Lees Harvest Ale

Hey guys,

I was wondering if all the Lees Harvest Ale Vintages would have each their own entry? I have a bottle from 2006 and 2012. These do not have an entry yet, but similar looking bottles (02, 13, 14) with similar descriptions all have their own entries.

Thanks for clarifying :slight_smile:


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I think a brave UK Admin might merge all those year ratings into the regular non-year specific one (after consultation with a few other Admins of course).

They vary very little each year I believe, but I have only had a couple of different ones.


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I’m happy for them to be separated… bottle clearly displays year … I’ve read somewhere that the hops and malts differ … just don’t think they ever go into detail on specifics

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The Guidelines for Adding New Products state the following:

Vintage entries of the same named product are allowed only if each Vintage differs commercially. A Vintage is when there is a year clearly listed on the bottle on the label, not a bottled date or an expiration date.

Alright, thanks guys. Yep, Vintage is clearly written.
hmm, for all the entries where its written, they all mention “East Kent Goldings hops” as hops used. (so I would assume they all use the same hop and malt profile…)

Personally i don’t think there’s enough differences between them for separate entries,if any.


I’ve got a bundle of these and occasionally share a couple of bottles with a friend, normally two consecutive years. I thought their annual iterations varied quite a bit, both colour & palate. I’ve done 2005 vs 2006 & 2008 vs 2009 before. Always a nice comparison.

The head brewer was on a Cloudwater live-stream earlier this year, he stated that the recipe varies from year to year.

I am reviving this thread as, despite there being clear differences between years, the beers have been merged. It’s deeply frustrating and petty.

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FFS - I just bought some different vintages.

Odd that they’ve been merged. Excerpt from my stash below, clearly all these are going to taste exactly the same :roll_eyes: :neutral_face:

I mean I’ll probably never get around to rating half of these but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have the opportunity…

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It’s bizarre. They sell an excellent value selection of old beers you can access via their website and I can say categorically the years vary. They have kept the cask and barrel aged beers but it’s a unilateral decision that benefits no-one.

The thing with these vintages is that they are generally not being tasted fresh, and as many will sit on these beers a bit longer, arguably every person that has a bottle is tasting at a different point in that beers evolution. So yes, each tasting experience will vary but mainly because of the age of the beer, rather than the beer itself.

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@Hanoi Hi sorry that you feel that this merge is petty and frustrating, that was not its intention. It is consistent with the history and guidelines of RB. Harvest ale has been brewed under a very similar recipe and exactly same abv since its inception in 1985 (first release in 1986). The variations between each batch are relatively minor (when fresh at least) in that they would not be considered a separate entry by RB standards. The batch variations mostly come from aging, different crops of hops and malts, as opposed to recipe.

Yes the beer has a vintage year on the front, but that doesn’t warrant a separate entry on RB unless there is a substantive and quantifiable recipe change. It is for that reason that beers such as Thomas Hardy ale, Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve, Goose Island Bourbon County do not have separate entries.

This is the reason why there has never been separate vintage entries for this beer on RB in the past.

Sorry for the confusion.


This isn’t the guideline for adding a new product. This is the description of what constitutes a beer to have a “vintage” tag.

A few years ago we drank ~25 vintages of this beer side by side(for fun!). Including the very first batches from 1986 onwards. What struck me was how incredibly consistent they were. Age and how they were stored seemed to be the biggest control on the variations in flavour.

Totally agree with this Mat

@Grumbo Each batch is unique in the way that each batch of say Thomas Hardy Ale/Good King Henry SR is unique or a vintage of wine. The different flavours are bestowed by the seasonal variations in that particular year’s hop harvest or malt yield. There will be of course be minor recipe tweaks through the evolution of every single beer (e.g. getting the malt from a different supplier etc) .

And there is the minefield. Or something.

Interesting. Angles I’d not thought about involved here.
Thanks for taking the time to explain @Scopey