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Thunder And Son Brown Ale - Half Acre Beer Company

Not Rated.
Thunder And Son Brown AleThunder And Son Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

78 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 15
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 11-13-2010

Big, bold, brown, beer. A real hoss great for winter warming and time in your cellar.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by samie85:
Photo of samie85
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 10/8/11.

Pours a deep chestnut color.

Robust citrus with bready malt and a bit of chocolate.

Follows the nose with citrus, bready and chocolate malt with a clean bitterness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and an alcohol hotness on the finish.

This one is a challenge to put down; if I hadn't shared this one I don't think I would have been able to finish it on my own.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pawola22 for sending this bottle to me.

The beer pours a brown color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate with some alcohol and caramel notes. Smells like an alcoholic brown ale.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. There are also some toffee notes in the flavor. When drinking you can tell that the beer is 12 percent ABV.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark toffee color with hints of red. Tan head.

Scents of toffee, walnuts, and brown sugar.

Taste is good, but a little letdown. Its nutty and sweet. The sweetness comes from toffee and caramel. It's a little on the boozy side and the aftertaste is like a bad walnut. It wasn't like that in the middle, it just finishes a little off for me.

Mouthfeel is medium body and creamy for a brown. It has a comforting feel like a fall/winter beer should.

The high abv is present and makes this more of a sipper. I prefer my browns to be more "sessionable."

Photo of jhoban19
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle, bought fresh from the brewery, poured into my favorite personalized chalice (10oz at a time).

A: Thunder and Son pours a deep, dark brown with reddish streaks when held to the light. a finger of dense, light brown foam settles quickly into the beer, leaving a good amount of spotted lacing around the glass.

S: initial aromas are strong- dark chocolate, lightly roasted coffee and caramel. The roasted coffee aroma fades quickly, leaving loads of caramel and subtle hints of dark fruits. As it warms, the alcohol making up the 12% abv starts to show itself. At one point I also pick up fleeting notes of nutmeg.

T: the caramel is definitely the dominant flavor in this one. Roasted malt and nutty notes work well to balance out the sweetness, but the sweet caramel flavors stand head and shoulders above the rest.

M: Full bodied and creamy, with a strong roasty, and slightly bitter, aftertaste. That hint of bitterness perfectly balances out the sweet malts.

D: Thunder and Son is way too drinkable for a 12% abv brew. Of course, I'm not all the way through the bomber as I write this so I might change my tune by the time I pour glass #3! It's so full bodied I've had to take a few sips of water to clear the palate, but that's not a bad thing. Anyway, another top-notch offering from Half Acre.

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for splitting this brewery-fresh bomber.

Deep mahoghany color that glints scarlet in the light, sharp clarity also. Long lasting tan foam, creamy texture, a drippy ring of lacing along the opposite side.

Heavenly fruity hop nose, cantaloupe and tangerine citrus. Estery yeast notes, with the slightest hint of toasty malt underneath.

Balanced sweet and bitter elements, a really nice hop profile. Extra fruity with a huge malty body. Rich toffee flavors, yet its light bodied. The fruity hop notes of cantaloupe and citrus are really pleasant, aging this would only mute those flavors. Drink fresh to experience the full spectrum of hops being showcased...

Another creative coup by Half Acre.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to open this one up last night and I will admit it kicked my but! Served cold and into a pint glass this was consumed on 12/20.

The pour was a deep, dark brown with a huge head of creamy tan lacing that really started to shine as it built up. Aroma is heavy, lots of caramel, brown sugar, hints of bourbon? Hmm. Vanilla and cocoa coming through now, really just very, very well done. Creamy and smooth with a deceptive ABV, this came across amazing IMO.

Overall a really good offering that was a pleasure to enjoy, would do it again any day

Photo of errantnight
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

So since I've been drinking basically every Half Acre beer under the sun thanks to the incomparable GBVDave, figured it's about time to start reviewing them! Alas... it's with one that wasn't my favorite (but I appreciate the beer no less, Dave!).

This pours promising, a deep dusty brown with a nice finger cap of head. The nose is a touch hot, and fruity esters slip in around a touch of burnt toast to almost give hints of a barleywine.

I had a hard time scoring this one... on the one hand, it's not offensive. Its primary flaw is the booze. At 12% I want something a bit more chewy, with some lingering complexities, to linger over and sip. This has the straightforward mid-palate chocolate sweetness and short roast finish of a nice brown ale, but with some dark fruit and a long warm finish in the chest. In other words, I'd have no trouble putting down a bomber, on the other hand, I can't help but feel that there's a version of this beer that's either half (or less) the alcohol that's better.

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay goblet. This bottle was purchased in December of 2010.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with just a hint of off white head that goes away pretty quickly.

Smell: Sweet and malty, go figure. Some dark fruit and carmel. There is a slight alcohol warmth as well. Nice but not overly exciting.

Taste: Sweet, but not as sweet as I would have expected. Some dark fruit notes along with a hint of brown sugar. The finish has a very slight bitterness to it. The age must have calmed this one down a bit, because the booze is there, but not overpowering at all.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and syrupy with tingly carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I thought this beer was pretty darn good. Not overly boozy or sweet. I'd have another, but I'd leave it in the cellar for a year and a half.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug. Big thanks to Khazadum for this. A brown ale at 12%, move over DFH!

5.0 A: Clear light to medium brown color. Two and a half fingers of tan, surprisingly creamy (with a frothy component as well) head. Above average retention, which at 12%, is impressive and a thick ring of lacing. Really beautiful.

4.0 S: Dry roasted nuts is the dominant aroma. Formitable toastiness next with a touch of toffee, a lesser touch of coffee. Caramel and chocolate come out as it warms up. Absolutely no signs of alcohol.

3.5 T: The alcohol not found in the nose is certainly found in the taste. It's not overly boozy for 12%, just surprisingly so given its lack of presence in the aroma. Toffee is strongest flavor, followed by caramel, coffee, nuts, and chocolate. Not bad, just not as good as the nose.

5.0 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Super creamy and wonderful. A bit of warming booze on finsih. Very nice here.

4.0 D: It's a good beer, but suffers a bit from the booziness in the taste. I think this might need some aging for it to be really good. The mouthfeel is awesome, as is the appearance. A lot of good qualities in this beer, just a little too hot for my liking. P.S. I don't know if it's the booze or the beer, but this gets better as you drink it!

Photo of MarkFy
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle.

A: dark brown, very thin light brown head that disappears quickly.

S: oak, malt, wood, hint of coffee

T: sweet caramel, rich oak flavor with a touch of vanilla and a ever so slight bitter finish.

M: very smooth, almost velvet like, nice balance of carbonation

D: Although it is 12% and fresh, it's not quite as hot as I expected, but you can still tell it is there. Very easy to drink, sweetness is almost too much but it balances out as the beer warms a bit.

Overall, one of HA's finest darker beers to date. Picked up several bombers to drink and age.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #4

Blind Beer #9 from Khazadum

22 oz. bottle shared on Friday with a couple buddies during some March Madness. Go Bucks!

The underlined word "thunder" on the blind wrapping gave a hint as well as the recent Half Acre brews I had, which is why I decided to share 3 ways.

The first whiff as I opened the cap made me think english barleywine with a huge malt bill.

Pours an opaue brown with a solid 3 finger head that cratered my glass. Some lacing as we drank.

Nose was incredibly complex! We got big caramel and molasses notes as well as some roasted nut and dark coffee. No hops anywhere.

Taste was just amazing. The best way to describe is this: Take a fresh baked biscuit from the oven, top with butter, a huge dollop of dark caramel and a dab of molasses. Then, after you take a bit, take a sip of espresso. That's what Thunder and Sons tastes like.

Very full bodied and light carbonation, despite the monster head. Quite appropriate for the style. Had some interesting butter feeling, but also as it warmed, I picked up a dryness that almost tastes like licking wood, though I don't think this is oak aged at all.

The beer was way more drinkable than I expected. I had purchased a Thunder and Sons when it first came out, but the early reviews all said it was too hot. That no longer holds true. The beer is drinking fantastically well right now and felty like 8% tops. Went down way too easily.

Reveal: Half Acre Thunder and Son

Photo of GbVDave
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into three imperial pints. Thanks to stevepens for supplying the beer and again to steve and HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a deep, chocolate-y, chestnut-brown. Pretty solid, color-wise, with the barest hint of lighter brown at the edges. Capped with a short lived, yet creamy, light khaki colored head that only left a tiny scattering of lace behind.

S: Whoa! Huge and rich malt aroma. Loads of chocolate, roast, toasted nuts, caramel, and toffee.

T: Exactly as above with the addition of some brown sugar and/or molassas and maybe a touch of bruised plums and wood.

M: Velvety smooth. Extremely well hidden alcohol content that pops up only as we reached the end of our glasses. Deceptively smooth and creamy.

D: One of the easist drinking big beers that I can remember having...and it's not a palate wrecker. Incredible beer! Awesome job, guys.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to AgentZero for this one. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a reddish-amber color with some brown tinting. Huge tan head that sticks around for awhile and leaves plenty of lacing. The nose brings some caramel, toffee, light fruits, and a bit of a metallic component in the finish. The taste brings the metallic notes further to the front, nearly overwhelming the sweet caramel malt of the underlying brew. Pretty hefty alcohol character as well. Feel is slightly metallic and has quite a bit of alcohol along with plenty of residual sweetness. Overall, a bit of a mess and the first Half Acre beer I didn't really care for.

Photo of blankenhoney
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from the 2014 release, enjoyed out of a pint glass

A: Pours a darker shade of brown with some ruby or garnet tones. Thin, beige-ish white head.

S: Sweet malts and brown sugar, dark red fruit (plums, cherries), and booze.

T: Very, very sweet caramel. A bit of roast and hints of nutmeg. There's a bit of intense, fruity dark chocolate, too. Finish was quite bitter, which was a pleasant surprise.

M: Somewhere in between creamy and viscous

O: Tasty and will warm you up on a cold fall night, but a bit one-dimensional (sweet bordering on cloying).

Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

An imperial brown, interesting.

A - A rich brown color with a light, tan head that dissipated rather quickly and left some spots on the sides.

S - A very malty (crystal?) brew. Touches of chocolate, big caramel, presence of roast. There is a little bit of a quad-like smell in this one, maybe coming from some hints of dark fruit.

M - Slightly hot, a very rich taste. Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel all some to be present in equal parts and balance each other nicely. It is sweet, but doesn't suffer from the sweet/hot problem that a lot of higher ABV beers can have. Brown sugar and molasses seem to be the source of the sweetness, and a hint of the dark fruits again gives it a slight quad-like feel.

M - Full bodied, quite thick, a little chewy, carbonation makes a nice appearance.

D - It's a sipper for me, it is a little hot, quite thick, a bit sweet, great beer, but I can't get it down fast enough to try and session it (thankfully).

Photo of AleWatcher
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

pours a light amber brown with a nice toffee colored head.

Hefty dose of chocolate malt on the nose is matched by a healthy boozy note. Very nice, but boozy. It settles down after a few sips and the booziness is hardly noticeable (until it warms up).

I normally don't like brown ales too much, but this is interesting and tasty.
Chocolate and caramel malts play back and forth with some sweetness up front, blending a hint of coffee in as well.

Feel is solid, but the finish is a bit sticky and oily.

They call it a brown ale, the site calls it a strong ale... I call it decent. It was fun to try.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his bottle!

Is his son named Lightning? Regardless, this brew pours a dark very deep ruby topped by a finger of ecru-cream foam. The nose comprises ginger, flowers, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a light vein o' molasses. The taste holds more of the same, with the addition of figs, orange, light red grapes, brown sugar, and some dark greens bleeding through in the very, very back. The body is a stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a light-ish syrupy feel. Overall, a fine brew, a bit harsh this fresh, and definitely something that oughta be quite lovely with a little bit o' age on it.

Photo of womencantsail
3.01/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Jeff for sending me this one.

A: The pour is a chestnut sort of color with some reddish hints and a dense off-white head.

S: The nose starts off with sweet caramel malts and honey. A nice nuttiness and toasted malt aroma. However, this quickly fades into some rather off-putting aromas of booze and rubber.

T: I don't really even feel like I got the chance to enjoy the flavor. Sure, there is some good sweet malt flavor, dark fruits, chocolate, and nuttiness, but the booze, rubber, and even chlorine are there all the way.

M: The body is medium to full with a lot of alcohol warmth and a medium carbonation.

D: Reading the other reviews, I have to wonder what went wrong. I certainly did not have the same experience, unfortunately, because I tend to enjoy Half Acre's stuff.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a rich chestnut hue with two fingers of sudsy khaki head. Retention is pretty solid for the abv.

Smell -- Cocoa, nutty roast malt, dark fruits, minty hops. Alcohol presence is high, but otherwise it's nice.

Taste -- Nutty roast malt, cocoa, dark fruits. Herbal/medicinal hops show up near the finish. Solvent-like alcohol presence is high.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full body with gentler carbonation. Feels good.

Drinkability -- Wow, not in love. Booziness is a big issue in this beer, but otherwise there are no off flavors. In the end, it's a wash. Hopefully they will iron out the wrinkles in a possible future release as there is potential in this one.

Photo of cadaugherty
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Alright I will finally write a review after resisting the temptation for quite a while.

Appearance- Dark, Rich, Chocolaty Brown with tinges of red around the edges when held to the light.

Aroma- Roasty malt character with a light touch of hops. Not my favorite Brown as far as aroma but it is certainly more than adequate for the style.

Taste- Very rich (I hate to keep using that word but it really applies) and deep malt taste, about as good as I have had from a brown ale. A slight bitter aftertaste that is quite pleasant but I am afraid will fade as this ages. There is also a slightly oaky taste that is truly surprising there was no oak aging with this beer.

Mouthfeel- Keep this one simple, such a full mouth coating of delicious rich malty goodness. The mouthfeel is beyond reproach!

Drinkability- Let's be real this is a 12.0% abv dark beer, it is not what I would call super easy drinking sessionable, but I doubt that is the point they are going for. To be fair though the alcohol is remarkably well hidden and I could easily see drinking a bomber of this by myself.

This beer is good now and I imagine will be even better after sitting in my cellar for 6-12 more months. We should all just be thankful that Half Acre is still relatively under the radar and their special releases are still easy to get.

Photo of robwestcott
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to mishuggah for this one.

poured cold from the bottle a deep dark cola brown to a dogfish head signature glass with a thin, short lasting tan head with a hint of retention.

aroma of toasted malts, molasses and burnt buttery brown sugars. a bit of alcohol teases in the wayback.

hot. not so subtle, tingling alcohol burns upon the first sip - this is a big beer, and as close to a stout as the style could muster without going whole hog. nice dessert beer. dark semi-sweet chocolates, dark black coffee, molasses. big malts.

hot. thick and creamy, smooth, medium carbonation. no bitter.

drinkable - uhm, with help.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An aggressive Brown Ale, both in malts and hops. And at 12% abv., the alcohol flavor and feel doesn't let the malt, nor the hops steal the show.

This massive American Brown Ale pours with a viscous pour that builds a light brown dense, creamy head that eventually falters under because of the gravity and alcohol of the beer. No apparent lacing, this beer behaves much more like an Imperial Stout, aside from the deep brown color, rather than black.

Aromas of bitter chocolates, heavy toast, and barley malt strike the nose first; then with a rebuttal from citrus and grassy hops. Alcohol scent mixes with cherry-like esters and medicinal phenolics for a somewhat confused closure to the aroma.

Flavors definately favor the malts- robust with burnt chocolate, cocoa, toffee, and charred toast flavors, the beer's sweetness carries it from inital sips through the mid palate where the alcohols and hop bitterness take over. Increased alcohol flavor gains precidence as the malty sweetness subsides and hop flavor/bitterness contributes layers of grapefruit, fresh cut grass, and a resiny flavor that seems of pine. At this high of alcohol, the stressed yeast gives some cough syrup-like cherry flavors along with a medicinal phenolic note that provides as much a distraction as it does bennefits.

Thick, malty, and robust creaminess fills the mouth at the onset and then turns silky/velvety over the somewhat fatty mid palate. But the malts waiver heading into the finish with a warming, even hot alcoholic numbing along with a sharp hop bite that's something more than just bitterness. Finishes very warm, still sweet, and with a yeasty/hoppy bite in the cheeks and throat.

An all-in-all pleasant, but over the top Brown Ale. While the flaws are noticable, they are subtle to moderate. Besides, the forerunning malt flavors and full body are so bright, the flaws seem minor in comparison. You'll enjoy this beer if you like sturdy Brown Ales, the body of Imperial Stouts, and with a little burn in the finish.

Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Chimay chalice.

A: appears a deep dark brown with ruby red highlights from light passage. Thin collar of head forms and sticks around. Significant lacing.

S: bit sweet malts with molasses, dark fruits, caramel, and some notes of dark chocolate. Notes of maple also come through. Finish smells a bit boozy.

T: sweet caramel notes up front with hints of maple and molasses through out. The alcohol is very prevalent at the finish with a dose of hop bitterness as well.

MF: the body is big and thick with moderate carbonation and a significant heat

D: this one is a sipper. Big sweet malty flavors, perhaps a touch out of balance with the big boozy finish. Not a bad brew, but maybe a little too strong for its own good.

Photo of GoldenJet
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So far I've been impressed with almost everything Half Acre does, and Thunder and Son is no exception.

While I was a little apprehensive about a Brown Ale, as it's not really my favorite style, the nose slowly put that apprehension to rest, with big hop aromas and tons of nuttiness! Something sweet there too, but not sure what it was.

The taste though, is where it's at - tons of caramel, chocolate, and nuts, and a sweet molasses-thing going on. Honestly, if you told me this was a Brown Ale, I'd be hard-pressed to believe you - the creamy chocolate and booziness (it is 12% after all) really took over.

Might not be for everyone, but I really think this is a stellar beer.

Photo of benpopper
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this right after the initial release, then last night. It has gotten much more even with some time in the cellar, much less hot than fresh.

poured a deep brown with about a half inch of tan head which faded quickly with very little lacing.

Smells pretty good with the toasted malt up front, carmel maybe. The smell of alcohol which was very prevalent initially has faded significantly, seems much less than advertised now.

With this cooling down a bit, the hints of chocolate, coffee, molasses; mat comes through much more and made it a whole lot more enjoyable. Could get tricked into drinking almost the whole bottle without knowing it is 12%.

Creamy, smooth and a light carbonation make it pretty solid.

Overall much better than it used to be and makes me want to go out and try to find one more bottle to have in another 6 months to see what it transforms into.

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Thunder And Son Brown Ale from Half Acre Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.