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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 9, 2002
1998 drank in 2002: Brownish-red, big sweet plum aroma. Alcohol comes through on the taste, along with dark fruits. While this seems to be one of the more ’famous’ barleywines, I don’t think that it is anywhere near the best.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
VA Homebrewer (525) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - SEP 3, 2002
1989 bottle sampled in Sept. 2002. I’ve heard people talk about soy sauce in conjunction with some other big beers, but never definitively experienced it until now. This had a prominate soy sauce aroma and flavor laying over notes of port, plum, and raisin. Mouthfeel is very thick. I expected some graininess and thankfully got none. Entire flavor profile is bittersweet and heavy. Color appeared to be that of cola, but the lighting was poor. Absolutely no head or carbonation. Something to be enjoyed over the course of an hour or so. I really tried to get into this and make it live up to its reputation, but I could not do either. Thinking I should try a younger vintage the next time I have an opportunity.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Wilecat (66) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - AUG 30, 2002
Had these years ago with my father, Strong almost brandy like. wonderfull

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Indra (2711) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - AUG 22, 2002
1996 vintage. Oak. Vanilla. Warmth, alcohol. Toffee, sweetness. Earth. Spice. Fruit. Wine-like, complex, impressive. Wow. Thank you, NeroFiddled, for this once in a lifetime experience.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
SETANTA (582) - Bangor, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 18, 2002
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2008 1997 vintage, still very sweet, but not as bad as when young. Hop bitterness very dominant, but little spicyness, which I prefer. Re-Rate of 1975 vintage at Ebenezer Kezars of Lovell, ME... My experience with barleywines has greatly increased since I first rated this back in 1998... had hints of smoke that I hadn’t detected previously, hints of mustiness, but still extremely sweet and rich.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
baseballguy (246) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 9, 2002
1999 vintage: Wow! This is intensely flavorful barley wine. The pruniness reminds me of Schneider Aventinus.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
YogiBeera (2558) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 9, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2006 Vintage 1998: Wonderful aroma: raisons, malt, banana and alcohol. Red golden color, has a thick banana dessert flavor with malt. Fullmouth round taste. Suprisingly you don’t taste the alcohol while having it in the mouth, it burns later in the throat like a brandy! Just a wonderful barley wine! New rating on 1998 in 2003: 8/3/6/4/15: It seems more peppery and spicey than before - alcohol comes through more. Vintage 1995 in 2005 - 10y/o BW Vertical Tasting: Murky mud brown color, small air bubbles on the edge of the glass. Chocolate, allspice and prunse - medium intense in the nose. Very silky and smooth - lingers down nicely. Intense chocolate and espresso taste but yet not bitter, some dark berries and juniper - intense and just wonderful.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
pivo (2651) - GERMANY - JUL 9, 2002
- 1995 : Huge malty nose and a deep, ruddy carmel color. Wow, is this stuff like brandy! All malt and very little bitter (or carbonation for that matter), but earthy undertones, particularly in the finish. High alcohol: almost ’burns’ going down - kinda medicinal. Thick and syrupy - a meal itself. Complex and well-balanced with a long flavor profile. Mature and challenging taste reserved for a special occasion. Re-Rate for ’98: Fruity, raisin-like nose with hints of banana - very powerful. Super sweet - like brown sugar. Latent alcohol burns the throat. Sophisticated and extremely good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brewbandit (312) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JUL 1, 2002
NO carbonation evident as it was poured in the glass. Light fruity, raisiny and prune like, aroma. This was a 1995 vintage. the color was darker than recent vintages. Mouthfeel was that of a thin syrup. Flavor was definitely prunish with a touch of raisin. I enjoyed it but would have liked some carbonation.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 3/20
pilsnerrogge (2759) - Finspång, SWEDEN - JUN 28, 2002
Copper-colourd, little head. I know that this is supposed to be a classic beer but it just didn’t do it for me! Sweet, almost like syrup and the taste of alcohol was way too dominant. But I really would like to try an older bottle.

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