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Sam Adams Triple Bock and Thomas Hardy's Ale

L_W Jul 1, 2006 12:11 AM

I was a HUGE fan of SA Triple Bock and TH Ale back in the 90s but as far as I know neither are available anymore. So what is the CLOSEST ones I can try that are similar in taste and consistency?

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  1. moto RE: L_W Jul 1, 2006 01:10 AM

    hello, I enjoy trying different artisan brews in the style/method of the Hardy, that is to say, bottle conditioned ales with live yeast. It usually takes reading the labels closely, and many of them have the wired-down cork enclosure like a sparkling wine. It's been so lone since I've had a Hardy that I can't name something similar. cheers

    1 Reply
    1. re: moto
      Jim Dorsch RE: moto Jul 1, 2006 11:24 AM

      I have always preferred American barley wines such as Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Many of these are bottle-conditioned. However, many of these are markedly hoppier than the British varieties.

    2. d
      Diana RE: L_W Jul 1, 2006 01:18 AM

      I think you can get triple bock on the Sam Adams site.

      Try Sam Adams Utopias, if you can find/afford it!

      1. Cpt Wafer RE: L_W Jul 1, 2006 01:45 AM

        It's been some time since I had a Thomas Hardy but I remember it as malty. I find a Scaldis to be a malty, high gravity ale of superior quality. You might also enjoy Samichlaus or Belzebuth or EKU 28.

        1. Jim Dorsch RE: L_W Jul 1, 2006 01:58 AM

          Thomas Hardy's Ale went out of production for several years due to new ownership of the Eldridge Pope brewery. Two or three years ago the US importer secured rights to the brand and it has been produced at O'Hanlon's since then. More info here: http://www.mythbirdbeer.com/thomashar...

          1. warrenr RE: L_W Jul 11, 2006 02:37 AM

            Gale's Prize Old Ale is a fanatstic barleywine, very similar to Thomas Hardy, needs at least ten years to mature in my opinion. Bigfoot, Rogue's Old Crustacean, and Brooklyn's Monster Ale are all great too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: warrenr
              Jim Dorsch RE: warrenr Jul 11, 2006 09:38 AM

              I'm unsure about the future of Gale's Prize Old Ale: http://www.realbeer.com/news/articles...

              1. re: Jim Dorsch
                warrenr RE: Jim Dorsch Jul 11, 2006 02:00 PM

                What terrible news! Thanks for letting me know, I'll stock up on a few bottles and try to ration them out to last the rest of my life.

            2. TongoRad RE: L_W Jul 11, 2006 02:23 PM

              Where are you located? If you are on the west coast try to get some Bridgeport Old Knucklehead. It's been a few years since I've had one (and I will disclose that one of my friends worked there throughout the 90's), but I always enjoyed that one as much as the Hardy of old.

              If you can't get it then try the Anchor Old Foghorn. Both beers are a little hoppier than the Hardy's if I remember correctly, but not nearly as hoppy as the other American Barleywines like Old Crustacean or Bigfoot. Also- and I hope my memory isn't failing me here again- I believe that maple sugar was added to the SA Triple Bock, and the Old Foghorn definitely has that going for it.

              3 Replies
              1. re: TongoRad
                ted RE: TongoRad Jul 11, 2006 03:51 PM

                JW Lee's Harvest Ale is very good. They also did runs with different barrel finishes a couple of years ago (Laphroaig, port, sherry, calvados).

                Gale's gets good reviews, but the only times I've had it, it was completely flat. I can drink the homebrewed barleywine I made in the late 90's, if I want a flat one ;-)

                1. re: ted
                  L_W RE: ted Jul 15, 2006 02:14 PM

                  I just tried one of the JW Lees barrel-finished Ales and it was as close as I have found so far to what I am looking for. Granted, it was $8 for one bottle...so I will be savoring it over the next week..

                  Thanks all!

                2. re: TongoRad
                  pushslice RE: TongoRad Jul 18, 2006 08:51 PM

                  IMO, any of these West Coast Barleywines is preferable to SATB. SATB was just too cloying for its own good, similar to Samiclaus (the current iteration).

                3. x
                  xman887 RE: L_W Jul 11, 2006 05:32 PM

                  wow, what timing. just this weekend i was moving some stuff in my basement and i found a 1994 bottle of sam adams triple bock. my question - is it still drinkable?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: xman887
                    Josh RE: xman887 Jul 11, 2006 07:09 PM

                    What a find. I'd drink it for sure.

                  2. MOREKASHA RE: L_W Jul 18, 2006 09:09 PM

                    While not a Triple Bock, you ought to try Bells 3rd Coast Old Ale. It's mainly available in the midwest and it is worth a detour. Though, it's kinda hot to drink any of these beers today. At least in NYC.

                    1. m
                      morgan16 RE: L_W Nov 1, 2006 10:07 PM

                      There is lots of info on Thomas Hardy's Ale at:


                      Some bottles for sale as well last time I looked.

                      1. f
                        frank828 RE: L_W Nov 5, 2006 12:18 AM

                        fyi, i just saw the triple bock on bevmo's website

                        1. moto RE: L_W Nov 5, 2006 10:33 AM

                          hello, Hi-Time in Costa Mesa (Orange County, CA) had a good stock of T.Hardy when I visited them last month, in a very big walk-in that had all sorts of interesting brews. cheers

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