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Thunder And Son Brown Ale - Half Acre Beer Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 15
Gots: 17 | 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:
Big, bold, brown, beer. A real hoss great for winter warming and time in your cellar.

(Beer added by: emerge077 on 11-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoneTSR
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark brown, almost black. Had the appearance of a stout or porter, and in fact, the first time I had the Thunder and Son on tap, I just assumed it was. It was not until I went to Half Acre to buy a bottle that I realized it was actually a brown ale. Continuing with the porter-like look, the head was thin and quickly dissipating and some pretty and wispy arches laced the glass, particularly at the top.

SMELL: Very impressive and strong. The aroma was intense and very straight forward - toasted, smoky malt. Strong in every sense of the word, not just intensity, but quality as well. Great nose.

TASTE: Sweet, delicious, malty and chocolate-like. This is a fantastic dessert beer that will satisfy a craving for sweet, but stay balanced enough to please any serious beer drinker. I hate to put it this way, but it is not a "girly" sweet, it still has a nice, although mildly bitter aftertaste and undertone. Amazing flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: Oily and smooth, but after letting it sit on my tongue for a moment in order to soak in some more of the flavor, it developed a touch of a sparkling bite.

DRINKABILITY: Wow. Very impressive. Sweet, smooth and ridiculously tasty. I'm not a huge fan of brown ales, but this is motivating me to try some more imperial browns. At 12% the Thunder and Son is dangerously easy to send down the hatch. By far, Half Acre's finest effort and rivals Bourbon County as one of Chicago's best beers.

StoneTSR, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of brewcrew76
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

brewcrew76, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of GoldenJet
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

GoldenJet, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

homebrew311, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of 2BDChicago
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always want to root for the home team. but that's not why I love this brew. HA mostly made great brews, but a few specialties were clunkers. This Thunder is awesome and deserves to be a regular in the line-up.

A: Beautiful clear, dark mahagony appearance.

S: Aroma is enticing to me because of the high Centennial hops (I believe) aroma. Then followed by molasses, some dark fruits, and a little nutiness.

T: Perfect blend of dark malt, citrus hops, dark sugars, and a tad of alcohol fire.

D: It's a big abv, but surprisingly drinkable. I really like this brew, but the label of Brown Ale threw me off for a moment. I like it to the point that I hope HA put into a seasonal rotation.

2BDChicago, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

DavoleBomb, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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."

Vonerichs, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of jhoban19
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

jhoban19, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of mikereaser
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was reviewed blind as part of a blind beer bif #3

Bottle #7 poured into my Bavarian Barbarian pint glass

A - Pours a deep chestnut brown with an inch of tan foam that left some decent lacing
S - im picking up a nice brown sugar and roasted malt aroma, a little bit of citrus as well, as it warms i get some chocolate and a bit of bourbon.
T - roasted coffee, creamy vanilla, cocoa
M - smooth and creamy mouthfeel, med-heavy bodied, light carbonation
D - very enjoyable and easy to drink, very creamy
I'm thinking maybe an oatmeal stout

Half Acre Thunder & Son Brown Ale
wow, a 12% brown ale. I really liked this. I can't believe this is 12%. You don't get that at all. Very nice indeed

mikereaser, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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

mikesgroove, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

jrallen34, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

womencantsail, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark chocolate brown with reddish brown highlights that had a half finger of head and left good bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was really appealing consisting of some sweet chocolatey malts, roastiness, caramel, fruit that I can't quite put my finger on, and hints of smokey nutty caramel notes. The fruits in the aroma seemed to be raisin plum like alongside the dominating roasty chocolate flavor but did have caramel, smokey, toffee, and nutty accents with a touch of booze on the backend that was nice and subtle. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a roasty, smokey, sweet, slight boozy, but silky creamy finish. It drank really good and was very tasty glad I had the opportunity to try this one. Good lookin out Drew.

Gobzilla, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

TMoney2591, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Vdubb86, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

emerge077, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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).

AgentZero, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a large tan head with some strong retention.

Scent of brown sugar, caramel, earth, roasted malts, leafy hops, and a bit of alcohol. A good scent, but something about it seems a bit off.

Taste of rich chocolate, caramel, earth, brown sugar, sweet hops, a hint of coffee and a bit of warming alcohol in the finish. This is a tasty beer and I think that some age will be very kind to it.

Mouthfeel is heavy and oily with a mild presence of carbonation.

paco1029384756, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of MarkFy
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

MarkFy, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

GbVDave, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of cadaugherty
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

cadaugherty, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of panicspread33
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look-a dark chocolate brown very slight amber hazy in the light

smell-rich smoky malt with a touch of woody earthness

taste-smooth rich oak with a splash of vanilla and a nice caramel sweetness in the back . A little hot but very fresh still.

Mouthfeel-nice carbonation with a silky texture,like the velvet feel in a porter

Overall-can't wait to age one and see what happens. Will be great with this horrible chi town winter!!

panicspread33, Nov 15, 2010
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Thunder And Son Brown Ale from Half Acre Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.