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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)
513 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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of Jamesthebrit
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
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 -1.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
2/5  rDev -50.9%

Photo of jrenihan
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Photo of Archemedies
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of jsurfs82
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of monketeeth
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of fehrminator
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of litheum94
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of redfacedshooter
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of brystmar
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage bottle.

Looks like most of the others; aroma is strongly of malts and caramel-y aged booze. Oaky, brandy-ish too.

Sweet with a strong malt backbone. Brandy really comes through in the taste and blends perfectly with the Harvest base. Mild tingle from the alcohol; really doesn't taste boozy at all. Creamy and oily at the same time.

One of the better variants of this brew, and age does this one well.

 417 characters

Photo of TubbyDullard
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of trh70
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! Truly one of the best beers I have ever had. Saw this at Total Wine. Pulled out my phone, came here to check it out. Bought 6 bottles of the 2008 based on what others had said.
Am I glad I did. This beer is unlike no other.

A: Golden brown in color with a small white head that quickly faded.

S: Caramel, toffee, apples.

T: Caramel, toffee, apples and a hint of lemon zest. Mildly sweet.

M: Coats the tongue like honey.

O: Amazing beer. Tomorrow I will be going back to buy the other 6 bottles. This is not a everyday drinking beer, or one to have with a meal. This is a beer where you put some rhythmic mood music on, turn down the lights, sip and savor. Enjoy every nounce of the beer.

 698 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.89/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wish I could review the 2008 and 2006 vintages separately since the scores are different.

This particular one is the 2008 Vintage.

Color is a coppery amber with sediment and no head. Slight haze that is a 1 or 2 on a 10 scale.

Smell includes honey, raisins, port, and candied fruit. amazing smell.

Tastes of fruits and vegetables, specifically apples, grapes, pomegranate, carrots, and celery. The after taste is similar to sweet vegetables and fine cheese. 3 years and a few months is great for this beer, this on one of the greatest flavors I have found in a beer.

Creamy feel in the mouth. Very smooth and a little like port.

And here is the 2006 Vintage.

Wonderful ruby amber color. It is clear with light bubbling. (5)

The smell is an amazing combination of roses, caramel, dark fruit jam, and apple pie. This is my favorite in terms of smell. (5)

Taste isn't as good as the 2008 vintage, but it is still great. Flavor i fruity and vegetabley. It isn't sweet like fruit, the fruit is dry, it is sweet like caramelized vegetables or caramelized fruits, a darker sweetness. There seems to be some pear, celery, raisins, and sweet bread crust from the malt that still comes through. (4)

Feels like a very smooth brandy, watery. Only faintly tingly, and there is an illusion of fruit skins. (4)

4.5 overall for the 2006 vintage, which is more appropriately a rating for a 5 to 6 year aged one.

This is very good but 2008 was better, seems like 3 to 4 years is perfect....but that is judging from only two data points so far. I still have more setting and waiting.

 1,578 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of AltimusPrime
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of jpajpajeff
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of klas
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of sweemzander
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

9.3oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2007 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a caramel color. Produced a nice cap of tan to transparent froth. Surprising considering the 11.5% this totes.

(S)- A nice rich malty wealth of caramel, fig, toffee, and a subtle briney oak character.

(T)- Same as the smell. Great malty bits of caramel, fig, toffee, and honey. Again, that subtle briney oak barrel nuance.

(M)- A very mellow carbonation level, but fitting for the style. A very balanced and smooth beer despite its large ABV level and sweetness.

(D)- Thus far, I have far preferred the port cask version over the rest, but this might be better, if not a very close second for me in the JW Lees barrel variations.

 695 characters

Photo of jsanford
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04 Vintage. 12oz bottle into a Snifter.

Pours a hazy mahogany with a thin white head that settles to a slight haze and ring. Lovely aromas of sweet toffee, malt, caramel, and apple brandy. I happen to love a good calvados, so this is hitting me just right. Taste is incredibly smooth and sweet (definitely sweeter then the "regular" version), with rich flavors of apple, caramel, toffee, and toasted malt. Bottle has aged well, getting just the slightest touch of oxidation. Mouthfeel is sticky and sweet, quite smooth, with a medium-full body and low carbonation. Overall a very nice treatment of J.W. Lees, I'm digging it a bit more then the Sherry version we had alongside it.

 680 characters

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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