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

 (RETIRED)
overall
100
98
style
Formerly brewed at Hanlon’s (prev O’Hanlon’s)
Style: Barley Wine
Newton St Cyres, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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


NewCastle1's rating

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NewCastle1 (59) - Indiana, USA - MAY 25, 2006
2004 Bottle. Pours a thick caramel brown color. No head or lacing. First thought after the first smell was peaches. Reminds me of a apple cider look. Malts, syrup, peaches, figs and yeast. Very sweet was my first impression. Malty, thick, creamy on the palate. Tastes of malts, apples, caramel, malts, yeast and just a small touch of hoppy bitterness. Definet alcohol burn in the end of this beer. I would love to try a older version to see how it would compare. But a very good barleywine nonetheless.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
onceblind (4623) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 25, 2014
Bottle from 2007. Dark hazy copper/brown with a big boozy malt driven nose with earthy sweetness and malt sugars. Big flavor that’s brown and malty sweet with a dash of almond and biscuit. Really lovely with a smooth boozy sweetness.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Welley_Alves (222) - Sao Paulo, BRAZIL - DEC 24, 2014
Lendária Barley Wine Inglesa, ano 2007. Cor vermelho-rubi com creme totalmente ausente. No nariz, notas de caramelo intenso, lembrando leve diacetil. Na boca, barril presente, com notas de baunilha e leve tabaco, caramelo marcante, algo amanteigado. Bom corpo, carbonatação ausente. Final longo e aquecedor, com álcool perceptível. Espetacular! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
superspak (2840) - Michigan, USA - DEC 8, 2014
2800th review! 8.5 ounce bottle into tulip glass; 2008 vintage, bottle No. T 24099. Pours moderately hazy deep reddish brown color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Slight spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, date, apple, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, tobacco, leather, light chocolate, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruitiness, and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, date, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, leather, tobacco, light chocolate, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, date, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown sugar, brown bread, leather, tobacco, light chocolate, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruitiness, and light earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and moderately slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome old ale style! All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruitiness, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (6863) - 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.

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Erzengel (3554) - 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

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Minderbinder (2026) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kavu (2438) - 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!

3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Leini (922) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
slowrunner77 (6090) - 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."

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tom10101 (3104) - 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.


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