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 jwc215
3.12/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden with a thin white head that vanishes, but leaves spots of lacing.

The smell is of mild pine and citrus, with that ST house character (which happens to be nice).

The taste is of mild pine and citrus with mild malt/husk that becomes a bit soapy. The malt backbone diminishes, leaving a bitterness that lost the flavor-part. Not quite enough there to round out the bitterness.

It is on the thinnish side with fairly aggressive carbonation.

This just didn't "do it" for me. I was left with an almost aspirin-y bitterness without much else. The flavor started out fine but slipped to almost soap-ish and aspiriny.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A shimmering golden blonde, with a finger-tall creamy white head that retains fairly well and leaves a nice sticky sheet of lacing behind

S: Fresh grapefruit, grass clippings, hints of pine, and a touch of caramel.

T + M: A big citrus profile, mostly a grapefruit flavour like in the aroma. Nice and juicy flavouring. Some hints of caramel... smooth and slightly sweet, with a little sparkle of carbonation. Good stuff.

D: I was pleasantly surprised by this one... I don't know if I would say it makes me think of Oktoberfest, but that's quite alright. A very tasty brew that I'll be sure to pick up more of.

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Photo of brantadid
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a darkish yellow color with no head. Some thin lacing was left behind.

Smell was of faint hops. Some slight sweetness in the nose. Nice pine and citrus rind aromas.

Taste had a nice underlying maltiness with a well balanced bittering hop overlay. A very well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is nice. Light without being thin and rich without being heavy.

One very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Hokies
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice golden color with a light frothy head that leaves a light lace.

Huge aroma of grapefruit and citrus and then some toasty malt makes its way through.

The grapefruit and the biscuit like taste dominates the taste. Their is a nice balance in the taste with the hops not overpowering the malt. The beer also finishes nice with a clean hop bite.

Their is a nice creaminess to this beer with moderate carbonation that helps makes this beer a decent session beer. This is not my favorite beer style but this is a nice ESB.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a crystal-clear, pale-golden color that's capped by a bubbly/frothy, slightly off-white head that seems to retain for ages. As the glass drains, ropey sheets of sticky lace are left behind.

S: Greeted immediately by strong grapefruit/lemon aromas which is followed closely by some toasted and slightly sweet malt. Biscuits. Aroma also contains elements of pine and cut grass. Was expecting mild ESB aromas and was caught off guard by the level of hops coming from this.

T: See above. All of the aforementioned hop qualities are present here (grapefruit, pine, lemon, fresh cut grass...) and the toasted, sweet, and bready malt keeps everything in proper order.

M: Starts off very sticky and oily. The middle takes on a slightly thick and rounded maltiness that seagues into a dry, spicy, and bitter hoppy finish.

D: What a nice surprise. The listed style of ESB had me expecting one thing and this delivered something completely different. I like surprises!

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Photo of oneeye
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with lots of carbonation. A small white fluffy head that recedes slowly until it fades away leaving minimal lace.

The aroma of pine needles and citrusy hops. The hops dominate this Harvest Ale. A blend of floral and citrusy hops. A little bit of caramel malts fighting to break through.

Grapefruit citrusy hops along with piney hops that make a tasty mixture of hop goodness. Biscuity malts follow but not as dominant. Bitter upfront and ends bitter as well. At the end this beer finishes dry with lingering hops.

The mouthfeel is dry and creamy. A bit thin and lacking in body.

Drinkability is great at the begining of this Ale. As the beer warms the flavours lack and become even more unbalanced. Overall a fine Harvest Ale to drink on any given day.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This harvest beer pours a clear and clean light amber with a full half inch head of egg shell colored foam. Plenty of tiny bubbles of carbonation can be seen racing to the top. There are some nice webs of lacing left behind.

Smells of rich resinous piney hops. Some sweet caramel smelling malt in the background, but its largely dominated by the big hop presence.

Taste is full out hops up front and combine the citrus and pine aspects well. Hops seem to fade a bit midway through and there is a moderate bitterness on the finish, but a more substantial malt bill to balance things out would probably have aided a fuller taste on the finish and somewhat in the feel.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet sharp of medium build. As noted above the feel does seem to thin out midway through. Makes for an enjoyable and very quaffable beer.

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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 kkosmoski
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 50F into a Dogfish off-centered pint glass. A very clear light golden color in the glass with an airy white head of about two fingers after a vigorous pour. Foam clings to the side of the glass as it settles down. Smell is of sweet taffey, light toast, and pungeant earthy hops with some citrus mixed in. Flavors start of with a pithy, citrus bitterness along with some sweetness - maybe candied orange peel, and remain on the sweet side until the finish. It ends with a subdued grapefruit bitterness coupled with a very delicate grainy touch. Mouthfeel is quite full and sticky with a relaxed carbonation. Drinkability is very good with a great balance between malt and hops and a moderate abv. A very nice fall brew from Southern Tier that displays very fresh ingredients from the recent harvest.

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Photo of Kraken
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer merchant tossed me this as a freebie, Thanks Brian!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Robust pour yields a bright white fluffy head 2 fingers in size. Head has great staying power and leaves a very a nice lace on the glass.

Nose- Wow nose me surprised. I am greeted by a bounty of Grapefruit and citrus hops. Not what I was expecting.

Taste- yum. Very impressive. Mellow carbonation for the size of the head. Bitter almost from the get-go followed by a nice whack of grapefruit and citrus hops, leading into a more pronounced hop astringency. Very minimal malt profile. Long dry finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation adds an initial creaminess to the beer. Slightly oily.

Drinkability- Very high. This packs a ton flavor into a light ridiculously sessionable beer.

Unfortunately this one sample beer I was provided with is the last of it breed at the bottle shop. Seek out, very nice.

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Photo of Slynger
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright, clear, golden-orange harvest color with a fuzzy lid of fine white.

Lightly sweet biscuity malts accompany a solid load of hops. It brings some light, fresh lemony citrus, with a bunch of grassy-earthiness and bitter, rindy-pinyness. Really nice feel to this one (I would've thought Great Lakes if I didn't know better); it's medium bodied and has a light oily slickness to it. Goes down very smooth with a perfect amount of lightly sharp, crisp, and tingly carbonation.

This is a damn solid beer. One of the best non-imperial offering's I've had from ST.

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Photo of dedrinker
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden brew whose light color took me by surprise as I had expected something amber/orange-ish. Thin white head but with decent structure and lace. There is a distinct yet mild hop aroma - a bit citrusy, and a bit tea-like by turns. I also catch a faint and pleasant whiff of autumn leaves, perhaps just a fancy. The flavors are much the same with a nice creamy mouth feel and light-to-medium body. This beer has October written all over it - September if you live up north.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single, 12-ounce bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield... Been searching for this one for a while, glad to have finally found it...
Appearance: A hefty pour yielded a light-golden hue with a minimal head that soon receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Sensational aroma, strong and assertive, bursting with hops and grains..
Taste: Strong, hoppy taste... This one borders an ESB and an APA, strongly resembling anything brewed from Sierra Nevada... A slight bitterness in the end is tempered with an overwhelming display of hops up front...
Great stuff... Recommended...

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Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How I wish ST would make more beers with this level of alcohol. Their high gravity beers just wear me out, but as this beer clearly shows, they are quite capable of making very good lower alcohol ales.

The beer pours a surprisingly lighter gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get the anticipated citrus with some underlying sweet malt. On the palate this beer is absolutely delicious. The beer is remarkably well balanced, with very nice use of the wet hops IMO. Not only does the beer have a nice hoppy bitterness, but the wet hops give the beer an extra added dimension of flavor as well. In addition to the citrus, there's some underlying earthiness as well that is quite nice. The beer is slightly sweet from the malt, but that sweetness is nicely countered by the hoppy bitterness. This beer is medium bodied and is a joy to drink. It's the kind of beer I could see myself just gulping down if I wasn't careful.

This beer was very popular at Mahaffey's last night and I can see why. Just an excellent harvest ale from ST.

Edit from 9/7/12. Tried again, and was reminded quite vividly that this beer differs from year to year. The current version is decent, but pales in comparison to the beer I sampled back in 2008 (unfortunately).

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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 mountdew1
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard shaker pint glass. Color was a light golden amber with a white one finger head. Aroma was slightly sweet, but yet bitter. Sometimes I could smell creamy or vanilla, and sometimes a bit of berry fruit, but usually bitterness. Taste was bitter, reminded me of pine but not over poweringly so. Felt reasonably good in the mouth, coated nicely and not excess carbonation to deal with. Very easy to drink, could do a few in a sitting.

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Photo of TonyT
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass
Purchased a six pack from Southern Tier Brewery

A- A nice gold color with one finger head. Very little lacing.

S- Nice moderate hoppy smell with hints of grapefruit. The floral smell is more prevalent than the malts. An ESB that reminds me of a Calli IPA.

T- Very crisp, with a hoppy and citrus taste coming through. The hops don't blow you away, but have a hoppy IPA dryness character. Not over malted, allowing the hops to linger. The hop taste still stays with you, the farther down the beer.

M- Hops hit in the front and continue throughout the finish as the malts come through, allowing for a surprising smooth finish.

D- With the 5.2% ABV and the crispness, this is definitely a drinkable beer.

I should have bought a case of this, when I was at the brewery...

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Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright clear straw gold color with a nice white head and spotty lacing every where down my glass.

S- Some nice hops and a definte pepper spice. Not at all what I was expecting but I like it.

T- Nice and hoppy. A bit of citrus, spice and hops all of which are balanced by some malts.

M- Medium body and good carbonation.

D- A nice hoppy brew and enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of corey0212
4.69/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly-clear golden/yellow color, smallish soapy white head fades out really quickly, leaves a ring of various sized bubbles around the glass, a few patches of lacing. Smell is wayyyy hoppy! Juicy grapefruit on the nose, some pineapple, and a soft doughy sweetness. Very hop-forward taste, but it isn't quite as explosive as the nose would suggest, and that's a good thing. Slight piney taste, and all very expertly balanced with the sweet malt. Medium-bodied, slightly creamy, and a just-right amount of lingering hop bitterness. 5.20 ABV?!! Fantastic drinkability here. I'm picking up a case of this, without a doubt. This is the kind of beer you'd want to drink outside, leaves burning, with the hot and sticky summer just a distant memory. Love this!

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Fairly pale yellow color. Poured with a finger of white head. Spotty lacing. Looks kind of like a macro.

S: Fresh hops. Is this really an ESB? This is almost like an IPA light.The hops smell so good what else do you need.

T: Starts off with a nice mix of hops and grains. The taste really reminds me of brewday and I love that. So I love this. In fact if you homebrew take the taste and smell in the air and this is that beer. Really great. Don't know about ESB though.

M: Medium body. Very crisp.

D: This beer is great. Tons of taste and low ABV. This is the kind of beer I want to have a keg of. Really well done by southern tier. I know they have a reputation for their big beers but this one is worth trying.

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Photo of abankovich
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy deep golden yellow color. The aroma is something I wouldn't normally expect from a beer dubbed "harvest ale"... it is very hop forward. True to style it is not, but I love the nose on this beer. Some mild spice is hidden beneath the hop characteristics. A huge hop pungency hits at the onset of the taste followed by a very smooth malt sweetness across the middle. The hops finish on the tail end with the bitterness. Some good spice characteristics are also mixed subtly throughout. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with an easy drinkability and it feels like it would fill me up after a few of them.

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Photo of UA8
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive decided to review this beer after drinking it straight from the bottle rather than from a glass. The bottle seems to keep the flavors and fragrances of the beer more concentrated for some reason here it very noticeable. although i know this maybe somewhat of a faux pas oh well.

On first consumption out of a glass I found the beer to be a tad overly bitter and lacking in complexity of flavors. After having one from the bottle Im happy to say the beer is quite tasty. it has a real fresh from the fields fall "harvest" taste to it. The flavors that I found most prevalent were citrus followed by some cantaloupe and finishing with a nice bitter hop.

I have to say i really enjoy this beer and would recommend it to others. I would describe it as medium hoped refreshing and easy drinking beer.

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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 getalife2k5
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

straw colored with a nice think head that just floats on top with ring around the glass that firmly hangs on. smells fruity; apple, pineapple, orange & papaya with a hint of pine. grapefruit citrusy and very smooth. there's some kind of malty sweetness that gives it a nice, well-rounded body. some nice bitterness that lingers momentarily. i've had this on tap and it was much more bitter. surprisingly flavorful and hoppy for the light color. proof that you can't judge a beer by it's appearance.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Miketd. Thanks!
Pours yellowish gold with a lasting white head. Lighter than expected and looks much like a lager. Smell is grassy, earthy hoppiness, and mildly so. Taste is somewhat mild, and not very "green" or spicy like I like fresh hop beers. Melon and tea flavored hops mostly with some earthiness and mild bitterness. A bit watery and muted flavorwise, but this is very drinkable with no offensive qualities. Decent Pale.

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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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