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Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999) - O'Hanlon's Brewing Co. Ltd.

Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999)Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

161 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 11.01%


Brewed by:
O'Hanlon's Brewing Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This entry is for vintages brewed by Eldridge Pope & Co. PLC. / Thomas Hardy Brewery from 1968 to 1999. O'Hanlon's took over the brand and revived it in 2003:  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profi ... 1533/16858 

(Beer added by: Todd on 11-27-2001)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 106 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.15 oz brown long slender neck bottle with a "Brewed in 1997" on the label.

Appearance: Crystal clear tawny copper with a bubbly off white lace ... retains well also.

Smell: Slight rum raisin, vague fresh cut granny smith apple, hints of cork/wood and malt in the nose.

Taste: Big rounded and smooth body with a light yet pleasing carbonation. Nice dense malty mouth feel, lots of flavour from the malt ... tastes like the malt is marinating in alcohol due to the large presence of fruity esters which are reminiscent of tropical fruit like pineapple and starfruit. Hop bitterness still does well to balance and flexes with some flavour. A little rummy and prune like with a drying malt flavour in the finish. Goes a touch corky perhaps from a touch of oxidation or just a showing of its age.

Notes: After three years it has evolved into a pretty much ripe barley wine ... a good time to drink it is now though one, two or even three more years may turn it into a dreamy brew. Buy two or more, drink one now and lay the others down for a couple more years.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2002 00:27:05 | More by Jason
More User Reviews:
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Drknight

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

03-23-2014 08:51:33 | More by Drknight
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davidwhatshisnam

New York

5/5  rDev +12.4%

02-26-2014 00:42:45 | More by davidwhatshisnam
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spartan1979

Missouri

3.84/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

1995 Vintage

I've had this since 1995 or '96. I don't know why I've saved it this long but it got to a point where I was waiting for a special occasion and one never came along. Today I just decided to drink it.

It's still and very viscous. Very chocolately with definite alcohol bite. A hint of sherry and raisin notes but chocolate is the dominant flavor. It was clear in the bottle but a little bit of the sediment got into the glass.

Actually for a 19 year old beer it has held up very well. But it's well past it's prime. It was a great beer back in the nineties.

I should have drank this 10 years ago. I'll have to open my 1990 bottle soon.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 22:48:43 | More by spartan1979
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gratefulbeerhead

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

01-29-2014 18:34:12 | More by gratefulbeerhead
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BillRoth

Maryland

4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had Thomas Hardy Ale a number of times within 5-10 years of bottling. Each bottle has been a rich treat indicating superb brewing of an English Old/Strong Ale.
Previously best experience had been 1989 after 15 years. A remarkably special beer that I would have rated 4.5 to 4.75.
Recently shared a bottle of 1993 ( 20 years in) with beer companero, Travis of Ocean Odyssey...that was flat out one of the best beers I have ever had. The bottle opened with a noticeable breath of carbonation. Wow...20 years???...wow! The beer poured with a rich dark ruby pour and a slight head that quickly dissipated. What remained was a madeira like brew that caught the light in our snifters and gleamed out rays of garnet and ruby red reflections. It was a beautiful looking beer. The nose was subdued...but my 60 year old nose isn't the best to pick up subtleties. Regardless, there was dried fruit...rich like dates, figs and to a lesser extent golden raisins, not a hint of bitterness. The taste mirrored the aroma. There was no sticky sweetness. Rather there was port and dates accented by an attractive soft touch of toffee and pecan like nuttiness. Absolutely no oxidation. How this came from grain and not fruit is just amazing. Clearly a big alcohol backbone, but no burn... like a Hennessy XO. The mouth feel was outstanding. Full and again madeira like, but not sticky or syrupy. It was flat out decadent.

I sometimes slightly dismiss beers that mirror fine aged sherries, ports, etc. I mean I sometimes wonder what's the point of brewing a beer...just to create something that I can get easily at the liquor store...and usually just as delicious, stores better and at less expense.
But this was clearly special. It was so worth the wait, and a unique wonderful experience.
If you can...go out, buy a few and lay them down...for a long time. Good luck waiting...but you will be happy if you can stay patient,

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 02:52:56 | More by BillRoth
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XmnwildX12

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -10.1%

11-25-2013 00:56:33 | More by XmnwildX12
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Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

11-14-2013 20:14:32 | More by Casterbridge
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Vermont

4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

10-15-2013 18:36:20 | More by iatethecloudsfor
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Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -15.7%

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09-15-2013 21:19:41 | More by Steve_Oldrati
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4/5  rDev -10.1%

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5/5  rDev +12.4%

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4/5  rDev -10.1%

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HBBJ

Massachusetts

4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

1987 vintage, saved for a special occasion.

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with just a tinge of orange. Clear as a beer this dark could be. No carbonation, but what would one expect with a 26 year old beer.

Smell: Rich, sweet aroma, filled with raisins, figs, molasses, toffee, and oak. Very much like a Pedro Ximenez sherry.

Taste: An explosion of flavor. Sweet, with dark fruits, malt and oak intertwined. Some acidity and hop bitterness keep it from being cloying. Alcohol perceptible, but not overwhelming. Sweetness fades in the aftertaste, leaving a pleasant, warm, dry sensation.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body. Coats the tongue, and doesn't want to let go.

Overall: Still crazy (good) after all these years. I didn't have much expectation with a beer this old, but it delivered. A beer for lightly sipping and savoring.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 01:02:14 | More by HBBJ
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4/5  rDev -10.1%

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« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999) from O'Hanlon's Brewing Co. Ltd.
98 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.