OíHanlonís Thomas Hardyís Ale (2003 - 2008)

Formerly brewed at Hanlonís (prev OíHanlonís)
Style: Barley Wine
Newton St Cyres, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1203   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
Scarce, subtle and complex, Thomas Hardyís Ale is the beer enthusiastís 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 weíre still counting!). Not for the faint of palate, especially when young and brash, maturity brings an elegance of flavors unmatched by any other beeróif you have the patience to cellar it for at least a decade.

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   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Dalle (1145) - SkÝrping, DENMARK - FEB 22, 2005
Bottle. Reddish brown colour with no head. Over-ripe fruit, apples, pulms, touch of bonfire and some brandy-ish alcohol. Smooth with very low carbonation. Delicious.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - FEB 20, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 13, 2006 Bottle (2003 vintage) brought back from Regional Wines by my housemate. I had wanted to try this beer for the longest time since reading Jacksonís raves about it, and I must say I was quite disappointed. Nice copper-brown colour, negligible head. Big malty, toasty, almond aroma with a subdued prune fruitiness - nice but not especially interesting or complex. Flavour is incredibly sweet. The malt character is actually really good, with a big thick body and a nice muscat-esque sultana character but itís just SWEET. Alcohol is perceptible but blends in well. I thought thereíd be some hop character but there isnít. Even after at least 12 months in the bottle this still tastes like it hasnít finished fermenting - I think I understand what people mean when they say Samichlaus or SA Triple Bock need years of aging before becoming approachable. Half of a 250mL bottle was easily enough for me. I now have the dilemma of what to do with the other bottle - drink it now when itís sickly sweet or age a beer that has already travelled two long distance trips... I think I like oxidation better than sugar. Thanks Rob.
RR: 2005 bottle, drank early 2006. Salty, meaty, sherry-ish aroma like something ten years older. Tastes very young, though. Intensely fruity-sweet. Massively malty, but equally apricoty. Interesting stuff again, but I still donít particularly like it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nate (4279) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 19, 2005
2004 vintage, #P42441. Thanks to rickgordon for this, #1300. Alcohol vapors inlcluding isopropyl, ethyl acetate, some soy, licorice, sweet malts, molasses and brown sugar. Oak. Chestnut brown clear with just a hint of head. Thick heavy body, oily, with very little carbonation. Alcohol warming and light carbonic burning. Starts syrupy sweet with heavy tangy notes of soy sauce, molasses, and overripe fruit. Sweetness calms a bit with some more vinuous tang, alcohol, oak and caramel. Medium bitterness comes in to finish, though still outdone by the sweetness. After is sugary, vaporous, and leaves a mildly cloying nutty-molasses sweetness on the tongue. I think this beer is too raw at this stage, and would benefit from a few years cellaring. But as Iím leaving in a week and have no room in my suitcases, Iím drinking it today. Cíest la vie.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Padron4KM (809) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - FEB 18, 2005
UPDATED: SEP 3, 2006 2004 edition # p09399.
Pours out a rich mahogany, with a 1/2" reddish brown creamy head.
Head settles to a thin thin cap rather quickly and leaves no lace.
Aroma is rich. Malty, plummy, rum, caramel, brown sugar, faint wisp of alcohol.
Creamy smooth mouthfeel.
Flavor is equally rich, but not quite mature yet. Like a young cigar the flavors are there and balanced, but not quite "married" yet.
sweet, malty with some biting hops, some spice, some caramel, prunes, warming alcohol at the end.
I Will be cellaring a couple of bottles of this to see how they age.
I drank this one by itself, but it would be a perfect companion for a Fuente Don Carlos no. 4, a La Flor Dominicana 2000 series El Jocko (or a no. 4) or a Romeo y Julieta en tubo petite no 2. As for a cuban variety maybe a Romeo cedros deluxe no 2.
(04 bottle 9/3/06 update) still too young I think. port like, warming alcohol, bit of yeastiness. flavors are coming together nicely.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - FEB 18, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2009 2003... Very expensive stuff... not sure if itís quite worth the price but oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Anyway, this stuff pours as thick as fog in San Francisco, but doesnít cling to the glass, uh, like fog in SF I guess. The taste is thick and filled with some kind of spice mixture-- perhaps orange and a little cinnamon, with a splash of rum? Not bad, but it would be better if the price was lower.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
backroadbob (6) - Walnut Creek, California, USA - FEB 11, 2005 does not count
2004 edition. Orange cedar color.Delicate head that doesnít cling to the sides. Nice carmelly apricot fig aromas would suggest more age. Fairly simple date sugar, preserved lemon, slighltly woody, toasted pumpernickel flavors. Long, warm, carmelly finish. I donít have any old ones to compare to, but if memory serves, this seems much sweeter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (4176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 10, 2005
Vintage bottled 2004, Sampled February 2005
Pours a lightly hazy orange-amber color, it is topped by a thinnish tan to pale brown head. The aroma is rich and heady with notes of brandy, toffee, butterscotch, caramel. The aroma is quite heady and interesting.

The taste is fresh and hoppy with notes of pine, a hint of citrus, and of course rich malty notes of caramel, toffee, and lightly toasty biscuits. This is quite tasty fresh, it has been so long since I had a non-aged version of this that I forgot how fresh and pungent this is when it is brash and young. This is quite tasty, and I really like the sweet toffee, malted candy notes that dominate this beer right now, and there is a nice balancing hoppy bitterness in the finish. As it warms up a bit a little soothing note of warming alcohol starts to tickle my throat, perhaps accentuating notes of rum and brandy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
MullMan (1099) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - FEB 8, 2005
2004 bottle. color is mahogany and garnet, clear. minimal tan head is only a ring inside the glass. aroma is deeep malt, port, sherry, fig, some toffee, single malt whiskey. flavor is a powerful malt surge. mouthfeel starts glassy & slick with light to low carbonation. sweetness is very strong like a tawny. strong alcohol presence is like a smooth whiskey, very warming. I had this 15 years ago but I donít remember it being so sweet.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
JonMoore (2067) - Loughborough, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - FEB 7, 2005
2004. Dark amber colour with a soon gone head. Rich caramel, sweet and malty aroma. Very sweet, spicey and malty taste. Warming alcohol. Supreme creamy mouthfeel. Seems to be improving as it warms up. Fantastic stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
JMerritt (1941) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - FEB 4, 2005
2004 edition, #34188. Red orange in color, clear, with absolutely no head. Rather complex, delicious aroma: plums, dates, toffee, brown sugar, gingerbread, green grapes and alcohol. Light-to-moderate bitterness, lightly citric, with very sweet, lightly roasted malt and burnt/roasted nuts towards the end of the flavor profile. Finish is sweet, dry, and a touch alcoholic. Very subtle carbonation with a slick, oily mouthfeel. At roughly 1 year old, this barley wine tastes as through it has already been aged several years. Delicious, and well deserving of a high score.

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