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:
#867
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
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Ratings: 1,531 |  Reviews: 865
Photo of moodyxc9
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vinicole
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Feb 2017 - Vintage 2007 Overall = 4.58 (as shown)
Bottle direct from the brewery.
Deep auburn with a thin wispy head. Yeast floaters apparent.
Rich aroma. Multitude of rum infused fruit. Alcohol is noticeable. Slightly oxidised sherry notes. Toffee. A mellifluous concoction.
The taste reflects the bouquet and more so. Very sweet.
Unctuous in nature but nevertheless has high drinkability.
A very enjoyable experience and 2008 - 2016 inc' yet to be drunk from my cellar.

March 2017 - Vintage 2008 - More sherry like in taste and aroma. Phenols are noticeable. Bitter finish. Very low carbonation. Overall = 3.9

May 2017 - Vintage 2016 - Dark marmalade colour. Flat. Treacle. Sweet again. Definitely needs ageing. Overall = 4.00

July 2017 - Vintage 2015 - Lighter than others. Reduced aroma and taste. Hint of oak. Very soft. At two years old this one is developing nicely. Overall = 4.25

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Photo of FBarber
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2001 Vintage drunk in 2017.

Pours a ruddy brown color. Completely opaque. Has lots of yeast floaters visible in the beer. No head whatsoever. Beer does have some visible carbonation like coca cola - you can see the big bubbles in the beer at first, but then they disappear.

Smell is very sweet. Figs, raisins, plums, and dark fruits on the nose. Lots of leather and sherry like notes also come through.

Taste follows the nose with lots of sweet fig, plums, raisins, and dark fruits. Sherry like notes. Beer is surprisingly sweet, almost too sweet - tastes like there is actual molasses in the beer. Touch of apple and cardboard on the finish. The oxidation is not bad in the beer, and it actually works well with the flavors, but I can't help but think that this beer is well past its prime.

Feel is full bodied. Mild to almost no carbonation. Pretty smooth.

Overall a really interesting beer - I think I need to get a more recent vintage to try because this one is past its prime. Still, even this is a phenomenal beer. An absolute must try.

 1,051 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2014 bottle poired into a snifter at Hopcat Chicago. Minimal head/retention, cloyingly sweet even for me but still a very satisfying experience and quite representative of the style.

 191 characters

Photo of newbeeraday
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Scepter
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gambyt20
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DeFaz
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2001 bottle (15 years old)

Appearance: Appealing reddish brown color with no head

Smell: Figs, raisins, burnt toast.

Taste: Really complex. Raisins, figs, toast, and so much malt goodness. Reminds me of a stronger and slightly better version of the Dogfish raisin beer (can't recall the name). Really good, but as I'm drinking, I can't help but still feel that it may not be quite special enough for the $11.99 pricetag.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is fairly well concealed given the abv. A little sticky. Carbonation level is quite low.

Overall: Glad I tried it, and it's a great beer, but I can't justify paying $11.99 for 9.5 ounces of this in the future. Worth trying once and sipping on that special occasion.

 711 characters

Photo of Stefko
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ristaccia
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of edthehead
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gatch
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2002 bottle.

Finally got around to buying one and thought it appropriate to sip on NYE going into 2017.

A gorgeous mahogany brown with no head. This pours like a Port. Aroma is all dark dried fruits, wood, caramelized sugar, and some booze. Flavor is the same. Like I'm sucking on a piece of the barrel. So fruity and earthy. A lighter Port is what I keep coming back to. Feel and finish are obviously as smooth as it gets. So mellow and thick...this can't be beer! Amazing that a beer can end up this way with patience and craft.

Fuck you, 2016.

 549 characters

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

HARVEST ALE 2001 VINTAGE....this beer is over 15 years old and is AMAZING.... The aroma is of burnt brown sugar, dark fruits like raisins, dried plums dried Cherry's... The taste is is sweet molasses, sweet Carmel, dried dark fruits....so smooth and easy drinking for a 11.5 alc%....this beer is phenomenal... 100 out of 100 Grade A beer.

 338 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013

Although I can certainly appreciate the high scores and accolades this beer gathers, I must say I am more than just slightly underwhelmed with my first experience with J.W.
Maybe I do prefer the over the top American examples of the barrel aged English barleywine because this one is too sweet for my tastes.

 324 characters

Photo of mitch3114
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drone
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tim725
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Sampled as a vertical in tasters at a barleywine tasting event. 2014 tried alongside 2001.
The 2014 barleywine was delicious - a bright, young barleywine that was not overly saccharine despite having the classic robust malt presence. Trace hints of hop, and a less heavy mouthfeel contributed to an autumnal palate. Excellent.
The 2001 extraordinary. An incredible window into what can happen within the confines of a bottle over a decade and a half. Gone were the light, youthful notes of trace hop and sugars. They were instead replaced with a toffee, caramel syrup. Notes of dates and figs more prominent than in almost any bottle I've tried before. A true treat to try 15 years aged.

This is absolutely a standout barleywine. One of my favorite instantiations of one of my favorite styles.

 803 characters

Photo of jeffdr123
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Fascinating. As complex as it gets. Sweet fruit, malt, and the right amount of bitter after taste. Warm going down, like Scotch. Sip by sip at the Hay Merchant in Houston.

 172 characters

Photo of TheBeerGulper
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of DruC4
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2001 vintage. Pours a very dark brown. Still a bit of carbonation on this 15-year-old beer. A minimal skiff of tan head.
Aroma is a dream of malt. Fine leather, tobacco, toffee, dark fruit, peanut butter and vanilla. Crazy.
The taste starts off rich, sweet caramel and plum. As it flows over the tongue, I pick up leather, tobacco, peanut butter, chocolate and chocolate cake. Each sip seems to bring new tastes. Sweet and rich throughout.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky.
This bottle aged beautifully!

 502 characters

Photo of rypkr
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Preface by I'm fairly inexperienced in barleywines.

2001 vintage.

A - 9.3oz poured into a snifter. Very faint pop on the bottle cap. Poured dirty brown bathwater brown. Zero head on first half of the poured so it aggressive finishing the pour and still couldn't manage any. Leaves no lacing, only a thick mineral oil residue.

S - sweet candy corn and ripe, ripe plums. Brown sugar, toffee, and welches purple grape juice. Alcohol heat and phenolic yeast.

T - wow. This is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I'm honestly not even sure how to describe what I'm tasting. It's sweet, very sweet but in no way as sweet as the nose indicates. All your standard dark fruitiness is there but it's different. Yellow raisens come to mind with each sip. There is a unique bitterness I would almost describe as leather, perhaps its somewhat oxidized, though it's not like the cardboard I've tasted in other beers. There's a roastiness as it finishes, or smokiness even.

M - low, low carbonation. But thick viscous and oily with alcohol and sugar.

Overall quite an experience. Eager to put beer advocate down and sip through the rest of this. At $10 for 9oz this is among one of the most expensive beers I've purchased. However I likely will again on occasion.

Edit to note I'm trying this a second time on 11-30-17 and it still stands to be one of the best crafted beers I've ever had. It's almost divine.

 1,405 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | 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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