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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) | J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
513 Ratings
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
England, United Kingdom
jwlees.co.uk

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dantes on 05-07-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,746
Reviews:
261
Ratings:
513
pDev:
12.78%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
89
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of artnerd
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of FrankShirley
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of cliff1066
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of fdig23
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tiny bottle.

Appearance: Cloudy copper with a small white head.

Nose: Very apple-y. A combination of mushy rotten apple, apple juice, and candied caramel apple aromas. There's a bready note underneath all the fruit.

Taste: Apple juice, toasted bread, caramel and a bit of caramelized sugar sweetness. The apple flavors make for a funky pairing with the traditional bready malts and caramel of the barleywine. Finishes with a lingering apple flavor and lots of caramel.

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied and decent carbonation.

Overall: A really interesting beer. The Calvados flavor almost makes it feel like some Brett is present thanks to the rotten apple notes it imparts. Glad I tried it but definitely won't pay that much for a tiny bottle again.

 747 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006, Aged 6 years
275ml bottled poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Murky copper with absolutely no head to speak of. Tons of sediment floating around.

Nose
Rum raisin, apple cinnamon, dates, fig, molasses, toffee and caramel. A subtle whiff of vanilla and oak.

Taste
Rum raisin, apple cinnamon and tons of dark fruits ranging from dates, figs and the aforementioned raisin. Loads of molasses. Maple syrup, toffee, caramel candy cubes and tobacco. Slight kiss of oak and vanilla on the finish as well as a touch of old book or musty cellar.

Mouthfeel
Medium-full bodied, syrupy, smooth and warming.

Overall
Incredibly sweet and incredibly smooth. Extremely complex and unique. Absolutely no hint of the 11.5% abv. I will certainly be trying some other barrels.

 772 characters

Photo of redliner8
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of brez8791
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of kawilliams81
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours a dirty, dark caramel with almost no head. Small bubbles form on the edge of the glass.

S- toffee, dark fruits, tobacco, brown sugar, some alcohol.

T- earthy malts, sweet toffee, dark fruits, Worcestershire sauce, and some weird alcohol flavor (don't know what Calvados tastes like).

M- full body, low carbonation. Very thick and syrupy, but not a lot of noticeable alcohol.

O- like their regular version better, but this is still a very good Barleywine. The Worcestershire sauce taste throws this whole beer off for me.

 601 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Auztan
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of mcphish22
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(11.2 oz bottle, brewed in 2014... sat out of fridge for almost an hour, then poured into teku)

L: deep dark caramel amber colored liquid, fisheye web of foam in a crescent pattern against one edge; liquid looks mostly clear, but with a dull haze... no retention, no lace... ends up looking as still as scotch (or wine)

S: leather, dried apple, hint of chestnut, hint of wet maple (syrup)... faint peppery note, malty liquor... wet leaves and earth... overall, terra-fic

T: mildly desiccated caramel chunks, sultana, old leather shoe, bit of a mossy note in aftertaste... later in aftertaste, an oxidized old mushy banana note... second sip, old log... old, mellow, leathery sweetness and that lovely stemmy-herbal bitterness in the center at the back

F: medium-full-bodied, oily, whisper foam, quiet warmth... residual oils cling a little, so some delicate swishing and chewing will happen, lengthen activity between sips

O: while I love the original and have a special fondness for the Lagavulin version, now that I've had this one again, the calvados aging just seems to make perfect sense - very natural marriage... this was lovely and the bottle was near to if not equaling the best of what I've had of theirs - I'll be getting another asap

original rating in 2012 - this review 12 Sep 2017

 1,301 characters

Photo of Gerasimos
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ThaApricot
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of uziangis
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Trappeze. Poured into a Southern Tier tulip. White head, oily slick lacing. Bright , golden/coppery body. Aroma is over ripe mango, vanilla and alcohol. Taste is suprisingly not hot, nice malt sweetness, mango, Swedish fish, and vanilla in the background. Very smooth to drink for the abv, no doubt the calvados has completely muted the alcohol from the taste completely. Awesome.

 390 characters

Photo of djre4orm
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. 2008 vintage. Pours a dark, murky caramel amber with a half finger off-white head with decent retention and light lacing. A somewhat too aggressive pour left dark yeast chunks at the bottom of the glass. Inviting aroma of sweet caramel malt, toffee and alcohol. Flavor is caramel, intense apple juice, dark dried fruit, hint of vanilla. Quite sweet, but the intensity of flavor makes this very drinkable. Medium to heavy bodied, just short of syrupy. Delicious apple flavors in this classic English barleywine. Too drinkable for its 11% ABV. I will have to age a few of these.

 610 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of whiskey notes with some sweet caramel notes.

T - Good oak and vanilla flavors with a kiss of whiskey. Good sweet maltiness with a touch of caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry clean finish.

O - This was really good. I preferred this one to an '08 bottle that was not aged in any barrels.

 469 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

275 mL bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2006 vintage.

Appearance - Pours a dark amber. Clear with no head and just the slightest hint of some bubbles on the surface. I stopped it before the chunks started to flow, at least.

Smell - Sweet apples and raisins. Like regular Harvest with apples. Sweet smelling. Maybe a little less complex.

Taste - I thought the calvados would intensify the sweetness, but it seems to cut it nicely. Huge dark fruit and caramel presence. Raisins and calvados. A touch of vanilla and oxidation to it. Apples and an earthy bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Syrupy and nearly flat. It doesn't matter a whole lot, though. It's still pleasant to drink.

Overall - An improvement over the base. Anything that distracts from the sugar is a welcome. Maybe it's the age that makes it seem less sweet. I'm not sure.

 849 characters

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy amber orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high dense beige head that quickly died down, leaving a thin film of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has aromas of caramel and toffee in the nose along with some hints of alcohol from the apple brandy.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is a bit more complex, having notes of calvados and hints of brown sugar flavors. There is some malty sweetness, although this isn’t cloying.
M: It feels a bit shy of full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with some warming from the alcohol.
O: This is a nice dessert beer to sip, and it seems a bit easier to drink compared to the sherry version because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Note: 2011 vintage

 859 characters

Photo of Odysseyalien
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of n2185
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of SirIPAalot
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 513 ratings
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