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Eldridge, Pope and Co.
Thomas Hardy Brewery
(Closed)
Weymouth Avenue
Dorchester DT1 1QT
[Map] [Update]

Notes

Opened: 1837

Annual Production: 100,000 bbl

Dan Thomasson's Malt Advocate article tells the details of Producing Thomas Hardy's Ale. Unfortunately, it looks like the 1999 batch was the final brew, as Eldridge, Pope and Co. decided in 2000 to get out of the brewing business and concentrate on its pubs and hotels. Fortunately, in 2003 the Thomas Hardy recipe, trademark, and even the yeast were purchased by George Saxon of Phoenix Imports Ltd. Saxon plans to contract with O'Hanlon's Brewery in Devon to reproduce the beer. Look for it in August 2003.

Updated: October 19, 2008

Beer List

    • Date: August 11, 1997 (#2132)
      Package: bottled
      Place: The Liquor Collection, Honolulu HI
      Score: 12 points
      Overall Impression (2½)
      Amber-brown, low carbonation, low head. Diacetyl aroma and some spicy hops. A bit like Samuel Smith's odor. Sweet, lots of diacetyl, some bitterness, some fusels. Sticky finish.

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    • Date: December 1, 2001 (#4005)
      Package: bottled
      Place: Green Bay Rackers, Green Bay WI
      Score: 20 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Brown-red, low head. HUGELY malty, woody, toasty aroma. Thick, massively malty, creamy body. Probably the smoothest beer I've ever tasted. This 1993 batch just keeps getting better. Thanks to the Green Bay Rackers' Bert Zelten for the taste!
    • Date: December 2, 2000 (#3745)
      Package: bottled
      Place: Green Bay Rackers, Green Bay WI
      Score: 16 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Red-brown, still. Toasty, not as intense as the 1994. Medium-big body, slightly lighter than 1994. VERY warming. Quite a bit sweeter than 1994. Thanks to the Green Bay Rackers' Bert Zelten for this seven-year-old sample!
    • Date: December 4, 1999 (#3362)
      Package: bottled
      Place: Green Bay Rackers, Green Bay WI
      Score: 20 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Lighter amber than 1994, dead still. Raisiny, alcoholic aromas. Thick, even smoother than 1994. Not as complex, but an even nicer drink. Magnificently excellent. Thanks to Bert Zelten for the taste!

  • Old Ale
    • Date: December 1, 2001 (#4006)
      Package: bottled
      Place: Green Bay Rackers, Green Bay WI
      Score: 16 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Bright deep red, low head. Big spicy woody aroma. Big body, really quite sweet. Hugely malty, but not nearly as complex as the 1993 was this year. Thanks to the Green Bay Rackers' Bert Zelten for the taste!
    • Date: December 2, 2000 (#3744)
      Package: bottled
      Place: Green Bay Rackers, Green Bay WI
      Score: 20 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Red-brown, still. Woody, toasty, plum aroma. Medium-big body, outstanding toasty woody malt flavor, extremely smooth. Thanks to the Green Bay Rackers' Bert Zelten for this six-year-old sample!
    • Date: December 4, 1999 (#3361)
      Package: bottled
      Place: Green Bay Rackers, Green Bay WI
      Score: 20 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Deep amber, still. Wood, smoke, raisin aromas, to name a few. Thick, intense malt flavor, complex flavors like the aroma, only more so. Best Thomas Hardy's I can ever remember tasting. Thanks to Bert Zelten for the taste!
    • Date: August 14, 1997 (#2140)
      Package: bottled
      Place: The Liquor Collection, Honolulu HI
      Score: 20 points
      Overall Impression (3)

      Note: We randomized the 1994, 1995, and 1996 Thomas Hardy's before tasting, and didn't disclose the order until later.

      Red-brown opaque, almost no carbonation and head. (I disturbed the yeast while covering up the label.) Smells smoky, sweet, alcoholic, raisiny. Flat, thick, sweet, but not sticky. Obscenely complex. Great malt flavor backs up raisins, grapes, walnuts, alcohol, caramel...it's liquid candy.


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    Old Ale
    • Date: May 18, 2005 (#5707)
      Package: bottled
      Place: The Liquor Collection, Honolulu HI
      Score: 20 points
      Appearance (3)
      Deep red opaque. No head. This bottle spent yesterday on its side, so there was lots of yeast in it yet.
      Aroma (4)
      Hugely malty, caramelly. Hints of roast behind lots of dark fruit, oak, leather, vanilla, and alcohol.
      Mouthfeel (10)
      Big smooth body. No carbonation. Big rich malt character, with some coconut. All the aromas are flavors too, and then some.
      Overall Impression (3)
      This ten-year-old beer held up magnificently, especially considering its travels: Molokai to the Big Island to Molokai to Nebraska to two different places in Green Bay to Oshkosh to Deer Park, Wisconsin. Paris and I enjoyed it today in celebration of our 10th anniversary!
    • Date: June 22, 2002 (#4358)
      Package: bottled
      Place: from the brewery
      Score: 19 points
      Overall Impression (3½)
      Bright red, moderate bubbly head. Intensely malty, oaky, leathery aroma. Big body, fantastically malty and complex. Raisins and wood and chocolate and brown sugar and alcohol. Thanks to Steve Olson for the sample!
    • Date: April 1, 1998 (#2607)
      Package: bottled
      Score: 19 points
      Overall Impression (3½)
      Dead flat, amber brown. Alcohol, walnut, raisin aromas. Thick, sweet, hi-test. Absurdly complex, including wood from the barrel.
    • Date: August 14, 1997 (#2141)
      Package: bottled
      Place: The Liquor Collection, Honolulu HI
      Score: 16 points
      Overall Impression (3)
      Amber-brown, hint of a head, not quite clear. Aroma is much less pronounced than 26-2140, but still lots of alcohol and some woody notes. Is this the youngest bottle? (No.) Not as complex as 26-2140, alcohol a bit harsher. Some hop flavor in this one. Small carbonation tingle. Dark dark caramel finish, and very drying at the end, with a resinous bitterness.

  • Old Ale

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    Thomas Hardy's Ale 1998
    Old Ale

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    Thomas Hardy's Ale 1999
    Old Ale