Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) - O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
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Ratings: 676 | Reviews: 542 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -2.9%
I've had a couple of four packs of these for a couple of years now. Been feeling bummed out lately so I figured "why not?" The bottle I enjoyed is from 2006, no. P8030. The bottle comes complete with gold foil and a round penant strung around it. It looks like a serious ale and I was not let down.
The ale pours a dark brown with very little froth. As the beer slowly but surely descends towards the bottom of the glass there is a slight but steady film of bubbles.
It sure smells boozy with a hint of sourness.
The woody and sour characteristics explode in the taste. I haven't tasted an ale like this in some time. Takes some getting used to but I like it. This is a sipper, as intended.
Overall? I love it. How can you not? I had a few of these about 5 years ago when I lived in CT but I don't remember it having the sour character. Maybe this bottle aged differently? I like it anyway. It tastes like a Barleywine but much much smoother, no hop flavor and sour to point of being almost tangy.
Glad I finally tried one of these. Feel better already!
10-24-2013 00:33:45 | More by Puttenham
4.38/5 rDev +6.3%
Found this gem (2006 #P409372) in the Beer Bay shack of Central Pier 3 in Hong Kong. It was their last one. If you ever happen to stroll the piers of Hong Kong at night do not forget to get a beer at this unlikely place. The asian shopkeeper is knowledgeable too. Poured this in a plastic beaker.
No head, dark brown body, clear with tiny bubbles suspended moveless in the liquid.
While cold I got acetic, apple cider flavors and molasses. Later phenolic spicyness, umami, wineous port aroma
Heavy molasses sweetness, umami, port and some lifting sourness towards the end, incredibly little alcohol for its abv
Heavy body, almost sirupy, faint carbonation, warming alcohol
Very rich and complex, a great beer and a real sipper. Very unexpected to find this at such a place, sold out of a shack. Great experience to sit at the stairs of Pier 3 in Hong Kong looking at the lights of the skyskrapers on this National Chinese holiday.
10-01-2013 15:23:36 | More by safaricook
3.91/5 rDev -5.1%
250ml bottle 11,9% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a snifter.
Thanks to JAXSON for this one.
Appearance: Thomas Hardy's Ale appears a deep brown in the glass, with a back light showing the body to be fairly opaque, with some bright golden-amber edges. I am guessing this one is going to be pretty much flat, as even the roughest of pours didn't yield more than a few big bubbles. A swirl coats the glass in sticky alcohol legs.
Smell: Rich buttery caramel dominates the nose, with brown sugar, butterscotch, brandy soaked raisins, cooked apples, a leathery note, a little marmite and sadly a little dirty oxidization beginning to creep in.
Taste: The initial flavour is fantastic, offering big buttery caramel notes, sweet butterscotch, brown sugar, molasses, brandy soaked raisins, golden syrup, a light leathery note and brown sugar. Sadly, after a few minutes the flavour begins to display a fair amount of marmite and dirty oxidization that somewhat spoils the other notes.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, quiet sticky and dead flat. I love flat beers and think it works particularly well in big beers like this, however I can't help but think that a touch of carbonation might have helped to hide some of the oxidization in the flavour.
Overall: I have a feeling that this little bottle should have been consumed a year or two ago; that said there was still more than enough good aspects left to make me keen to get some bottles of a more recent vintage.
07-31-2013 15:02:27 | More by Thehuntmaster
4.19/5 rDev +1.7%
I poured this from an 8.5oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass. This is bottle 23695 from 2008 vintage.
A= This ale poured a deep orange-brown color, with a slight haze and a creme colored 1/4 inch head. The head dissipated quickly.
S= Incredibly aromatic, with notes of rich malt, raisins, ﬁgs, toffee, and a wonderful boozy alcohol note.
T= Much like the smell. Started off with a pop of malt complexity follwed by a rich and comp,ex sweetness that brought together flavors of alcohol, brown sugar, treacle, raisins, and toffee. Hops make a brief appearance about halfway through, and only then to add a tiny bit of Goldings character. Finishes moderately sweet and boozy. the finish is my least favorite aspect of this one.
MF= Very low carbonation with a creamy feel.
D= This is an outstanding old ale. Certainly cellar worthy. While the complexity was noteworthy, I bet it would continue to develop for any more years. In any event, it was a pleasant sipper.
06-28-2013 05:11:36 | More by spointon
4.35/5 rDev +5.6%
2006 vintage, 250ml from the International Beer Shop, into a Teku.
Not a lot of carbonation. Quite still, but not totally. Takes a bit of agitation to get any large bubbles to appear on top of the deep brown with ruby tone coloured ale.
Smells of toffee, caramel, dark fruits and a litte bit of vegemite early that soon disappears. A touch of oxidation after 7 years, not as much as the 2005 opened 2 nights prior.
Quite a sweet mix of dark fruit and slightly scorched caramel. Very rich. Very good.
Rich, coating. Smooth. Warming, yet not boozy for 11.7% abv. Doesn't suffer a bit for the lack of carbonation. Not as decadent as the O'Hanlon's vintages, but this is drinking mighty fine.
These are probably peaking. A touch of oxidation on the nose, at a much earlier time than the ones from last century. Very, very good and always a joy to drink. I just don't think these will stand the test of time as well as the O'Hanlon's versions.
06-16-2013 07:14:14 | More by MrKennedy
Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.