J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)
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From:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
 
England, United Kingdom
Style:
English Barleywine
Ranked #162
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #12,631
Avg:
3.96 | pDev: 16.16%
Reviews:
309
Ratings:
586
Status:
Active
Rated:
Feb 06, 2024
Added:
May 07, 2004
Wants:
  40
Gots:
  109
No description / notes.
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Photo of MutuelsMark
Reviewed by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Bottled in 2011 tried in 2024.
Pours like toasted caramel. Nose is smokey and almost pepper like. Taste was full on smokey. Not much whiskey flavor left. Going to chock this up to aging too long. My bad
Feb 06, 2024
Photo of Griffin2
Reviewed by Griffin2 from Virginia

4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured from a 9.3 ounce bottle into a snifter glass. 2005 edition.
L - Pours a dark reddish brown color with minimal, almost nonexistent head.
S - Smells of raisins and whisky.
T - Tastes of caramel, figs and raisins. Seems to hide the alcohol really well.
F - Medium body and really no carbonation.
O - Very tasty barleywine. Has a hint of smoke in the aftertaste.
Jan 27, 2024
 
Rated: 3 by doctorgary from New York

Dec 24, 2023
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Clear yet syrupy acorn red with absolutely no head to speak of.

Viscous despite exhibiting no carbonation, this 2003 bottle delivers fig, caramel, prune, whisky vanillin, and a light hint of smoke (particularly on the nose) with a little peppery booze on the finish.

I don't know what right this has being good, but it's better than good. In fact, it was quite delicious.
Nov 20, 2023
 
Rated: 3.36 by CisPiece88 from Nebraska

Nov 17, 2023
Photo of Lucular
Reviewed by Lucular from Maryland

3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
275 ml bottle (2017) poured into a snifter. Pours dark amber with a small fizzy head that immediately fades away. Tons of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Not a pretty beer at all. Aroma and flavor feature dark fruit, malt, booze, and whisky. Big hit of smoke at the end, after swallowing. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and too close to flat. Overall I did not enjoy this very much, even though I love heavily peated whiskies. I have a second bottle and we'll see whether I enjoy it any more now that I know what to expect.
Nov 08, 2022
 
Rated: 4 by cryptichead from Illinois

Sep 04, 2022
 
Rated: 3.87 by Ox8840bo from Illinois

Apr 12, 2022
 
Rated: 4.19 by HungarianCount from California

Apr 03, 2022
 
Rated: 3.85 by Howie9182

Feb 09, 2022
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2015 vintage

So this was another find at OEC when I made the trek out there right before Christmas. I already did a small vertical of the 2020 and 2002 Harvest Ales I found there, so I'm excited to crack this one open. The OG is already a pretty big beer, so this is gonna be even more beefed up. Let's crack it open

Pours a murky orange brown with just a thin ring of bubbles that leaves minimal lacing

This smells simultaneously smooth and super boozy, that barrel really came through. I'm picking up on aromas of peat smoke, chewy toffee, sweet caramel, golden raisin, molasses, brown sugar, light toast, and smoky whiskey

The taste follows the nose pretty closely, though it is more chewy and robust than I had expected. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting golden raisin, toffee, smoky whiskey, buttery oak, and brown bread. The swallow brings notes of dates, sweet caramel, molasses, peat smoke, a touch of hot alcohol, and toast

A medium full body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation, resulting in a super rich beer. Finishes neutral but definitely full and sweet

This is quite a bit of a step down from the OG, but it is by no means bad. I still enjoyed it quite a bit and would like to try a fresher bottle if possible
Jan 07, 2022
 
Rated: 4.34 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

May 04, 2021
Photo of SierraNevallagash
Reviewed by SierraNevallagash from Maine

3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2017 Vintage - 275ml bottle - poured into a small snifter at 45°F.

Pours a ruddy, burnish amber-brown, with A LOT of suspended particulate chunks, and a thick sticky collar comprised of giant bubbles. It looks great, minus those chunky bits.

Nose: Damn, okay...Talk about Islay! I was apprehensive about this, but the Lagavulin cask is very apparent. Not Laphroaig. Not Bowmore. Not Bruichladdich. Laga. Vulin. The base ale is classic JWL, with sweet fruitcake, toffee, burned sugar, dried orange, peppermint, iodine chemical spill, burning tire factory...wait, nope. That's the Islay. Woven into the barleywine are these prominent notes of medicinal iodine, fresh pitch, seaspray, burning moss, and wet charcoal, along with that oaky cask element. I like Islay. If you don't, this could be problematic.

Palate: Right off the bat, the first thing that catches my attention is that it's quite savoury - like this briney, kelpie kind of salinity, parallel to the sweet barleywine base. The Islay malt is immediately apparent, and very potent. It tastes like Lagavulin. Mossy, earthy, musty, wet peat smoke, with more iodine, kelp, and ocean mist. A touch of sandalwood. Beneath the whisky, the barleywine begins to show more, with its concentrated sweetness, and notes of sultana, dried fig, marmalade, raisin, red apple, toffee, and some caramel. It has a pretty sweet peak, before that Islay character comes back around, this time with more oak, barrel char, smoke, and charred peat. Once the sweetness subsides, the finish itself is essentially that of an Islay whisky, and ultimately dry.

Mouthfeel/Body: Like most of the Harvest Ale variants, it's medium-full in body, and quite slick. Minimal viscosity or chew, but it's a heavy, sweet, soft ale. Not much in terms of effervescence, which is normal. Wet, a touch sticky, and finishing faurly dry and woody.

Overall: What a wacky beer. I've had Islay malt cask-aged ales before, but none have been as potent or heavy handed with the peat as this one. I love the peat, I love the sweet base, but i do think that they clash to some extent. It lends this sweet and salty kind of vibe, which, with the medicinal peat notes, can be a little jarring. An odd duck, but definitely enjoyable, to some extent.
Feb 19, 2021
Photo of BubbleBobble
Reviewed by BubbleBobble from New York

4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a cloud peach brown, active .5” head that recedes to a thin ring. Nose is pronounced toasted malts, dark fruit, butterscotch, and toffee; on top lies the scotch - peat, salt, brackish water, musk, wet smoke, doused fire. Flavor is super interesting - leads off very sweet, almost candy like, before deeper raisin and toffee begins to comes through. The barrel takes over, however, and provides a strong brackish and spiced backbone to the beer that follow through the finish. The peat in particular wakes up as it warms, which does a lot to enhance things. Without the barrel I'd find it hard to get through more than a sip or two given how sweet the underlying base is. Carbonation is light but present, and the alcohol is extremely well hidden. Definitely happy I snatched a can, but would like to try a bottle with some age on it to see how it develops.
Feb 15, 2021
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
25cl can from Brewers Haven. Cloudy amber, mostly flat. Aroma hits the nose at first crack of the can, raisins, prunes, hint of whiskey. Taste is sweet, more prunes, scotch elements. Sweet, but not strong, despite the 11.5% ABV.
Feb 14, 2021
 
Rated: 4 by shelby415 from Oregon

Jan 09, 2021
 
Rated: 4.4 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Dec 02, 2020
Photo of Sellen
Rated by Sellen from Connecticut

3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
4-6-2019
Jun 29, 2020
 
Rated: 4.5 by TylerJ from Iowa

Apr 18, 2020
Photo of TerryMills
Reviewed by TerryMills from Tennessee

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I'm sure this is a great beer ,and it's the most drinkable peaty beer I've ever tried ,but in the end I just don't like peat
Apr 12, 2020
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 586 ratings