Brother Thelonius bottle
Brother Thelonius (9.4 per cent ABV) is not quite in the echelon of a Pliny the Elder, but definitely one of those American craft beers with international recognition. Brewed by North Coast in Fort Bragg, California, it is loosely described as a Belgian Style Ale, but this is a Quadrupel no doubt about it. Burnt caramel and tutti-frutti ester on the nose, with banana lollies and Liquorice Allsorts. Big golden syrup on the palate, with some brief stone fruit before a smoky bitterness rises into the finish. A recognisably American version of a Belgian classic, bringing more weight and bitterness but less earthy spice and yeast nuance. Belgian purists may find reason to look askance, but I appreciate confidently different take.


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