When talking of a beer so extraordinary as Thomas Hardy’s Ale the reference to memorable vintages is never an exaggeration. Each vintage, every year if you prefer, is actually characterised by different shades. In addition, the fascinating “miracle” of ageing in the cellar allows to enjoy, as long as you succeed in leaving a Thomas Hardy’s “helpless” for long, the evolution of the aromas and taste that gradually becomes more complex, structured, deep.
However, authoritative experts have identified, in a number of occasions, some really legendary vintages, the result of exclusive and much envied tastings. If you happen to have any bottle of these legendary vintages in your cellar, well, be aware that you are guarding a treasure. And if you happen to taste an “old” bottle of Thomas Hardy’s Ale … well, please share with us your feelings. We would love it!

The silver anniversary year, that is twenty-five years from first production, a beer not impossible to find and even at the peak of its potential. Deep amber coloured, with complex and structured aromas that reveal the sweet notes of fruit, almonds and caramel. The palate again reveals sweet notes of caramel that, combined with toasted hints, give rise to an alcoholic accent that is at the same time warm, pleasant and persistent.

A beer that seems to improve from year to year, according to those who had the good fortune to taste it several times and on different occasions over time. It results darker than that dated 1993, with a greater aromatic complexity that even includes spicy notes. The nose offers hints of smoke, vanilla, apple and cinnamon. The palate is well balanced, rich in malt sweetness but not cloying. The finish leaves aromatic hints of coffee, roasted malt and creamy toffee.

Despite the many years passed, the taste of the vintage 1987 revealed a beer still extremely enjoyable. The amber colour turns to brown, the bouquet offers notes reminiscent of brandy, chocolate and caramel impressions, hints of dried flowers. The palate is simply sumptuous and complex with clear notes of figs and dates, up to a soft finish that leaves flavours of chocolate and caramel.

The first vintage ever of Thomas Hardy’s is a kind of Holy Grail. Idealized and highly sought after. Those who have had the good fortune to taste it report, with understandable emotion, notes of crème brûlée, an articulated fruity flavour ranging from nuances of apples, apricots and currants, the vinous finish hint reminiscent of a good quality Port. The first sip is able to amaze with its silkiness, as well as with the warm notes of toffee, apricot liqueur and, again, Porto. A beer yet elegant, complex but balanced and able to ensure a truly memorable taste experience.

51 comments on “The historic vintages”

  • Robert vine

    Have a Bottle of unopened hardys ale 1968 no. C 16954
    Is there a value to this boTtle of beer

    • MAGNUS

      I Can Buy It FOR 100 GBP

      • Andrew

        I have an unopened bottle of “thomas hardy’s ‘ale”, bottle k, 18546, 1 july 1981. 180 ml 6.34 fl.ozs. does this interest you and if so, how much would you offer for purchase of said item.

  • Admin Post author

    Dear Robert,
    it depends by the buyer… Maybe you can get 100 £ or more.

  • Donald h Dong

    I still have 7 bottles uncap 1987 prefix B..how much does it cost now.please let me known


    I have the entire collection of Thomas Hardy ales that were available in the states. 1968 FORWARD. FOR SALE TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

  • stephen derbyshire

    I have a bottle from july 1977 – anyone like to make me an offer?

  • Steve mcgilchrist

    I’m in the uk. i have inherited a bottle of thomas hardy’s ale, july 1968 bottling. I see that it could have a value. IF so, HOW WOULD i sell it? Thanks.

  • shaun

    i have 1968 bottle of thomas hardy with LETTER b. still SEALED.Looking for info or buyers if INTERESTD.Location dundonald ayrshire scotland

  • bunji

    i have a bottle of thomas hardy ale 1977
    bought during queens jubilee.it has a brew number and tag.bunji

  • Frank DeCicco

    I haveabottle of haRdys alefor sale unopened & seal intact
    Bottle details: j 7354 1sT sept 1979

  • Danny Bird

    Bottle G7032 1 May 1978 Open to offers

  • Tim

    I am very interested in any vintage between 1968 and 1993. Please let me know if you would like to discuss options.

    • Graham guild

      Have 24 bottles marked g 1 st may 78, think all numbers begin with 9.still in huntsman crate.been in back of garage since god knows when.send me an E-mail and I will send photo’s.email address all lower case.

    • Mick

      Hi Tim I have 3 bottles of 1982 Thomas Hardy ale all sealed if you are interested

  • Lynette Harrison

    180ml 6.34fl.ozs, Hardy’s ale — bottle f– 9236 july 1977 — unopened bottle, how much is it worth? can it be consumed?

  • Alex S.

    Thomas Hardy’s Ale (1968) nip

    For anyone interested in acquiring a nip size bottle of the 1968…

    while clearing out my late father’s house I came across an intact 6.33 fl oz ’nip’ bottle of Thomas Hardy’s Ale from July 1968 – number C 20036. The bottle is in very decent condition for one that is nearly 50 years old and it appears to have been stored properly with various old bottles of wine etc. It will be listed today for sale on my other half’s eBay account: Squirrel_Squirrel98 (under Collectables – Breweriana) and there are some photos provided. Thanks.

  • David Denton

    I have 4 bottles E 1977, all intact, plus 1 bottle huntsman coronation brew,1977based on the beer brewed for the coronation, anyone interested?

    • Admin Post author

      David, wow! But are you sure your Thomas Hardy’s Ale bottles are from vintage 1977?
      We think 1975 used “E” suffix amd 1977 used “F” suffix.

      • David Denton

        I can’t say for sure, we won the beer playing darts to raise money for the jubilee celebrations later that year so yes maybe they would have been brewed earlier

  • lisa gironda

    hello! i have a 1992 G bottle, is there a way to find out it’s value? many thanks.

  • David REdfern

    Hello ale Fans,

    I have 2 bottles each of MArch 1974 and DEcember 1975 Thomas HArdy’s Ale.

    I grew UP in Dorchester, Where the Eldridge Pope Brewery was based in the centre of town and I well remember as a child the Rich aroma of beer brewing, wafting all across town. I vaguely knew the Pope family as well, playing with their children a few times.

    BUt recently visiting Dorchester, now aged 50, with my own children, and seeing a bottle of Thomas HArdy’s Ale in the museum it reminded me of my own small stash of this famous ale. and it felt like it might be time to let go of these ales to some one who wants really wants and will enjoy them.

    My question is whether the 1974 and 1975 vintages are of interest to Ale fans out there? I don’t see them mentioned much online.



    • Chad

      I may be interested in in the 1975 bottles if still available. Let me know what you are thinking price wise and if you would ship to the us.

    • Audrey

      Hello David, did you have any response to your 1975 Ale? I have Ale of the same date and would be interested in what they sold for.

  • Stephen

    Hi i have two bottles

    being bottle G 14352 …1/5/1978 Thomas Hardy Ale and a COronation Brew june 1977

    Both purchased by myself on my first visit to the area and have been kept in the basement in the dark ever since

    Anyone who would be interested in these please get in touch

  • Glyn holland

    I have a bottle of HARDY’ S Ale E24007 December 1975. I’m open to offers if anyone is interested ?

  • Eric Galosi

    I am about to open one of my 3 bottles of the 1993 vintage to celebrate 25 years of living in my basement!

  • MariA cleary

    Hi all, i have Bottles G 10034 1st May 1978 and also H 30659 1jan 1979 that i would like to sell. Please replynif you are interested in buying. Many thanks.

  • Tim Ramsay

    I have a hardy’s ale Bottle A 1392 july 1968, 18 fl.oz with red ribbon and slightly damaged label. it looks unopened but the bottle is only 1/3 rd full. open to offers or value. Thank you. Tim.

  • Emma williams

    I have for sale a thomas Harry’s vintage ale July 1968 bottle c 30059. Would Anyone be interested ?

  • Scott


    I have tWo bottles of 1st september 1980 batch numbered K10823 and K10832, 25cl – if anyone is interested please pm me on scottandrew.2016@yahoo.co.uk


  • Stuart lEwis

    I have a bottle unopened no wax seal date 1st sept 1979 j-6149

  • David Mehew

    Hi I have a 1994 bottle of this beer, on the back it says will improve for 25 years, will it survive a few more years or should I drink it now?

  • Thomas Bate

    Hi, i have 2 Bottles of 1987 P10668 and P10712. If anyone is interest in buting these please get in touch.

  • Lucy Burrow

    Hi, i have a bottle of Hardy’s Ale, bottle No: H. 18177 dated 1 Jan 1979
    If anybody is interested?

  • Lee Thornton

    I have 2 bottles of hardys ale , one 1978 1/5/78 bottle g 14019. And 1990 bottle R 20754 . Open to offers . a.milton75@yahoo.co.uk

  • Tim

    I have 2 unopened bottles of the 1993 silver anniversary. Open to offers. Tvanherk@outlook.com

  • lina schwartz

    I have 12 full bottles 6.33 oz, 1995, plus a four pack carrier. Anyone interested?

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