To look at, the beer is slightly darker than JW Lees Bitter and lighter than some previous vintages, with flavours of toffee and sherry. But as with all JW Lees Harvest Ale, these flavours will develop in the bottle as the beer ages. In 1986 Giles Dennis, Head Brewer at the time, invented JW Lees Harvest Ale. Harvest Ale is a vintage barley wine made from the first hops of the year and the very finest British malt. Very quickly the beer created a following of ale enthusiasts who recognised its quality. In the past 26 years, whilst retaining a cult following, the beer has grown in popularity and in some bars around the world it has gained legendary status, with older vintages being highly sought after and changing hands for up to $60 per bottle.