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

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Reviews: 600 | Ratings: 1,722
Photo of matcris
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: Burnt orange/amber. Small bubbles rising. Half finger of quickly dissipating off white head. Nice lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Slight astringency... something in between varnish and pineapple. If I use my imagination some orange.
TASTE: Much better than aroma. Citrus and some pine. Still some astringency but a nice caramel malt cuts it and a nice little bit of bitterness as well.
FEEL: Moderate carbonation, medium body, mildly sticky but largely dry, especially through the finish.
OVERALL: Not a big fan of the aroma, smells old/muted. Taste, much better, nice easy pale ale with just enough bite to give it a bit of balance.

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Photo of Raime
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Southern Tier Harvest Ale.

This was another addition I picked up from the revamped singles section at one of my local craft stores. Usually southern tier makes some pretty good beers but I have no idea what to expect with this one to be quite honest. I've been slacking on drinking lately so let's do it.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a can style glass because I'm too lazy to grab a pint. Brew pours a hazy amber as I had anticipated with a small head that doesn't form to much more than a quarter of a finger in height. Doesn't stick around for very long either and dies down to a moderately thick cloud formation amongst the top of the glass. Carbonation appears to be on about moderate as is usual. Lacing was rather minimal.

Smell - The smell is dominated by spicy and earthy hop components though thankfully they don't come across as onion or garlic like. At least not yet. Seems almost Simcoe in terms of specifics. Malt level is very present as well and even slightly toasted. Not a huge nose but simple and straight to the point.

Taste - It really follows the nose to an almost exact tee although it has a few new editions. The hops remain very earthy and vegetable like with the addition of some fresh melon and a bit of honeydew. Malts are ever present but they really take a back seat to the hop aspects. The flavor profile does take on a bit of a catty like nature but it isn't as bad as say a Lagubitas Equinox in terms of piss scents. Juicy green flavor overall.

Feel - The body however was a bit lacking. It is mostly watery with a massive dosage of carbonation. The flavors remain much the same as it sits in the mouth and it swallows rather easily with a moderate level of bitterness.

Overall - Nothing earth shattering and I'm not exactly the biggest fan of the flavors presented here in general, but in terms of earthy hop character this was one of the better beers. I could surely drink it again, but I doubt I would buy it again since there are better brews for cheaper. Try it for yourself and come to your let conclusion.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a beautiful copper color with a fluffy off white head that has great retention and lacing. The smell is mostly sweet bready malt with spicy floral hops. Taste is much the same with moderate bitterness. Feel is medium with good carbonation. Overall I would not seek this out again, but it's alright.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice ESB pours a nice clear and luminous medium copper, with a nice head of off white bubbles that fades to a thick bubbled ring, thin layer, and spotty lacing. Nose of caramel malts, floral and herbal hops, and light grains on the background. Flavors exceed the nose with solid caramel malts to the front, followed by moderately bitter herbal hops to the mid and floral hops and light honey to the rear. Medium carbonation keeps it lively with a medium dry finish. Solid for the style.


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Photo of HamdenHector
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; bronze colored; 1 finger light khaki head that receded to a thin collar; very nice lacing;

S: earthy, floral, toffee;

T: earthy up front; floral from mid-palate through the finish; mild bitterness build to moderate in the aftertaste;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: I could drink this all day;

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy amber with an eggshell-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Initial impression is resinous bite, but quickly followed by a slight malty sweetness. Overall, the hops win out. Alcohol is evident but not overwhelming. Medium mouthfeel. Finish is dry, with briefly lingering hops bitterness. Quite refreshing, but more bitter than I was expecting.

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Photo of classixIII
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Shiny copper, minimal foam diappeared qiuckly
Nice but faint aroma sweet hoppy
Very smooth, citrus taste just the right hop flavor and bitterness.
Pretty good stuff!

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Photo of jp32
3.12/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Copper penny in color with a huge white fluffy head on top.

Aroma is very well balanced between caramel malt sweetness and a mild hop tartness.

The flavor is more hop forward than the aroma led on. Citrus hops dominate the flavor with subtle hints of pine. Very herbal (I'm not saying mediciney, but close) in the finish.

Mouthfeel is approaching medium bodied.

A decent beer, but much hoppier than I was expecting. Being called "harvest ale" with an orange label I was expecting something much maltier, but I suppose that's what I get for judging a book by its cover in the first place.

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Photo of MNJR
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer. Crisp, with a nice bitterness. Excellent ESB with a bit more sharp carbonation than British versions. The malt is substantial and present, but in the background, and the "4 varieties of hops" shine through. Not as thick/creamy/rich as some in the style, but I liked the bold flavor balanced with the crispness and lightness of the body. Nice malt backbone with spiky hops. You have one, and want another, which is always a good sign in my book. Very good beer.

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Photo of chicagoish
2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
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

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Photo of hopsputin
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: clear burnt caramel color with loads of sediment floating around in here. 1.5 finger solid white head

s: juicy pineapple, strawberries, toffee, a slight herbal hint in there as well. ends with a cracker-like aroma

t: pineapple and a strong tea-like bitterness upfront. pineapple and a mild onion-garlic flavor follow. behind that is a little bit of the toffee i picked in the aroma as well as a nice doughy/crackery flavor

m: medium mouthfeel with carbonation is a bit high for an ESB (but low for an APA which I'm seeing this as)

o: drinks more like an APA than an ESB to me. its got a sharp, yet smooth earthy bitterness in here. when i purchased it, i thought it would be a bit more malt-forward. its pretty drinkable though, but is missing that sweetness that I enjoy in an ESB

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Photo of dar482
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a dark golden color.

The beer is floral, spicy, and grassy. Toasty malts and chewy bread come in the middle. The finish offers bitterness of herbaceous and grassy.

A balanced and good food beer for the style.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a two-finger foamy white head. The head lingers to a one-finger ring leaving lots of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is citrus, floral hops, and bready malts.

T - The taste starts sweet with orange, peach, grapefruit along with a decent amount of sweet malts. The sweet juiciness gives way to earthy hops. The hops provide a perfect balance to the beer. The finish has a light bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is soft and creamy with a dry finish.

O - A very strong ESB. The flavors are perfectly balanced. Definetly recommended.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, no date. Threshold beer glass.

S: Citrus, floral, resin. For a purported ESB, getting very little in the way of yeast esters or malts. There is a little clean pale malt lurking in the background.

A: Pours a crystal clear amber, with two fingers of very foamy, sudsy eggshell/light tan head and very active carbonation. Very nice retention of 1/8 inch of sandy foam. Outrageously excellent lacing.

T: Complex, earthy and hoppy arrival. Hops on the tongue are far more earthy and subdued than on the nose. There are some ale yeast esters here on the palate. A dry, bitter, earthy, complex malt bill presents across the middle with not a hint of sweetness. It turns then to a lingering earthy and slightly medicinal finish.

M: Lighter end of mid-weight; good ale mouthfeel, solid carbonation is not overdone, with a lingering slickness. The lingering slickness is maybe the only thing I don't like about this beer.

O: I love Sam Adams Boston Ale, and Great Lakes Burning River, and this reminds me of the both of them. Citrus hops on the nose, with ale yeast esters, earthy bitter hops and complex malt on the palate and a fluffy mouthfeel. Very nice, and perfect for the season (but really perfect for any time of year). Not really what I think of as an ESB; more like an American Stock Ale; this is a hard one to categorize, but it is my favorite style of ale.

 1,381 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: September 19, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: mid-afternoon relaxation following another ugly soccer loss... APPEARANCE: mostly clear, orange amber body (I have the right bottle, but no WAY is this ruby, as the above summary states!) that offers reasonable effervescence... head is off-white, thick, and palpable... lacing forms appropriately,, almost like coral...a good-looking pint... AROMA: no doubt East Kent Golding, with that floral, lavender and lemon... spicy enough to also have Tettnanger or Spaltz... the fruitiness is strong for an ESB.. some clove and thyme work their way in, for a full, pleasing array... PALATE: medium to full-bodied, with a sizzle at the start and a strong, lasting malty finish... active and engaging, some froth too, and unlike many ESBs with lesser character... TASTE: a good, roasted quality sits in the throat, with mild caramel developing an ever-present sweetness that pervades the whole of the experience; the hop profile is decidedly balanced too, though undercut by the malts, with citrus, flower, fruit and earthiness smoothed together in a drinkable blend that begs for pub fare or a game to watch...OVERALL: What must be the "Harvest" quality is the label itself--this is a wonderful approximation of the British standard with enough character to set itself slightly apart from the predictable; at 6.7% ABV deceptively sessionable... sweet and smooth--another success from Southern Tier...

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this poured into a mug. Color is a translucent orange-copper with an off-white head. Flavor was a nice bitter toffee and malt...a little light, but good. Aroma was nice and somewhat hoppy. Mouthfeel was nice for the genre, fairly smooth. Good stuff.

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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 TheBeerMaster1
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It was like the goose island Autumn Ale, a good beer that I would definitely drink again and perhaps even buy, however there's many other choices I'd look for beforehand. Might be too early for the seasonal as well.

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Photo of clake
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 6/22/15 poured into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy, dark amber color with minimum head but does leave behind good lacing. Smells of peach with a bit of bready notes from the malts. Fruity hops up front followed by bitterness with the backing of the malts. Moderately carbonated with a nice dry finish. A very good fall seasonal beer. Might be released too early, as with a ton of fall beers in my opinion, and I wish the weather was bit cooler but it's not the beer's fault. Worthy of a pick up as summer slowly fades into autumn.

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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 fx20736
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 6 pack from AJ's Beer Warehouse on 8/22/15. Served cold in a Duvel Tulip.

Look: Burnished copper with a natural white head. decent lacing.

Smell: Peaches. Smells like canned peaches with a touch of pineapple juice.

Taste: a bitterness which is neither piney nor tropical fruit but some how a cross of both. Juicy, very juicy.

Feel: soft but solid. Enough carbonation.

Overall: tasty, juicy, yummy

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Photo of pat61
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: A brilliant amber pour crowned by a 1” sudsy and clingy white foam collar that recedes at a moderate pace. S: Resin, pine and grass. T: A hop forward beer with a firm, bready malt backbone. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: Very clean and smooth bitter with some noticeable bitterness.

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Photo of bobhits
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite Southern Tier offerings.

ESB is an interesting labeling here. The beer has the body and color of an ESB. Decent, not great lacing.

Carmel malt and hops on the nose.

To me this is right at the intersection of pale ale, ipa and esb. Rich powerful flavors of from hops, and malt. Rich caramels for the cooler seasons coming (though it's july here guys, not a harvest time). However this drinks with a lot of IPA joy.

Bottom line, I like this one a good bit. It's a beer I pickup every year and do so without a second thought.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -25.6%
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.


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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, 2013 edition, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden amber color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered almost the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very hoppy. Some notes of malt and freshly baked bread, but the predominate aroma is hops which makes sense as the label says that this beer is brewed with four (4) varieties of hops.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer tastes predominately of hops, even to the point of being overpoweringly hoppy. There is quite a bit of caramel-like sweetness to try to keep the hops in check, but for my palate, it falls a little short. There’s also hardly any malt flavor to this beer, which makes me not a fan.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’m not too much of a fan of this beer. I’m not a hop head, far from it in fact, and for me this beer is too far in the hops side of the scale for me to enjoy. Hop heads should love it however.

12 oz bottle, 2014 edition, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden amber color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered almost the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very hoppy. Some notes of malt and freshly baked bread, but the predominate aroma is hops which makes sense as the label says that this beer is brewed with four (4) varieties of hops.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer tastes predominately of hops, but there is quite a bit of caramel-like sweetness to try to keep the hops in check. Assisting the hops is a good amount of bready, toasted malt which imparts flavors of whole wheat crackers and toasted 7-grain bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What a difference a year makes! Either Southern Tier has changed the recipe for this beer and amped up the malt presence while dialing down the hops, which I doubt, or my palate has really grown over the past year to be much more tolerant of hops, as I found this year’s edition to be really, really tasty!

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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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