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O’Hanlon’s Thomas Hardy’s Ale (2003 - 2008)

Formerly brewed at Hanlon’s (prev O’Hanlon’s)
Style: Barley Wine
Newton St Cyres, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1169   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
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Scarce, subtle and complex, Thomas Hardy’s Ale is the beer enthusiast’s 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 we’re still counting!). Not for the faint of palate, especially when young and brash, maturity brings an elegance of flavors unmatched by any other beer—if you have the patience to cellar it for at least a decade.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (7350) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - NOV 24, 2014
Bottle from 2003 at the Dad Pad, courtesy of Max. Pours a hazed and lightly murky brown with no head. Big old fruit, oxidized, plum, caramel, old leather, old chocolate. Medium bodied, faint carbonation, soft chocolate, cocoa, chocolate, soy sauce, umami. Soft cocoa, salty and full of umami. Chewy with long leathery tannins and sweet salty chocolate. Tasty but strange, and the age is showing more than in some of the older bottles I’ve had.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Erzengel (4730) - Wuppertal, GERMANY - NOV 16, 2014
2007 vintage, No Q 01527. Dunkler, schwerer Geruch. Toffee, rote, reife Früchte, dunkle Schokolade. Sehr komplex. Der Antrunk bleibt wie der Geruch komplex, leicht scharf. Dabei mild. Im Hauptteil breitet sich eine angenehme alkoholische Note zusammen mit leichter fruchtiger Toffee-Süße aus. Nicht zu aufdringlich-süß. Sehr angenehm. Komplexe Toffee-Trockenpflaumen-Kirsch-Schokoladennote. Der Nachgeschmack ist sehr lang und intensiv. Die Schokolade-Kaffee-Aromen werden im Nachgeschmack stärker. Dazu nochmal eine angenehme leichte Süße.
Tolles komplexes Bier! 14/13/14/14

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Minderbinder (2198) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 11, 2014
Bottle 250ml. (2008 Vintage) Pours mahogany with almost no head. Aroma is of bread, sugar, fruits, caramel, alcohol, slight cardboard. Taste is of bread, alcohol, molasses, cardboard, porto, some bitterness, dark fruits. Palate: Full bodied. Very low carbonation. Overall: Ok, complex. Over the hill. Some oxydation. Not as good as the former brewery’s version, nor as previous vintages from this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kavu (2611) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 11, 2014
0,25l bottle @ Pikkulintu. Pours dark amber with a low head. Aroma is sweet malts, some fruits and alcohol. Flavor is very sweet malts, fruits, alcohol and some hops. Great!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Leini (1100) - SWEDEN - NOV 11, 2014
Sample at a local tasting event. 2006 year bottle, batch 12856. Hazy copper body with a low head. Loads and loads of sediment. Quite sweet, with hints of tobacco, raisins, brown sugar and figs.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
slowrunner77 (6336) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 18, 2014
"quite possibly the sweetest beer i’ve ever had. i love my hops, but this beer is awesome. not the type of beer you can have regularly, but it’s a treat. for the price, though, i’ll stick with old stock."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tom10101 (3368) - Quebec, CANADA - SEP 28, 2014
Bottle (8.5 oz). Vintage 2004, so 10 years old. Dark reddish brown with a small bubbly off-white head that quickly disappear and leaves no lacing. Aroma is quite complex but also super heavy with chocolate, raisins, plums, brown sugar, molasses, alcohol, oxidation notes, nuts and ashes. Taste is sweet with chocolate, tobacco, plums, strong oxidation notes, almonds, brown sugar and alcohol. Full bodied. Still. Syrupy mouthfeel. Lingering sweetness and alcohol. One of the first "old" beers I tried a few years ago was Thomas Hardy’s ale 2003 and I remember it as a fantastic Barley Wine... this is nowhere near what I remember, but I have tried hundreds of beer since that ’03 TH so maybe it’s just that.... or maybe this one was poorly stored before I acquired it 2 years ago. This one is complex, but way too oxidized. Quite sweet too.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMMillsy (1628) - Florida, USA - SEP 18, 2014
2008 bottle purchased at La Cave a Bulles in Paris, poured on 9/18/14 at home in Florida into a Hunahpu snifter. Pours murky brown with some purple hues and basically no head except for a ring of yellowish tans bubbles around the edges. Aroma is very sweet brown sugar and figs, chocolate, leather, toffee, caramel, molasses and some sherry notes. Flavor is figs and leather, brown sugar sweetness, light lingering chocolate and brown sugar, a hint of booze, and some bready malts. Not overly sweet to my surprise. Full bodied with very very little carbonation. Fun to try, very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hackobock (1936) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - SEP 12, 2014
140801, bottle 2006 vintage. Pours cloudy dark brown with a small off-white head, quickly dissipating. Aroma is raisins, caramel, dark sugars, light chocolate, vinous and light oxidized. Taste is medium sweet dried fruit and caramel, light milk chocolate, finish is light bitter chocolate, some alcohol and vinous notes. Medium bodied, soft carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tderoeck (5642) - Gent, BELGIUM - SEP 3, 2014
1/VIII/14 - 25cl bottle @ Belgo-Swedish Crazy Summer Trade Tasting - BB: n/a, 2006 vintage, P19960 (2014-867) Thanks to hackobock for sharing the bottle!

Little cloudy deep brown beer, small creamy off-white to beige head, unstable, dissipates quickly. Aroma: sweet, caramel, dried fruits, honey, alcohol, some chocolate, bit oxidized. MF: ok carbon, full body. Taste: milk chocolate, bitter touch, caramel, more chocolate, pretty sweet. Aftertaste: little bitter, lots of chocolate, some honey, bit oxidized, orange peel.

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