Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JAN 7, 2005
2004 edition, rated in 2005, so really quite fresh. Haven’t had this in about a decade, and that bottle was about 5 years old. I thought it tasted like oxidized molasses at the time. It probably did. But I did enjoy this fresh bottle. Dark amber, only trace carbonation. Fruity sweet malt aroma, with plenty of plum and dried apricot. Fruity plums, nectarine, and maple syrup fill the mouth. Malt driven without tasting like a brew kettle. Just enough bitterness to balance and keep it from being cloying. This really was quite good. DocLock (11048) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 6, 2005
One of the last times I had a Thomas Hardy’s was 1999. I believe it was the 1998 version, and I drain poured half the bottle. At that time, my palate wasn’t as refined as it apparently is now, and it tastes like a cheese and sausage sandwich, covered in figs and maple syrup. That was then this is now. Since then, I’ve rated the pre-2003 version highly, and this one is no different. Big thanks to goldtwins for this. Pours turbid brown/ruby with little head. Aroma and taste includes malt, caramel, maple syrup, plums, figs, prunes, brown sugar, cheddar cheese, sausage, and even onions. It’s a friggin’ meal in a bottle! As complex a beer as you’ll ever find. Dense palate. Astounding. This beer is more complex than an advanced Particle Physics exam. I don’t know how they make this, but we should put these guys in charge of our space program. Nel (180) - Virginia, USA - JAN 5, 2005
Split a bottle with my friend over christmas break, and what a treat it was. It poured out a nice red color and smelled sweet and of light alcohol. The taste was amazing. They did a very good job of masking the alcohol. It tasted mostly of sweet toffee and fruit. It was very enjoyable, and would be for both the veteran beer enthusiast as well as someone who knew nothing about beer at all. This beer simply tastes delicious. Odeed (1806) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JAN 3, 2005
2004,bottle number 17182 poured into a snifter glass.
the hardy’s poured without giving off any head.the color was a ruby red until held to light,it then morphed into a deep orange.the first wiff gave my scenses a blend of malts,raisins,plums,and cherries.i was very surprised by the flavor and complexity.it starts out with some malts,cherries,and hops.the second wave brings out sugar,honey,and candy.the final stage gives ya the warm alcohol burn.this is a very serious barley wine. Mungo (2470) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - JAN 3, 2005
Rich complex aromas - fruity alcohol, spices, malt and toffees. The sweetness just builds and builds gradually becoming a bit much. I was really underwhelmed by this - I think I’ll try again with a bit more age.
leaparsons (10765) - Wigston, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - JAN 3, 2005
Deep red like a red wine with no head. Aromas are very fruity with caramel, toffee, tobacco and rich berries. Some degree of alcohol, too. Flavours are toffee malts, molasses and a smooth fruitiness. Smoky with lots of booziness. Dry, yet fruity on the finish. A warming trear - the UK answer to Westy 12, perhaps? veronika (410) - SWEDEN - JAN 1, 2005
Amber, no head. Aroma from oranges, syrup, plums and yeast. Flavor brings prune, malt, oranges and some cinnamon. Quite sweet but good. Metalhead (644) - Lake Zurich, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2004
I also prefer the late 90s vintages. In a nutshell this was very akin to a Sami Claus lite without the bite. 2003 edition bottle # 09140. I’m sure this will improve with age. I have 2 more bottles and plan on finding a few more forspecial winter days. The cognac of beer. Mads Langtved (2240) - Copenhagen K, DENMARK - DEC 29, 2004
2004: A nice barley wine. Not as fruity as I had hoped for. Still a great Barley Wine. Soked finish. Roasted flavor. TC2642 (265) - Worcester, Worcestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 27, 2004
2003#9432.I found a lot of fruit in tasting this beer, apricots, orange, prunes, brown sugar, and burnt toffee. Quite sweet with a warming alcoholic aftertaste. A nice example of a barley wine.