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

Not Rated.
Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999)Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

180 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 155
Gots: 34 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 11-27-2001

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 
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rjp217
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Boone757
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of olradetbalder
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Sellen
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1994 Edition

Pours a dark brown color, much darker than later vintages of this ale. There were a few spots of carbonation but fairly tame, the beer is 20 years old. The smell is an amazing bouquet of cocoa, aged malts, musty book, brown sugar, caramel, toffee and vanilla. The taste matches the nose but far less sweet than later years. Prune, cocoa, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, scotch and even a hint of smoke. The beer drinks fine and is a testament to the original brew house and recipe. Outstanding.

Photo of JLeet
4.66/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

1994 Vintage opened 7/11/2014

Appearance: No head with some sediment floating at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: WOW!! This is a handful. Oxidation in the best way possible, Sherry, Maderia, tootsie roll, black tea leaf and maple syrup.

Taste: Touch sweet with dried raisins, black tea, and more oxidation ... great stuff. Reminds me of a Port in someways.

Mouthfeel: Rich with zero carbonation

Overall: This is an outstanding brew even at 20 years old. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to try it.

Photo of nikalus31
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of monketeeth
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of bkbru
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1994 bottle – From Hollinghead’s ($2.30 back then)

Appearance - Deep mahogany, no head, crystal clear

Smell - Maple syrup, brown sugar, lots of malt, toffee, raisin, figs, very slight oxidation

Taste – Dried fruit, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar, maple syrup, brown and dark malt

Mouth feel – smooth, no carbonation, thick body

Overall – Very good. This beer sipped like malty Port wine. Glad I kept this in the fridge.

Photo of Zonian1
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of emalc
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of linnymtu
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of afsdan
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of 510a
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of ubufan2112
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Durandal_777
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of pknyc
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of spartan1979
3.86/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of BillRoth
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
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,

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -10.3%

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Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
98 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.