Thunder Hole Ale | Bar Harbor Brewing Company

245 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Thunder Hole AleThunder Hole Ale

Brewed by:
Bar Harbor Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-10-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 245 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of richbrew
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Photo of tkdchampxi
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Photo of kingcrowing
2.48/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber poured into a schlitz mug.

Pours a slighty ruby deep brown color with not much head at all, totally acceptable for the style. Nose is like vomit! It's gross!

Taste luckily is nothng like vomit which is good, but it's still not too great. Lots of nutty malt, caramel and sweet molases dominate. Light carbonation and a thin body lead to a dull mouthfeel. Ok beer but not fantastic.

 394 characters

Photo of jwjon1
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of JohnQVegas
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, bit of a tan head.

Aroma is a bit roasty and just a tad nutty.

Taste is a bit of roasty malt, a bit nutty. Finish is just a bit nutty, maybe the tiniest hint of cocoa, watery. Not much of anything really.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, watery, carbonation seems just a bit off, comes close to dominating the flavor.

 334 characters

Photo of fermentedbarley
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Fair. Nothing special. Fair Brew.

34 characters

Photo of smcolw
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours like Coca Cola in every way--Large bubbles that die to a flat surface. There's even soda-like bubbles on the side of the glass. The only thing missing is the ice. Color looks like water with caramel coloring.

Darker malt aroma. Some metallic elements

Very spritzy. The body, in a word, is thin. This is distracting. The flavor cannot make up the difference. Darker malt (perhaps darker crystal). Mid-taste the metal shows up. Nearly no hop...the aftertaste dies quickly.

The bottle features a World Beer Championship Gold Medal. I don't see it.

 553 characters

Photo of jsanford
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a clear, dark amber-brown with a fluffy, khaki-colored head that never fully dissipates.
S - Pretty mellow and subdued aromas of toasted caramel malt, baked brown bread, and brown sugar.
T - More slightly roasted toffee and caramel flavors from the malt, along with a bit of brown sugar and roasted nuts. No real noticeable hop flavors, but there is a slight copper-penny oxidized flavor that's making me think this is an old bottle.
M - Medium-thin bodied with a slightly watery consistency and sharp carbonation.
O - This could be a nice, sessionable English Brown Ale if it was a fresh bottle. As is it's a bit bland and watery, with a oxidized flavor that ruins it. If only more breweries dated their bottles, this might not have happened. Sigh.

 798 characters

Photo of blknikon
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Dcunicelli
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of CSeavey64
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Frank_TX
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of CharlesK
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of PatandDavid
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, but not awesome. Pour was a medium dark amber, pretty clear, big frothy head died down, but it has taken it a long time. I've had this beer in the glass for well over an hour, and there's no foam or froth left (no lace whatsoever), I can hear the bubbles popping as they still come up in the glass. Aroma is slightly toffee-like, with some roasted coffee-type notes. The taste is where things start to be less than they should...I find the mouthfeel thin, almost watery, and there's some metallic notes as well. There's some maltiness to be found, but also an overabundance of small tight carbonation that wraps itself around your tongue. There's also something a bit off in the finish...a bit of hop bitterness, but something else I can't put my finger on that makes this just an average micro. Maybe some kind of peanut or other nut note that just seems off. Not bad, just off.

 888 characters

Photo of bdaggett
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Belittle
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of far333
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Hazey chestnut with an oatmeal colored head that rises u an inch high and settles out quickly. Low aroma of sweetish toasted malt. Flavor of half cooked chestnut, toasted malt, hint of mushroom. Mild bitterness, no hop flavors noted. Full and creamy mouthfeel, very round and rich. Overall below average. Pretty one dimensional, not very complex.

 346 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light tan, three finger head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Deep, clear amber color. Nose is nuts and coffee. Starts slightly malty, hints of burnt coffee, finish is smooth but a touch of bitterness. $3.99 for a 22oz bottle from Otter Creek Market Otter Creek, Me.

 323 characters

Photo of mobud
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into nonic pint glass.

A- A dark caramel brown with an active head that remains thru the sample.

S- Very malty with some fruit salad notes.

T- Not as sweet as expected from the smell, but nice level brown ale taste with some roasted malts and a slight sweetness that balances it out.

M- Very light.

D- This beer was very drinkable to me. I think they only do bombers and you have to get them in Maine, so this was a nice beer to try that I will never see again.

 473 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I used to vacation at Thunder Hole when I was a kid so my dad bought me this bottle for sentimental value. Turns out to be a very typical brown, nothing particularly noteworthy, drinkable and slightly above average. Brown with reddish highlights, good sized head. Retention and lacing both solid. Mild malty, bready aroma with a faint mineral note.

Taste follows the nose; mostly bready malt and a subdued floral hoppiness on the finish. Lesser aspects of roast, nuts, light sweetness. Again, the mineral/metallic note is in there and not particularly appealing. Body was medium to a little thin, with fairly high carbonation. Dry finish. Felt a little prickly. I would have liked a smoother overall mouthfeel.

 711 characters

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker reddish brown with a thin off white head.

Smell: Malts and nutty.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of toasted malts and nuts.

Overall: This is an ok Brown Ale. I am not personally a fan of Browns but I enjoy this one.

 292 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany brown, with a wisp of frothy head around the rim.
Smell is very heavy on roasted barley. Taste is more the same. This is a good, basic, all around brown. Easy drinking and smooth. A well put together beer. Very sessionable, but not impressionable.

 269 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.22/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bottle. The beer was a light to medium brown color with a small head that quickly disappeared. It had a caramel, nutty aroma. The taste was a little nondescript. It was mostly sweet, with some coffee/chocolate undertones. A mild beer, and a little thin.

 260 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown with a slight haze. Small bit of light brown, reddish head that remained for quite a little while. Grassy hop aroma with chocolate malt followed by a bit of caramel. This follows through into the flavour, along with acidity and a light bitterness. Short finish. Coarse, high carbonation with a dry, grainy texture. Overall, not bad but a little lacking. Thanks Viggo.

 380 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thunder Hole Ale from Bar Harbor Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 245 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.