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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

2,318 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,318
Reviews: 942
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 48
Gots: 200 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,318 | Reviews: 942 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jyubei

New Mexico

4.3/5  rDev +13.8%

A. Pours a 1 finger off white head on a brown body that appears reddish, like a well aged wine, when it catches the light.

S. Roasted malt and hops, a hint of honey and a slight flowery aroma.

T. Strong roasted malt and hops flavor with almonds and a dessert bread taste ( coffee cake or spiced bread?). Mild alcohol.

M. Sticky and syrupy felling that hangs around the sides of the mouth for a bit.

D. Very pleasant all through and a fine meal beer.

08-28-2008 23:58:31 | More by Jyubei
Photo of IronCitySteve


3.78/5  rDev 0%

750ml bottle uncorked at the table.

A: It was dark in the bar, so I will give it my best guess. Looked a dark brown, which was probably copper. Some lacing and a decent off white head.

S: Lots of fruits, bread and alcohol initially hit you. Some spice as well, but only once it warms up a bit.

T: A extremely sweet and fruity dubbel. The alcohol is also present, but not overpowering the other flavors.

M: A rather smooth and sweet presence on the mouth.

D: A very nice dubbel, I could not have had more than 2 in one sitting.

08-25-2008 19:11:30 | More by IronCitySteve
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

750 ml cork-in-cage bottle opened with a healthy pop!, poured into a chalice yields a deep reddish-brown body crowned with a finger of fine-bubbled ecru foam. The head recedes to a bubbly ring and leaves swatches of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is fruity, bready, and sweet, with notes of pineapple, banana and orange riding a malty backbone.

The taste of the drink is malty, fruity, and nutty, but distinct flavors I recognize from the real world are hard to come by. I understand that it is simply not an adequate description to write, "It tastes like a nice Dubbel.", but it does. If pressed for details of this fine brew's flavor profile, I can offer that a touch of smoky caramel and cocoa roll around in a mélange of dry banana, juicy orange, and toasty grain-flavored brown sugary candy infused with a hint of pineapple. Oxymoronically, there's plenty of sweetness and a persistent dryness. That makes no sense, but it's true. The taste of Brother Thelonious ™ is much more involved and melded together than my paltry oversimplifications, but I'm just working with the tools at hand. It "tastes great". It is not at all "less filling".

Superb feel and drinkability. This is a very nice dubbel I'll be sure to buy again. A quote I liked from the label, "Carpe diem vita brevis"!

08-23-2008 15:46:46 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of ClavisAurea

New York

4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

750ml bottle consumed from a wine glass.

First off, when I opened the bottle, the cork almost shot me in the face. I'm by no means a novice with opening bottles with corks, but this particular one was explosively carbonated.

Appearance: deep copper with a thick head; ample lace on the glass

Smell: caramel and raisins, brown sugar and alcohol

Taste/Mouthfeel: stewed ripe fruit, caramel, plums and brandy, alcoholic finish

More like a fine wine than a beer. Still one of my favorites.

08-18-2008 00:07:45 | More by ClavisAurea
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

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.

08-17-2008 18:43:02 | More by zeff80
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Bought this beer on a whim based on the fact that I really enjoyed North Coast Pranqster.

The appearance of the beer took me forever to get to because the cork on the 750ml bottle was of such poor quality and impossible to get off. It ended up in pieces twenty minutes later! The good news is that once I was able to do so, (extremely frustrated by now) I was surprised at the appearance. Dark, black and ruby color with a decent sized head that leaves copious lacing around my Duvel glass. The taste was pretty good, considering I consider Dubbels and darker styles of beers to be less appealing to my palate in comparision to tripels and pale ales. Overall, an above average dubbel. Next time, Ill look for it in either a four pack or on tap. Nothing is more frustrating that to NOT be able to open a beer.

08-17-2008 00:14:57 | More by irishking1977
Photo of Thunderball


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

I chose a Chimay vessel to pour this beautiful ruby red delight. Poured a thin tanish head that did not linger very long. The smell was the familiar bread, yeast, biscuit, up front. The taste is oh so good, some malts with the combination of some candy apple type flavor, mixed in with the slight hint of banana. The mouth feel is full, with a lot of fizz-to-the-tongue. I will be purchasing this quality brew again for sure, in the very near future!

08-16-2008 00:21:39 | More by Thunderball
Photo of Boto


4.28/5  rDev +13.2%

750ml bottle: First off, I love the name. It is a great play on words. This one pours an opaque reddish-brown color. Mine had a large, fizzy tan head on it that went away almost immediately. It has a very nice aroma. Somewhat candy sweetness, along with cherries, plums and yeast. A touch of effervescence on the tongue. The taste is quite good also. The taste is good. Somewhat sweet, caramel, raisins and dark cherries to the taste. Finishes a bit lighter than expected. I would definitely buy another.

08-10-2008 19:34:22 | More by Boto
Photo of Zadok


4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

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.

08-10-2008 02:13:35 | More by Zadok
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.18/5  rDev +10.6%

A. A vibrant ruby red with a nice off white head.

S. Malts and distant fruit.

T. Mysterious dark fruit. Malt. A bit of alcohal makes itself known, but it is distant. Maybe a bit of chocolate malt as well? Complex.

M. Fairly vicious with a high level of carbonation. Would be a good amount for a pilsner but a bit strong for a dub.

D. A sipper for sure. Good to let it warm up and mellow out. The complexities come out more.

08-08-2008 02:33:41 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of TasteTester


3.63/5  rDev -4%

Poured from a bottle picked up a few weeks ago.

A-Pours a reddish brown. Small head that doesn't last. No visible lacing.

S-Nothing very discernable here, smells like a dubbel.

T-Somewhat weak for a dubbel, almost doesn't taste like a belgian. Slightly sweet.

M-Crisp and sticky on the downswing.

D-Probably won't try this one again.

08-07-2008 00:49:08 | More by TasteTester
Photo of Brad007


4.5/5  rDev +19%

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a decent one-finger head into my Hopfenstark glass.

The aroma is nutty with a hint of raisin and spice in the nose. A tad bit fruity as well.

The taste is strong and pleasant with a hint of cherry, raisin and spice upfront. Finishes dry with only a bit of alcohol warmth. Very smooth.

The mouthfeel is flavorful but the raisin and spice flavors linger with the alcohol warmth. Pleasant and somewhat chewy.

Very drinkable for a dubbel. The alcohol is well hidden so you barely notice it. It's flavorful and worth the effort to try. I would recommend it if you enjoy the dubbel style.

08-02-2008 02:06:28 | More by Brad007
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.55/5  rDev +20.4%

Aroma is very enticing, more fruity than malty; I get hints of both apple and banana, as well as a touch of yeast. It pours a rich, clear, dark chocolaty brown with a thick beige head that persists. Flavor is fruity with some malt and a fair amount of hop bitterness, as well as a hint of burnt caramel. Texture is smooth and lively, and this dubbel goes down very pleasantly. This is a brew for sipping slowly and appreciating.

08-02-2008 00:49:06 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of TheRogue


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

Served in a pint, ale was slightly chilled in the fridge.

Appearance - Dark oak and non opaque, very nice color. A thick head but not very creamy. Head lasted around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - A mixture of bitter and sweet. Caught hints of spices and a bit herbal.

Taste - Very well built. Nice and roasty, a touch of sweetness as it rolls over the tongue followed by a light bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and creamy, has a nice feel.

Drinkability - I wanted another right away just for the mouthfeel followed by the taste. Very enjoyable beer. I wish I bought more than one at the packie!

07-24-2008 23:27:09 | More by TheRogue
Photo of BrewerB


4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

Aroma was rich and malty - Toasty, caramel, munich malt-like flavors were all present. A faint spiciness was also detected but quickly disappeared. Some presence of herbal hop character lying in the background but this is heavily malt focused. Very light presence of chocolate. Raisiny esters. Would like a bit more complexity from the esters but otherwise excellent.

Deep amber color. Formed a thick, dense light tan head which collapsed down and retained well.

Flavor mirrors the aroma in the sense of rich and malty. Toasty/caramel flavors come first along with some munich malt. Moderate level of bitterness seemed out of place for a Dubbel but provided a nice contrast to the rich malt character. Bitterness lingered on into a medium-dry finish. Low earthy hop flavors. Raisiny esters. More dried fruits in the ester department would create additional complexity.

Medium-full bodied with a pleasing light creaminess. Carbonation level was moderate and a tad low for this style. Smooth.

Despite a few stylistic flaws and in spite of a 9.4% ABV, this is one heck of a beer. Malt complexity is rich and varied. A little too bitter for a Dubbel. Slight increase to the ester complexity would help too. In spite of this, I'd easily drink a few pints - it's that good.

07-18-2008 03:04:55 | More by BrewerB
Photo of billybob


4.85/5  rDev +28.3%

deep dark and amber in color with a short light tan head with some lacing. fruity, sweet smelling, with earthy and alcohol aromas, very pleasant. cherries, raisins, dates, nuts, brown sugar, strong sweet tea all can be picked out in the taste. mouthfeel is thick, creamy smooth.

a little expensive at 16.95 a four pack but a good beer to sip and enjoy with friends at a holiday or special time.

07-13-2008 15:13:23 | More by billybob
Photo of Douglas14


4.33/5  rDev +14.6%

Pours into my Brother Thelonious goblet a deep, dark mahogany color with a mildly disappointing head. The color of the head is great but it is not full and sticky like those of the the Belgian beers. The aroma is wonderful: candy, brown sugar, malt, cherries, lots of biscuit, and maybe a little banana. The taste is also splendid but the flavors are more central: brown sugar, dark sugary dough - lots of dark sugary bread-type qualities, actually - malt, dark fruit, bananas, a little oak, candy, spices, and alcohol, which tends to add a little spice itself. Also, I feel like there is a little bit of a tobacco character, but in a good way...kinda weird...but good. It has a full body, but I wish it were a little heavier in the mouth. Either way, North Coast has hit a home run again with Brother Thelonious. Make sure you give it a little more time than usual to warm up...it'll definitely help.

07-11-2008 03:29:52 | More by Douglas14
Photo of WeeObese


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

The beer pours dark amber almost ruby in color with a thick tan colored head that dissipates quickly.

The smell is dominated by dark carmel malts, fruity spicy phenols, and slight alcohol.

Taste is sweet malt followed by strong alcohol, and finishes with a nice Belgian yeast aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is warming and full.

The beer is pretty big so, although tasty, more than one could be a little too much.

07-06-2008 04:31:25 | More by WeeObese
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.35/5  rDev -11.4%

12 oz. bottle into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

Appearance: Dark amber body, scant lacing. Color saves it, as its deep and nice to look at. Slightly soapy head for how minimally it appears.

Smell: Sour apples initially, with some cherries, peppery spice, nice earthiness, mild alcohol whiffs. Mostly fruit esters and a bit of citrus from the hops, and as it warms it has a kind of granny smith apples dipped in Nutella kind of aroma. Still, there's not much Belgian flavor. Not much yeast, no signs of candi sugar commingling with other flavors, and there's some earthiness, but hardly a semblance of any kind of funk.

Taste: Mostly a mix between bitter chocolate earthiness and sour fruits and berries. No heavy signs of yeast flavors of phenolic activity. Semi-dry finish, fairly long, with a nice balance between the malt and fruit flavors and bitter citrus and earthy hops. Still wish there was more going on, especially for a brewery that I hold very highly in my book.

Mouthfeel: More watery and slick than it probably should be, as there's not nearly enough carbonation for the style. Doesn't really feel like a Belgian at all.

Drinkability: $4 for a short bottle? Glad I didn't get the corked and caged variety. There's some interesting things going on, but enough to keep me going back. And though I didn't expect it to taste like an exact non-domestic mimic of the style, they have a long way to go to impress me with this. I'm glad I tried it, especially for Thelonious, but man, I'm not sure he'd be too thrilled if he were to see this in his name.

07-03-2008 06:25:58 | More by asabreed
Photo of paco1029384756


3.65/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours brown/red with small tan head and a thin ring of lacing.

Scent of Belgian yeast, brown sugar, roasted malts and foliage.

Taste is a bit sweet and a bit earthy with some sweetened tea, Belgian yeast, and slight roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is a little uneven, viscous.

07-02-2008 00:41:40 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -6.6%

Very red in colour, looks quite dark in the glass. Thick creamy beige head that takes its time in receding.

Aromas of cherries, musty yeast and a bit of liquor. Some impression of red licorice whips.

Cherries again in the flavour, a little bit tart and musty. Vinous at times in the finish. Sweet but not overly so. Some spice impression mixed in, pepper or clove. Good, but it just feels like its lacking something.

Medium bodied and a little sticky. Carbonation is a bit coarse. Not bad altogether.

I like it, but certainly there are better examples out there.

06-28-2008 03:43:55 | More by elricorico
Photo of Crosling


3.05/5  rDev -19.3%

Brick colored autumn color with a small, well layered hour. Bubble gum and dark fruit in the nose, fairly nice, but could have more depth. Flavor has hints of honey covered fruits, decent belgian character and a decent finish. It's an ok Belgian style beer, better than most American interpretations.

06-21-2008 16:45:24 | More by Crosling
Photo of BullCityB

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours a beautiful deep amber with a craggy foam head. Just as a dubbel should be. Nice lacing with solid retention.

The smell is slightly alcoholic and quite spicy. Theres some sweet fruitiness in the background as well.

Flavorwise, Brother Thelonious is fruity and sweet at first, with more spice and warming alcohol in the finish. As per the style, no hop flavor or aroma is noted anywhere. The alcohol may be a little bit too dominant on the finish, but not much. It is 9%, rather high for a dubbel, so I can accept it. Maybe a little age will smooth that out and meld the flavors a little more? It would be a more enjoyable experience with a little less of it.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but not silky smooth like so many of the best Belgians. Carbonation is a little on the low end for a dubbel, at least in my experience.

Overall, the alcohol makes this a true sipping brew. Nobody will be chugging this one any time soon.

I think that this would probably be a better beer after a year or so. It would likely smooth out the alcohol that is rather dominant here. I don't want to see it go away entirely, but less of it would let the virtues of Thelonious shine brighter and overall, bring a dose of balance (to the force).

06-17-2008 18:39:12 | More by BullCityB
Photo of Natural510


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

(100th review)

Pours an amber red with brownish overtones from 750ml bottle with thick, off-white head which dissipates into a creamy layer and laces the glass beautifully.
Yeast & malts hit the nose up-front. There are aromas of caramel, cinnamon and dried fruit such as apricot & plum.
Very sweet maltiness coats the palate. Hops pack a solid kick and the yeast vibrates the mouth with its presence. Caramelised brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, dried fig & dates and black cherries are some of the flavors detected. Alcoholic content & sweetness pack quite a whallop when combined.
Stays creamy in the mouth, hops & yeast kick around to keep things vibrant.
Overall I enjoyed this experience, although the sweetness can be a bit much after awhile. Could've been a more perfect brew if it laid off the sugar/fruit by about 25%. Otherwise, definitely worth a try.

06-14-2008 05:46:36 | More by Natural510
Photo of elniko


3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured into snitfter

A: Awesome looking brew, dark amber color. Half finger head that did not dissipate.

S: Strong alcohol on nose but not overhwhelming

T & M: Solid taste, despite alcohol on the nose does not overwhelm brew. Definite spiciness in a taste. Mouthfeel is excellent, this is a beer that lingers after drinking and stays with you.

D: Drinkable but high alcohol content would limit multiple bottles in one sitting. Look foward to having again. Love the bottle too, Monk is a jazz king.

06-13-2008 03:31:24 | More by elniko
Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,318 ratings.