Thunder Hole Ale - Bar Harbor Brewing Company

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Thunder Hole AleThunder Hole Ale

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210 Ratings
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Ratings: 210
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 8
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bar Harbor Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Delicious. Full-bodied. Complex. Sure, you can say all those things. Wouldn't it be a lot more fun to take a sip of this handcrafted brown ale and come up with your own superlatives? This is the brown ale that beat Newcastle, Sam Adams and more, at the World Beer Championships in Chicago.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-10-2002)
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Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vylo
5/5  rDev +34.4%

Photo of rudolphjacksonm
5/5  rDev +34.4%

Photo of Dotcubed
4.63/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got hooked by the name, sold on the medal they claim to have won at the world beer championship.

Tawny color. Looks like it needs to be in a British pub
Chestnut brown, some fuzz of foam.

Toffee smell. Reminds me of a cask ale. Smooth, malt, heavy toast. Really pleased I warmed it up on the coffee table for 30 min before I opened it.

This is what I'd want for a session beer. Except there is more sweetness than I'd want. The mouthfeel is good for the style, but a little watery finish. Still better than most.

Very drinkable. Well made. But no telling how old the bottle is.

Needs label date codes.

Photo of ppoitras
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle from a Xmas gift sampler of Maine brews from my friend Joe. Brew #01546, with "4" embossed on the bottom of the bottle. Thanks!

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head above the reddish brown brew. Head is quite frothy, and recedes very slowly, with heavy, foamy lacing. Aroma is well-balanced, with brown malts and crisp hoppiness apparent. Taste is hearty grain hulls, with some light hops character, and finishes with a slight aftertaste that reminds me of sunflower seeds. Odd, but I like it. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and drinkability is superb. This I would search out in Maine, for sure.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look who showed up in Pittsburgh, two beers from Bar Harbor...Thunder Hole Ale, and Cadillac Mountain Stout. This appears a dark crimson amber color, quite clear when held toward the light. Aroma has some roasted malt qualities that bring out a touch of caramelized sugars...these beers are crazy drinkable across the board. Flavor wise minimal balanced sweetness peaks across an earthy English ale type of a brown ale with complex malt flavors and herbal earthy hops. As it warms you get more subdued malt character, these guys know how to ferment out the residual sugars not cloying bone in this beers body, it's amazing. Mellow natural carbonation on the mouthfeel in a medium bodied brown ale, I can't tell you to go out and try these beers enough. Overall high quality artisitic masterful brewers that know their art and have been at the game for a long time. I'm happy to see some of it distributed outside of New England, down here in the Burgh.

Photo of testch09
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid brown color with a nice beige head, good carbonation, and spotty lace. Nice balanced roasty, nutty, chocolate aroma and flavor. A fairly robust Brown Ale. Medium bodied with a roasty dry finish; also has a light smooth creaminess...

Would love to have again !

Brew # 01512 ('03' emb on bottom)
Tasted: 11/06/04

(22 oz.)

(Mike Ryan)

Photo of gwiedman1
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of jamesbrews
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of Blind
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of QXSTER1
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brown ale is a find. Pours a dark brown with a creamy tan head that lasts till the end and laces on the way down. Taste is spicy with subtle roasted grain and bready flavors. Hops are rounded and in the background but contribute to the balance and drinkability. With a smooth medium bodied mouthfeel and crisp well defined flavors this is one fine brown ale.

Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Up to a strong light its browned ruby with a husky glow and dimmly clear in body. Solid dark leathery brown in the shadows. Perfect capping of light sandy brown, firmly set foam grows to just over an inch high and sinks slowly to keep an always plumply present amount. Adequate lacing in gooey-like patches and thick stringy globs stick across the glass. Eventually, a bunch of big spots remain. A very nice looking brown.

Aroma is slight and fair with a clean present essense of cocoa dusted graham crackers and a sliding caramel noting.

Taste is solid. Fluffy, mild, milk chocolate with a slight undertoned sweet malt of caramel and a snappy firm body at the healm. Tiny little ascents of cherry, apple, and powdered cocoa make for nice plays along the way. The cocoa becomes quite evident as it finishes well with a very nice fluffy-like dryness of powdered sugar mixed with creamed milk. A mild yet steady pace of flavors make this a very pleasing drinker.

Feel is also solid. Firm, soft, creamy, subtle, with a slight snap of carbonation in the front half. Medium bodied overall, perhaps a nudge more when colder. As it warms it becomes even, calming, and super damn drinkable. A solid brown. A well done brew in a style that in most cases is a bit boring. This has lasting interest and flavor. Solid and sessionable.

Photo of number1bum
4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at the brewery earlier this summer pours a reddish brown with nice clarity and a soft, creamy beige head. Head recedes slowly and retains a nice lace, also leaving a little patchy stick on the sides of the glass.

Smell has a nice sweetness to it, with caramel malt primarily. Also a hint of hops and some nutty aroma.

Very pleasant, smooth and straightforward flavor. Caramel malt and grain mingle with a nice nutty flavor and a bit of chocolate to make this sweet but smooth and easy drinking.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and nicely creamy. This is a very drinkable brown ale (a drinkable style to begin with).

You're not going to find this outside of Maine, but if you see it in the state pick it up. It's quite good.

Photo of jreitman
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thunder Hole is a spot on the ocean, near the brewery, where waves crash against the shore and create a thunder sound. It truly is a site to behold. Thunder Hole Ale is a darn good brown ale. Mildy bitter, but a nice balance between the hops and malt character in the ale. Good brown color. Very easily drinkable.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I exspected the beer to come flying out of the bottle when I uncapped it, like it's namesake. Thank goodness it didn't. A nice brown clolor. The taste was semi-sweet and malty, with a hint of hops. Almost a porter, but not quite. This was quite a tasty beverage.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from purplehops courtesy of the Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a medium, foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, maple and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very malty with a good amount of sweetness and flavors of caramel, nuts and maple. There’s a mild hops presence that comes in and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky but clean for the style.

D: Pretty tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer that you can drink for a whole evening, especially if you’re not in the mood for something hoppy but don’t want something as heavy as a stout. Overall, this is a very good beer and one of the best brown ales that I've had.

Photo of timlyon
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of rpaine
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of bf7
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Vonhinx
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Truh
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got hit by a big plume of spray with this one on 3/14/2005. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Gaseous, full-throttle high hat of head that settles to a filtered skin of off-white shine. Medium brown hue with a touch of ruby to the whole proceedings; mostly clear with a great amount of continuous action. Molasses shot up the nose of malty sweetness with a touch of smokiness and root beer barrel candy. Light oak char on mouth with a pleasant, even malt profile and understated hop character. Not overly sweet or buttery on the mouth like many other browns. Perfectly balanced.

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours rubyish brown with a thin off-white creamy head that lasts. Trailing lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted nuts, toffee/nougat, with earthy notes.

The taste with sweet chocolate, hazelnuts/ walnuts, roast, and earthy tones balance the sweetness. Finishes with fruity tones - mild, but could be milder. Sour touch in the finish, especially as it warms/progresses.

It is medium-to-full bodied. Velvety, Nice roasty character lingers.

Complex - nutty, roasty, toffeeish - a tad too fruity as it progresses. Still-in-all a great brown with a sour touch.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of many ME brews that I purchased during a recent visit to the state. I am sampling at room temp and poured into a pint glass. THe beer purs a deep mahogany color with some deep ruby highlights. A soft fluffy beige head foams up and recedes slowly to a sturdy surface layer. First sip reveals an average body and slightly creamy texture. Mild rolling carbonation caresses my palate. Flavor is predominantly sweet malt, with caramel, toffee some chocolate powder and even a little bit of almond and dark fruit (plum) lingering in background. These last two flavors are very mild. Overally the brew is very smooth easy drinker with no hop presence to speak of. Quite a nice beer.

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Thunder Hole Ale from Bar Harbor Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.