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: 446   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
domtom (65) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - DEC 29, 2002
This is for a 1994 vintage: looks like tea, slightly opaque, no foam. Strong aroma of malt and vinegar. Sugary, disgusting. Not my kind of beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rutzicka (102) - SWITZERLAND - DEC 28, 2002
This is for a 1994 vintage: its colour is pale brown, slightly cloudy without foam. The aroma is very deep and fresh with notes of bilberries, cocoa, chocolate and plum. Charming ! This beer is very complex and interesting though quite heavy.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 27, 2002
Brewed in 1998: Pours a cloudy light brown with a few bubbles, but no head and hardly any carbonation. Starts out with a touch of alcohol, then goes through a myriad of complexity, lots of plums and raisins and a thick sweet body. Alcohol is not as well hidden as some other strong barleywines, but the thickness of the palate makes it tolerable. It also contributes to the complexity. This has aged extremely well, especially since I just bought this recently. This is a great winter warmer and a wonderful barleywine.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ProstmanSux (102) - Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2002
very sweet wine like with ery little head.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 21, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2003 1996 edition, sample 11/2/02: swirling dots of wonder and a halo of large clear spheres..sweet molassis intertwined in berries..blanched licorice injections..chocolate goosebumps..dressed in butterscotch, sang the faint whispers of what was once lively carbination..a heated alcoholic burn settles sweet and lingers sweeter..something's missing??

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - NOV 21, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2004 Rerate of same year.Seemed extremely alcoholic and slightly sloppy.Still quite good though. 99'Bottle:Still life in cap removal.Aroma immedeatly evident.Dark mahogany pour.Head is mid sized at first but subsides to a minimal but noticable ring.Little milky island in middle also.Subtle,vinous,butterscotch,vanilla,caramel,al aroma.Mind you,in a very intense way.Palate is syrupy,and coats mouth. Flavors are identical to aroma,but not as subtle.Butterscotch,grapes in the mouth,with the slightest acidity.Wow,this is warming.Airy but intense mouthfeel get's thicker.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
canary dog (763) - Rutland, Vermont, USA - NOV 21, 2002
Vintage 1994: Ahh..a heady, explosive mix of fruit, toffee, and alcohol. Color is a flat shade of ruby, without head. No fizz. A thick and sharp palate reminds one of a well made brandy. Very brandy-like in nature. Taste is sharp as well, but quite smooth, given the considerable alcohol. Although I really enjoy cooking, and I consider myself a good cook, I do have trouble identifying certain notes in more complex beers. Hardy’s is no exception; this stuff is quite complex. Fruity plum, perhaps some cherry. Tart, young berries, perhaps. A pleasant aftertaste includes a toffee-like presence. The finish is an ethereal alcohol which warms the mouth admirably. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I would like to try other vintages.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
jcalbi (380) - Medford, New Jersey, USA - NOV 16, 2002
Update 1997 vintage: Copper bronze in color. the pour yields no head. Very madiera like qualities and see notes below. My numbers ain’t movin’. Vintage 1994. Oh dear God this is stage 5 beer nirvana! Smooth, vinuous aroma (slightly oaky as well). Delightful caramel and port-like characteristics. This bottle was pulled out for the host of Split Thy Skull VII and he graciously shared it with a few of us. Truly deserving of my first perfect score. Outstanding!

   AROMA 1/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 4/20
Kevbo99 (149) - Dunmore, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 29, 2002
i had a bottle of the 1997 vintage and one word describes it...swill. maybe piss too.look at prostmans description of it. he thought it was good bc he was already messed up when he drank it. take it from me, u want a god barley wine go 4 a bigfoot ale. its 10 times better

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 26, 2002
UPDATED: APR 29, 2003 1989 Vintage, Bottle No. D 16685: This was very smooth, there was not much alcohol evident......flavors hinted at some dried fruits, like fig, raisins, with a little of what was like chocolate and mocha undertones...very warming and very delicious! This beer is amazingly smooth. Almost no head at all, very sweet, almost liqour like, and very well balanced. It's too bad that this is discontinued.

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