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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

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

2,210 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,210
Reviews: 934
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 45
Gots: 162 | 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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,210 | Reviews: 934 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brunite


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

A-Pours a dark ruby color that is deep and rich. The head is small, fizzy, tan.

S-Dark fruits such as raisin, dates, and figs, with a rich wheat bread scent.

T-Dark fruits along with hearty bread notes. Strong dark fruity note of dates and figs are present.

M-Smooth with a sweet feel. Medium bodied with a clean, dry, crisp, finish.

O-This is as good as an dubbel I've ever had. Very tasty...very drinkable. Will be getting more to try again and solidify my feelings. But...I like this!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 05:54:14 | More by Brunite
Photo of litheum94


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

Pour: Deep garnet color, clear when held to the light. A decent tan head that evaporates, leaving no cover or lace.

Aromas: Sweet caramel malts. Dates. Belgian yeast. Some figs. Apples. Little touch of spice and booze, like a spiced rum. No discernable hop aromas.

Taste: A veritable potpourri of flavors. Cinnamon, fig, orange rind and Belgian yeast lead the way. Sweet malts and an earthy flavor build the middle, followed by a sherry like booziness. Bing cherry flavors arrive as the beer warms, as well as apple flavors.

Complex, easy drinking, SBDA. This is one of my favorites from North Coast, and it never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 00:09:18 | More by litheum94
Photo of eric5bellies


3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my St Bernardus chalice.

A - Pours a dark clear Mahogany colour with an off White head that dies immediately.\

S - Slight aromas odf spice and dark fruit.

T - Up front some nice spices but fails from then on. The end has some cherries present but its a long way from the real thing.

M - The carbonation if medium and the the body is medium.

O - Too sickly sweet for me and not really authentic enough.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 15:38:38 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of brouwer


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brother Thelonius is an American Belgian "style" abbey ale. I appreciate the attempt since I am a fan of Belgian Beer.

It appears dark with opaque brown coloration.

It formed a nice 2 inch head which did not last long - minimal lacing.

Smell was weak with definite citrus overtones.

Taste was sweet with no bitterness. Fruity taste with moderate carbonation. Mild sweet aftertaste.

Satisfying, easy to drink but not as much depth as other fine Belgian Abbey ales.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 00:03:14 | More by brouwer
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark ruby red color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label.
One finger head that dissipated fairly quickly.
Aroma is predominantly sweet, with fruity esters, licorice and dark fruit coming through.
This felt like an almost medium bodied ale, something that I am not too big a fan of in an abbey ale. A fuller body would make this an excellent abbey ale.
Highly drinkable, and an ale worth trying. However, it is not an ale I would go out of my way to get.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 01:44:17 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of jgagne


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-nice deep amber tone body with decent light brown foamy head

S-Hints of roasted malt, caramel and candied sugar

T-fairly strong caramel sweetness and roasted nut taste. Nice balance

M-Sits not so heavy with mild carbonation

O-Decent beer, definitely not the best of the style but it is a valid interpenetration of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 23:05:49 | More by jgagne
Photo of theJollySin


3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A dark, rich color, from nut brown to a redish honey color at the bottom of the glass.

S - A malty scent, without strong hops or fruit overtones. It's a simple, basic smell. But pleasing.

T - It's got a decent malty flavor. It's not strong, and it's not complicated. For a beer billing itself as a Belgium style abbey ale, it's flavor is particularly simple.

M - It is extra fizzy on the tongue, especially for a dark ale.

O - I don't dislike it, but I don't taste any of the refinement of all of the abbey ales I like so much. It might just be a marketing gimmick to call it a Belgium style abbey ale. It is a fine beer, and better than most mass-manufactured American tripe. But in the end, it has no real personality or uniqueness at all.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 05:01:44 | More by theJollySin
Photo of jwinship83


3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out avery dark and murky brown colored body with a tall khaki colored head on top. the head is long lasting and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the nose starts off with some fruit and belgian yeast. banana, cherries, raisins, plums, and figs. after that i get some brown sugar and a hint of chocolate. alcohol and earthy hops at the end.

T- the taste starts off sweet with belgian yeast and a plethora of fruits. cherries, figs, dates, raisins, and banana. a little bit of green apple skin adds a slight twang to this. brown sugar and chocolate malt move in to add further sweetness. earthy hops and spiciness at the end along with a hint of alcohol.

M- light bodied. highly carbonated.

O- not the best example of the style. the traditional brewers in belgium have much better examples for the most part. i wouldnt mind picking up another one and sitting on it for a while. it wouldnt exactly be a costly experiment.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 04:46:41 | More by jwinship83
Photo of shangwang


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

poured from a 12oz bottle.

Deep ruby red / brown appearance with a finger of creamy tan head. Light watery lacing that cascaded quickly down the glass. Smelled of sweet honey and cherries, a bit overwelmingly so. I was expecting it to taste sweeter based on the smell, but the sweetness was pleasantly less pronounced in taste. There was actually a bit of bitterness in the finish, which was pleasant. Medium mouthfeel without much carbonation.

Overall it was ok, but I don't know if I'd seek it out again. Not one of the better Belgian Dark Ales I've had, but wasn't the worst either.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 02:15:01 | More by shangwang
Photo of Armand


2.55/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a chilled pint from Oggis. One overpriced beers due to the ABV. Big deal. I'd pass on this one.

A: Pours a very dark brown. There is a small light tan head which fades quickly.

S: Smells primarily of caramel malts, raisins, and sweet fruit.

T: Raisin, and caramel, sweet liqour due to the ABV, with a citrus note that I don't car for too much.

M: Syrupy and overall too much to sit back and enjoy. Didn't car for this one too much. Even for the ABV I had to down it quick like you would a BMC

O: Too harsh and strong to enjoy.

Serving type: draft

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 00:47:16 | More by Armand
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. 2006 vintage brought out by jdiddy. Pours a deep mahogany with a swirl of foam comprising the head. Nose expresses candied dark fruits (figs, raisins, prunes) and a boozy quality. Taste is not as sweet as anticipated by the nose; however, the dark fruit still shines through. There's also a trace of oxidation that comes out towards the back. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a lively carbonation. A pretty tasty brew that has definitely held up well over time. Might be worth throwing a few in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 00:31:48 | More by Jwale73
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear mahogany even when the bottle is swirled (no yeast?) with a meager one finger of off-white head that completely vanishes with no lacing.

S: Some spicy notes followed by some bubblegum and banana aromas. There are some slight dark fruit and yeast notes towards the finish along with a bit of an alcohol aroma.

T: Slight spice flavors at first followed by some bubblegum flavors. The finish has a light breadiness with some dark fruit notes and a noticeable alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with low-ish carbonation, this beer isn't too thick and sweet at least, but it needs more carbonation to give it a crisp feel.

O: A pretty unimpressive BSDA. It's all around just bland, ugly, and has very little carbonation for a style that should have a lot.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 20:33:05 | More by n2185
Photo of Bierlerner


3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice 2 finger head. Dark ruby red color. Little patches of lacing.

S- Sweet malts and roasted malts. Some dried dark fruits. Brown sugar and caramel. Smells great.

T- A bit of warming alcohol rushes in the start. Then Figs, prunes, raisins, etc. Brown sugar and caramel for sure. Pretty sweet on the tongue. A tad too sweet for my taste. Finishes a little tart, probably from the prunes.

M- Med-to-light mouthfeel. A bit thin for me. Sticky on the lips with a bit of a dryer finish.

O- If offered, I'd try again. But I don't think I'd seek this one out again. Not one of my fav BSDA's

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 02:33:19 | More by Bierlerner
Photo of DrinkingDrake


3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A mahogany color with a creamy fluff of white head that drops down the glass to leave a thick ring. Nose brings a lot of syrupy malt(toffee) complimented by some fig fruitiness. Flavor starts with a roasted malt and molasses sweetness. Shortly after a lot of the darker fruit flavors show through (raisins, figs and sweet plum) The ABV% quickly comes through but doesn't bite. A smooth dry finish similar to Merlot or Pinot.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 13:53:31 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of jadpsu


3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at Nicko's. 12.7 ounce, corked bottle.
Ruby Red pour with a large tan, tight head. Note: first pour in the clean glass showed little head retention. Second pour, in same glass showed good retention.
A: alcohol leads, then I quickly get raisens and or prunes. So there is a fair amount going on here, but the smell of alcohol and prunes are not what I look for in a beer.
Taste: get some roasted malts, raisens and the alcohol. Burnt sugar sweetness in mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not by itself, and not a session drink due to the high ABV. Where does that leave you?
Expensive, and despite being complex, not anything that I will come back too.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 00:18:52 | More by jadpsu
Photo of

3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - cloudy dark brown-red. A sizable head foams up with a hard pour and then fades to nothing almost immediately.

Smell - dark dried fruit, particularly fig and rasin, and overripe plum with some sweet malt and a faint cardboard note.

Mouthfeel - slick with fizzy carbonation

Taste - More dried fruit, plum, bread and a bit of a cough-syrupy medicanal tatse on the finish. As it warms it gets less fruity and more sickly, cough syrup-sweet.

This beer is okay, but I would not go out of my way to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 01:04:37 | More by


4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into Duvel Tulip. From notes, consumed 06.03.11

A: The beer pours a dark brown body, with hints at black, the head is formed with a thick mat and holds very well, looks like a very classic Belgian Quad. Lacing is to the standards for the style.

S: The aroma gives off a nice and mellow dark fruit character, plums and currants. The medium intensity holds a nice prolonged essence and becomes much more multidimensional as brew warms, giving off a much more boozy and warming note.

T/M: The first sip is smooth and light charactered, with a crispness while cold. The notes of plums and raisins project from the nose into the overall taste. The mouthfeel does have a rich creamy aspect to it and stands up to many of the classic styles. Lingering taste is well done, with a malty after tone and rich warming feeling.

Overall: A very nice offering from North Coast, staple goto beer for the style. Very enjoyable and well brewed. And the props to Thelonious Monk are an added plus.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2011 13:21:52 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of MrKennedy


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to mulder1010, poured into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Very deep colour, dark, dark brown, with a reddish tinge when held up to the light. Pours with a one-finger head of foam that is off-white and fades promptly to be a very thin layer of film.

Smells of dried fruit and a little bit of booze which pre-empts a bit of what is coming. Slightly sweet as well.

Taste has raisins and figs with plenty going on as it hits all parts of your mouth and a touch of yeastiness.

Whilst it is 9.4% ABV, it has a real booziness to it, not just warming alcohol. It is one big beer, not thick, but tastes big and whilst the body isn't huge, it is a real sipper.

Overall, a decent belgian ale, but one that you need to remind yourself that it is big, a touch boozy, but a decent drop for the cooler months.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 11:04:16 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of ADZA


3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a rich ruby hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head and sporadic clingy lacing,the smell is prunes,dried cherries,dark plums and fruit mince pies,it has a medium bodied almost syrupy averagely carbonated mouthfeel to it and has tastes of dried cherries,white port,fruit mince pies and finshes with a dark fruit bitterness and overall its alright

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 07:51:25 | More by ADZA
Photo of WankelEngine


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass

A: Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. There is a small light tan head which fades quickly.

S: Smells primarily of caramel malts. I can smell a bit of dark fruit like raisins as well.

T: The malt here is both caramel and roasted, giving a sweet yet slightly smoky and dark flavor to the beer. The flavor of raisins and other subtle fruits is noticeable as well. There is a slight bitterness which pervades the entire flavor. It finishes with a bit of an herbal taste as well as some light coffee and chocolate flavors from the roasted malts.

M: Moderate in body and ever so slightly syrupy. The carbonation gives a nice sensation on the tongue.

O: Malty and sweet with a slight bitterness for balance. Can hardly taste the alcohol

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 01:30:53 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of osubuckeye99


3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into duvel tulip
Apperance - Clear dark brown. I noticed some sediment, but probably at the fault of my own from the pour.
Smell- Rich, sweet dried fruit.
Taste- Raisiny, Fruity, Malty, sweet. There was some hop presence up front, but the sweetness and other flavors took control and a nice malty finish.
Mouthfeel - Thinner than I expected, but nicely carbonated and a good rich finish and aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 19:44:18 | More by osubuckeye99
Photo of robbrandes


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bomber, into a duvel tulip.

pours a clear, dark amber. moderate head, with exceptional lacing.

smell is a nice blend of caramelized sugar, raisins and alcohol.
huge malty front-end, bordering on too sweet. fairly clean finish brings it back together. slightly over-carbed.

good, but nowhere near great, beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 06:18:51 | More by robbrandes
Photo of BeerYain


4.78/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This excellent BSDA pours a deep brown with a hint of red, offering a decent, tan, creamy head. Lots of fig, carmel, dark fruit and alcohol all mingle in perfect harmony with this beer. Go easy, it's almost 10%. The overall taste/flavor is of carmel, fig, sugar, alcohol, malt and mellow "un"hoppy hops (if that's possible). Brother T is a smoother, deeper, sweeter and more 3-dimensional inviting drink than Chimay Blue, which I felt was good, but more one-dimensional and less "crafted" tasting. Brother T is a great beer for those looking to begin experiencing the Abbey style beers. I will buy this beer for years to come.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 04:27:02 | More by BeerYain
Photo of Adrianized


3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark burgundy, aggressive pour yields a one finger espresso head that settles to a half finger.  Good lacing.

Smell of maple, sweet vanilla, belgian yeast, and booze.

Roasted malt, lots of nuts and spices that taste familiar but I can't put a name to them, some maple and oak.  Rather complex.  Boozey finish, alcohol let's you know it's there.

Medium bodied and goes down easy.  Also has a nice, fine carbonation.

Overall I'm enjoying this quite a bit.  Has a nice, complex flavor, but the booziness has me sipping.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 22:39:51 | More by Adrianized
Photo of Bookseeb


3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance pours a dark brown with a fair head that dissapates fairly quickly. Smell of sweet malt, belgian style yeast and spice. Taste again has thick rich sweet malt, spice, some dark fruits and the belgian style yeastiness. Mouthfeel is heavier and viscous with good carbonation. Not the best I've tried in a abbey ale, but still a good sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 03:11:33 | More by Bookseeb
Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,210 ratings.