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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RichTheVillan (5983) - West Midlands, ENGLAND - MAR 13, 2014
Bottle 14 at gad905 tasting night; rich mahogany brown pour with zero head, soy sauce aroma, taste has leather, soy sauce, oxidisation as expected in a 25 year old beer, black berry. Excellent beer experience.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
sebletitje (8789) - Enghien, BELGIUM - FEB 17, 2014
Bouteille, notes datant de la “SeaBass has got to go” tasting, merci à TheCheeseman. Vintage 1980. DE couleur ambrée, acajou sombre, col fin blanc cassé. Bouquet montrant bien son age, fruité noir, sucré avec un plein de notes de sucre caramélisé, toffee et une petite note rétro-nasal indiquant un peu d’oxydation. Palais est semblable, bière corsée avec un profil malté complexe qui même après des années reste puissant. Complexe même avec l’age. Le tout reste légèrement collant aux lèvres, note liquoreuse et un profil malté caramel et fruité noir épais. Oxydation apparente avec qcq notes de vin en rétro.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ABT_S54 (351) - West Midlands, ENGLAND - JAN 25, 2014
1985 Vintage. Served in a Trappist glass. Poured a flat mahogany colour with absolutely no head. Powerful aroma and taste of madeira, sherry and everything in between. Would have been nice to have tried it at its best as it had clearly seen its best days. Despite this a hugely powerful drink if somewhat thin in the mouth.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
kiwianer (3428) - Otorohanga, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 2, 2014
1993. FDBK 2012 thanks to Kristall König!! It smells wooden, alcoholic aromatic. The taste is wooden, alcoholic, darkmalty, aromatic, bitter-fruity, fruity-cherry-chocolate. In the aftertaste more chocolate. Very nice!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
harrymel (1551) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2013
Vintage 1998 Poured slow homie, toffee crystal beer with a glass surface. Lovely hues. Smells of nougat, caramel, candied raisin, toffee, toasted sugars, lots of toffee & caramel. Hint of vanilla. Tastes of caramel, nougat, nut roll, bits of honey, syrup, cola and tawny porto (10 year) - nice flavor. Medium on thin body with light, prickled carb and a wet finish that gave a little hint of alcohol. A gracefully aged beer I’m glad to have tried and received from a great trading partner as an extra. Serving type: bottle 12-11-2012

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nayho (17) - - OCT 11, 2013
24 year old bottle from 1989 poorly stored. Flat, no lace. Strong malt aroma. Black with red highlights. Roasted barley aroma, cherry, bit medicinal, mostly molasses. Not bad considering age and poor storage, but won?t finish 3 oz serving.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
The_Osprey (5459) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 31, 2013
Dusty attractive ’nip’ bottle, 180ml, well presented. Number J14076 of 1979. Exactly 34 years old. Almost seems a shame to open it before its 35th birthday, but I lack patience. Opens with a little fizz. Pours reddy brown with no head forming at all. Can’t even force a head - I’m just getting legs. Smell is potent - sherry and lots of apples. Some marmitey yeast, liquorice allsorts, chocolate sauce, berries. Not a trace of the sourness I was anxious about. Body is medium to full, creamy with a fair bit of carbonation considering the age. Taste is savoury-sweet. More port than sherry, some liquorice, hint of strawberry, some gravy and marmite. No sharpness or sourness thankfully. Very interesting. Every sip is different - sometimes a mouthful of port, sometimes a mouthful of gravy! Rating it is tough because I like a lot of things about it and it’s really good to try it as a one-off, but I wouldn’t be that bothered about trying it again. Not really my style, but I can appreciate it as a good quality beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
madquacker (1096) - Canberra ACT, AUSTRALIA - AUG 17, 2013
Big and ruby dark ale. Spices and brandy and high ABV well disguised. A little bit on the medicine side. Very very complex and interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
godfroyj (12) - - AUG 8, 2013
Barley wine is not my favorite style. This is a beer that ages well and tastes a bit better when warmer. Most others really like this beer but I was just lukewarm on it.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
JStax (4578) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - MAY 22, 2013
Okay, my second perfect score. Am I getting lax in my ratings? I don’t know, but I seriously can find nothing to complain or nitpick about with this beer. Maybe it was just the environment in which I had this beer and I had just enough to drink to make this experience mind blowing. 1999 vintage 12 ounce bottle. Super generous share! Pours a dark copper with a creamy, lasting, beige head of foam. In the aroma I get chocolate covered raisins predominantly. Very complex, malt forward beer. Some cherries, caramel, nuts, toffee all come through plain as day. I cannot get over how awesome this beer is. It’s a pit it’s not being made right now. The taste is everything the aroma had to offer, but an explosion of flavor on the tongue instead of just sticking my nose in the snifter. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Lasting chocolate covered raisin aftertaste that lingers for a long time, but that still isn’t long enough. I want more of this beer.

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