Harvey’s Christmas Ale

Additional notes 03/08/24 (pictured)

This is an older vintage since the label has changed these days, but no way to know from the label. It was purchased in 2023. The ABV is at 7.5 on this bottle, I’m not sure if that varies annually, but note that it is different to the 2006 vintage below (8.1).

Still feels more Old Ale or even English Barleywine to me than a classic Winter Wamer (and the 2023 agrees with me and declares it a EBW), but I suppose that we all understanding approximately where we stand in the larger spectrum of styles.

It’s a pretty color with a lot my red highlights than I recall fom in the past. It’s very mellow, and still has some good sherry notes up front, and it still finishes with more bitterness than one would expect.


Original notes 01/11/07

275 mL bottle, Green’s, Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. $3.95.

Presumably 2006 vintage, but despite the bottle saying that “Best Before Date and Lot Number” are on the “bottle top”, apparently they were not – not on the bottle itself or the cap (inside or out).

A still pour, with a real nice dark brown amber color with plenty of serious red highlights. Minimal lacing and head consistent with the ABV.

Very little hint of spice to place this in the WW category. Without question this appears to drink much more like an Old Ale. Aroma is VERY heavy on the sherry and port notes (which I like). These notes are very much upfront in the tastes too, but the beer ends VERY abruptly and sharp with some serious bitterness. It is grapefruit based, but not hop based – extreme burned notes, almost charcoal like.

I like this beer, and I like the WW style, but I don’t think this beer IS a WW. As an Old Ale it works, until the exremely bitter end. A slightly odd marriage of styles but an interesting beer, especially for the holiday period.

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01/11/2007
Format:
bottle
ABV: 8.1 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 4
Smell: 5
Overall: 3.5
Total: 4.13
Series Name:
Year:

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