Home > Belgian Ale, Belgian Strong Ale > Brother Thelonious (319 of 1001)

Brother Thelonious (319 of 1001)

Rating: 4.0

My second ever beer from North Coast brewing now and a beer that I’ve been on the look out of late, ever since it was highly recommended to me a couple of months ago. As luck would have it, one of my local beer shops started stocking it so I decided to make a trip into Glasgow to pick up a bottle before they disappeared. The beer is a 9.4% Belgian dark ale from the Californian brewery and follows on from the bottle of Old Rasputin imperial stout from North Coast that I reviewed here earlier this year. Taking inspiration from American jazz icon Thelonious Monk, the beer was originally released in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and features an image of the man himself on the bottle. I’m drinking this particular bottle relatively fresh but I’m hoping that it is a good one because I plan to grab another couple (assuming I can find some more) and age them a little to see how they compare.

Brother Thelonious

Appearance (5/5): Dark amber to mahogany brown with a thumb-sized head that is foamy looking and a dirty cream colour that even turns a creamy texture after a minute or so. The head retention is excellent with it holding for a good few minutes as some fine bubbles rise to the surface of a slightly hazy body.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a malty beer on the nose with plenty of ripe, dark fruits coming through early on; most notably some figs, dates and plums with the odd raisin as well. The beer was quite sweet with a few touches of alcohol to accompany this before some biscuit malts came through towards the end.
Taste (7/10): This one matches the nose well, coming through with quite a strong and malty taste that started with a stronger alcohol kick than suggested before. There was a nice amount of sweetness as well with the figs and plums from the nose featuring. The odd spice showed itself, as did some yeast, sugars and biscuit malts with the beer coming through nicely but certainly not as strong or as pronounced as one might have expected from a 9.4% beer; it was still a nice drink though.
Palate (4/5): This one was a medium boided beer that was quite rich and very smooth with a slightly warming alcohol feel that was to be expected given the strength of the beer. It was quite a dry offering with moderate carbonation and it had some very faint bitterness right at the end but actually proved to be a lot easier to drink than one might have expected, with the beer going down very easily indeed.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a nice Belgian style beer that was quite sweet with plenty dark fruits and malts coming through on top of a smooth, medium body. It went down a lot easier than one might expect and was very enjoyable with a rich, complex taste and warming feel to it but it falls short of some of the better Belgian brewed beers of the style if I’m honest.

Brewed In: Fort Bragg, California, United States of America
Brewery: North Coast Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2006
Type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Abv: 9.4%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.50

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  1. April 5, 2016 at 08:20
  2. September 29, 2016 at 08:28

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