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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

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

2,092 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2092
Reviews: 928
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%

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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,092 | Reviews: 928 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of charlzm


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed October 12th, 2010 at Tony's Darts Away, Burbank, CA.

Clear, deep brown with a one finger head.

Aroma is meaty (?) with sweet malt and a tiny bit of smoke. Some dark pitted fruits as well.

Flavor is malt-forward but not overbearingly so. Hints of chocolate and a red grape flavor. Very low bitterness.

Smooth and a little coating on the finish.

Don't know why it took me so long to have this one, but I'm not afraid of it any more! Smooth and drinkable but deceptively high in ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2010 03:55:25 | More by charlzm
Photo of littlesgtpepper


3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the North Coast Brewery on 09/22/10 in a snifter glass.

Had a nice off-white head and stayed forever. Very nice lacing down the glass as I drank.

The smell was light but I sense apples and I almost thought this beer could pass for a sour by the smell.

This is a very nice beer. The flavors of maple syrup, sour (something?!), slight roastiness, cider, and vinegar clash together to create something closer to a wine or a sour than your average dubbel. The hops (if there even are any!) are clouded and completely undetectable considering the strong flavors. This beer, even with its tartness, reminds me of a dunkelweizen or a Belgian.

Wasn't too impressed by the bottle but really liked the on-tap version. I need to give this one another shot and would recommend this one to people who like Belgians or sours.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 04:38:08 | More by littlesgtpepper
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a tulip. Pours a nice deep red-brown with a two finger off-white to light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. It maintained nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, fruit, and a subtle hint of alcohol. The flavor followed the nose with malt, fruit (mostly bananas), and a slight alcohol burn upon swallowing. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was not that bad. I really like the fruit flavor to it as it was not overpowering and made the brew quite smooth. I would definitely drink this one again for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 14:36:27 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Beerfayce


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a tulip, served cold.
A: dark ruby brown with a lasting, light brown head that sticks to the glass.
S: roasty chocolate, malt and vanilla with a slight alcohol tang.
T: I held the tulip to warm it a bit before drinking. Much like the nose, chocolate bitterness and roasted malty sweet, vanilla creaminess and a little alcohol heat with a slightly bitter finish that fades.
M: thick but creamy and a bit sticky. Carbonation was on the lower side.
D: this dubbel is flavorful and well balanced. The alcohol stays pretty well hidden, with malt and roast in step. I could drink another with little difficulty, until the ABV catches up with me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2010 21:24:40 | More by Beerfayce
Photo of TMoney2591


3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

Another one of those constantly passed beers that I've always wanted to try. Finally! It pours a deep dark brown (borderline hazy), with a finger-and-a-half of ecru micro-foam on top, which quickly fades into nothingness. The nose comprises soap, bubblegum, raisins, banana, and pepper. The taste runs along somewhat similar, though darker, lines: notes of figs, raisins, cinnamon, sharp bitterness, cracked pepper, and light vinegar pervade the tongue. Something seems off...I can't put my finger on it, but the combination just leaves a bad taste in my mouth (literally). Well, not bad, but definitely not good either. The body is a surprising light medium, with light carbonation and a very fluid feel. Overall, I've gotta say that I'm pretty disappointed in this brew. I've had many that are worse, but this one was hyped-up a decent amount, and it just couldn't live up. If it weren't for that off-taste...

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2010 06:40:30 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of jera1350


3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at haute dish.

Deep burgundy color with a moderate tan head. Fruity, but light smelling with some sweetness. Some yeasty scents as well. Sweet sugary taste with blackberry, bit also a fish sauce taste. Not sure what's going on, but I cannot get past the fishy taste. The flavor is just not working at all for me. Slickish feel with a dry finish. Minus the fish taste this would be an okay beer, but nothing to call home about. I would would like to give this a try again in the future to see if I just had an off pour.

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2010 22:53:23 | More by jera1350
Photo of ToasterChef


4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. The beer has a deep ruby color and is opaque. A huge tan head settled slowly but did not leave much lace behind. It does leave behind a film that is slow to recede. It has a slightly spiced plum aroma with a hint of sweetness. It reminds me of a dubbel. It isn't overly complex, but good. The flavor is very malty. I can taste caramel, plum, and toffee. There is a tart fruitiness in the finish and a mild chalkiness in the aftertaste. I'm unable to taste any of the alcohol. It has a medium body and a lot of carbonation. It leaves behind a full coating of my mouth. This feels like a big beer. There is some stickiness in my mouth but not on my lips. This beer is very drinkable. I'd like to keep a few bottles of this on hand. I wouldn't drink too many in any one sitting (due to the ABV), but it would be a good beer to have to share when friends visit. This is another great beer from North Coast.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2010 17:39:18 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Thorpe429


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria, VA.

Pours a deep brown with a little bit of a head, which sticks for some nice lacing. Smell is mostly dark fruit--cherries and dates--with some caramel and malt sweetness. Taste is mostly dark fruit, residual sweetness, and some Belgian yeast. Very nice mouthfeel with good carbonation. Drinkability is very nice and smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2010 02:45:40 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of SDHoffers


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery and mahogany colored. There is a touch of citrus to lighten up the 9.4%. Sweet and smooth. Heavy banana aromas coming off the creamy tan head. I think this is a great beer to enjoy slowly. Not a great choice on a hot day but a sure keeper. Wasn't expecting the sweetness of the brew to be so strong given the deep color.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2010 15:45:04 | More by SDHoffers
Photo of Magpie14


4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: jeweled crimson color with a touch of brown and purple. Lacing is minimal...much as the head. What exists is a thin brown ring of foam hugging tight. As my drinking continued a few speckles of foam managed to stick to the glass. Otherwise, most of the points fall within the bodies pleasing hue...good marks

S: the nose is full of character. Brown sugared candies, some caramel, malts, dark fruits (mostly figs), and some noticeable spices. What is great is that nothing is overbearing, it smells very friendly

T: what hits first are the caramelized raisins, figs, and wedge of orange peel. This is followed by heavy cloves and a pinch of nutmeg and the sweetly laced leafy hops. In addition it has some yeast and malt characters holding fast. What has really got me intrigued is the overall sweet demeanor, it reminds me of traditional dutch babbelaars, without being over the top sweet. Things meld very well

M: this Dubbel comes across somewhat softer than you think, very nice. The body has a medium feel and carbonation is spot on and the finish gathers just a light slap of tartness
If any faults are present, it has some alcohol flavors pushing through as it warms

D: great stuff. I was glad to finally get a chance to drink this. I have picked up the bottle numerous times and pondered...put back...and pondered. What a bit of luck to have it on draft at a great local restaurant and bar. Overall one of the better Dubbels I have had
Thanks midnite2sixman for being a chronicler of beer and a true patriot

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2009 22:10:02 | More by Magpie14
Photo of Lunch


4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, Maryland as part of Baltimore Beer Week (10/08/2009). Served rather cold in a snifter, but I allowed it to warm slightly.

Appearance: Deep mahogany with a garnet hue that was capped with a slightly off-white one finger head that quickly dissipated.

Smell: Dark fruit consisting of raisins, plums, berries, and candied apples accompanied by molasses and brown sugar.

Taste: Raisins, plums, brown sugar and molasses are all up front with an estery Belgian yeast bringing up the rear. Alcohol is hidden quite well by a moderate sweetness and a faint hint of chocolate. This is one of my favorite American Dubbels.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to low carbonation with a slightly hot alcohol finish.

Drinkability: Quite good for the style, along the lines of similar quality American Dubbels such as Ommegang Abbey Ale.

Overall this is a well-crafted American Dubbel that captures many of the finer points contained in its Belgian style. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2009 16:30:26 | More by Lunch
Photo of jnezda


3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Tried this beer on a whim since the beer I was looking for was no longer carried at the establishment where I was eating.

Appearance: Disappointed with the lack of head at all. This could have certainly been fault of the establishment. The color was a deep amber/red color that was very pleasant.

Smell: Dark fruits, raisins and berries dominate the smells along with a sweet sugary undertone.

Taste: Also sweet with hints of dark fruits. The abbey ale flavors come through well although a touch too sweet for my taste. The flavor hides the high ABV content well which I find common in the North Coast beers.

Mouthfeel: Along with the lack of head there was a certain lack of carbonation on this beer. The lack of carbonation made the beer more viscus than most and almost a bit slippery. The beer flavors associated with mouthfeel were all in all very good just lacked carbonation.

Drinkablity: I have enjoyed this beer from a large format bottle a couple times to great extent so this draft experience was over all a let down.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2009 06:13:32 | More by jnezda
Photo of Diablerie


4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I almost feel bad for saying this, but I had this while at Stone Brewery's bar yesterday. One of my friends bought a round and, knowing that I liked abbey ales, decided that this was what I would get.

Definitely a pleasant surprise. As I mentioned, I do like abbey ales, and this is definitely among the best ones that I've tried. I was surprised that this was a dubbel mainly because it tasted so similar to quadrupels I've had in the past.

As a preface, I thought this tasted very similar to Lost Abbey's "Judgment Day" (which is a quadrupel, incidentally), with prominent raisin overtones (and some other dark fruit tastes that worked well).

Appearance - kind of a dank, dark brown; Unfortunately, I can't really comment on the head, as I wasn't there when the beer was poured. What was left when the glass reached my table was a fairly decent tan head...a bit less than a finger's width, I'd like to say.

Aroma - dark fruit for sure. That's the most prominent smell. Also a heavy dose of Belgian candied sugar and some other pleasant spicy aromas.

Taste - The alcohol is well-hidden (I think it's somewhere around 9%, but the exact number escapes me...and, yes, it's 9% (I just checked the description here)) and masked behind the plum/raisin/cherry taste that the aroma foreshadowed. And the sugar comes through quite powerfully too. In a way, the beer is too sweet, but then again, it's an American take on the Belgian style...so, different approaches are always a plus. By no means was it too sweet to drink. On a few sips though, I just didn't feel like I was drinking a beer. All around though, a pretty solid taste!

Mouthfeel - Pretty light on the palate, not too intense, but pretty much right on point. Not as full-bodied as the Rochefort Trappistes ales, but certainly not unpleasant.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. Definitely a dessert beverage of sorts.

I do highly recommend this beer, in addition to other North Coast brews. I'm happy to say that they've delivered another hit!

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2009 21:22:03 | More by Diablerie
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an American pint glass.

A: Dark brown with a thin head that didn't last or lace that well.

S: Sour fruit/cherry, brown sugar, plum, and some woodiness.

T: The taste was a little too sweet/sour from the getgo, but does dissolve into a nice balanced finish.

M: Barely a medium-bodied beer; surprising for a dubbel.

D: The thinner than expected body helps to make this sessionable, but then again the sourness detracts from it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2009 22:05:10 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of lhaqq


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany body and near white creamy head with great lacing.
S: Malty and fairly creamy. Some raisins and dark fruits.
T: Burnt and roasted malts, raisins, figs. Finishes with a bit of hop bitterness.
M: Maybe a bit light, but I haven't had a dubbel in a while and can't remember the usual feel. Think I might be thinking of a quad.
D: Hides the 9% well. One of the better dubbels I can remember having. Another great beer from North Coast.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2009 01:46:07 | More by lhaqq
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this beer on tap at North Coast brewing in Fort Bragg. Fortunatly can get this brew at home at decent bottle stores.

Dark reddish brown, woody or light cocacola colred.

Sweet molassas dark fruit, spicy alcohol burn (some clove and pepper) with some chewy burnt malt.

Taste is sweet and grainy biscuit with brown sugar. High alcohol warming with a bready yeast and rich ripe alcohol. Woody oak in here too. Mouthfeel is very full. It's a slow drinker, and improves as it warms up a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2009 21:21:04 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of mhatters


4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at TDR Exton in a tulip 10z glass

Pours a deep oak brown, with beautiful amber highlights. A quickly dissipating inch of off-white head

Lots of dark fruit - plums, raisin, tropical notes. A sweet malt backing.

The flavor follows the nose perfectly. The fruit and malt play off one another very well.

A big beer - the alcohol is there, the beer is rich, sweet and deep. A few at a time, no more - but do not get me wrong - a fantastic beer

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2009 20:23:00 | More by mhatters
Photo of claytri


4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a dark amber with an off white head. The aroma was of malt and raisins. The taste was of sweet malt mixed with raisins, and some medicinal undertones. The feel was heavy and wet. This was a very nice beer on a cold winters evening. Just what I'm normally looking for in a dubbel.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2009 22:04:17 | More by claytri
Photo of ThirdLap


4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at North Coast Brewing, February 13, 2009. Review from notes taken that day.

A - Pours a dark amber with a creamy-looking medium tan head. Recedes to produce tons of lacing, leaving a chunky film that sticks around.

S - Nutty, sweet, caramel, slight smoky woodsiness

T - Dried dark fruits, nougat, vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel. There's a good balance going on here.

M - Lots of carbonation, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, with a tangy clean finish.

D - Pretty decent. This is a solid beer... worth trying if you come across it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2009 06:20:26 | More by ThirdLap
Photo of illidurit


2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a clear deep reddish amber color with a beige head that leaves some decent lacing. Aroma is peppery alcohol, red and dark fruits, and a hint of mesquite. Light and fruity with not enough body or depth for the style. Astringent and thinnish. A textbook example of a poor American imitation of a Belgian beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 05:51:27 | More by illidurit
Photo of yeastsipper


2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the NC tap room:

Beer poured into a tulip. Nice big head. A bit strange coloring though - the beer looked almost purple.

The smell is of candy sugar, raisins, plums and stone fruit. The sweetness dominates the nose.

The taste is one of sweetness and raisins followed by a slight vinegar like flavor. Acidic, but not sour. The sweetness up front is too much for me. Not bad, but not great either.

I didn not care for the mouthfeel. There was not much carbonation and overall the mouthfeel was very week. Drinkability is low due to the mouthfeel and excessive sweetness.

I did not care much for this beer. The second half of the beer I enjoyed much morel. Drinking the beer with my meal, the spicyness of the garlic from the garlic fries served to balance out the sweetness of the BT. Pretty good with spicy food, not so good alone.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 08:34:16 | More by yeastsipper
Photo of Riccymon


3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on-tap at the Elephant Room in Austin. Poured a very deep red from the pitcher with a full two fingers of thick head. I came away mainly with aromas of dark fruit and toasty bread; nothing extraordinary. I found Brother Thelonious tasty, but not overly complex, though I may have drank my pint a bit cold (frosted glasses--seriously???). Most clearly present was the same sweet fruit, particularly cherry and raisin, as in the smell, with some maltiness. The stickiness and dry finish of the beer also brought to mind licorice flavors. The 9% ABV was nowhere to be found in the taste, though its strength made a pint and a half more than enough for me. A solid Belgian offering, in any case.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2009 04:29:48 | More by Riccymon
Photo of BigFrank71


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this on tap at my local beer bar served in a 12oz tulip. appearence darkbrown with a mocha thick head, i did enjoy the aroma smelled a little of carmel and spice. Taste and mouth feel better then i expected for a belgian copy dubble. over all i would order this beer again and actually bought a bomber of this at a beer store for future drink.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2008 18:07:31 | More by BigFrank71
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, deep mahogany color with a small, tan head. It ledt a soapy lace/residue.

S - It smelled sweet and of fruits (pear and apple). Some spicy notes, too.

T - This is a very complex dubbel. Lots of fruit flavors, sweet caramel malt, spices, and a subtle hop bitterness.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is an excellent North Coast beer. It belongs up there with Old Rasputin and Praqster.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2008 18:43:02 | More by zeff80
Photo of Zadok


4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer in KC.

Poured a dark brown with a two finger head of the off-white variety.

Very pleasant fruity fragrance. Mainly light fruits such as apple, pear, and maybe a peach or two.

A quite unexpected taste. Very flavorful with a fruity and light fluffy malt presence. Light fruits turn into a deep mild cherry and a smidge of raisins and dates.

Has a champagne feel to it, slightly high carbonation but yet very smooth.

Delicious, North coast took several steps in the upward direction (as if they needed it) imo. Will look forward to having again for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2008 02:13:35 | More by Zadok
Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,092 ratings.