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

 
overall
99
99
style
Formerly brewed at Hanlon’s (prev O’Hanlon’s)
Style: Barley Wine
Newton St Cyres, England
Serve in Snifter

bottling
unknown

on tap
available

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 1191   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
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.

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3.2
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 17, 2005
2003 Vintage: Dark mahogney color with small light brown head. Aroma is of rich malts, carmel apples, and a hint of vanilla. Sweet and malty, some earthy notes, a hint of cherries. Brown sugar comes through towards the finish. Overall, this is still too hot and really needs to be aged longer to make it truly enjoyable.

3.6
BeerPrince (1701) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 11, 2005
Red/orange in colour, tiny bubbles in the lacing. Little head. Aroma is rich and sweet with dried fruit, some alcohol. Flavour is sweet, partially balanced by plenty of hop bitterness, dried fruit and apparently alcohol. Probably a little fresh still.

4.3
jasonp (1581) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - MAR 10, 2005
2004 Bottle, Edition P 25900. Pours cloudy brown with no head, becomes clear ruby red as it warms. Aroma of aged malt, cherries, dark fruit, wine, caramel, apple cider and a hint of vanilla. Complex, rich, malty and sweet. Taste has notes of brown sugar/molasses, rum, raisins, plums, pipe tobacco, candy apples, toffee, cherries, caramel and some tart sourness. Slight alcohol presence detected only after the swallow. Full, round and silky smooth on the palate with only a hint of carbonation. Great stuff.

3
ChristianSA (368) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 10, 2005
2004 edition No 7782. Mahogany color with absolutely no head. Vinoeous aroma with some alcohol cutting through.A sirupy mouthfeel without any carbonation leads to a pretty complex palate dominated by sweetness and then some more sweetness. Unfortunately the sweetness is cloying and overpowers the other impressions. Ends with warming alcohol, and slightly bitter. In the description it says that it will improve for 26 years - and there is really room for improvement! Seems "unfinished". However it seems to grow on you as you fiinish the bottle.

4
Emil (6065) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - MAR 9, 2005
2004. Bottle. Red-brown colour with no head. Sweet prune light roasted aroma and a sweet prune caramel light roasted light alcoholic taste. Medium to full body and a sweet warming alcoholic finish. Great beer.

4.2
Dorwart (2598) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - MAR 7, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2006 (2004) Thin, dense head. Surprisingly good carbonation. Head refomed nicely upon swirling. Rich complex aroma. Pears, tons of caramel, wood, roasted malts. It’s all in there. Color is a dark mahagony red. Excellent flavor. Rich and silky smooth. Good helping of malts, caramel, toast and a nice alcohol burn and warming as it goes down. Little sweet and syrupy. Finish it thick and lingering. A very, very good barleywine. No oxidation present whch is awesome.

3
3fourths (9349) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 27, 2005
2003 - Sickly oily aroma of old pears, caramel butter, smoking tobacco and other old/aged qualities. Very potent and sharp alcohol and old, rotting plums, pears and peaches. Hard to take on the tongue... sour and moldy tasting. I honestly just can’t get into something like this. Too sweet and fruity, can’t they put some hops in this thing?

4.3
Wacher (129) - Århus C, DENMARK - FEB 26, 2005
2003 #O02036. Dyb rødbrun farve. En anelse uklar. Skummet er næsten ikke-eksisterende. Duften af blommer i Madiera vælder én i møde, med det samme. Men der gemmer sig også figner, karamel og en anelse alkohol i aromaen. Øllet opleves først som sirup; tykt og sødt. Derefter overtager alkoholen, med mindelser om rom, blommer, og ege-fade. Til sidst en anelse bitterhed.

4.3
Dalle (1145) - Skørping, 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.

3.1
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 Jackson’s 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 it’s just SWEET. Alcohol is perceptible but blends in well. I thought there’d be some hop character but there isn’t. Even after at least 12 months in the bottle this still tastes like it hasn’t 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 it’s 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 don’t particularly like it.


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