All notes on beers brewed by

J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Lagavulin Whisky Cask)

2004 vintage (which seems to be all we get in Atlanta), 275 mL bottle, $6.49 from Merchants Package Store, Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pours with a really rather alarming amount of carbonation - very fizzy. Obviously this dies very quickly to settle into the non-carbonated, still beer that I was expecting, but I was shocked by the initial pour. Strange. Settles to give a dark orange (verging on red) body with some spotty lace only on the surface. Aroma is not complicated...

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados Cask)

$6.49 from Merchant Package Store, Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, USA. 50 cents more expensive than most of Atlanta. 9.3 oz bottle, 2004 Vintage. Mill-pond still on the pour. Dark orange body with a thin ring of lace around the edge of the glass. Exceptionally sweet (there's no denying that) but it's in line with the style and fits perfectly with the calvados character. Having said that, the apple presence is VERY slight, and it really only imparts a slight tartness to the beer. Without...

J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale

1995 Vintage, on tap at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. Classic English BW in all respects. Deep orange pour with little or no carbonation and minimal ring of lace on the surface of the beer (as expected). Very sweet. Strong aroma is dominated by Sherry and Port notes. Alcohol comes through quite strong but this is still amazingly drinkable. Smooth, but with a kick in the finish. Aftertaste is minimal (a good thing I think). Plenty of caramelized malts and a little bitterness (in true...

Manchester Star Ale

500 mL bottle, Greens, Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA, USA. $5.95. Black pour with some dark brown and a few ruby red highlights. Not much lace, but a decent creamy and spotty head forms on the surface of the beer that is pretty persistent. Good looking. Aroma has LOTS of sweet malts and caramel notes. Some sweet, sweet liquor in there too. This is a pretty sweet beer with some smoke character. There are some real sherry like notes in there too, and if you were looking for a description I think I...

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port Cask)

$6.95 Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. 12 oz bottle. 2004 Vintage. It's an extraordinary beer, in fact in many ways it's barely a beer, but it is just about what I expected. Pour is a deep orange viscous liquid with a head that disappears immediately. Amazingly sweet nose and tastes but the finish tempered by a really nice, warming smooth port finish. At 11.50 % this is close to unbelievable. The alcohol is there and is warming, but hardly noticeable. I could drink a huge amount of this -...

J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale

=== 2004 Vintage === Poured into the small Gouden Carolus chalice, it takes on a golden brown color - a little less dark than I was expecting. Not much head or lacing, but I wasn't expecting much of course. This is absolutely typical of an English Barleywine. Smooth, intensely fruity with plums, figs, raisins and oranges making up a very, very dense fruit and alcohol. Very little hop essence, so unlike its American interpretation. I am often reminded as to how much the two versions differ....

J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Sherry Cask)

A treat and a delight rolled into one. A very special beer for sipping and savoring. 9.3 oz bottle, $6.95 Greens, Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2004 vintage. First time that I have opened a beer for a period of 24 hours before drinking; done it with wine before, but never with a beer. Orange, clear, syrupy and viscous pour with a decent finger of tan head produced with an aggresive pour. Head disappears quickly and obviously there is no lacing. Aromas are all sherry and alcohol, with deep...

Moonraker Ale

Deep, deep dark colors of varying hues, but dominating by an ultra attractive ruby highlight package toward the bottom of the glass. Some head and a little lacing, but not big. The beer is fruity, alcoholic, mild, port-like and has great depth. In fact the depth is the real strength of this beer. It gives the beer a beautiful mouthfeel and a huge drinkability. Amazingly tasty with sweet malt backbone and caramel and sugary flavors. A great beer, and not what one would expect from a Winter...