Harvey’s Christmas Ale

Second winter ale on this year’s list just so happens to be the “best of show” for both “The Belly” and I the other night.  I had never heard of Harvey’s Brewery before, but boy am I glad “The Belly” picked some up at Malt & Vine the other day.  With a statement like the following, and our experience with Harvey’s Christmas Ale, I really look forward to finding more beer from these folks (although it might be hard since they are across the pond)… I think they need to brew us a JustBeer Anniversary Beer for our upcoming 1 year mark… 🙂

Between bottles and casks, 33 varieties of beer are regularly produced at Harveys brewery. That takes no account of other commemorative or Celebration Beers that can be produced in surprisingly small quantities for individuals or organisations.

As far as the tasting goes, this has to be one of the most unique Christmas Ales or Winter Ales out there.  A high ABV (8.1%) is hidden by a sweet and complex brew that works as well at the kitchen counter talking amongst friends as it would in front of a warm winter fire, making sweet… never mind.  Anyhow, the nose tips you off to something special right off the bat.  It is sweet but there is also something in there that it is hard to discern… maybe honey?  Would like to know if you know.  The rest of the beer is a whirlwind ride along the pathway to differentville.  It is a super smooth body with lots of mellowing malts and some sweet and spice in there to really mix up the finish.

Overall an outstanding ale that deserves your time.

JBB6 Rating: For the Win


About dugpark

I'm really just happy to be here on this wild ride we call life.
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3 Responses to Harvey’s Christmas Ale

  1. The Belly says:

    To be honest I would not have bought this had my wife not been there to say she wanted the bottle to put up with the rest of her xmas crap. But I am really glad I did. I can’t get over the body on this beer, it reminded me of port wine. The taste was really intriguing. I am going to get some more for the holiday’s while I can.

  2. Paul Bailey says:

    Harveys are one of the best breweries in England, and produce what is probably the finest range of beers in the country. They are based in the small, attractive East Sussex town of Lewes, and thier beers can only normally be found within a fifty mile radius of the brewery.

    I am lucky where I live, as their 4.0% abv Sussex Best Bitter is the most widely available Harveys beer. Most pubs in my home town of Tonbridge sell it. Less common, but eagerly sought after is Harveys Old ALe, a superb dark and mellow seasonal beer with a modest strength of 4.3% abv.

    The Christmas Ale featured on your post is available on draught for a limited period in the run up to Christmas, often being served direct from a small cask perched up on the bar. If you come across a pub selling this superb draught ale then you have certainly found paradise.

    With seasons’ greetings from England.

    Paul Bailey

    • dugpark says:

      And we thank you, Paul! I have it on good faith that this beer truly is outstanding and will be seeking it out wherever I go. I may see if the fine folks at Malt & Vine can fetch some further varieties since they somehow found this one. Thanks for the read and happy holidays!


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