Beer Review: North Coast Brother Thelonious


North Coast Brewing’s Brother Thelonious is one of those beers I always have seen but never got; was it worth it?

We all have those beers we see and want to get, but always grab something else instead; I recently decided that I was going to start grabbing these types of beers. The first one up was Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Company.

North Coast Brewing

Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer: Brother Thelonious
ABV: 9.4%
IBU: 27
Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark

Brewery Description:
“With all the interest in Belgian ales and in 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 legend Thelonious Monk is the inspiration for North Coast Brewing’s Belgian-style Abbey Ale. With an ABV of over 9%, this strong dark ale is rich and robust. Available in a handsome 750 ml bottle with crown and capsule finish or 12 oz. 4-Packs. The label features the Jazz master himself, a portrait by California artist Eric Grbich.

“Brother Thelonious is produced under a licensing agreement with the Thelonious Monk Estate. North Coast Brewing is proud to make a donation from the sale of every bottle and keg of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale to the Jazz education programs of the Monterey Jazz Festival.”

North Coast Brother Thelonious

Came in a 4-pack of 12 oz bottles. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear caramel brown, almost copper color. There was a thin layer, maybe a quarter finger’s worth, of light brown, dark creamy head that disapated quickly. There was little lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Cherry is the primary smell along with malt; there are hints of spice and sweet berries. You also get some of the yeast, with a clove/banana scent.

Taste: The cherry taste matches the smell, along with the bready malt. There are hints of dark chocolate, giving it a slightly bitter finish. You also get very slight taste of cloves, molasses, vanilla, and spices.

Mouthfeel: It’s well carbonated and a full mouthfeel. It’s thick, but not in that hazy IPA sense. It also hides the 9%+ alcohol pretty well.

Overall: It’s a well rounded beer; solid smell and taste that leaves you full after 2. This feels like a fall/winter beer due to the taste and mouthfeel. There are aspects of the beer that reminds me of wine.

Rating: I give it a 3.5 out of 5; it’s a good beer and a style I don’t try often. BeerAdvocate drinkers gave it a score of 86, while Untappd drinkers rated it 3.87.

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