Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)
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British Barleywine
Ranked #13
Ranked #737
4.31 | pDev: 13.23%
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)
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Reviews: 891 | Ratings: 1,596 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of puck1225
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2002 version. This stuff tastes great! Very caramel, toffe, dark fruit, raisins, rum, wonderful sweet booziness. No head or lacing but a rich dark golden brown. Nice sweet dark fruit smell.

A good one for Thanksgiving!

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage; drank 7/8/14 @ Deerfield Elementary.

Red rust hue; lots of cream flotsam floating around.

Cream head; nice lace.

Caramel, raspberry & apple brandy nose. Nice!

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

The taste follows the nose; the flavors are good neighbors, melding well. Amazing!

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
1.89/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2007 Harvest ale
Pours a dark, dishwater orange with no head. Lots of floaties.
Big smell you can pick up from a distance. Lots of carmel, dark fruits and booziness in smell.
I think or hope the bottle is bad. Its a drainpour! I have a 2002 that I am afraid to open.

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Photo of Wolvmar
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2001 Edition
Pour: same
Nose: similar but even more sweet stone fruit, molasses
Taste: really sweet malts, stone fruit, toffee and caramel. I loved it.

Mouthfeel: same

Overall: same but liked it even more. Amazingly well aged


Bottle purchased at Barrels & Vines. 2013 vintage.

Pour: reddish-brown, no head, a few bubbles. No lacing to speak of. Unremarkable but not unexpected.

Nose: pretty big dark candies fruit, caramel, molasses, dark malts.

Taste : follows the nose with even more complexity. Add some burnt toffee, sweet malt, leather. There’s a ton you can take from this beer. I didn’t get any oxidation but can’t say I’m an expert. Awesome.

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, not syrupy but some viscosity. Smooth, easy to drink.

Overall: you probably need to love barleywine to love this beer. But, if you are a barleywine lover, you should absolutely try this. Complex, balanced, subtle yet powerful. A great beer that has aged well.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cellar release 11 -2013 (purchased 2019).

Appearance: Chestnut brown glass doesn't have haze as much as just depth of color making it translucent, with a warm glow. No head, no signs of carbonation, slightly murky.

Aroma: Brown sugar, toffee, perfumed alcohol, autumn leaves.

Taste: Super sweet, barley wine profile, purple grape juice, toffee, leather, dust, gravitas.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, no carbonation, solid chew, warming note.

Overall: Malt bomb, a glorious one. It's a slow sipper, but goes down easy, kind of builds in intensity as you go forward, heady alcoholic kick. J.W. Lee's? Yes please and thank you.

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Photo of Nass
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 Vintage

Are you kidding me this is a 9 oz beer bottle, I feel cheated oh well on to the review. The pour is dark orange / copper with a tiny white head of foam that dissipates rather quickly into the snifter. I can see lots of sediment in the snifter as well. The aroma is of 2 week old soaked fruits. Wow that flavor is interesting, I agree with the honey note, i'm also tasting some caramel, sweet candied fruits, it's a little medicinal, some earthy spicy tobacco & the finish reminds me of pizza crust. I must admit that the taste is better than the aroma. It taste quite different from Thomas Hardy's Vintage Ale. Cheers! A-

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Photo of VABA
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a hazy amber color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has sweet grain hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a sweet grain flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A nice Barleywine

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle poured into a DFH tulip. No carbonation over a reddish brown body with floaters at the bottom.

Smell was of raisins over a boozy sherry aroma. Taste mirrored the smell but had almost no alcohol but this is the first ale I've had that I could taste leather and tobacco that I've heard so much of previously but never experienced. No cardboard or oxidation tastes that I could detect. Mouthfeel was fine as it lingered nicely while not being as thick and oily as other British Barleywines I've had.

Obviously this is something special. I don't know if 12 years is the optimum cellaring time but it's difficult to imagine how this can be improved on.

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Photo of jlindros
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed as part of BJCP training. 17D English Barleywine. 2013 vintage
Pour basically no head, very hazy dark reddish chestnut color

Nose obvious aged aroma, soft aged malt, mild vinous oxidation like notes, rich darker malts, plenty of caramel and Maillard notes, mild toffee, lots of dried fruits, apple, little raisin, hint papery, no hops, a mild smooth alcohol, as it warms a touch of earthy hop and more dried fruits, and more sherry like notes

Taste high sweetness, big sweet malts and sweet flavors, rich toasty and caramel malts, toffee, molasses, bread crust, mild oxidation vinous notes and faint papery, mild but smooth alcohol, a touch of bitterness and mild earthy hop notes but very little, plenty of dried fruits, fig, raisin, dried apple/pear, hops getting a touch earthy spicy later, with fair bitterness ramping a bit. Finish is still fairly sweet, a bit more bitterness and alcohol.

Mouth is fuller bod, a bit chewy thick, but smooth texture and smooth alcohol warmth, lower alcohol but within style esp for age

Overall very sweet and hard to drink, but as expected for the style, nice fruits, nice aging, all around well done example of English Barleywine

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Photo of socon67
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 poured into a Firestone Walker mini snifter.
Tawny brown pour. Scents of almonds, dry sherry, and sugar cookies. Flavors of maple candy, almond paste, and candied fruit. Feel is cough syrup thick is it coats the tongue and lingers. Perfect sipper to end 2018, and ten years of age have served this bottle well.

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Photo of Buck89
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2001 bottling poured into a wine glass. An amber-copper color with a partial covering of tan bubbles. Caramel and toffee aroma, along with subtle cherries and floral notes. Sweet and rich. Caramel and raisin malt flavor with a huge toffee finish. Along the way, nice fruity notes from the hops. A very soft bitterness that melted away into the toffee. Lightly carbed but within the style. Minimal oxidation notes - no cardboard, etc. Overall a great English BW and decadent.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

9.3 US fl. oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a rust colored with burnt orange highlights. It is topped with very little tan head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is dates, figs, molasses, and brown sugar.

It tastes just as good as it smells. I get the date and fig taste with some sweetness in the finish reminiscent of brown sugar.

Medium bodied. Smooth, silky mouthfeel

This is an English barleywine at its finest.

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Photo of Avitra
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Meady beer and very unique. Yes, it's extremely sweet but in a good way, honey, mollases, summer fruit and a flavor party. A little bit if roast in the background and overly nice

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Photo of EMV
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a small bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip (feels like smaller than a 12 oz?) 2014 edition

L: Cloudy mahogany pour with scant fizzy head. Very modest lacing.

S: Rich... sweet dark sugars, fig, toffee, and molasses.

T/F: Follows the nose. Rich and decadent. Sweet and unbalanced... big time toffee/molasses. This beer is all about the dark fruit (raisin, plum, fig) and darker sugars. Complex.... and this should be more cloying but it goes down super easy. Sticky on the tongue.... not much in the way of hopping on the back end. Low carbonation. More toffee and light spice at the finish.

O: A big over the top English Barleywine. Sweet dessert beer best at room temp. Not one I'd want regularly, but a great change of pace/occasion beer.

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Photo of jkblr
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

275mL bottle vintage 2012 poured into a snifter at fridge temp 11.5% ABV. The beer pours not completely bright in an orange tinted amber color. The head is light khaki and recedes quickly to a pencil thin ring around the glass. The aroma is significant and complex with caramel, sweet bread, apple and plum. The taste is semisweet caramel with a tobacco like bite that must be fading hops. There is also raisin, stone fruit and earth as you take additional sips. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, lowly carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. There is some residual bitterness, but not enough to wholly balance the sweetness of the malt. Overall, excellent. Fantastic English barleywine. Recommended.

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Photo of kinmundy77
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2001 Vintage. My son shared a bottle with me while here on vacation. It has been over 2 years since he was here last. Poured into snifters it appears deep dark mahogany in color. Very little head. Small amount of sediment. Aroma is rich molasses, vanilla, figs, raisins and maybe a slight hint of tobacco. Alcohol is there but not strong. Taste follows and reminds me of a hard candy my grandmother made when I was very young (over 50 years ago). Nice smooth mouthfeel to it. I enjoyed this one very much and I have purchased another bottle. I'll save it until he can visit again.

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Photo of Giggy
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle, 9.3 oz., 11.5% ABV.
Poured a rich dark copper color with very minimal white head. Aroma is rich with dark fruits and bourbon qualities. It is very sweet with very little carbonation. This is like drinking a Port. Need to pick up a couple to cellar. Nice Job!

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 9.3 oz bottle in a snifter. This 2015 Autumn edition pours a lightly murky
brownish amber with a nice light head of white foam that settles to a thin ring and shows
some spotty lacing. Nose mulled peaches, raisins, light spice, subtle booze, and rich notes
of butterscotch and caramel. Flavors are delicious with a peach and brown sugar blast
that falls into a plump yellow raisin and caramel waterfall. Vanilla and tobacco reign in
the rear and fade into a warming finish. Very nice mouth feel; low carbonation, medium
body, and a delectable candied peach finish with a touch of cherries with warmth.

Excellence indeed.


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Photo of Lazhal
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2002 Vintage

Poured with no head at all. No lacing whatsoever.

I get some dark fruits on the nose.

Tastes of raisins, figs and caramelized sugar. This is insanely good. Need another bottle!

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Photo of BenHoppy
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

J.W. Lee you did it again. Another badass barleywine. Back to back I had a 2007 vintage followed by a 2002. In appearance the 2007 was more purpley brown/ruby red. The 2002 was more chocolatey brown. Both had a good amount of carbonation with minimal head but 2007 looked like pop more than beer. The 5 really goes to the 2002 but same beer so it gets a 5. There is also some sediment in both with more sediment present in 2007.

The aroma in 2007 is pure whiskey and tobacco whereas the 2002 I get bourbon barrel, vanilla, chocolate, burnt sugar, and caramel

2007 taste: I get whiskey, tobacco, leather, hay, licorice, caramel, toffee, and some Mary Jane candy.

In 2002 vintage the tobacco, hay, and leather flavors had faded with addition of more vanilla and chocolate flavoring that weren't present in 2007 vintage along with some bourbon

Feel is a bit chewy yet super smooth and creamy. More smooth and creamy in 2002.

Overall a fantastic beer that ages gracefully. My all time favorite barleywines when counting the sherry cask and whisky variants. A brewery that knows how to make a well rounded barleywine for sure. I like the 2002 for the chocolate yet liked 2007 for the tobacco and leather. Almost tastes like 2 different beers. Both could age longer but having it at 10 years followed by 15 was a great experience. Both were super enjoyable and glad I opened them now.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11-2012 autumn limited edition vintage. Poured into a tulip glass, a murky dense brown with a brief appearance of a slight sliver of head before dissipating into nothing. The aroma is strong dark fruit, plum, fig, some pear/cider, and leather. The taste hits with a left hook, tobacco and fig up front, with leather and spiced dark fruit right behind it, and some honey notes. About a quarter through, things start to meld. The mouthfeel is dense, carbonation low (but still present). A tasty winter sipper, unless tobacco and leather with some sweetness can't be handled by your palate.

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Photo of FlaviusG
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vertical tasting of 2001, 2007, and 2013. Rating is for the 2001, which was the best. Strong smell of raisin, sweet taste, smooth, little taste of alcohol. 2001 poured much darker, brown/red with some sediment. No oxidation present. Very good.

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Photo of Muss42
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Been looking for a. It for this one. I got the 2014 to start with. Store had going back to 2002! Amazing dark red, sweet smell and the thickest brew I've had. Like syrup on the mouth. Can't wait to try some other vintages!

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Photo of BeanBump
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage.

Rich, smooth, silky, boozy. A nice sweet burn from sip down to stomach. Not overly sweet but the combo of relatively high ABV and inherent sweetness make this one a definite sipper.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vetri , Philadelphia, PA
Beer pairing with Tasting Menu
2013 Vintage
Super smooth and sweet. Lots of plum, almond, grape, tastes and almost feels like a port wine.

Paired with cheese course (for dessert). Perfect complement.

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Harvest Ale (Limited Edition) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1596 ratings