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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,517 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
Ratings:
1,517
Reviews:
862
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
13.88%
 
 
Wants:
265
Gots:
227
For Trade:
15
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Ratings: 1,517 |  Reviews: 862
Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1998 Vintage.

A: As soon as I cracked into it (catching the alcohol presence right off the bat), I poured it with care into my DFH snifter. Deep mahogany hue which could only be seen on the sides and bottom in the evening sunlight, and about one finger of creamy smooth head.

S: Again, the alcohol made itself known immediately upon opening the bottle after 10 years of waiting in the darkness. While it was present, it was not utterly dominant. Caramel malt, molasses and raisins permeated and nearly overwhelmed my olfactory senses. I swear I could almost smell how sweet it was.

T: The aroma is great, but the taste is divine. The caramel malt & molasses burst forth immediately with a slightly cloying sweetness, opening up into strong raisin notes and the warming alcohol presence. It finishes beautifully on a warm note and the aftertaste is full of sweet raisins.

M: Again, it is just a little cloyingly sweet. One of the sweetest beers I've had and without the tartness of wild yeast that balances out a lambic. Very low, but not entirely absent, carbonation. But the intense thickness and warming alcohol presence make it a different and wholly fantastic experience altogether.

D: Alas, I cannot recommend more than one a week. It's just too sweet and complex. (English barleywines are right up my alley, so take all this with a grain of salt.) It's best to enjoy this flavor on occasion so one doesn't get to the point that it tastes somewhat pedestrian, which is certainly far from the case. Also, there's just no sessioning an 11.5% monster like this.

I'm not sure if all the vintages are this sweet (I've heard the 2000 is less so), but it was time to drink the '98. I don't think it could have gained much more by sitting longer. Excellent!

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Photo of HopEnthusiast
3.3/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Marked 2004. Decanted from the bottle into a snifter. Pours a quite dark amber color with zero head as expected. Smells of huge malts, cherries, toffee, and alcohol. I've had very few barleywines, so this aroma is quite unique and interesting. The taste is sweet, with raisins, cherries, toffee, and booze all making an appearance. This is so sweet I should have definitely waited to try it later in the day, like after dinner, as opposed to 2 pm. Mouthfeel is quite thick. Drinkability is extremely low as it would take me forever to even finish one of these. I'm conflicted with this beer. It's obviously an excellent beer, but it's so far out of any style I enjoy, that it's hard for me to get too into it.

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Photo of thekanna
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9.3 oz. bottle, 2006 vintage.

A: Pours a radiant dark amber that glows the color of clear apple cider when held up to light. No head to speak of.

S: Strong, dark, warming yeasts that bequeath notes of caramel, dates, dark fruits, raisins, and molasses. Gorgeous.

T: Bitter-y hop note underscores an extremely complex and earthy taste. A cigar or tobacco pipe-like smokiness is mixed with chocolate, large amounts of dark fruits (figs, dates, raisins come to mind), dried fruits, molasses, vanilla, and maple syrup. There is somewhat of a fruity creaminess at the end, as if someone added fruit flavoring to Bailey's irish cream.

M: Not much carbonation to speak of. Overall, the brew is oily and slick and covers the mouth, with a general creaminess to round out the end. Strong warming effect as one continues to sip.

D: Improves more and more by the sip. I was really impressed by this brew. I have a 1999 bottle that's cellaring right now, but I think I'll wait for a while before I crack that open.

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Photo of grayburn
2.45/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2007 Vintage

Poured a beautiful tawny color into the glass at around 50 degrees. Heavy tan head leaves heavy lace.

Smelled completely of a soy or bbq sauce, maybe a touch of white raisin. Interesting, bold, a little too unique for me to be honest. This beer is too food like, too salty, too much plate, not enough glass. Maybe its too young, maybe I'm too young.

Taste was disappointingly similar to the smell, soy sauce and bbq, without the meat. I don't sense hops so much as cooking spices. I really wish I would have just let this one lie for a couple of years, like 10 or so. These flavors really need to mellow

Mouthfeel was good so long as the taste isn't a part. Rather smooth, good carbonation.

I probably won't be getting another of these, I had to suffer it down because I don't believe in pouring. I would not recommend.

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Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 Vintage. Pours a murky brown color with some yeast floaters, small white head that settled quickly into a ring. The aroma is meaty, marinated in soy sauce, and raisins. Quite strong. The taste is of candied cherries and honey which slowly transforms into a savory marinade. A bit salty and peppery and sort of like teriyaki sauce. Brown sugar is present and a brown bread malt. The brew has a full body, a bit thick and almost syrupy. The carbonation is still kicking after 7 years. Very sweet and then savory. I feel like I am drinking a candied marinated steak. Definitely has bold flavors but not sure this is what I am looking for in a beer.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
3.52/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 bottle picked up at Healthy Spirits in SF.

Definitely some floaters in this one - let sit still for a while before pouring. Almost no carbonation in this whatsoever - tried pouring from about 3 feet above glass and nothing. A murky brown, cloudy beverage. The smell is really good, picking up rum soaked plums, dates and figs. Pretty boozy and heavy. The taste is super sweet with a slight bitter mustiness at the tail end - reminds me of my grandparent's basement. This has been the same for all JW HA's that I've had - kind of disappointing. The mouth feel is on the more viscous side and would improve greatly if there were any carbonation in it. Given the high ABV, the super sweet flavor and mustiness I could not drink any more than one bottle max. Overall an interesting beer but not something that I would drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of Fatduck
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage 275 ml bottle.

Pours a dark brown, with a fleeting head, fades to a ring. This one is a little muddy. Smells very sweet, but there is a hint of roasted malts in there too, I love it.

Taste is very sweet, lots of stuff going on here, this is one beer that I know is great, but it eludes me. Taste is very fruity, raisins, pears? I don't know, but its great.

Creamy silky mouth, very smooth, barely carbonated. Nice easy drinker.

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Photo of Tone
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2000 version of this brew.

Pours a cloudy brown. 1/2 inch head of a light tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of alcohol, strong malt, some roasted malt, and some bread aromas. Fits the style of an English Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and thick. Low to average carbonation levels present. Tastes strongly of alcohol, sweetness, then some roasted malt comes through, then the bread flavors dominate, and the finish is mostly the sweetness. Hop bitterness is present, but does not come through very strongly. Overall, complex and rich palate - a little too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of desertbronze
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9.3 oz. bottle - 2001 vintage.

Copper color in the glass - thin head fades almost immediately.

Smells extremely sweet - oxidation notes in the background.

One dimensional sweet taste with some oxidation noted. Not surprising given the age of the beer.

Cloying on the tongue - sweet taste lingers after the swallow. Oxidation in the aftertaste.

Too sweet to be drinkable in any quantity - I split this bottle with a friend - could have split it four ways without cheating anybody.

I bought 2 of these in 2003 - drank one in 2006 - thought it was good but too sweet. Saved this one - still too sweet and starting to oxidize as well. Seems like laying this down for 2-3 years is about right.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter. 1999 vintage out of the cellar. I've had a few versions of this and 99 was my favorite so it's time for a review.

A- 1999 J.W. Lees pours out extremely thick. Not thick like a stout but thick enough for an over the top barleywine almost resembling syrup. A very dark tan to brown out of the bottle while in the glass it appears a dark mahogany. No head whatsoever leaving no lace presumably. Some bubbles are seen popping up at the surface. A few twirls of the glass, this looks like a watered down syrup.

S- The smells on this are out of this world unique. The only brew comparable to this is thomas hardy and even at that they are different. Every smell from this is strong with nothing holding back leaving as bold aroma. The main factors include raisins, caramel malt, molasses, maple syrup and on the lighter side chocolate. A lot of alcohol is packed in the smell as well. I enjoyed smelling this so much I almost did not want to drink it.

T- I'm so glad that I decided to drink this instead of smell it all night. The taste is just as bold as the smell coating my palette with English barleywine goodness. Up front a lot of that maple syrup, molasses and caramel malts make this quite sweet. This is also joined by some raisins at some point. Figs and dark cherries come to mind. A bunch of dry fruits in the middle with some chocolate sneaking through. the alcohol comes out in the finish and is ever present even after 10 years in the bottle.

M- extremely thick and heavy handed. The sweetness coats the mouth and ligers for quite some time while the alcohol creates a overall warming effect. Not much in terms of carbonation which is fine with this old of a bottle. Not bitter in the least bit and I wonder if a fresh bottle would show some hop bite as there is non in this. Why would there be any hops this is 10 years old, they are long gone.

D- The only way I can drink this is in very small sips over a lot of time. Everytime I have a JW I have no desire for anything else be it beer or water or whatever. In other words I am spent after the 10oz or so and ready for bed. This is the best night cap beer ever in my eyes. I can see how the sweetness of this could be off putting for others and it is slighty for me after time. I still love this stuff though and want to try a 20 year old bottle.

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Photo of ajs4bd
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2000 Vintage, poured in a snifter, served 1-14-09 - Very slight head that disappeared quickly. The color was a cloudy dark amber or brown. A few swirls provided fair lacing, which was average compared to the other barleywines I've had.

The aroma was filled with very sweet malt with hints of raisins, dates and honey. The sweetness trumped all other smells, and was quite a build-up and I was hoping I wasn't about to be let down.

The flavor was excellent, with a very full body, slightly soft carbonation (just right for my barleywine preferences) and a thick creamy finish. This tasted even better than it smelled and had an even sweeter flavor than expected.

All in all, one of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1996 vintage. Small 9oz bottle.
Opens without a hiss, and pours like watered down mud. Brick brown and opaque. No head at all.

The dominating aroma is nutty caramel. Soft vinous notes, mostly a sherry quality. Soft, dark fruits. Woody and earthy.

The flavor remains very sweet, with a deliciously unusual nutty flavor. Full bodied, with just the softest twinkle of carbonation. Gooey caramel, dried dates and fig newton. Minimal hops, finishing sugary sweet. Really earthy and woodsy. A lick of alcohol in the end, coming together in the finish somewhat reminiscent of a cordial.

I could have done with a bit of carbonation, there really isn't any to speak of. Besides that, this is delicious.

1990 vintage.
Murky brown, pouring with some large bubbles that quickly die to nothing at all.
Strong, malty aroma. Lots of vinous, well aged scents. Honey and yeasty notes. Rather nutty, fruity, and decadent.
The flavor opens very, very sweet. The hops are completely gone, and thus there's little to temper the malt sweetness, aside from light, vinous sourness in the finish. Very fruity, with a pronounced raisin and plum character. Nutty, caramelized chocolatey malt. Very light carbonation, barely present, with a thick, syrupy body. Less earthy than the 1996 bottling, and more fruity. The flavors are better integrated, coming together in a seamless package. Very nice.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.33/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the 2003 vintage.

Pours a nice clear coppery amber with a fairly thick but not too persistent pale tan head. Aroma is crisp and fruity, mainly of sweet apple, more like a cider than a beer. Strong alcohol bite overwhelms the rather sweet, fruity flavor, so it is rather like drinking brandy mixed with fruit juice. Flavor does have a hint of malt and a hint of hops, but is somehow not really beer-like; nevertheless it is acceptable, if not my cup of tea, er, ale. Texture is syrupy, smooth and thick, yet edgy thanks to the strong bite of alcohol. It leaves a rather sweet aftertaste coupled with some alcohol and hop bitterness.

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Photo of DIPAbrewer
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1997 on tap at Max's taphouse in Baltimore! I was stunned when I saw it on the beer list and even more pleased after tasting.

Brilliant deep dark golden brown, with a slight head.

Aroma of sweet malt faint earthy hops and butterscotch.

Flavor was full of sweet, sweet malt. Mild bitterness with lots of butterscotch. Probably diacetyl but it somehow worked very well in this beer.

Dangerously drinkable for the ABV. I was amazed and ecstatic to be able to try this vintage brew on tap at one of my favorite bars.

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Photo of roadhouse
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 9.3 oz. bottle into a tulip snifter. 2005 vintage.

Appearance is a slightly hazy copper color with a half inch off-white head, even with a pour straight into the glass. Tons of sediment in the bottom of the bottle that I refused to drink for fear of the morning shits. Loss of an ounce and a half or so. Lacing is basically nonexistent.

Aroma is very complex. There's a brown sugary sweetness overall with hints of candied fruit, figs, raisins, and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is even more intense than the aroma. Huge sweetness up front again it's quite brown sugary, but also somewhat like toffee. Lots of figgy, raisiny fruitiness that is complimented by a taste that I can't quite put my finger on other than it being a sweet doughiness, that dominates the finish. Maybe a touch of tobacco in the linger.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, thick and chewy, with a fairly light carbonation lending to a soft feel.

This exceeded my expectations greatly. The only thing I regret is not buying it sooner.
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I had the chance to drink a 1988 Harvest Ale not too long ago and just had to write that it was the most amazing thing I have ever tasted. 22 years on it and it was sublime. It was the same flavor character as previously described but everything was just working perfectly together. Perfection indeed.

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Photo of beveritt
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1999 vintage. Poured from a 275 ml brown bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 1 finger of tan head. This settles slowly, leaving behind very nice lacing. The beer itself is the color of polished copper.

Smell: Maple syrup with bitter hop notes.

Taste: Distinct maple syrup flavor, sharp and very sweet.

Moutheel: Average carbonation level, amazing considering the age of this beer. Body is incredible.

Drinakbility: Oh how I wish I had a case of this in my cellar. This beer has held up magnificently well. developing a complex flavor profile while retaining the carbonation and bite of a young brew.

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Photo of kennyo
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage

Pours a murky brown, no head, no carbonation.

Aroma - nice sherry smell, french toast

Taste - malt and lots of it, sweet, alcohol, a sweet style sherry, dried fruits.

long lasting flavor in the mouth.

mouth feel - coats the mouth with flavor

I liked it, a little to much sweetness but a very good beer.

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Photo of brdc
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Harvest Ale 2001. Small capped bottle poured into a snifter.

Brown with reddish higlights, murky but manages to have shiny edges. Small tan head, more retention than expected for the high ABV.
Very nice, powerful aroma flows out of the glass as you pour it: caramel, toffee, fruits, port and sherry.
It is a lot more on the sweet side, but is never cloying. The alcohol related flavors provide a measure of balance, while not interfering with the sweetness and not exactly providing heat - it is actually quite mellow due certainly to aging. Rum soaked fruits, caramel, and multiple notes of port and sherry.
Silky mouthfeel, medium with little carbonation. Just the perfect body for the style.
A very nice british barleywine.

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Photo of brooklynsfinest
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

9.6 fl oz. 1998 Vintage Limited Edition bottle poured into a large Dogfish snifter for one and a Duvel tulip for another.

Appearance: Mahogany color that turns dark amber in the light. Small head that fades to lace pretty quickly. Not overly carbonated, understandably due to its age. A somewhat syrupy and viscous look to the brew with some swirls.

Smell: Malt. Alcohol is noticeable yet comfortably inviting like a warm blanket. Molasses. Dark fruit. Raisins. Fruit cake soaked in an aged rum. Allspice. Some butterscotch-toffee. Notes of a fortified wine. Sherry, maybe Port.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Amazingly smooth. Makes me wonder if the claimed 11.5% abv is false advertisement. Some warmth on the finish, but none of the alcohol scents I got are present in the taste. Really malty! even when expecting it from the style. Full syrupy mouthfeel. Very sweet, but not cloying. More dark fruit. Prune flavors, but not those of the cheap Pathmark from-concentrate prune juices your constipated grandmother bought, more like freshly picked plums dried and then soaked in a sweet syrup of complexity.

Drinkability: A beer of this sort, (especially after being aged for a decade) isn't intended to be a session beer, and therefore should not be graded as one. As i mentioned above the beer is very smooth for the style and abv, hence my score for drinkability.

Overall notes: An excellent beer. Enticingly smooth and complex. Will be sure to revisit other years and the various cask fermentations.

Quote from Dad: "Good after dinner, not a breakfast beer."

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Photo of claytri
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1997 Vintage.

The beer poured an opaque medium brown with ruby highlights with an off white head. The aroma was very vinous, much like a red wine. The taste was a combination of medicinal, vanilla, and wine, with the vanilla winning out. The feel was heavy creamy and wet. A very enjoyable brew, I can't wait to get some more.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a murky, rust brown color, with a thin light tan head. The head fades fast, leaving minimal lace.

This beer has a very aggressive aroma. It has a very sweet caramel malt aroma. Alcohol is present. It has a dark fruit aroma or raisins, prunes, and figs.

This beer tastes strongly of raisins. Some figs too, but mostly a strong raisin flavor. It tastes of sweet caramel. The alcohol is hidden in the flavor. There is just a hint of licorice in the flavor as well.

This beer is very full bodied. The alcohol warms as it goes down, leaving a sweet raisin aftertaste. The carbonation is low, which is to be expected of a 10 year old beer.

This beer would probably not make a good session beer. First, it is 10 years old, and not readily available. Second, it is very aggressive, and would become cloying after a time. Finally, the alcohol content is pretty high, making it hard to put back a few.

Overall: Thank you Brentk56 for so generously sending me this beer. It was great. I wish I had about a case more. The beer could probably age for a lot longer.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1998 vintage, I kept it till the 31st to make sure its at least a 10 year old sample, oldest beer Ive ever had.

Pours a viscous, murky mahogany with an ominous stillness underneath a small foam ring. The ring never leaves and manages to muster up a bit of lacing, pretty impressive for such an old beer. The aroma is a heady mix of rum drenched Christmas pudding, strawberry jam on toast and maple syrup. The taste is very sweet with layers of doughy malts and ripe fruit flavors. After a while toffee covered cashews, roasty dark malts and clover honey shows. Hops are essentially imperceptable against the barage of malt flavors. The mouthfeel is immensely thick and creamy and more briskly carbonated then I expected. The finish is fruity, sweet and a bit warming from booze.

The alcohol is very well hidden for 11.5%, but the intensity of the malt flavors makes it a slow sipper. Tonnes of nuance shows with warmth, with new flavors emerging all the time. Very nice.

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Photo of cvfish
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark amber color with some floating extras, but produced no head or lacing around the glass

S - Strong alcohol and dates and raisins, barley action going on as well

T - Alcohol tastes, but refined, not hard, some dark fruits, like the scents, and some earthy nature tastes

M - Smooth, medium bodied with slight carbonation

D - Very drinkable and smooth drink, like refined liquor, but with a beer taste

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1998 vintage, poured into a Duchesse goblet.

Dark auburn body, reddish edges in direct light, with a solid finger of creamy foam. When backlit, there were suspended particles visible, and a central stream of carbonation. After fifteen minutes, it still held an unbroken skim, which was admirable for a 10 year old ale.

Definite aged character in the aroma, sweet rich malty notes, lightly nutty. Taste was sticky sweet, brown sugar and raisins, with a warming nutty finish. Perfect for the chilly holiday season, its like fruitcake in a glass. Rich and creamy feel that is probably it's best attribute. If you can get adjusted to the sweetness, the nutty finish is very nice. One at a time for sure, on special occasions.

2008 vintage:
Has a distinct peanut butter flavor and an earthy aftertaste. Very syrupy and viscous. Light metallic note in the aroma, otherwise all toffee. Plenty of oxidation as expected.
Overall score: 3.7

2011 vintage:
Tasted side by side with the '08 in 2013. Lighter orange color, looks like mead almost. A bit more sharpness from the abv, but overall the flavor seems better than the '08 with only trace amounts of oxidation. Slight fruitiness from the yeast, light apricot and honey comb. Overall score: 4.25

1987 vintage:
Hard to score this, very dark brown but with good clarity. Very molasses forward, sweet and chewy. Tiny bit leathery.
Overall it was unique, seemingly more in the realm of vintage Hardys. Thanks to Kevin for sharing!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1998 vintage - consumed 12/24/2008
Poured into a snifter on Christmas Eve, 2008.
A-4.5; S-5.0; T-4.5; M-4.5; D-3.5; Overall-4.45

Surprisingly well-carbonated, the infamous Harvest Ale produces a chestnut-gray head that recedes to a ring of large bubbles and thin wisp of foam. The body is a deep plum color that turns LED-red in the light. Aromatically, a gorgeous bouquet of nutty, caramelized malts, sherry, wet paperboard, raspberry, fruitcake, and floral hops wafts upward from the glass. Both enticing and intoxicating at the same time.

The first bit of flavor to hit the palate is a spicy, boozy blend of sherry and slight hops. Quickly, a honeysuckle sweetness filled with rich caramel malts takes over, giving way to notes of soft vanilla, paper, and sherry from the oxidation. The booziness is detectable, but subtle, adding to the complexity that unfolds sip after sip. The sweetness doesn't get overbearing until the finish, where it lingers for a tad bit too long and wears down the senses. Mouthfeel is thick, and syrupy smooth. Not only is a 10-yr old JW Lee's Vintage Harvest Ale is the definition of a "Malt Bomb", it's also a fantastic beer. Can't wait to drink my '99 in '09.

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1999 Vintage - consumed 12/24/2009
Aroma not nearly as pronounced, although I fear this could be a byproduct of the over-sized wine glass in which I served the beer. Still extremely sweet with a hint of sherry. Not much cardboard, but a slight roasted honey sweetness on the finish. Like the '98, the 1999 vintage is one hell of a sugary malt bomb...I can feel the diabetes kicking in with each sip. Yum.

A-4.0; S-3.5; T-4.5; M-5.0; D-4.0; Overall - 4.2

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2001 Vintage - consumed 12/24/2011

Possibly my favorite experience with this beer. The 2001 batch is sweet with notes of sherry, golden raisin, currant, and figs galore. Oxidation is slight and surprisingly there is still a tinge of hops in the background. Mellow booze. Can't imagine this one getting any better than it is right now...

A - 4.0; S - 4.5; T- 5.0; M - 5.0; O - 4.5; Overall - 4.53

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Harvest Ale (Limited Edition) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,517 ratings.
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