Thomas Hardy’s Ale – O’Hanlon’s Brewing Co, 11.7% ABV, (Devon, England) (listed in “1001 beers you must taste before you die”)

  • first brewed in 1968, discontinued since 2009

On the back label:

“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.”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C
  • Why I kinda like it: rich flavour but not exactly refreshing
  • Where I got it: Viti Wine & Lager
  • How much: $7, 250ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes (bottled in 2006): vintage and individually numbered, pours with zero carbonation, thicker than water viscosity, cloudy hazelnut brown with quite a bit of sediment. Thick malts and light coffee on the nose. Initially watery as it enters the mouth, quickly thickens and turns alcoholic mixed with rich caramel malts,light bitter chocolate,medium-roast coffeehazelnut, brandy, 8/10-level sweetness, finishes with lingering bittersweetness. Medium-high complexity, high depth, long length, good transitions, great carry, not so good drinkability. Highly potent and flavourful but the lack of carbonation really doesn’t appeal to me.