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

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)
Liked This Beer
4.06 w/ 508 Ratings
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)

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

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

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Ratings: 508 |  Reviews: 259
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of the 2004 vintage, cellared and opened in 2012.

Appearance was a very dark ruby, brown color. Not black at all, but dark brown with a bright red tint that would show through light. Very little head, as expected with this style and age. Very little carbonation left.

Smell was full of big raisin and dark fruit aroma. Sweet and rich. The flavor was similar, but much more complex. Toffee, lightly roasted malt and a bit of chocolate follow the raisiny opening. Finish is actually rather bright and clean. Yummy.

The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy of course, and it would have been nice to have more carbonation, but that's again to be expected especially with the age.

Really nice beer.

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Photo of jaminjohnson
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of Supergenious
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ajs4bd
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy orange-brown color with a touch of bubbly white head atop. The head fades down very quickly leaving behind barely any lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet toffee and caramel malts with lots of brown sugar, vanilla, oak, apple, bit of dark fruit, caramelized sugars, and booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of rich sweet toffee and caramel malts with some brown sugar, vanilla, and apple. Through the middle, some more oak and sweet apple and brown sugar comes through with some raisin and dark fruits. The finish is a mix of sweet toffee and apple, with some vanilla, oak, brown sugar, and caramelized malts, and booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. The Calvados adds some nice fruity sweetness on top of the base beer and the overall beer is nice and bold but stays fairly balanced.

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Photo of tylermains
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of tomholland
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jwat
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of scottyshades
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of John_M
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yes boys and girls... on tap at Max's today (not cask).

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, as I pick up considerable brown sugar, orange slices, cherry cough drop and apple brandy. The nose replicates the nose in this sweet beer, and I have to say the sweetness wears on me a bit after a while. Still, the flavor combination is excellent as always, and the calvados adds an interesting flavor dimension. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, sweet finish. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavort profile, though you can tell it's up there a bit.

An excellent BW from JW Lee's, which is to be expected. Not sure it's such a great idea to feature it during the summer in Baltimore (they had three different versions in fact, and they did not seem to be moving), but regardless, this is another very good BW from this excellent brewery.

 911 characters

Photo of sleuthdog
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009 9.3 oz bottle poured into tulip

A: Poured a light brown to off orange in color with about one finger size off white head. The color reminds me of copper. I have now poured this about 5 minutes ago and continue to see tiny bubbles rise along the side of the glass. There are a ton of white floating particles in this beer. Think snow globe with a murky colored liquid.

S: Big time smell of caramel and brown sugar. This one is a very sweet smelling beer. I also pick up toffee and some oak characteristics along with some fig and apples. It also has a pretty distinct aroma of alcohol in between all the other notes described.

T: Very sweet is my first impression. I get molasses, brown sugar, toffee and really sweet apples. This is a one dimensional tasting beer as it is very sweet, IMO. Candied apples is what is coming to mind for me. Holy sweet!

M: Syrupy and sweet notes linger forever in the mouth. No alcohol burn to speak of. Rather thick but I wonder if that is just because of how sticky this beer feels. This is a pleasant beer in the mouth.

O: I don't know what I was expecting with this beer but the sweetness most definitately took me by surprise. This was rather easy for me to get through the entire bottle even though it is so sweet like candy.

 1,283 characters

Photo of amrozga
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of GoGators
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

vintage 2009 poured into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: murky brownish orange bodied beer with lots of white floaties. Whispy and thin cap of white head that drops to not head at all.

Smell: malty, boozey, oak, and smokey/salty bacon.

Taste: Brown sugar and grainy malts. Brandy and apples, but this beer is really sweet. Midpalate is salty and bacony smoke, just like the nose. Finish is really sweet and also has a bitter kick that seems to me as an out of place flavor because this beer is so sweet. Doesnt compliment the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Its a full bodied beer with low carbonation levels. This beer is more like a beer syrup than a beer.

Overall: The beer is just too sweet to me even for an English barleywine.

 727 characters

Photo of BrokenStones
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of danedelman
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

A-orangish with tons of sediment and a little head.

S-sweet candi sugar, dates and figs. hint of apples and some oakiness.

T-very similiar to the smell. Add some sweet saltiness to the mixture and some pure fukin heavon and thats it!!

M-medium to full body.

o-my new favorite with any vintage. I have 2000 to 2009 now and all are stellar!!

 357 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style snifter. Label says brewed in 2008.

A- Pours a brown color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that doesn't retain much before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and spotty surface foam. Spackled lacing and obvious bits of sediment suspended in the body.

S- Very sharp aroma of oak, sweet malt and whiskey. Raisin-like with caramel notes.

T- Initial jolt of sweetness and alcohol soon subsides to a smooth aftertaste where more notes of oak and raisin preside. Hops play a strong role, providing a decent amount of bitterness to back up the grainy sweetness. Rich and sherry-esque.

M- Assertive with a lingering alcohol bite. Also syrupy and a bit dry on the finish. Low carbonation.

O- Celebrating my 300th review with a doozy. A top-notch barleywine.

 809 characters

Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A: Looks like super rich apple cider. Dark brown and murky with floatys.
S: Smells like apples and brandy. In a hilarious turn of fate I looked up calvados to find out that it was an apple brandy... My darling fiancee got the apples and I got the brandy! We make a perfect pair!
T: Very complex. The apple flavor really comes through as well as the brandy elements.
M: I rated this so low 100% based on my preference. The lingering warmth of the brandy stays there and I hate that.

Overall a very great execution but not a beer for me.

 550 characters

Photo of bonbini26
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.25/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
2/5  rDev -50.7%

Photo of jrenihan
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

Beer is an orange, toffee coloured hue. A moderately sized white head dissipates fairly quickly.

The calvados is immediately noticeable in the nose, apple and booze. Rich caramel malt and toffee underneath. Raisins and prune. Quite complex, very nice.

Wow, there is a LOT going on in the taste. Lots of caramel and toffee, very rich and smooth. Apple, oak and booze from the barrel. Generally very sweet, but balanced a bit by the booze. Honey and raisin are noticeable. Sweetness gets to be too much as the beer goes on.

Beer has a syrupy-sweet feel, almost sticky. Low to moderate carbonation, full bodied.

Overall, a very good beer, but one can certainly argue that it is more barrel than beer. The calvados aging has a dramatic impact and threatens to overpower the base beer. Personally, I think the result is very nice, but could understand somebody being dissatisfied with the result. I found that it got less enjoyable as I went on - the sweetness is a bit much, even the smaller bottle was a bit hard to finish.

 1,040 characters

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 83.3% out of 100 with 508 ratings
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