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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

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 415   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.93   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
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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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
aracauna (3138) - Georgia, USA - APR 1, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2006 The brandy comparison is probably accurate. I was really looking forward to trying the stuff, it being my first dip into the barley wine style. It was good, but the alcohol and mediciney tastes were just a bit much for me. Would be good with a little drinking to get used to it and in smaller quantities (I polished off the entire bottle in one sitting). It’s possible that a younger vintage might be more to my taste since my 1996 was 6 years old.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - MAR 18, 2002
I have had Hardy’s since the early 1980’s, generally consumed immediately. 1999 VINTAGE: 3 years old. Tastes young but I like it. You can taste all the ingredients that went into this beer. If you don’t like more syrupy beers, get a newer one and drink it right away. 1994 VINTAGE: 8 years old. Virtually no head or carbonation compared to the younger beer. Very syrupy and thick, veering off into Triple Bock territory. Some hint of smoke, and a slightly oxidized taste is evident on the finish. 1997 VINTAGE: 5 years old. Best one ever! This is a perfect Hardy’s. Nice plummy, raisiny notes, good malt balance, and the alcohol is just right. It is not cloyingly thick or sweet, and I would say it is the most perfectly balanced ale of this type I have ever tried. 1995 VINTAGE: 7 years old. Very thick and syrupy. Flavors blended well but has some oxidation. Nowhere near as good as the ’97. 1996 VINTAGE: 6 years old. Very heavy alcohol taste on this one. Not oxidized. Has some of the plum/raisin notes of the 1997 but they are overwhelmed by the alcohol. 1998 VINTAGE: 4 years old. Very, very good! A lot like the ’97. Very raisiny and plummy, some semblance of head and lacing. Sweet, but in the very best way. I am coming to the conclusion that Hardy’s is best around 4-5 years old. The newer ones are a little raw, and the older ones are too thick and syrupy, and generally oxidized. If someone thinks they can change my opinion, I’d be glad to trade for an ’80s or older!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
Skred (107) - Houma, Louisiana, USA - MAR 17, 2002
This was a 1994, tasted today. No carbonation at all, thick, too sweet for my taste, but some interesting aromas (banana/raisin). Not as clingy on the tongue as the ’94 Samichlaus I also had today. Half of one of these every couple of years is plenty for me, but I found this much better than the Sammy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - MAR 3, 2002
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2006 1995. Cloudy red/brown. No carbonation or head. Huge malt and raison nose. As i was smelling, the alcohol vapors actually made my eyes hurt. Damnnnnnn, explosion of flavors. Huge chewy malts, butterscotch, tobacco, port and nuts. Slow alcohol burn down the throat into the tummy. Very smooth, creamy and viscous! Probaly could have used more time to sit but I couldnt wait.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
omhper (19808) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 23, 2002
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2004 Bottled, 1975 vintage. Cloudy mahogany colour. Woody nose with traces of smoke. Rich and intensely malty. Very salty with some chocolate in the background. Dense, velvetty finish. Salty, bitter finish. Despite it's 29 years it certainly shows no signs of degradation.

Bottled, 1995 vintage. Cloudy amber, flat. Fruity, honeyish aroma. Sweet and rounded. Richly malty, still immature with with fresh, chewy malt caharcter and grassy hop bitter finish. Alcohol is still prominent. Already excellent, and very much a different beer than the 1975.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
opiate (199) - Sandy, Utah, USA - FEB 15, 2002
One of my all time favorite beers for sure. Luckily I’m a member of a local homebrewing club. And I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a few different vintages of this ale which guys in the club have brought to share. Every time...without fail...I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven when this ale touches my tongue. SUPERB. Strong. Rich. Complex. Malty. In-fucking-credible.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ThomasHardy99 (1) - - FEB 9, 2002 does not count
83 well matured well worth the wait.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
popilius (61) - Chicagoland, Illinois, USA - FEB 8, 2002
A great fruity/wine aftertaste. Goes down smoothly. Good too enjoy nice and slowly. Heavy- a bit too sweet maybe?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JAN 9, 2002
(1998)A very classy smooth barley wine with little in the way of hop bitterness. The sweetness of toffee and mollasses. Super mellow for being so strong. Pours like syrup and fizzes like most strong ales. Liked it much better than the J.W. Lee’s ’92 I had a month ago.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - JAN 2, 2002
1994. Definite molasses taste. A very smooth barleywine. The ’94 had virtually no carbonation after 8 years. Don’t know if they are all like this though. Lack of carbonation detracts a little, but still a good sipper.

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