Manliest beverage to imbibe while enjoying live jazz (2008)

Brother Thelonious Belgian-Style Abbey Ale

Sip gingerly from a namby-pamby wine glass in the front row at the Blue Note and Ahmad Jamal is liable to slap you upside the head as he launches into "I'm Old Fashioned." Instead, reach for a comically oversized bottle of Brother Thelonious Belgian-Style Abbey Ale, a dauntingly dark-colored swill that a reviewer praises for its "enticing spiciness of nutmeg and malty sweetness," which complements the "ripe bing cherries, figs, and a hint of alcohol that warms on the back side of each swig," although ultimately "the taste is dominated on the front side by caramel, figs, and a bit of black pepper," whereas "the finish is spicy alcohol with a modest bitterness that mingles with residual sweetness." Indeed. That's all well and good, but the real motivator here is to drink from a sweet bottle featuring an illustration of Mr. Monk himself in a beatific pose, a goblet in his hand, a skull in his lap. There is also the quantity issue. "That bottle. Yes. It amounted to a great many glasses," recalls one patron. "People may be familiar with the container—I believe it's usually called Wembley Stadium."


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >