445. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 2004

445. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 2004

This was purchased several weeks ago at Downtown Wine & Spirits. I was debating whether to cellar this or not, but in the end I decided to drink it now and buy another bottle or two for cellaring if I enjoyed it. I let this warm to around 45ยบ F before serving it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Year: 2004
Alcohol: 11.50%
Serving: Bottle, 275 mL
Style: English Barley Wine, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy ruby-brown, with a faint, wispy, beige head that forms a thin ring around the glass.

Smell (5.0): Very rich, malty and sweet. There are notes of burnt sugar, maple syrup, molasses, raisins, figs and a tart alcoholic aroma.

Taste (4.5): Multi-layered. Sweet all the way through. Upfront are notes of brown sugar and fruit. There's a little bit of tartness that makes me think cherries. The finish is sweet with some burnt sugar bitterness, notes of fig and a light alcoholic spice.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Low-carbonation, thick and full-bodied, with a thick syrupy feel, though not unpleasant.

Drinkability (4.5): Alcohol is very well-hidden, rich flavors make this a nice sipping beer.

Overall (4.55): Very good, malty and rich. I'll buy a couple more bottles to cellar for a few years.

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