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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,583 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,583
Reviews: 973
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 61
Gots: 336 | FT: 6
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 (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,583 | Reviews: 973 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of appenzeller
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red mahogany, head is fairly thin and dissipates quickly in a big chalice. Smells of toasted dark malts and alcohol. Taste is up front caramel and spice, cinnamony, the alcohol is quite evident and not well-integrated. Pleasant if heavy mouthfeel, drinkability, well, this is one that I'd order the same times that I'd order a glass of cognac--maybe after a nice meal on a cold winter's night. A decent beer but off for the style, this is practically like a light version of brandy.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice looking. Poured a reddish brown, a little cloudy with a nice two finger head that dissipated into a thin layer, with plenty of lacing.

Smells of yeast, spices, brown sugar and cherries, plums and raisins. Slight alcohol smell.

Tastes of spices, yeast, cherries, brown sugar and molasses, malts, and a noticeable alcohol taste (not surprising for a brew this strong).

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, ample carbonation, with a sweet to slightly bitter aftertaste and a noticeable alcohol burn.

Drinkability is ok, tho not a great session beer. Good for a one beer evening, perhaps near the fire with a fine cigar.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown with ruby highlights with a half finger head that left a little sticky lacing on the glass.

S: belgian yeast and apple aromas which also had brown sugar, plum, and dark fruit notes.

T: the belgian yeast, brown sugar, and apples run the show on the palate with slight malt and plum accents.

M: medium to full body with a low amount of carbonation that had a sweet and slight boozy finish.

D: very tasty and drinkable dubbel thae wasn't as boozy as I thought it would be.

Photo of impending
3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml into a tulip. Pours a dark rich mahogany with garnet highlights, two finger head slowly subsided, sticky lacing.

Aroma is sweet malts, light and dark fruits, bread and yeast, no hint of alcohol. Classic dubbel fragrance.

Taste is strong sweet dried dark fruits, raisiny esters. Mouth feel is thick and viscous, moderately cloying. Alcohol is obvious in the aftertaste but in a pleasant way, definitely a sipping brew.

Photo of wesclaypool
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - Looks dark brown with quite a bit of off-color head. Appears ruby red when held up to light.

s - Has a very sweet smell, with hints of licorice.

t - Heavy on the malts with no real discernible hops flavor. The aftertaste resembles a hard liquor, mixed drink.

m - Very crisp and harsh. My least favorite aspect of this one.

d - This brew is very unique, which usually means its not something you want to slam back in large quantities. Still, it has a good taste. A good brew for winter months.

Photo of Beerfayce
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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

Pours a dark reddish brown red with a finger of long lasting darker head.

Nose consists of darker fruits like raisins and plums. Alcohol is a bit noticeable.

Taste consists of darker fruits, which is then washed away by an alcohol burn. What remains is some toasted malt and chocolate flavors. Very rich, sweet aftertaste.Alcohol burn reduces a bit after the initial shock. A slightly above medium feel at the end.

Alcohol starts to hit you rather quickly, so I wouldn't suggest this for prolonged drinking. Accompanied by food, or savored like a brandy, and this is quite good.

Photo of EnVinoVeritas
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A--Pours a dark deep brown with hints of red in the right light
- thin tan head quickly dissolves leaving nothing behind.

S--Sweet at the nose with hints of cherry, plum, and raisin - fruity esthers. Also, some noticeable alcohol.

T--No hop. Mild carbonation - no head. A little toasted malt up front which gives way to a nice tart prune, raisin, cherry taste. Finish has a slight alcohol burn with fruit taking the way home.

M--Smooth - surprisingly light for a high gravity ale.

D--Cooler weather beer - goes down easy considering the ABV.

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a quickly dying head on top of an aroma that one would say is sticky caramel and a mild dose of dark chocolate. Also has some nutty yeastiness and hints of orange and citrus. A chewey medium body that is very bready and somewhat sticky with a sweet caramel base and hints of toffee along with some dry malts. Some hoppy fruit flavors and bit ofs orange, cherry, citric and spice but the malts slightly overpower and the taste is a bit off. A good ale but nothing spectacular.

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured rather dark amber in color with a thin beige head that quickly dissipated into just a few bubbles around the edge of the goblet. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The aroma is rather complex and the nose has notes of caramel, cherries and plums.
T: The overall taste is relatively sweet and has flavors of cherries, raisins and malty sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
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...

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a tulip. The color is a dark copper with red hues; almost burgundy. About two fingers of off-white head developed and dissipated to leave a few foamy bubbles and a ring around the outside.

Smell: Mmm...Belgian yeast. Scents of ripe apple, banana, dark fruit, clove, and some pepper or cinnamon spice. The alcohol is there, but very subtle.

Taste: The alcohol is overpowering at the start; it almost ruined the taste because I could barely get past it. However, it steps aside as the brew warms. Bready Belgian yeast, dark fruits, cherries, apple, clove. And gin. The alcohol is really dry.

Drinkability: Hmmm... A monk's dream? Sure. Whatever. At least I supported jazz.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a nice dark dark copper with some brownish and reddish hints. There is a very thin head that quickly recedes.

S - Delicious aroma. Some nice vanilla and clove hints. Nice sweet malt and delicious malt bready sweetness along with some almond aromas as well.

T - Absolutely delicious and creamy malt sweetness with nice vanilla hints. Nice bready and grainy malt presence as well. Flavors of almonds, vanilla, some nice clove and nice grainy bready malt. Very nice flavor even though it is a bit subdued compared to other dubbels'.

M & D - Nice and delicious but with a bit of a watered down feel compared to other Dubbels.

Photo of joeldp144
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a medium brown with a 1/4" head that fades fast. Clear pour (no suspended solids).

S: Rich brown sugar and fruitiness are strong on the nostrils.

T: Strong Belgian yeast with brown sugar, raisins, and a little warmth. Alcohol is well hidden. Has a little bit of spice at the end. Almost like cinnamon.

M: Crisp and bubbly carbonation make the drink a pleasure in your mouth.

D: Strong and rich. Split a 12 oz. with my brother, and it was just enough to enjoy. Great beer, and really big for it's style. I probably wouldn't want a whole bottle for myself...but I could be convinced otherwise.

Photo of brystmar
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bomber into a chalice.

A: pours a deep reddish color. Minimal head with poor retention and almost no lacing.

S: smells sweet with loads of dark fruit.

T: sweet, spicy, and fruity. An interesting take on the Belgian Dubbel.

M: medium-bodied; carbonation stings the tongue.

D: above average for the style. Very little alcoholic burn on the way down, and not overly filling either.

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

A: Poured a dark, red caramel color with good carbonation and a small white head.

S: Nose is sweet, yeast, malt, cherries.

T: Taste is cherry, caramel, sugar, candy and alcohol elements.

M: Nice, malty, bubble gum, yeast, sweet, medium bodied

D: Good

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

a: beautiful ruby/burgundy/purple like the color of a pomegranate kernel w/ minimal white head that fades pretty quick probably fue to the alcohol

s: fruity with some spiciness and sweet malts; plums

t: dark toffee taste with some alcohol flavor; very sweet with malts as the predominant flavor and some fruitiness as well

m: very smooth with only light carbonation

d: great name and a great beer to match; a good north american take on the belgian abbey ale
Alright, this beer has been chilling in my cellar since the last tasting and it is ready for a retry

a: poured with just a little bit of head that was slightly purplish white but fizzled down almost immediately to a ring of foam with a few wisps of foam floating on top

s: very yeasty - like warm baked bread; light abv; a sharp raisininess mixed with abv in the back of the nose

t: dry and grainy at first; in the middle of the sip more of the prunes and raisins begin to rise; strong abv like cognac taste; there are also some more of the sweet grains in the back of the sip; it is very good; although i feel like maybe the abv has increased in potency as it feels very warm the whole way down but in a nice way of course

m: very little carb very mild and smoth with medium body and light cloy

d: not better from what i remember but different and more mellow; this beer has really grown on me

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

pours a dark mahogany color with little to no head with a small tan ring and just minimal lacing..sweet dark fruits,toffee and spice is what i smell..the taste is dark fruits like plum and prunes a little tartness and some sweet candied toffee/malt..alcohol is present low level of hops..mouth feell is full medium and coates the tongue with rich fruits and malts..this is a sweet strong dark dubbel with some candied malts dark fruits not much hop presence as it should be... its tasty good and gets better as it warms

Photo of ZorPrime
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beer from BBrianBoogie during the CanBIF6.

Brown color beer without any head... bummer. Caramel notes in the nose. Taste is complex... I'm having problem getting the taste in these Dubbel since I joined the craft beer... this one taste good, but it is hard to tell what I get in the taste. I like it... nuff said :)

Warm in the mouth. Easy to drink, so a dangerous beer. It is easy to drink but not watery... it's a complex beer. A good one too.

Photo of jera1350
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to wine glass. No date on a label, but I'm digging the artwork.

A: The head is average in size, 1 1/2 finger and light brown, but fizzes out fast! Lacing is doubtful. The crimson/cranberry colored body is semi clear when held in front of light, but 85% opaque otherwise. No lacing to speak of but it never stood a chance.

S: Malts are heavy. Toasted caramel and grain stand out. Semi sweet with dark candi sugar. Low levels of herbal grassy hops.

T: The flavor is full of alcohol soaked dark fruits: quince, raisin, cherry and prune. Alcohol on the palate starts out light but becomes borderline heavy as the beer warms. Average flavor duration with light to moderate sweetness.

M: How a dubbel should be. Medium body with a slick sticky mouthcoating texture. The carbonation is fine and fizzy but it is a touch on the soft side.

D: This beer needs a lot of time to open up. Best enjoyed, in my opinion, at room temperature or slightly colder. Carpe diem!

Photo of MrDanno96
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a really dark brown with ruby hues when held to light. A thin ring of off-white head circles the rim of the glass. Very little lacing.

S: Lots of sweeter dark fruit - plums, raisins, and lots of grape. Hints of caramel/molasses and booze, but mostly the aromatic fruit.

T: Not nearly as sweet as the fruit nose suggests, but getting there. A good amount of earthy malt mixes with some molasses sweetness up front. The back end transitions to some darker fruits like plums, figs, and dark cherries. Just a little bitterness in the finish.

M: Full bodied with a subtle amount of carbonation. Just a little bit of alcohol warmth.

D: A nice sipping Belgian "Dubbel" - I thought it was a Quad before I looked it up on here. It drinks more like a Belgian Dark or a Quad IMO. Not as good as Rochefort 10 or St. Bernardus, but definitely cheaper and still pretty tasty.

Photo of trevorjn06
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass.
Pours a dark brown/mahogany with a thick head that takes a few minutes to settle. It's fairly cold at the moment and the smell is pretty mild, a bit of dark fruit and malt. As it warms the aroma is a bit stronger and a distinct nuttiness comes forward, as well as a bit of alcohol. Overall the aroma is quite mild.

Taste is full bodied, but not overpowering. There is a burnt caramel taste but the dark and ripe fruit flavors dominate, prune, dark cherry, perhaps a hint of orange and raisin. There is a mild hop bitterness that comes out toward the finish but overall this is a sweet beer. I find the taste a bit hard to describe, it's complex with a few flavors that are hard to place.

This beer is honestly not quite as good as I had remembered. It is rich, fruity, complex and delicious but I have tried many Belgian and Trappist beers since I had this last and it's quite difficult to compare to those. This one just didn't quite add up and is lacking some of the character that the genuine Belgians have.

Photo of chaz01
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting portion at a North Coast beer tasting event at a local grocery store. 12 ounce bottle poured into a champagne flute glass. The beer rep from North Coast shared the little joke relating to the name of the beer. As this beer is molded in the tradition of Belgian ales sometimes made by Trappist monks, they were looking for the American equivalent of a "monk" on the label -- and the closest they came to was jazz legend Thelonious Monk, thus the name of the beer and his image on the label. A portion of the proceeds of the sales for this beer go to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to help promote promising young musicians.

A: Amber brown in color, clear with a nice sized foamy head.

S: Rich dark fruit aromas like prunes and plums.

T: More ripe dark fruity flavors in the taste -- prunes, plums and even cherries. Lots of sweet malt with a litle bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish along with some some orange peel flavor.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation.

D: I thought the alcohol was well-hidden for 9.4% ABV. Nice beer to pair with a rich desert or on it's own as a nice sipping beer.

Photo of CraftAleRookie
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep, clear mahogany color with shades of reddish brown. One finger tan head, that slowly dissapated into an very think, swirly, lasting lace that was amazing long lingering.

S- Malty, brown sugar- hints of raisin bread.

T- Caramel, Malts, Dry Cocoa, with a slight bite of alcohol. The nose presents more smells than the taste ends up revealing.

M- Mild carbonation, but a little on the flat side (less exciting than expected).

D- Good! Depsite the taste not being up to the same level as the smell (which I found myself enjoying through each sip), I would enjoy this brew again.

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,583 ratings.