Hale's O'Brien's Harvest Ale | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

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Hale's O'Brien's Harvest AleHale's O'Brien's Harvest Ale

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-12-2002

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 79
Photo of Easton70
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I bought a one-off 12oz bottle at Trader Joes and tried it during an evening where I tried a few other winter beers. This one stood out as the most flavourful with a caramel/bitter finish. The ABV is near.y 7% but it tastes like something stronger. Tis would be an awesome beer to taste with a strong cheddar

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.97/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Well that is a weird color for a harvest ale. Darker than the Sierra Nevada original harvest even. This does not look like a pale ale. Aroma was not delivering the hops, you get some chocolate roasted malt, peaty scotch ale kind of thing. WTF is going on here?

Hopping comes through on the taste, just not necessarily the fresh or wet hops you were looking for. Jeez, cut it out on the dark malts. I swear this was like some brown ale made into a harvest ale. Weird. No off flavors, just flavors out of style.

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Photo of stevoj
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Brewers Haven. Picking up some Belgian notes right away, yeasty, musty aroma. Would not put this in as an amber, although lots of caramelly malt late on the palate. Cloudy dark amber body with small soapy head. Lingering bitter finish and minor warmth.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium reddish bronze amber with a thin off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Rich aroma of caramel malt, fruity with light citrus and grassy hops. Flavor is caramel malt with light biscuit, citrus and piney hops, light rye flavor and slight sourness; finishes with good piney hop bitterness supported by deep malt with hints of citrus. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Not sure this is properly a pale ale, it is dark and reddish in color, and the heavy malt body and hopping appear to be dead center in the red ale category. I'm reviewing it as a red ale, as that is a closer style to the intent of this ale (sold as a "harvest ale"). Nice rich malt and flavorful hop bill. A pleasant fall ale.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Orange in color, O’Brien’s Harvest Ale has a cloudy body and a nose that is earthy, lightly spiced, piney, and a little fruity. There is very little foam on this beer, but it does manage to leave some lacing as you drink.

O’Brien’s Harvest Ale offers a taste that combines caramel malt, bread, citrus, grass, pine, biscuits, and some toffee. The flavor is complex and you may find yourself mulling over what you taste or think you might taste. It’s a good beer to share with a friend, compare notes, and find what each of you can detect.

This ale is an interesting one overall, but it’s also not the cleanest beer you will ever try. It is murky and does have some yeast sediment present, so don’t open a bottle expecting to taste something clear and clean. Qualities like these do not matter to me, but I know that some consumers like their beers clean and crisp. This beer is neither, but it is still good in its own way.

Seattle is home to some great breweries and Hales Ales O’Brien’s Harvest Ale is certainly a beer you should try. The complexity continues to reward you long after the first sip and it remains tasty and interesting all the way to the final drink.

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Photo of vkv822
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz : tulip

Pours a clear, dark amber/brown color with a thick, light beige head and nice lacing.

Citrus, and piney hop notes are the dominant feature in both the aroma and taste. Tasty malt backbone.

Medium bodied, well hopped and well balanced ale. Noting particularly memorable about this one, but I still quite enjoyed it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whoa, if that ain't the brownest, darkest harvest ale I've ever come across. Seriously, looks like a brown ale or a porter. Further surprising me, that this is classified as an apa. . . nothing pale about this one. Aroma actually was some peat and cocao just as much as hop bitterness.

A decent amount of hops here, as far as wet or fresh hops go, this one doesn't really have much of a green hoppy vibe going for it, but that could be substantially covered up by the generous amount of brown and/or chocolate malt, not to mention the toffee and caramel presence. Really walks the line between a black and brown ale that is on hop roids.

Bits of peat feel, make it further convuluted as like a fresh hop scotch ale. For the a little bit of everything approach, it kinda works, far from a abject failure of a beer, its kind of a off the beaten path type of harvest ale. Worth checking out.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at the local co-op. Heard (from somewhere) that it was a fresh-hop pale ale and thought I'd give it a whirl.

Pours a murky copper and burnt orange color. Quite hazy due to the presence of the yeast sediment. Very minimal head, about one half centimeter, develops as a layer of tiny, eggshell white bubbles. Retention is minimal, but there is some scattered lacing left behind.

The aroma is of caramel malt, spicy hops, some earthen notes, wet dirt, pine, and citrusy hops. Definitely a hop-centric nose, but the presence of the malt rounds it out nicely. It tastes of spicy, earthen hops that are backed by a rush of citrus and grasses. Again, very hop-forward, but a nice caramel finish helps keeps things in balance.

The mouthfeel, however, is sub-par. I realized this is supposed to be bottle conditioned, but this one was still very flat. Minimal carbonation, as the lack of head in the beginning suggested, translates to a watery, thin feeling on the tongue. Overall, a good tasting brew, but the carbonation just wasn’t there and it really detracted from the drink. Probably won’t get another bottle of this, but would like to find it on tap.

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

This appears to be in better shape than the Hale's I previously sampled and has a pleasant citrus/pine aroma. Looks good, too, with a head that falls to a persistent layer of foam and some lace. Pleasant hoppy and fruity flavor mixes with almost too much caramel malt flavor then slides into a fairly assertive bitter finish. Not bad. Definitely an English yeast at work here contributing the fruity flavors. Enjoyed this more than the Red Menace.

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Photo of beertunes
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a slightly orangeish amber with over an inch of foamy light tan head that had decent retention and moderate lacing.

A sharp hop aroma, mostly citrus, with some pine, greets the nose with some malt in the background. On the tongue, there is a bit more of a malt presence, but the hops still dominate.

The body and drinkability were typical for the style the beer is listed under here. This is the first time I've this beer in several years and it far different from my memory of it. I first tried this brew in the fall of 2000 (which is way before the beer was added to this site) when I moved to the Northwest and it seems that this used to be a big malty seasonal, more like a brown ale, but maybe my recollections are off-base.

Overall, a nice little brew, worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of cokes
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Muddy,opaque burnt peach colored. The quick tan head is runny and short-lived though it leaves steaks of lace.
The nose is both bright and dark. Big amount of pine and grapefruit, with more tropical notions of guava and pineapple teasing out with closer inspection. It's also full of bark, wood chips, and lawn clippings, as well as toasty, almost rum-like brown sugary maltiness. I appreciate the balance, as the fruity and pine traits carry the day, and everything else is there for support or simply background noise.
The malt brings toasted biscuits and toffee, and then jabs towards things more burnt, but doesn't actually connect. Earthy through the middle with various pine tree parts: bark, roots, stems, needles, resin. Bitterness is moderate to high, but it's offset. Some fruitiness shines through (though less than the aroma hints at) with pineapple and grapefruit. It carries a pulpy orange juice bitterness and earthy counterpart long into the finish.
Medium bodied, feeling a touch fuller with its fleecy, thorough carbonation.
The brightness of fresh-hopping is parried by its dirtier characteristics. It's as close to a Brown Ale as it is a Pale. It gets a bit of leeway there, as I'd rate it a 3.75 in taste and mouthfeel, but I can't, so I round up.
I like it still, but probably a tick less then the numbers show.

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Photo of compass40204
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I think Harvest beer, I think of hops. This beer certainly has that in its plan. Fragrant but not flowery. Earthy, slight pine. Head rather thin, but very persistent lacing. Medium to light body. Flavor is nearly all hop. Resiny mouthfeel after the sip. Enjoyable, but not something I crave. But then I'm not a hophead.

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Photo of philbertk
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1999 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Oktoberfest? Pours thick. Thinly hazed clear copper red color. Malty hop front starts balanced brew. Rich texture in doughy semi sweet body. Light caramel cherry flavor base to malt. Finishes sweet warm hops. Sampled 10/6/1999.

2000 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Pale Ale? Bottle conditioned. Clear rich copper amber color. Malty floral hop front hints of earthiness. Rich lightly toasted mildly sweet doughy malty body. Crisp Ale flavor imbued with hops. Sweet spicy hop end. Sampled 9/28/2000.

2001 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Oktoberfest? Floral hops erupt on opening. Clear thin bright amber color. Light head. Medium lace. Wonderful floral fresh hop front. Rich sweet doughy fruity malty caramel body. Lingering malty sweet hop citrus end. Sampled 11/16/2001.

2002 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. 4.5 / 5.0) Clear rich dark amber red color. Rich toasted floral hop front. Light head and lace. Toasted biscuit sweet malty caramel earthy body. Fresh hop rich spicy toasted citrus biscuit end. Bottle conditioned. Sampled 10/18/2002. WOW!! Floral hops. Rich tasty smooth balanced body. A Favorite. 5.5% ABV? (4.5 / 5.0) On Tap at Brewpub 11/2/2002.

2003 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (4.5 / 5.0) Slightly hazy rich amber color. Rich lacy head. Thick rich floral fresh hop malt front. Creamy smooth rich hop sweet doughy citrus caramel body. Balanced dry citrus hop spice clean end. Light sediment. Wow! Sampled 11/1/2003.

2004 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV? 40 IBU's? (3.75 / 5.0) Mild lacy head. Slightly bottle conditioned hazy rich amber color. Rich malty floral fruit hop front. Malty sweet fruity toasted caramel cherry citrus mild creamy doughy body. Astringent balanced citrus hop end. Off tonight. Sampled 10/2/2004.

2005 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. 55 IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Mild tan lace head. Cloudy rich dark amber red color. Huge floral hop front. Bottle conditioned rich grassy herbal citrus caramel grapefruit biscuit mild sweet body. Tangy tart rich hop spice citrus earthy fresh hop end. Sampled 9/14/2005.

2006 12 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. 55 IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Mild head. Bright suspended bottle conditioned cloudy rich amber orange color. Malty big floral ester hop front. Tap fresh crisp smooth rich caramel fruit ester crusty body. Clean balanced earthy malty hop spice end. Sampled 9/21/2006.

2007 12 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. 55 IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Thick pour. Off white thin mild lace head. Clean bright dark ruby color. Malty floral Fresh Hops front. Toasted toffee biscuit chewy mild sweet bottle conditioned ester body. Earthy crusty hop spice ester end. WOW! Sampled 9/2/2007.

2008 12 oz. Bottle. 6.25% ABV. 70 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) Thin head. Cloudy dark amber color. Mild floral malt fresh hop front. Flat mild sweet caramel fresh hop biscuit mild fruit ester body. Refreshing smooth balanced hop spice ester end. Bland Unhoppy tonight. Sampled 12/14/2008. 6-Pack $8.39.

2009 12 oz. Bottle. 6.80% ABV. 75 IBU's. this year according to Brewer. (4.5 / 5.0) Bottle conditioned. Thin mild lace off white head. Clear bright rich dark amber bronze red color. Earthy malty floral hop front. Hop oil infused rich toasted toffee caramel biscuit mild fruit body. Refreshing smooth rich hop spice malty end. Best Hale's Brew and a seasonal favorite. Sampled 9/2/2009. 6-Pack $8.49.

2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV--65 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) IPA--Harvest Ale No head.Thin tan lace. Cloudy bright dark amber orange color. Toasted earthy malt fruit ester Rich hop front. Malty fruity earthy smooth mild sweet fruit ester caramel fruit pine hop infused body. Bitter hop spice hot dry tangy end. Fruitier than 2009. Tasty. Sampled 9/1/2010. 6-Pack $6.99

O'Brien's Harvest Ale. 6.40% ABV. 55 IBU's. Rich lacy head. Slightly cloudy bright dark amber color. Rich malty toasted vibrant fresh hop front. Sweet malty hop infused toasted caramel mild fruit body. Rich zesty hop spice end. Very nice. (4.25 / 5.0) Sampled 5 oz. Taster @ Fremont Oktoberfest 9/26/2010

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Photo of RJLarse
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Elk Public House. Served in a pint glass.
Pours a garnet red color and is clear. Small frothy off white head.

Sweet earthy smell. Wet leaves maybe.

Taste is a bit of an acerbic peat flavor. Roasted grain and some earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is clean and medium bodied. Minimal carbonation.

Drinkable for the style. Not one of my favorites.

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Photo of ScreamForMe
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While not my normal Fall beer of choice, I decided to give it a go a few weeks ago when out in the Ballard area.

The pint glass arrived with a decent smell of hops (something I expected but don't care for).

Amber color with an inch head on it.

Hop to the taste - again expected - but quite drinkable. Not my style but it was a solid brew.

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Photo of aaron12
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The thing I like about Hale's ales is, I feel like he,(Hale), is the closest an american brewer has come to make true british style ales... There's something old worldly about his beer, and i like that that.

A. hazy red/brown, almost no head, (which is common for hales brews out of the bottle)...

S. hops, hops, booze, wee bit o pine, in the end maybe some caramel malts, maybe...

T. hoppy, fatty grape fruit, with a nice sugar malt finish. i can taste the alcohol, but it doesn't bother me, (or this beer), i like that's it's there. i feel this is what a fall beer should taste like. something to drip down your beard, after a long cold wet day of hard work...

M. it's good. fatty.

D. there's alot of boozy hops flavor in this beer, if you're a bad ass then maybe, but for me, two or three for the evening will do just fine. (then it's time for shots!)


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Photo of chezztone
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hale's Ales in general are somewhat rugged, overhopped. I like that! If you like Hale's beers, this is an excellent one. If you're not sure, try this one anyway. I think the "American Pale Ale" id is a mistake. More like a wet-hop ale, or a hopped-up brown ale. The mouthfeel is terrific, it lingers and lets you feel the malt and the hops and the water even, kind of one after another waterfalling across your tongue and palate. The hoppiness as I say is aggressive but it is balanced by the full malt and warm alcohol. I'm not good at identifying hops but this reminds me of other Hale's products, Mongoose IPA especially, probably the same hops predominate here. But this seems more balanced and drinkable. A grown-up version of Mongoose? I look forward to this beer every fall. And it is quite moderately priced, too, unlike many seasonals.

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Photo of TheFlern
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown. Almost no head that is gone within seconds. Pretty much zero retention.

Smell: We have a nice blend of hops, barley/malt/bready notes here. Very nice

Taste: We are talking hops, nice and spicey. Pretty low bitterness considering this with a nice bready flavor to carry the hops.

Mouthfeel: Perfect amount of carbonation. This beer feels heavy but leaves a great aftertaste to enjoy.

Drinkability: This is a pretty heavy/heady beer. A six pack of this would wreck you but I like that.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harvest Ale was a late autumn discovery last year; I made a mental to note then to buy more this year. The search wasn't hard, with my guy at New Seasons pointing it out as a 'new arrival' last weekend; a six-pack went straight into the cart. This is the last of those bottles, a twist-capped 12 oz'er, poured to a pint.

A: Among the darker 'pale ales' I've witnessed: it's a deep chestnut-auburn, slightly hazed. Looks like a glass of tea, but with a 1/2" cap of light tan frothy cream. Droopy band of lace hang like icicles.

S: Hops saturate, green and 'wet', with a citrus sweetness and a hefty caramel malt backing. Cereal (brown) sugars, a coffee cake aroma.

T: Loads of caramel maltiness, a 'Grape Nuts' grain/nutty roast. Fruit sweetness, tangerine or satsuma, then a grassy and spicier hoppiness builds the bitterness. Malt and hop play nicely, tilt back and forth.

M: Medium body/feel, coating hoppiness, saliva explodes. Carbonation is modest.

D: A fine APA; as mentioned earlier, a surprise last year that I made a point to buy fresh this time around. At 6.5%, a bit much for more than a couple, but the flavor alone warrants repeat drinking. Worth finding.

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Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head that dribs and drabs lacing around the glass

Smell: A rustic, earthy hop aroma overwhelms the caramel base

Taste: The caramel from the aroma is certainly present from the outset, but the rustic, piney hops dominate by mid-palate; there is also a grainy character that plays upon the flavor profile; after the swallow, the balance of this beer really comes through, with a taste of honey on the tip of the tongue at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A rather different example of the style, but a bit husky/grainy for my palate

Thanks, cannabanaceae, for the opportunity

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Photo of akorsak
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A stubby 12 oz bottle from Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is much darker than most any pale ale that I've come across. The hue is reddish, cherry wood with a haziness throughout. Two fingers of head are clinging in thick clumps.

S: The aroma doesn't quite match that of a harvest ale, throwing off a lot of syrupy caramel and butter.

T: The caramel and darker malts make their impression from the first sip, imparting a fuller malt sweetness. Behind the sweetness is a level of hops. They aren't strong or lasting, rather they peek up, hit with a minor burst and disappear. More of a brown ale than a pale ale.

M: The mouthfeel is malt-centric, content to let the caramel malts run wild. Hops tend to disappear quickly, if they even show at all.

D: One and done.

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Photo of froghop
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a semi-clear, amber-orange with a small beige head that dissipates quickly, not much of a lacing.

smell is of caramel, hops, and a slight whiff of malt.

taste is watery, hops, touch of citrus, some caramel, a pine aftertaste, with a bitter ending.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew from cannabanaceae. Thanks, Marty!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky amber color with a beige head that fell to a light ring leaving a bit of lacing.

S - sweet malt and floral hop aroma.

T - sweet and malty upfront until a pleasant bitterness takes over leading to a dry finish.

F - medium bodied, lightly cabonated.

D - easy to drink.

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-hazed copper/brown with a finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, earthy & piney hops

T: Much breadyness, earthy hops & grapefruit & caramel up front. Grainyness, earthy hops & more grapefruit as this warms. Finishes with earthy hops, caramel & breadyness

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, great balance

Great drinkability, this is kind of heavy handed as an APA, but works well as a harvest ale, good pickup from bottletrek!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a dark amber hue with some garnet highlights, crowned by a small, creamy white head that quickly recedes to a thin halo. Aroma is mainly sweet, rich malt, with notes of brown sugar and dark fruit (maybe a hint of fig). The palate is a bit more balanced, with a good dose of mildly bitter hops evening out the sweet dose of malt. The finish is again sweet, but with just the slightest hint of black pepper. Body is thin and just a touch creamy, about right on for the style. An interesting take on the harvest ale style for the northwest, as they didn't go for an all-out hop bomb. Still, this is a tasty brew that's a nice change of pace from the usual fall offerings in this part of the world.

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Hale's O'Brien's Harvest Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
3.71 out of 5 based on 79 ratings.
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