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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,550 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,550
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 61
Gots: 312 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: sloejams on 05-04-2006

"Vital Statistics

Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark
Color: Dark mahogany
ABV: 9.4%
Bitterness: 32 IBU's"
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,550 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beersheppard
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark mahogany, thin fleeting tan head, not much lacing.

Smell: very pleasant- molasses, dark fruit, brown sugar, maple syrup, malt, burnt caramel.

Taste: pretty much the same-molasses, dark fruit, brown sugar, maple syrup, malt, burnt caramel, a little booze burn, long finish.

Mouthfeel: substantial great coating, full.

Drinkability: a very pleasnt Dubbel, I would buy again.

Photo of chumba526
1.88/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Beer appears a dark brown color, thin light brown foam. It doesn't look much different from coke.

The smell is very sweet there is a strong overtone of prunes dates and a noticeable metallic smell.

The taste is overly sweet: there are tones of dark fruit like raisons and prunes but it's as if they were coated in a crazy amount of sugar. Kind of tastes like a fermented dr. pepper. There is also a very unpleasant metallic taste to the beer. The high carbonation makes the rough on my palate: it is not smooth. If you like Dubbels to have a huge amount of sweetness with no balance and if you like your beer to have the carbonation of soda you might like this. For me though, it was a drain pour.

Photo of TommyW
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Crystal, clear, dark-ruby body with a thin tan head.

S- Caramel malt, prune and banana, some spice and a whiff of alcohol.

T- Big caramel malt backbone, large spice profile with dark fruit (prune and dark cherry). Pretty sweet finish.

M- Medium/full feel with an aggressive carbonation over the tongue.

D- A really nice dubbel; nice sipping beer.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gonna be touch to be objective here...a beer tribute to Monk...2 of my favorite things in one.
Gotta have the right accompaniment here. Start with the master and Trane on Monk's mood, then my buddy Robert Orr's solo guitar version of Blue Monk...er I digress.
appearance: Dark mahogany. Tan head.
smell: Nice. Malty, spicy, some dark fruitiness.
Just in time. Mike Stern's version of Straight No Chaser.
taste: Sweet start and a spicy finish. This is classified as a Dubbel but reminds me of Gulden Draak.
Great beer...great musician.

Photo of daledeee
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer comes in a four pack and is quite reasonably priced.

Poured into a large wine glass and noticed a nice clear dark reddish brown. The head went away quickly and left a ring around the glass.

Nose is very good with plums and bananas. Very fresh and fruity smelling.

Taste is dark fruit with caramel malt. Plums and prunes are the most apparent; also some dark cherry. The finish is heavy caramel malt. Mouth feel was a little flat for me but overall a sweet beer. Quite drinkable and Belgian-like.

Photo of dqrull
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownred with a fizzling tan head that dies down rather quilckly, a beautiful colour.

Smells lovely, sweet syrupy dark fruits, even though there are plums and fresh figs up front, there are green apples and a hinto f ripe red berries in the back, alcohol shines through a bit and gives the nose an air of red dessert-wine.

Taste is initially full of fruits (dried peaches, fresh plums, apples and red berries, maybe cranberries?) carramellized with flavourful brown sugar. After a slight vanilla note mid palate, the yeast esters take over and add a touch of almond paste and cookie dough which grows as the experience nears it end and the fruits receeds a bit. Finishes with a light bitterness and a light, light tartness from the yeast esters. All the way through this is sweeter than your average dubbel, even though it has some of the dry qualities as well, expecially towards the end.

Mid body with small fizzly carbonation bubbles, great.

A really great beer that I have really come to appreciate lately, happy its available all the time here in Sweden :)

Photo of markb33
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle poured into a goblet.

A--Pours a dark mahogany color. The thin tan head quickly dissipates leaving almost no lacing. Halfway down the glass it almost looks like flat Dr. Pepper.

S--Sweet at the nose with hints of cherry and dried fruit esters. Alcohol through the finish.

T--Tart prune or cherry taste to start. Not much in the way of hops. Balanced with a dose of bitterness from the alcohol and very mild carbonation. Finish is smooth with return to fruity notes. Overall quite good but not particularly unique or interesting.

M--A little slick on the tongue. Very little carbonation. Nice not to have a drying effect at the finish.

D--Definitely a solid beer. I enjoy the tartness and fruity esters. I think the dried fruit may make this a better fall or winter beer for me and I'll give it another shot then.

Overall this is a solid beer, but I'd given what I've come to expect from North Coast I'm a little disappointed. I really enjoy the Old Rasputin Stout and I expected to be blown away. I'm pleased with Brother Thelonious, but not awed.

Photo of wcuberos
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to glass

After a pour there was no visible head in the glass. Has a slight aroma but nothing that really stood out.

The flavor seems typical for a brown ale, some chocolate/malt flavors that linger on the tongue. The flavor seemed to die quickly and left me expect more from a North Coast brew. The alcohol level is 9 so I thought there would be a little more bite to this but it didn't seem to have it.

It was easy to drink but not inspiring and I had high hopes. Over all it's a good beer but not great, I'd try it again but I'm not going to search it out any time soon.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip glass late at night looking up at the stars.

"Bad Mother Fucker" wallet brown with some faint spots of plum juice and red spots intertwined. Using a tulip I was trying to geta nice Belgian head and with a hard pour I was unsuccessful. A cinnamon tannish head rose up about an 1 1/2 inches with some fullness, but it just seemed to die leaving faint traces of foam.

On first sniffs I really dont get anything, it smells like a simple brown ale, but with significant warming it comes out in spurts. Brown sugar, biscuit from the malts and a slight dark fruit thing going that ain't all that big. A few drops of chocolate syrup if you sniff for it. I thought the yeast would be more noticable, but it's quite muted.

This is a good simple dubble without all the bells and whistles. Tastes of apple skins and plum with caramel and biscuit from the malting. In the middle I get a small amount of chocolate and a even smaller amount of roasted coffee, it's almost a mute point at the level it's at. I just think more yeast could of been used to bring the fruit component out a bit fuller.

At 9.4% I was expecting a little bit of booze and maybe some heat, but I did not get any of that, none at all, it's masked extremely well. That's the good. The bad is that the carb could stand to be boosted a notch or two to liven it up a bit, the mouth on this was practically dead. Thelonious is above medium bodied with low carb, a few things could be worked on here, or perhaps I need to try a caged and corked bottle of this.

With the absense of a boatload of flavor and a kind of dead feel, Brother just hit the mark on being acceptable. This is good beer but it's not a game changer. I drank it with ease, there's no problems there, I was just left wanting more flavor and fruit and malt now that I think of it. This is good for a go andI think im going to try it again in the bigger version.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a beer goblet.

A: Imposing. It's a bit hard to judge, as the beer is so dark. But held up to the light, one sees a gradient of colour running from opaque brown to winedark red. Light head leaves heavy lacing, and some tracing stays on the surface.

S: Alcoholic esters dominant the smell. Dark fruit and sugars, with coffee lurking in the background.

T: Sweet caramels and fruits with a bit more carbonation than I anticipated. The alcohol is well-concealed and overall Brother Thelonious is lighter than it looks. It also avoids being overly sweet. Ever-so-slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: The carbonation does a good job of preventing the beer from coating the mouth and throat, but it somehow feels out of place. A bit awkward, but mostly successful.

D: This beer is perhaps perilously drinkable. It looks and hits harder than it tastes. Still, with fruit, coffee, and an excellent nose, I would drink this beer often. A little overcarbonated, but otherwise excellent.

Photo of krs0123
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - dark red/brown. agressive pour yields one finger thin tan head.

S - fruity, brown sugar.

T - caramel malts up front with strong plum on the back end.

M - tiny bubbles, strange carbination...not my favorite.

D - i like it, but can't love it....carbination is off, fruitiness is there but not overwhelming (or is it). alcohol is there, but hidden by sweetness.

Photo of homebrew311
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep mahogany/purple with an initial white head that disintegrates to a thin coating of dense white bubbles, some haziness

S: fruity raisins, grapes, spicy yeast, cloves, a hint of banana, this beer runs the full gamut of what I expect in a nice Belgian style ale, smells well balanced

T: sweet malts on the front with hints of red grapes and bananas, this melds into a spicy profile with a notable zing from typical Belgian yeast, lots of sweetness undercut by bready yeast notes, very nice balance, 9% is nearly non existant

MF: high carbonation, effervescent, medium to thick body

D: very nice Belgian style ale with an assertive and bold malt profile, lots of nice spicy and yeasty notes that meld well with the fruity esters

Photo of Rodya27
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Appearance was a Hazel brown, caramel brown; in the light it's a rich red/brown. Nice toffee-brown head formed after pour, dissipated moderately quick; fair lacing.

It's smell was of fruits and a dark malty aroma.

The taste was not as complex as I was hoping; however good malty hops and the fruit notes again: a little cherry and plumb; also, the Belgian dark sugar taste was ever present. In the end there was a sharp falloff, hardly any hoppy lingering, the trademark of a Dubbel.

Good mouthfeel, not too carbonated.

Overall it's a smooth drink; I found it to be adequately drinkable. That quick snap of the hop drop off was interesting, as a friend put it, "its as though the drink hit you with a taste and then stood back to say, 'eh?'"

Photo of alpinebryant
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark clear chestnut with a healthy tan head that laces around the glass.

Smell of light honey belgian yeast. This is a different belgian flavor than I have had lately and is very tasty. There are biscuit, sweet honey, plum, cherry , and pepper flavors coming first off , then caramel, belgian candy sugar.

Brother Thelonius has a very smooth mouthfeel. This beer is a winner, I had expected Pranqster to be more to my liking of the two of these belgian ales, but I have quickly changed my mind and will be adding this brew to my rotation. While maybe not extremely complex, this is a clean tasty belgian style ale.

Another great brew by North Coast

Photo of mcann2pu
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brownish, small amount of head, no lacing left in the glass.

Smell: dark fruit malty smell, maybe plumb or cherry-ish, its a good smell.

Taste: mostly a fruity malt taste.

Mouthfeel: I like the mouthfeel on this one.

Drinkability: pretty high, it's a good beer all around.

Photo of Richardberg
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - caramel color, almost cola like but not quite as dark, not much head

S - sweet caramel malts all around

T - pretty sweet start to finish. Nicely malty and flavorful but not complex.

M - nicely sticky and alcoholic. Not too carbonated.

D - nice knockoff but not great in any area.

Photo of Lolli1315
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A reddish brown, possibly a dark copper color. Can see through the beer slightly, so not too dark. The head of this beer starts at about half a finger, but dissipates quickly not leaving much of anything behind. What is left behind seems to partially stick to the glass.

S- Rich smell of dark fruits, apples, and possibly cherries. Very strong fruit, but little alcohol smell as it is mostly hidden behind the fruits. Also, the sweetness of the malt comes through without any real smell of hops.

T- The dark fruits come through strong again, but the alcohol is much more noticeable in the taste than in the smell as it jams its way in at the end. Although stronger than the smell, it fits very well with the rest of the beer. Plums and apples seem most notable with a sweet aftertaste as the malt takes presence almost too much. A slight tartness, but just noticeable.

M- Thicker than I thought it would be, but it seems to fit the sweetness of the beer. Seems to me that the mouthfeel could make this a nice dessert beer.

D- Goes down smooth and makes you want to go back just enough that it becomes a good beer to end the night with or finish a nice meal.

Photo of MOB210SA
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into my Chimay. Easy, bottle-conditioned pour made a 1 finger of brightly colored golden-tan head, kept and maintained. Burgundy and rosewood with caramel accents. Good amount of lacing.

The usual belgian-esque dark, over ripe fruit. Subtle plum, some apple and brown sugar.

Taste, mostly dark fruits upfront, sweet belgian candied sugars.

Medium bodied, somewhat mouth filling. Medium carbonation, and relatively smooth.

Overall good attempt at the Belgium style. This review was short, and therefor not too in-depth. If I happen to buy this again, I will re-review.

Photo of damndirtyape
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12oz bottle (no date) poured into a Rochefort Goblet (Whoohoo! My first proper Belgian glass drink).

Appearance: Nice dark brown-orange color. Foam died down rapidly to leave just a little bit at the edges with some thin skims of foam floating on top. Plenty of carbonation coming up through the liquid as I drank it down.

Smell: When first poured and still cold, not a lot of anything. As it warmed up fruit (grapes, plums) liquor becomes the predominant smell. Maybe just a hint of molasses in there when cold, but that's gone when warm.

Taste: Fruits a(white grapes, plums) nd sweetness up front, caramel in the middle, very mild bitter finish with sweet aftertaste in the mouth. Definitely reminds me of a Belgian stale ale. Alcohol very well hidden - not at all noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation on the tongue, just a little bit sticky but still plenty smooth going down. Just a hint oily towards the end of the glass.

Drinkability: I had this with a meal (Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes) and it went very well. I'm noticing some of the high ABV sneaking up on me towards the end so not something I have more than one of in an evening, but quite enjoyable overall. Solid good beer overall.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt sienna brown amber with red highlights and a murky interior. The head is beige to off-white with fine bubbles, and leaves a slight lacing in a fine film. The interior carbonation is nearly continuous.

The aroma of honey sweetened black tea is pervasive, with molasses toffee and over ripe pear in the background. With warmth a hint of brandy slips through.

Brother Thelonious is highly acidic and lightly salty with a fair amount of hop bitterness and light tartness in the snifter glass. The aroma seems to be left behind, which is unfortunate.

A medium to full body with a dry finish and lively carbonation. The alcohol is too assertive, and the final impression is a bit chalky.

This is better as a sipper, but rather lackluster for this style, and a let down because as nice as it looks and smells, ultimately the taste is what makes the beer.

Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous mahogany with an adequate tan head that recedes to lacing.

Aroma has cinnamon, clove, and caramelized sugar, which leads into raisins, and dark fruits, and some faint warming ethanol on the palate.

Overall, a nice Abbey-inspired offering. It lacks some of the depth of the Trappist examples, but is nonetheless a great beer with which to finish the evening.

Photo of BeerStine
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown with a sticky, off-white head. Smell is caramel sweet malts with hits of hops. Taste follows the smell. Lots of malts. Sweet milky caramel malts. Some souring hops too. Mouth feel is medium with medium carbonation. Drinkability is a little on the sweet side.

Overall I would say this is a good dessert beer. I drank this after having a cinnamon roll and it worked perfectly.

Photo of justincolts
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a solid head, with an initially thick but dissipating top. Dark in color, almost a chocolate amber color. Really only detect the amber if the light is shining on the glass. A nutty , almost malty, almost a slight hint of chocolate taste. Solid in the mouthfeel, substance without being heavy. Very drinkable considering the abv.

Photo of josefnewsong
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear deep scarlet color with some off-white head that dissipates to a thin ring and leaves no lacing
S - candied sugars and a bit of booziness, a slight hint of dark fruits way in the back
T - candied sugar, then big belgian yeast flavors wash over the palate, followed by a bit of alcohol
M - medium bodied, sticky, and well carbonated
D - a bit on the sweet side, could get cloying for some, alcohol is present and warming but this is a damn tasty beer

Photo of Brewtr0n
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brother Thelonious

Bottle to wine glass

A: Very dark deep red brown, minimal head which fades to a crown quickly

A: Caramely- almost soy saucy- caramelized prunes

T: malty sweet on the front that caramelized prunes taste is prominent, fades to a just off sweet dry finish, a little hint of ester on the back. Carbonation is minimal and the alcohol is present as a warm feeling after swallowing, but no trace of it in the mouth

M: a definite round presence but not heavy or syrupy

D: Very! typically dry finishing Belgian style has you going back for more.

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,550 ratings.