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Beer Review: J.W. Lee’s Harvest Ale aged in Lagavulin Casks

   April 23, 2011

J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale matured in Lagavulin Whisky casksI know, it’s been a while since my last review.  I’ve been so busy working and trying to find a civil engineering job in the Nashville area that I’ve neglected my poor blog.  This beer review (J.W. Lee’s Harvest Ale aged in Lagavulin Casks) comes courtesy of Aleksey’s Imports, who have provided me beer for quite a few reviews in the past, and to whom I am very grateful.

Now, I wasn’t familiar with J.W. Lee before this review, but they are a UK family brewery dating back to 1828, who specialize in cask ales.  I also wasn’t familiar with Lagavulin before this review either, but according to wikipedia,

Lagavulin Single Malt is an Islay single malt Scotch whisky produced at Lagavulin on the island of Islay.  The whisky has a powerful, peat-smoke aroma, and is described as being robustly full-bodied, well balanced, and smooth, with a slight sweetness on the palate.

Now on to the review…

The Pour
The pour results in a tiny, off-white head atop a thick, coppery-orange beer with a ton of big yeasty sediment floating around like snow in a big beery snow globe.  Although the head is tiny, it does lace the glass nicely.

The Nose
There is a strong whiskey aroma present on the nose, as well as woody notes and a sweetness, like caramel.  Barely-there hints of orange were detected as well.   The 11.5% ABV definitely reaches up out of the glass and makes itself known.

The Taste
This is a very woody brew, full-bodied and showing off an oily, cloying mouthfeel.  The beer is quite smoky and has a slight bite to the edge and a dryness to the finish.

Scoring Breakdown

Appearance: Good colors, not bad, tiny head that laces nicely.
8 points out of 10.

Nose: Nice aromas, representative of what’s to come.
13 points out of 15.

Taste: It can be quite woody, but grows on you.
40 points out of 55.

Style: Pretty much what you’d expect from an ale aged in a whiskey cask.
20 points out of 20.

Total rating: 81 points out of 100

In a nutshell: This can be a bit overly woody, but it does tend to grow on you.  This would be fantastic in front of a roaring wood fire.

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  1. […] purposes.  I’ve already previously reviewed a version of this that had been aged in Lagavulin Whisky casks.  I’ve seen this called a barleywine on some websites, but I think it’s more […]



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