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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)

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

174 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 174
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 154
Gots: 32 | 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:
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)
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 (1968-1999) Alström Bros
Ratings: 174 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andant
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

andant, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of resistdefy
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

resistdefy, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of Melonie
3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

Melonie, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%

A: The beer is relatively clear reddish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of sherry in the nose along with sweet notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and is dominated by flavors of sherry and port wine. Notes of malty sweetness are also present.
M: It feels medium-bodied, a little thin and slightly syrupy on the palate with a very low amount of carbonation.
O: Aging this beer definitely intensifies its smell and taste. It is a pleasant and interesting beer to sip and surprisingly the alcohol is very well hidden from the taste.

Note: 1998 vintage (aged 14 years)

metter98, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of Rempo
1/5  rDev -77.6%

Rempo, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of KAP1356
4.65/5  rDev +4%

1988 vintage I was able to find at RFD in Washington, D.C. Purchased it to celebrate being done with the PA bar exam...

A - Pours a mild mahogany color with hints of a dark burgundy hues throughout the body. There is little to no carbonation visible and is basically flat - not too surprised there however.

S - Really intoxicating aromas of sherry, port, sweet dark fruits come through up front. Raisins, cherries and some red grape come through nicely. Boat loads of toffee, caramel, and malty goodness come next mixing with the liquer-like scents. Some slight oxidation is noticeable but is welcomed in this bouquet of deliciousness.

T - Man. Sweet port, brandy and sherry flavors come through with raisins being the common theme at the outset. Dark fruits take the stage with raisin, cherry, prunes and red grape being the most noticeable. Delicious toffee and caramel come next with some leather notes and some slight chocolate as well. Oxidation is just right with this one as it has done wonders to this flavor profile.

M - The mouthfeel is a smooth and creamy with no real carbonation. Medium bodied at times bordering on the thicker side with the sweet flavors going on.

O - Really one of the better beers I have encountered in terms of the flavor profile. It is the oldest beer I have ever had. The aging and oxidation that resulted really did wonders for this beer. I can only hope that someday I will be able to find more that has the same character and quality as this vintage did.

KAP1356, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of jheezee
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

jheezee, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of heygeebee
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

Reviewing 1998 Vintage thanks to MrKennedy for sharing.

Pours a colour reminds me of transparent marmalade.

Soft aromas of fortified wines, port/sherry/muscat.

Taste is almost port-like, however, amazingly luscious for the ABV. if you watered down port, it would taste watery, this doesn't. MrKennedy picked a vegemite-like character also on front palate, which I concur with. Alcohol, whilst definitely in the mix, does not dominate in anything other than a slightly warming way.

Mouthfeel is outstanding for the year in question, no flatness or dullness present at all.

Overall, a truly amazing brew, and one I was most fortunate enough to be allowed to share in.

heygeebee, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of spicelab
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

1994.

Deep treacle, more or less clear. No head whatsoever, save for some turbulent bubbles here and there.

Masses of rich, woody, dark fruits. Prunes, muscatels, bark, liquorice and brandy drenched fruit cake. A hint of oxidation mars an otherwise sublime nose.

Thankfully, the oxidation doesn't come through. Brandy snap, sherry, golden syrup pudding, dates and liquorice. So deep and brooding. Fuckin delightful.

Difficult to describe the mouthfeel because it's so unobtrusive. Not big, nor syrupy, nor boozy. Does exactly what it needs for the flavour profile show its wares.

Delectable. Started out impressed but not blown away, however once this settles into is groove it's an uncanningly classy piece of work.

spicelab, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of MrKennedy
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%

330ml bottle, 1994 vintage, into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours dead still, no carbonation whatsoever. Dark brown colour with a light ruby tinge when held up to the light.

Smell is of port, prune juice, raisins and vegemite. No oxidation, this has held up sublimely well!

Tastes of port, mixed with sherry and with a little bit of soy and toffee. No oxidation or dated taste to it, still retains plenty of punch with its characteristics. So complex, a wonderful mix of port and sherry.

It doesn't need the carbonation. Given the typical flavour profile, a still beer is fitting. Very warming, this hasn't thinned out one bit, decadent, full bodied and a massively long finish.

Brilliant, arguably the best of any of the Eldridge Pope vintages that I've tried. Such fullness of flavour, lack of oxidation and thinning leaves this as a truly world class beer. Here's hoping someone takes over from O'Hanlons in resurrecting this rightly famous beer!

MrKennedy, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of ajs4bd
5/5  rDev +11.9%

ajs4bd, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of pma7779
5/5  rDev +11.9%

pma7779, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of stoutman
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%

VERY NICE! Have a few mid 1980's bottle in my cellar and opened this 1989 Vintage bottle to staste what aging does... not much as it tastes much the same as 20 years ago! Poured deep brown with no head. Nose had dark fruits like prunes and raisins. Low carbonation, some oxidization, brown sugar, fortified fruit and alcoholic flavors. A very flavorful beer.

stoutman, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

GRG1313, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of tbeer40
5/5  rDev +11.9%

tbeer40, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of smi
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

smi, May 15, 2012
Photo of ale1
5/5  rDev +11.9%

i was fortunate to have several cases of this reserved in my cellar over the years, we have reviewed this wonderfull ale before and seems to have gone missing. I use this ale as the benchmark for all others a 5+++ in it's old style i hate to see the greediness with only 4 small bottles now available and not even quite the same, but close

pours a deep ruby red with natural carbonation and lots of lacing , reminds me of a fine brandy in a large glass , nose of raisins,plums,pear, barleywine

almost gone now my stock of the old ale ,it is for us priveleged few in jupiter Florida that had the foresight to save some so nyaahh nyah nyaah nyaahhh

go pout with your bottled budwizer

ale1, May 11, 2012
Photo of RoryOMoore
5/5  rDev +11.9%

RoryOMoore, May 04, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%

This is the 1994 vintage, which was drank in May 2011 in honor of hudsonphotog's college graduation after all these years (he graduated high school in 1994).

The beer pours a clear, dark brown color with a few white bubbles but no real head. The aroma has a lot of chocolate and raisins, as well as a little bit of soy sauce character and some alcohol. The flavor is a lot more complex. I get a lot of chocolate and oak notes, as well as some rum, raisins and very little alcohol. The beer is very port like. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

I am very happy I got to try this and very happy that it was drank on such a special occasion.

Mora2000, May 02, 2012
Photo of futurecode
5/5  rDev +11.9%

futurecode, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of macrosmatic
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

macrosmatic, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of afksports
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

afksports, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of Archemedies
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Archemedies, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
5/5  rDev +11.9%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -10.5%

nmann08, Jan 23, 2012
Thomas Hardy's Ale (1968-1999) from O'Hanlon Brewing Co. Ltd.
98 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.