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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

2,218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,218
Reviews: 934
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 45
Gots: 163 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,218 | Reviews: 934 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjl21


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into Chimay glass. Not bottling info is given. Comes in at 9.4%.

A-Brown with red hues. Looks like Coca Cola. When poured, a very minimal head turns quickly into a miniscule tan ring.

S-Belgian yeast and raisin/stone fruits; warming alcohol also hits the nose.

T-Rum soaked raisin, some bitterness as it hits the tongue, and alcohol as it goes down. Sweet with some grape taste also.

M-Medium bodied with a carbonation level that is a lot nicer than expected.

D-A little sweet for my tastes.

Not too bad of a beer. For a take on the Dubbel style it is not bad. The nice carbonation makes the sweetness level more palatable.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 05:55:40 | More by mjl21
Photo of joshuadlight


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

I really liked this beer. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Brown with red around the edges when held to a light. Not much head or lacing, and that was the biggest negative factor for this beer. It smelled and tasted super sweet. Sweet breads and fruit, this a delectable blend of carmel cinnamon rolls with raisins and dates. I enjoyed the carbonation and thought the mouthfeel was good. A little but too alcoholic to be super drinkable, but as long as there was beer in my glass, I couldn't stop.
A great dubbel, I enjoyed this immensely.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 04:02:29 | More by joshuadlight
Photo of Rmarquis

New York

3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on the bottle, 750mL;

Poured a deep brownish red with an inch thick tan head which did not stick around long. Very little lacing.

Strong sweet alcoholic aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, raisins and a little black cherry.

Taste is sweet and slightly astringent. Alcohol flavor with roasted malt and sweet raisin flavor.

Medium bodied, highly carbonated

Overall a good brew. A little bit sweeter than I would like, but it was still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 06:39:35 | More by Rmarquis
Photo of Troyone


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

Pours a mohagony color with an off tan head and lots of action. Could not visualize sediment in the bottle, on the head, and too dark in the beer.

Smokey roasted malt smell with some caramel and molasses.

Has a buttery smooth taste of caramel and molasses within the roasted malt and a sweet tea finish.

Medium to full bodied, buttery and some resin, lively soft almost a light fizzy carbonation, and has an alcohol warming throughout.

Although I could not visualize the sediment the buttery feel and taste probably suggest the sediment was liquified. Very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 01:51:22 | More by Troyone
Photo of OtherShoe2


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky reddish - uh - red- with the tiniest of fizzy head. No lacing at all.

Tiny whiff of toasted malt, but the rest is a sour fruit aroma, almost a light cider vinegar scent.

Nice smooth brew here. Sour cherry and stone fruit essence, turning to medium bitterness in the finish. Some toasted malt notes and yeasty elements. A fairly clean beer, but the alcohol bite comes right at the end - as it should. I'm getting some yeast in the final finish too. Very enjoyable.

Medium bodied with some carbonation, but the bubbles are few and far in between in the glass.

This is a very good dubbel. Bought a 12 oz. single for $3.79 and it was worth it and then some. This is not what you'd call a session beer, and the alcohol, while warming, makes this a sipper. I could have one a day, but that's about it. If you like Belgians, you have to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 02:31:40 | More by OtherShoe2
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 MAB

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thin head and a nice red tint to the color makes this one look good in the glass.
The smell is nice; sugary and not particularly hoppy.
The first thing I noticed in the taste was the alcohol. This is a strong beer. Afterwards, I could taste caramel and something like a crabapple- sour but sweet.
This is a good one to sip and enjoy with a piece of cheese or chocolate. I would call it a "finisher", rather than a "starter".

I bought this in a four pack, as well as a four of their Imperial stout and a large bottle of their Saison-- at the Calgary Co-op liquor store in Forest Lawn. Apparently it's exclusive to Co-op stores, who are doing a nice job of finding and keeping good beer around these days.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 22:03:51 | More by MAB
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 6/14/2007 (750mL bottle):

Pours a dark brown color, some head but diminishing. Light tannish head, fine bubbles. Strong Belgian alcoholy aroma, dark fruit, sweet smelling. Some earthy smells. Clean, not too strong a taste surprisingly. Malty sweet with clean finish. Not alcoholy taste. A little tempered on the taste, though. Sweet tasting. Malty aftertaste. Good.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 17:28:56 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of surfer4life


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

Poured into a goblet from a 12oz bottle.

A - Dark brown, think film for a head and minimal lacing.

S - Malty goodness, very bready, lots of caramel and raisin smells.

T - Very smooth, the alcohol has a small twang that adds to the sweet caramel taste. Raisins evident in this one. Throw in a bit of hops and you've got a good dubbel here.

M - As is normal with this styel it's highly carbonated, which leaves the mouth crisp clean and wanting more.

D - Very, I give this beer all 4's pretty damn good and I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 05:12:09 | More by surfer4life
Photo of HalfFull


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a clear deep reddish orange amber with a half inch of off white head. Retention is brief and not surprising given the clarity of the beer.

Smell is raisiny fig in nature, some roasted malts and a touch of alcohol. Just a slight yeast presence. Opening up to some cherry and grape as it warms.

Taste is malty but in a simple way, not a lot of depth. Sweet and a bit chewy but no notable flavors linger after the swallow. Again improving with warming. Light in carbonation and assumably not bottle conditioned given the clarity. Decent feel and drink but overall not very impressed, yet compares favorably to many of the style and hides its strength well. Noted as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale on their website. ABV of 9.4%.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 04:45:11 | More by HalfFull
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 teamhex


4.93/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chilled Glass
Pours a dark ruby color
Tiny head that goes away quickly and leaves a nice lacing around the glass
Smells wonderful and of dark fruits
Strong fig taste and slightly hoppy near the end.
Great beer, drinkabliity is exceptional.
I recommend picking one up if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 03:59:15 | More by teamhex
Photo of Psilo707


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

Very purple natured, thick amber ale when poured into a glass. A nicely evaporating head that leaves consistent and intriguing lacing. The smell is one of plums and darkness. The taste is similar - figs, plums, a very distinct aftertaste of both is present.

Mouthfeel is average or less than such - not as solid in the mouth as expected. Drinkability is standard.

Overall a pretty good Belgian Ale. I'd recommend it, but for the price, there are better.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 05:33:23 | More by Psilo707
Photo of Arbitrator


3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Dark mahogany with a purple character. Satisfying 1 finger of head that remained for several minutes. It receded into a ring and left lacing down the glass.

S: Brown sugar, candied raisins, figs, and plums. A dark and sweet bouquet.

T: Sweet, with the raisins, figs, and plums dominating the taste. Some hop character toward the end. The finish is very hot with a noticeable alcohol burn. The overall effect is of an aged Old Stock.

M: Full-bodied, but overcarbonated, giving a lot of foam at the end of a swallow.

D: I wouldn't mind having it again, but its carbonation is a bit of an issue. Goes well with spicy food.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 07:47:22 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

corked/caged 750ml, great label art, im a sucker for beers with good causes.

A- transparent ruby brown color, medium sized tan head

S- Nice nose here, sweet malts, chocolate, mild fruitiness

T/M- Good initially, a little thin in body, and an awkward fruity hop bitterness mid palate other than that, its everything you've come to expect from an American attempt at a traditional Belgian style.

D- Good

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 20:51:19 | More by ATPete
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 david131


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Absolutely clear deep ruby red with a bubbly off white head and some nice lacing and some pretty nice retention.

S- Dark fruits, brown sugar, honey, some spiciness, and a nice bit of Belgian yeast. There is a definite vegetable aroma to this. The slightest hint of swiss cheese and some floral notes. Complex and appealing.

T- Sweeter than the aroma would lead you to believe. A nice grape juice aspect and all the things I picked up in the aroma. The alcohol is pretty apparent, but only as a warming sense. I don't taste the vegetables nearly as strongly as I smell them.

M- Creamy with some nice carbonation level. Dry on the end, but this is what I expect from a Dubbel.

D- A tasty beverage, but this is just not everything I had hoped. A good American take on a seldom seen Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 05:00:41 | More by david131
Photo of bigkahunas4


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from the stubby 12 oz bottle. Came out of the bottle an earthy brown, becoming much darker in the glass. Pancake colored head, has okay retention. Lacing is standard. Nose is a bit funky, picking up some brett. Fruit flavors like white grape and apple emerge.

Flavors start sweet, sweet bread moves to some grape undertones. Bitterness then emerges, and becomes the prominent trait. Bitter profile is alcohol and resiny hops. Brew is medium bodied with a dry finish.

Overall I liked this beer. It's different than any dubbel I've had before - though I'm beginning to notice that dubbels are quite diverse. Certainly not may favorite (love Ommegang's Abbey), but it's different and one I wouldn't turn down.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 00:45:27 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of esv


4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A) Health, lively head. Larger Bubbles. Foamy texture. Thick, deep red and copper around the edges. Deep Dark Brown in the heart. Slight lacing/clinging. Head sticks around enough for coverage.

S) Big, Malty nose. Sugary, crusty, ripe, dark-fruits. Not Candy Sugar.

T) Plums and raisins but not syrupy sweet ones like I taste in Barley Wines. Certainly more sweet than bitter but certainly bitter. This is the first time I've really enjoyed plums and raisins, except the ones I pick-up in stouts. Drier, Flat bitterness in the finish.

M) The carbonation is noticeable. Nearly Room Temp 1/2 way through. Sticky-lips but didn't notice till now. Med-Full mouthfeel.

D) High, considering

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 00:40:47 | More by esv
Photo of Jmoore50


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

The look of this bottle is exceptional. Cool lookin' monk with some shades. Bottle is caged and corked, bad ass.

I hate brews from Belgium but I promised myself that I would explore this region again. The appearance of this brew is a darker red or light amber. I poured this and it came to a really crazy two finger fizz head, dissapeared quickly.

In this you can smell a spicy bread? I dont know because I was pretty nervous with drinking this. On my first sip I was so-so. It was drinkable but the malt soapiness was just a little akward. The more I drank of this brew I started to like this brew. I thought that maybe I will be liking this style.

Overall I will be getting a brew from Belgium or Germany with every beer haul. I feel like I will find the beer that I like from this style. I will not buy this again, mostly because it's $8.50. Also the brew itself is only so-so.


Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 23:23:32 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of washburnkid

New York

4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown and mahogany hues with an off-white head that dissipates quickly with minimal lacing. Sweet, malty aromas with mostly toffee and caramel notes. Tastes of toffee, coffee, and oatmeal with the smallest trace of alcohol. A medium body of a slightly syrupy consistency makes sure the flavors stick to the palate for a while. This pleasurable, malty brew is very easy and fun to drink. I'd only have one, but I can see how the drinkability would make it easy to keep going!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 06:31:54 | More by washburnkid
Photo of theghost3


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brother Thelonious pours a medium, cloudy brown-tea-like color with a one-finger beige head. Lots of lacing. Smell is strong of molasses, honey, raisins, and maybe Syrah. The taste is strong of dried fruits, roasted malts, spices, & the alcohol is rather apparent. Mouthfeel is acidic, thick. Overall, a drinkable beer, however, the alcohol is quite prevalent (9.4 percent ABV).

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 03:28:41 | More by theghost3
Photo of argock


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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear oversized wine glass. No freshness date. Single purchased from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.20.

A: Inviting ruby-mahogany with respectable 1-finger foamy beige head with decent retention but only scattered clumps of lace.

S: Mainly honey and prunes with some cinnamon, clove, and leafy, tobacco-like hops

T: Initially very sweet with brown sugar, maple, honey, fig, plum, and peach flavors followed by yeast and clove and finished with leafy, woody, earthy hops and a dash of alcohol heat.

M: Feel is a bit too rough with heavy carbonation and not quite enough body to battle with the Belgians. Aftertaste is long with cardboard and wood tones.

D: A decent stab at a dubbel but there are both Belgian (St. Bernardus) and American (Ommegang) versions with greater depth and better feel.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2009 04:46:42 | More by argock
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

4.0 A: Dark orange brown color and very clear. One finger of thick, frothy head with average retention and good lacing.

3.5 S: Carmel maltiness. Dark fruits and some spice. Molasses/rum and raisins.

3.5 T: Big hit of raisin and peppery spice. Carmel and molasses. A bit of bitterness than makes a good balance.

3.5 M: Heavy medium body. Lots of carbonation, maybe a bit too much. Otherwise smooth and creamy.

4.0 D: Only second beer of this style and I think I could get used to drinking a lot more.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 01:25:39 | More by DavoleBomb
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
Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,218 ratings.