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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: 414   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
saxo (14151) - Højbjerg, Aarhus, DENMARK - DEC 4, 2012
Bottle # 26221 from 1982. Small head with short duration. Color is dark amber. Aroma and taste are malt, bread, vinegar, caramel, brett, syrup, wood and fruits. Oxidated and oily palate.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sic1314 (3635) - Leiden, NETHERLANDS - NOV 28, 2012
1999 vintage. Poured light brown and clear with a small, rapidly disappearing tan head. Aroma of vinous dark fruit, raisins in alcohol and caramel. Medium creamy body, flavour of sweet port.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Huhzubendah (2637) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Bottle shared by bmanning. Thanks Ben! 1994 vintage The beer is a rusty, dark orange, bordering on brown. There is very little head remaining in this elderly brew. The nose brings sweet dark fruits and raisins soaked in alcohol, tobacco, caramels, malt, brown sugar, toffee, candies. Alrighty then. Great flavor, with a fine port character. Very small pour, so I have to make it last. Everything in the aroma has a presence in the flavor. The beer is still quite sweet. A couple ounces is perfect. Sniff, sip, enjoy. Not surprisingly, the beer has little carbonation. The feel is thick and coats the palate with a barrage of bold flavors. Alcohol presence is still there after 17 years. Overall, a wonderful treat to try a vintage beer like this. A great example of the style. Recommended. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 05-27-2011

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
fletchfighters (1117) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 15, 2012
1993 vintage A-- No head, no carbonation, couple of bubbles but head or film, slightly hazy brownish plumb color. First thought was port, baby, port. S-- Booze, dark fruits, carmel and sweet as heck. Desert beer being first course for the night. Thick and rich and just an amazing smell. T-- Very sweet tasting and the fruits have held up extremely well in this. Thought strawberry jam. Almost shiraz like. M-- No carbonation and sugar sweet heavy. Oh no, this works very well for it. Slight sourness in this but does not take away from how rich this is. Very port like. O-- Thrilled to have had this. Heavy, rich, sweet and excellent. held up very well for it’s age. Desert beer and a sipper. Worth seeking out. Gave the appearance a 3 but the rest is near world class.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 6/20
knickskicks (757) - - JUL 7, 2012
UPDATED: JUL 11, 2012 1979 bottle. Poured into a snifter. Brown, no head, really syrupy, aroma filled up the room. Very strong port aromas, alcohol, figs and other dark fruits, and leather. Way too much leather. Oxidized. Taste is overwhelming port and leather. I know the person who cellared this and know that the beer was kept well. Personally I think holding onto this beer for 30+ years is too much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Beer4000 (4565) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JUN 25, 2012
An extensive sampling of various Thomas Hardy Vintages was carried out at two separate occasions, 16. September 1998 and 8. June 2012. Most of the beers where acquired in 1997 and some more beer where added later. We have strived to achieve the optimal storage conditions and the people attending to these two tasting where with a few exceptions identical. The rating score is based on an awerage from the best ones.

1982 (sampled 2012): Clear, mahogany body with a tiny off-white head. Almost intense aroma of noble caramel and warming alcohol like Sherry, with oxidation and cellar notes. Flavor is really sweet malt, caramel, English orange marmalade, a hint of acidity and some bitterness. This beer is really sweet, but the bitterness makes a delicate balance together with the alcohol and some acidity to avoid feeling sticky. This is just perfect. Full body with a long and warming aftertaste, it feels almost dusty after a while. A wonderful beer for sipping and enjoying over a long time. The best among the one I have tested.

1983 (sampled 1998): Clear mahogany body with a small off-white head. Aroma is malty with alcohol and mold. Flavor of sweet, heavy malt, dry fruit, cellar notes and bitter. Full body and aftertaste feels a bit earthy with bouillon. It feels rather mature already with notes of damp basement.

1984 (sampled 1998): Clear mahogany body with a small off-white head. Aroma is malty with alcohol and a bit spicy. Flavor is sweet malt, dry fruit, warming alcohol and a bit spicy. Feels more bitter than the previous vintage, could be an affect of lighter malt style.

1985 (sampled 1998): Clear mahogany body with a small off-white head. Aroma is malty, a bit roasted with smoke and warming alcohol. Flavor is malt and dark chocolate, some roast, bitter and warming alcohol. Feels mature, but not to oxidized. A bit different from both previous and later vintage but still a fine balance.

1987 (sampled 1998) the 150th anniversary vintage comes both with regular crown cap and natural cork, both sampled: Clear mahogany body with a small off-white head. Aroma is more vinous than the previous, especially the cork version. Some pleasant oxidation and really smooth malt flavor, some molasses.

1988 (sampled 1998): Clear deep amber body with a small off-white head. Aroma is vinous with some acidity. Flavor is sweet malty, but feels a bit less sweet than the previous. Fine balance with a little hint of acidity and quite bitter. Vinous and complex.

1989 (sampled 1998): Clear deep amber body with a small off-white head. Aroma of sweet and dark malt, caramel and some roast, less vinous. Flavor is sweet and malty with caramel. This is the last vintage to be brewed in the heavy malt style.

1990 (sampled 2012): Clear dark brown body with practical no head. Less and different aroma than previous and later vintages. Feels dusty and moldy. Flavor has old wet wood, some malt and alcohol. Feels old and above top. The biggest disappointment from the tasting.

1993 (sampled 2012): Clear, beautiful paler amber body with practical no head. Fantastic aroma, pure malt and caramel, vinous warming alcohol. Flavor has sweet malt, caramel, wood, nuts and dry fruit with cherry like alcohol. Very good, different from 1982 but one of the best vintages.

1994 (sampled 2012): Clear mahogany body with a small beige head. Aroma is vinous with strong caramel. Flavor is sweet malty, caramel and feels a bit acidic vinous. Long aftertaste.

1995 (sampled 2012): Clear amber body without any head. Aroma of malt, and caramel with alcohol, but more moderate in aroma than the previous vintages. Flavor is sweet malt, caramel, meat broth and warming alcohol. Milder in flavor and quite sweet aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CanIHave4Beers (3328) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - JUN 20, 2012
1996 bottle, at home. With this rating I break into the top 400 raters on the site! Whoot!

Pours a deep brown color with beautiful ruby hues, a bit of head at the start fades and the beer is for all practical purposes still.

The aroma holds all sorts of pleasantries as this swishes around in the glass, cherry, vanilla, sherry, light cocoa, & old brandy. The booziness is fairly mild but certainly noticeable in the aroma. It bares mentioning that the beer smells very sweet... not in a bad way at all though.

The flavor is hotter than the aroma on alcohol, it is akin to an old brandy, some vanilla, cherry & oak are dominant flavors. The beer is mildly sweet as opposed to the strong sweetness promised by the aroma. Elegant, beautiful beer.

This isn’t even the best sample I’ve had of this stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Hammy78 (762) - Dundas, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 18, 2012
500th review. 1993 Vintage nip bottle purchased at Chester’s Beers of the World in Hamilton Ontario. Pours an absolute perfect copper colour, with no head at all. Smells rather sweet with an oakiness to it, caramelized malt too. Tastes super sweet and a bit bitter, rather oaky as well. This is one of the most perfect beers I’ve ever tasted. The fact that it is this old and tastes this good is a testament to how good this beer really is.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Headbanger (3360) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUN 17, 2012
11.15oz bottle ’98 Vintage 50° in Snifter-Pours a murky brown with a small ring for a head. Aroma of dried fruit, caramel, toffee, and malt. Taste of the same with a bit more sweetness. This medium to full bodied brew has held up pretty damn well. Nice brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Meilby (8038) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - JUN 9, 2012
Bottle 250ml vintage 1982 @ home
Pours brown with a small off-white head. Aroma has notes of malt, alcohol, raisin and oxidization. Taste is medium sweet and light sour with a long light sour, fruity, boozy and oxidized finish. Body is medium to full, texture is oily, carbonaiton is flat to soft.

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