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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: 1181   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 27, 2004
Bottle #14936 Release 2003

The beer as itís retrieval from the 8.5 ounce brown bottle pours a beclouded rusty brown color, the head is almost non-existent, as is the lace. Nose is that of very, very ripe fruit, plums and apples comes to mind, a hint of yeast and fusel alcohol also reside in this nose, as for the start it is cotton candy sweet, the malt pleasant and the top light to middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is benign in its carbonation; the hops along with the alcohol produce a nice bitter sweet ending and dry ending to this much anticipated beer. Iím sure it wonít be everybodyís bottle of beer, so if you donít want yours, sent it to ďOld GuslerĒ, as you know he will drink anything once, as in malted beverages.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fiulijn (16924) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 22, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2013
2013-03-07, vintage 2004, 9 years old, 7-3-8-3-15=36
Brown color, virtually no head. It has some of the classic aroma, with a twist of nuts and oxidization. The mouthfeel is a bit oily; it has a good malty flavor, rich enough, with medium sweetness, with some roasted nuts too; correct bitterness, and pleasant alcohol warmth; it shows light oxidization. The final is just a tad more roasty than really desired from this beer.
Pleasant, balanced, classic English Barley Wine, and definitively better than the 2008 tasted side-to-side.

2013-03-07, vintage 2008, 5 years old, 7-3-7-3-13=33
Brown color, virtually no head; the pour is oily. The aroma is close to the classic, but not as powerful; there is some malt, dark caramel, dust and light oxidization. The carbonation is almost completely gone, therefore the mouthfeel is slightly oily; some malt flavor, but mostly there are roasted nuts; moderate residual sweetness, some alcohol perception, and quite strong bitterness. Apparently a bit salty too.
Less malty and sweet than the 2004 tasted side-to-side, and with just too much roastiness. It seems quite messy.

2011-11-05, vintage 2008, 3 years old, 8-5-8-4-15=40
Dark mahogany color, hazy, revealing red reflex against a source of light; it has a medium sized head, a thin layer of which is persistent. The aroma is malty, rich, with caramel, some butter, and some Parmigiano Reggiano. Full bodied, it has a strong malt flavor, sweet, with caramel, some fudge, but also a very light, unusual sourness; the bitterness is quite high, but in balance with the sweetness; the alcohol perception is mild; there is a medium nutty character.
Good, but probably requires more years.

2010-10-31, vintage 2004, 6 years old, 7-4-8-4-16=39
Tasted in parallel with 2 vintages of the original Eldridge Popeís

The bottle has little carbonation; it pours a dark brown color, with red shades, without head; less deposit in the bottle than the older samples. There is some caramel aroma, mild, with some alcohol and butter, wood; it canít hold up to the original version. The mouthfeel is strong, sticky, and a bit oily; good caramel flavor, malt, sweet, with a touch of chocolate and Madeira; the alcohol is more evident than in the Eldridge Popeís, maybe the bitterness too, hence the final is more balanced; itís also a bit woody. The malt profile is less interesting than in the Eldridge Popeís, but the final is more complex. Very good, it has potential to improve for another few years.

2008-04-02, vintage 2006, 2 years old, 8-5-9-3-17=42
Lovely nutty malt, a bit alcoholic, with a good body strength, but not too thick. It still has to mature a few years.

2004-05-18, vintage 2003, 1 year old, bottle 000434, 8-5-8-4-17=42
Beautiful ruby color; more fizzy than the original. Malty aroma, but also an incredible apple note; later it develops a caramel character. Malty (of course), well balanced by a strong bitterness; more aggressive than the original (a light wood sourness), sweet caramel, lightly burnt sugar. A bit too alcoholic.
Very good Barley Wine, but less complex than the original.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - MAY 21, 2004
Deep mahogany color with a large beige head. Strong dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses and alcohol flavors. Very sweet brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit and alcohol flavors. Very thick feel. YUM!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - MAY 21, 2004
2003 bottle #483:
Cloudy (nearly opaque) mohagonay color with a large beige head. The aroma was very fruity...plums/prunes mostly...caramel, brown sugar, wet wood, and alcohol. The flavor was extremely sweet...tons of caramel and brown sugar...some nice prune and alcohol character also. The feel was super thick, syrupy, smooth...very soft carbonation...wet finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - MAY 21, 2004
2003 bottle. Reddish orange in color, tiny bubbles in the lacing sliding down the glass. Big sweet creamy malts dominate with some cherries and plum in the taste and the nose. Wood, caramel, and alcohol notes as well. #600.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
madsberg (11065) - SÝborg, DENMARK - MAY 16, 2004
Bottled @ DBF2004: Vintage 2003. Burgundy coloured. Clear. Beige lasting head. Plums, malt and alcahol in the nose. Vineous. Liqourice and malt in the flavour. Well hidden alcahol. Is smooth and pleasant on the palate. Nice one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Silphium (3190) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 14, 2004
2003 edition, bottle # 10137. This is a deep red, relatively clear-bodied (though graced by ample yeast particles) beer that pours with nary a head. Potent, sweet aroma of honey, soy, almonds, and cherry infused with strong ethanol notes. The flavor starts with strong honey and soy, with a bit of woodiness and a strong alcohol finish. Also dark fruit and burnt caramel flavors. Not as thick-bodied as Iíd suspect from the aroma. Even so, this has a dense, sweet, slightly rough-feeling flavor profile. A bit sweet and rough around the edges to enter "great" territory, but this is definitely a powerful beverage.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sammy (9981) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 11, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2007 2003 8.5 oz. bottle 3370. A spicy barleywine bitter opaque brown brew with bourbon residue. Best at last. Carmel syrup. Plums, Figs, pepper. Was light on tongue, still carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 9, 2004
Pours a ddep brown with a wonderful off white-white head with nice lacing. Aromas of alcohol, and brown sugar and flavors of the same. This brew may be young right now so I will try it again in a few years.... if I can wait that long.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
warrior (213) - Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 9, 2004
It has been about 4 yrs since I drank a Thomas Hardyís. This was my first experience to an english old ale/barleywine years ago. Most people consider it an english style barleywine as I do because it is much stronger than most english old ales. Still has that huge sweet malt and alcohol aroma that I remember. Beer poured with no head and very little carbonation. Nice dark ruby red color, very nice rich malty flavor with alcohol evident but not as noticeable with the full body and other complex flavors. I get some maple syrup type flavors but the beer was not as cloying sweet as I thought it would be only being 1 yr old. Reminds me of cognac and makes a very rich and enjoyable after dinner beer. This brings back memorries, I need to buy some more to age and put back for over the years.

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