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Brother Thelonious - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,549 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,549
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 61
Gots: 310 | 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: 2,549 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slynger
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep crimsony amber color with fuzzy, a touch slim for the style, orange tinted lid.

The nose has a nice balance between the fruitiness of sweeter plums and grapes along with the more tart red apples and cherries. Yeasty and spicy as well.

Nice full-medium body but again, just slightly light of typical belgian full carbonation. The flavor is quite nice. It is sweet of caramel malts and brown sugars with plums and raisins. Red apples and yeast come in next, with some spicy alcohol in the finish.

Overall a very tasty beer, but it lacks a touch of complexity and carbonation which keeps it from catching up with the big dogs of the style.

Photo of stewart124
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is a dark amber with orange hues and a tan head that is fairly thick. Decent lacing along the glass.

Smells of cinnamon, cloves, sweet notes and raisins or prunes. There is also that unmistakable Belgian yeast nose.

Taste is bold and strong. Toffee, dark candied sugar, dark caramel malts. I am picking up some grape and raisins characteristics. Very little hop character. Medium body and a dry finish. Some sweetness left over but there is that crisp bite and slight tart taste that finishes well and leaves some spice on the tongue.

Very tasty and there is quite a bit in the mouthfeel. I am happy with this purchase and would like to put this up against a true Belgian.

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

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a nice brown color with a thick tan head.

S- Lots of sweet maltiness, yeast and fruit.

T- Rather sweet at the beginning, the taste of dried fruit comes through, balanced.

M- Very bubbly (the bartender had a difficult time pouring this beer) but not too fizzy, medium body.

D- Not my favorite of the style, but a good beer all in all.

Photo of joezak5
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; clean and clear ruby with dense and huge tannish white head, good retention and really nice lacing when enjoyed.

Smell: Yeasty and musty caramel soaked hazelnuts... really different and interesting

Mouthfeel: Very welcoming and chewy feel, very subdued carbonation.

Taste: Yeasty and caramelly malty nutty sweet and crisp, just a little peppery... very complex and enjoyable... light dark candy sugar on the finish

Drinkability: Old Rasputin is my favorite but I was disappointed greatly by Praqster... I'm glad I gave North Coast another shot. This one is wonderful; easily enjoyed with alcohol well hidden; a new flavor in very sip.

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

Well, you have to love the label on this one, a bit psychedelic, with the skullcapped Monk with his hands on the brew and an actual skull. Carpe diem, vita brevis indeed.

A generous goblet pour leaves about a half inch of creamy beige head atop a medium brown body with orange tint. Fruit flavors, like prunes or even grapes dominate the noose. Also lots of yeast swirling around a base of dark malts.

The heavy dark fruits in the taste again hit me in the head, dominating the early flavor of this beer. Later on, I get earthy and woody tones, with some lingering smoke in the aftertaste. Quite complex and brooding. Definitely a shadow of alcohol behind the wall of malt and fruit, but it is measured and definitely doable. The texture is slightly grainy but in a heavy, nuanced beer like this I prefer that to totally smooth and thin.

This is a heavy hitter at nine percent, and 750 is a lot of MLs, but this is an excellent offering from North Coast, and at $6.99, it's relatively reasonable compared to a lot of Belgians.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby brew with a coffee cream colored head. No lacing.

S - Cherries, intensely fragrant malt, dates and a bit of a crisp noble hop underneath.

T - A heavy rich malt with a touch of dates and raspberries. The bitterness is malty throughout. The flavor is big and doesn't fade. The malt is intense to the finish and beyond. It is raw and potent.

M - Smooth, thick, very refreshing.

D - Pretty good. I would have it again. I've never had a dubbel this malty before. I might have it again. It isn't bad, but it isn't awe inspiring.

Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Hazy ruby amber color with a big foamy head that leaves good lace on the glass.

S-Sweet smooth malt,spicy oak very savory aroma.

T-Nice balance sweet but not cloyingly so,nice caramel maltiness.Roasted malts give it a coffee chocolatey taste.

M-Very smooth with creamy carbonation.

D-At 9.4% abv this stuff is dangerously drinkable and very enjoyable,worth checking out!

Photo of donteatpoop
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, I'll admit it. I bought this because it referenced one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. The fact that it was a Belgian style ale was only an added bonus.

Pours a nice clear dark amber, almost brown with a thin tan head capping the beer off. Leaves a thin lace along the side of the glass as it is drunk.

The scent was faint, smelling of moist soil and hops.

The taste was profoundly more intense than the scent, tasting of caramel, sugars, and malts.

Beautiful mouth-feel, very full and creamy. Well balanced in the mouth and a perfect level of carbonation.

This was a solid belgian style abbey ale, one that I am willing to pick up again in the future.

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

Poured into Stella goblet glass from750ml bottle picked up in Pelham Bay sec of The Bronx NY.

A: Big 2 finger tan head that had minor legs fading to half a fingertip

S: Sweet carmaly malts, very appealing

T: Roasted bang to the pallet. Not what i was expecting but the smooth finish kept me intrigued.

M: Thin but highly carbonated with dry finish.

D: Rather good session beer on the spicy side.

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

Poured a dark reddish brown with a thick tan head.

Spicy smell, like wood and malt.

Good spicy malty flavor, just like the smell. Get more and more spice from the belgian with each sip.

Light and foamy in the mouth.

Great session beer.

Found it in Chicago at Sheridan Liquors...I don't believe there is a beerfly for it.

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Brother Thelonious poured a cranberry red with a finger foam head and sporadic sudsy lacing.

The smell was malty with spices and spiced apples. I tasted the caramel malts with a slight bit of alcohol on the the finish. In the mouth is it gave some residual sugar on the tongue. Overall a well done dubbel and I will buy it again.

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

Brother Thelonious pours a murky dark mahogany color with a small, thick creamy light tan head on top. The foam slowly dissolves to a sheet on the beer, leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is fruity with notes of apples and ripe fruit, plus some spicy clove mixed in. Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is soft on the palate with a firm carbonated bite on the tip of the tongue. The flavor begins fruity with a taste of apples and cherry. In the middle a brown sugar sweetness moves in which is followed by a spicy note of clove. It finishes dry leaving behind some spicy clove notes when gone.

This is a very tasty, somewhat complex beer that hides its 9% ABV rather well. More flavor comes through as it warms. Definitely use a tulip glass for this beer.

Photo of boston2bburg
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I settle down on the warmest afternoon of the year so far with one Brother, as I wait for my own to arrive from Boston. The note on the bottle couldn't be more fitting: "CARPE DIEM VITA BREVIS." Life is short, seize the day.

It pours a very hazy auburn brown with a finger of tan head that thins out, not quite covering the chalice. The bubbles are very fine and foamy. Lacing is sparse, but it gets extra points for having such a cool bottle and label.

Caramel is most prevalent in the aroma but it is complemented by fruity esters, raisin and prune. Some earthy, woody hops are involved. With warmth, buttery notes show up, and finally some booziness when you get to the dregs.

Raisin, prune and caramel again on the tongue, but in that order. It's a bit sour but not very bitter, and this eases up a little as you drink more of it, or have a bite of cheese (I'm having muenster). Earthy hops are there as well.

The hops add an abundant spiciness to the mouthfeel. It's very light-bodied for such a strong beer and the only thing really keeping me from chugging it down is the sourness. I'm not overly familiar with the style but I'm sure the sour characteristic was intended. The alcohol itself isn't very noticeable but there is a sharp acidity that can be a little overbearing. Overall pretty enjoyable.

Photo of wheelinshirt
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem. Looked interesting so i decided to pick it up.

Despite the dark beer depicted in the glass on the label, i was still hoping this would be a tripel. Figured it wasn't likely, though, so I wasn't very disappointed when it poured a ruby/mahogany color into my tulip glass.
Very clear, no sediment in this one (not bottle conditioned) which i find disappointing. I think a well done cloudy beer can be a thing of beauty. A sizable off white head fades down to a modest covering, leaves a little lace.

Smell is predictable, some roasted notes combined with belgian yeast esters, alcohol doesn't really shine through much until it warms up--the 9% is well masked.

Taste is similar, not overly sweet but still not exactly my cup of tea. Don't really prefer these darker belgian style beers. Again, the alcohol is well masked until it warms, it adds a nice touch, though, when it does shine through.

Mouthfeel is nice, not syrupy but smooth, medium full with low carbonation. Not a whole lot to complain about here.

Drinkability is limited by the alcohol content and the roasted notes that I just don't seem to enjoy in large doses. More than a little personal bias here, but I wouldn't be able to drink two of these in a row. Not bad, worth trying if it is readily available, especially if you really enjoy dubbels.

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

Found this on tap at Eulogy in Philly. Served in a large chalice. Dark brown body, nice thick head with substantial lace.

Aroma of caramel, malts, some fruit. Faint hops. Alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms.

Flavors of coco, caramel, light alcohol, dark fruits, and light grains. Faint spice profile.

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

A- Nice head that doesn't recede much. No sediment. Low carb bubbles. Ruby color.

S- Chocolate covered cherries, malty, bubble gum.

T- Rich cherry, light chocolate, warming alcohol, spice, brown sugar.

M- Low carb=great for the style. Smooth

D- High alcohol, but hidden well. I will probably revisit this in the future.

Photo of turbine2475
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear brown that pours a nice creamy white that disipated slowly into a light lace.
S - Decent lotsa fruits and sugars with a little bit of hops
T - Tastes like roasted apricots and brown sugar...definately a blast from the past.
M - Good carbonationwith a milky mouthfeel that keeps the nice sugars and hops on your tounge.
D - Not bad, darker accent than most belgians but very plesent and would not mind picking up some again.

Photo of bassmantin
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly transparent red/orange with a gigantic tan head that lingers for quite a while.

Not much going on with the smell, a little malty sweetness, not much else. Taste is pleasantly surprising. Full of Belgian sweetness. The alcohol is masked very well; I am amazed that this is a 9% beer.

Overall: A very nice beer, very drinkable and sweet but not in a bad way.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bpottle to a pint glass, the liquid is a brown...no Ruby Red, wow what a striking color, with good carbonation. the head is a nice almost 2 fingers, off white and leaves nice lace.

The smell is ok, sugar and yeast. Some dark fruit and malt, just not too exciting.

The taste is really rice, Dark fruit and some great roasty notes. really I was not expecting much but this is a good brew.

The mouthfeel is nece, good close to full body and good carbonation. really quite pleasant.

The drinkability is good, not a bat brew at all. I have seen this in the beer stores for years and fianlly snagged a small one. Quite worth it. Prosit, MK

Photo of baos
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz into Barilla jar.

A: Deep copper color with quite a bit of clarity for a Belgian style ale. Mediocre head retention and decent lacing.

S: Vanilla spiced rum.

T: a bit on the boozy side. Kind of tastes like a cross between spiced rum and cheap whiskey. I though it would grow on me or get better with warmth but it actually got a little more bitter and cheap booze tasting. Other than the bad after taste the initial candy sugar and nice hop bite is pretty yummy but it goes down hill quick. Elmer's glue and cheap whiskey aftertaste.

M: The high water mark of this one.

D: I'm glad I didn't get a sixer. It just has too much of a bad aftertaste. This beer needs some balance.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a muddy, light brown, with a full size off-white head and some limited lacing as the beer is drunk.

S: Light, got some barley malt and sugar.

T: Very sweet, almost tastes spiced, ginger and cinnamon, with a full malt backbone, brown sugar and molasses abound.

M: A little to thin, though I admit the keg kind of popped as I was being served so that might have had something to do with it, medium-bodied ale.

D: Great drinkability, my only beer of the day, and finished it in about 10 minutes, a good price one of the cheaper Belgian-style American beers out there.

Photo of Pullen
4.7/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Gentle sweet malt aroma. Light caramel, raisin with a caramel sugar finish. The great taste took my friends and I by surprise. Unfortunately we ran out.

My first abbey style beer. If Abbey's are this good, I want more!

The flavor get better as the beer becomes warmer. I highly recommend this beer!

Photo of IPAcraig
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an oversized wine glass.

This beer pours a woody, murky brown with a cream colored head that faded fairly quickly.

A very rich smelling brew. A big of aroma of tart cherries and sweet fruit burst from the body of this beer. Absolutely brilliant.

A lot going on here. The massive flavor of tart cherries and figs is still present. However, the beer has a bit of a chocolate center. The front end fruity sweetness is complimented by a nice dry finish.

A medium bodied beer. Perhaps a bit too big for a Belgian, but I like it.

Perfect drinkability. Full flavored, complex, quaffable all with a good price. Brilliant.

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

Into a chalice, pours a nice ruby tinged mahogany, a creamy half-inch taupe head settles a bit thinner to a good film, leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma gives beer soaked dark fruits, pear and apple mostly, slight candied sugars. The taste follows the vague hints in the nose, some nice fruits, sugars, a fair yeasty flair and some nice spices. The mouth has good body, almost non-existant carbonation, a bit of warming... in all, a pretty tasty dubbel.

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

Decent 1 1/2 finger head with very nice retention. Ruby red in color.

Smell is of toasty caramel malts, banana, cloves, and coriander. Slightly boozy as well.

Taste is of candy sugar with a caramel malt balance. Banana phenol comes out and adds a fruitiness to the flavor. A little bit overly boozy, but not too bad. Sort of minty and fruity on the finish

A little watery on the finish. A tiny bit astringent as well.Not overly bad.

A decent beer, but a little bit too warming on the alcohol.

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 2,549 ratings.