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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: 436   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;..."

JB175's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 22, 2009
1995 vintage - Fairly flat pour with a cloudy, reddish-brown color. Nice caramel and cereal sweetness with dark fruit, citrus, and sugar. Flavor has a nice burnt-sugar, vinous fruit sweetness. Nice mouthfeel. Really good , but I would like more complexity.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
PMgep (235) - Lund, SWEDEN - JUL 5, 2016
Old rating transferred to Ratebeer. bottle from 1983 tasted in 2016. Really cool to try this old beer. Still really nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
SkillsFactory (518) - ITALY - JUN 4, 2016
2015, bottiglia 14429. Ambrata carica, limpida, schiuma bianca poco persistente. Aroma biscottato, nocciola, caramello, note di uva passa e whisky, frutta con nocciolo molto matura, lievi note di zenzero. Al palato stesse caratteristiche, finale leggermente tostato ed erbaceo. Corpo pieno, poco carbonata.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
danlo (2381) - Darlington, Durham, ENGLAND - JAN 28, 2016
180ml bottle from Wessex Homebrew. Bottle F 4969 July, 1977. Pours a dark brown coppery amber colour with no head. Nose is dark malt, toffee, caramel, molasses, boozy, port. Flavour is malt, toffee, caramel, sweet, with brown sugar, molasses, plum and lingering dried fruits, nutty, leather & earthy notes. Thick oily mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, low carbonation, lasting dry malty earthy finish. Nice complexity after the initial sweetness. Enjoyable and very drinkable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hauxe (331) - Butzbach, GERMANY - JAN 3, 2016
Rating notes over 10 years old from a 92 vintage of the ale. "Smells like aged Sherry. No head and no carbonation. Taste is something like overripe plums mixed with sherry and a dollop of sugar. Warming." Certainly an experience, but not something for casual imbibing. Sad that this legend is no longer made.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Cybercat (4983) - Georgia, USA - NOV 19, 2015
Pours translucent chestnut - hardly any head, but this is an ancient bottle. Sweetish aroma features caramel and woody notes. Woody flavor has malty and caramel hints - and a bit of butterscotch, mouthfeel has OK body but lacks fizz. Well, this is an old bottle. Glad I got to try it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jtclockwork (14585) - , New Jersey, USA - NOV 8, 2015
Bottle. 1989 - need label - pours dark caramel - nose and taste of caramel, vanilla, toffee and maple syrup - medium body

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
FrankZappa7 (432) - GERMANY - NOV 8, 2015
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2015 bottle-vintage-1993-shared-29.12.2013 with my son Sebastian flat, ruby red to brownish body., no carbonation. aroma sherry, Madeira, Caramel. Taste Port, Raisin, dried plum. Very interesting after 20 years.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Travlr (20872) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - OCT 21, 2015
Bottle. Deep maroon color, pretty much flat. Aroma of sherry, licorice, burnt caramel. Taste has port wine, overripe plums. Very tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
seymour (1847) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - JUN 17, 2015
Thomas Hardy’s Ale, 1995 vintage, shared in tulip snifter glasses by my brother-in-law John who bought it at the historic brewery shop one year before its unfortunate closure, which he carefully cellared ever since. It poured an opaque dark reddish brown colour with a thin beige head of spritzy little bubbles which dissipated fairly quickly, no lace and no fizz. The semi-sweet, still, and highly-alcoholic characteristics made it seem more like a port wine or madeira than any familiar beer, hence the barleywine label. Nothing like fresh, highly-hopped, highly-carbonated, so-called-Barleywines typical of modern American craft-brewers, which are basically just high-grav IPAs. Rich and complex, suggestive of caramel, toffee, molasses, raisins, prunes, toasted nuts, chocolate babka, boozy fruitcake, leather. A hint of that meaty/savory umami flavour a bit like roasted mushrooms, olives, soy sauce. Sweet but not too cloying or sticky. A bitter balance remained, but distinctive hoppy aromas were long gone. Delicious despite it’s twenty year shelf life. Noticeably oxidized, but in a good way, not mushy or oxidized. No sour or vinegar-like traits. A bit like an aged Belgian Dubbel, minus the spicy yeast phenols. I was thrilled to sample this rare treasure, so of course I was predisposed to like it. Even so, I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime beer drinking opportunity that actually lived up to its hype. Thank you, John!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Mackeon (163) - - MAY 8, 2015
Just found my diary from a trip to Dorchester back in the eighties. We had a long, long session in the Hardy Bar, with many pints of this delicious beer. What a pity short-sighted greed killed off Eldridge Pope.

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