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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.

667 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 667
Reviews: 541
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 75
Gots: 119 | FT: 5
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)
View: Beers (10) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 667 | Reviews: 541 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by merlin48:
Photo of merlin48


4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8.5 oz bottle with a Thomas Hardy medialion on a string, around the neck. 2004 vintage, No. P25716 I've seen 20 and 30 year vintages of this one on Ebay, and I've read about how well this ages. I'm over 50 years old, so I'm not going to age this bottle more than the three weeks since I purchased it at the Vintage Cellar, in Blacksburg, Va. This "young" Old Ale pours into a tulip glass a clear, dark ruby amber body with a tiny offwhite head. Some delicate patch lacing persists for 15-20 minutes before disappearing. Aroma begins with vinous white wine and white grapes, followed by toffee and molasses maltiness that is politely subdued. McIntosh apples and Bosc pears appear midway through.
Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, but not cloying. Coating in the manner of a full bodied strong old ale. An ideal feeling on the palate that is impossible to describe.
Taste features a high quality malt component of rum soaked toffee and cognac infused McIntosh apples. Peppery alcohol folds into the malt profile in a wizardly manner. The big alcohol can't hide forever, but the tart apple character reappears at the finish to tuck it back inside the toffee malts, resulting in one hell of a finish. An extremely rewarding experience to sample this young legend. Geeez! I think I will check out Ebay, and see how the 20-30 year old vintages are doing. This is highly drinkable, even when young. Worthy of its hype!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2005 02:36:39 | More by merlin48
More User Reviews:
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2014 22:39:19 | More by MisterE
Photo of Jeffrey2310


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

07-09-2014 14:33:42 | More by Jeffrey2310
Photo of KindaFondaGoozah


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

07-08-2014 00:52:48 | More by KindaFondaGoozah
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.9%

07-06-2014 02:32:10 | More by liamt07
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2014 03:39:48 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Zachariah1978


3.75/5  rDev -9%

06-22-2014 03:39:06 | More by Zachariah1978
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2014 20:14:12 | More by Alieniloquium
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2014 05:55:33 | More by DefenCorps


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

06-06-2014 15:58:41 | More by IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
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North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.9%

06-01-2014 16:23:59 | More by KevinGordon
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4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

05-30-2014 16:25:12 | More by JLeet
Photo of osuskin


4/5  rDev -2.9%

05-26-2014 22:34:15 | More by osuskin
Photo of afsdan


4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

05-22-2014 03:23:59 | More by afsdan
Photo of Russf3181

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

05-13-2014 01:18:05 | More by Russf3181
Photo of dleiner

New York

2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

05-09-2014 23:00:52 | More by dleiner
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New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

05-09-2014 19:18:11 | More by DIPAFAN
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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

05-07-2014 14:56:44 | More by JohnnieNepal
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New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

04-30-2014 23:05:51 | More by BeerBucks
Photo of mhaugo


4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

8.5oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 11.7% ABV. 2008 vintage. Bottle No. T 27791. Served at cellar temperature.

Appearance: Deep crimson red with a thin ring of beige foam. Brilliantly clear, but sporting a few floaters here and there. They must have come with the aggressive pour (4/5).

Aroma: Figs and dates. Brown sugar and molasses. A little earthiness and wood, that is followed by a hint of soy sauce. Very interesting and inviting (4.5/5).

Taste: Sweet brown sugar, molasses, raisins, figs, and dates up front. There is an aged mango flavor in the background. Maybe some vanilla as well. It also has some port or sherry-like characters. I suppose the latter is from age (six years at time of consumption). Overall it is an incredible beer. I am very lucky to have found a bottle (5/5).

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. Full body and light carbonation (5/5).

Overall: I absolutely loved this beer, and want to thank the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Atlanta for building such an incredible cellar. It sounds like the brand is trying to be revived again, so I'll be keeping an eye out for new vintages (4.75/5).

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 05:00:46 | More by mhaugo
Photo of MikeCactusGordon


4/5  rDev -2.9%

04-14-2014 16:54:49 | More by MikeCactusGordon
Photo of Prost76

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

04-08-2014 01:11:08 | More by Prost76
Photo of yummybeer


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

04-06-2014 04:14:53 | More by yummybeer
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2007 bottle (06784) Birthday beer!

Appearance: It has a nice ruby/deep amber color to it. It has almost no head and leaves next to no lacing

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit (plenty of raisins and figs), a tone of sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, slight vanilla and molasses. Wow this thing smells great.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some dark fruit (sweet raisins and figs - almost tart) caramel/toffee, sweet brown sugar and molasses. Yummm!

Mouthfeel: It has a very low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 21:14:04 | More by SebD
Photo of Drknight


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

03-23-2014 08:50:52 | More by Drknight
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Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 667 ratings.