Thomas Hardy Ale - BOTTLEThomas Hardy’s Ale
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Company info:
O’Hanlon’s Brewing Co Ltd
Devon, ENGLAND

[www.ohanlons.co.uk]

Bottle size sampled: 250ml

Alcohol: 11.7%
Standard drinks: 2.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: Gifted

Label info:
‘In “The Trumpet-Major” Hardy wrote: “It was one of the most beautiful colour that the eye of an artist in beer could desire; full in body, yet brisk as a volcano; piquant, yet without a twang; luminous as an autumn sunset”‘.
AND
‘Britain’s strongest ale is a piece of brewing history.
Bottles of this rare, bottle conditioned classic have kept for at least 25 years, maturing in flavour like fine wine.
‘Bottle Conditioning’ is a secondary fermentation in the bottle during which Thomas Hardy’s Ale develops its uniquely rich and complex character. The process produces a sediment which is laid down over time as part of the natural fermentation process
Store upright in a cool, dark place, at about 13c.
If disturbed before serving, stand the bottle for 48 hours to allow settling. Open carefully and pour slowly to avoid agitating the sediment.’

What the label really means: I’ve always loved a good bottle conditioned brew and to think that this brew can enhance even after 25 years has my taste buds tingling with nervous energy. I’m also keen to check out that luminous autumn sunset.
48 hours is one hell of a wait if you should accidentally disturb this beer. I think I disturbed the bottle when I walked out in fishnets and suspenders, but I consumed immediately.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: There is so much going on with this bottle. The gold foil around the neck can’t be overlooked, nor can the gold medal hanging there attached by red string. The coffee-stained yellow label brings the final level of cool to this bottle. The label displays a profile shot of presumably ol Tom himself sporting a mighty fine moutang. The text is a bit old worldy, and the stand-out is the batch/vintage info that displays ‘No. T 19530’ on this bottle. It also reads that this is a 2008 Edition – so I am very keen to try this 6 year old brew. Over all, I appreciate the old, distinguished look and feel of this label that is very fitting.ThomasHardyAle_GLASS

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  Rich, malt toffee aromas.

Taste: GLASS – Very rich, very toffee-like, this is big in caramelised brown sugar and molasses territory. And it’s a fun place to be – it’s like a finely matured, finely tuned port. Slightly nutty, this a brew designed for the slow sip. There’s very little carbonation here which makes this super smooth and easy to drink. It’s well crafted, complex and beautiful. A highly enjoyable drop.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – With a beer this good, it’s hard for it to drop too low below the line. Sure, drinking this classy brew  from the bottle seems a little cheap but the experience is only dulled ever so slightly. Those awesome toffee malt flavours continue to punch their way through with the sweetest of ease. This is a beer worth hunting for.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Accompanying food: This makes an awesome dessert beer. I’d like to suggest a butterscotch pudding or similar.

Best season to appreciate: An awesome Winter brew. This is THE definitive fire side supping beer.

All-nighter beer? Due to the lack of carbonation, imma say yes this is definitely an all nighter. It’s just so damn easy to drink, and you could deceptively go all night.

NEXT WEEK: Granite Pils

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Comments
  1. Geehard McGeehard says:

    11.7%? Begorrah! I’d hafta drop my trousers, and round it down to eleven, to even count that high.

    Like

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