Thunder Hole Ale | Bar Harbor Brewing Company

Thunder Hole AleThunder Hole Ale
Liked This Beer
3.71 w/ 246 ratings
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

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Ratings: 246 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of capeannbass36
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an exceptionally clear reddish brown, topped with a 1/2 finger off white head. Next to no lacing at all.

S- Initially slightly sweet malt followed by a somewhat mineral water scent.

T- Similar to nose. Starts with a slightly sweet malt taste, finishing almost metallic.

M- A bit thin and watery. Decent carbonation.

O- Nothing bad, but nothing all that memorable. Just o.k. Easy to drink.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of rpaine
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of testch09
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber-brown hue with a huge, 4-finger, tan head that slowly dissipates into a solid persistent lace.

S: Strong malty hoppy aroma. Hint of toasted malt in the background.

T: Smooth malty nut brown flavor which is an equal part sweet and bitter.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This is a solid nut brown ale. Very smooth and tasty.

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Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of nyrfan2323
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of far333
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of patreely12
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Hessian257
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of LostHighway
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of richbrew
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of rudolphjacksonm
5/5  rDev +34.8%

Photo of speter
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep ruddy brown with a two-finger tan head in the style of a southern English ale. Moderate lacing.

S: Toffee and brown sugar dominate the nose. There's hints of light-roast Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee and a bit of cinnamon.

T: Toasted walnuts and pecans with a light sprinkling of Dutch cocoa. Overall, not very complex, but refreshing. There is an American, rather than an English, feel to the aftertaste, which is quite bitter, which plays up the walnut characteristics of the beer.

M: Well done in the southern English style. The body is light and the carbonation is restrained.

O: This is a very nice Anglo-American Brown Ale. You could well view it as a premium version of more well-known brands like Newcastle.

 736 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep reddish brown with a small off white head, a bit hazy. No lacing.

S - A bit of malt and a very faint hint of spices - like xmas cookies that had been cooked in the house hours ago. Mild, but nice

T - Brown malt flavors, a bit of peat and forest floor. The aftertaste is a mild mossy bitterness.

M - Rich is the best word I can think of. Its medium to thin bodied, but creamy somehow. Pretty refreshing.

D - I generally am not a huge fan of brown ales; I find them bland and dull. This one stands out though. It's flavor is true to the style - not overly rich, it speaks softly, but carries a big stick. One of the best browns I've seen.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice brown color with a light tan head on top. The lacing was pretty good with a decent retention also. The smell of the beer was a little sweet was a light roasty nutty aroma to it. The taste of the beer was also on the sweeter roasted side. The mouthfeel was pretty normal in my opinion. Overall I think this beer was decent. Nothing too exciting but it was drinkable.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear cola brown with two fingers of light khaki head. It settles leaving a bit of soapy lace.

Brown sugar and a bit of mollasses on the aroma with a lingering nutty aroma. The pallet is a bit boring. Nothing offensive here but a light walnut flavor with not much else.

Kind of a light body here with lively carbonation. Overall this isn't bad but it really istn' anything special either. One of the more boring browns that I've had.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a curvy pint glass. This pours with a large 2 inch head and there is a ton of lacing. The body is clear amber. This looks great.

The aroma is full of bread crust and a bit of hazelnut. Maybe some mild chocolate as well.

The taste is slightly sweet with an emphasis on malted cocoa and nuts.

This is very drinkable as it's light enough and goes down easy.

This isn't too strong, but the subtle flavors hit in all the right places. Recommended.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again, the Great Lost Bear comes to the rescue.

Nice pour. Medium/dark brown, looks rich and clean. Light off-brown head. Lacing is good

Aroma is....brown. Nutty, earthy, some caramel and apple

Same same. Brown. It's a subtle flavor, nothing powerful or overwhelming. A bit light in the middle. Nutty, sweet caramel, earthy apples. Unassuming and pleasant. Light carbonation crisps it up a bit.

Would love to see this on cask...but I'm in Denver, so....

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Photo of asabreed
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium to dark copper and brown color, unfortunately with very little head or retention. Looks like soap bubbles at first, and they vanish pretty quickly.

Smell: Malt sweetness and slight roastiness. Some toffee, mild honey, coffee.

Taste: Expected from what the aroma gives off. Some light sweetness and slight roastiness, finishing with some slip herbal and citrus hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A little slick and watery until the end, where a burst of carbonation makes itself known.

Drinkability: Maybe it's just me, but it seems like every Brown I have lately is the same as all the others. It's become a style that seems apparently easy enough for many domestic breweries to make, and with many there's nothing that they're trying to do to set themselves away from the pack. A double Brown? Maple syrup? Brett? Something at least a semblance on the experimental side? If you like your Browns easy and sessionable, however, you'll most likely enjoy this, since, though it's an easy going brew, it's hard to knock it in that sense, to a certain degree.

 1,074 characters

Photo of imbibehour
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A nice off tan almost creamy one ginger head is formed, makes a lot of noise when settling as you can hear those bubbles snapping. Body is a great looking amber brown and clear with red and dark chestnut hues.

Bouquet is kind of muted, small chocolate sense but hard to find, kind of wet and clean. Mild roast character.

Taste is overall a good roast and toasty grain. Malt mildly present but kind of wet bodied and lacking in texture a bit. Large emphasis on roast with this one it seems. As it warms up it gets into tasting like a little pan gravy.

Overall It's still not too bad it's quite pleasant overall, not that much exciting it seems though.

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Thunder Hole Ale from Bar Harbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 52.8% out of 100 with 246 ratings
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