J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (2011)

Posted: April 8, 2015 in English Barleywine, J.W. Lees & Co Ltd, Reviews

It’s the best time of the year…baseball season! The season has finally started, which always makes me incredibly happy. What better than a beer to go with baseball? This is a beer that I stuck in the cellar for a bit after picking it up from Half Time. Since it was from my first trip there, I don’t remember how much I paid for it. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 11.5%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to bunitedint.com, “J.W.Lees Vintage Harvest Ale is only brewed once a year for release on December 1 of each year. It is a Limited Edition Vintage to celebrate the first brew from each year’s harvest of barley and hops. Only the first delivery of the year’s classic barley malt ‘Maris Otter’ and the classic hop variety ‘Goldings’ from East Kent is therefore used. Fermentation is induced by J.W.Lees distinctive three-strain top-fermenting yeast. J.W.Lees Vintage Harvest Ale reaches 11.5 % alc./vol. once completely attenuated with a natural fermentation in open copper lined fermenting vessels that were commissioned in 1876 when the brew house was refurbished.”

Random: As usual, the Phils lost on Opening Day. I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long season.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, cream-colored head that was thin and dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy mahogany color with light carbonation visible. The nose had notes of raisins and booze with vanilla too. The taste had decent amount of booze and transitioned into extremely sweet caramel and raisin. After it warmed, some oak and vanilla were present as well. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was long with sticky, sweet caramel finish. This beer was a really nice sipper and one I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0


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