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Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) - O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008)Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

682 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 682
Reviews: 546
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 76
Gots: 126 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

O'Hanlon's took over the brand and revived it in 2003, but discontinued it after the 2008 batch.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-05-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 682 | Reviews: 546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of templar316
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

An 04 to celebrate the big 40. Pours a deep dark chocolate brown, with just a wisp of carbonation. The nose is really opening as it warms; maple, leather and pipe tobacco. There's smooth cola, a bite of tart cherry, fading into a lingering tobacco finish. Here's hoping I can find a 05 for 50.

templar316, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of TubaManJack
3.75/5  rDev -9%

2008 Vintage
Bottle Number 11523

Appearance: Pours like a brown motor oil. A touch of carbonation, as without it I would think I just poured an oxidized port, as there are still a nice solvent leg as I tilt the glass back.

Smell: Figs and Raisins - huge dried fruit presence . There is a bit of booze on the nose like fresh polished shoes.

Taste: Just like the smell. However there is a lot of dark sugars from brown sugar, caramel, molasses. It was quite a surprise as it did taste like port. I can't get it out of my head. As it warms I lost the raisin bit and the leather into more of the burnt sugar, solvent, and gritty fig center.

Mouthfeel: Thick with a little carbonation. It lies quite thick on the tongue only exceeded by a few 15% barrel aged stouts.

Overall: This is nice experience, but was a bit overwhelming and fairly a single note. It was a bit like enjoying a big glass of port. Nice, but so sweet it needs to be shared. It was a nice find, but at $12 it was a bit much for a medallion token on a red loop. Find a friend and split it after dinner.

I'll be on the look out for a earlier pre-2003 vintage

TubaManJack, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of RochefortChris
5/5  rDev +21.4%

RochefortChris, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of tom10101
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

tom10101, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of beergoot
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle label info: 2008 No. T 21853 Edition

Dark honey colored body with lively, fine bubble carbonation although the head is very thin and wispy. Very dense, rich smelling aroma; caramel; figs and dates; molasses; warm, dark bread. The taste reflects many of the aroma's traits; raisins and fig flavors about. Heavy body with a thick, resinous, vinous feel.

It's hard to beat a thick and chewy old ale and this sample is pretty awesome. A big boozy alcohol heat also significantly contributes to the appeal, adding depth and complexity to an already huge malt and dextrin presence. A nice find and thoroughly enjoyable experience, especially if old stock ales are your thing.

beergoot, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of BMMillsy
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%

2008 bottle purchased at La Cave a Bulles in Paris, poured on 9/18/14 at home in Florida into a Hunahpu snifter. Pours murky brown with some purple hues and basically no head except for a ring of yellowish tans bubbles around the edges. Aroma is very sweet brown sugar and figs, chocolate, leather, toffee, caramel, molasses and some sherry notes. Flavor is figs and leather, brown sugar sweetness, light lingering chocolate and brown sugar, a hint of booze, and some bready malts. Not overly sweet to my surprise. Full bodied with very very little carbonation. Fun to try, very nice.

BMMillsy, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of cosmicevan
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%

2008 bottle picked up locally. enjoyed from a thomas hardy's snifter.

brew pours a murky brown with a darker bottom and lighter surface...looks fairly muddy and not the most enticing. a few bubbles lay on the surface, but no head per se.

nose is really rich and dense. sweet boozy toffee nougat like candy with some minty menthol.

taste follows suit with a minty, boozy, candy sweet nougat. almost like candy canes. immensely sweet.

tasty, a dessert drink...this is only 6 years and feels REALLY young.

cosmicevan, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of Mayo2323
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Mayo2323, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of Duffman79
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Duffman79, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of piccnd3
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%

piccnd3, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of NuclearDolphin
4/5  rDev -2.9%

NuclearDolphin, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -2.9%

KAF, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Kyrojack
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Kyrojack, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Hugonaut13
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Hugonaut13, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of brother_kenneth
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

brother_kenneth, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of MisterE
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2005 vintage 11.7% ABV 8.5 oz bottle #P 37773 - a gift from a friend, poured carefully (as per instructions on back label) into a 12 oz tulip glass

A: flat medium brown with no head, no bubbles

S: dark dry fruit - raisins, figs, and earthly sweetness

T: strong and sweet with suggestion of bitter, burnt malts and alcohol

M: smooth, almost syrupy, with no carbonation; only alcohol to tickle the tongue

O: unusual and robust, but not one I'd order myself

This beer reminds me more of a port wine than an old ale.

MisterE, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of Jeffrey2310
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Jeffrey2310, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of KindaFondaGoozah
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

KindaFondaGoozah, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -2.9%

liamt07, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of jmdrpi
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, drank in summer 2014. No. T 16229, 8.5 oz bottle. poured into snifter glass at cellar temperature. poured slow to avoid the thick layer of sediment.

into the glass a clear dark copper color, with bright ruby highlights. but really no head whatsoever. just tiny bubbles stream to the surface. nice malty aroma, very much like raisins, figs, toffee, a bit sweet. taste is actually not not that sweet - starts with those same malty flavors, then finishes a bit earthy. mild carbonation, thicker sticky body. appropriate for the style.

overall - very glad I got to try this legendary beer, even if it wasn't the original edition. but I like the JW Lees better in terms of the big name English barleywine/old ales.

jmdrpi, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of Zachariah1978
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Zachariah1978, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

250 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2007 bottle. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - No head. Mostly clear brown body with large chunks floating in it.

Smell - Whoa, oxidation. Sherry and brown sugar. Raisins and figs.

Taste - Kinda cardboardy but otherwise great. Not as sweet as I expected. Lots of raisins. Slightly bitter in the back to balance it.

Mouthfeel - Oxidized, but not too much. Low carbonation and surprisingly low sweetness.

Overall - Very nice. The oxidation adds more than it detracts.

Alieniloquium, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of DefenCorps
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, 2003 vintage, that John gave me a few years back. Thank you, John.

Pouring a dark brown with no head, lacing or retention but with gorgeous clarity and nice legs, this looks great. The nose is stunning. A beautiful blend of smoke and sherry with accents of brown sugar, toffee and leather, this is deep and complex. The palate opens full in body and soft in carbonation with tons of sherry and some smoke, a blend of earth, leather and burnt sugar. A long, sweet finish has lingering smoke and sherry, this is amazing.

DefenCorps, Jun 08, 2014
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev -2.9%

KevinGordon, Jun 01, 2014
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Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 682 ratings.