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.

686 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 686
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 74
Gots: 128 | FT: 8
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)
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Ratings: 686 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
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4/5  rDev -2.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8.5 FL OZ Bottle, year 2005, P48388.

After the excess of New Years Eve I thought I'd slow down a bit and have a couple of beers to savour. I've been saving this for a rainy day and on 1st Jan 2014 it's honking down in Shropshire.

Poured into a Chimay chalice it produced no head and looked very Port like, a lot of Port actually.

The aroma and taste are so 'un-beer': Sherry and Port more than a Barley Wine, sweet, very sweet. Reminded me of that uber sweet Cypriot Commandaria St John I used to gulp years ago.

A lovely 1st beer of 2014.

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4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -9%

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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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4/5  rDev -2.9%

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4/5  rDev -2.9%

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4/5  rDev -2.9%

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3.75/5  rDev -9%

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3.75/5  rDev -9%

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3.75/5  rDev -9%

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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Puttenham
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of safaricook
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

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4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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4/5  rDev -2.9%

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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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4/5  rDev -2.9%

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4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

250ml bottle 11,9% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a snifter.
2003 Vintage

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.

Thomas Hardy's Ale (2003-2008) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
92 out of 100 based on 686 ratings.