Saturday, December 31, 2011

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2007 (Matured in Sherry Casks) -- Beer Geek Joey Guest Post

Wow! Beer Geek Joey came right back the very next day with a review of the Sherry Matured version of the same beer from his cellar. Excellent!

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2007 Matured in Sherry Casks

Like the regular 2007 Harvest Ale, the version finished in sherry casks weighs in at 11.5% abv, and comes in a 275 ml brown glass bottle.

More fresh fruit than the regular, surprisingly. Apples and pears are prominent, but fade very quickly. Golden raisins, molasses and brown sugar take over. Vanilla and muscatelle are present, but caramel is rather less.  Malt is indistinct, without the noticeable biscuit character of the regular.

Pours clear gold-red, utterly devoid of head. Yeast cake in the bottom of the bottle stayed intact longer than the regular (or I got better at pouring carefully). Some very fine particles did come loose eventually.

Much less dark fruits in the flavor, with dried apples, golden raisins, and light brown sugar dominating. Touches of sherry and vinous alcohol. Good balance of bitterness and alcohol against the sweetness.

Almost no carbonation, but a touch does help balance the sweetness. Very viscous, heavy and creamy. Luscious mouthfeel overall.

Smoother and more balanced than the regular. Not a lot of noticeable character from the wood, but it probably led to the enhanced smoothness and balance. Simply superb.

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