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Review of J.W. Lees Limited Edition 2006 Harvest Ale (Sherry Casks)

28 Jul
Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying another J.W. Lees Harvest Ale produced by the J.W. Lees & Co. Ltd. Brewery (Greengate Brewery) in Middleton Junction, Manchester, United Kingdom.  This particular brew is a 2006 version aged in Sherry Casks.

Let’s revisit the website, jwlees.co.uk, for the commercial description of these tasty brews.

Released in limited quantities in December, Harvest Ale gives a rich, strong flavour, beloved by beer connoisseurs.  It can be laid down like a vintage wine for enjoying in later years.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a sip.

This brew, like all other J.W. Lees Harvest Ales, comes in a 9.3 oz. bottle with an ABV of 11.5%.

It poured a surprisingly clear, brown caramel color.  It formed a very, very small off white head.  Literally, no size at all from a most gentle pour.  A thin circumference of foam was left around the top of the liquid, but no lacing was to be found.  A prevalent film of clear alcohol was left on the sides of the snifter when tilted however.

The aroma was incredible!!!  Beautiful, robust, rich tones of wood and oak along with a very well blended and balanced sherry note.  Further hints of sweet caramel sugars with undertones of toasted wheat bread.  The sherry pulled the most subtle wine aroma through while tender hints of dark fruit (fig mostly) add even more intricacy.  An awesome bouquet to say the least.

Within the taste I found some sweet caramel sugars and more of the nice, round wood and oak.  Savors of deep, dark breads soaked in wine, but without the sharp sourness that accompanies some wines.  Dark fruity fig and raisins complete this well balanced, harmonized and complex brew.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry, very smooth and kind of chewy with a very low carbonation.  A soothing warmth was felt at the back end as it slipped down into the belly.  A very good deal of flavor was left behind long after each sip.

Well, this is another outstanding beer by J.W. Lees.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but if you love big, malty Barleywines you need to try a few of the Harvest Ales no matter the vintage.  They are all top of the line products in my opinion.  They are chocked full of flavor and aroma.  Not to mention that each have varying subtleties that arise with age and from the different barrels from which they are matured.  They are geared more as a slow sipper during the cooler months, however one could also imbibe gently during warmer weather as well.  If you guys happen to have the opportunity to try, or if you have already tried, the J.W. Lees Limited Edition 2006 Harvest Ale (Sherry Casks) let me know what you thought of it.  I would be interested in your opinions.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-

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