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Eldridge Pope Thomas Hardy’s Ale (all vintages to 1999)

Formerly brewed at Eldridge Pope
Style: Barley Wine
Dorchester, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 441   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94/5   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
Creamy butterscotch notes flood the taste buds, laced with subtle complex fruit...and a subtle suggestion of vintage port. Elegant and seamless, this beer was a waltz on the palate.

In ’The Trumpet Major’ Hardy wrote of Dorchester strong beer "It was of the most beautiful colour that the eye of an artist in beer could desire; full in body, yet brisk as a volcano; piquant, yet without a twang; luminous as an autumn sunset;..."

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
climberbob (452) - Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2015
Bottle. 1988 vintage opened in 2014. Strong molasses and dried fruit aroma and taste. Low to no carbonation. Butterscotch and burnt sugar. More like a port wine. Very fine. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ferris (12935) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 25, 2015
Bottle - Vintage 1994 - Toffee and raisin, plum, some musty mushroom notes and cocoa. Deep cloudy brown with no head. Incredibly complex raisin, mushroom and woody notes with some tannin. Finish is long, dark fruit and vinous. The mushroom notes are a bit off putting and I think without those notes this would have a home run. Otherwise still a great beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
jc1762 (847) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 6, 2015
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2015 Vintage 1980 - bought from a private sale. Caramel brown, translucent rims and center. The bottle pours clean with thick proteins all around the bottle. The nose shows a lot of port and madeirization - carmelized raisins, dried fruit along with very faint hints of chocolate. The palate is medium and completely still - a slight tartness appears but the port flavors are the most apparent. Some slight caramel tones also appear but otherwise excellent.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ReV2 (171) - Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - DEC 28, 2014
33cl bottle from 1997, I remember buying it from Waitrose Supermarket. Pours with a slight carbonation, oily brown/black appearance. Taste is intense sherry malt, dark Christmas pudding like fruitiness. Aftertaste lingers on and on. I’ll be drinking my 1994 bottle on New Year’s Eve.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mortlach (1966) - Rome, ITALY - DEC 12, 2014
Bottle (1984 Vintage), shared @Brasserie 4:20. Miele di castagno con riflessi mogano, viva e intensa, schiuma virtualmente assente. Al naso potente sentore di alcol e frutta sotto spirito, vaniglia, legno, ossidazione, datteri e fichi secchi. In bocca è complessa, simile a un porto invecchiato, con note acidule e astringenza. Corpo pieno, carbonazione soft. Forse ha perso molta della sua eleganza, ma i 30 anni di invecchiamento li ha retti alla grande!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
williamherbert (1509) - Syracuse, New York, USA - DEC 11, 2014
Aged 15 years. Aroma is sherry, brown sugar. Earthy terroir grapes. Tawny like a port. Flavor is sweet puckery dates and plums, grapes and raisin. More tawny port. Very soil-heavy. Feels dry and earthy. Superior.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Smurf2055 (1400) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 23, 2014
From my birth year, 1990 pours flat, mahogany smell big red fruit, raisin, caramel taste toffee, sweet vanilla, rum, raisin, alcohol on the tail sticky, mid body great last beer

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mcberko (14684) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 8, 2014
1994 Vintage. Courtesy of fiulijn (thanks a lot, Alex!), pours a deep dark mahogany with barely any head. Nose explodes upon the pour, with loads of complex port, caramel, dried dark fruits, and brown sugar -- amazingly elegant and complex aromatics. Flavour is... wow... amazingly complex, drinks like a port, with dark dried fruits, toffee, alcohol, brown sugar, and port liqueur. Highly viscous, with a sticky, oily palate. No hint of oxidation at all. 20 years old and still amazing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
weihenweizen (3187) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - OCT 27, 2014
Refrigerated brown 1992 bottle poured into a glass. Clear copper with no head, no lacing, no carbonation, and medium body. Aroma is nice caramel and taste is nice sweet caramel, butterscotch, and some toffee. This is the first barley wine I actual like.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
Alengrin (4604) - BELGIUM - SEP 6, 2014
Famous English barley wine since 1968 (!) allegedly brewed to approach the favorite beer of famous writer Thomas Hardy. The Eldridge Pope version doesn’t exist anymore since many years; this rating concerns a vintage bottle at Kulminator in Antwerp. Amber coloured beer with thin, off-white and quickly dissolving head (which does not disturb me, considering the style and the age of the beer) and very, very complex, vinous and ’old’ aroma of dried apricot, white wine, brandy, sweet tobacco, banana, aromatic spiciness and orange peel; taste was equally complex, vinous, rich, deep, fruity and sweetish, bready malts, warming alcohol in the finish. This was one of the best beers I ever tasted, stood the test of time exceedingly well. If they still have it at Kulminator, I am eager to re-rate this as it’s been many a year now since I tasted it.

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