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RATINGS: 1565   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
holdenn (2083) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 25, 2006
On tap @ Maproom: Pours a rasin amber color with a thin off white head. Red grapes dominate the aroma with raisins, plums, and some belgian spices. The flavors follow suit of the aromas with some a little bit of cherries and vanilla. Overall a pretty good beer, but not quite great.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Palidor19 (2998) - Brandon, Florida, USA - AUG 24, 2006
I did enjoy this one very much, but it fails at at a certian level that gives a great "WOW" factor. still its got an intial taste of cherries and raision with a storng Alcohol punch. Make sure you give this one a try

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - AUG 24, 2006
very nice red mohaghany appearance, scent of figs, nice sweet malty taste. very good double.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopscotch (9549) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 24, 2006
Bottle... Clear, very dark ruby ale with a small, fizzy, beige head. Raisin, banana, clove and bubblegum esters and phenols escape the glass and find shelter in the happy confines of my nose. Well balanced flavor with lots of sweet chocolate/tobacco maltiness up front followed by just enough hop and alcohol bitterness to level the playing field. Full-bodied and oily with lively carbonation. Finishes bittersweet. Too good to put the glass down… which is unfortunate since I ended up falling asleep on the couch while holding it. Woke up soaked. Battle scars all over the couch and my clothes. Nothing new here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
lagermonkey (725) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - AUG 23, 2006
Pours a deep reddish brown with a 1/4 inch tan head. Head dissipates to a wisp and leaves no lacing on the goblet. Cherry and rich malty aromatics eminate from the glass. Hints of oaky vanilla. Taste is the same rich tones as the smell. Hint of alcohol, a bit of port. Lots of sour cherry and rich malt. A bit less body than you would expect. More medium bodied than heavy. The flavors don’t quite mesh. Maybe with age? Mixed feelings on this one but not a bad Belgian-style American ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TerryR (384) - Oswego, Illinois, USA - AUG 22, 2006
Deep amber with a tan head that quickly disappears. Aroma of dark fruit, candy sugar, spice and alcohol. Flavor follows the aromas as spiciness is more noticeable followed by a fairly alcoholic finish. A very nice beer, but it did not meet my expectations from a brewery that produces some great beers.

   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 (960) - 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 (2564) - 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.

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