J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask) 2013

Posted: March 5, 2017 in English Barleywine, J.W. Lees & Co Ltd, Reviews

Tonight’s selection is a beer that I picked up awhile back that I wanted to give a try. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 11.5%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In 2015 we have found another year’s harvest really worth celebrating and brewed a phenomenal Harvest Ale. Darker and richer than the many that have come before, the 2015 edition will surprise and delight. To look at, the beer is slightly darker than previous vintages, with flavours of toffee and sherry. But as with all JW Lees Harvest Ale, these flavours will develop in the bottle as the beer ages. Harvest Ale is a limited edition vintage barley wine, made once and once only from the first hops of the year and the very finest British malt. The beer quickly gained a cult following of ale enthusiasts who recognised its quality and relish in the different flavours each vintage brings and the evolution that comes with ageing over time. In the past 29 years, the beer has grown in popularity and in some bars around the world it has gained legendary status, with older vintages being highly sought after and changing hands for up to $60 per bottle.”

Random: I think I have a cold again. I hate getting sick.

This beer poured with almost no head. What was there was cream-colored and dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was murky and brown with no carbonation visible. On the nose, I picked up a lot of sweetness with brown sugar. There was also a significant booze note with oak and whiskey. The taste had a lot of leather upfront with caramel sweetness. Tobacco was next and was quickly followed up with brown sugar. It was really earthy. The body was thick and syrupy with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with leather and whiskey. A bottle of this was $8.99, which came to $1 per ounce (the bottle was only 9 ounces). This was a great beer for a cold night and incredibly flavorful. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0


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