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RATINGS: 1594   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11896) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 9, 2006
(750ml bottle) Minimal beige head that vanishes quickly, atop clear ruby body. Aroma is medium sweet, plum, some perfume, alcohol astringency. Taste is moderately sweet, plum, light caramel, vinous, some alcohol. Soft, medium-full body, some stickiness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
shigadeyo (3131) - Harrison, Ohio, USA - SEP 8, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 5, 2008
Sampled from bottle at River’s Bend on 9/1/2006 - Thanks Matt! This one was sweet and thick. Amber color, mostly clear. Moderate carbonation. Also had some bitterness to it that was okay, but not great. Not nearly as well balanced and interesting as the Victory V12! Rating: 7 3 7 4 15 = 3.6

8/05/2008: According to the label, Brother Thelonious is a "Belgian Style Abbey Ale". Yep, it sure looks (dark amber-brown color with a frothy dark beige head), smells (strong and fruity with dark/dried fruit, sweet caramelized malt, banana, and more), and tastes (good presence of caramelized and slightly roasted malts, aged dark fruits such as dates and berries/cherries, hints of banana and subtle smokiness, candi sugar, and a strong but tasty alcohol presence) like it! It starts on the sweet side and moves through the main flavors toward a strong, slightly dry finish. This beer is strong, yet intriguingly complex and tasty brew! It has a medium to medium-full body and a smooth mouthfeel. Actually, this beer reminds me of a good Scotch Ale in a number of ways...

12 fl. oz. bottle (Alc/Vol. 9.4%) from tish. Thanks again Tish! Rating: 7 4 8 3 16 = 3.8

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - SEP 7, 2006
This beer poured with a nice initial fizzy head, but it dissipated quickly to a trace amount of bubbles in the very center. Aroma is yeasty and spicy, with occasional hints of a smokey malt flavor. Very nice and ever-present. Taste continues those flavors, with a bit of nuttiness, and mellow roasty bitterness in the finish. Sounds very well and good, but the beer should be a bit thicker. This way all of the flavors can fully coat your mouth. Towards the end, I think the yeast flavors became a little strong for me, but overall I still found this beer enjoyable and worth trying. North Coast did a good job making a genuine abbey style ale, even if there’s room for improvement.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tennisjoel (1194) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - SEP 7, 2006
Bottle rating. Deep burgandy colored, with a smaller head than I would expect from this style of beer. Dark fruit aroma, belgian sugar, vanilla, and a smoked aspect too. I also can smell the alcohol here. The head almost completely diminishes, almost barley wineish in that respect. A very sweet taste immediately attacks the palate, with a spicy cinnamon like finish coating the palate. I also get slight hints of wheat/banana notes. Fairly complex, but nothing that is mind blowing. A good beer, just not exceptional.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 6, 2006
Dark chestnut color with hints of ruby when held to the light. Smaller, but creamy looking head. Second bottle and I must admit the scents from this one are less pleasing than I remember from the first (granted the first was during a general set around and swill some brews). Woody caramel, stewed prunes, wild flowers, and light peat. No noticeable alcohol and nothing that incites any emotion. Full malty flavors. Now there is something to sink ones teeth into. Mild caramel, light cherry wood and dark candi sugar, some floral notes lighten this up. A very chewy brew. This somehow begs to be coupled with a thick maduro cigar. Just a few sips and a puff every five or ten minutes make this a long and interesting brew.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 6/20
Nugget (30) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 4, 2006
This beer tastes like lake water. I was expecting a hell of a lot more from North Coast. The Silver Jubilee was fantastic, this is just baloney.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mcbackus (758) - Merritt Island, Florida, USA - SEP 4, 2006
this was i very good belgian style beer. the colour to me is fantastic and the head stay around just enough. the nose was quite sweet, but had a dark fruit smell also it is very warming but the alcohol does not come out to much. not a belgian fan yet but i really love this beer cheers to north coast again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SSSteve (3899) - - SEP 3, 2006
this was strange. dark red amber colored. medium sized off-white head. diminish quickly. sweet, fruity, cidery, apple aroma. a very different flavored belgian. it has a chili pepper warmth to it. flavors of fruits, peppers, even cinnamon maybe. a light dry chili burn in finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (11582) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 3, 2006
Bottle. Poured dark ruby color with a minimal fizzy off-white head that mostly diminishing with good lacing. Moderate toasted nuttty malt and spice aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Medium balanced flavor with a medium sweet bitter finish of moderate duration. With some age may have more character.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 2, 2006
Sampled at Rivers Bend in Cincinnati. Pours a reddish brown with a diminishing off white head. Plummy and yeasty aroma. Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy. Flavor of vanilla, dark fruits, and some slight peat. Lots of residual sweetness. Spicy finsih with a tad amount of alcohol. Not bad.

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