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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

673 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 673
Reviews: 541
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 74
Gots: 121 | FT: 6
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 673 | Reviews: 541 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

5/5  rDev +21.4%

12-09-2011 04:57:04 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of futurecode
futurecode

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +21.4%

04-12-2012 18:56:57 | More by futurecode
Photo of nrpellegrini
nrpellegrini

Maryland

5/5  rDev +21.4%

11-15-2011 05:51:53 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of elspaniard
elspaniard


5/5  rDev +21.4%

08-02-2012 03:16:36 | More by elspaniard
Photo of Hopstout
Hopstout

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +21.4%

06-27-2013 04:04:46 | More by Hopstout
Photo of bigdaddypolite
bigdaddypolite

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +21.4%

11-20-2011 02:48:41 | More by bigdaddypolite
Photo of Arphie
Arphie

Sweden

5/5  rDev +21.4%

05-25-2012 11:32:21 | More by Arphie
Photo of neckbracesub
neckbracesub

Indiana

5/5  rDev +21.4%

03-07-2012 00:16:01 | More by neckbracesub
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

5/5  rDev +21.4%

01-29-2013 18:35:50 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of goethean
goethean

Illinois

5/5  rDev +21.4%

2004 vintage, served in 2008.

Surpringly well-carbonated for a four year-old beer. Very dark copper.

Aroma is of candied oranges.

Big flavor profile, big bodied, syrupy consistency. Flavor of candied oranges, an intense wininess, and a stiff alcohol flavor. A slight hop bitterness is still (amazingly) present. The hops flavor is well-integrated into the sweetness.

Dark, bitter prune/raisin/fig fruitiness. No oxidization. Lots of residual sweetness.

My wife says it tastes like cough syrup. (Philistine!)

03-30-2008 21:25:31 | More by goethean
Photo of flyers68
flyers68

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +21.4%

01-19-2012 15:38:32 | More by flyers68
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

5/5  rDev +21.4%

Bottle inspection: 02107 Edition. 2005 vintage. 8.5 fl. oz.

Aroma: Fruity esters pop on the nose. Plums, dried cherries, candied carmel notes, and a whiff of alcohol in the background.

Appearance: Brilliant garnet colored pour with a tan and sudsy white head. A beautiful still body.

Flavor: A burst of dried fruits! Raisins, dried cherries, and maple syrup that is followed up quickly with an alcohol drying finish. This is an amazing brewing feat and keeps the beer from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, full bodied, viscous, and chewy with a dry, warming finish.

Overall impression: A big, malty, complex, and wonderful beer. Like a fine port. Close to perfection. My first "all 5's" beer. World class and untouchable.

02-16-2007 00:11:30 | More by mattcrill
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

5/5  rDev +21.4%

12-02-2011 05:16:14 | More by rab53
Photo of ajs4bd
ajs4bd

Missouri

5/5  rDev +21.4%

07-13-2012 12:39:55 | More by ajs4bd
Photo of durwood64
durwood64

Ohio

5/5  rDev +21.4%

12-25-2011 01:18:56 | More by durwood64
Photo of Kyrojack
Kyrojack

Indiana

5/5  rDev +21.4%

08-05-2014 20:11:13 | More by Kyrojack
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

4.97/5  rDev +20.6%

Thomas Hardy had been a favorite of mine since way back when. I couldn’t wait to try this when I heard that O’Hanlon’s was taking up the beer. So, I bought a number of bottles when they hit the shelves and just waited for the right time to finally open one.
2003 Edition, Bottle No. 09905.
The beer pours a clear, deep, orange-tinged mahogany color. The head is initially thin, off-white/tan, and blanketing, but quickly disappears…the beer becomes notably still.
The aroma is spectacular. Alcohol provides a backdrop to a marvelous mix of meaty fruit and buckets of malt richness. Roasted and grainy smells mix with hops and molasses-like sweetness.
The taste is mouth-coating (mouth-enveloping?)…the intenseness of the smell transfers into the taste. Forceful sweetness and maltiness with a restrained bitterness for balance. Caramel and spice and port. The warming is instant and pleasing, with no misplaced alcohol hotness. The flavors really form a terrific harmony. The taste lingers in your mouth for several minutes (not moments) after each sip. Thick and oily. It’s amazing.
This beer is a masterpiece, and worth the wait. I’m anxious to see how it ages.

06-06-2004 17:53:12 | More by Suds
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4.97/5  rDev +20.6%

2005 vintage. This was aged a year more than the 2006 vintage (drunk in the same evening). It poured a hazy brown with slight tan head. It smelled similar, mostly of rye, but with citrus hops mixed with the alcohol scent. It tasted fairly different, like sweet molasses and peach, along with sugary lemon hops. It was thick with no carbonation and a very smooth, slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a much more balanced and refined flavor than the newer vintage. It had a great flavor, texture, and finish.

2006 vintage. This is another limited-run annual brew, although not nearly as rare as the Utopias. It poured a dark, hazy crimson with no head. It smelled distinctly of rye and crackers with molasses and slight alcohol notes. It tasted like succulent sour cherry, rye, some citrus hops, and slight molasses flavoring. It was thick with no carbonation and had a dry, short aftertaste. The flavor became more sour as I drank, making it less palatable. Overall this was a very interesting and delicate beer. It was really great at first, but needs aging.

03-29-2008 20:30:50 | More by Pencible
Photo of abriggs1
abriggs1

Connecticut

4.95/5  rDev +20.1%

I'm seriously considering selling a kidney to buy more of this beer. Just about finished with a 2004, and I'm wish I had picked up more. Tomorrow I will return and buy them out of this miracle of a brew.

Appears as a cloudy, sludgy, brown old ale. No head.

The smell is like carrot cake soaked in rum

The taste is like North Coast 2009 Old Stock Ale on steroids. There is plenty of sweetness left, but it has an equal amount of dryness that lingers on the palate. This tastes to me to be right in the sweet spot aging wise, but I could be wrong. It may be just getting started as it says it will age for at least 25 years. The taste is like most stock ales, but much more intense. This is the smokiest beer I've ever had in my life. The intensity of the dried fruits and esters are off the charts on this one.

Simply one of the best beers ever brewed. It's a shame it's no longer brewed. I'll be sure to pick it up wherever I see it in the future, starting tomorrow morning.

08-31-2011 00:57:57 | More by abriggs1
Photo of morayeel
morayeel

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +20.1%

8.5 0z bottle vintage 2007 P29415

A- vary nice dark amber color

S- smell is sweet and the 11.7% ALC hits your nose at the end.

T- taste is sweet ALC hits you in the back of your throught but I had this beverage at 55 degrees or celler temperature. I loved the taste of this ale. I thought this ale was very well balanced between the sweeetness and the carmel taste at the end and the ALC was not over wellming.

M- a little thicker then most ales

D- I savered this ale a took my time with it. This is a one a night beverave.

It s like the bottle reads " bottles this rare mature in flavor like fine wine".

12-14-2008 01:19:43 | More by morayeel
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

4.93/5  rDev +19.7%

Vintage 1996: My jaw dropped when I saw this tonight at the local shop. There was a slight hiss as I opened this legendary brew. I poured it into a tulip. It is totally still, and is a deep ruby color. The smell is of port, sherry, tobacco, and wood. This is extremely complex.

The taste is good. It is of port and sherry first. There is a woody bite at the finish. Methinks this has yet to turn that corner from sugary to malty sweet. Do not misunderstand, this tastes great, but I think the best is yet to come. The mouthfeel is heavy, yet this flows down my gullet much more easily than a CA Cabernet, but not quite like a J.W. Lees Harvest Ale. Harvest Ale is the only beer that I have had that could possibly compare with this one. Otherwise, substitute this for a fine port or cognac. I will age my other specimens from this vintage a little longer. Or a lot longer. This is superb with my Romeo Y Julieta cigar. My new review reflects a more recent tasting, and it was paired with the mentioned cigar.

2003 Edition: If anyone has ever had the privilege of viewing a Les Paul with a tobacco sunburst finish, this is pretty close to that in terms of looks. It smells more of ripe fruit than the 96.

The taste is of port and sherry, as usual, but it is definitely young. This will be superb in about ten years. It is superb now, IMO. The mouthfeel is medium, but coating. I give the drinkability a 5, as I appreciate this beer more with every bottle that I imbibe.

07-13-2005 03:37:42 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +18.9%

8.5 ounce bottle from 2004, # P68178. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a copper/brown color with not much of a head at all. Not much lacing either. The aroma is amazing, it smells like brown sugar, caramel, dark fruit (raisins, prunes, cherries), molasses and brandy. It's a very sweet, malty aroma. Taste is similar to the aroma. It tastes like dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, nuts, buckwheat honey, toffee, and brandy. Just like the aroma, it's very sweet and malty, which is a plus for me! Mouthfeel/body is full, it's rich, syrupy and slick, and has good carbonation. Drinkabililty is awesome, it was very easy for me to drink this one. It should be a sipping beer, but the flavor made me come back and drink this one quicker than I planned to. It's very enjoyable. Aging definitely didn't hurt this beer at all. I thought this brew was excellent, I'll have to buy some of the other vintages of this brew and see how they hold up. I can say the 2004 is drinking pretty good right now!

07-24-2009 22:08:18 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +18.9%

2005 Vintage. This brew pours a murky deep ruby color. The head is a massive two inches in height and recedes slowly into thick lacing. The aroma is enormous: malt and hops are everywhere balanced. Dark fruits, caramel, and butter, with an herbal/piney finish. The taste is also well balanced. The sip begins with caramel and dark fruit, then finishes with a nice hop bite. The mouthfeel is one of the smoothest I have encountered in a bottled beer. It is full bodied, and has low carbonation. Overall, this is the best Old Ale I have ever had. I couldn't drink this everyday, or even more than one or maybe two in a single sitting. However, I would never turn one down.

06-14-2006 00:02:36 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +18.9%

2005 #27295

Pours a clear, but dark ruby hued brown with a nice, thick, frothy crème head. Nose is figs, fruits, chalky malts, wood tones. Absolutely magnificent flavor. Sweet port tones. Figs are there. Cherry like fruit edges. Feel is smooth on liquid and carbonation. This is a magnificent beer. I wish I had 10 cases of this to age, sip, and savor over time.

03-10-2009 04:59:12 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of noclue
noclue

Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +18.9%

Serving Type: 8.5oz bottle served in tulip/snifter. Nifty year bottle # on label. Mine was 2004 No. P 09477

Appearance: Hazy brown. Small weak head. Leaves oily lacing on glass.

Smell: Fig. Raisin. Enticing. NICE!

Taste: Sweet ripe fruit. Raisin. Fig. Strong alcoholic bite in the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Tingles palate.

Drinkability/Overall: Pleasure to drink. This is one of the best beers i've reviewed.

05-24-2005 03:50:49 | More by noclue
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Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.