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

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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)
Very Good
539 Ratings
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky 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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Ratings: 539 |  Reviews: 286
Photo of Urbancaver
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange with some reddish tint. Minimal head. Very sweet on the nose. Lots of malts with some slight hoppiness. Sweet malt backbone with definite barrel characteristics.
The barrel adds a lot to this one! I love the peaty whiskey. You can taste a TON of smokiness on this one and a lot of earthiness. It adds a lot to the beer I feel

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Photo of drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On the menu it said "BOURBON BARREL AGED VERSION" I assume that they are morons and they meant whiskey barrel.

Beer is brown and completely hazy, served at room temperature, thin whispy broken head of tiny bubbles that forms a ring around the glass.

WHOA! This is one of the strongest smelling beers I've ever been around. Are all the JW Lees variants like this? This is my first one, it's knock me on my ass liquor / bourbon / whiskey aroma in here with some caramel and sweetness. It's quite overwhelming.

Fortunately...the beer does not live up to its in my face aroma. The beer is also at room temperature, it's creamy silky smooth with almost no carbonation at all. Lead offs are caramel and candied sugar with some mild roast. The middle is this warming sensation, there's the liquor flavors. The finish is absent, it just fades away to nothing. There is absolutely no bitterness to this beer at all.

Overall it was a fun experience and it makes me want to try the other variants. I'd have this one again too.

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Photo of msabin
1.82/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Serving type: On cask at Novare Res

I was super excited to try this beer because I'm a fan of Scotch, however, I was in for a big disappointment

The head wasn't very prevalent, which wasn't a problem, given that it was on cask. The color was a deep orange, which looked great in the lighting of the bar.

The nose was cloyingly sweet. I knew I was in for trouble once I smelled this brew.

The taste was just sickly sweet with some peat in the finish, which was the only good part of this beer. The sweetness assaulted my tongue and I couldn't get it out of my mouth. It really dominated this beer and I wasn't able to finish an 8 oz. serving.

Oh well, at least I will never be tempted to pay $9 for a 12 oz. bottle of this.

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Photo of jlindros
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tim for this one.

Light orange yeast chunked beer with very little head.

Nose has lots of sweet malts, sweet citrus fruits, toasty malts, some smoke, mesquite, and a bit of whisky and oak.

Taste has more chewy malts, sweet chewy mesquite, meringue, light citrus, marmalade, oak, light smoke, BBQ smoked flavors, dry taste, tastes somewhat like mesquite smoking chips, and just a hint of whisky.

Medium bodied, with lighter carbonation.

Drink is decent, a bit of warming booze, quite a bit of smoke and mesquite, but drinkable.

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Photo of seeswo
2.3/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

This is going to be my favorite review to write, I think. So, Harvest Ale is an English Barleywine, which often means a very viscous mouthfeel, with sweetness through caramel and malt flavors. Lagavulin is an Islay Scotch, which is known for its strong flavor of peat. So, where am I going with this? Well, I took my first sniff and I was a bit concerned. Big smoky/peaty flavor that made me question my decision to purchase the scotch cask instead of the port cask version. The taste? Well, the scotch cask and english barleywine form an unholy ham-based union. This beer tastes strongly of honey or otherwise sugared ham, particularly in the finish. So, the front of this beer is largely undeterred by the barrel aging, and quite frankly, tastes great. Everything described above is done spot on. Then comes the honey ham. I cannot understate how strongly I got ham in the back - as though this were intended to taste like a sugared ham - maybe a spiral ham with brown sugar or whatever. When drinking this beer, I can't help but think that it is either foul or fantastic, depending upon the context or intent. Its almost funny, until I realized I paid $9 for 9.3 oz that I do not want to drink.

I passed this beer around amongst a lot of people (non-crazy craft beer enthusiasts) and nearly everyone either identified the ham on their own, or agreed strongly when I dropped the word ham.

Because this beer doesn't say Harvest Ale "Ham Cask", I can only give this beer a low grade. It's something better than gross, but ultimately, after the humor dies down, it is really just a disappointment given the cost and potential. Don't buy this unless you love ham.

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Photo of despainmakesbeer
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 ale. No head at pour, very tiny ring around edge of glass. Medium brown color with an Orange tint, very haxy, becomes clearer and a more dark copper color with warmth. Lots of sediment in the bottom of the glass, and that was without pouring all the sludge in the bottle. A little thick looking during the pour. Sweet malt aroma and heavy packed woody toasted aroma from the whisky casks and a roasted note underneath, slight hint of "bacon". Very full aroma. Toasted cask flavor hits immediately in the beginning. Very sweet sweet end and lingers on into the finish. Very thick mouthfeel with mild carbonation. Very petey aftertaste. Heavy on the cask flavor. Alcohol hides quite well in this one. This ale may have one of the most cask imparted flavored I've ever had. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.04/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours cloudy light copper color with no head.

Nose is dominated by whiskey. Then there is some oak and toffee.

Taste is much like the nose, dominated by whiskey, wow, it's almost too much. Alcohol is not hidden here. This one is ment for sipping, took me abut 45 minutes to finish an about 8 oz glass.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, no carbonation, but it is cask.

Don't think I would go for this one again, too boozy.

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Photo of theghost3
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, deep copper with a thin yellow lace ring.

The smell is toffee, spices, and oak. The taste is malty, boozy--scotch with toffee, spice and apple hints. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied; slight biting of acidity.

This is definitely a sipper. It would go well with rich meats such as ham or pork tenderloin.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Poured from a 275mL bottle into my snifter.

Cloudy copper body; No head whatsoever, vague spitty collar, almost no lacing, thin legs.

Intense leather, plum, fig, toasted malt, overripe apricot, toffee, and more...whisky and fruit aromas as well, though not particularly smokey.

Monstrously sweet, malty, and ester-heavy base along with moderate clean bitterness, light citrus, a light medicinal element, and an extended peaty/woody finish. All the individual notes in the nose continue on in the flavor profile. Extremely rich flavors: caramel, nuts, dense fruit - amazing.

Full bodied, creamy, and slick. Very low carbonation, though not quite still.

A little on the sweet side, but the alcohol is well integrated, and the taste is decadent.

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Photo of bobhits
2.82/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Sour oak and brown sugar. Pretty darn bad smelling stuff over all.

Oak, pears, some sugar and some different scotch.

Wow...oak and well harvest ale. There's a peaty alcohol flavor here, but it's just off. Almost a butter scotch, woody flavor. For something aged in scotch barrels, there's really almost no alcohol flavor here what so ever. Some sour notes are just barely in there as well (a part i suppose of the oak).

The mouth feel is exceptional, but unlike the others this isn't drinkable. The flavors don't make this something you want to drink. The rest is right but it doesn't do it.

This is an amazingly complex beer. I don't know that I like the flavor but something this complex....it's very enjoyable.

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Photo of ElGallo
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage, 9.3 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Had this with dinner at a nice little British pub in Vermont. They typically serve this (correctly) at cellar temperature, but I had the bartender chill the bottle on ice for 30 minutes because it was a firkin hot day, plus I'm a dink when it comes to serving temp rules.

The key to this "beer" is that it should be treated like scotch and sipped slowly over a long period of time (i.e., shared). This is a fantastic malty barleywine, and the Lagavulin notes are very strong. At times this tasted more like scotch than beer. Took me 90 minutes to finish this because it's more like drinking three glasses of scotch than one bottle of beer. (Also I had already downed a pint of Rare Vos, a half pour of Hobgoblin, and a pate appetizer before the bottle was cracked. Not the best planning.) I would recommend this to barleywine and single malt fans but not noobs, and it would be wise to share the bottle with a friend.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage, 9.3oz bottle at Delaney's into a nonic half-pint.

A: Clear garnet body with a thin, ephemeral head of coarse off-white foam. Nice color, and I can't really complain about lack of visible carbonation in an 11.5% beer.

S: Yep, smells like Lagavulin: peat smoke, sea salt, seaweed, and charred oak, plus sweet toffee maltiness and candied fruit from the base barleywine. Wow.

T: The malt sweetness takes top billing here, with toffee and fruit being backed up seamlessly and gorgeously by the peat smoke. The smoke lingers and dominates the finish, lending the beer incredible depth and complexity. This is one of the most delicious substances ever to enter my mouth.

M: Full-bodied with next to no carbonation. Pretty standard.

D: I could drink myself to death on this, and it would be great way to go.

Notes: Wow. I just can't get over how well this worked. I'm not too surprised, since I love barleywines and Lagavulin is my favorite island Scotch, but I wasn't prepared for just how well the two influences would complement each other. The smoke was just what was needed to tame the sweetness, and the sweetness was just what was needed to tame the medicinal nature of the whisky. I don't know how all of this was done in an 11.5% beer without noticeable alcohol, but it was. I'll definitely be buying as many vintages of this as I can find. What a wonderful sipping beverage.


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Photo of StephenRich
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Ale matured in Lagavulin Whisky Casks" is what this bottle says on the label. J.W. Lees, a brewery from the U.K., each year in December brews limited quantities of their Vintage Harvest Ale. Some of this Vintage is aged and fermented in sherry, port, calvados or whisky casks. This particular 2005 example has been laid to rest in Lagavulin Casks.

Ahh, the Lagavulin, definitively among my most favorite scotches. The Lagavulin hails from the Island of Islay and defines the typical characteristics of the region. Huge smoky peat flavors and a distinct dry sweet oak create a Whisky of incredible stature.

Being one of my favorites, I was very excited to try this beer, I have had many beers aged in whisky barrels before, but never one aged in Lagavulin barrels. At very minimum this should prove to be exciting!

I split the 275ml, 11.5% abv bottle with a friend of mine into two tulip glasses that resemble the shape of a whisky tasting glass. The key here it to trap and absorb all the aroma and flavors of this beer. There should be a lot going on here. First of all, it is a British Vintage ale of considerable strength designed to be matured for many years - so the sugar content is most likely very high and the malts should be extremely rich. Also, it is aged and partially fermented in used Lagavulin barrels, one of the most distinct Scotch Whiskies that exists. I didn't wan't to miss any of this.

Beyond that, in order to absorb even more flavor we enjoyed it cellar temperature around 14C (57F). It poured smooth and oily at first generating almost no head. With a slower pour from a greater distance I was able to manage a silky and dense one quarter inch off white cream colored head. The beer was deep amber mahogany with rich reddish browns and opaque ruby everywhere. Glowing aspects of gold and orange glimpse through in the light and reveal floating sediment dancing inside this deep beer.

The nose was powerfully malty with huge caramel and toffee sweetness to it and the unmistakable rush of peat and smoke. Oak is noticeable, but subdued. The malts pour out at every angle leaving very little room for much more than the Lagavulin's natural influence. No hops are present; it is overall characterized thus far by powerfully sweet malt. Dried fruits hide in the malt showing raisin, fig and apricot - and still a touch of alcohol heats the nose.

Gently, I let this Vintage flow into my palate and it opened up massive flavors perfectly mimicking the nose; nothing to hide here. Sweet caramel and dark toffee malts stick to every inch of your tongue and envelop you in flavor. It is at first a bit overwhelming, but if you sip and open your mouth to let in some air you can really broaden the beer's scope. Along with the malts now come the peat smoke, soft and sweet they make their way around your cheeks and to the back of your mouth perfectly coating and soothing.

At first is is a very delicious sensation; I was enjoying the sweet malty richness of the beer and its uniquely distinct flavors. Really nothing in the world is like this. The mouthfeel is oily and smooth adding to the beers potency. No hops are noticeable, and carbonation is at a minimum here. There is a touch of spice showing clove, cinnamon and cardamon, but it is relatively muted and soft.

This really does drink quite like a liquor. Several minutes into this beer I am still enjoying its rich cloying taste, but I am beginning to argue with my bud about weather or not this is actually a great beer. It is exceptionally unique, and the flavors are very distinct. However, it is unbalanced, exceedingly sweet, left me very thirsty - I would have a difficult time with an entire bottle. Perhaps this Vintage does need to age for many more years to bring out some dryness and mellow some of the malt. It could easily just be very young.

Either way, between the two of us we really enjoyed it and it was a great treat. I really is designed to be enjoyed on its own, but I am willing to bet it is magnificent with any dense chocolate deserts. If you find a bottle, they are pricey. But hold onto it for a good ten years and it will be priceless.

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Photo of foogerd
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a very hazy deep copper orange cant see through this thing at all with all the sediment. No head to speak of a few bubbles on top.
S- really nice sweet sugary syrupy smell to it very fruity with cherries at the forefront. Plenty of maple brown sugary syrup smell. Something I just keep going back to sniff.
T- wow now thats really complex so many flavors coming at me ill try to break it down to the best of my abilities. The malty sugary taste really leads the taste with a smokey woody character that follows and surrounds the malts. Dark fruits follow the malts but the smoke can confuse you into ignoring that smell. A bit of a bitter smokey finish but a pleasant finish.The smoke really complements the malts here this beer retains its barley wine character despite the smoke.
M- perfect for a barley wine thick enough but nothing to detract your concentration on the complexity of this brew
D- a hell of a sipper.
All in all I feel j.w took one step further or trekked another path with this barley wine . If you only like traditional english barley wines, and loathe smokiness you may want to pass. But if you'd like to challenge your palette and see a place where barley wines have yet to venture definitely go out and get this one,highly recommended.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage. Bought for me by my wife as a gift last week, and I'm finally able to give it a try. Pours from the smallish 9.3 ounce bottle a dark golden color, with barely a bit of head. Big smoky, phenolic aromas, along with some caramel, oak and vanilla in the background. On the palate, the smoke again dominates the caramel, butterscotch and alcohol. Very, very good, but it doesn't improve upon the original.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Brewed in 2008. Another beast from the VDubb directorate. This one pours a cloudy tawny amber with a light wisp of bubbles on top that dies away quickly enough to make me think it may have descended from teflon-drenched ninjas. The nose blasts the 'strils with peat-smoked whiskey goodness. Behind that (I think) are notes of toffee, mild citrus, and graham crackers. Man, that's a lot o' smoke! The taste is significantly different, with sweet toffee, maple syrup, candi sugar and caramel trouncing the taste buds just as the smoke dominated the smell receptors. A light bit of Sunny D-style citrus joins in, along with some o' that Lagavulin in the background, all surreptitious and whatnot. The harsh sweetness and seeming dearth of Lagavulin on my tongue hurt the overall score a bit. The body is a heavy medium, with a very light carbonation and a gooey feel. Overall, I was surprised to find that this version is not as good as the normal Lees b-wine. It also made me long to have a few bottles o' Lagavulin to enjoy...

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at my tasting on May 29, 2010. Thanks Pete! review from notes.
2005 vintage
Lagavulin is possibly my favorite single malt scotch, so I'm looking forward to trying a nice vintage bottle of this brew. There is virtually no head or lace on this hazy brown beer. Aromas consist of sweet malt, cherries, apple brandy, and alcohol. The scotch barrel really comes through nicely. Some time in the cellar served this beer very well. I had a very young bottle of this once, and didn't care for it much, as the alcohol presence was overbearing. This beer drinks very smoothly, as I'm sure the aging process mellowed this beast out a bit. This was a tasty beer, and good for sharing several ways. An ounce or two was plenty. I recommend trying this beer, but only after it has spent some years in the cellar.

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Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2004; tasted in 2010

Appearance: Burnt caramel color with a rather modest, big-bubbled head (the result of a hard pour) that fails to last very long; not much lace effect, but I wasn't expecting it

Smell: Raisins and caramel apples, with a musty, salty boozy edge; plenty of whisky aromatics

Taste: The raisin and caramel apple flavors jump to the fore, followed by a very smokey, peaty and oaky character; the warmth of the booze becomes apparent by mid-palate and after the swallow, the peat and smoke provide an interesting foil to the sweeter flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation and plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I can't help but think that this one was on a bit of a downward slope, given its age, which may have affected the carbonation more than the flavor; having tasted a number of the series in succession, I think the sherry version is my favorite but I almost feel like they would merit a re-visit if they were all about the same age and in the same condition

Note: Re-visiting the 2009 version with two years of age produces a bit more of a carbonated mouthfeel as well as a much stronger smokey/peaty character - bump the mouthfeel and overall by .5

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Photo of rwathree
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a nice brown with some orange hues. Not much of a head, but I expected that. At that, it's still a little nondescript, and a bit too much sediment.

S: It smells like Lagavulin, plain and simple. Super peaty, pleasant alcohol makes its way up in a hurry. Wish I could detect something beyond that, but my sense of smell is bad.

T: Really nice mixing of slight sweetness (apricot, maybe) and potent Islay scotch. Again, very peaty.

M: Excellent. Like a good scotch should, the peat sticks to the palate and the alcohol moves all around. Not full-bodied, but that's good by me on this one.

D: For everything that's going on, it goes down nicely. Drinking more than one would be a complete waste, but it's pleasant from beginning to end.

Overall I really enjoyed this, but more for the fact that I love scotch than anything else. That said, the sweetness and smoothness of the ale balanced out the Islay intensity, and made this very drinkable. Recommended.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.69/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature. Light, clear, red-orange in color with a thin white head that mostly clings to the edges of the glass leaving only the faintest trace of lacing.

Swirling the snifter brings out a barrage of notes that are delightful and pleasingly complex. At first the Lagavulin casks seem to be the strongest with their oaky peatiness drenched in sea water and laced with honey. Further swirling brings out alcohol soaked wood staves, cherries, apples and sugared figs. Light malts linger in the background.

Wow! The Lagavulin barrels were well noted in the aroma, but they come out on a whole new level in the flavor. Sweet malts quickly lead to peaty, sea-salt infused whisky casks. The smokiness is great and almost has a bit of meatiness to it. Alcohol soaked fruits such as apples and white grapes dance around towards the finish. Vanilla pulls out of the oak barrels and mixes nicely with the malts. Exceptional.

Mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation, somewhat thick, almost like watered down honey. Not quite as viscous as the regular Harvest Ale. A good example of the English Barleywine body.

Drinkability is good for what this beer is. An excellent sipper. One bottle is just about right, but depending on your mood, splitting it with another Barleywine/Scotch fan might be best. The amazing aroma and flavor keeps pulling you back for more, but the sweetness and intensity of the casks cut down on the drinkability a bit. Definitely a sipper, but an excellent one.

Overall, another exceptional Harvest Ale! Possibly the best I have had from J.W. Lees (tried the regular, calvados and port). The Lagavulin casks are very well done and add another nice level of complexity to an already complex beer. An excellent pairing of whisky and beer. I definitely need to buy a few more these to lay down in the cellar.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This version works much better than the Calvados verison owing to the whiskey and vanilla melding well with the barley wine flavours. Drinking it made me wonder what Thomas Hardy would taste like if someone picked up the recipe and put in different casks. I think the peaty flavours of the Lagavulin came through in the midbody and added a new level of complexity to this already great beer. Love to taste this 5 years onwards

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Photo of Jesstyr
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found a bottle of this at Gingerman in South Norwalk where it was very fairly priced for a vintage. 2007 vintage served in a tulip glass.

Pours like honey out of the bottle - bright brown, or perhaps a little more orange. No head at first, but it appears after sitting for a moment or so. Settles with nice patching and excellent lacing. Nose is strong in alcohol and excellent smokiness - excellent scotch tones that I have never experienced in another brew.

Taste is very enjoyable, strong scotch barrel smokiness - similarities abound from the Lagavulin I know and enjoy. Some raisin maltiness and enjoyable mix of vanilla and sherry. Nice medium smooth body, goes down very easy, but you definitely feel the alcohol, particularly as it lingers on the follow through.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage.

Pours a light honey brown with little to no head. Smell is an odd mixture of sweetness and smokiness--(this might not do the beer justice) but it's almost like glazed smoked pork or something on the nose. I am getting some of the caramel/malt/syrup sweetness reminiscent of regular J.W. Lees, though.

Nose is a bit smokier than the taste. Taste has some interesting apple, pear, raisin, smoke, and caramel notes. I taste the base ale here, but the addition of the Lagavulin doesn't really do it for me. Interesting for sure, but not necessarily as enjoyable as I would have hoped. I'm kind of let down.

MF is a bit thinner than regular J.W., though not terrible. Still smooth and coating. Drinkability is slowed way down by the flavors, which I find to be fine on their own, but difficult when combined in this fashion. A nice try, though a slight miss in my book, it does make me interested to try the Calvados cask though.

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Photo of Gmann
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a flat honey brown color; little to no head. The aroma is of a candied malt, musty, lots of pepper and honey; hints of smoke in the end. The taste is very very sweet. Booze soaked candied white grapes, sugar and honey, lots of pepper. There is a light smokiness from the whisy, which is nice and gives a much needed balance to this beer. Not much else of the whisky flavor comes through which is disappointing. The feel is thick and slick, soft carbonation; finishes very sweet, sticky. A big heavy pale malt brew. Lots of candied flavors, good smoke but not much actualy whisky flavor. Must say that I am disappointed with this beer. I expected a much bigger whisky presence, especially to help offset the very sweet and heavy malt. Sips well I guess.

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Photo of chaz01
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Generously shared out by the owner of Belmont Party Supplies in Dayton at a semi-private charity beer tasting event. According to him, this special cask was from a recent vintage from his private collection, originally poured from a small cask.

A: Amber brown in color, very little head or carbonation detected -- instead this is rich, thick and syrupy looking.

S: I hardly ever give a perfect rating in a category so that I can always leave room to rate something higher. But the aroma on this beer takes the cake! Just a wonderful whiskey, raisins, sherry, smoky and port aromas from this beer make me just want to sit and smell this beer.

T: Sweet, smokey, malty with notes of sherry, port, vanilla and oak. Very complex flavor with so much going on.

M: Low carbonation, very full bodied, thick and syrupy.

D: I have a couple of bottles at home, but not sure if I'll ever get to drink from the cask again. This was a real treat and the highlight of the evening. A very full bodied sipping beer to be broken out on very special occasions.

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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 539 ratings