Thomas Hardy's Ale (2015 -)

overall
91
66
style
Interbrau SpA
Brewed at Meantime (Asahi)

Style: Barley Wine
Villafranca Padovana (PD), Italy
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 85   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57/5   IBU: 39   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Amber coloured Barley Wine laden with bronze glints.

On the nose, straight away the bouquet has impact, intensity and complexity with notes of both candied and alcohol-soaked fruit, dried figs, fresh tobacco and chocolate, while a caramel sensation is perceived but remains in the background.

In the mouth, the initial sensation is of incredible density and softness, a silky warmth accompanying memories of bitter orange marmalade, dried fruit and chestnut honey. The finale provides a refreshing, slightly sharp hint that adds harmony and balance.

It can also be stored in the wine cellar to taste its evolution over time.

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4.2
Lilja (3541) - Malmö, SWEDEN - DEC 6, 2017
Flaska från SB. En flaska från 2016. Smak och doft av torkad frukt, karamell, brunt socker, tobak med fin alkoholvärme. Rund och len, fin sötma och fruktighet, fina aromer i god balans. Blir bara bättre med åren, mycket gott!

4.2
Alengrin (5785) - BELGIUM - DEC 5, 2017
The currently available version of this most famous of all English barley wines, a legend apparently resurrected in 2015 by Meantime under commission of the people from Interbrau in Italy. Thanks to Lieven for sharing the bottle at Velootje. Loose and bubbly, off-white, open head eventually settling as a wafer thin ring, on an initially near-clear, warm coppery amber coloured beer, turning misty with sediment. Lovely, enticing, strong, archetypical barleywine bouquet of dried plums soaked in rum, dry orange zest, sweetbread, cognac, caramel candy, honey liqueur, dried banana slices, white pepper, apricot, yellow raisins. Sweet, honeyish and raisiny onset, marmelade hints, fig, baked banana; soft carbo, full and vinous, even a tad glueish mouthfeel. Thick caramelly malt sweetness, with elegantly (pea)nutty and slight bread crust-like edges, leading to a warming, brandy-like finish, warming the chest with alcohol without becoming too wry or bothersome - and meanwhile carrying along the residual honeyish and candied orange peel sweetness as well as a mildly peppery, 'cleanly' earthy yeasty touch in the end. I will never forget the famous Eldrigde Pope version I had many years ago - at that time already approaching two decades of age, it was my first encounter with English style barleywine and its complexity, warmth and nobility made a lasting impression on me. This one has the same basic profile, but somehow it seems a bit less powerful, less complex and less 'aristocratic' than that original version; then again, it would of course be completely unfair to compare a young version of this beer with an old vintage - and on top of that, made by another brewery. So, in all: successful attempt at recreating this legend, not the single most complex barleywine I ever had, but classic in all its aspects - this is the ideal way to get to know the style. Should improve considerably with age, too, though it is at this point impossible to say if it has the potential to reach the beauty and elegance of an old Eldrigde Pope bottle, of course. In any case I am really glad it's back, and hugely enjoyed it.

3.8
madmitch76 (25817) - , Essex, ENGLAND - DEC 3, 2017
28th August 2017
Level 42 Bottlshare. Very hazy dark amber beer, small pale cream colour head. Palate is smooth and semi dry, decent fine carbonation. A light creamy sweetness. Nice ripe fruits, rich and creamy. Light creamy toffee. Ripe orange, marmalade, nice orange liqueur. Smooth semi-dry finish. Mild spicy linger. Rich and tasty.

3.7
kryon (3883) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - DEC 2, 2017
Pours cloudy copper with low light brown head. Aromas sweet of caramel, hints of bruned caramel, loads of dried fruits, some weet fruityness and hints of marzipan. Taste has sweet notes of caramel, burned caramel, dried and sweet fruits, alcohol

3.4
fiulijn (21471) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 22, 2017
Courtesy of Daniele, vintage 2015, 2 years old
Tasted side to side with an Eldridge Pope Thomas Hardy's Ale 1994

Hazy light amber color; the head disappears quickly. Some malt aroma, too light, also, light puke. Moderate body strength, some toffee flavor, not enough malt depth, some vegetables, too much alcohol presence.
This is not even close to what the original one tasted like, it's just a mediocre golden Barley Wine.

3.7
Ferris (16722) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 21, 2017
Bottle - Caramel and raisin. Cloudy light copper with a small frothy white head. Caramel, toffee and with a nice finish. Nice remake, well done.

3.5
mcberko (19183) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 21, 2017
2015 vintage. 330mL bottle, pours a cloudy dark amber orange with a small beige head. Aroma brings out dried figs, caramel, alcohol, and brown sugar. Flavour is fairly hot, with lots of dried pitted fruits, dark fruits, plenty of alcohol, and caramel. Sweet, but nowhere close to cloying. Not at the level of the original Thomas Hardy's by any means, and quite hot, but it's very pleasant.

3.7
Oakes (19027) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 21, 2017
Amber, with some bubbles but not really a head. The aroma is deep malt, but also alcohol, lending it a bit of a sting. Sweet, like sticky toffee, with a bit of hop bitterness, then alcohol kicks in. Not bad. Might not have great complexity but it's pretty solid barley wine.

4.3
77ships (11354) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - NOV 19, 2017
Thanks to Kraddel / Beerlover_Ben. 330 ml. bottle sampled. 2016 Vintage. Orange amber. Already surprising amount of oxidation, caramel, sugar, toffee, honey, oxidation, little carbonation, sugar, big sweet, almost whisky, raisin, date, sugar, sugar, almost no carbonation. Very tasty barley wine that tastes already greatly oxidized relatively fresh, shows great potential, really liked it.

3.6
neongolden (1860) - Linköping, Sweden/Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 29, 2017
(330ml 2015 bottle from Systembolaget) Pours a clear copper-red with a tight eggshell head that fades slowly with lots of lace. Aroma is a bit soft, notes of dark honey, caramel, candied citrus, poached pear, Flavour is sweet, malty, low on bitterness and a bit alcoholic overall. Notes of honey, light caramel, candied orange peel, golden raisins, dates, pale prunes, marzipan, nutty/bready malt, soft hoppy bitterness, drying alcohol that contributes some heat. Body is light to medium for style, crisp, carb slightly below average. Feels like a smooth albeit somewhat hot English barley wine/old ale, so it works on that level. It does not jump out as amazing, but is decent. Might improve further with more than a year and change of age on it.


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