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

Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)
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Barleywine - English
Ranked #13
Ranked #779
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: 897 | Ratings: 1,612 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Bartleby91
Bartleby91 from Wisconsin

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

2001 Vintage
This is truly one of the best beers I've ever had. I love a good English barleywine and this is probably the best one I've had.
A: Murky brown with a small head that barely lasted. Just what a Barleywine should look like.
A: Huge raisin, fig, date, sweet caramel, like a fruitcake. Can smell the sweetness and it's wonderful. Has a tiny hint of heat.
T: Follows the nose with a big sweetness that is equal parts fruity and malty.
F: Rich and lasting with a nice and chewy finish. Coats the mouth and lasts for minutes.
O: This is probably one of my top 5 beers ever. Happy I have another bottle or two.

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus from Washington

4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

9.3oz bottle served in a WABL sample glass. Brewed in 2012. Cellar release 11-2012. Pretty sure I bought it a month or two ago at Whidby Beer Works.

Pours a murky dark amber with only the tiniest ring of head, no visible carbonation. Didn't even give a gasp when the cap was removed -- moderately concerning. Smell is booze, raisins, maybe some oak, maybe some fig.

Taste is raisins, dates, figs, very slow and subtle bitterness making me think of grape must, fruit skins, and wood. Maybe some dark honey, some toffee (now that I say that, sticky toffee pudding comes to mind).

Mouthfeel is not lively, but not dead. Kind of thick, definitely sticky. Overall, this is really interesting and quite enjoyable.

Nov 01, 2020
Photo of HipCzech
HipCzech from Texas

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 275 ml bottle (2009 vintage) poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Murky amber brown with a few big bubbles when pouring, but otherwise no head or lacing.

Smell: Deep aromas burnt caramel, dried dark fruit and faint cellar notes.

Taste: A kaleidoscope of flavors starting with sweet toffee and caramel before diving into tobacco leaf, oak wood, earthy hops and subtle bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodies, a bit syrupy, and only softly carbonated.

Overall: Not a looker, but an amazing sipper full of bold, complex but harmonious aromas and flavors.

Jun 13, 2020
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

3.92/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 1988.

Pours clear mahogany with zero head, retention, or lacing. The beer is still. Chipped toffee and candied malt in the nose. Medium bodied with a slick, syrupy mouthfeel. Toffee, butterscotch, and sweet malt on the palate. Finishes sweet with lingering toffee and malt.

Mar 04, 2020
Photo of Holderness
Holderness from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage

L -- Tawny brown/amber body with a scant half finger of dense cream-colored head produced with aerated pour. More of a head than expected, and it sticks around for a while too, leaving some lacing on the glass
S -- The epitome of what a barleywine should smell like. Caramel, toffee, molasses, fig, raisin, dried cherry, raspberry, wildflower honey, oak, sherry, brown sugar... it really has it all. Complex without being overly syrupy
T -- Apple juice, molasses, herbal hop, light smokiness, simple syrup, licorice, tobacco leaf
F -- Big mouthfeel, minimal silky carb. Nice fluffiness in the mouthfeel and a mildly drying astringency on the tail end
O -- Might be my favorite barleywine to date. Really like this stuff; a true classic


Mar 04, 2020
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing 08', 09', and 10'. Consumed on 12-24-19.

Pours darker than the other 2. No head, though a slight ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Some carbonation bubbles rising in the glass. Also has some floaties when poured.
The nose is quite strong with a caramel, toffee malt. Quite pleasing.
Taste - Very interesting, and very complex. I won't do justice to it and the flavors. It's got a surprising hop bite up front, but it mellows out into a smooth tasting toffee, and caramel flavor. There's almost a smoke flavor also on the backside. Just a slight hint of that.
Body - Thick and creamy. Fairly smooth. Slight alcohol burn, but minimal.
Solid vintage,
Pours a lighter amber color than the 08', but darker than the 2010. No head, and no ring of foam around the rim. Least carbonated of the 3. Has some floaties when poured.
The nose on this vintage is really similar to the 08', but a bit more muted than that vintage.
Taste - This has a hop bite also up front, but it linger more throughout. More muted on the toffee and caramel flavors. A lot less of that smoke flavor than the 08', but there was a faint hint of it there.
Body - Slightly thicker than the 08'. A bit more of an alcohol burn, but it also not too strong.
10' The lightest of the 3 vintages I'm reviewing. No head, when poured, but like the 08' there's a ring of foam around the rim of the glass. Didn't really have many floaties when poured.
The nose on this one is a bit stronger like the 08'.
Taste - Not as much hop bite as the other 2. There's a decent caramel/toffee flavor. I'm also getting a lot more of that smoke flavor than the other 2.
Body - Thick, about like the 08'. Smooth, some alcohol burn.

Overall of the 3 vintages. First off, they can be aged, and they are amazing aged. I'm glad I was able to try all 3 to compare the vintages. There will be floaties in the beer, but it doesn't distract from the beer at all. If you can get this, try it fresh to see what you think, but, if you can, age this, and see what happens. Very happy with the results.

Dec 24, 2019
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

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!

Nov 28, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

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!

Nov 28, 2019
Photo of GoBearsWalter34
GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

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.

Nov 17, 2019
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Wolvmar from Michigan

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.

Sep 20, 2019
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget from Texas

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.

Jun 13, 2019
Photo of Nass
Nass from Florida

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-

May 07, 2019
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

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

Mar 17, 2019
Photo of CaptainHate
CaptainHate from Ohio

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.

Mar 10, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

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

Feb 16, 2019
Photo of socon67
socon67 from New York

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.

Jan 01, 2019
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

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.

Dec 20, 2018
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buschbeer from Ohio

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.

Nov 16, 2018
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Avitra from Switzerland

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

Nov 10, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

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.

Oct 09, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

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.

Aug 01, 2018
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kinmundy77 from Illinois

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.

May 20, 2018
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Giggy from Michigan

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!

Apr 20, 2018
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

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.


Mar 30, 2018
Photo of Lazhal
Lazhal from Michigan

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!

Feb 16, 2018
Harvest Ale (Limited Edition) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1612 ratings