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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: 434   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 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mcberko (12398) - 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 (2892) - 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 (4148) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
glennmastrange (2584) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - AUG 30, 2014
Bottle. 1993. Heavy to harshroasted and caramel for the malt, heavy cooked orange for the hops, light leather for the yeast, with raisin, date, maple syrup and alcohol. There is no head, and the color is muddy dark brown. Flavor starts heavily sweet and lightly acidic, then finishes heavily sweet and lightly to moderately bitter. Palate is full, syrupy with no carbonation and a heavily alcoholic and chewy finish. This Barley Wine is full, rich, warming and deep with dark dried fruits

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
VsXsV (3814) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - AUG 16, 2014
Bottle. 1974 vintage. Murky deep brown liquid with minimal off-white head. Aroma of dried fruit, lots of port wine oxidization, toffee, raw sugar, raisins and some light alcohol. Taste is medium sweet and light sour with notes of port wine, raw sugar, tobacco and sour fruit. Full bodied with very low carbonation. Aroma is still holding up nicely, but the taste has turned somewhat sour. Probably too old for it’s own good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
zathrus13 (1761) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - JUL 27, 2014
1995 bottle, 6.22 oz. Pours dark, clear brown, with no head. Aroma is caramel, raisins, dark fruit, malt, and some alcohol. Flavor is malt, raisins, alcohol, tobacco, and dark fruit. Pretty thick, with no carbonation at all. For 19 years old beer, it’s held up pretty good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
koleminer20 (1850) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUN 30, 2014
From notes. Enjoyed at the Ashley’s Rare & Vintage Beer TasteFest on June 07. Sample from bottle dated 1989. The pour is thin and ruby in color with a lot of light passing through. There is a minimal amount of carbonation and head left on this thing. The aroma is surprisingly hot for an ’89. There is a wonderful dark fruit and caramel note to it. Maybe a touch of sherry, but it’s not too shabby at all. The flavor mimics the aroma. There is a nice fruitiness and a subtle creaminess going on. The mouth feel is quite thin, but really good. The carbonation, or what’s left of it, leave a nice coating of the mouth. The aftertaste is lingering and sweet. Just nicely done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
pentaz (1256) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUN 14, 2014
Bottle - vintage 1994 @ Papsø. Pours cloudy auburn with almost no head. Aroma is mild vinegar, bread, caramel, mild oxidation, mild vinous, dried fruit, cellar, dust and light cheesy. Taste is near heavy sweet, light+ bitter and light tart. Body is medium, texture is sticky, carbonation is very soft. Finishes sweet, hot with caramel and a tart note.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JanLaursen (3227) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 8, 2014
Flaske, 33 cl. Vintage 1994, tak Papsøe. Uklar mahogny-farvet bryg, intet skum, meget lavt karboneret. Dufter af mørke frugter, tørrede frugter, alkohol, alder, fløde-karamel. Meget fyldig, klistret, men ikke tung. Lang, lang eftersmag. Meditions-øl.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
GT2 (9411) - Oceanside, California, USA - APR 9, 2014
1991 bottle at Stuffed Sandwich. Pours clear, flat amber. Nose is orange mint, tobacco, spicy orange peel, peppermint. Taste is mint, thin, mild paper, nicely oxidized, dark bread, Pumpernickel bread crust. Drinkable for sure, but very thin and exceptionally minty which seems normal for old barleywine.

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