Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,249 | Reviews: 937 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by burntoutphilosopher:
4.1/5 rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A – dark ruby or deep amber colored. An off white head that holds well. I would like some sediment or cloudiness for an Abbey. This is very clear when held to light, with no Lees.
S – lightly roasted malt. Very soft… deceivingly so. You’d think it was a mild, flavorless ale at first whiff …
T- softly sweet …so smooth, with a caramel taste. What strikes me is the hops and malt both hit and last for the same time. Usually beers like this are sweet with a bitter after taste, this one, the flavors are so perfectly blended. It’s both sweet and bitter at the same time. It has a LOT of flavor, but not a noticeable alcohol presence. It really attacks the senses (in a good way). No aftertaste, washes cleanly away very quickly.
M – exactly what you’d think of an Abbey … like a 1554. I expected more thick sediment and syrupy texture, but this beer is of average viscosity. Lightly carbonated, and leaves no residue on the palette.
O – 9.4% alcohol, and you can’t even taste it. This is one of my favorite beers. I’ve had this about five times now. It’s sweeter than most beer I like, but it is so pleasantly so… some of these strong abbey’s can have almost a syrupy sweetness that is too much. But this is the most well balanced and blended beer of this style I’ve ever had. It is sweet… it’s supposed to be, but something in the smokey malt flavors really balance it. I don’t directly taste it and find ‘hops’ but there is some element of a dry bitterness there subtly in the background. It washes so cleanly, that it makes a great sipping beer. One of the few beers I consider too good to chug.
Serving type: bottle
05-18-2014 04:11:44 | More by burntoutphilosopher
More User Reviews:
2.15/5 rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2
Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass. 1/2 inch head disappeared within a couple of minutes. Not bad but still disappointing for the style.
Smell: Bottle said to enjoy at 55 degrees. It was definitely colder than this when I poured, so given the 9.4% abv I was not surprised that the smell of alcohol predominated at first. No matter, I didn't want to drink it quickly so I had no trouble sipping slowly to allow it to warm up a bit. It was around 60 degrees by the time I was done. But it didn't help much--even at warmer temperatures all I could smell was alcohol and some coffee.
Taste: Not surprisingly, my first sips were all alcohol and burnt coffee. As the glass warmed up a bit it improved marginally. Overly sweet with some burnt toffee. Some spices that were overwhelmed by the alcohol. The lack of complexity is hard to believe until you've tasted it for yourself. I could barely detect some dark fruits--figs, raisins maybe?--struggling to come through without much success. This is such a fantastic style and this beer fails completely.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation was about right and at least the alcohol didn't give a burning sensation.
Overall: I'm not sure how I could enjoy this at any temperature.
The worst part is that I didn't even mean to purchase this beer. I bought a four-pack of Three Philosophers--at least that's what the carrier packaging said. I didn't look at the actual bottles at the store, and when I got home, lo and behold I was stuck with four of these. And now I have three more of them to suffer through. I'll update this review if the boozy Brother Thelonious somehow grows on me.
Serving type: bottle
07-26-2014 15:30:28 | More by Lucular
Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,249 ratings.