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

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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask)
358 Ratings
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask)J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry 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: 358 |  Reviews: 201
Photo of zaphodchak
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of monketeeth
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of d_brommer_nh
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of carteravebrew
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of shanghai55
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of WCKDVBZ
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of adrian21
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of psumjl269
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of Klourie
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Discordian
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of Yoshio
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of bluesplit63
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of kinmundy77
4.96/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of dogger6253
4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in 2005, this beer poured into my snifter glass a dark peach color with a half-inch of off-white head. The head faded into a ring of large bubbles after a little while. There was a decent amount of lacing left behind. Particles of yeast float calmly near the bottom of the glass. This beer seems to glow, calling out to me. Very appealing.

Up front, I noticed dark grapes in the smell. Plums, raisins, peaches, bananas, cloves, green apples and pears all dance around the nose. On top of this, we get a spicy touch of alcohol and a bread-like, yeast quality.

Intense. Sort of grainy at first, but develops into several fruity flavors; grapes and plums, with pears taking the stage through most of the sip. There's also some other dark fruits mixed in, raisins and cherries... Diving even deeper into the flavors, I find apricots, dates, bananas, corriander, apples, and a sort of woody taste, cedar perhaps? As the beer warms a little more, I can taste a slight hops bite in the finish, mixed in with a peppery, alcohol taste. Even a little bit of cane sugar too... I also can taste brown sugar, molasses, ginger, and honey. The balance is exquisite. No one flavor kills another, each one making its presence known on your palate. Great taste.

Pretty heavy bodied, didn't really notice any carbonation. Very syrupy as well, lingers in your mouth for a while. While this was very tasty and refreshing, the high alcohol makes this a very 'specific occassion' ale. Almost felt like a waste not being able to share it with others, but I thoroughly enjoyed each sip. Very impressive.

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

2004 Bottling.
Been wanting to try this one for awhile now, but with over a $8 price tag I've been hesitant. But after drinking this gem, I'm not only going to buy more, but I'm backing up the truck!
Pours a murky reddish brown in color. Smell is heavenly, absolutely wonderful. It took me awhile to take my first drink, because every time I lifted the glass to sip I was hit with wonderful sherry, oak, and that never mistaken JW Lees malt bill. Taste is unforgettable. I don't know why this beer is not talked about more for it's incredible flavor and readily availableness. Taste has the same underlying JW Lees barleywine, but with wonderful Sherry undertones and a woody oak flavor as well. This is one beer I wished would never end.
A true treat that is a definite sipper. I WILL seek more of these out and buy them on a regular basis.

 841 characters

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask) | 275 ml. | 11.5% ABV | 2009 vintage

Brewer: J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Style: English Barleywine
Glass: snifter

Golden like the barley it was brewed with. And though there is no head to speak of, a ring of sediment hangs suspended midway through the glass.

Wow. Barley, honey, raisins, molasses, gobs of toffee, fruity esters, and a heavy, floral hoppy tinge.

Harvest Ale has an incredible richness to it that should challenge any reviewer's palate. Fermented barley and raw honey hit first, followed by waves of sherry (remember it's been aged in sherry casks for two years), sticky caramel, and plump raisins. Ripe tropical fruits, like pineapple, and floral hops balance out the otherwise excessive orgy of sweet flavors. The finish tastes to me just like halva (made with tahini).

So gracefully smooth and creamy with some gentle carbonation. It is as if a magical shawl of ale had been draped over the sinews of my tongue. Does that give you an idea of how good it feels?

Perfection. Or close too it. To be honest, I have been wary of Barleywines for a while. I don't particularly like excessive honey-sweetness paired with hard liquor. It seems ungraceful for lack of a better word. However, J.W. Lees Harvest ale is a masterpiece of a beverage. It makes me want to take bad all the bad things I've ever said about Barlywines as a style.

Would I get it again?:
Yes. In fact, I'm about to go out and get a few more right now.

Bottled: 2009
Served: July 16, 2011

Price = $11.99 at Whole Foods NYC

 1,613 characters

Photo of deejaydan
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow.. got this one on BIF 10. Smells of fruit and alcohol and something else.. probably sherry, but I'm not sure what sherry is supposed to taste like.

This is one great treat on the tounge. Slightly spicy and sweet, with a crisp alcohol finish. With the gravity of this beer, no wonder there is some alcohol, but it is well managed.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. It is thick, but carbonated enough so that it doesn't totally coat your mouth.

I think it gets hurt on drinkablilty though... this is a rare treat, but I couldn't see it as an everyday drinker.

 564 characters

Photo of hiphopj5
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of putnam
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed after 24 hours open at room temperature, this "beer" really starts to show what it's got. It can be left open for weeks at room temperature. This is a densely sweet beer with a deeply toasted, burned sugar bitterness. It is peach-tinted brass in color. There is - of course - no "head." It is an unattenuated, high gravity, pure malt, resinated, viscous, aromatic, intensely flavored, orange-colored liquid.
Scorched pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts on the nose fold into concentrated butter, maple and pound cake aromas. On the palate it is sweet and fabulously rich in a viscous, oily-textured way that is not quite accounted for by its evident residual sugar, nor any flavor of alcohol. On the finish it is supported by seed oil-flavored bitterness reminiscent of arsenic-laden apricot and peach pits.

 811 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of Auztan
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of sh00ky
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

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J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 358 ratings
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