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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,518 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:
1,518
Reviews:
862
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
13.65%
 
 
Wants:
265
Gots:
227
For Trade:
15
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,518 |  Reviews: 862
Photo of kojevergas
2.29/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2010 vintage 275 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live, because it fell out of me fridge and foam started building so I knew I had to open it.

Bottle acquired at Hi Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured lightly given extra caronbation was expected.

A: Pours a half finger head of bad thickness, no real cream, and bad retention (maybe 20 seconds). Murky copper-brown colour. Floating yeast particles are certainly visible, with strange white floaters present. Not at all appealing.

Sm: Malty and yeasty. Malt dominates - a mixture of mildly dark malt and bright barley methinks. No roasting or toasting comes through. A mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy on the lees - sweet jaysus. Toffee is also a big element here. A sort of raisiny grapey fruit tone dominates the finish, with a hint of apple. I don't like the third act at all as a result; it feels really awkward and off. The remainder of the beer is merely clean malts. Lees were a bad call for this beer; even after two years of aging they're still quite dominant. It's a lot like drinking pure malt syrup to a degree. No alcohol comes through, which is impressive given the ABV. Overall, it's horribly balanced and badly built for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body nicely I suppose. Adequately carbonated. Thick enough but not quite ideal. It dries on the finish due to the lees, which is pretty nasty.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV - perhaps its best trait. It was nowhere near as good as expected, and I wouldn't have it again unless a friend recommended it and it had a few years on it. The malts make it feel like a base for a better beer. A bastardization of barleywines as a style. Incredibly disappointing.

Overpriced, at least in the U.S.A.

I'll try the cask aged versions in the hope that they're better than this. I don't recommend this for aging or food pairing. A poor example of the style.

D

 2,123 characters

Photo of craytonic
2.32/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2001 vintage in early 2012

Appearance: mahogany-brown pour with a short-lived head

Smell: Sickly sweet with some fruit, port, caramel and toffee

Taste: Super-sweet, unbearably so, at least for a sour head like myself. Figs, raisins, port, carmel and toffee

Mouthfeel: Full body from the sugar, similar to sweet tea or a regular coke

Overall: I can't drink anything this sweet.

 381 characters

Photo of morebeergood
2.33/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Purchased three bottles: 2008, 2007, 2006 a couple years back and have aged them in my proper beer cellar since then. Cracked them all open last night. All three were flat, overly sweet, and metallic tasting. They did not age well at all. I bought them at a decent price, so no big loss. But I expected more since this was a beer that the label says can be laid down for years.

 377 characters

Photo of Floydster
2.34/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2002 vintage, 9.3 ounce bottle purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar for $6.99 some time last year, put in the fridge for about forty minutes before cracking, split with my dad about an hour ago, poured into the new Sam Adams glass

A-Light to medium brown with an orange tint, 3/4 inch creamy off white head, suprisingly stuck around for a while which I did not expect because it is six years old, decent retention, no lacing

S-Huge amounts of caramel, toffee, butter, brown sugar, cognac, salt, soy sauce, vanilla, milk chocolate, plums, dates, figs, grainy bread, hint of brandy, aroma was so complex but it almost made me sick to my stomach due to its sweetness

T-I would hope that this beer gets better with even more age because I could barely handle it but then again it could have just been my palate, started off with a big caramel sweetness, along with strong dark fruits and toffee in the middle, finish was hot and burned a little going down, some serious booze here with an aftertaste that just does not want to leave, did not expect hoppiness after this long of an aging period but it needed some kind of dryness to balance out all the sweet accents, each sip made me cringe a little

M-Super sweet, boozy, and pungent mouthfeel, really could have used some carbonation, body was medium to full and very hazy in appearance, taste lingered far too long, also spicy and warming later

D-Could barely get through four ounces of this stuff, extremely heavy on the stomach, way too sweet in my opinion, alcohol is very present and is hotter than it even smells, not smooth, just flat out strong

Alcohol by volume was what it is listed at here but seemed like much more, one of the older beers I have tried at six years, to be honest this was a big let down for me and you can probably see that with the scores, far from a barleywine that I am used to, I would not drink this again, not recommended mainly because it is not my thing

 1,938 characters

Photo of ToasterFork
2.35/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2002

A: Nice rich brown Amber, no head, sediment

S: Fruit first and foremost, rum raisin, liquory, caramel, very complex nose. Smelled like Grandma's minced meat pie.

T: Strong Sherry taste, rum raisin, sugar, I fear this BW is past it's prime

M: Heavy body, Warming

D: Couldn't finish it.

 294 characters

Photo of leaversuch
2.36/5  rDev -44.5%

Photo of dogfishandi
2.41/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

2001 vintage (a little over 9 years of age)

275ml bottle from the cellar poured into a bulb style glass.

pours out a murky dark brownish red with a layer of bubbly off white head that slowly faded to a thick ring. lots and lots of big chunky sediment visible even after decanting and a careful pour. some spotty lace and some nice legs.

a powerful aroma mostly of almonds and other such nuts. almost a little off putting. behind that theres a lot of toffee, burnt caramel, a bit of chocolate.

again with this overpowering oily almond flavor, overly sweet. lots of caramel, toffee, buttery, a bit of chocolate. hardly any alcohol. my palate just cant get over that burnt nutty taste, a bit disgusting.

pretty decent mouthfeel for such a big beer. hardly any alcohol noticable. slick creamy oily feel.

terrible drinkability, after a few ounces this was sadly a drain pour. id be interested to try other vintages, but this was a turn off.

 942 characters

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.

 837 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
2.46/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2003 poured from a bottle

Poured a cloudy brown with no head at all. Smell was total alcohol, really over powered it and the taste was pretty much the same. There was a bit of a caramel, nutty, sugary taste in there but the alcohol far over powered this. I expected this one to be a bit more rounded out then it was, maybe I am just more of a fan of American Barleywines. Overall it was not bad, but I would pass on a second.

 428 characters

Photo of Hallertau
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of prisoner1572
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of Hellpop65
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of Sixpack595
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2001 Edition

Slightly hazy brown with suspended chunks of sediment. Nearly no head. Slightly vinous, slightly sour aroma. Diacetyl and sweet malts dominate both aroma and taste. Big, complex beer...but it still tastes like crap. Honey, licorice, molasses and raw sugar make this a sickly sweet brew that ends with a slightly sour, bitter finish that in no way cuts the cloying, syrupy aspect. I have a couple other vintages from the mid 90s that I will try after I let them mellow for a while longer. I sure hope they get better with age.

 541 characters

Photo of ohtheguilt
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of strongaf
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of ADTaber
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of HugeBulge
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of crwills
2.6/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

WARNING: This may have been a spoiled bottle, as my rating is significantly lower than the average.

Vintage 1998 bottle.

Poured a muddy brown with a small fizzy head into an oversized wine glass. Doesn't look too bad, although there are some particles in there which make it less appealing than it could be.

Aroma is brown sugar, cake or doughy bread, with alcohol in the forefront. Some mild milk chocolate notes and dark, overripe or rotting fruits. A little bit of a sour, off aroma concerns me...

Taste is... ridiculously sweet. I think this is what happens when an eight year old barley wine doesn't get taken care of. Overwhelming sugary cotton candy and candied prune/date flavours make this impossible to enjoy for me, although it does overwhelm the high alcohol. Aftertaste is terribly sweet, and I had to eat something to get rid of it. Any hops that were in there are long gone... all malt, all the time.

Mouthfeel is still OK, if a bit sticky. I got about 2/3 of the way through this before I had to stop.

I hope this was a bad sample... I've had several other aged barleywines that didn't end up like this. Most of the reviews indicate that it should be very sweet, but this was just unbearable. If given the opportunity, I will grab another bottle (maybe not quite so old) and re-review.

 1,319 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.6/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 8/26/08. Bottle, 1999 vintage. Pours a cloudy amber brown with a small light tan head that dissipated quickly. Aroma of of oatmeal, sweet brown sugar, sweet fruits (raisin, apple, pear), slight alcohol. Flavor is SUPER sweet. Wow. I've never had port or sherry but I imagine that this beer would taste something like that. Syrupy and thick. Not bad tasting but very strong and it was hard to handle more than one sip of a time of this. Much too sweet and I thought that this would have mellowed somewhat in the 9 years since it was bottled.
6/3/6/2/13 (3.0/5)

 571 characters

Photo of tr4nc3d
2.67/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1999 vintage

Poured into my snifter from a 12floz bottle

Pours a dirty light to medium brown color with a slightly off white one finger head. Below average head retention that when fades leaves a small ring on the outside edges of my beer.

Smell is heavy on the bourbon, some vanilla, toffee, sugar, and malts.

Very sweet upfront with hints of dark candied sugar, vanilla, honey, prunes, caramel, toffee, and a slight bourbon heat. Very malty beer and no hop presence whatsoever(no surprise here for a 10 year old beer).

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with pretty active carbonation. Very sugary sweet malty beer, its so sugary it leaves it on your lips.

Overall my opinion is that this is one way to sugary beer(kind of reminds me of DFH 120min)except more drinkable. I would never seek out this beer again, but its tolerable.

 838 characters

Photo of Rickythejeweler
2.68/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 Vintage

A - Slightly cloudy golden-copper, thin soapy head, no lacing. Good amount of carbonation bubbles along the bottom of the glass.

S - Raisons, fermented fruits, yeast funk.

T - Candi sugar, raisons, old fruit, seaweed.

M - Thick, syrupy.

O - Drain pour.

 270 characters

Photo of Brez07
2.68/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed as part of the Blind Beer BIF #6. 275ml bottle served in a snifter. 1999 vintage

A: Pours brown/dark caramel. Also initially leaves a 1 finger head that doesn't stick around long (3)

S: Nose is mostly dark fruit. Notes of fig, raisin and plum. A swirl of the glass gives way to cherry. Faint alcohol. Eventually I pick up some malt, but also some cardboard and bubblegum (2.5)

T: Sweet throughout. Candied sugar, figs. Some prune, weak chocolate and oak. Artificial fruit, reminding me of a raspberry fruit rollup. Light booze (2.5)

M: Medium bodied. Basically next to no carbonation (3)

D: A little rough. Drinkable, but only to a certain point. Glad I split this one (3)

 686 characters

Photo of mikehblack
2.7/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 bottle. 275ml

A- Slightly hazy orange. Fluffy white head dissipating quickly to a few big bubbles and a ring. Thick alcohol legs.

S- Massive sweet malt aroma and alcohol. Bready, sticky, caramel, toffee, marshmallow.

T- Smoky, fruity, sickly sweet, some burnt aspect I can't put a finger on, bready, toffee, boozy. Middle of the mouth is like drinking honey, molasses and malt extract. The finish is cloying and slight burn from the alcohol.

M- Full bodied, low carbonation. Coats the mouth with sugary syrup.

O- This is not a beer for me. At least not now. Way too sweet and malty for my tastes. I'll finish the bottle because it is small and was expensive.

 668 characters

Photo of kristougher
2.75/5  rDev -35.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.75/5  rDev -35.3%

Harvest Ale (Limited Edition) from J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
4.25 out of 5 based on 1,518 ratings.
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