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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.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 78
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 78
Photo of Wadsey
2.24/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thunder and Son

Served in New Belgium globe glass. 

A: Pours a very dark, but clear amber. Sorry, not brown.  A creamy, dense yet huge head erupts during pour and leaves very nice Brussels lacing. Does not appear to be very bubbly. 

S: Smells like a slightly aged American Barleywine: caramel, dark dried fruit, fading hops and so forth. In addition, I note powdered chocolate and brown sugar.  Alcohol punches at nose and is expressed as solvent and vodka. 

T: Malty sweetness touches palate first, followed quickly by caramel and raisins.  Powdered chocolate and alcohol play more significant roles in taste. The alcohol is distracting, but then again the beer tastes like it was thinned out by the use of table sugar as a fermentable. So body is not substantial enough to hide gigantic abv. Medium bitterness. Harsh alcohol permeates finish. 

M: Medium body and light carbonation. Thin, watery mouthfeel and very, very warming. 

O: I think Half Acre should stick to pale ales, IPAs and others of that ilk. Thunder & Son is a boozy mess. I do not recommend. 

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Photo of womencantsail
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

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Photo of samie85
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.11/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at On Photon...Dark brown with a good light tan but creamy head. Really good retention and lacing, looks great...Aroma is sweet candy with accents of nuts, lightly roasted, good...The taste is not successful, black licorice, bitter alcohol finish, medicinal, missing roast. Just not enjoyable to drink. A truly disappointing Half Acre, fortunately few and far between.

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Photo of errantnight
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.21/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of wifehatesthebike
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark cola like appearance with a thin creamy head that settles into a wisp of off white film. Bottle only let off a slight fizz when opened, perhaps was not capped tightly.

S: Smells scary. Malt, nuttiness and obvious alcohol fumes, even after sitting for 9 months in my basement.

T: Taste mimics the smell. Nice smooth initial mouthfeel, roasty middle, then the alcohol creeps up.

M: Smooth and satisfying. Good stuff here.

O: A great beer except the alcohol is quite strong and overbearing. Not sure a brown ale needs to be 12% to be honest, 9%-ish might have yielded a better overall result.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at the brewery. I also drank this right when it came out from a growler. Served in a wine glass.

A - A hard pour yields a quarter-finger of tan foam that settles to a thin partial cap and leaves minimal lace. Even though the foam volume is low, the retention is quite good. Transparent dark ruby-brown body.

S - Chocolate, brown sugar, light apple skin, cinnamon, nuts, toasted malts, and reasonably well-hidden alcohol. Pretty much what you'd expect from an Imperial Brown Ale.

T - Taste is a little less pleasant - there is still plenty of booze present. Mostly roasted barley malt, notes of vanilla and chocolate, and some residual hop bitterness in the finish (or perhaps that's alcohol - hard to know).

M - Grainy medium-full body, light carbonation tingle. Some definite warmth, but not as hot as it was upon release. Fairly sticky finish.

D - I'm glad this beer isn't cloying and boozy - it's merely boozy. The alcohol has mellowed out a bit, particularly in the aroma. I don't see this improving much with additional age. If you dig high-gravity brown ales this may be of interested, but it's not a very easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 11/27/11 notes. Thanks to the Chicago Group in the Group BIF for sending this one our way. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted notes, alcohol, light chocolate, nuts, and toasted malts. Definitely some nice chocolate and caramel here, but the alcohol is there as well.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, alcohol, nuts, roasted malts, light chocolate, and toasted malts. Not as much chocolate as the nose and more alcohol and nuts. A step down due to the strong alcohol.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.

o - Overall a decent brown ale, but you can definitely taste the alcohol and tell this one is 12%. Alcohol is present in the nose and even moreso in the taste, taking a bit away from the plesant caramel and chocolate. Worth checking out but probably wouldn't seek it out again as it is a bit too much for me and tough to drink.

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Photo of blankenhoney
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
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).

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Photo of 7ways
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn near black with a pretty minimal head, but I guess that's no surprise.

Carries the aroma of a nutty barleywine. Layered dark fruity malt and raisins. Very substantial, I dig it.

Is this what Palo santo tastes like without the wood?
Starts off great: juicy malt, light chocolate and nutty ovewrtones, a little licorice and molasses. But the finish really leaves room for improvement. It all falls away quickly and leaves what feels like a residue of lima beans, alcohol, and detergent on the tongue. It's actually pretty mild, but noticible.

Bully mouthfeel. That's right. Bully.

This would be a stunning beer if they cleaned it up a bit.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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."

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Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to emerge077 for hand delivering this one.

A - Mahogany with a thin tan head that stays behind for a while.

S - Toffee, caramel, nutty, fruity, honey, candied fruits with a touch of sweet alcohol.

T - Rich malty, toffee, sweet caramel flavors followed by a rubbery, solventy alcohol bite. Slight sting from the alcohol. Dark fruits, bitter fruity hops and a lingering barleywine like sweetness.

M - Medium to full with a bit of alcohol bite. Surprised by how smooth and creamy it is for how sweet it is.

D - I think this would be much better below 10% or with some age on it. A nice attempt by Half Acre but the boozy part is a bit overpowering.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

neat that the brewery had three brown ales going, but i think this was my least favorite of them. its a little too sweet for me, and while the other two had a great depth of dark grain, this one seems light, too heavy on the caramel for the style, and not quite fermented out as much as maybe it should be. one was enough, but the beer had a cool flavor with some uncommon nuance. i got a woody birch syrup sweetness most of the way through it, and in the absence of the dark roasty grain base, i taste much more of the medium toast cereals in here. the booze is a little bit exposed too, i drinks more like a sweet barleywine than a brown ale honestly, i dont even taste much chocolate malt in this. that said, i like the beer for what it is, and need to be a little better about enjoying a beer as nothing more than a beer, instead of looking for and highlighting all the ways that it isnt true to style, or that its flawed, or that dont meet my expectations. the more i consider this, the more i get a sweet toasted coconut flavor in the finish with the warming alcohol, and thats pretty cool. still not a beer i could drink a whole lot of, but one i appreciated a lot more at last sip than i did on the first sip. evolution baby!

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Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass

This beer pours a beautiful deep ruby garnet color with a finger of foam that is called beige at best. The smell rather weak on the nose for my liking. What I can decipher from it is a slight roastiness more equivocal to coffee. There are hints of caramel and grass to go along with the noticeable boozy notes. The taste is a much more concentrated amount of the roasted coffee flavor. The booze is much more prevalent here than in the aroma, and I believe there to be some brown sugar in the aftertaste as well. This beer would be much more satisfying on the palate if it were not for the hotness that it has. It could definitely use some age on it. It's a sipper due to the high ABV, and I must admit I think it would be better with age. Though it's still a very good beer as it stands right now.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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).

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Photo of benpopper
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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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Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a very dark brown, close to black color with a thin, spotty head scattered across the top of the beer. It looked pretty close to an imperial stout actually.

The aroma shows a lot of roasty and bitter-sweet chocolate flavors to it for the style. I get a pretty big sweetness to it as well with caramel, brown sugar and some dark fruits coming through. Pretty nice and interesting aroma, it almost feels like a mix of a brown ale and an Imp stout.

The taste starts out with more of the sweeter, caramel, toffee and dark fruit flavors to it. Midway things start to get a little more roasty and bitter with some dark chocolate flavors to it that last through the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty good beer, it definitely wasn't your standard brown ale though. As I said before it reminded me a little of a mix of a brown and imperial stout. Pretty tasty beer to sip on though this evening.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Thunder And Son Brown Ale from Half Acre Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.