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

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Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)
BA SCORE
4.24/5
Exceptional
1,531 Ratings
Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)Harvest Ale (Limited Edition)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
England, United Kingdom
jwlees.co.uk

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-18-2000

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#866
Reviews:
865
Ratings:
1,531
pDev:
13.68%
Bros Score:
4.6
 
 
Wants:
268
Gots:
227
Trade:
14
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,531 |  Reviews: 865
Photo of akk14
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of donspublic
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Prost76
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lloydboss
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled November 2012, enjoyed March 2016

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Photo of sjccmd
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

Brown sugar, rum, cinnamon, raisin bread. No noticeable hop character. Sweet smelling. Graham cracker, caramel. Warm spicy alcohols. Sweet orange peel, clove, and cardamon. Rich and complex.

Pours a bit murky amber with a thin off-white head that recedes to a small ring and sticks around. A little bit of retention.

Rich and fruity upfront followed with fresh baked bread becoming more vinous towards the finish. Bready malts linger on the finish. Very long and evolving. Brown sugar and oranges. Spiced rum cake. Finishes drier than expected.

Medium heavy body, low carbonation. Somewhat chewy. Sweetness increases with warmth.

Complex but avoids being cloying. Bready and fruity. Impressively long finish.

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Photo of TargaFlorio
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GregBarleycorn13
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Pours a murky mahogany brown with no head. As soon as you bring it to your nose you Know your in for an excellent beer. Taste reminds me of a port. So delicious. For me there was an aftertaste of a bitterness just like Campari. Never had that taste in a beer and enjoyed that , too.

 296 characters

Photo of n2pux
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GetTheYayo
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stevoj
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage on tap at Churchkey. Dark copper with small airy head. Malt with tons of brown sugar sweetness, maple, caramel, toffee. Sweetness distracts from the 11.5% ABV, which delivers some latent heat. Like a big alcoholic Sugar Daddy. (I love Sugar Daddies)

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Photo of elamb106
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deonreds
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of captaincoffee
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Doing three reviews on the 2015, 2011, and 2008 vintages over the next three days, and I'll be updating my scores with each.

Starting with the 2015, it pours a very pretty mahogany with a dense half-inch head, tiny packed bubbles, and ultimately leaves a ring around the beer glass but only spotting lacing. Nose is boozy, rich malt, and some earthiness from the EKG that makes it past the malt overtones. Not very complex, but this vintage is very young (just released last month). Taste is sweet, malty, boozy. A bit more bitterness on the finish than anticipated helps it from being too cloying. Brown bread and honey. Mouthfeel is full and thick...about what you'd expect from an 11.5% barleywine, but the higher-than-expected carbonation also helps keep it from being cloying. Overall, a good beer that should improve with time. Fingers crossed on the next one. Look 4.25, Smell 3.75, Taste 4, Feel 4.25, Overall 4. Total 3.98 at this point.

Next is the 2011. The appearance seems lighter in color with some orange. In fact, the JW Lees website notes the 2015 is darker than most previous years. The nose is still malty and earthy, but less boozy. I'm not going to change my scores for either of these categories. The taste has evolved, however. Richer caramelized sugars. Still lots of brown bread and honey. Worth an extra .25 in my opinion in both the taste and overall scores. Look 4.25, Smell 3.75, Taste 4.25, Feel 4.25, Overall 4.25. Total 4.13 at this point.

Finally, the 2008. Pour is darker again, more like the 2015, but there is very little head anymore. Some bits of stuff in the bottom. Nose has really changed; it is very raisin/prune and sweet. Taste is also like liquid raisins. Port/sherry comparisons now obvious. Worth an extra .5 on the nose and .25 taste, with a minus .5 on look. If this beer was a little less over-the-top sweet, I could give even higher scores. Look 3.75, Smell 4.25, Taste 4.5, Feel 4.25, Overall 4.25. Total 4.32.

 1,994 characters

Photo of MunsonRoyE
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2001 Vintage, poured from the bottle into a rinsed glass tulip.

This poured dark brown with no head and a slight murky edge. Not bad looking at all, for a 15 yr old. The aroma is very complex. It is an amalgam of tobacco, toffee, honey and candied almonds. The prominent flavor is honey, lots of sweet honey tones. The mouthfeel is very appropriate, as its viscous and syrupy. Upon a few imbibes, the taste has quite a long finish that keeps radiating flavors of black tea leaves. It's surprising for how sweet the beer tastes, it is not cloying and I think it's because it's supported by those dark tea-like tannins.

This was very interesting. Its quite amazing when you get to drink a perfectly cellared vintage beer. This is definitely a dessert sipper, not a post-workout or shower beer. A nice splurge.

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Photo of BKotch
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mig100
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Klourie
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cask of 2015 vintage.
Sweet and near cloying but acceptable given style and ABV.
High abv is not hidden but the ale is not hot.
Complex aroma is better than the flavor which would probably benefit from some aging.

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Photo of cduffy201
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Korbynlehr
1.27/5  rDev -70%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

That is the worst tasting thing since scrapple

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Photo of Nunya
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Cdidden
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet but amazingly drinkable

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Photo of deNerval
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Harvest Ale (Limited Edition) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 1,531 ratings
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