Harvest Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
1,722 Ratings
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Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 10-19-2003

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 600 | Ratings: 1,722
Photo of philbertk
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Southern Tier Brewing Company--HARVEST Seasonal Special Ale--Brewed with 4 Varieties of Hops and 2 Types of Malts--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.40% ABV. 35 IBU's? (3.5 / 5.0) Big foamy thin fizzy lacy off white head. Clear pretty thin bright copper amber color. Crisp toasted mild hop front. Thin textured light sweet toasted caramel biscuit fruit hint body. Clean crisp mild hop spice refreshing smooth slightly bland Harvest end. Sampled 12/4/2010 from 6-Pack purchased for $9.99 @ Mr. J's Deli Mart on 12/4/2010.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.17/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy deep amber with moderate foamy head. Potent fragrant aroma of pine and citrus hops. Grapefruit hop heavy up front with a thick sweet fall finish.

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Photo of tkepx182
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A crisp amber copper color. a nice head with small carbonation bubbles, that left a white ring that stayed around.

S: mostly smelled like hops

M: It is a smooth beer, with a nice crispness in the mouth

T: The hops and the barley covered over any other flavors that would have been in the beer

O: This is a good beer, I was impressed by it

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, golden amber hue with some small yet steady bubble. Very faint foam that sticks around for just a little bit . The aroma is a mix of herbal and citrus hops and some toasted caramel breads. The taste starts with lots of orange zest that slowly gives way to soft English caramels and toffee. Just o be overtaken by the herbal and orange hoppy finish. The start is hoppy, then mixes a little with the malt bill. Then finishes hoppy again. The hops are a little too bright, almost metallic tasting. But still a nice Amrican version of an ESB.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Part of the New Trader BIF. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Hazy, straw, yellow color. A smooth pour increadibly, produced two and half fingers of pure white, frothy head, that hung around forever, and left huge rings of thick lace.

A: Nice grassy hops and earthy malts. Spicey, not as hoppy as I expected, but somewhat balanced.

T: Just a little dissapointing here. Grassy hops at first with a touch of lemon. Than the sweet, earthy malts took over. A little metallic. Finishes bitter and spicy.

M&D: Light body. High amount of carbonation makes for a tingley mouthfeel. 5.2% ABV and the light nature of the beer make for a good drinkability. Overall, I could have a few of these out in the yard, but just ok for the style. Skal.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ESB, so I poured this into a pint glass for its correct glassware style.
The appearance was a semi-hazy burnt orange color with a slight transparency about it. Carbonation could be seen rising at a decent pace to fill a rapidly dissipating head that barely left any lacing.
The smell started off with some toffee, a light grassy touch to some cooked caramel malts.
The taste was semi-sweet through a balancing act of the grassiness to the caramel malts, not bad.
The mouthfeel was about a light on the body with an okay drinkability about it. Carbonation runs light making the beer feel somewhat sticky smooth over my tongue.
Overall, for an ESB that's seasonal, sure it works. I don't mind it, its good for what it is, nice to try this time of year.

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Photo of tophers
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've enjoyed Southern Tier's IPA so thought I would give their Harvest Ale a whirl...

Pours a pale golden with a short-lived white head. Brilliantly clear.

Aroma is of earthy hops and Munich malt with a tea aroma in the background.

Strong piney and earthy hops flavor. Strong bitterness too. The hop bitterness overwhelms most of the malt flavor.

I enjoyed the hop flavor in this beer - I thought the pine and woody and earthy characteristics blended very well together. Bit too bitter for me though and wish their was more malt backbone.

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Photo of kmeves
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear light copper color with a small white head. Aroma is medium sweet, light grapefruit and malty. Flavor is grapefruit, light caramel, light spice and bready. Medium dry finish. Light-medium body, light sticky texture. A very nice ESB with American hops.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz into shaker. from notes.

A - Copper moving to amber, small white head with medium to high carbonation.

S - Citric lemon and orange. Yeasty malt.

T - Hoppy initially with pine and resin. The backend brings around a bready malt, toffee, and slight sugar sweetness.

M - Medium to lighter body and higher carbonation. Slick tongue feel.

D - Decent American ESB, a lighter drinker that isn't overly exciting.

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Photo of mchegash
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - 3.8/5
A quite clear amber color. NO carbonation is to be seen rising up in this beer...ok, well there are a few bubbles, but very little. Two fingers of head upon initial pour, and the head retention is decent, and there is some nice lacing.

Smell - 3.25/5
Pine-citrus hops. Not really what I was expecting with this beer.

Taste - 3.3/5
A sweet and creamy pine-citrus hop flavor. Maybe a tiny hint of malts. Overall, the taste is okay, but it basically tastes like a standard quality IPA.

Mouthfeel - 3/5
Medium-bodied, creamy, light carbonation.

Overall - 3.25/5
I picked up this beer because I saw in some random Internet article that this was one of "10 beers you need to have this fall". Well, that article was totally wrong. There is nothing special about this beer. It tastes just like a standard IPA, even though I don't think it's classified as such. I was disappointed by this beer.

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Photo of tzieser
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

a: clear, light copper in color. thin white head that kinda sits there for a while and forms a lacing.

s: strong grassy, piney hop aroma with notes of caramel malt. seems to be heavily dry hopped. i like it.

t: bitter pine hop flavor hits first with a little bit of relief from the malt, but it never really helps balance the beer altogether. there really isn't much of a body to this beer which gives it a somewhat watery character.

m: thin, watery mouthfeel.

i expected a bit more out of this brew. there's no bottle date anywhere to be seen on the packaging, but it's relatively fresh. i've had better ESBs.

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Photo of greybeardloon
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

DOB 8/4/12

A: Amber.

S: Bready malt and herbal, cirtric (?) hops.

T: Sweat, bready malt that tastsy sticky as it warms, and herbal and slightly grapefruity hops. There is actually good balance, but somehow the flavors don't come together.

M: Medium.

O: not a particularly interesting beer, and having one doesn't interest me in another. The abv doesn't come through, but the flavor doesn't at all justify the abv either. I expect a 6.7% beer to have a much more robust flavor.

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Photo of Goregazm
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance: This beer has a brown-yellowish color, much like apple juice. It pours with a foamy head that dissipates fairly raipdly and leaves some slight lacing.

Smell: Gives off a sweet and sour smell, almost like a citrus-apple mix.

Taste: Tastes more bitter then the smell would indicate, but not too strong. The aftertaste isn't as good, sort of a sour/bitter mix. The hops are definately predominant.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice, foamy feel in the mouth. Feels thicker then an average ESB, but nothing too heavy.

Drinkability: This is a decent beer to drink with a snack, or while sitting back relaxing. I wouldn't drink this with dinner, but maybe beforehand to get my taste buds rocking. Not my favorite ESB, but not the worst I've had either.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow color with a white head. Aromas that are hoppy, with a small grapefruity presence. In the taste, a fresh hop taste, and a nice malty backing. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry, hoppy aftertaste. Nice fresh hop, yet looks like a pilsner. A good crossover from summer to fall.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a plastic pint glass.

A: Poured a golden, amber yellow with a chilled haze and a one-finger head of white foam which left minimal lacing.

S: Smells a bit like citrus fruits with faint, herbal hop aromas.

T: Taste is a bit tart, with a noticeable flavor of mellow, grainy malts, dominated mid-palate by sticky, grapefruit hops before finishing with a wash of pine and yeasty malt.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a bit o a prickly feel.

D: Only a little bitter, not really reminding mee of autumn, and more or less a creamier American IPA. The drinkability isn't great, and given the supposed style, there're a lot better options out there.

A fall seasonal beer that's more or less a tweaked IPA, and not a spectacular one at that. I'd be reluctant to get this one again, just because there are far better year-round IPAs available out there.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking, golden orange beer with a one finger satin white head that refuses to fizzle away.

Not much aroma. Bitter grapefruit rind and pine resin.

Flavor is kind of bland. Very bitter and dry throughout. Lots of grapefruit pith and orange rind upfront with even more bitter notes of pine resin mid palate. On the very tail end of the finish you get some biscuity and caramelly malt taste but it's very faint. Alcoholic and hot at times. They either need to dial down the hops here or crank up the malt bill, this is off balance.

Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and very light in body. 6.7% Abv really comes through and detracts from the feel with a hot, unpleasant alcoholic note at times.

Overall Comments: I feel that while ESBs are supposed to be bitter, they are also supposed to be thirst quenching - and this one was overtly hoppy, dry, bitter and alcoholic without much malt flavor. Rather off balance and bland, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.34/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Girlfriend brought this home to try; split into tulips.

A tarnished gold body with very little white, bubbly head. Not a whole lot of retention or lacing, and somewhat uninteresting. Aroma is of earthen hops (even a few months out), caramel malt, and a hint of allspice. Some other muddled grain and a bit of lemon citrus in there as well. Tastes of lemon, orange, a bit of corriander, caramel, cardamom, allspice, wheat, and some earthen hops. Theres a strange, almost gritty bitterness to it that resembles unintegrated spices more than alpha acids. Mouthfeel is relatively crisp and finishes clean save for some lingering flavors (mostly the cardamom). Overall, a decent beer that's refreshing enough. I'd drink more of it, but wouldn't exactly seek it out.

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Photo of Natural510
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color, with only a small ring of lacing...no head worth mentioning.
Scent is faint; a bit of fresh hops with a light, breaded malt.
Flavor consists of a lightly toasted malt and a light floral hop with a fairly bitter finish. Overall vegetal/grassy flavor to the brew.
Crisp and a bit tangy in the mouth. Smooth like butter.
As mentioned several times above, very light in its characteristics. Certainly more could have been done with this recipe. An unfortunately average offering from an otherwise excellent brewery.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear darker coppery amber color with off-white head. Caramel malt, light fruits notes, and some toffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with toffee and fruit notes.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Old Rasputin nonic pint. Big thanks to SneezyAchew for sending me a couple of these!

A: Pours a light copper with lemon highlights under two fingers of dense, oily white head that slowly faded into a thin scum leaving a sheet of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Light notes of fruity hops and roasted grains. Sweet smelling.
T: Nice roasted malt and toasted grain taste, with notes of lemon juice and sweet fruity hops in the finish. Aftertaste has a touch of black tea flavor to it. Bitterness is very low.
M: Medium body with a fair amount of bubbly carbonation and a greasy mouthfeel.
D: A very balanced brew and easy enough to drink. Mouth was a just a tad over oily for my liking, but not bad. Thanks again Michael for sending me these!

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Photo of KTCamm
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours an inviting cloudy orange with 1/2 finger of white foam. Looks and smells like fall.

Smell is hoppy/fruity, but moreso on the former.

Pervasive hop taste throughout mixed with mild sweetness. Bitterness lingers long after the finish. Modestly carbonated in the mouth. Taste is good, but the close if difficult, making this not quite as drinkable as other ESBs out there - for example a Red Hook. But a well made beer.

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Photo of GJ40
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

A - Light golden, clear and very little head.

S - Grassy, lemony and floral. A bit like a cider.

T - A lighter flavored beer with decent balance but limited flavor. Slightly tart and sweet with a bitter finish.

M - Moderate consistency with low to moderate carbonation.

D - Not bad but not very exciting either. Simple and easy enough to drink though.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at varga in philly

Pours a clear auburn with dark golden tones, thick white head rests on top, nice retention, leaving huge layers of lacing.

Leafy hops in the nose coupled with light citrus, bread crust and caramel. Decent balance between both sides.

Bitter up front with a nice dose of hops, leafy with some citrus. Touches of orange peel before a decent malt bill kicks in with bread crust and caramel. A little sweet towards the finish, which is bitter and dry.

Medium body and carbonation, sticky, a little chewy and drinkable. Solid fall beer which strikes a balance between the seasonal element and the style.

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Photo of mjyoung
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Split with bbb099

A: Pours a golden amber, 1/2 finger creamy white head that dissipated slowly with respectable lacing. Looks quite tasty.

S: The hops come through quite strong, very bitter. It fits the name quite well.

T: The hops are strong, but not overpoweringly so. A small hint of citrus, but other then that it is fairly nondescript.

M: Very pleasant, it lingers on the palate leaving a smooth aftertaste with a hint of bitters. That being said, it isn't that memorable.

D: I'd drink it again. It went down quite smoothly, and I kind of want another one already.

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Photo of UnderPressure
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden copper colored beer. Decent he's retention.

Strong citrusy hop aroma. Very striking and surprising. Some roasted malt aroma.

Very citrusy, Very tea-like flavor. Very different than I thought it would be.

Light to medium bodied mouthfeel with a very dry, bitter finish.

Overall, a very odd beer for me. Not sure really what style to compare it to. There is a lot going on. Very complex beer.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,722 ratings.
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