Food, Beer, and Travel

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Posts Tagged ‘old ale’

Thomas Hardy’s Ale

Posted by jwpiper on January 10, 2009

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I tried this beer for the first time. And it blew me away. Matt C.’s impressions were quite different from mine based on his first experience. I could only guess it was because I drank one with four years age on it and perhaps his was new. Well, we decided to split a 2005 at cellar temperature just to find out. He enjoyed it considerably more and I not as much as my first experience with the 2004. I’ve pasted my review on the 2004 below for comparison.

2005 Thomas Hardy’s Ale

Appearance
4
Amber with a white lacey head – much more head than the 2004.
Smell
4.5
Raisins and caramel. Very sweet and a bit boozy. The smell fills the room again.
Taste
4.5
Super sweet, again with raisins and caramel. There are some hoppy notes and bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel
4.5
Smooth, mouth-coating with effervescent bubbles.
Drinkability
4
An after dinner sipper.
Overall
4.35
Definitely not as balanced as the 2004. Still a very excellent beer. I’m interested to see what this one is like in 2010 – ie, are the differences because of the batch or the age or just because of different drinking circumstances.
Price
$5/250ml bottle. I can find this now for $0.50 less now that the store ran out of the 2004. I’d much rather have bought more 2004, but we’ll see if another year lets this catch up.

2004 Thomas Hardy’s Ale reviewed 12-06-2008

Appearance
4.5
Opened the bottle, and the beer couldn’t wait to get out. So there was plenty of foam to start with, but it quickly dissipated over the caramal-amber brown pour. Plenty of carbonation seems to be appearing at the top of the beer, but there is no lace.
Smell
5
Wow, the aroma… it fills the room with raisins and roasted malts. Smells like a fine port. Plenty of dried and ripe fruits and sweetness in the aroma.
Taste
5
The flavor seems to be a concentration of the smells. Raisins, and figs, and caramel, and burnt sugars. This one is sweet and complex, definitely a dessert beer. There is a a little of balancing bitterness in this as well.
Mouthfeel
5
The mouthfeel is perfect for a beer like this. The beer coats your mouth – very smooth and thick. But there is the perfect amount of carbonation to cut the sweetness and thickness.
Drinkability
4.5
This is a sipper, but very drinkable. As a dessert beer, which I’m having a hard time not thinking of as a fine port, I can’t imagine drinking too much of this.
Overall
4.85
Extremely enjoyable. I don’t know if this is best beer I’ve reviewed to date, but it’s hitting me perfectly today. Definitely a beer which has its time and place.
Price
$5.50/250ml bottle.

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