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RATINGS: 1549   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 32   EST. CALORIES: 282   ABV: 9.4%
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With the developing interest in Belgian abbey ales and the monasteries that brew them, it’s time to remind the world that here in the U.S., we have a Monk of our own. Jazz icon Thelonious Monk is the inspiration for North Coast Brewing’s new Belgian-style abbey ale called, appropriately enough, Brother Thelonious. The beer is being released in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (www.monkinstitute.org), and the brewery will make a contribution to the Institute for every case sold to support jazz education.
2013 vintage - 9.4% abv Like a Belgian “Dark Strong Ale”, the beer is rich and robust with an ABV of 9%. The package is a 750 ml bottle with a traditional cork and wire finish and features a label picturing the jazz master himself.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 20, 2006
Sampled August 2006
As I pours this brew it shows a brilliantly clear, brown amber color, as it sits in my glass though it is a dark, opaque, reddish tinged deep brown color. The head is frothy and the color of creamed / frothed maple syrup, that is to say it is a amberish, dark tan color. The aroma is quite fruit focused up front; notes of raisins, figs, and concord grapes mix together to form a rich, concentrated fruitiness. The fruit is just slightly balanced by a hint of spicy clove, and a maltiness towards the finish that is a blend of toasted grain, and caramelized malt. This finishes with just a touch of alcohol; the combination of fruit and alcohol makes me think of rum, or perhaps a cherry liquor, or better yet a sweet plum wine.

Sweet up front, with an initial light chocolate note that quickly gives way to an intense concentrated fruit note. Notes of prunes are prominent, but right underneath this is a large amount of more traditional malt flavors. Notes of caramelized raisins intermingle with a touch of toasted grain and, of course, that note of lightly bittered chocolate. This beer has some definite fermentation character as well. Of course there is the amped up fruit notes, but there is also quite a bit of clove here, as well as an earthy spiciness. The clove is quite prevalent, yet because of the sweetness & fruitiness of this beer it only plays a supporting role. Other spice notes seem to be a mix of allspice, a touch of ginger, something a bit like coriander, and even a hint of cola-like cardamom. As this beer warms up a bit the earthy, coriander-like note becomes a bit more noticeable. It helps to add some balance to the dominant sweet fruitiness, but that is still "dominant".

This is quite an interesting take on this Belgian inspired brew. Quite a bit sweeter than many, though in truth I have had quite a few increasingly sweet examples from Belgium, so perhaps I should say it is sweeter than my favorite examples. This does strike a nice richness to it, and is quite an appropriate way to end off an evening of culinary indulgence. This beer hides its strength fairly well. Also it is fairly light despite the sweet fruit character. Certainly an enjoyable tipple and I think I might just need to stash a few of these away to see how they age over time.

<font size=-4>Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson, AZ<font size=-1>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
rajendra82 (954) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - AUG 18, 2006
Out of the 750 ml. bomber, and into the St. Bernardus chalice, this Belgian style Abbey Ale poured out deep red. The head however was quite small, and not anything like the overflowing glass that Mr. Thelonious Monk is shown holding on the label. The aroma was a mix of floral and sweet smells, with a hint of spice. It smelled quite strong at first, but after starting the sipping, it became less aromatic. The taste was quite a bit tamer than the real Abbey Ales. I could detect some brow sugar, raisins, and chocolate, but everything was marred by the thin body, and the ever present alcohol. This beer was quite a bit less filling than I was hoping for, and lacked the complexity that the best Belgian style beers exhibit. On the plus side, it was quite easy to drink. In the end this felt like a sweet and alcoholic ale, with little else to remember it by.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - AUG 18, 2006
Pours a deep rich mohagony amber color w/ a full creamy froth. Aroma is medicinal w/ dried fruit and malt. Full nectar w/ residual effers. Ths is one thick brew. Flavors are strong with dried fruit w/ black cherry, dark cocoa, maple, brown sugar, coffee bean, wood, vanilla, licorice, chewing tobacco. The finish is long and fruity w/ just a slight bittering and a mild detection of alcohol. Overall: very complex and delicious. Highly recommended. Another great belgian style made in the UAS baby!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jazz88 (2558) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 14, 2006
Bottle (750ml). A dark brown color with a smooth creamy tan head. Lots of ginger, chocolate, plum, raisin and malty goodness in the aroma. A rich dark fruit and spiced flavor with a balanced malty base.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - AUG 13, 2006
Poured a clear dark amber color with a thin off-white head. Sweet fruity malt aroma with notes of smoke and yeastiness. Malty flavor was sweet with caramle notes. Some phenloic notes and nuttiness.. Warming sensation with mild alcohol taste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fbennett (293) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 10, 2006
Pours a dark brown murky in appearance with a thin tan head. The aroma is brown sugar, cinnamon, cookies, vanilla, malty and fresh. The taste starts syrupy thick, with a pancake syrup sweetness balanced quickly with a bitter hop spiciness that is delicious. This is a quality brew but a little heavy on the sweetness needs more hop balance IMO but good brew overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ty5592 (1018) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 9, 2006
Growler from the Drafting room Exton. Dark brown in color with slight red hue. Smells of dry fruits. Cherry, plum, raisin, and brown sugar make up the flavor. very sweet. Rich full body and mouthful gives way to mild alcohol burn. Alcohol becomes more pronounced as it warms.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pineypower (2523) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - AUG 8, 2006
May re-rate this beer in a few years....but for now. Beer pours out a dark brown color with a small lacing head that quickly fades. Aroma is of some spices and some dried fruit. Nice mouthfeel, but the taste really needs some time. Flavors need to mature, but what was there were notes of dried fruit, spice, caramel and some chocolate here and there. A decent beer now, has potential to be good in a year or so.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - AUG 8, 2006
This is literally like liquid bread with a bit of plum juice, and a bit of an alcohol bite. Really smooth, with a bit of cola in the mouthfeel, some great dark fruitiness on the palate, and a bit of bittersweet caramel maltiness. Tons of yeastiness, with lots of chocolate and a bit of caremelized brown sugar. Super tasty and relaxing!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - AUG 8, 2006
Draft pint at the sunset grill 8/5/06. Pourw a flat dark brown color with a dull surface. Nose is dark fruits with some grape skin and some dates and chocolate. Palate is smooth but dull and lightly oily. Flavor is more of the dark fruits and hints of chocolate and dates. Light grape skin notes and a finish of oily chewyness.

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