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Harvest Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 597 | Ratings: 1,712
Photo of ummswimmin
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ESB is a very descriptor for this beer. I don't know why their ESB is called Harvest. You would expect seasoning and caramel in a autumn beer.

The coloring is decent. You get a very light brown to it.

Off the top there is a little bit of sweetness. You get a lot of bitterness in the body.

The flavor is enjoyable, but it is a little muted.

I recommend this beer for the style.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4 August 2011.

Pours coppery and clear, with one finger of cream-colored head. Head sticks around long enough for me to get a few sniffs in, then it's gone, leaving a ring of foam around the surface. Not much lacing.

Smell - this has fresh English hops, so says the ST website. But to me they smell just like non-fresh English hops - hay, some vegetable stems, and a light bitterness. Despite being a "wet hop" beer, this feels more malty than hoppy. Bready and light grain.

Taste - a balance of grassy, lightly bitter hops and some filling-out malts. Everything here is playing a role, and while a team of role-players may be solid, it doesn't wow you. It's smooth and well-balanced, but that's most of what I have to say about it.

Mouthfeel - medium-light body, but with a chewy rich feeling. Carbonation is medium-low, as it should be. Mouthfeel is right on.

It's partly the style, but I find this beer to be rather, well, meh. It's balanced, and it tastes fine, but nothing's jumping out at me. It's not super flavorful, or full of subtle complexity, or refreshing, or anything else.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a copper color with some chill haze. The head is around a finger high, with an eggshell shade. It has a very foamy texture that leaves behind a nice ring of lacing on the glass, though the retention isn't impressive. (3.25)

Smell: Hoppier than the average ESB, and thank cripes for that. Gentle notes of grapefruit, pine, and flowers helps balance out the caramel-and-toffee laden malts decent. But even better (or worse, because I don't like ESBs - must...be...objective...), it still retains its ESB-ness. This smells like a mediocre IPA - and that means it smells like a solid ESB. (3.25)

Taste: The flavor profile is even hoppier than the aroma suggested. It starts off biting the palate with grapefruit and apricot - and immediately, I have a nitpick. The hoppiness is too acidic and biting, coming off slightly dishsoapy. On the otherhand, it finishes with a subtle upsurge of caramel malt, and even an estery touch. I'm even picking up some tobacco flavor on occasion. The whole time I'm sipping it, I'm glad its imbalanced favoring the hops, rather than the other way around (a problem that plagues a quite a few ESBs). Cut out the slight detergent flavor, and I'd score it even higher. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Very crisp for the style, and - despite the prevalent malt backbone - dry too. It's bigger than many in the style, and yet more drinkable as well. Though it should be said, carbonation is above average. I don't really care, however. (3.5)

Overall: There are quite a few IPAs on the market that come off like weak amber/ESB ales - this one is the opposite. ST could have called this a fall IPA and I wouldn't be too hard on it. I'd gladly drink it again, and I don't even like ESBs. (3.5)

3.44/5: Why aren't more ESBs this hoppy?

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Photo of adamette
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I purchased as a single at Save-On in Mentor for $1.68 two days ago into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date but the following faintly printed below the label: 121 A3 09:25 whatever that might mean.

A Off white creamy head that leaves moderate lacing over a translucent caramel colored body. 3.5

S Floral hops bitterness and some grainy barley smells. Appropriate to the style. 3.0

T Heavy on the Barley, grain taste. The hops surprisingly take a back seat in the taste. I had expected them to be more prominent after smelling the beer. 3.5

M Appropriately moderate with the hops and barley "beefing up" the feel. 3.0

D Good as is the intention of the style in my opinion. 4.0

Notes: Ho-hum version of the style from Southern Tier. In their defense, this style does not often inspire much from me.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on date reads 07/31/2012. Poured into a Boulevard tulip glass.

A - Pours a coppery orange color with a fair amount of bubbles and a nice one finger of white foam head. Some nice lacing on the glass on the way down.

S - Smells like what I'd imagine a hopped up spiced pumpkin beer might smell like. Some pine hops. Dry malts. Vague fresh cinnamon. Some gourd. Some other kind of spice which I'm not sure about.

T - Nice hop bitterness in the foreground, with a dry malty finish. Green apples. Maybe some pear. Nicely balanced, but I was hoping for a little bit stronger of a hop bite. With 4 hops and 2 malts (as the bottle says) I still feel this beer is more forward on the malts.

M - Mouth feel is good, the beer is very dry though which isn't my favorite. Not resinous, but still sticky and bitter tasting hops lingering around.

Overall, a decent beer from Southern Tier. They usually don't disappoint, and this was above what I was expecting for sure. Got this 6 pack from my local beer store for $2.99 also, so I don't really see how you could go wrong with that deal.

Southern Tier Harvest Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out and got a half finger head that died down rather fast. There seems to be nice amount of carbonation streaming off of the bottom of this clear beer. It is a nice looking golden amber color. Looks light and refreshing.

S - Nice amount of hops up front and in your face on this one. I get a grassy earthy type character on this one with along with a nice pine scent. Nice and pleasant smelling.

T - This is a nice hoped up beer that is easy drinking just like the smell. I get the same grassy earth flavor along with that pine flavor on the taste as the nose. It follows suit well.

M - This is a light bodied dry drinking beer. Reel nice and easy to drink. Definitely easy to put away.

O - This is a nice hoppy beer that is pleasant but it does not go out the way to impress me. It is definitely worth a try but will not be one I seek out again.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

Aroma: Not much. Bitter grapefruit rind and pine resin.

Taste: 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.

Feel: 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 hot, dry, bitter and alcoholic without much flavor. Rather bland, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of taigor
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into small glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with thin head that quickly dissipated leaving very light lacing around the glass.

S - Slight scents of malts, citrus and hops but not much there.

T - Starts off with bready malts followed by citrus fruitness with a very hoppy bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Good ESB that is crisp, refreshing and malty.

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Photo of BigMike
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden orange color. Crystal clear with a puffy white head. Looks beautiful. Reminds me of fall.

S: Very citrusy. Lots of orange and grapefruit. Pineapple and mango. Some caramel sweetness.

T: Bigtime let down from the nose. The citrus that's there is very light. The malts take over on the tongue. Bready and sweet. Caramel and light toasted malts.

M: Light bodied and under carbonated. It's close to bring flat but not quite.

Overall: From the appearance and aroma I expected good things. The taste and mouthfeel were a let down. I would drink again if offered but wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of OldYoda
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light clear gold into a standard pint with minimal head and lacing. Looks like a summer pilsner sitting in the glass.

Smell is some citrus hops and a sweet whiff of malt. I don't get much else out of this.

Taste pretty much follows the smell - some citrus hops and a bit of maltly sweetness.

Mouthfeel is too thin for my taste - I expected more from an ESB. This seems much more like a summer seasonal than a fall beer.

Drinkability is excellent. Sessioning this would be fine.

Not a bad beer - just not what I expected it to be. I'd like a little more out of my beer on a chilly fall evening.

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Photo of aepb1
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Translucent light brown with a small white head that dissipates quickly

S- Some citrusy hops right off then some malty sweetness

T- Citrus hops here, some malts in the middle and finishes with some earthy floral hop bite

M- light bodied and on the higher side of carbonation

D- Nothing outstanding here but a good beer

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this at Mugs Alehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in September 2009.

A: Golden amber color with no head. Not sticky.

S: Grapefruit and butternut squash believe it or not.

T: Orangey at the front, burnt popcorn/sharp cheese/bitter finish. Malty undertones.

M: Dry with very light carbonation.

D: The best feature of this beer with only a slightly bready aspect.

Overall, I've had better from Southern Tier. Maybe I had a bad batch (or the guys at Mugs use dish soap to clean their glasses!) or maybe ESB is just not their thing.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep bronze and quite clear body, with a simple one finger off white head that is slightly creamy capping the top.

Nose is light toast, some faint grainy quality, but not much else for an ESB. Rather closed and muted.

First palate is quite warm with a mild caramel sense. Pine like hop bitter finish, and not nearly enough sensing caramel warmth. Moderate carbonation, with a large prickly feeling almost seltzery that's a little jarring. Lingering American sensing hop bitterness that stays put but doesn't seem true to style.

Overall it doesn't really remind me of a bitter, but it's still an ok brew for drinking.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly orange-ish gold with a medium sized, sudsy head (that dies back fairly quickly.) Aromas are fairly crisp... pine and citrus, but they are kind of subdued. While those hops dominate the nose and would make you think you were headed down the IPA path, flavor is more consistent with an English ESB... kind of a sweet honey and bread malt body with a bitter hops to hold it in check... it stays nice and crisp throughout and is pleasant enough.

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Photo of socon67
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange pour with a fizzy white foam. Minimal retention and slight lacing. Clear with visible carbonation.

S - Scents of grains, earthy spices, and a minor hop profile. Has a smell of oak and cashews.

T - First sip was a little tart of citrus. Flavors ranged from fresh malt to a slightly bitter finsih. Quite a robust ESB.

M - Felt a bit heavy, and after one of these I was ready to move on. Minimal carbonation, and a lingering malt flavor.

O - Decent, and an interesting fall seasonal. But I would take Pumking over this anytime. This is a decent pub beer on a cool autumn night.

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Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, hops, and a hint of spice. Fits the style of an Extra Special / Strong Bitter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of floral hops, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight yeast, and a hint of spice. Overall, decent aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a "harvest" amber-orange, with a light one finger head that dissipates rather quickly

S - Very earthy smell, some piney hops, resin, a bit of a caramel backbone, some biscuit.

T - Very malty and bitter taste. It's like a bitter malt. A bit of pined hops, almost has the taste of perhaps a crouton with just a little bit of a sweet finish

M - Decent amount of carbonation, it's rather crisp, goes down really smooth.

Overall - I thought it was a decent beer. There was nothing remarkable about it, but it felt like it was right on the verge of being a very good beer. But quite quaffable and refreshing

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Photo of Viggo
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden, small off white head forms, goes pretty quick but leaves some lacing on the glass. Smell is apples and pears, some pine, spices, alcohol, little bit of caramel. Taste is sweet, almost cidery, caramel and pine, some funk, strange. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, has a little bit of warmth to it. Very odd, wasn't quite sure what to think. Thanks for sharing biegaman!

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Photo of redearth329
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Draft in a pint glass.

Dim bar, hard to see, but head is really sticky and rings the glass permanently. Clear amber color.

Smells of grapefruit and some light herbal hops.

Solid malt backbone with a sort of oat-y note mid-palate. Lots of hop bitterness. Sort of like a hoppy Yuengling lager....

Medium to full-bodied. Light carbonation. Long finish.

Another solid offering from S.T., but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of JWU
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into my trusty mug.

A- a light copper. Certainly lighter that most ESB's. a little fluffy white head, dissipates kinda quick, no lacing down the glass.

S- Piney Hops. The smell is very close to Old Man Winter Ale from S.T. I certainly hope it's not as hop dominant as that one.

T- well crap, it's like Old Man Winter. Hops punch hard up front, the ESB malt billing (Biscuit, a bit of caramel, tea) try to fight through, but do so half-heartedly. Resiny, piney hops are bitter on the back end and you get a bit of the bitter part of the ESB.

M- actually not as dry as I thought it would be, but it's quite thin for an ESB.

O- another "tweener" beer from Southern Tier. I much prefer when they stay true to style (their IPA's, Stouts) than hop up an existing style. Good, but not great.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Southern Tier Harvest has a thin, off-white head, a clear, bubbly, copper appearance, and a bit of lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of citrus (pineapple?), white bread, and sweetness, and the taste is of grapefruit, hop bitterness, citrus rind, white bread crust, and some sweetness. Mouthfeel is light, watery, and a little slick, and Southern Tier Harvest finishes mostly dry, sweet, refreshing, and drinkable. Overall, this really does not fit the E.S.B. style, that I can see, but it is still tasty. It’s worth checking out.


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Photo of brystmar
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: light gold with tons of frothy head. Massive carbonation bubbles up from the bottom. Generous amounts of lace adorn the sides of my glass.

S: hops up front, malt, citrus & tropical fruits too.

T: from the name & wheat pics on the bottle I expected this to be a wit, so I was obv surprised when it showed itself to be somewhere between a pilsner an an IPA. Hops up front again as this beer is bitter start to finish. I typically don't enjoy very bitter beers but this is quite pleasant.

M: smooth, light, & oily with lots of carbonation.

D: easy drinking, could throw back a few of these.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of mild hops, some malts. Taste is well balanced hops and malts, some bitterness, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a very drinkable, and solid beer.

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Photo of ckollias
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a pub glass.

A: Pours a light golden clear hue with a white 1-finger head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a nice trial all the way down the glass.

S: Nice hoppy aroma with a solid malt background.

T: Hoppy flavor with hints of citrus fruits. Decent malt background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Good ale – nothing special but very drinkable.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

937th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Bottled 7/28/11
Thanks to @mjtiernan for this one

App- Pours the color of chestnut and amber. A one finger fast receding off white head fell with good lace and cling to a bit of a petri dish head of bubbles.

Smell- A good combination of aromatics but a little small compared to Three Floyds and Fullers. Nice notes of malt, caramel, earthiness, oranges and white pepper.

Taste- More skewed to a malty IPA for me. Still not sold on this style. If you say bitter make it bitter. Well this was tasty with good lush citrus some caramel soft muted malts and a bit of wheat flavor.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Residual malts with damp orange and a touch of caramel sweet.

Drink- Tasty, but not wowing! I like this in 12oz format. Easy drinking and flavorful. 6.7% is well hidden making a potent beer but smooth none the less.

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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 1,712 ratings.
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