Harvest Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

Harvest AleHarvest Ale
1,740 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,740 |  Reviews: 610
Photo of tmars13
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of jbierling
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of theBubba
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

What's in a name? Or a label, for that matter. Here's one all dressed up in fall colors suggesting a pumpkin ale or perhaps an Oktoberfest. There's no description on the label (unless you think "Special Ale" means something). But pop the cap and take a whiff. No fair Southern Tier. Another over hopped IPA in sheep's clothing. Nothing here that suggests a harvest unless it's a hop harvest. Buyer beware.

 408 characters

Photo of rderedin
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.52/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - pale straw yellow, with more than a finger of frothy pure white head held aloft by several streams of carbonation

S - a light and airy aroma that at first hits me as citrine, however a deeper whiff puts it more accurately at spiced malts, not quite as sharp as coriander, but perhaps nutmeg/ginger/clove, or other autumn-esque spices and these rest atop the sweet, wheaty, malty profile

T - the palate is far hoppier than i had expected plus a non-hop spicy bitterness that neither compliments the hops or succeds well on its own. unfortunately this bitterness drowns out any flavors that would be there

M&D - drinkable a bit colder than i tried it at, just too non-hoppy bitter for me, i love southern tier stuff, to me this is just a miss, not bad flavors, just to bitter for me, esp for a harvest ale

 810 characters

Photo of Bounty628
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is brewed in the ESB (Extra Strong Bitter) style and it seems to be a bit out of place when conceptually thinking about what a harvest ale should be. To me, a harvest ale should be more about a roasted and filling while almost warming style of a beer, not an ESB on the very pale side that really does little to stand apart from the fray of other ESBs on the market.

With an ABV of 5.2%, Harvest Ale maintains a moderate amount of alcohol but the taste is certainly deceiving as the bitter aspect of the beer seems to be misguided almost as an abundant alcohol flavoring more than anything else.

Harvest Ale pours a very bright yellow straw color and is remarkably over carbonated. The carbonation gives way to a light yet bountiful white head that tends to dissipate much more than it laces the glass.

Once poured, there is little in the way of a noticeable nose to the beer. Faint hints of citrus can be detected off in the background but again there is a feel that something is off with this beer. There is a mild hop background once again to the beer, but nothing that is overly impressive.

The taste of Harvest Ale is tolerable, but again seems to be misplaced. The citrus is noted in the taste more than it is in the aroma and there is a bitter and hoppy component to the beer that seems to be working more in contrast to one another than in unison. Also present is a strange sweetness to the Harvest Ale that once again seems to not fit into the right mix of what the beer perhaps should have been.

Once again, for a Harvest Ale this beer seems to be just too light. There is a very smooth and flowing mouth feel to the beer that holds true throughout. The high level of carbonation upon the pour carries its way throughout the offering and perhaps if the carbonation was toned down a bit this beer would have been a bit better of a story to tell.

 1,869 characters

Photo of chicagoish
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: It has a bright golden color with a slight chill haze and a small creamy white head. It fades to just a very thin covering that still makes some nice lace on the glass.

Smell: A little lacking. I was expecting more malty with a touch of hops. None of that

Taste/Mouth feel: A bet watery for me. It doesn't go either way. It is smooth and easy to drink, but I was expecting more flavor. More Bitterness

 417 characters

Photo of jdavin
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was thoroughly disappointed with this beer. I've been quite impressed with some of Southern Tier's other beers, so I was really looking forward to their harvest ale. The first surprise was that it didn't look anything like any other harvest ale I've had. It is super light in color - light yellow straw, almost pilsner color.

Southern Tier calls this an English-style ESB. But where is the malty character? I shudder to say it but this made me think Budweiser with a bunch more hops added. It is very light in body - I would guess the FG is around 1.008 or lower.

At the very least they need to do a better job of marketing / advertising this beer. Calling it a Harvest ale when it has hardly any caramel malt or body to it will confuse a lot of buyers. It's more like a light summer blonde ale.

The hop character is also a bit low for a harvest ale. The bitterness is pretty low, and while the aroma is good I'm not sold on the hop taste. It is too woody and piney when I would prefer citrus hops in a harvest ale.

I dumped the second half of the two 12ozers I've had so far (tasted on separate days to make sure my first judgment wasn't just a fluke). I hardly ever dump beer.

A - very light straw color, good clarity. Pilsner-like in appearance.

S - Aroma is woody hops.

T - Taste is overall low in complexity. Hops are earthy, woody. Mild to moderate bitterness.

M - Very low light body. A little undercarbonated I'd say, even for an English-style ESB.

D - drinkable, but not that fun to drink. Too low in body, makes me feel like I'm drinking water or Budweiser.

 1,587 characters

Photo of chillwinston
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark golden color, no head retention.

S: Floral, bright hops but with a strong alcohol smell and not much else.

T: Very dry with resinous floral hops. Again, strong taste of alcohol and very one dimensional.

M: Light bodied. Oily. Low carbonation.

O: I guess I had something else in mind when I saw "Harvest Ale" written on the six pack. Reminded me of a run-of-the-mill IPA. Similar to Harpoon IPA. However, the strong alcohol bite turned me off. I like Southern Tier's other offering but I can not recommend this.

 522 characters

Photo of dasunder
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of rypkr
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of grniz3
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of MonicaC
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Ravenacht
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of KingMe
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of JayKay412
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of ripweblo
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of dvmorrisncsu
2.76/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of nismo923
2.8/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of Mitchellffc
2.8/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of Nick4444
2.81/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of gezondheid
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit early for a harvest ale. Supposed fresh English hops. Not likely. Nice fall look and color. Nose is the first give away that something is missing first taste confirms. Metallic pineapple juice finish. A decent beer. But not a stand out in the harvest category.

 266 characters

Photo of TopherBreski
2.87/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Probably the best smelling beer I've ever sniffed but too dry and bitter for me.

80 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Forced to make notes due to an outlier rating:

Bready and buttery, with not much going on hop-wise and a lackluster balance. Shallow and simple. Some might even call it plain.

There's no harmony of texture to taste and it's not a gestalt beer, nor does it boast any intricacy, nuance, or subtlety of note. Drinkable but underwhelming.


 339 characters

Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 1,740 ratings
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