Thomas Hardys Ale (Vintage 2003 and later)

Thomas Hardys Ale (Vintage 2003 and later)

Rated 3.964 by BeerPals

Brewed by O'Hanlon's Brewing Company

Whimple, Devon, United Kingdom

Style:  English Barleywine

11.7% Alcohol by Volume

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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.

ID: 11601 Last updated 8 months ago Added to database 19 years ago

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Most noted beer attributes

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Overall Rank178
Overall Percentile99.7
Style Rank5 of 448
Style Percentile98.9
Lowest Score1.9
Highest Score4.8
Average Score4.034
Weighted Score3.964
Standard Deviation0.569

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

41 Member Reviews

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  • BLUESANDBARBQ 2568 reviews
    rated 4.5 10 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    2007 Vintage bottle. Deep amber translucent brown pour, little head not lacing. Toffee, cognac, salty chocolate peanuts, brandy, deep dark honey, alcohol, hint of smoke and leather. Wow. So good to be nearly 7 years old. Lovely smooth sipper. Thanks for sharing some bottles Sam.

  • MITCHFORGIE 683 reviews
    rated 4.7 13 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 10 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 10

    Love the lack of carbonation, I believe it is probably party a result of a ridiculously lethargic yeast, which is probably what allows the beer to age for 26 years. Ive opened this after six and a bit (2005 bottle opened in 2011). I may have let a bit of the sediment get away but Im ok with this. Reminds me alot of the Ballards Old Bounder (a much less hyped, but similair english barley wine.... it only has two reviews on here, me and beerchronic). HUGE malts that represent themselves as cherry cough syrup, wood, leather, rotten apple, really overripe partly fermented cherries, old port, and liquorice. That is most of the beer really, just a huge malt profile, though the yeast also makes itself well known on the tounge, with some prickly jumping around and a thick sweetbread dough character. Prunes, dates, bit of honey and a bit of orange make a cameo. This will not pair at all with the jalepeno poppers I just made... two intense things. Very excited about this brew, I will be looking for many many more to age. This has really been the review of brackets.

  • RAINMAN 892 reviews
    rated 4.1 13 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    2007 P21079 poured copper. Loads of sediment and suspension. Aroma of sweet fruit. Mouthfeel a bit like a tawny port but not sticky. Flavor is sweet alcohol and malty. All around good, reminds me a bit of a harvest ale.

  • PHISHPOND417 3045 reviews
    rated 4.3 14 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    So..my former boss gave me a couple bottles of the 2005 Thomas Hardy that her fiance was holding onto. We cracked one open the other night at dinner and it was amazing! Definately toned down quite a bit. It's had 5+ years to do so. Alcohol is softer. Fruit is more vibrant and forward on the nose as well as the palate. Pours a bright reddish brown colour. Head is small. Noticeable caramel, fig and raisin underlying the taste. I can imagine it being quite sweet but as of right now, it's just the right amount of body. I anticipate I will beopening up the other bottle pretty soon.

  • SLOWRUNNER77 5682 reviews
    rated 4.3 15 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    quite possibly the sweetest beer i've ever had. i love my hops, but this beer is awesome. not the type of beer you can have regularly, but it's a treat. for the price, though, i'll stick with old stock.

  • LENUSIK 2067 reviews
    rated 4.2 16 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    I recently tried the 2007 vintage. The beer pours a dark murky brown with a beige coloured head. The aroma was sweet malt, very alcoholly, and no hops. The flavour is very strong with a powerful malt punch, a sweet alcohol flavour (rum-like), and nice smooth finish.

  • CHANGEUP45 864 reviews
    rated 3.7 16 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    2005, bottle # 24246. Pours very syrupy hazy brown color with absolutely no head at all. Aroma is alcoholic with malts, some dark fruit, and winey. The flavor is dark brown sugars, molasses, dark fruits (grapes, plums, prunes and a lot of figs), and some toasty malt. The beer is a little hot but at 11.7% I kind of expected that (especially after the aroma) and all things considering it is hidden well and very smooth. The beer is rich and complex with gentle flavors if that makes sense. In the end it's an expensive but fun experience, at least once, but I didn't think it was amazing party because I thought it was maybe a touch too sweet.

  • CHOPZ 7305 reviews
    rated 4.1 16 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 8

    Was surprise to find this one at the LCBO. Expensive at $4.65 CAN a small bottle, but probably worth it for an English Barleywine. 2007 edition, written No. Q 11134 on the front label. Pours a very cloudy orange-brown colour with red-purple highlights, and hardly no head. Just a little surface of bubbles, that disappear fairly slow and no lace is seen. The nose is quite nutty, with notes of caramel, raisin and plum. Smooth oily texture for the mouthfeel with a little fine coffee grain touch to it in the end. Wow... the taste goes everywhere. Starts on sweet syrupy flavour of the fruits mentioned in the aroma. The middle has the caramel and chocolat which is a good passage from the sweetness of the fruits. The end is where the hop appears, a little bitter, with the coffee and burnt malt finish. Really, really nice barleywine experience... that is worth the price.

  • CYBERCAT 11711 reviews
    rated 4.3 16 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 10 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Aroma is rich, strong, malty with smoky and toffee hints and a touch of saltiness. Color is a pretty mahogany brown, semi-transparent, not much head. Flavor has a strong alcohol bite, but once you get past that it is surprisingly sweet, with hints of molasses and also caramel. It is very smooth, but the sharp edge reminds you that it is a high-gravity beer. This is a good dessert beer, and each sip is to savor.

  • CYRENAICA 2418 reviews
    rated 3.1 16 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 4 | Overall: 5

    2006 Vintage
    I tried this beer on January 31, 2008 at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto. The bottle was a 2006 vintage, and 13.3% ABV. The beer poured a dark reddish brown with am offwhite bubble head. The aroma was very yeasty, with some malt and candy tones. The mouthfeel was full-bodied, creamy with mild carbonation. The flavour was overpowering from an alcohol perspective with some detectable dark fruity tones and a stomach warming presence. Like the Samichlaus, not a beer I'd try again!

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