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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,520 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:
1,520
Reviews:
863
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
13.65%
 
 
Wants:
268
Gots:
227
For Trade:
15
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,520 |  Reviews: 863
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Devi0us
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2008 vintage. not sure what the big deal is here. this is just a really sweet, yeasty, alcoholic monster. pouring a glittery golden color with a ton of coagulated yeast sediment and a minimal white head. the nose is very sugary, honey sweet, sticky, and yeasty. some fruit notes up front in the taste. alcohol wipes out any other potential subtleties, all i taste is booze and sugar, maybe a hint of vanilla from mid sip onwards. really syrupy in feel, not much carbonation, and more residual sugar that i can handle without turning diabetic. long teeth coating finish. overall not my favorite stuff here, not worth the price or the hype, maybe another decade would make this a star, but im just not feeling it here.

 716 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Zach136
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Auror
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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

2000 vintage, reviewed 12/29/12

Poured into a snifter

Appearance is dark caramel brown, like the color of dried dates (kind of an obscure reference, but it's honestly the best comparison I can think of). Pours a two finger head, even at 12 years old, but dissipates quickly to some whispy foam on top. Beer looks great, the almost opaque brown shows some golden brown on the edge when tilted against the light.

S - vanilla, caramel and earthy notes dominate when the beer is cold, as it warms up it some dark fruit, ripe apples and pears start to come out. It's crazy complex, smells phenomenal.

T - follows right along the nose. Tons of rich and thick caramel dominates at first, vanilla notes come in on the back end. Again, as it warms up the dark fruit come in, ripe red apple. Brown sugar. Like the smell, just amazingly deep and complex. Finish is silly smooth, some honey notes. It's freaky how tasty this beer is.

M - low low carb. Medium thickness. Perfect vehicle for the flavors going on. Can't find any fault.

O - I'm trying to figure out how not to give 5 across the board here. I cant think of a single improvement that needs to be made. This is a special occasion sipper that I can easily spend an hour enjoying. Just absolutely crazy good.

This is my first venture into JW Lees, I got this as part of a sweet BIF box from nlmartin (thanks again buddy). I will definitely be looking out for other vintages, but I don't know how any other year could be any better. 12 years of age set the bar very high.

 1,526 characters

Photo of TerrenceOBrien
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage, 275mL bottle to tulip
Sampled 16SEP12

[A] A pour down the middle doesn't produce more than a quarter finger's worth of head - and it disappears immediately. The color is light tan. Bubbly foam is the texture. The body is extremely dark brown. Ruby highlights can be seen when backlit - which also shows decent clarity and flecks of sediment clinging to the glass. No film, collar or lacing. The body is completely still.

[S] Dark fruit aromatics lead the way. Particularly prune, but complimented by sun soaked raisin. Caramel pokes through to a small degree but it's more than less masked by the fruity aromas. Light tea leaf. Very little alcohol noticeable.

[T] Dark fruit absolutely dominates. Fig is particularly strong. Light caramel on the back end only. Flavors of red raisin and prune linger long. Very long.

[M] At this age, the mouthfeel is nothing short of absolutely remarkable. Very smooth, very full, soft, velvety. Residual sweetness glides over the tongue, leaves a light coat but avoids being cloying entirely. Carbonation is extremely gentle.

[O] One helluva beer. I prefer less dark fruit and more caramel personally, but damn this works so well as it is. An obvious classic.

 1,213 characters

Photo of heygeebee
4.86/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage. BB end of world?

Pours a flat copper. No real head, slight film. Sediment abounds.

Aromas are immediately complex and integrated. Honey, a little vegemite, hint of marmalade, sherry, booze.

Taste to die for. Smooth, complex, no one element stands out. Sherry or port flavours to the fore, less vegemite than nose. More honey, butter, apricot, the list goes on. Dates, figs, prunes... Hop-free zone.

Mouthfeel smooth and non existent carbonation. Full bodied but not cloying. Alcohol is well hidden for ABV.

Best beer I have had in ages. Wonderful. To be savoured.

 583 characters

Photo of cliff1066
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of cozmo
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of jaasen64
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into oversized wine glass. Special bottle from 1988 pulled out of the Lord Hobo cellar for Zwanze Day 2012!! Bottled a year before I was born over 23 years ago!

A- Pours a fairly still dark slightly brown cherry that is mostly opaque. Not much carbonation or head.

S- Fairly sweet and very aromatic with scents of maple syrup, dark fruits, figs, prunes, and some mustiness from age. This smelled like a fine port and has held up amazing with age. Definitely some oxidation but nothing that subtracts from the aroma.

T- Dark fruits, some figs, a tiny bit of prunes, maple syrup, some light mustiness, definite oxidation but if anything adds a little bit to the taste, tastes more like a fine port then a beer.

M- Not much carbonation, smooth, easy drinking.

O- This was definitely a treat that held up amazingly well with time. There was some oxidation and not much carbonation, but neither of those took away from the overall taste. There were a lot of great dark fruit tastes going on that balanced very well with a sweet maple syrup quality. I definitely enjoyed drinking this beer and it's one of the best English barleywines I've had. I definitely recommend laying one down in your cellar and trying it again in a decade.

 1,253 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of SLeffler27
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of MattGeleske
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Molnar
2/5  rDev -52.9%

Photo of bsuedekum
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Auztan
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of BeRanger
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a glass at biermkt in Cleveland.

A: hard to tell from bar light but a copper color, decent amount of floating sediment and a white rim.

Smells and tastes of sweet caramel, coffee, honey, malts. An enjoyable barley wine but certainly a little sweeter than I typically prefer.

Overall it's a good one, sweet but not harsh after taste. Has a nice finish

 384 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap (actually a bottle, but I had to review this again) at Amsterdam Cafe, SF. A beautiful pour into a goblet, with a barely discernible white head. The delicate lacing is wiped clean from the glass by the high abv. The aroma is all sweetness, with a shag carpet of roasty malt.

The most feel is what's most immediately remarkable in the mouth. A slippery, syrupy viscosity hugs the tongue like that of an ice wine. Creamy, God! And a light fizzy carbonation.

The full body is a precursor to the port wine sweetness. Mild molasses. Cotton candy. Ripe Fuji apple. Toffee. Surprisingly floral hop flavor keeps the package from sickening territory. Expanded by the baked-bread toastiness.

I haven't enjoyed a sweetness like this since the last Sauterne I had with a Danish blue cheese and white grapes.

 807 characters

Photo of abraxel
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 7, courtesy of ShogoKawada.

A - Murky, slightly reddish brown, with a thick, creamy, off-white head that drops very slowly. I accidentally got some glumpy sediment in there... hopefully that won't be a problem. Looks quite appealing, but that sediment or whatever is uuugly.

S - Mmmm, the aroma hit me as soon as I cracked the cap. Super strong, smooth, and decadent -- lots of peanut butter, with maybe some molasses and sweet fruits. I think this is an English barleywine, and perhaps an aged one.

T - Extremely sweet, but it stops short of cloying. The malt is dominant and delicious and somewhat complex. Strong notes of peanut butter, molasses, some caramel and dark fruits. A slight, almost ashy, burnt-caramel flavor lingers afterward. Very tasty.

M - Pretty full mouthfeel. Practically no carbonation, nor a hint of alcohol burn -- this is just silky smooth all the way.

Overall, I like this beer a whole lot. It's just delicious.

Non-blind comment: This was '08 vintage, by the way.

 1,034 characters

Harvest Ale (Limited Edition) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,520 ratings.
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