Thomas Hardy's Ale
Interbrau S.p.A

Thomas Hardy's AleThomas Hardy's Ale
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Style:
Barleywine - English
Ranked #99
ABV:
11.7%
Score:
90
Ranked #10,638
Avg:
4.1 | pDev: 5.37%
Reviews:
12
Ratings:
31
From:
Interbrau S.p.A
 
Italy
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  12
Gots
  11
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Thomas Hardy's AleThomas Hardy's Ale
Notes: Thomas Hardy’s Ale is a Barley Wine whose peculiar aromas and flavours can develop over the years with a taste that matures in a manner comparable to that of the finest red wines. (This entry is for 2015 vintages and beyond.)
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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 31 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of andypeters1971
andypeters1971 from Georgia

3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

No head and a low level of carbonation. Bronze-ish orange color. Not as syrupy sweet as some English Barleywines can tend to be. Quite drinkable even with the stiff 11.2 percent alcohol level.

Jun 12, 2020
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost no head production, with a thin pinkish ring lining the glass after the pour. Brew is a nutty, garnet-hued clear brown.

Nose features waves of caramel grains, earthy, noble hops, slight brown sugar, grass, figs, grapes, and a touch of oxidation - despite being fresh.

Flavor is quite similar, with a bitter, earthy, hoppy bite more in line with American Barleywines. Waves of caramel grains, accented by sweet toffee, red grapes, brown sugar, and figs. Very bitter.

Thick, creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Slightly hot; this brew is proudly wearing its 11.7% ABV on its sleeve. Warms the belly long after the sip is complete; long, warm finish in the mouth. That .... didn't come out right.

Mar 31, 2019
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours ruddy amber with a lot of cloudiness and a negligible, wispy head. Berries, stewed apples, lemon, cookiedough, caramel, rum in the nose. Chewy, biscuity, bready, fruity malts in the taste. Alcohol is very well hidden, providing some warming and not much more. Fruity esters build with time. Faint leafy hops and light bitterness in the back. The mouthfeel is full bodied with very sparse carbonation. The finish is malty, fruity and long lasting.

A classic British Barleywine. Complex and very malty but not overly so. A classic everyone should try.

Mar 02, 2019
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VoxRationis from New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a custom tasting pint glass; 2017 Vintage, bottle no. 17473.
A: Pours a very hazy, caramel color, e.g. light copper with orange highlights, forming a sudsy, one finger head, retention to no more than a rim, and early, soapy lacing which resolves entirely.
S: Aromas of caramel, honey/honeysuckle, vanilla, white pepper, and brandy.
T: Semisweet with booziness evident. Aromas remain in flavor pallet, with addition of perhaps brown sugar, definitely grapefruit rind and tobacco, and certainly a touch of tutti-fruity somewherein the background. Peppery bitterness offsets some of sweetness and booziness, a plus.
M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Very rough at this stage and chewy.
O: No question that this is a well designed barleywine. Was surprised and somewhat delighted by the carbonation, albeit short-lived, although I recognize this bottle is rather young: I've heard oenophiles refer to consumption of Bordeaux wines this early as "infanticide." I suspect much of the roughness will mellow with age and would expect increased subtly and complexity. Will let you know, when and if.

Jan 12, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2017 vintage
Very light fizzy head fades very quickly, a bit of lacing and some legs, very hazy maroon auburn dark reddish brown color

Nose big sweet aged malt, brown malts with candy and caramel sugars, lots of toffee, a bit biscuity, some oxidation brandy wine like notes but not much, but also mild dark fruits and vegetal BBQ sauce notes, various layered sweet brown malts

Taste brings more sweet malt, fairly sweet in general, more aged soft malt and a bit of a toasted brown malt, caramel, toffee, a bit biscuity, lots of candy and sugars, caramelized sugars, a bit of earthy hop bitterness but not much, some warming tingly alcohol, more oxidation in a bit of a brandy flavor as well as a touch papery, syrupy, turning into a hot booze and bitter hop finish with sweet sticky malts lingering, gets fairly bitter on the finish

Mouth is med to fuller bod, a bit of a soft aging feel, decent carb for the style and age, some hot tingly warming booze

Overall not bad, hits a lot of the style guidelines, lots of age and some oxidation which is OK and doesn't go overboard, fairly enjoyable aside from the BBQ sauce notes, but a decent beer for style and history

Dec 28, 2018
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy, deep, dark amber coloration with a tiny, frothy head that almost instantly fades to a fine ring around the glass. Smells of sweet, caramel malt and red berries: cranberry, strawberry, with hints of toffee and vanilla. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by caramel malts and red berries: cranberry, strawberry, as well as hints of toffee and vanilla, but also with some light dark fruits: fig, dates, brown sugar and honey. Quite a bit of booziness to this as well. Finishes with a very light bitterness and heavy sweetness, with some red berry notes lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a rich body and low carbonation.

I'm honestly not a huge fan of Barleywines and was wondering if this might change my mind. It didn't. Although it's probably one of the best example of the style that I've had, it's still just too syrupy sweet and boozy for my personal taste, even though I can kinda appreciate the strong red berry character and toffee notes.

Dec 16, 2018
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mynie from Maryland

4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty effed up to name a beer after Bane.

I have a few bottles of the 06 iteration. They've been sitting in my cellar so long I'm basically just too scared to drink them. Maybe tonight. At any rate, I'm glad to see the brand brought back to life. If nothing else it is a very charming gimmick.

The cap is removed and the bottle smells bready. The pour is very limp, but that's to be expected. The aroma is very sharp and unpleasantly intense, definitely something that should be smoothed out with aging.

The first sip is unpleasant. I take a breath and try agin, with a much smaller sip. It's okay. After I've acclimated myself, I realize the flavor is actually quite interesting and mostly very good, but the sharpness of the aroma is just flat-out repellent. But then a few more sips in, I start to like it. I never love it, but it's got a charm.

Of all the British Barleywine's I've ever had, this is my favorite. Now, I do normally despise that style. But this keeps the weird science experiment flavors to a minimum and after I'm used to it I start to appreciate its grassy and weedy complexities. Actually--I think I do really like it. Maybe it's just getting me drunk. I dunno. The front is lively, the back is pleasant booze burn.

This is so far removed from more contemporary high-ABV beers that it's hard to approach, but sip it slowly and with an open mind and you'll probably be pleased.

Oct 28, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy dark amber color with beige head. Aroma is quite cheesy with toasted malt notes. Taste has dark fruits, burnt sugar, toasted malt sweetness, some earthy bitterness on the finish. Medium minus body and carbonation. It really doesn't compare to the old version.

May 18, 2018
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Premo88 from Texas

4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into snifter
(#42,729 — vintage 2017; courtesy of @TongoRad)

L: orange-brown-red ... a murky copper-bronze or copper with some extra brown in it; the head barely makes a full skin ... looks almost flat; keeps a super thin but consistent collar of offwhite/beige foam

S: toffee, caramel, donuts ... super sweet fruitcake; as it warms and about halfway into the glass a pinch of hop aroma shows up, very hidden but distinctly floral

T: supercharged light-malt everything ... caramel, peach, apricot, toffee and on up to a sweet malt flavor almost as dark as dates but closer to fruitcake; lurking in the background is sneaky pinch of English dirt-hop flavor and with each sip it grows and grows into a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste

F: thick and heavy but surprisingly prickly up front despite the flat-looking pour; that little tingly layer of carbonation does wonders, turning it from feeling potentially like syrup into one big bad beer

O: a showcase of malt with aroma and flavor so strong you wonder how they afford to brew this beer ... there's THAT much barley in it; the label says they added cane sugar, so some of the sweetness is coming from that sugar, but the mouthfeel and depth of the bready/biscuity flavor suggest a maltbill that could choke an English horse; the subtle-but-growing earthy hop bitterness helps tie it together into a tasty brew

Jan 08, 2018
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Beersnake1 from California

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a beautiful opaque dark orange. Almost no carbonation - looks a bit syrupy. Definitely not a bad thing as I like my barley wines like this. Nose is a gorgeous burst of caramel. Also getting wheat, bread, vanilla. Taste is amazing. Sweet caramel, but not overpowering. Getting a hint of brandy, some grapes, and a bit of bitterness on the back end. Some oak and some piney hop bitterness. The malts are definitely strong. Mouthfeel is nice a creamy - coating the mouth. Overall, a splendid beer and one that I will also age and test in coming years.

Oct 07, 2017
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josanguapo from Spain

3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 1 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From Boxbeers. In Teku glass. Playing Darksiders 2. The aroma is as good as in the historical version but the feel and taste are a bit below, more light, less sticky and fullfilling

Apr 09, 2017
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moose1980 from Germany

4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016. Drank at cellar temperature. Aroma is like a caramel-drizzled sweet croissant (a bit on the raw, doughy side) topped with raisins, and more general 'yeastiness.' Tastes of toffee and sherry notes with some moderate heat at the end. More of a silky mouthfeel than sticky. As is, a very nice BW. I could certainly imagine it ageing well.

Mar 05, 2017
Thomas Hardy's Ale from Interbrau S.p.A
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 31 ratings