Thunder And Son Brown Ale | Half Acre Beer Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
78 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Thunder And Son Brown AleThunder And Son Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States
halfacrebeer.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Big, bold, brown, beer. A real hoss great for winter warming and time in your cellar.

Added by emerge077 on 11-13-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
78
Reviews:
42
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
11.52%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 42
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 t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -28%

Photo of geoffsm12
3/5  rDev -21.5%

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 Beerontwowheels
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of rinhaak
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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 Canada_Dan
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%

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 Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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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Thunder And Son Brown Ale from Half Acre Beer Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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