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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,589 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,589
Reviews: 976
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 61
Gots: 343 | 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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,589 | Reviews: 976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of homebrew311
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
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
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
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
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
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
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
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
3.39/5  rDev -10.6%
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
3.79/5  rDev 0%
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
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
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
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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

Mahogany with a petite tan head. Many shades of red.

Smells of chocolate, honey raisins, toast, spice, and Belgian yeast. Very complex sweet malt nose that demands contemplation.

Semi-sweet chocolate upfront, very smooth. Toast and caramel, sweet grain, very distinctive mix. A burst of hop bitterness that escapes like a jail-break. Reminiscent of chocolate raspberry flourless cake. Bitterness feels like hundreds of bubbles bursting on the tongue. Some very light Belgian spiciness and some nice alcohol heat at the end. Sweet finish. Any less bitterness and this brew would be borderline cloyingly sweet.

Velvety smooth medium carbonated and medium body. Good weight that accentuates the taste. Overall a complex and distinctive sipper that while tasty, is too rich/sweet to be highly drinkable.

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours honey brown with amber highlights. It has a strong aroma of sweet dark fruit. The taste follows the nose. Everything is in a nice balance, the high ABV is not noticeable. It is full/medium in body with moderate carbonation. A great sipper, I could sip on this all night.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria, VA.

Pours a deep brown with a little bit of a head, which sticks for some nice lacing. Smell is mostly dark fruit--cherries and dates--with some caramel and malt sweetness. Taste is mostly dark fruit, residual sweetness, and some Belgian yeast. Very nice mouthfeel with good carbonation. Drinkability is very nice and smooth.

Photo of ugaterrapin
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice with very little head present after pour. It has a deep brown color with a deep red tone when held up to the light. The smell is of dark fruits. The main thing I smell is cherry, but although I don't know what prunes smell like I imagine they smell like this beer. The taste has a definite fruit taste which encompasses the entire flavor. The sweetness is somewhat subdued. Overall a very clean taste, but just not up my alley.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip. My bottle reads 9.4% ABV rather than the above-indicated 9%.

Appearance: rich, cloudy amber color with a finger of nice tan head. Looks strong.

Smell: nice malty aroma with hints of cherry and plum. I'm also getting a slightly woody aroma; not sure if this is just tannins in the mix or what but it's not bad.

Taste: quite similar to the aroma but with a little more emphasis on the plum portion of the malt. There's also a little astringency toward the end. The taste seems stronger but a little less complex than the aroma. Alcohol is there but is well-mitigated by other flavors. Good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a pretty good level of carbonation. I like my Belgians to pop a little more with creaminess than this one, though this is not bad.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. Dubbels don't tend to be my favorite but Brother Thelonious is not bad. It's got a little more alcohol than most dubbels but it's still a highly quaffable beverage.

Photo of Vancoubeer
2.22/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love dark beer. I try to buy one everytime I am at the local beer store. This beer really let me down. It had the smell of motor oil. It looked great. Dark beer with brownish head. But the taste was lame. It tasted almost as it smelled. It was like nothing I have had before. I had a hard time tasting the normal ingredients found in beer. It was more like a syrup. I will stay away from this. I am mad because North Coasts Old Rasputin is one of my favs on nitro. But this was a disappointment. IF you like abbey ales, try it but beware.

Photo of n00tz
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - dark muck brown body, active carbonation as spotted from the top of the glass, thin tan head.

S - Sweet fruits, dark sugary malts.

T - Very true to style if the description BeerAdvocate gives is any indicator. Carmel malts are strong, with distinct fruit backing. Delicious balance. I sense a trend coming on in my buying patterns.

M - Medium bodied, delectable carbonation character - adds a bit of froth when it sets on your tongue, soft sweet creamy aftertaste.

D - This is dangerously drinkable at 9.4%.

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

Serving type - 12 oz. bottle into goblet.

A - Deep brown hue, with very little head upon with the pour. Leaves little to no lacing around the glass.

S - Dark fruit (cherries, raisins), caramel, sugar, belgian candi

T - Very good taste! The appearance had me a bit worried at first, but this is indeed good. The flavors essentially mimic the smell, but the cherries, caramel, and belgian candi/sugar come through the most. Quite true to style.

M - Could use slightly more body and slightly less carbonation IMO, but still very decent overall.

D - Way smooth. 9%, but it drinks like a 6.5-7% beer. Easy drinking.

Overall - One of the best American examples of a Belgian style I've come across. This one is indeed worthy of your time.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a wonderful sendoff beer hitting the dusty trail down to cali. year old thelonious. time to kick back, i know it's been a long day, but the dragon whale is ready to roll and this nectar has been aging for just this moment. you pop the top with a noisy motion and pour the heavenly brown liquid. follows the chocolate dipped blue cheese filled dates like magic, replicating some of those fine dark fruit flavors and aromas. its a sensual lover, massaging your feet if you ask. this is a damn smooth ride, the year has given this time to gel and drink magically, nothing indicative of 9%, just a slightly sweet deliciousness. i will sleep tonight peacefully, knowing that the road awaits.

Photo of DmanGTR
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to my buddy Kyle for this lovely present!

No freshness date, but something like this can definitely last a while in the cellar. Been aging for at least 1 year.

A - Poured a brilliant garnet red, quite clear but has lots of tiny suspended particles. A short lived 1" off-white head that left a ring in my St. Bernardus goblet. No lacing. 3.5

S - Deep, rich, dark fruits reminiscent of dates and prunes. Perhaps a hint of sherry-like oxidation, which works well for this beer. Caramel is also present in the nose and mild alcohol as well. A very sweet bouquet. 4.0

T - The caramel of the nose is most definitely carried over to the taste. Rich prunes and currants cover the palate and finishes semi-dry with a lingering warmth. 4.0

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation is a bit much. Very prickly on the palate. Alcohol warmth is definitely not well hidden. 3.0

D - Decent. The flavor and aroma is quite good. I only have an issue with the carbonation and the very warm alcohol. 3.0

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.39/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle, the beer paurs with very little head that disappears to a thin line around the edges of the glass. Mahogany in color. There is little carbonation here. Smell is decent. Caramel and some some spice, with raisin and brown sugar. Hops are faint in the back. Taste is sweet and a bit cloying at first. That blows off though and reveals some toffee, nutmeg, cinnamon, and candied fruits. Hops dry out the finish, but ever so slightly. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, but is a bit much. The booziness is also a bit high, and a bit much for this style. It's a decent brew, but may need some age to come around.

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,589 ratings.