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RATINGS: 1679   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 32   EST. CALORIES: 282   ABV: 9.4%
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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
davidwel (7) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2006 does not count
Wow. Liike a complex jazz tune, this beer has a lot going on. There are rhythms and tempos and chords that at first seem chaotic, but soon the beauty of the whole emerges. With elements of West Coast Micro-Brew and Belgian Abbey, this will find fans of both traditions of brewing. Like Monk’s own bands...This is a great combo!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Slinger (91) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - DEC 3, 2006
750ml- Pours a nice dark reddish-orange with a small off-white head. Scents of dark fruits and tastes similar with a touch of spiciness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
decaturstevo (5703) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - DEC 3, 2006
Thanks Suttree for the chance. A deep cherry brown pour. A rasiny fruity aroma with a hint of spice. A tick of a bitter taste that is hard to put a finger on. A flavor much like the aroma. Alcohol eases in as well. A tad on the fizzy side but not a bad beer at all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mreeves (276) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - DEC 3, 2006
Nice brown color, fairly light on carbonation. Malty, alcoholic flavor with fruity and spicy overtones. Bready, yeasty sort of flavor as well. Hops make their presence a bit toward the end. Overall, a nice Belgian double.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
Suttree (5768) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 3, 2006
Clear brownish mahogany, thin head. Spicy, cinnamon aroma. Bready, toasty flavor. Subtle fruity noes - rasisna nd prune, crisp woodsy hop bite at the end. Nice earthy flavors as it warms, perhpas a hint of ginger, too. Body seems a bit on the thin side.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sayravai (4707) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 3, 2006
(Bottled, 0.75l, thanks, Markku!) Dark ruby color wiith a medium-large, foamy head. Caramely-syrupy aroma with red currant and some wineous oakiness. Rye-pudding is also present, slightly Samichlaus-style. Grainy, sugary-syrupy, berry jelly flavor with some alcohol in the finish. Vinous, medium to full-bodied, very syrupy, sweet and thick palate with medium carbonation. An extremely sweet, quite straightforward and not very balanced dessert brew. Somewhat reminds me of the German "Stärktes bier der Welt", although it’s not nearly as thick.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
fly (1450) - austin, Tejas, Texas, USA - NOV 27, 2006
Alcohol abounds. Little other than the usual suspects arise. To become jaded with a style has great drawbacks and being presented with a cool bottle festooned with the likeness of a jazz great, then not to care al too much for it is a shame. I like North Coast and feel they could have done this one justice. It’s not a complete failure. It’s not BAD, I just don’t care that much for a beer screamiomg alcohol and sweetness. Tone it down or amp it in a different direction. Monk was a powerful player but he didn’t hit me over the head.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - NOV 27, 2006
On tap at Ortinos Northside. Pours a darker brown/amber with a smaller off white creamy head. Aroma of dark fruits, molasses, caramel and candi sugars. Flavors of dark fruits, vineous, some caramel/toffee and alcohol. I have a bottle of this around as well and I will revisit my notes when I crack open that 750.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Brigadier (3410) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - NOV 26, 2006
750 ml bottle

I picked this gem up at Binny’s in Schaumburg for only $6.00. I’d seen it before in Madison, so thought I would give it a try. After all, if North Coast can do such a good job with Old Rasputin, they should be able to make a decent Belgian strong ale. I was not disappointed at all. In fact, I’m glad I picked up two so now I have another to pop open in a few months time.

Aroma / Appearance - A huge two-finger bubbly head soon settled to about one finger. The body underneath was a dark amber color, close to the shade of melted dark chocolate. The nose was an interesting juxtoposition of caramel, chocolate, truffles, canddy sugar, oak and bananas.

Flavor / Palate - A smoky mouthfeel takes about two seconds to unfurl from the start of the first sip. Once it does, a pleasant combination of rich dark chocolate, yeast and cherries fills the mouth. The chocolate texture lingers long after the rest fades away. The finish was a little too yeasty (like liquid rye bread) but on the whole this struck a nice balance between maltiness and yeast. While not the best Belgian strong ale, this would make a great standby if I could get it in the Madison area. Send me your extras and I’ll make sure they get disposed of.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (9051) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 26, 2006
750 ml corked and caged. Clear, dark brown beer with aroma of dried fruit, plums, prunes and raisins. Floral/herbal hops with a light mintiness as well. There is a bit of breadiness in the aroma as well. Flavour shows nice balance. Fruity sweetness, but it isn’t cloying or sugary like many american examples in this style. Flavour os sweet bread and dried fruit with floral hop flavour backing it up. Lingering flowery and minty finish. As it warms a faint smokiness emerges against the other sweet dark malts. Great brew.

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