Eldridge Pope Thomas Hardy’s Ale (all vintages to 1999)

Formerly brewed at Eldridge Pope
Style: Barley Wine
Dorchester, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 445   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.94/5   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
Creamy butterscotch notes flood the taste buds, laced with subtle complex fruit...and a subtle suggestion of vintage port. Elegant and seamless, this beer was a waltz on the palate.

In ’The Trumpet Major’ Hardy wrote of Dorchester strong beer "It was of the most beautiful colour that the eye of an artist in beer could desire; full in body, yet brisk as a volcano; piquant, yet without a twang; luminous as an autumn sunset;..."

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   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jow (3717) - New York, USA - MAR 12, 2015
1999 vintage (the year I graduated high school) had this evening to celebrate my sons first birthday, big thanks to Tom for hooking me up with this. Pour ruby brown. Lovely nose of dark fruits and butterscotch. Tastes of butterscotch, port wine, cherry, tobacco, cola, and plums. Lingering finish that is semi sweet. Smooth soft mouthfeel no harsh alcohol edges.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Martinus (4569) - Baarle-Nassau, NETHERLANDS - FEB 24, 2015
Clear red brown colour, dissipating white head. Aroma of caramel, Madeira, chocolate milk and mushrooms. Sweet flavour, umami, shi-take, orange zest, light sour note, caramel, cassonade sugar, raisins, molasses, nuts and soy sauce. Finish soy sauce, chocolate, malts, caramel, Madeira. Lingering sweet. Complex, warm beer and relatively mild. Unbelievably well preserved for a 1980 beer (1 Sept), and only a 25cL bottle even. Great beer.
(from 25cL bottle @ Tim’s place. Vintage 1980. Thanks for sharing jc1762, and his wife! Much appreciated)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - FEB 23, 2015
Bottle: 1998 vintage, thanks Ryan. Dark amber pour, no head at all. Oily looking, more like a brandy. Aroma of heavy black cherry, raisins coated in toffee, faint papery oxidation, mild ashy & earthy spice in the background, & some thick caramel malt. Flavor is the same, sticky sweet with lots of caramel, prune, raisin, & alcohol. Warm, sticky, sweet. Mild oxidation has set in, leaving a little cardboard in the aftertaste. Heavy body. Would be tough to drink a lot of.

Bottle: 2004 vintage, thanks Ryan. This bottle had much more sweet vanilla, caramel, & a toffee-cake essence than the ’98 that was opened before it. No apparent oxidation, either. Nice flavors of toasted honeycomb, red licorice, toffee, prune, & sherry booziness. Flavorful, dense, & heavy. Very sweet, but this one was much more enjoyable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tderoeck (8733) - Gent, BELGIUM - FEB 6, 2015
5/I/15 - 25cl bottle with a neat little seal around the bottle neck @ home - BB: n/a, bottled: 1/IX/80. Yes, that’s a 1980 vintage! (2015-13) Thanks to jc1762 and his wife for sharing the bottle!

Clear purple brown beer, no head. Aroma: lots of chocolate milk, very intense, molasses, caramel, syrupy, bit oxidized, Madeira wine, bready yeast. MF: no carbon, full body. Taste: sourish, bit vinous, raisins, caramel, alcohol, bit oxidized. Aftertaste: little sour, orange peel, caramel, bit sugary, alcohol, earthy, molasses, Madeira and Sherry notes. I was very sceptical about this one, cause I’ve had my fair share of (very) old beers, practically all had gone undrinkable, except for lambics. This is amazingly complex and drinkable and well preserved!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
climberbob (455) - Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2015
Bottle. 1988 vintage opened in 2014. Strong molasses and dried fruit aroma and taste. Low to no carbonation. Butterscotch and burnt sugar. More like a port wine. Very fine. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ferris (13787) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 25, 2015
Bottle - Vintage 1994 - Toffee and raisin, plum, some musty mushroom notes and cocoa. Deep cloudy brown with no head. Incredibly complex raisin, mushroom and woody notes with some tannin. Finish is long, dark fruit and vinous. The mushroom notes are a bit off putting and I think without those notes this would have a home run. Otherwise still a great beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
jc1762 (1098) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 6, 2015
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2015 Vintage 1980 - bought from a private sale. Caramel brown, translucent rims and center. The bottle pours clean with thick proteins all around the bottle. The nose shows a lot of port and madeirization - carmelized raisins, dried fruit along with very faint hints of chocolate. The palate is medium and completely still - a slight tartness appears but the port flavors are the most apparent. Some slight caramel tones also appear but otherwise excellent.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ReV2 (175) - Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - DEC 28, 2014
33cl bottle from 1997, I remember buying it from Waitrose Supermarket. Pours with a slight carbonation, oily brown/black appearance. Taste is intense sherry malt, dark Christmas pudding like fruitiness. Aftertaste lingers on and on. I’ll be drinking my 1994 bottle on New Year’s Eve.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mortlach (2181) - Rome, ITALY - DEC 12, 2014
Bottle (1984 Vintage), shared @Brasserie 4:20. Miele di castagno con riflessi mogano, viva e intensa, schiuma virtualmente assente. Al naso potente sentore di alcol e frutta sotto spirito, vaniglia, legno, ossidazione, datteri e fichi secchi. In bocca è complessa, simile a un porto invecchiato, con note acidule e astringenza. Corpo pieno, carbonazione soft. Forse ha perso molta della sua eleganza, ma i 30 anni di invecchiamento li ha retti alla grande!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
williamherbert (1522) - Syracuse, New York, USA - DEC 11, 2014
Aged 15 years. Aroma is sherry, brown sugar. Earthy terroir grapes. Tawny like a port. Flavor is sweet puckery dates and plums, grapes and raisin. More tawny port. Very soil-heavy. Feels dry and earthy. Superior.

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