the carbonation.
O: A very well made and easy to drink old ale.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 275ml bottle with a BB of March 2015. ABV is stated as 7.5%. Purchased a while back from the Harvey's shop in Lewes. The label mentions that this was originally brewed for the coronation in 1953 - a barley wine in the style of a 16th century 'October ale'.

A: Poured into a tulip. A deep amber hue with good clarity and medium carbonation. Yields a decent head of frothy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing.

S: Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of raisins, light sherry, a touch of apricot, dried fruit, sugar, subtle caramel, yeast esters and faint stewed leaves. Malt-dominant but quite nice.

T: Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with a mild, lingering finish. Notes of raisins, sherry, dried fruit, sugar, a hint of caramel, yeast esters and faint stewed leaves. Possesses a subtle vinous quality and a twinge of cardboard in the background. Little bitterness to speak of. Pretty sweet, followed by a lengthy fruitiness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and good body. Could be a shade thicker for the style. Mildly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of sweet fruity malt, yeast esters and subtle stewed leaves/cardboard.

O: Pretty good, though lacking in complexity. Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour are very sweet and fruity with a sherry-like character. No hop notes or bitterness. Body is OK but maybe a tad too thin. A nice strong ale but could be more rounded - it verges on cloying. Might also benefit from conditioning with live yeast. That said, it's a beer of character that deserves to be sampled.

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Photo of ADR
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage 1998, bottle # 0508...

Sedimented dark ginger brown, small tannish head settles out in about 40 seconds to a skim, but leaves big drip laces. Nice spicy brandy aroma, deep and complex. Out of the gate, this packs thick mouthfeel and fundemental alcohol. Flavors combine oak smokiness, vanilla sweetness, and a distinct arid stewed prune fruitiness. Bitterness catches up in the swallow as much as the back of the mouth. Whew, big bad beer here, stresses the vanilla extract part of the profile a little too much to my tastes -- but one of these bottles is just the right amount for cool weather sipping.

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Photo of chinchill
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared 20 year old bottle from 1996! (Thanks Dan!)

Clear deep red-brown body.
Excellent sweet bitter balance.
Rich and complex taste. Lasting malty flavor with hints of molasses, toffee, and vanilla.
Very smooth!

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1996 vintage bottle purchased at Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a thin off-white head. The head quickly recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing - I chalk this up to the age on the bottle.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of booze-soaked fruits - apricots and golden raisins mostly. Hints of sherry waft out every now and then and as the beer warms deeper chocolate malt aromas kick in.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of medium fruit flavors. The fruit is leaning more toward darker varieties than the smell, golden raisins and plums with hints of lighter apricots. Midway through the sip a solid booze burn makes an appearance and carries through to a mildly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was impressed with how well this beer held up and would bet that I like it more now than I would have 14 years ago. Worth a shot if you see one around.

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Photo of rastaman
2/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Piddly appearance, no head, very sticky sweet raisiny malt aroma, syrruppy, not very complex, and just way to sweet for me, not really what i was expecting at all, just one dimentionally sweet and sticky.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 1998.
Appearance: Hazy, dark-brown/amber body with ruby highlights. Substantial, frothy, tan head fades to a broken cap with lots of thick, dripping lace.
Smell: Fusel alcohol tends to overwhelm the old schnoz, an oakey smokiness, drunken raisins and prunes.
Taste: Sweet malt with carmelized sugar, dark fruits and sherry at the start. Light and fluffy at the top. Finish dries to semi-dry with some bitterness and leaves with a spicy/woody dried-fruit aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Lighter in the mouth than expected, very smooth and creamy. Appropriately light and fine carbonation. Alcohol well hidden in spite of strong presence in the aroma.
Drinkability: Price makes it a sipper, but lightness makes it quite drinkable. Very similar to their Christmas Ale, but lighter.

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Photo of soper2000
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained via trade with Ngandhi. It pours a deep swampy brown with light cream colored bubbles and froth, no real head here. Smell is intense, upon prying the cap off of the bottle I was instantly reminded of the Sherry cask JW Lee's Harvest ale that I enjoyed a month ago. Warm notes of wood and cinnamon are well balanced with alcohol. This is what the holiday season should smell like. Taste echoes this beers woodiness. A slight smokiness fades into a warm spicy finish. Some chocolate is present as well. Nice. Slighty oily mouthfeel. Pleasurable to sip on.

Bottled in 1998, batch # 1064

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite nice old ale, not too mellow, not too spicy nor too barleywiney. Nice dark colour and malty/spicey aroma. Good late nightcap. Woody, complex with cinammon and ginger, apple, raisin, vanilla, cardammon, starfruit. Sweet spicey dry aftertaste. Modest carbonation.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.96/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Decanted from a 9.3 oz (275 ml) bottle into a conical pint.
A: Pours a clear copper color with little head or lacing.
S: Aromas of cane sugar, caramel, walnut, and maybe chocolate.
T: Tastes of biscuit, caramel, and bourbon. Peppery, but bitterness only evident at end of swallow.
M: Full bodied with gentle effervescence throughout.
O: A really deliciously complex ale experience.

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Photo of tempest
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. No head or lacing. cola brown body. The first thing that comes to mind in the aroma is run and coke. Smells strongly of spiced rum. Taste is surprisingly weak at first but then spicey malt/alcohol flavors come through. No hop pressence, just strangely complex malts (I didn't know beer could be like this). Almost no carbonation, but this makes for an unbelieveably smooth beer, reminds me of cask ale.

This beer didn't register as really good or bad, it was just kind of odd and fun to drink. Worth a try if you don't mind the high price and like rum.

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Photo of grahuba
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DESTRO
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1998 vintage. pours out a hazy deep amber with a small tight creamy head. looking in the bottle you can see lots of goobers stuck to the bottom. the aroma is nice and alcoholic, fruity (raisins, plums, dates and the like) with some toffee and vanilla. taste wise? spicy, sweet and alcoholic. but pleasant all the same. malts and honey, raisins, fruits and alcohol battle it out but none reign supreme. very balanced overall even though big flavors are running all over the place. chewy hearty mouthfeel, smooth and filling. a big beer and a great one to sip on and unwind. a great find.

$2.99 a bottle ( 9oz i believe )

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Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed brown/chestnut with minimal cream colored head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, figs dates, raisins

T: Rich dark fruit, a touch of pears, & woody hops, plus a bit of toffee up front. Some treacle sweetness as this warms, leafy hops, pears & figs. Finishes very dry with woody hops & figs with jammy notes

MF: Zero carbonation & medium bodied, sticky, a little warming

This is good English Old Ale, a proto-type for the style

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Photo of marcobrau
4.66/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The 1998 vintage of this beer pours with no head, just a slight flourish of carbonation and a slightly murky brown color. (Note: a second pour created about a quarter-inch thick layer of foam that slowly settled. This pour also greatly enhanced the mouthfeel.) The first whiff of the aroma smells of marzipan and toffee, along with alcohol-soaked fruit. The taste is full of caramel and toffee notes with a raisiny character, which fades to a more nutty, woody character suggestive of walnuts. This is a very complex beer. I'm surprised by the dryness of the finish, which is also a bit tannic. I love the complexity of this beer. There are more flavors here I can quite isolate, but all of them combined make for a very complex an flavorful beer. The strenght is up there a bit and is noticeable, too. To sum up, this is an outstanding old ale and worth seeking out.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Harveys Elizabethan Ale (2002 Vintage) pours up smoothly with a light carbonation that creates a modest tannish-brown head that proudly tops the ruby-tawny brown body. Lots of tight, lacy bubbles that cling to the sides of the glass. The inviting multi-layered aroma is quite complex with notes of fruitcake, caramel, chestnuts, cherry jam, sourdough bread, oiled leather, oak, vanilla, dry sack sherry, et.al. The flavor starts off with a nice treacle character carried by some dusty maltiness that's underscored by an earthy bitterness. Subtle hints of leaf tobacco, maraschino cherry, figbar, turbinado sugar & molasses keep this one interesting. This medium-bodied old ale has a dry mouthfeel with a touch of astringency. It's lightly warming with a bittersweet, slightly tart finish. Here's to Old Lizzie, may she have a glorious slumber!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of Samp01
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A ruby amber on the pour with a small short lived head. Aroma is very fruity, with a bouquet of dark fruits, plums, dates, some yeast, caramel malt, and sweet alcohol esters are present, almost like a brandy. Taste is caramel malt, yeast, dark fruits, plums, dates and some light bitterness. Palate is a full body with a rich creamy texture and soft carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, dates, plums, maybe some light chocolate notes, ending with some sweet slightly bitterness and a lingering alcohol presence, flavors become more pronounced as it warms up. Overall a good ale to sip on cold winter nights

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Photo of _nickg_
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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Harveys Elizabethan Ale from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 166 ratings