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OíHanlonís Thomas Hardyís Ale (2003 - 2008)

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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1162   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
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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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 24, 2004
2003 bottle, 7/23/2004
Small soapy off-white head. Clear mahogany body. Lacing is interesting.... it leaves a white sediment-like thing on the glass, even though I donít think it is sediment. Aroma seems light... fruit, alcohol mostly. Sweet full flavor that reminded me of cherry coughdrops (fruity alcohol). Some licorice with a slight wood bitterness. Slightly sticky and syrupy. It is pretty strong with an unwelcoming bitter alcohol edge on the finish... could be smoother.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 20, 2004
Plums, cherries, raisins, chocolate, malty sweet aroma. Dark orange-brown with shy, off-white head. Some lace. Overly sweet and extremely hot. Notes of wood, burnt nuts, dark fruit, chocolate and vanilla. Aftertaste is very roasty. Rather sticky and heavy in the mouth. Very young. Seems like it will be a fine classic beer but a one year old 2003 version was just not ready. Needs a few more years in the cellar. Bottle #09455. Sampled with MartinT and Rastacouere.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUL 19, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2007 Vintage 2003: Gloomy cedar. Dense and creamy, dusty-white ring of head with tiny, slowly rising bubbles. Aromatic notes of honey-drizzled sweet orange peels, sugar maple sap, dried strawberries, and brandy-steeped dates. Minimal carbonation fails to slice through the viscous body. Initial onset of clingy malts blanket the bright fruity nuances. Dull malt flavors and rubbery alcohol astringency deaden the vague peach and passionfruit esters. Soured plum skins and overripe black cherries salvage the flavor somewhat with their brief flashes of acidity, only to be stifled by more medicinal flavors and meaty port wine. Sappy mixture of spicy alcohol and brandy-bathed malts linger. One of the best aromas youíll find in the style (estery and beauitifully complex yet composed). A classic.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (8135) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 19, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2014 (1-year-old 2003 bottle) : Cherries and peaches jump on the caramelized malt wagon as alcohol is shoveled without holding back, firing this barley wine to levels of near-discomfort...Light oxidation precedes an astringent end for this behemoth of the sweet kind...This batch will be staying in the cellar for at least 4-5 years before the next opening, Iím afraid...3.6/5

(2-year-old 2003 bottle): Well, I didnít wait very long, did I? And was I rewarded or what!! Superb mouthfeel, fat and luscious, incredible malts portraying fieldberries of every kind, earth, smoke, alcohol ŗ la port wine, gum-sticking goodness...This is the first time I see a semblance of my cherished Corne de Brume in another beer, and this is high praise coming from me folks...Decadent, luxurious, great flavor presentation, no sense of agression and chaos as the previous bottles...Stupendous!! 4.5/5

(2-year-old 2007 bottle): Hmmm...Tastes pretty much like the 1-year-old 2003 bottle, but a tad more lifeless. A simple barley wine of the sweet kind; no sign of the masterpiece this can be...3.4/5

(11-year-old 2003 bottle): Beautiful malt development, well-placed oxidation, very luxurious sipper... Fruitiness has taken a step back giving all space to the caramelization... Very good stuff in its category... 4/5

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Yankovitch333 (612) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 16, 2004
Poured a dark amber with a thin off-white head. . Sweet and hoppy aroma. Full and slick mouthfeel. Sticky sweet. Makes you want lick your lips. Hints of oak, fruit, and lots of hops on the tongue. Wonderful bitter hop finish. ABV? Isnít noticable. I delightful beer. Perhaps the best British Barleywine. Muy Bueno!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - JUL 13, 2004
Sweet, clean and true barley wine flavour. Certainly wins marks for distinctness and clarity of flavour. Strong flavour has considerable length on the palate and late denatured bitter hop flavour. Thereís a lot of flavour in this little bottle, no question. I think its very well made and drinks well at the end of a very modest evening. I donít usually score barley wines highly because they tend to be ostentatious and often poorly made, this is not and scores accordingly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUL 10, 2004
Bottle. Average-looking at a typical amber with an average head, but jeez, what complexity! Ultra-smooth sweetness, cherries and pears. Flawless hop/malt balance, full-bodied. I am similarly perplexed by the fact that this is 11.7% ABV; I would have guessed around 8 if I didnít know what this is. Reminds me of Fullerís Vintage 1999, even though I have to admit that itís been a while since Iíve had that one. My higihlight beer for the night and perhaps for the month...but it will have some competition next weekend ;)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Andrew196 (1091) - Katy, Texas, USA - JUL 10, 2004
Thanks nstal, youíre the shit! Murky, reddish-brown, a bit light for a barleywine. Very full aroma and taste throughout. Lots of fruits, cherry, plum. Im surprised at the hoppiness for an English barleywine. Reminiscent of an anchor old foghorn. Youíve gotta be kidding with the ABV! I taste about 7% in this thing, very welll masked, very well done!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cstuartj (1011) - Washington, USA - JUL 7, 2004
Was lucky enough to stumble on a few bottles of this at the local home brew supply house. Great barley wine. I wish I would have picked them all up instead of just a few!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Bov (9818) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JUL 6, 2004
2003, bottle #2874 - hazy red-brown colour with a giant and slightly brown-tainted head, very complex aroma, tons of malts, earthy and nutty with notes of alcohol, some fruits too (prune ?), licorice, very oily and very bitter, creamy mouthfeel, the finish is strongly malty with an endless and explosive warming alcohol kick - a powerful pleasure ! - With the old version, I have never been quite sure if I was liking it or not, my ratings going from 2.3 to 4.2 thru the different vintages. But this one is much better than any versions I had before. It does not have the cloying sweetness present in the past versions.

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