Harvest Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Harvest AleHarvest Ale

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

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: 592 | Ratings: 1,688
Photo of Mitchster
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$1.99 for a 12oz bottle @ Bevco. Brewed with "Ale yeast, four varieties of hops, two types of malts" in the ESB style. 6.7% ABV

Pours out to a clear dark golden, forming a mthin white head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation, ~2.3 carbs. The nose is full of fresh american hops...I'm guessing centennial, cascade, with a touch of skunk....Not English style at all...underlying this is some nice fruity yeast esters, a clean fermentation, and some nice malt character. The mouthfeel is bright, with a hoppy acidity, a medium-dense body, and a soft carbonation. The taste opens with the aforementioned citrus hops, followed by the suggestion of orange with a touch of toast and grass, followed by a pleasant well-balanced bitterness and an aftertaste of pineapple and mango from the hops. The bitterness lingers in the aftertaste for quite a while. Peculiar water profile almost has a salty character...not chalky like gypsum, but more like calcium chloride, and the sodium accentuates the sharp hoppiness.

Well, this is a well-brewed beer, but it's not an ESB. It's more like an IPA for all practical purposes. Quite a bit different than what I was expecting. Not good enough for me to buy again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served an amber colored beer with a small white head. The head faded rather fast to leaves a light amount of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma was of a malty biscuit smell mixed with citrus and pine hops. While these were the dominant aromas there was a lighter caramel sweetness.

Taste – The hops show up early in this one and create a hopped pine and citrus flavor on top of a lightly sweetened malt base. As the flavor advances more caramel sweetness comes to the tongue with some of the hop flavors growing slightly lighter in intensity. This changes however as the sweetness lessens again more toward the end due to a roasted malt flavor that comes to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly higher than average side in terms of creaminess with the carbonation level being on the lower side.

Overall – Really not the best ESB out there, but not bad either. It has a decent flavor profile with some nice flavors. It is well worth a try if you have the chance.

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Photo of cbros
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light pale straw color with no carbonation activity after the pour. I am not getting any head or cling to the glass after the pour. I am getting subtle alcohols notes in the smell. There is a good hoppy bitterness that is backed by a citrus, orange maybe, note to finish. It has a nice mouthfeel if you like the bitterness that is associated with ESB's. Overall an average beer, probably something I wouldn't get again but it was nice to have an opportunity to drink it. Received this as an extra from billab914 and I am thankful to try any Sothern Tier offerings.

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Photo of rinhaak
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into Sam's Perfect Pint glass.

Pours a clean, crystal clear caramel/gold color. The head is thin and faded fast.

The nose was the highlight for me: aromas of hops, orange, grapefruit, pine, and juniper are all mingled together. It's not a super complex nose, but very pleasant and well balanced.

The taste is very, very clean. Hoppy, but not overly so, there is a nice caramel malt flavor to balance the hops.

For my own tastes, I found the mouthfeel to be a bit watery and was a little bit of a disappointment.

Overall a very drinkable beer that goes down fast. Not a lot going on, it's a pretty simple brew. That said, what is there is done well. If you're looking for a straight forward, no-frills ESB, then you will enjoy this beer. But in my opinion, it is not really up to the standard I've come to expect from Southern Tier.

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Photo of johnniemarg
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a straw color with a 1-finger offwhite head and streams of visible carbonation.

Smells of tons of hops. Flowery, grassy hops, maybe some pine. Just a hint of malt sweetness.

Taste is basically in line with the smell. A touch of sweetness on the tip of the tongue is followed by a huge flowery hop kick through the middle and long, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is slcik and on the lighter side.

This is a decent beer. The one thing I don't like about it is the long bitter finish, which doesn't bring along the fresh, flowery hop flavor- It just carries the bitterness.

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Photo of abraxel
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours crystal clear golden orange, with lots of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. There's a finger or two of off-white head that looks pretty substantial.

S - Some light, earthy and citrusy hops. A touch of caramelly malt. Nice, but nothing special.

T - A solid base of nice, caramel malts, with earthy and citrusy hops. A good, relatively low level of bitterness, balanced well by the malt. I enjoy this beer.

M - There's too much carbonation, though. Other than that, the mouthfeel is pretty good, but the carbonation is distracting.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer. I'd drink it again. If I didn't have better options, I might even buy it again. There are almost always better options, though.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received from calise1122 in a recent trade. Thanks so much!

Poured into my pint glass. This bottle exploded in foam upon prying the cap off. Took a few minutes to pour this one. Big billowy off-white head on top. Great retention. Left tons of sticky lace on the glass edge. Scents of honey, flowers, mild hops, and biscuits characterize this one.

The mouth is a little thinner than expected, though that may be due to the huge carbonation explosion a few minutes ago. Mild body, little carbonation on the tongue. This is fairly tame beer. Some sweet honey-kissed biscuits and mild fruity tones start it off, but this finishes with a slight dull bitterness that I like. Hop presence isn't as bold as I expected, but it make itself known.

I'd like to try a bottle of this that isn't compromised by a carbonation bomb; I think I could get a better handle on it. Still, there's enough here to let me know that this is a beer I'd have again. Recommend.

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Photo of bum732
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Bready maltiness, with prominent citrus hoppiness. Some grassiness.

L: Clear burnt orange, creamy white head that dissipates.

T: Deep bready maltiness with lots of herbal hoppiness. Fairly sweet toasty malt follows the medium bitterness. Finishes quite malty with a touch of earthy hoppiness. Semi-dry.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Not bad, missing that depth in ESB's and a bit too hoppy, but not bad.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass from bottle

A: Clear light amber color, 2 finger off white head fell rather quickly. Frothy ring sticking around edges of glass.

S: Smells like a blend of north american hops and german hops, with slight hints of biscuity malts. Piney, grassy, herbal, not to mention an almost patchouli'esque funk.

T: Piney hops up front blending with a good amount of bready malt and some grassy hops. Finishes slightly dry with a lingering taste of north american hops.

M: Light-medium body, good amount of bite, and just a bit high on the carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: Not bad, very unique for sure. I could drink this again, just nothing TOO special.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of amber/tan with a two finger head that dissipated into a sheen and left ok lacing.

A bit odd really, quite herbal and floral with citrusy hops notes, bready caramel malt, earthiness, nuts.

Some fruit flavors drift in, but there's still plenty of floral hops, citrus, and caramel.

Body is moderately carbonated, medium and slightly slick. An earthy hops/caramel malt flavor finishes it up.

It's a bit odd, really, but likeable.

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Photo of mpyle
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App - Pale amber color, good clarity. Coarsely bubbled in the liquid, but the head itself was white, creamy, and with moderately good retention.

Smell - earthy pine hop aroma, a bit of copper penny, and hints of caramel

Taste - Fairly hoppy from the start, with a bitter component from fairly early on. Malt lost beneath the hops. Hop flavor not very exciting. Finish is distinctly bitter, but not harshly so.

MF - Medium body and carbonation, no astringency, but a slight hint of alcohol warming.

Overall - A decent bitter beer, but would like to see a more assertive malt presence.

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Photo of Robalypse
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque, copper body with a light, wet, bubbly, cream colored head.

Smells very “clean,” almost soapy like Fels-Naptha, with a strong scent of grapefruit, hops, and bit of peach. Powerful and unusual but pleasant.

Light and fresh, mild carbonation.

In line with the smell, there’s a potent taste of wheat and grapefruit up front, strong, quality hops and light malt on the back end. A floral bitterness that lingers a long time after a gulp.

This is definitely a quality beer, but the powerful and distinct flavor is ALMOST too much for my pallet. The flavor doesn’t seem quite in line with what I would expect from the name. Rather than being a fall/seasonal beer, it has more of a spring or summer vibe. It is quite refreshing which would make it a great beer for a warm summer night. That said, I bought a six pack and took weeks to get through it because it just wasn’t something I wanted to taste regularly. Skirts the novelty realm a little too closely to make it something I would want to revisit often, but it is definitely worth picking up a bottle.

 1,117 characters

Photo of ujsplace
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear, new-copper colored brew that has a whitish yellow colored head that is clumpy and sticky. Laces pretty nicely and leaves some chunky floaters.

Smells of citrus, grapefruit, some bready malts and some spices as well.

Tastes of grapefruit, citrus hop bitters that fades to a biscuty maly sweetness. Mild toasted caramel.

Smooth, medium bodied, crisp.

A highly drinkable easy going brew. Nice sessionable brew - easily accessable for parties.

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Photo of ksimons
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-poured into a chalice, is a clear golden orange with a thin layer of lacing around the top

S-a pine hop smell with a bit of malts and spice

T-taste starts off pretty bitter and then sort of mellows out due to the malts.

M-light refreshing body, moderate carbonation, with a smooth dry finish

D-I can see this being very drinkable, not my favorite style, but not bad either

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Photo of Otesanek
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a dogfish pint glass, the weird shaped one with the truck on it from the midwest destruction tour last summer. 1/2" white head settles down to a tight ring of suds, leaving no lace. Bright rich golden color, very clear, with a scattering of lazy bubbles rising. The aroma is a bit mild, fresh hops and a light orangey citrus, no real malt character coming through. The taste hits me with tangerine hops, lightly sweet, kinda reminds me of those little orange bubble gums that came in those mini juice cartons. Good sturdy bitterness to balance out the sweetness. The alcohol is actually a little noticeable, which isn't the best quality in a smaller session beer... Finishes with a good juicy bitterness and a faintly grainy toastiness. Mouthfeel is nice and clean, with a deep lingering bitterness. This beer drinks nice and easy, a little shallow though. 9.99 a sixer is a dollar fifty high, but whatev.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass

Appearance- A hazy yellowish red color with a half finger of white head that dissipates to a thin surface layer. A decent amount of carbonation streaming from the bottom to the top.

Smell- A huge wheat malt backbone with that sour Souther Tier hops smell.

Taste- A smoked wheat/corn flavor hits the front of the tounge followed by the tart(grapefruit/pine) dry hop finish. The smokey flavor lingers.

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation that makes it a pretty drinkable mouthfeel.

Overall- The cloying smoke flavor is not for me, but it is an average to above average beer depending on how much you like some smoke in your beer.

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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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Photo of jera1350
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Happy Gnome.

Pours a coppery color with a trace of foam around the top. A bit of lacing clings to the pint glass.

A blend of earthy hops with malt and some spice notes.

There is a pretty balanced attack here of hops and malt. The problem is, they seem to fight each other a bit and don't have much cohesiveness. The hops are quite earthy and a bit spicy. The malt adds a sweetness to balance. Not bad, but doesn't mesh real well for me.

Medium bodied with a little harshness from the carbonation, but not too much.

Overall, I think this is a decent beer, but one that I don't need to revisit. The flavor just didn't do a whole lot for me, but it wasn't bad by any means.

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Photo of LeftyBWS
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Golden yellowy-orange colored brew that pours with a huge bubbly white head (1.5 inches or so) and lots of fast-rising carbonation.
S: Citrusy hops (mostly lemon, hint of orange), dry wheat and grain, and some piney hops.
T: Mild hops throughout, mostly pine and a tingle of orange zest, plus some soft wheatiness. Pleasant, but kinda bland. This one must be "subtle."
M: Nice and soft and satisfying, but missing a strong nippy hop bite that I usually like in bitters.
D: Pretty good, one of the easier-to-drink bitters out there.

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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 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.

 458 characters

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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Harvest Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.
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