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OíHanlonís Thomas Hardyís Ale (2003 - 2008)

 (RETIRED)
overall
100
98
style
Formerly brewed at Hanlonís (prev OíHanlonís)
Style: Barley Wine
Newton St Cyres, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1134   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Scarce, subtle and complex, Thomas Hardyís Ale is the beer enthusiastís equivalent of rare cognac. Bottle-conditioned to mature in the bottle like fine wine, this old ale/barley wine will improve with age for at least 26 years (and weíre still counting!). Not for the faint of palate, especially when young and brash, maturity brings an elegance of flavors unmatched by any other beeróif you have the patience to cellar it for at least a decade.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Quetzalcoatl (153) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 16, 2004
(2003) Has an assertive malty-sweet nose with heaps of dark fruits. Poured a murky reddish-brown with a nearly nonexistent head. The flavor is big and malty, sweetness and molasses. But it finishes surprisingly bitter, aftertaste is almost like dark chocolate. A fantastic beer, I will certainly collect a few to cellar.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SilkTork (5109) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - AUG 16, 2004
Mmmm. Pleasant. Has the same heavy sweetness and alcohol as the 1986 version I had last year. But doesnít have the off flavours. Some people like the off flavours. I donít. This is much better than the older version. I could go for this again. And itís cheaper!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Joeh (2038) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - AUG 12, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 13, 2004 Beer #600 2003 Bottle from Pitfield Beer Shop, London. 250mll. Served in a snifter. Typical barley wine aroma, rich and sweet with dried fruit. Flavour is sweet, partially balanced by plenty of hop bitterness, dried fruit and apparently alcohol. Would definately benefit from a bit of ageing.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Hojou (19) - DENMARK - AUG 7, 2004
POW! Explosive body. Very thick prune and caramel taste. Surprisingly uncomplex but enjoyable finish. This is a "share-beer" - enough taste in it for more than one person imho.

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BrockLanders (770) - Panama City, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2004
2003 bottle. Reddish orange in color, tiny bubbles in the lacing sliding down the glass. Very little head. I’m not too keen on the aroma...almost like over ripe fruit. Disappointment crept in, but was quickly extinguished upon the taste. Big sweet creamy malts dominate with some cherries and plum (maybe prunes) in the taste and the nose. Wood, caramel, and alcohol notes as well. This is a bit young. I can’t wait to try more of them about 3-5 years from now.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes (11770) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 3, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 18, 2005 2004 vintage bottle 44849. Muddy colour with no head....ugly as sin, or as a typical barley wine depending on how you want to phrase it. Light fruits (apricot, pear) dance with heavy but gentle sweets...Lyleís Golden Syrup sort of malts, softly sugar not at all oppressive. A bit of heat late as well as dark chocolate and wood notes. Very simplistic as of yet. This, unlike the 2003 version, tastes very young after a year. The potential is obvious - this may very well be a great one, but itís going to take a good 5 years before weíll see where the potential in this brew leads.

2003 version tasted end July í04: A little bit of haze, fiery amber-brown colour. Caramel and molasses in the aroma. Very heavy, sweet, sugary. Some excellent toffee and peach notes. Doesnít taste particularly young, and seems more immediately drinkable than its predecessor, but letís see what happens when we convert some of those sugars. Ar 7 Ap 4 F 7 P 4 O 16 = 3.6

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 1, 2004
2003 Vintage. Brown color with a thin head. Nice aroma of malt, caramel and alcohol. The flavor is cloyingly sweet, caramel and brown sugar with a bitter. Medium body, sticky mouthfeel. Even than young itís very good, even if a bit too harsh and brash, but itís obvious that given 3 or 4 years of cellaring it will be amazing.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rastacouere (6107) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 30, 2004
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2013 2003 bottle drank in 2004: Orange to almond brown hue. Light off-white ring. Ridiculously sweet aroma. Very fruity at first sniff, cherry-like, woody currants, hot almond skin. Big malt base is almost agressively nutty on the palate. Extremely bold, samichlaus-like in its burnt almonds and grapey aspects combined with overpowered heat. Cloying harsh and fat finish. Huge syrupy body is not helped by very low carbonation. I donít think I would like it yet 5 years from now and I think Iíd have more interesting beers to bother keeping for 10yr or above.

2008 bottle in 2013: Clearish burnt terracota, beautiful colour. Rich and far more integrated sweetness now. Dense palate with a deep fruity vinous side and a potentially optimal (at 5-year old) oxidized profile with earthy and broadly nutty, shery-like flavours fitting the high alcohol level and associated warmth nicely. I was never very fond of aged beers and oxidized flavours and never really understood how Thomas Hardyís could be almost the benchmark of the genre, but that bottle is something. Certainly enough that were it not discontinued, Iíd buy again at least on a yearly basis. The texture is also great, layered, thick despite its age and just whispering at a background of hops. Contemplative sipper that was great after a freezing jog in -25 C conditions. In the very high 3 to low 4 range, as opposed to 3.0 in its first year. Since itís discontinued, Iím keeping only the most recent score.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Enniskillen (2029) - Salinas, California, USA - JUL 29, 2004
Aroma is of cherries, strong malts, alcohol. Pours a light ruby color that is cloudy, much lighter then I expected. Very very sweet, nice malty character, reminds me a lot of the De Still Noel or whatever because of the extreme sweetness. No head, I am really starting to dig these barley wines. Thanks a ton to EyeDrinkAle for this awesome beer!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrBeer (829) - Solna Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 27, 2004
Redorange. Malty aroma with tones of alcohol, grass and fruits. Malty flavor with tones of chocolate, fruits, almonds, marzipan and alcohol. Some sweetness. A star in the making.


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