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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,461 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,461
Reviews: 953
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 54
Gots: 255 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Vital Statistics

Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark
Color: Dark mahogany
ABV: 9.4%
Bitterness: 32 IBU's"

(Beer added by: sloejams on 05-04-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,461 | Reviews: 953 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by magictacosinus:
Photo of magictacosinus
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thelonious Monk is by far one my favorite composers of all time, and being a long-time fan of North Coast Brewing, the combination of the two is a beyond cool beer brand - especially if it still goes on to educational cause which is was at the time it came out! Poured into a chalice from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance is pretty spot on when it comes to the classic dubbel color. Reddish-brown, although the alcohol leggings make it more of an "imperial dubbel" hybrid than an actual classic rendition. Sadly, and not surprisingly, not much of a head, but some lacing persists even as it warms up. Overall not bad, but slightly sloppy in presentation.

The aroma starts with an excess amount of yeastiness, but flavors that are typical to these types of beers attempt to catch on at the back. Carmel, brown sugar, fruitiness most resembling figs and grapes - all do eventually turn up, but I think the alcohol is a little too excessive and masks these flavors.

The moment I took a first gulp, I immediately thought, "uh oh." The start is quite flavorful - red apples, raisins, prunes, and medicated oils - but immediately the alcohol, which so strongly took hold in the aroma, really overpowers and burns the remaining flavors. Otherwise, it's quite thick and juicy in feel, and it really is a shame that this is a factor preventing it from reaching its full potential.

I am only 1/3 through the glass and feeling enormously tipsy. I don't mind Belgian-style beers for their high ABV, but this, despite decent flavor and feel all-around, is a bit of an alcoholic inducement gone haywire. I realize what North Coast was trying to do here, but compared to other dubbels, it doesn't quite work out. On the bright side, I could definitely see myself listening to hard bop drinking something like this over a glass of wine!

magictacosinus, Aug 30, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a solid brown in color with a rather smallish head on a hard pour.

Smell – The deep, rich yeast is always my favorite and made up for the lack of a good appearance. It’s dark and doughy and dominates the nose.

Taste – The big malty yeast comes out in spades at the taste. It is very bready like undercooked toast. There’s a light yeasty sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel – This is big in the mouth but shy of full-bodied. The carbonation is light and tickling on the cheeks. It shows a light bitterness just at the very end as you’re walking away from the glass.

Drinkability – This is my kind of BSDA. It’s big but not gianormous, heavy on the yeast, and goes down smoothly.

RoyalT, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev +5.5%

aszatk01, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

t2grogan, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of boston2bburg
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I settle down on the warmest afternoon of the year so far with one Brother, as I wait for my own to arrive from Boston. The note on the bottle couldn't be more fitting: "CARPE DIEM VITA BREVIS." Life is short, seize the day.

It pours a very hazy auburn brown with a finger of tan head that thins out, not quite covering the chalice. The bubbles are very fine and foamy. Lacing is sparse, but it gets extra points for having such a cool bottle and label.

Caramel is most prevalent in the aroma but it is complemented by fruity esters, raisin and prune. Some earthy, woody hops are involved. With warmth, buttery notes show up, and finally some booziness when you get to the dregs.

Raisin, prune and caramel again on the tongue, but in that order. It's a bit sour but not very bitter, and this eases up a little as you drink more of it, or have a bite of cheese (I'm having muenster). Earthy hops are there as well.

The hops add an abundant spiciness to the mouthfeel. It's very light-bodied for such a strong beer and the only thing really keeping me from chugging it down is the sourness. I'm not overly familiar with the style but I'm sure the sour characteristic was intended. The alcohol itself isn't very noticeable but there is a sharp acidity that can be a little overbearing. Overall pretty enjoyable.

boston2bburg, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of SuqMadique
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

SuqMadique, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Zakk, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Tiernan, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

tbryan5, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

BubalooBrewMaster, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

Brewed in homage to jazz master Thelonious Monk, a portion of the proceeds for each case sold goes towards education at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

A hard pour yields a sizable head--and the thick collar of foam is a snap, crackle and pop away from nothing. Hazy, murky brown color is nearly opaque. Browned apple pulp, toasted grain husk and faint tropical fruit notes invade the nostrils. Slick mouthfeel with a medium body and semi-crisp carbonation. Brown malt to start: toasted and lightly roasted. Big twang of fermentation, fruit and tart with a metallic finish. Brown sugar sweetness flashes on the taste buds. Over-ripened tropical fruit, bread crust and a hint of black pepper in the middle. Beef stock? Finishes a bit toothy with a faded metallic flavor.

This Dubbel is just okay, nothing compared to some of its Belgian counterparts. On the other hand, if you dig jazz, grab a bottle or two--at least you know there's a good cause to get behind.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

sabitu, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of supa0525
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

supa0525, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of joel_bou
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%

joel_bou, Oct 17, 2014
Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +5.5%

danthehopslamman, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a goblet the beer was a red/orange color with a very tiny head. Wisps of lace. Brown sugar and dark fruit aroma. Taste followed form: brown sugar, dates, raisins, apple. A little yeasty. Medium bodied and smooth. A bit on the filling side; one was plenty for me.

lordofthewiens, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of freshflesh
4/5  rDev +5.5%

freshflesh, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of SD-Alefan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

SD-Alefan, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of DuckDodgers
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

DuckDodgers, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of VonSubmarine
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

VonSubmarine, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4/5  rDev +5.5%

BuckeyeSlim, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of Beerswag
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Beerswag, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Jason, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked, picked up @ American Bev in BKLYN, NY, I didnt see any freshness indication. Helps support Jazz Music by brewery making a donation for every case purchased. Pours medium brown, cloudy minor tan head, with so so retention, and just a wisp of lacing left. Nose here is milk chocolate and some raisins. Notes of bananas, chocolate, sweet bready malts. A bit on the sweet side, might benefit from some time in the bottle, still tasty and enjoyable, I'm a bit suprised by the low marks for this one, as somebody else noted, this one will benefit from some time to warm up. I'd like to try it with a chocolate dssert.

Billolick, Jul 08, 2006
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Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 2,461 ratings.