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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: 412   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fonefan (35066) - VestJylland, DENMARK - OCT 1, 2007
Bottle. [Vintage 1982 #26090] My rating # 2100. Clear medium brown color with a small, fizzy / virtually none, fair lacing, mostly diminishing, beige head. Aroma is moderate caramel, vintage, alcohol, light geuze / sweet plums, sherry like. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet and light acidic with a average to long duration. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is flat. Gets better and more complex with every sip. ;o)) (300807)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
yespr (31178) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - OCT 28, 2008
Kulminator: 25 cL bottle, 1982 vintage, #28547. Pours hazy dark brown with with a fully gone head. Aroma is distinct wineous and fruity. Mild acidic too. Acidic and and wineous fruity flavoured. Smoothly going into a lovely fruity flavour into the finish. Very surprised by this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ungstrup (29287) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - SEP 23, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2012 Bottled - Vintage 1994 sampled 2007. A hazy deep red beer with no head. The aroma is sweet with notes of alcohol, wood, and bourbon. The flavor is sweet alcohol and malt with strong notes of caramel and with a thick caramel body.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Papsoe (25085) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - NOV 19, 2007
(Bottle 25 cl) Courtesy of fiulijn. Vintage 1994. Clear, orangey brown with no head whatsoever. Vinous, alcoholic nose with some dried fruit and a touch of mint. Quite full-bodied, low in carbonation with a soft mouthfeel. Notes of wood and overripe fruit. The finish contains both alcohol and some bitterness. 171107

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
joergen (20742) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUN 1, 2007
Bottle 1982-vintage on Kulminator. Hazy orange brown coloured with a small off white head. Sweet aroma of dried fruits, wood and sherry with dusty notes. Sweet flavour of wood, dried fruits, berries and sherry with dusty notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
oh6gdx (20330) - Vasa, FINLAND - JUN 5, 2007
Bottled (1982 vintage@Kulminator). Ruby red colour, not much head. Aroma is earth and some smooth vinegaryness. Flavour is alcohol, plum, slight vinegar and some vanillaish very smooth things. A very pleasantly aged thing, which shows a bit of oxidation in it, but in a good way.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
omhper (19374) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
anders37 (16691) - Malmö, SWEDEN - SEP 8, 2010
Bottle. 1995 vintage. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with no head. Has a sweetish malty spicy dark fruit and raisin aroma. Sweetish malty dark fruit flavor with hints of raisin. Has a sweetish malty drak fruit and caramel finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
madmitch76 (15073) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JAN 15, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2013 30th January 2008
1979 Bottle No. H12686. Thick dark brown ale. Yeast and chocolate nose. Smooth yeast and juicy sour malt. Long marmitey finish. Was hoping that after nearly 30 years that this bottle would have mellowed but it’s still pretty yeasty!

29th May 2011
1968 Bottle. Opaque dark brown beer. No head. Chocolate marmite nose. Neutral palate, no carbonation. Salty marmite. Tangy sour dark fruit. Herby medicinal tones, Neutral finish. 43 years have not calmed this down. Perhaps no amount of aging will!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
fiulijn (14552) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 5, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2013
2013-11-18, vintage 1977, as Coronation Brew, 36 years old
courtesy of Alex (Nightfall), 8-5-7-3-16=39

Dark chestnut color, without head, but clean (although there is an evident sediment in the bottle). Aroma of caramel, roasted nuts, leather; later, some tobacco and aged cheese rind; not really oxidized, but with an evident impression of old. It has a minimal carbonation, just some feeling on the tongue, and the mouthfeel starts being a bit oily; strong character of roasted nuts and bitter almonds that also contribute to the bitterness (to be considered low here), caramel, some malt; it’s drier than a more recent vintage, and the alcohol must have increased a bit, providing a pleasant warmth. It has a strong woody character, old wood.
Not the most exciting of the Thomas Hardy’s bottles, but considering the vintage, it aged pretty well.

2013-02-22, vintage 1996, 16 years old, 8-5-10-5-19=47
From a long undisturbed bottle, it pours a clean dark mahogany color, flat and virtually with no head. Very nice aroma of malt and caramel, with hints of oak and vanilla, impressive for the lack of aging signs (8 or 9pt). The rest is perfect, from the mouthfeel, lean and not syrupy, to the flavor, rich malt with chocolate notes and a biscuity touch; it has an evident nuttiness that contributes to keep the bitterness to regular levels, and pleasant alcohol warmth. The final is nutty, balanced and long.
At the top!

2012-05-31, vintage 1998, 14 years old, 8-5-8-4-16=41
The aroma is nutty and malty; it has a round mouthfeel, full body, with rich malt, sweet with elegance, vanilla and toffee flavors, and a very pleasant alcohol warmth.
Holding up beautifully.

2010-10-31, vintage 1982, 28 years old, 25cl, 6-4-7-3-13=33
The cap is just a bit rusty, but still in good conditions; indeed there is a gassy sound when opening it, but the carbonation is not enough to create a head, just very few bubbles on the surface; dark brown color. The aroma shows too much oxidization, some rotten apples, dust. The body is not very thick, and the mouthfeel is a bit oily; there is a strong caramel flavor, some chocolate, molasses, soy sauce, with a strange light sourness, and again strong oxidization. There is still enough bitterness. I got the bottle from Kulminator 6 years ago; it doesn’t seem to have hold up gracefully.
A mystery: why the alu cap cover has the word Huntsman printed?

2010-10-31, vintage 1994, 16 years old, 33cl, 8-4-9-4-17=42
This vintage has no carbonation at all; it pours a dark brown color, with red shades, and just the bubbles created by the beerfall in the glass. Aroma of caramel, soap, sweet nuts, light alcohol. The mouthfeel is very thick and a bit oily; it’s well sweet, with caramel flavor, some fudge, with a nutty and woody touch, very rich, velvety; the alcohol is well hidden; the bitterness is quite low. The final is more nutty, there is some bitterness from the caramelization that balances the sweetness, and some alcohol warmth. Still excellent.

2007-11-17, vintage 1994, 13 years old, 8-4-9-5-18=44
Hazy dark mahogany color; still. Dusty aroma, strong nutty character, a hint of ginseng, cereals; everything comes in waves, wonderfully complex. Oily mouthfeel, medium thick, strong flavors, very good balance of sweetness and bitterness, with almonds and roasted hazelnuts; loads of sweet caramel and toffee; warming alcohol. Amazing how it’s still good despite the age

2004-01-31, vintage 1994, 10 years old, 9-4-10-4-18=45
Hazy amber color. Alcohol, caramel, hazelnuts, soy sauce…
Heavenly sweet, caramel, fudge; very smooth; light bitter oranges.

One of my favorite of all times, a great classic; I’m happy of having still 124 bottles in my cellar!

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