27 May 2012

Old beer - 1979 Thomas Hardy's Ale tasting

Most beer is bought to be drunk, quickly. There are very few beers which are brewed to be aged like red wine. Thomas Hardy's Ale is one of them. The stuff has had a convoluted history with production ceasing, starting up again, bottle sizes changes, closing again, starting, and currently ceased. I've got a number of bottles (15) from 2004-2008, but I managed to get two bottles from 1979 on ebay. Here's my tasting notes:

Thomas Hardy's Ale 
Bottle H 7561
1 Jan 1979

Brewed and bottled by: Eldridge Pope and Co. Ltd.
180ml (6.34 fl.ozs)

poured smooth and clear, no fizz, cloudy but no obvious sediment, quite thick

Nose:
marmite, vegemite, red wine, sweet - marshmallows

Palate:
very strong, tangy, bitter, complex, slightly musty, quite similar to an old complex red wine, 
hint of fizz, coffee - but percolated coffee, not espresso and not filter, lots of malt (like drinking maltexo?)

Finish:
warm, honey, long, more old red wine, not a fresh NZ red, more an old vine aftertaste, and later on, an odd musty note (which I've had with younger TH ales)

Overall, very similar to other Hardy's Ales I've had, but more so, less fight in it than the younger ones I've had. I don't know if it's improved over a 10 and 12 year old I've had, so it might be worth trying my 2004 brew shortly.
It seemed quite high in alcohol content too. 

Here's some pictures of the event, apparently that rarity - a sunny day.

me




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